919-847-8205 x262
 


Administrative Team

Heidi Hobler

Heidi Hobler

Director

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I enjoy sharing in the delight and enthusiasm of the kids.  I love to watch the little “light-bulbs” go off and facilitate “aha” moments!

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
 Laughter is a smile that explodes.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Going to my kids’ activities, reading or baking.

Something you might not know about me…
I have teenage twins and I own a kimono!

Shelley Freeman

Shelley Freeman

Administrative Specialist

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love seeing the children every day!  It is amazing to see the change from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.  Working with a fabulous group of women is pretty great too!

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Spending time with my family, at the gym, walking my dog, and running.

Something you might not know about me…
I keep a secret stash of chocolate beside my bed 🙂


Two Year Old Team

Cat Jones

Cat Jones

Two Year Teacher - Busy Bee Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
There is nothing better, in my opinion, than being able to “play” all day. I also love the little things children say it always puts a smile on my face because they are so innocent and just down right honest.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Pray, hope and don’t worry …Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer. Padre Pio

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me….
Driving in my car listening to Kids Bop music and enjoying life to the fullest

Something you might know about me…
I love ice swimming after a smoke sauna in Finland. My dream is to have a sauna in my backyard

Elizabeth VanDeCarr

Elizabeth VanDeCarr

Two Year Old Assistant - Busy Bee Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Playing, Playing, And Playing! In the kitchen with plastic food or at the table with Play Doh, I thoroughly enjoy imaginary play with the 2’s. I also love to go to the playground.  You will often see me sliding and playing chase with the children.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child’s world and thus a world’s event. Gaston Bachelard

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
On the Tennis court or walking my adorable Boston terrier, Dewey.

Something you might not know about me…
I’ve always loved animals. Some that I grew up with are rabbits, chickens ,a goat ,a rat ,a squirrel, fish ,ducks and of course numerous cats and dogs.

Chris Bjerke

Chris Bjerke

Two Year Old Assistant - Busy Bee Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
When the children discover something new and burst into squeals of laughter, it brings joy to my heart! 

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
“Be devoted to one another in love.  Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
You will find me going to my son’s cross country and wrestling meets or exploring the Triangle with my husband of 31 years.

Something you might not know about me…
I have been fascinated by Sumo wrestlers since I was a child, and I love huge dogs!

Niamh Crotty

Niamh Crotty

Two Year Old Teacher - Lucky Lady Bug Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Watching the children grow! I love to see the world through the eyes of a child as they explore and discover.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
To love another person is see the face of God – Victor Hugo

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Spending time with my family, volunteerting at my kids school, practicing photography and cheering on my kids at their various sporting and musical events

Something you might not know about me…
I am a huge NC State fan, and I love traveling. Growing up I spent my summers on my family’s farm in Ireland. 

Annie Richards

Annie Richards

Two Year Old Assistant - Lucky Lady Bug Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Seeing the children’s excitement when they learn to do new things. The smallest things are huge to them! Climbing the ladder to the slide by themselves on the playground  or successfully putting together a puzzle gives them so much pride. I love to hear them squeal with joy every time they see an airplane in the sky or a fire truck on Leesville Road!

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
In a world where you can be anything, be kind

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
At a baseball field, football field, or wrestling gym, cheering on my 2 boys.

Something you might not know about me…
I love to travel and I’ve been to 21 countries!

Leslie Christiansen-Hetzel

Leslie Christiansen-Hetzel

Two Year Old Teacher - Happy Hoppers

What I enjoy most about Preschool
What I love most about preschool is all the energy the children bring each day. It is such a blessing to get to witness the wonder and awe through a child’s point of view as we all learn and grow together.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us. – Helen Keller

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
When I am not at St. Francis you can find me chasing after one or all of my five kids! When we are not sitting in carpool lines we enjoy getting outside to play or hike. One of our favorite activities is to turn up the music and have Dance parties!

Something you might not know about me…
In my kid free time I love to sew quilts and other items. I haven’t met a craft I don’t enjoy and always love to challenge myself to learn something new.

Addie Snavely

Addie Snavely

Two Year Old Assistant - Happy Hoppers

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Seeing the children’s smiling faces each day.  The excitement and pure joy of reading stories, playing with new friends, and creating.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
1 Corinthians 16:14 
Let all that you do be done in love. 

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
You can find me walking my dog Scooter or watching my 3 sons sporting events.

Something you might not know about me…
I have my bachelors degree in Interior Design.

 


Three Year Old Team

Nicole Lee

Nicole Lee

Three Year Old Teacher - Precious Puppies

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love the wonder in the children and what they can teach us about the importance of little moments in life.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Samuel 1:227
For this child we have prayed
John 13:7 You may not understand now what I am doing, but someday you will

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Spending time with my two boys, in the garden or at the pool.

