Faculty

Paulette Ove - Director and Teacher

Paulette has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 20 years. Her appreciation for young children and this stage of growth and development keeps her passionate about her work.  “Learning is exciting, and the teachers and I strive to create an early learning experience that engages the whole child – body, mind, and spirit.”

Paulette has a Child Development Program Director Permit through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum & Instruction.  She strives to be a resource and support to teachers, parents, and children.

Paulette has enjoyed a wide variety of positions in the filed of Early Childhood Education; she has been a Teacher in a number of settings — Parent-Cooperative Nursery School and Developmental Kindergarten, College Child Development Laboratory School, Children’s Science Museum program and French Language Immersion Preschool.  She was a Family Life Specialist and supervised student teachers at Diablo Valley College’s Child Development Center and she was a Coach with the Contra Costa Child Care Council and provided technical assistance and on the job training to Preschool Providers. She also enjoyed working as a part-time Instructor at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill and at Daley College in Chicago in the Department of Early Childhood Education. She finds all of her previous experiences to be a great source of knowledge from which she draws upon to guide her work at UMP.

Manelle Merrill - Office Administrator/Bookkeeper

Manelle holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Boston University.  She worked in finance for 10 years and then decided to stay at home when she started her family.  Manelle currently lives in Lafayette with her husband and two children.  She has always loved working with children and has volunteered her time on the Board of a local non-profit for special needs children, at her children’s school, on PTA and has been a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s troop.

Sue Kohles - Teacher

Sue holds a Masters in Learning Disabilities and a Bachelors of Arts in Speech Patholology from the University of Northern Colorado. Prior to coming to the United Methodist Preschool in 2012, Sue taught in the San Ramon Valley School District. Sue had the pleasure of working with children in kindergarten, first and third grades.

Sue is passionate about creating a curriculum that supports her student’s natural curiosity and love of learning. The small class-size ratio and the rich environment at the Methodist Preschool provide opportunities, inside and outside the classroom, for Sue’s students to grown both academically and socially.

Kim Kumnick - Teacher

Kim has a passion for teaching young children and completed a degree in Education.  She began teaching autistic preschool-aged children during her sophomore year in college. After graduation, she continued teaching in the San Ramon Valley School district as a substitute for four years while she continued attending classes toward for elementary-school credential. Kim taught Art Enrichment classes and a 1/2 special day combo class, but her favorite age is preschoolers. 

Kim has been teaching at United Methodist since 2012.  Years ago, she was a student at United Methodist Preschool! Kim strives to provide a nurturing and encouraging environment for the children, and she cherishes the close relationships she builds with her students and their families. 

Debbie Byers - Teacher

Debbie has eight years of teaching experience in Early Childhood Education programs. Debbie studied Early Childhood Education at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA., and she worked in the Child Development Lab School on the West Valley campus.  Debbie joined the United Methodist Preschool in 2013 and she has been a great addition to the teaching staff.  She is a skillful Early Childhood Educator and loves working with all ages of preschoolers.  She works in several capacities at UMP – as a Lead Two’s Teacher, Lead Teacher in the 3-day preschool program, and as Lunch Bunch Teacher.  She also works as a Preschool Sunday School teacher.  In addition to working at United Methodist Preschool, she has been very active in Scouting with her son.

Sandra Sheehan Fischman - Teacher

Sandra came into the field of Early Childhood education because she has a great affinity for young children. She comes from a long lineage of educators, but she did not find her way into this occupation until recently.

After receiving a B.S. in Business Administration from Oregon State University, she began her career as a Buyer for Nordstrom’s California and she did Consulting and Marketing for Nordstrom.  Sandra left the corporate world to stay at home and raise her children. 

Now that her youngest child is in high school, Sandra looked to find a type of work that she would find fulfilling and rewarding.  We are delighted that she chose to pursue Early Childhood Education and has completed the State requirements to serve as Early Childhood Teacher.  She is continuing her education and course work in this field as she finds this stage of child development fun and fascinating. 

In her spare time she is involved in the National Charity League with her daughter, has a love for art and painting, and spending time with family and friends

Shokoh Mosalli - Extended Care Teacher

Shokoh holds a Child Development Master Teacher Certificate through the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In addition, she has an Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Diablo Valley College.  In the past, she volunteered at schools in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District while her children were young. She found this work interesting, because it enabled her to experience children of all ages and stages of development.

One of her greatest passions is being able to work with children, especially toddlers and preschoolers. She loves how children at this age are full of curiosity, love, confidence, and are like little “sponges” – able to soak up information and learn quickly. She wants to help strengthen these wonderful traits and be a contributing member on their learning journey.

Shokoh has resided in Danville for over 20 years with her husband where they raised their son and daughter who are now 28 and 25 years of age. She has two vivacious granddaughters, ages eight months and four years; they are the apple of her eye.

Meg Collier - Teacher

Meg has a level three teaching diploma from the U.K. and certificates in social care, child care, and child developmental psychology.  She has several years’ experience working with children five and under in various settings and has volunteered regularly in her own children’s schools.  Meg moved to California in 2014 with her family and joined the United Methodist Preschool in 2016.  She has taught twos, threes, and four-year-olds,  and she enjoys tailoring her classroom curriculum to meet the developmental levels of all of her students.  

Anna Rainsford - Teacher

Anna lives in Danville with her husband and two boys. She joined United Methodist Preschool in 2012 after volunteering at her son’s parent cooperative preschool for several years.  Anna found the stage of early childhood development to be so interesting, and she delighted in her time spent with preschoolers. Her volunteer experience at the Parent Co-Operative preschool inspired her to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education. She finds great joy in her work as a teacher and enjoys providing a developmentally appropriate program that nurtures and challenges the whole child.

Katie Davison - Assistant Teacher

Katie has a passion for both education and the arts. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Practice in 2013, she worked in various elementary schools as an Instructional Aide as well as a Substitute Teacher for San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Katie was also a part of the Bridging the Arts program at UC Berkeley where she developed and taught art lessons for a middle school special education class focusing on their individual needs and creative expression. Now working with preschoolers at United Methodist Preschool, Katie strives to instill a love for school, imagination and creativity with every student.

In her free time, Katie loves to be with her friends and family as well as building her skills as a digital illustrator. She also enjoys writing, reading and is an avid runner.

Beth McClelland - Music Teacher

Beth has an exciting history of working with children in various pediatrics nursing professions as well as teaching elementary education.  She majored in Child Development and Biological Sciences at UC Davis. Beth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing as well as Public Health Nurse Certificate from the University of California San Francisco.  She spent a good portion of her 18 years nursing chronically ill children and then made a career change to work in elementary education after receiving her teaching credential from St. Mary’s College.  Most of her 22 year teaching career was spent in kindergarten in the SRVUSD where she melded her love of music and working with children.  Music has been in Beth’s life as long as she can remember; singing in church, scouts and school, playing a variety of musical instruments through her college years and then teaching music in the classroom.  She also enjoys being a member of SRVUMC’s Chancel Choir and recently took over directing the Children’s Choir at SRVUMC.

Beth believes music is a universal language and speaks to each of us.  It offers a way to teach many subjects as it has rhyme, rhythm and repetition. By introducing music at this young age we begin to develop appreciation of different sounds, pitches, rhythms and we can replicate those though voice, instruments and movement.  Her hope is that this introduction to music at United Methodist Preschool might plant a seed that will grow into a lifelong interest, appreciation, or even passion to play an instrument, sing or dance.