top of page

Meet the Team

Dedicated & Certified

Kristi Olterman_edited.jpg

Kristi Olterman


I have proudly served as the director of Mt. Zion UMC Preschool since 2010. Prior to that time, I taught preschool for 6 years and at the elementary school level for 6 years, as well. I attended Furman University where I received a degree in Early Childhood Education, and then Oglethorpe University where I earned a Masters in Early Childhood Education.

I have been married to my husband, Rob, for 27 years and we are entering the realm of "empty nesters". We have two awesome boys, Nathan (22), who graduated from Clemson University last December and is now a productive member of society living in D.C., and Cameron (19), who is a sophomore at University of Tennessee. 

I am very proud to lead such an incredibly qualified staff and the fantastic families of Mt. Zion Preschool, the loving school in the heart of East Cobb!

Lory Pruitt_edited.jpg

Lory Pruitt

Assistant Director

I have been at Mt. Zion UMC Preschool, the best preschool in East Cobb, since 2008. The first two years, I was the resource Manager and then became the Assistant Director in 2010.

I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a teaching degree in grades Pre-K through 8. I met my wonderful husband there,
and we have three children. My daughter Kelsey graduated from UGA and now lives in Washington DC and works for Morning Consult. My son Tyler graduated from Auburn and lives here in Atlanta. He works for JM Wilkerson Construction Company. My youngest, Brandon, is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and is majoring in Religious Studies.

I am so incredibly blessed to be part of this wonderful Mt. Zion Preschool family! Come join our preschool because I know you will love it as much as I do!

Allyson Smart_edited.jpg

Allyson Smart


I am a teacher of  the  Monday- Friday 4 year olds.  I have been a preschool teacher for over ten years, and I love it! They are such a fun group and I love helping them navigate new friendships and finding a love of school.

My background includes a Child Development degree from Florida State, and a Master's degree in Media Technology from Georgia State. When I'm not playing at Mt. Zion, I'm busy with my family including two children who are in middle and high schools, We love to travel to theme parks in Florida any chance we get.


Allison Redhead


This is my 2nd year at Mt. Zion as an Assistant Teacher in the M-F 4's class! Prior to joining the staff here, I was a Paraprofessional atMurdock Elementary for 13 years in the areas of Special Education,
P.E., Kindergarten and Reading Intervention. Mt. Zion holds a special place in my heart: both my daughters went here a LONG time ago!

Olivia is now a rising sophomore at University of Tennessee at
Chattanooga and Natalie recently graduated from Georgia College and is pursuing a Masters degree in Psychology at Richmont Graduate University. My husband Robert and I lived in East Cobb for 17 years until recently making the move to Acworth to be closer to
Lakes Allatoona and Acworth. I enjoy traveling, decorating my home, yoga, lake activities, true crime podcasts, and spending time with family and friends.


Bekah O'Toole Crosby


I am beyond thankful for the privilege to teach at Mt. Zion for a second year. After growing up in Fayette County, I moved to Kennesaw where I graduated from KSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While I have worked with children of all ages for several years, I find my true passion in teaching the preschool age group. It's a treasure to watch children grow, learn and create, all while having fun! 


My husband Brian and I met while dancing at KSU and enjoy performing with a few Atlanta based dance companies. Some of my other hobbies include hiking; reading; and hanging out with our cats, Lyra and Link.

Carley Rex.jpg

Carley Rex


I grew up in Roswell and I’m so happy to have settled back in East Cobb. I received my undergraduate in education from Georgia College and my masters degree in reading instruction from West Georgia. Prior to taking a short time off to be with my kids I taught elementary. This will be my fourth year at Mt. Zion. I have three busy boys! My oldest is a Mt. Zion grad and will be going into second grade. My other two will be here at preschool in the fours and 24 month classes. I’m looking forward to a fun, busy year full of learning and growing!


Julie Pass


I’m excited to join Mt. Zion Preschool as the Tuesday/Thursday 2 year old teacher. I was born and raised in Cobb County and spent many years living away in Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, Tennessee. My undergraduate degree is from The University of West Georgia and I have a masters degree in education from Georgia State University. Prior to having my children I was an elementary special education teacher. 
My husband Stephen and I have a 9 year old son and 5 year old daughter. As a family we love to travel, hike, camp, and ride bikes together. I love to play tennis, walk and bake in my spare time. It is an honor to watch your child grow and learn this school year!

