Communication is key! You may reach our staff by phone (562) 429-7335 or (562) 420-7783 or email.
The Bethany Lutheran Preschool staff...
- is fully qualified with most teachers having Bachelor's Degrees
- is CPR/1st Aid trained
- is dedicated to helping your child learn to love our Lord and each other
- truly celebrates the young child
- adheres to a Code of Ethics committed to Christ, children, families, Bethany, and our profession
Our Preschool Staff:
Mary Wolfinbarger - Preschool Director - ext. 22 -
After having children of my own I discovered my love for early childhood education and became a Preschool Teacher, followed by becoming the Director of Early Childhood and Extended Care in one of our fine Lutheran Schools in the Pacific Southwest District. Prior to teaching, I was a Business Analyst performing training, process modeling, project management, and customization of software and a Staffing Specialist doing recruitment, training and web development. I earned my Bachelor's Degree from CSUSB in Business Administration, Certificate in Web Publishing from UCSD, early childhood units from Mira Costa, Saddleback University and Concordia University, Irvine, and my Colloquy through Concordia University. I am currently enrolled in the Master's Program at Concordia, Irvine and serve as a Director Mentor through the state of California. I have been married to my husband, Mark, for 22 years and we have three sons, Adam (17), Evan (15) and Ryan (12). Thank you for the opportunity to serve at Bethany!
I am a graduate of Bethany Lutheran School and have been a member of Bethany Lutheran Church since I was born. I received my Bachelor's Degree from CSUF and my Teaching Credential and Colloquy from Concordia Irvine. My husband, Gerrit, and I have 3 children, Grace, 13, Scott, 12, and Tyler, 10. They attend Bethany Lutheran Dayschool. Some hobbies I enjoy include scrapbooking, organizing, and baking. I look forward to serving here at Bethany teaching Transitional Kindergarten.
Angela Bardeleben- Teacher (Pre K) - ext. 27 - abardeleben
I grew up in West Lafayette, IN where I attended Purdue University. While growing up I was very involved in my church's youth group, of which my parents were the youth group leaders, and the choir. I received a degree in Education from Purdue and started teaching the summer after I graduated. I have taught and been around students of many ages ranging from high school to kindergarten. In August of 2014 I married my husband Drew and moved out to Long Beach, after which we started attending Bethany Lutheran Church. I have been working for the preschool since November 2014 and have loved every minute of it.
Kara Bowman - Teacher (3 1/2 year olds)- ext. 28 -
I have been working at Bethany for going on 4 years and this is my second year teaching as a lead teacher. The best part about working at Bethany is working with children and their families and teaching them about Jesus’ love for them. On a personal note, I received my degree in Early Childhood Development from Cerritos College. I have been married for two years now and we live locally with our cat Pearl. We love to go camping and fishing with our family and friends any chance we can.
Belinda Padias - Teacher (Outside) -
I am a native of Long Beach, Ca. Dennis and I will be married 40 years this August. We have a daughter, Holly, who graduated from our very own Bethany Lutheran School. She then went on to St. Joseph's High School and is a graduate of Pepperdine University. We have a puppy at home now; her name is Littlebit. I taught at St. Luke's Lutheran Preschool for 5 years, then God brought me to Bethany Lutheran Preschool in August of '91. That makes it 27 years here at Bethany. I consider it an honor to be at Bethany where I have come to learn what it is to be a church family. It amazes me to watch God at work in my life and in the lives of others. I am truly blessed.
Mandy Gunsolus- Teacher (3 yr. olds) - ext. 24 - mgunsolus
I have been a part of the Bethany family for 2 years now, working as a lead teacher at the preschool. I was raised locally in Bellflower, and currently live in Bellflower with my husband, Ryan, of four years. I have my bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Cal State Long Beach, and have grown to really love this field. I also grew up in a Christian home and went to a Christian school my whole life, giving me a genuine love for God and His Word. Some of my hobbies include playing soccer, hiking, and scrapbooking.
