Laiva Hoffman- Director/Teacher
This will be Laiva’s 6th year at the preschool. She is currently attending Portland State University where she will be gradating this spring with her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. She and her husband have a daughter going into 6th grade and a son going into 3rd. Her family have a 60-gallon aquarium with fun fish that have proved that they even can have interesting personalities. In her free time, Laiva enjoys to run, read, craft, cook and be with friends and family. She is excited to take over the directorship of the preschool and the new and wonderful opportunities she hopes to give to its families as well as the congregational members at Bethlehem. She classifies herself as an early literacy “geek” who loves to provide as many opportunities for children to develop not only these skills but their social and math skills as well.
Catalina Alupoaei- Teacher
We are welcoming Catalina as a new 3’s teacher! This is Catalina’s first year at Bethlehem Lutheran Preschool. Prior joining our preschool, she taught in a Certified Preschool and Kindergarten in the area. Also, she had the opportunity of one-on-one/group mentoring of students at an elementary private school and volunteered at public and private schools. Catalina holds both a BS and a MS degree in Science as well as a teacher certification. She and her husband have 2 middle school boys who keep them busy. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities as well as different kinds of crafts. She likes working with young children and she wants to be able to make a positive difference on their future.
Becky Healy- Mrs. Hoffman’s Aide
Becky is excited for a new year at preschool, opportunities for fun, and adventures to be had by children and adults alike. Becky and her husband have three children and are members of Bethlehem Lutheran, she is a co-teacher for a Sunday school class for 5th and 6th graders. Family hobbies include photography, hiking, movies, music and history. Their love of history brought them into the hobby of Civil War reenacting, they can be found a few weekends through the year helping to portray life as it was in 1863.
Melissa Kennedy- Mrs. Alupoaei’s Aide
Melissa has been working with young children for the last 12 years. Before coming to the preschool, she ran a licensed daycare while raising her own children until they started school. She and her husband have a son who is starting 4th grade and a daughter starting kindergarten. She spends time volunteering at their school on her days off since being around children is her passion. Her hobbies include spending time with the family doing outdoor activities such as going on hikes at the park or camping and cooking and baking. She loves animals, and has a cat and dog, which are very much a part of the family.
Sherryl Boitz (AKA “Grandma Sherryl”)
What would we do without Grandma Sherryl?! Sherryl is our Lunch Bunch care provider, but she does so much more! As a Linfield College graduate, she worked as an audiometrist, testing children’s hearing throughout Washington County public schools. During the summers she also worked as en educational assistant with NW Regional Education Service District doing early intervention programs with preschool and primary children. Since her “retirement” she has served as both a volunteer and part-time staff member at Bethlehem Preschool. Reading readiness is a real love as she enjoys teaching children through Bible stories and other children’s literature, what an asset to our teachers and students she is.
Christa joins us this year as our secretary. She has spent most of the last 18 years working at a local children’s hospital part time and while raising her three children who are all now in school. Even as a young child, Christa’s biggest dream was to be a mom. To her surprise, God actually used adoption as one way for her to become a mother. Her education includes a One Year Bible certificate at Eugene Bible College and a Bachelors from PSU in Speech Communication. Other than her family, her passions include building relationships with children and families, growing in Jesus and God’s word, and portrait photography, which she has been doing for over 12 years. Christa’s youngest daughter was a student her at Bethlehem Lutheran Preschool a couple years ago and she is thrilled to now be a part of the BLP team!
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Staff
Eric Oswald, Youth & Children’s Minister
Eric Oswald is Youth & Children’s Minister at Bethlehem. You will see him wandering the office and halls preparing for the week’s Sunday School kids program activities, as well as for the youth group kids at BLC (Bethlehem Lutheran Church). You will often see Eric leading preschool chapel time, making the kids laugh, think, and believe that God loves them and is always in our hearts.
Jeff Shearier, Pastor
Pastor Jeff Shearier serves BLC as a trusted and honored spiritual leader, but also serves on the preschool board. He often is seen at chapel time, and provides a positive message to the children about God’s love. He enjoys time spent with family and friends. Among his interests are hiking and exploring new places.
Preschool Board of Directors
Jim Cullen- Chairperson
Amy Hoffman- Vice Chairperson
Kathleen Stewart- Treasurer
Yvonne Lindow- Secretary
Jeff Shearier- Church Advisory
Kelly Hjemelemend– Secretary