About Us: Our Center


In a world that challenges the family unit, Bethel Children’s Center goes against the tide, building up and encouraging parents while caring for their preschool age children

About Us: Our Staff

Several of our staff members have worked at Bethel Children’s Center for 10 years. A few have worked at BCC since the school’s inception in 1979! There is also a nice blend of newcomers that have been added to the team. Each staff member brings her own mix of skills and gifts to the program.

All teachers have at least the 12 core Early Childhood Education units. Aides have at least 6 units. Several staff members have earned their Child Development Permits. We also have several staff members who hold a Site Supervisor Permit. We are in compliance with Community Care Licensing, facility #493002535. All staff has been fingerprinted and obtained clearance from Department of Justice to work in a preschool setting, and are trained in Infant/Child First Aid and CPR. We value professional growth and encourage all staff to continue to seek opportunities to further their knowledge in the Early Childhood Education field.

Oaks classroom

Julia Klinger is the Lead Teacher in the Oaks room. She has worked at BCC since she graduated high school. She is now working toward her Associates of Arts degree at the Junior College and her Site Supervisor Permit. Among her many skills and talents as a teacher, her expertise is in the area of social emotional development. She helps children understand how to monitor their own emotions and respond appropriately to the feelings of others. She continually models compassion and patience while meeting the needs of young children.

Jackie Klinger (Julia’s mother-in-law) began working at the Children’s Center in 1979 when the school was established. She was the Lead Teacher for many years, instructing numerous staff in the fine art of caring for the unique needs of young children. Jackie’s quiet, calming influence is a great asset in the Oaks room. She is calm and steady, with a never-ending supply of songs and finger plays.

Amber Huntsman began her employment when her daughter was a student at BCC in 2004. She has served as the Food Program Manager and cook, learning all the precise requirements of the Childcare Food Program and creating many tasty menus. She started taking Early Childhood Education classes in 2011 and began splitting her time between the classroom and the kitchen. She is now an integral team member of the Oaks class and is eager to learn new ways to help little ones thrive at school.

Letai Tekeste came to BCC in 1998. She started with housekeeping and janitorial duties. Letai soon began assisting with the routines and tasks in the Oaks classroom. She sets up lunch, keeps all the nap linens in order, assists with breaks for the staff and still keeps the facility clean and tidy. She loves to interact and play with the children and is a highly valuable member of our staff. 


Jackie Sundahl began working at BCC in 2003; she is now the Lead Teacher in the Redwood’s class. She started as an assistant teacher, finished her Bachelor of Arts degree and obtained a Site Supervisor Permit. Now as a Lead Teacher, she is our resident auto-harpist who accompanies the singers during circle times and our weekly school-wide chapel gatherings. She loves literacy and implements this throughout her curriculum in relevant and engaging ways while teaching kindergarten readiness skills.

Maricela Lopez Tellez came to Bethel Children’s Center as a SRJC student to complete her observation classes. She finished her Associates of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. In 2014 she began her employment here as a substitute and then as a teacher. Maricela’s first language is Spanish; her bilingual skills are a wonderful asset for our school. She is a welcoming presence for our Spanish speaking children and their parents. She shows kindness and gentleness as she instructs the friends in daily routines and activities.

Caitlin Cullen began her employment in 2015. She has completed her Early Childhood Education classes and is now wrapping up a few classes to complete her Associate of Arts degree. She is a natural at engaging the friends in activities with enthusiasm and is quick to see their progress. She assists in curriculum planning, contributes creative ideas and has become a valued team member of the Redwood's class.


Kristen Correa joined our staff in 2015 and serves as a Lead Teacher in the Sycamores. She has completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Spanish; she also has a Site Supervisor Permit. She creates a calm and comforting environment for the children. Kristen has a heightened sensitivity to the special needs of each child. She is skilled at creating and implementing developmentally appropriate curriculum. She brings a wide variety of creative ideas to teach the children in inviting ways.

Cherissa Spencer came to Bethel in 2008. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She is soft spoken, yet very engaging with the children. She is sensitive to their individual needs and responds with patience and kindness. Cherissa is skilled at helping children resolve conflicts and play cooperatively; she is a wonderful asset to the team.

Cassi Thompson began her employment in 2014. She has the core Early Childhood Education units needed to be a teacher and has completed her Associate of Arts degree in Behavioral Sciences. As a first time teacher, she initiates both original ideas and provides a sense of adventure to the classroom. She brings inviting activities which engage and excite the friends. She is very resourceful and not afraid to try something new.


Tami Jo Torres began working at Bethel Children’s Center in 1998 when her daughter was enrolled in the program. At the same time, BCC needed to hire a Child Care Food Program/Office Manager. It was a perfect fit. BCC was an ideal place for her daughter and she loved the Center and the principles of Early Childhood Education. She was well prepared after being the neighborhood babysitter in her youth and operating a small home daycare as an adult. She continued her education at SRJC, obtaining an Associates of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) along with the Site Supervisor Permit. She has continued to attend classes, seminars and conferences to further her knowledge regarding the development of children. She values her connection with the ECE community and gains vital information to share with and train the BCC staff.
As Director, being involved with the growth of children and coming alongside families in the care of their children has been a privilege. Working with a committed like-minded staff is a pleasure.


Bethel Children's Center