Lauren Joanes – Teacher's Assistant - -
Ever since I was a little girl I have had a love and understanding for young children. I love to watch them learn, play and grow. I became a Bethany Lutheran Girl Scout as a 4th grader and am still a lifetime member of Girl Scouting today. I also attended and graduated from Bethany Lutheran and went on to be part of the Merit Scholars program at Lakewood High School. I then graduated from California State University of Long Beach with my BA in Child Development and Family Studies with a focus on infants and toddlers. I have worked at The Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland, for 6 years and even though it is bittersweet to leave, I am so incredibly excited to begin my journey as a Preschool Teacher at Bethany Lutheran School. As I watch my sweet 4 year old son and 6 month old twins grow, I know that I have made the right decision to begin teaching young children in the ways that Jesus has taught us!
Vannessa Contreras – Teacher (2 1/2 yr. olds) - ext. 23 -
I am a recent graduate with a BA in Psychology from Azusa Pacific University. Before going onto work on my bachelors, I graduated from Rio Hondo with an AA in Social Sciences, a certificate in early childhood education infant and toddler and a certificate in ECE: Preschool Teaching. I enjoy working with preschoolers because being able to hear about their perspective on life is so refreshing and fun. I have been serving at Bethany since 2016. I am very excited for this journey God has me on.
Alicia Lagana - Teacher's Assistant-
I am a graduate of Bethany Lutheran School. I began my preschool teaching career as an aide at Bethany Lutheran Preschool during my senior year at Lakewood High School. I continued my education at Long Beach City College in the early childhood education program. After completing my city college work I became a full time teacher. I have taught different age levels at the preschool and am looking forward to my 29th year at the preschool. I am married, the mom of two boys and love little children.
Leticia Perez - Teacher's Assistant and Spanish Teacher (Pre-K and evening) - ext. 27 -
I graduated from California State University Fullerton in 2002, with a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design. I also received an Associate's Degree in Early Child Development. I have been working for the preschool since October 2014. I love children, and feel very blessed that I get to do something that I love every day.
Debbie Burns - Teacher's Assistant (am) -
I feel very blessed to join the ministry at Bethany Lutheran Preschool. I have been an Early Childhood Educator for 25 years and spent 15 of those at Grace Lutheran in Huntington Beach as a Lead Teacher. Most of my education comes from Orange Coast and Saddleback Colleges. I am California born and raised and I grew up in Orange County. I’m the mother of two awesome grown sons, Joshua and Jacob and also Grammie to grandsons, Jace age two and a half and Aiden almost six months. I enjoy animals, gardening, cooking and hiking in the local Wetlands of Huntington Beach, or just enjoying nature out and about anywhere!
Erica Limos - Teacher's Assistant (am) -
I am currently attending California State University of Long Beach as a Child Development major, with one more semester to go. Being one of the oldest out of twenty-two cousins, I have always been the go to babysitter for the younger ones. Currently, I am the go to babysitter for my niece who is two two years old and my nephew who is one. I’ve always had a passion for young children. Their very presence and nature is uplifting. I am a volunteer Pre-k Sunday School teacher at my home church in Carson and have been in that service for about five years. I am excited to join Bethany and to see how the Lord grows, not only me, but the staff, and most importantly, the children and families under our care.
Kathy Slater - Teacher (2 yr. olds) - ext. 43 -
I was born and raised in Long Beach, California. I have spent the past 15 years living in Tampa, Florida. I have just recently moved back to Long Beach, in which I consider “Home.” I have been a Pre-School teacher for 19 years, and I have received my CDA certification along with completing Early Childhood Education courses. I have 4 wonderful children, 3 grandchildren, with one grandchild on the way! I have always had a passion for Early Childhood education. I feel extremely blessed to be a part of Bethany Lutheran and I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life, serving God and working with children in a loving and nurturing environment.
Kathy Tucker - Admissions Counselor - ext. 54 -