Educating Children Twelve Months through Kindergarten


2404 Kirby Road, Memphis, TN 38119

Get to know us!

The mission of Emmanuel United Methodist Kindergarten is to provide children with a nurturing learning environment that encourages social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive development.

Our Story

In the fall of 1970, Emmanuel United Methodist Church opened its doors to young children through Emmanuel United Methodist Kindergarten. Nelie Waller founded the early childhood program which began with one class of four year olds and one class of kindergarteners. In 1988, EUMK received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

EUMK has grown to a school of 30 teachers and nearly 200 students in age groupings from Toddlers to Senior Kindergarteners. The teachers and staff strive to encourage the development of the whole child while helping students to develop a positive attitude toward learning.

At EUMK we believe in a developmentally appropriate curriculum where learning takes place through active exploration and play. Emmanuel has continually received re-accreditation from NAEYC and is proud to follow the NAEYC guidelines. EUMK is licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education.





Children learn by doing. 



Teachers accept each child where he or she is and adjust the program to the developmental needs and levels of each child.



Teachers and parents work in partnership for the benefit of the child.



Our curriculum is built on 6 fundamental ideas. Each idea is unique and offers a different perspective on learning. 


  • to have children learn everyday phenomena in firsthand sensory ways

  • to have the child question thoughtfully and think for him/herself

  • to help children enjoy the satisfaction of solving problems and learning skills

  • to allow children to express their feelings and sense of self through dramatic play, dance, art, and literature

  • to help children begin to symbolize ideas with pictures and signs, as well as spoken words 

  • we want children to have fun as they play, since play is a young child's natural way of working


Maribeth Jeffreys


Maribeth Jeffreys is delighted to be joining EUMK as School Director. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Mississippi State University. 

Maribeth is entering her 10th year in Education. She previously taught third grade and Kindergarten at Tara Oaks Elementary in Collierville. 

Assistant Director

Rena Hiatt has 25 plus years experience as a classroom teacher and administrator at EUMK. Rena joined the office staff as the Student Relations and Enrollment Coordinator in May 2016. She was promoted to Assistant Director in September 2019.

Staff Relations Coordinator

Liz Taylor has 12 years experience as a classroom teacher at EUMK. Liz joined the office staff in the fall of 2016 as the School Staff Coordinator.

Ann Heuberger

Office Administrator

Ann Heuberger has worked at EUMK for over 15 years . She has taught in the classroom and most recently provides office support to the EUMK Administrative team. Ann has a BBA in Finance from the University of Memphis. She is a proud parent of a former EUMK student.



Beth Crout, Jean Wyatt, Beth Hogue


Beth Crout graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She is very excited to be starting off the 2023 school year teaching in the Senior Kindergarten class.

Jean Wyatt has 30 plus years of teaching experience with Shelby County School system. She earned a BS in Elementary Education with a Kindergarten Endorsement from the University of Memphis.

Beth Hogue has 36 years teaching experience and has been employed at EUMK since 1988. Beth has a BS in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Kindergarten from Lambuth University.


CiCi Fay & Pam Dickey 


CiCi Fay has taught at EUMK since 1993 after many years teaching Kindergarten through third grade in the public schools. She earned a BS in Education from the University of Arkansas.


Pam Dickey has been employed at EUMK since 1993. She earned a BA from the University of Mississippi. 

Jocelyn Scott & Char Ulander


Jocelyn Scott has over 20 years of teaching experience. She has a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Memphis. She has been employed at EUMK since 2006.


Char Ulander has over 30 years of teaching experience and has taught at EUMK since 1999. She earned a BS in Elementary Education from Memphis State University. 


Clara Gwen Waller

& Amy Elmore


Clara Gwen has 25 plus years as a classroom teacher. She has a BA in Elementary Education from the University of MS. She has her MSW in Children and Families from University of Tennessee. 


Amy Elmore has both BS and Masters degrees in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University. She has 15 years classroom experience as an early childhood educator and taught at Auburn University as an adjunct instructor for two years. Amy is excited to start her first year with the EUMK staff.


Ragan Martin

Kelly Klinke


Ragan has a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of TN and has been teaching for 10 plus years. Ragan joined the EUMK family in 2018 and is a wonderful addition to our K3 program.


Kelly Klinke is so happy to have joined the EUMK family. Both of her sons were once students at EUMK. She earned a BS in English and French from Vanderbilt and a Master of Arts from the University of Memphis. She has sixteen plus years of teaching experience. 

Ashley Young, Ann Satchfield, & Becky Wishnia


Ashley Young graduated from Covenant College with a degree in Family and Child Counseling. She is married to Matt Young and a mom to four girls- Ella (21), Olivia (18) and twins Clayden and Collins (11). Ashley is a freelance artist and offers weekend art sessions and weeklong summer camps teaching art to ages 5-13. 


Ann Satchfield is originally from the MS Gulf Coast. She went to the University of  Southern MS and has taught for over 25 years. Ann is married (Esco) with three children and five grandchildren. Her daughters attended EUMK.


