Mrs. Jones has worked at FBC Preschool since 2015, and took on the role of Director in July, 2019. Mrs. Jones was born and raised in Waynesboro and received her B.A. from Mary Baldwin College and her master's in Museum Studies/Education from Baylor University. It was in museum education that Mrs. Jones first studied the importance of learning through play for young children and the importance of hands-on learning for people of all ages! Her experiences while leading the education department of Historic St. Mary's City allowed her to develop programming for families and students of all ages. She also was in charge of staff training regarding teaching techniques to bring history to life for the public. Mrs. Jones has enjoyed working with students in a variety of classroom settings from preschool to college.
Mrs. Jones came to First Baptist Preschool initially when she enrolled her daughters. She loved the “family” atmosphere so much that she later started working as a staff member in the 2 year-old class, the 3 year-old class, and finally the 4 year-old class. Mrs. Jones loves working at FBC Preschool where “we let children be children and discover the world around them in the ways they naturally learn - through play.” She loves being able to make a positive impact on the lives of the families and children at FBC Preschool and serving them as part of the mission outreach of First Baptist Church.
Mrs. Jones is married to her college sweetheart, Steven Jones, and has two daughters, Charlotte and Amelia. They all attend Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Mrs. Jones loves watching movies as a family, swimming in her pool with friends and family, and eating Kline’s ice cream!
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Preschool Floating Teaching Assistant
Mrs. Leech serves as the preschool's floating teaching assistant and assists any teacher/class as needed.
She attended Montreat Anderson College where she majored in Elementary Education. She has served First Baptist Church Weekday Preschool for many years as both a teacher and teaching assistant. She has also taught at Reveille Preschool in Richmond. Mrs. Leech also worked for the Department of Social Services for 7 years.
First Baptist Church Weekday Preschool is near and dear to Mrs. Leech's heart and she feels that this preschool is "her third child" in many ways. Supporting not only the children, but also their families is very important to Mrs. Leech. We know the what our preschool means to her and we know what she means to our preschool.
Mrs. Leech has 2 sons, Ben and Daniel and 2 grandsons. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling when she can and promoting the arts at the Wayne Theater.
2 Year Old Class (Tuesday and Thursday)
Mrs. Amy Smith (LEAD TEACHER)
Mrs. Smith graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a Liberal Arts degree. She majored in education and a minored in psychology. Mrs. Smith's teaching experience includes working with preschool special education students at Hugh K. Cassell, and teaching at several private church preschools.
Mrs. Smith feels that as a First Baptist Church member, teaching at First Baptist Church Weekday Preschool is a perfect fit for her. She says that her passion for teaching lies with teaching our youngest students, the 2 year olds. We can tell they make her days at school very special and vice versa.
She is a native of Waynesboro. She and her husband, Danny, have two sons, Caleb and Patrick. When not busy planning for her days at school, Mrs. Smith enjoys doing church volunteer work. She loves sports including UVA (Go Hoos!), Liberty University, and the Redskins. Her family enjoys caring for several pets as well. She visits her family close by often, and loves to go shopping.
Mrs. Brittnie Crabtree (Teaching Assistant)
Mrs. Crabtree works with Mrs. Smith in our 2 year old classroom. Prior to working with our 2 year old class, she was a parent volunteer and a substitute teacher for our preschool. Mrs. Crabtree attended Blue Ridge Community College while taking Pharmacy Tech classes.
She says that she "loves FBC Preschool" and feels very close to everyone here because her girls attended our preschool. We love that she treats every child like her own.
Mrs. Crabtree and her husband, Corey, have twin girls, Lorali and Avery and a sweet pup named Huck. She loves her family and friends, her church and Bible study group, reading , going to the beach, and staying active with her daughters.
3 Year Old Classes
Erin Harlow (LEAD TEACHER for 3 year olds, Mon.-Fri.)
Mrs. Harlow studied at Radford University where she majored in education. After leaving Radford, she was employed at Ashland Y.M.C.A. as their Child Care, Youth and Family Director.
