Teachers and Staff
Rachael Biggs will be serving a Director of First Lutheran’s School for Young Children. Raechel grew up in Baltimore, MD, where her family still lives and she visits often. She came to North Carolina for college at High Point University and earned a BA degree in Political Since. Upon graduation, Raechel worked in several jobs gaining experience in non-profit management, marketing and PR. She worked as a Traveling Leadership Consultant for Zeta Tau Alpha Women’s Fraternity, Assistant Dean of Admissions at High Point University and Membership & Special Events Coordinator for Greensboro Regional Realtors Association. Most recently she owned and operated a Bed & Breakfast in Fisher Park for 8 years. Raechel and her husband Nathan have two children, Ben and Annabelle, both alumni of SFYC.The Biggs family spends a lot of time at the baseball field, loves watching the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers during football season and spending time with family.
1 Year-Olds and 2 A
Jan Simkins, lead teacher – 2B, started with SFYC in 1999. She has her BS degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Simkins is married and has 3 children, Joseph, Christopher and Katherine. She has prior experience in a Mother’s Morning Out Program and in other preschools. Mrs. Simkins likes to read, travel, cross-stitch and knit.
Susan Aveline, associate teacher - Susan Aveline, associate teacher, started with SFYC in 2012. She has her BS degree in Physical Therapy. She and her husband Rick have 3 children, JT, Madeline, and Gabe. She has previous experience as a church nursery coordinator, and has also assisted with Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. She has also been a SFYC parent to all 3 children, served on the preschool committee, and volunteered as a substitute for most classes. Mrs. Aveline loves spending time with her family, camping, reading, and cooking.
2B & 3A
Leona Church, lead teacher, started with SFYC in 1995. She has her AAS degree in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Church and her husband Mike have a son, Cory, and 2 Greyhounds, Popea and Josephine. She has many years teaching experience in preschools, including Mt. Pisgah Preschool, Boxwood Preschool and Walker Avenue Children’s House. Mrs. Church likes to read, and go for walks.
Nan Cifani, associate teacher, started with SFYC in 2014. She has her B.M. in piano performance from Indiana University. Mrs. Cifani and her husband Tony have a son, Sam. Mrs. Cifani has many years experience teaching piano privately and in a group setting as well as volunteering at her son’s grade school and assisting with VBS and church summer camps. She has been a substitute teacher at SFYC since her son was enrolled in 2008. Mrs. Cifani loves to spend time with her family, enjoys the arts, cooking, and reading.
Akemi Fink, lead teacher, started with SFYC in 2007. She has her BA degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Fink and her husband John have 3 children, Avery, Jack and Anna. She enjoys volunteering with her high school student’s drama department as well as her middle school student’s classrooms. In her free time, she enjoys reading and collecting signed books!
Amy Froneberger, associate teacher, started with SFYC in 2004. She has her BS degree in History from Appalachian State University. Mrs. Fronebergerand her husband Stan have 2 daughters, Lauren and Bonnie, and a dog, Trooper. She has prior experience in the Public Library system in North and South Carolina and the Greensboro Historical Museum in the educational department. Mrs. Froneberger likes to volunteer at her daughter’s schools and is a Girl Scout Leader for two troops!
Carol Puryear, lead teacher, started with SFYC in 2002. She has her MABS/Certificate from Dallas Theological Seminary, with a concentration in Christian Education. Her husband is Martin. She has prior experience teaching preschool, dance, and a variety of children’s ministries. She is also a certified provider for a therapeutic listening practice. Mrs. Puryear likes to spend time with her husband, catch up with friends, read, garden, and cook.
Ann Helton, associate teacher, started with SFYC in 2005. She has her BS degree in Food Science. Mrs. Helton and her husband Rob have 3 children, Joe, Abby and Susanna. She was a member of the PTA and she has prior experience as a Sunday school teacher, in MOPS and as a “Mommy”. Mrs. Helton likes to spend time with her family, cook, vacation/travel, camp and spend time with friends.
Carrie Conklin is a familiar and friendly face at SFYC, being the 4B lead teacher in 2014 and now as lead for our Pre - Kindergarten class. She has a BS degree in Child Development from Appalachian State University. She also has previous experience at ASU Child Development Center in Boone, NC and Christ Lutheran Children's Center in Charlotte, NC Mrs. Conklin shares her love of learning through nurturing each child as an individual and differentiating between each child’s needs. Mrs. Conklin’s warm personality makes each child feel welcome and appreciated. She understands what each child needs to attend kindergarten the following year and knows each child may take a different amount of time or different style of learning to achieve their educational goals. Mrs. Conklin is looking forward to working with each child and parent in a new classroom this year and to watch each child grow and succeed.
Kathy Walsh, associate teacher for Pre-K, started with SFYC in 1998. She has her BS degree in Elementary Education and her AA degree in Liberal Arts. She has prior teaching experience in 1st and 3rd grades and many years as a Faith Formation Teacher. We are lucky to have another person in the Pre-K room with a degree in education. Her and Carrie make a fabulous team. She is excited to work with a new group of students and being able to help each child with his or her individual goals.
Ann Harwell, Music Teacher, started with SFYC in spring of 2011. She has a BA degree in English and Art History from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and a Master’s Certification in Orff Schuwërk (a children’s music methodology) and 4 levels of certification in Musikgarten. Her entire career has been teaching music to young children and she loves every day of it! Mrs. Harwell has been married to her husband, Rupert, for over 50 years and they have 2 daughters, Anna and Mary. Mrs. Harwell likes to do watercolor painting, needlework, writing, spending time with friends and of course – music in all its forms!