Becky Wishnia is originally from New York and moved to Memphis 2 years ago from Florida. She has her BA from the University of Richmond and attended the Early Elementary Education Masters program at University of Central Florida. She is excited to start her career at EUMK.


Joe Hensley & Dixie Weimer


Joe Hensley has 40 plus years teaching experience as a classroom teacher.  She is excited to be teaching at EUMK.  She has a B.S. in Elementary Education and Early Childhood.


Dixie Weimar has an undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi and a Masters from the University of Memphis. She was an elementary school counselor before becoming a teacher at EUMK. Dixie has been part of the EUMK family for 15 years. 

Lea Nowak & Wendy Jenkins


Lea Nowak has a BS in Elementary Education from Illinois State University and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University. She has over 10 years of elementary and preschool teaching experience. 


Wendy Jenkins has a B.A. and a M.S. in Psychology and a M.Ed. in elementary education. She has been teaching preschool and elementary school for more than 11 years. Wendy started teaching at EUMK in 2017.

Colleen Shallow

& Ashley Robson


Colleen Shallow has an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. She was the After Care Director for the 2022-23 school year as well as an assistant teacher in the five day 4 classroom. She and her husband Tom have seven children ranging in age 27 to 13 . I am so excited and blessed to be teaching the five day 2s.


Ashley Robson earned a BA in Psychology from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO. She has 4 years of classroom experience and is excited to start the 2023 school year teaching at EUMK.


Alicia Miller

& Elizabeth Zanca


Alicia Miller has a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Memphis.  She has three years of teaching experience as a first grade teacher and two years of teaching at another preschool.  Alicia has been teaching K1 at EUMK since 2019.


Elizabeth Zanca began teaching at EUMK in 2023. She is a parent of current and former EUMK students (and is married to an EUMK alum, too!), has been a substitute teacher at the school, and was previously a member of the Parent Council leadership team.

Elizabeth earned her BA in Religious Studies from Rhodes College.

Lisa Spiotta

& Shannon Pressler


Lisa Spiotta has a BA from University of Memphis and an Art Degree from Grad School in Atlanta, GA. This is her fifth year working with toddlers.


Shannon Pressler has a BA in Music Education from the University of Memphis. She has been teaching at EUMK for 15 years and lives in Germantown with her husband, two sons, and their doodle, Dolly.

Alicia Miller

& Heather Gavin


Alicia Miller has a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Memphis.  She has three years of teaching experience as a first grade teacher and two years of teaching at another preschool.  This is her fourth year at EUMK.


Heather Gavin has a Bachelor Degree in Professional Studies from the University of Memphis. Heather has been at EUMK since 2007 as a parent and substitute and started teaching in 2014 in the K1 classroom.

Marilyn Osborn (TTH),  Wren Patterson (MWF), Kathy Matney(M-F)


Marilyn Osborn taught Kindergarten in the Shelby County Schools for 30+ years. She has a BS in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood from the University of Memphis. She began at EUMK substituting and working in Early Care in 2019. She now works in the Toddler K1 program and continues to work in Early Care.


Wren Patterson has a Bachelor of Arts Degree consisting of Education with an Emphasis in Early Childhood, English, and Sociology from the University of Mississippi. Wren and her family are members of EUMC and her two children are currently attending EUMK. She loves spending time with her family outdoors. She started at EUMK in 2023.


Kathy Matney has a BBA in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is retired from Stephens Inc and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. She has 6 years experience teaching toddlers, substitute teaching in a charter school, and working in a church nursery. 


Kim Williams


Kim Williams is a Memphis native and has been a member of Emmanuel UMC for over 40 years.  She has a BS in Chemistry and a BS in Medical Technology but has many years of experience leading children in music through accompanying and directing children’s choirs, VBS music, and music during Music, Art, and Drama camps (MAD Camp) at Emmanuel.  She and her husband, Darren, have 2 grown sons, 2 sweet Doodle pups, and 1 orange tabby cat.  She loves children and all things music and is really excited to be a part of the EUMK staff and family!


Ashley Pera


Ashley Pera has a Masters in Education and brings over 15 years of teaching experience. Ashley has been at Emmanuel for over 12 years as a parent, sub and/or teacher.

After Care


The Parent Council is made up of approximately 16-20 EUMK parents who work together to support EUMK and to coordinate certain volunteer opportunities, fellowship events, and fund raising activities. The group consists of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary as well as other members who are dedicated to the students, the families and the staff of EUMK.


The EUMK Parent Council is committed to encouraging involvement of parents, teachers, and staff to provide a high quality, creative, and secure learning environment where our children can grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

To accomplish this mission the Parent Council will:

1. Act as a liaison between parents, teachers, and staff

2. Promote family unity and development

3. Support faculty, staff, and families

4. Initiate and execute fundraising activities for the school



a night of fun and fellowship for students and families


major fundraiser for the year which is usually held in October/November


recent projects supported Perea Preschool, Lester Elementary School, Jacob's Ladder and The Child Advocacy Center


a fun week to support EUMK while shopping 


a variety of activities to honor the EUMK staff, including lunches throughout the year, Silent Auction and Parent Party, an end of the year dinner, and Teacher Appreciation Week in the spring