Janis Rule is an early childhood education supporter and advocate. Providing a nurturing, child-centered educational environment for young learners has been her mission for over thirty years. She enjoys and appreciates the natural curiosity and energy of young children, and the joy that they share each day. The opportunity to work with the dedicated staff of First Baptist Waynesboro Weekday Preschool and the children and families served there allows her to happily continue her commitment to providing enriching experiences for young children.
Upon graduating from James Madison University with degrees in Business Communications and Early Childhood Education, she taught for several years before returning to earn her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. She later received an additional endorsement in Administration and Supervision. She retired from Waynesboro Public Schools after thirty years as a public school teacher.
She is a native of Waynesboro and is married to Jimmy Rule who works at James Madison University. Their daughter, Jamie, also lives in Waynesboro and their son, Jacob, lives in Arizona with his wife and children.
Visiting her grandchildren, assisting area animal rescue groups, taking care of her rescue pets and reading keep her busy when she is not enjoying the company of children.
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2-year-old Lead teacher
Mrs. Amy Smith (2-year-olds; 2 mornings per week)
Mrs. Smith was born and raised in Waynesboro, Virginia and has worked with preschool children her whole adult career. Mrs. Smith graduated from Waynesboro High School and Eastern Mennonite University with a Liberal Arts degree. She majored with a concentration in education and a minor in psychology. Mrs. Smith's experiences include working in preschool special education at Hug K. Casell and then private church preschools, which led her here to FBC Weekday Preschool. Mrs. Smith has been on staff for 2 1/2 years and has worked with ages 2 and 4. Mrs. Smith has told us that 2-year-olds are where her passion lie, and we are so grateful she leads our smallest children here at the Preschool two days per week!
Mrs. Smith is a member here at FBC along with her husband, Danny who serves as a deacon at our church. They have two sons, Caleb--who attends Liberty University, and Patrick--who attends Wilson Memorial High School. Mrs. Smith enjoys doing church volunteer work. She loves sports including UVA (Go Hoos!), Liberty University, and the Redskins. She visits her family close by often and loves to go shopping.
3-year-old Lead Teachers
Erin Harlow--3-year-old lead teacher, 5 days a week
Erin Harlow is returning to FBC Weekday Preschool as the lead teacher for the 3-year-old 5 mornings a week class. Mrs. Harlow was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, but made her way to Virginia where she attended Radford University. She has stayed here ever since! My husband, Brent, is from Waynesboro and we are raising our two girls Lily (7) and Morgan (6) here. We love gardening and making pizzas with the girls. I also have a deep love for coffee, as you will likely always see me with a cup in my hand!
Mrs. Sheri Hicks (3-year-olds; 3 mornings per week)
Mrs. Hicks loves teaching three years olds and is excited to be returning for her second year as a teacher. She was teacher and school librarian in Augusta County Schools and Waynesboro City Schools. Sheri received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from James Madison University and her Master's degree in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was honored to receive the William Perry Teacher of the Year Award and the Rotary Club of Waynesboro Jean Harris Award for her dedication to children who are economically disadvantaged.
Mrs. Hicks has been married to her husband, Preston, for 40 years and together they have 2 children and 5 adorable grandchildren. In her free time, she loves gardening, cooking, traveling and spending time with her grandchildren. Sheri attends First Baptist Church of Waynesboro and has a real love for serving the Lord and helping others.
Sheri's strength in the classroom is leading children in her class to become more independent, more social and to have a love for school and learning.
Pre-Kindergarten (4-year-old) Lead Teachers
Melanie Keagy--PreKindergarten lead teacher
I am so to be here at First Baptist Preschool! Before joining the preschool teaching staff, I spent six and a half years being a full time stay at home mother to my three girls. I have twins in second grade at Westwood Hills and my youngest, Liliana, will be in our 3-year-old classroom here with Mrs. Harlow and Mrs. Jones.
I received my Masters in Elementary Education and a BA in psychology at the University of Virginia. I am certified to teach pre-K through 6th grade in Virginia. I am currently working on my reading specialist endorsement at Eastern Mennonite University. Prior to being a stay at home mom, I was a first-grade teacher in Chesapeake, Virginia for six years and taught the preschool program over the summers.
I was born in Buffalo, NY, and raised in Springfield, VA - a suburb of Washington, DC. After graduating from UVA, I lived in Virginia Beach for seven years with my husband Michael before moving to the area. We love Waynesboro and are so excited to call it home!
Besides spending time with family, I love to read, dance, exercise, go to the beach, and just be silly and have fun! I can’t wait to be silly and have fun with your little one this year in my class!
Carrie Jones--3-year-old teacher's assistant, 5 days a week
Carrie Jones was born and raised in Waynesboro, Virginia. She graduated from Mary Baldwin College and received her master's from Baylor University, where she focused on museum education and hands-on learning experiences. After moving around the country, Carrie and her husband Steve resettled in the area to raise their two daughters, Charlotte and Amelia. She is thrilled to be back for her second year at First Baptist Preschool, after working as the teacher's aide in Mrs. Smith's 2-year-old classroom last year. Carrie has worked in classrooms from primary school all the way to college, but enjoys the fun and laughter of preschool learning the most!
Carrie loves enjoying the Blue Ridge Mountains, spending time with her family, reading, and eating Kline's ice cream.
Mrs. Kim Mace (Teacher's Assistant; Pre-Kindergarten)
Kim joins us for the first time this year as a Teacher's Assistant in our 4-year-old/Pre-Kindergarten classroom. Kim attended Eastern Mennonite University and was employed in the Augusta County School System a First Grade classroom aide for 8 years. She was then a substitute teacher and classroom aide at Grace Christian School. For the past 4 years, Kim has provided and operated in-home daycare for a great little group of kids. She is overjoyed to be back in the classroom and looks forward to becoming a part of the FBC Weekday Preschool family and getting to know the children, parents, and staff!
In her spare time, Kim enjoys spending time with her husband of 19 years, Troy, and their teenage daughter Hannah, reading, and beach vacations.