Something you might not know about me…
I do not like chocolate or coffee.

Maxine Diffley

Maxine Diffley

Three Year Old Assistant - Precious Puppies

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I enjoyed watching little precious aha moments and learned a lot  from them

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
God is within her, she will not fall

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
When I’m not at St. Francis preschool, you can find me at my son’s hockey practices and games and my daughter’s soccer fields.

Something you might not know about me…
I am a Carolina Hurricanes fanatic. I also love pineapple on my pizza.

Kathryn Friedman

Kathryn Friedman

Three Year old Teacher Monkeys Class and Stepping Stones Teacher

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I enjoy seeing the joy in the faces of the young children as they discover things about themselves and the world around them. Every day is a gift as the “little Jesus’s” and “little Mary’s” of our world help me focus on the importance of following God’s path.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Make each day your masterpiece.  And remember always God loves you!

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
At Lambeau field in Green Bay Wisconsin or anywhere my family is gathered. I’d like to get to Pensacola to see my oldest son Brock who is in the Navy.

Something you might not know about me…
You may not know that I played French horn and piano in a jazz band which recorded an album in 1979 called Happy Feet! I have a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology.

Tresa Pickup

Tresa Pickup

Three Year Old Assistant -Monkey Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love being with people who are so caring and genuinely seem happy to be working with each other and the children.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Proverbs 3:5-6​  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Starting in October you can find me at Carolina Hurricanes Hockey games.  I am a HUGE Caniac!

Something you might not know about me…
I am married, have two sons and a daughter-in-law.  I’m originally from Northern NY near the Canadian border.  I was a Vermonter for almost 20 years.  I moved to NC in 2006.​​​​

Suzanne Ziemer

Suzanne Ziemer

Three Year Old Assistant -Monkey Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
is getting to spend my day with so many smiley faces and hearing little one’s thoughts about the world. 

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides – David Viscott

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
You can find me with my family. We enjoy taking walks and bike rides and cooking/baking together. 

Something you might not know about me…
I love dogs and would adopt all the dogs from the shelter if my husband would let me. 

Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker

Three Year Teacher - Turtle Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love connecting with my students!  I thoroughly enjoy the bonding experience that takes place in becoming a classroom family.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Taking walks, reading, and spending time with my family.

Something you might not know about me…
I love traveling to foreign countries when I get the chance!

​​​​

Patrice Owens

Patrice Owens

Three Year Assistant - Turtle Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love watching the children’s excitement daily.  There is nothing better than seeing the world through a child’s eyes.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Spending time with my family, attending my kids activities and working out at Burn Bootcamp.

Something you might not know about me…
I have a degree in sports management from UMass Amherst.  I love playing and watching sports and now love watching my own kids on the field, pool or court.

​​​​


Four Year Old Team

Laurie Thomy

Laurie Thomy

Four Year Old Lead - Llama Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
My favorite thing about preschool is getting to share in the children’s journey; I love being a part of their day and watching them grow over the year.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me
When I’m not at preschool you can find me chasing my girls from school and gymnastics

Something you might not know about me…
I am a college football fanatic and love my USC Gamecocks!

 

 

Belen Morta

Belen Morta

Four Year Old Assistant - Llama Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool

My favorite quote or Bible verse is

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me

Something you might not know about me…

 

 

Cindy Jacobson

Cindy Jacobson

Four Year Old Teacher - Creative Four Koalas Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love watching the children interact with each other and the joyfulness that the children bring to our class each day. I tell people all the time that this is such a rewarding job, if we could view the world as a child, we might slow down and enjoy the moment.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Today you are you! That is truer than true. There is no one alive that is you-er than you! Dr. Seuss

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Either at home trying a new recipe or reading a book. I also enjoy watching my children play hockey and golf. I have always been very involved with my children’s activities and enjoy being team manager or helping out in some way.

Something you might not know about me…
I was born and raised in Cary, NC. I was the first baby baptized at St. Michael’s Catholic Church. We belonged to St. Francis when the Founders’ Room was the church!

Gabrielle Smaltz

Gabrielle Smaltz

Four Year Old Assistant - Creative Four Koalas Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I LOVE meeting my new class of children and watching them grow and thrive throughout  the school year – although hard to say goodbye to them, as we all become so attached – it’s so gratifying to see them ready for the next school year 😉

My favorite bible verse…
Proverbs 3:5-6 – 
Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and HE will make paths straight.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me….
At Cardinal Gibbons attending my daughters various events.