She enjoys serving the community as an educator. She says that the joy she shares with her young students is what she values most about teaching. Stop by and you will see that her classroom is certainly a joyful place!
Mrs. Harlow was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, but made her way to Virginia to attend college. Her husband, Brent, is a native of Waynesboro and they are thrilled to be raising their two girls, Lily and Morgan here.
She loves gardening and making pizzas with the girls. She and her husband also stay busy with home projects that they design themselves.
Mrs. Ashley Sherman (Teaching Assistant)
Mrs. Sherman is the teaching assistant in Mrs. Harlow's classroom. Prior to working with our 3 year old class, Mrs. Sherman was a parent volunteer and a substitute teacher for our preschool. Mrs. Sherman holds an Associate's Degree in Psychology. She has also worked as a Patient Care Technician for Augusta Health.
She says that she enjoys teaching preschool children skills that will help them to be successful now and in the future and that "it's wonderful having fun with children and being silly with them." We know the children will love having fun with her too.
Mrs. Sherman and her husband, Wray, are raising their sons Kellen and Bryce right here in her own hometown. In her free time, she enjoys being with family and friends, participating in outdoor activities and indoor crafts and attending concerts.
Andrea Walgren (LEAD TEACHER for 3 year olds, Mon./Wed./Fri.)
Mrs. Sheri Hicks (Teaching Assistant for 3 year olds, Mon./Wed./Fri.)
Mrs. Hicks received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education from James Madison University and her master's degree in Education with a concentration in Library Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been a classroom teacher and a school librarian for several school systems 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.
She says that she loves teaching 3 year olds! She enjoys helping them as they become more independent. Encouraging a love for school and learning is a focus in her classroom. We love seeing her students thrive in her classroom.
Mrs. Hicks and her husband, Preston, have 2 children and 6 adorable grandchildren. In her free time, she loves gardening, cooking, traveling and spending time with her grandchildren. Sheri attends First Baptist Church and has a real love for serving the Lord and helping others.
4 Year Old/Pre-Kindergarten Classes
Sylvia Almarode (LEAD TEACHER)
Mrs. Almarode was born and raised in Waynesboro and attended the Waynesboro Public Schools all the way through 12th grade. She attended Virginia Tech and is an avid Hokie! After graduating with a Degree in Elementary Education, she immediately began teaching in Waynesboro and Augusta County and had a wonderful career of teaching for 31 years in the local elementary schools. Afterwards, she worked as a substitute for the Waynesboro Public Schools and she supervised graduate teaching students for James Madison University.
Mrs. Almarode is extremely excited about this new opportunity to teach at First Baptist Preschool! “I have always wanted to teach younger children and have especially wanted to teach in a christian school. I feel that it is extremely important for children to be taught God’s word when learning not only academics, but how to get along with others.”
She was raised as a member at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, where she currently serves as the “kitchen lady,” and is in charge of dinners and receptions.
Mrs. Almarode and her husband Ron and have identical twin daughters who are now 32 years old. Amy and her husband Bob live in Charlottesville, and Emily lives in Waynesboro. The Almarodes have two chihuahuas and in her free time she love to work in her yard, collect PEZ containers, and serve on the Board of the MaDee Project, which supports children with cancer.
Kim Artz (Teaching Assistant)
Mrs. Artz is the teaching assistant in Mrs. Jones' classroom. She graduated from Radford University with a B.A. in Journalism and Speech. Prior to joining our preschool staff, Mrs. Artz worked for Waynesboro Public Schools as an instructional assistant and recently retired after 23 years of service. She has also volunteered as a tutor at the Learning Tree. As a member of FBC, she enjoys working with children and families through our church programming.
She says that she "loves children's perspective on the world. They remind us to see the beauty and wonder in God's creation." We know the children will enjoy sharing their ideas and feelings with Mrs. Artz at preschool each day.
Mrs. Artz and her husband, Ron, have 2 children, Susan who lives in Nelson County and Joe who lives in Colorado. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing games, visiting with friends and family and exercising.
Stephenie Heflin (LEAD TEACHER)