Something you might not know about me…
I LOVE DISNEY! My daughter and I are crazy for all things Disney and Disney World

Tanya Chaput

Tanya Chaput

Four Year Old Teacher - Discovery Friends Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Watching the children’s facial expressions of wonder and curiosity as they discover, learn, and play.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
John 15:12 
This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me
At a fun place for my children, in the kitchen, in front of a computer for research, or at a bake shop.

Something you might not know about me…
I have 4 children 2 boys and 2 girls and I am happily married to a great man, for over 20 years.  I am from England and became a citizen of the USA in April 2015! Oh, and if you are missing your GOOD chocolate… you should have put it away!

Tere Burke

Tere Burke

Four Year Old Assistant - Discovery Friends

What I enjoy most about Preschool
What I enjoy most about Preschool is the fact that we can teach the children to pray and talk to them about God. And of course there is nothing more satisfying that cheering up a sad child.

My favorite quote or Bible verse…
We need each other to get to where God wants us to go.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool you can find me…
Walking at Umstead Park with my dog and kids, mowing my yard or at my son’s soccer practice.

Something you might not know about me…
I enjoy riding and caring for horses, as well as sailing.

Diana Melo

Diana Melo

Four Year Old Teacher - Beautiful Butterfly Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
The ‘a-ha’ moment -full of pride- when a child is able to communicate in Spanish and the joy and pureness of children.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
1 Corinthians 13:4-7  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
At home with my dogs, husband and daughters or driving through town to my girl’s after-school activities.  I love traveling!  I enjoy visiting different countries, learing about other cultures and exploring our world!

Something you might not know about me…
I love traveling!  I enjoy visiting different countries, learing about other cultures and exploring our world!

Mili Touzon

Mili Touzon

Four Year Old Assistant - Beautiful Butterfly Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I enjoy seeing children grow, learn, and have fun. I like meeting and partnering with the parents, and along with teachers and children, fostering the “one big family” environment that exists today at the Preschool.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house… let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.Mother Teresa of Calcutta

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
At my daughter’s volleyball game or having fun with my family.

Something you might not know about me…
I have been a member of the St. Francis community since moving from Puerto Rico, 14 years ago… 10 of which, I have worked at the Preschool. I also love interior decoration.

Karen Karrell

Karen Karrell

Four Year Old Assistant - Beautiful Butterfly Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love the preschoolers smiles and excitement at discovering new things

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Philippians 4:6-7 – Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
Spending time in my sewing room making quilts or knitting.  I also love spending time with my husband, two sons, and extended family.

Something you might not know about me…
I have been a member of St. Francis for over 30 years.


Transitional Kindergarten Team

Aimee Kimble

Aimee Kimble

Transitional Kindergarten Teacher - Ocean Friends Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I enjoy the ladies I work with-they are a blessing and of course the sweet little faces of the children.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Be not afraid.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
At a baseball field or in my driveway reading a book in my beach chair!

Something you might not know about me…
I love the beach! I could sit on the sand all day reading and listening to the ocean.

Tammy Travers

Tammy Travers

Transitional Kindergarten- Ocean Friends Class

What I enjoy most about Preschool
I love to meet kids at the summer camp and keep in touch during the year. I really enjoy teaching siblings of former students because you already have a relationship with the family.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
To succeed in life you need three things, a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone. Reba McIntyre

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me…
You can find me having lunch with my daughters or friends and then shopping.

Something you might not know about me…
In addition to a husband, two daughters and son our extended family includes several pets, three dogs, one cat, two birds, a bearded dragon, a King Snake, Koi fish, Gold fish, Beta fish and a hedgehog named Hamilton


Specials Team

Karla White

Karla White

Music and Movement

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Watching the children’s joyful faces and laughter as they sing a song or participate in a dance or activity that they really love!

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Proverbs 15:13 
A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me
At The Franciscan School (TFS) or any number of sporting events cheering on my kids!

Something you might not know about me…
Cheering on my kids at sporting events or visiting my granddaughter in VA!


Stepping Stones Team

Roseann Roethel

Roseann Roethel

Stepping Stones - Afternoon

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Watching the kids grow and develop over the years.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you make them feel.  – Carl W. Buehner

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me
Taking care of my 88-year-old mom who is also my best friend.

Something you might not know about me…
I moved to North Carolina from New York in 2019 with my mom to be closer to my brother and his family.

Janelle Obaydi

Janelle Obaydi

Stepping Stones - Morning

What I enjoy most about Preschool
Getting to know all of the wonderful families.  So many of my closest friendships are the ones that started at preschool.

My favorite quote or Bible verse is…
Galatians 6:9 
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

When I am not at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, you can find me
Watching my two boys playing all of their sports or volunteering at Sycamore Creek Elementary School.

Something you might not know about me…
I will eat just about anything…except olives.  I hate olives.

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