Christine Fritsch_edited.jpg

Christine Fritsch


Christine was born and raised in New York and moved to Marietta, Georgia with her husband David in 1991. They have two children. Christine has a degree in Biological/Chemical sciences and has been a part of the Mt. Zion family since 2004 when her son attended the program. Since being a parent of a Mt. Zion preschooler, Christine has been a substitute teacher, an assistant classroom teacher and continues as the lead science teacher which she began in 2006. Christine is extremely proud of the entire preschool program at Mt. Zion and looks forward to each new day with everyone. Christine enjoys sharing her love of science and working to enhance the outdoor classroom area known as the “Gathering Place”. Christine and her family are members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Christy Luttrell.jpg

Christy Luttrell


I am excited to be your lead teacher for the 4's Monday- Friday class. Mt. Zion is a great learning experience as we were fortunate to have two children recently graduate from here.

My past experience has included being a kindergarten/ first grade teacher, and elementary school counselor.

My educational background includes being an alumni of Emory University, Primary/Elementary education from Rollins College, and  a Masters in School Counseling from Stetson University. 

On a personal level, I like being outdoors,walking, beach activities, reading and being with my family and friends.

Looking forward to a great year!

image0 (17).jpeg

Cindy Nekrasas


I have been teaching for over 23 years both in the US and internationally and have an undergrad degree in International Studies and Russian, and a Masters in Elementary Ed. Mt. Zion is my happy place! I have spent the last 19 years teaching the 4 day 4’s class ever since I walked in the door as a parent of my own 4 year old. Ironically, the girl who always said, “I am never going to be a teacher,” is now teaching High School Special Ed in Florida.  My husband of 29 years and I love traveling, hiking and Thai food.

Coach CJ Whyte.jpg

Coach CJ Whyte


I'm Coach CJ, the Movement lead teacher at Mt. Zion Preschool. This will be my forth year at this wonderful school and I absolutely love working with children. During the school year, we will play/learn through creative activities and engaging music with one simple goal: Fun. 


 I have been happily married since 2007 and we have two amazing children, Ford and Harper. Ford is a football player at Pope Highschool and Harper plays NASA Soccer and plays for her St. Francis Middle School soccer team.


When I'm not sitting at a park or school cheering on my kids, I like to take family vacations, exercise, cook, paint, play bass, watch football, and spend time with my family.


Remember: Seven Days without Exercise Makes One Weak.

Jamie Crawford


I am the Monday- Thursday three year old teacher and I am very excited to be joining the Mt Zion family. I have taught both preschool and elementary school in NC, SC, and FL. I graduated form Appalachian State University with a degree in Elementary Education. I relocated to the Marietta area five years with ago  my husband and two daughters. My oldest is a sophomore at Walton and my youngest is an eighth grader at Dodgen. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, going to the beach, and reading a great book. I am looking forward to a great year with everyone.

Elizabeth Miller_edited.jpg

Elizabeth Miller


I’m very excited to be working with Coach CJ and the Mt Zion Preschool team again as an assistant in the Movement class.  I have been happily married for 10 years to my husband David, have two children (7 and 5) and a labradoodle, Sawyer. Both of my children have attended Mt Zion and we have fallen in love with the school. 

Previously, I have worked in various roles of Children’s Ministry before staying home with my children.

In my free time I enjoy playing tennis, going to the beach, traveling and spending time with my family! I am looking forward to a fun school year.

DSC09511_MOD2_CR5x7 - Copy (2)_edited.jpg

Alicia Snyder


I am excited to be joining the staff at Mt. Zion Preschool as the Lead Teacher for the MWF three year old class, the Fabulous Fishies.  My son attended Mt. Zion for 5 years and I really loved what the school had to offer.  I have been subbing the last couple of years and decided to join this wonderful staff.  I attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where I received a degree in Elementary Education.  I taught 5th grade for 4 years and also earned a Masters in Educational Administration from Kent State University.  I have been happily married for over 20 years and have a daughter in high school and a son in elementary school.  In my free time, I enjoy exercising, photography, traveling and spending time with friends and family.  Looking forward to a wonderful year of learning and exploring together!  Let’s Dive In!

Gabriella Boyle.jpg

Gabriella Boyle


I am the lead teacher for our Young Fives Program. This will be my fourteenth  year at Mt. Zion UMC Preschool. I learned about the preschool while my youngest son attended, fell in love and have been here ever since! I treasure the journey that I get to take with these wonderful young students year after year. I'm married to a great man for thirty-five years and we have three fantastic adult children and three dogs, a cat and a turtle..

Hannah Slocum.jpg

Hannah Slocum


I am so excited to join the Mt. Zion team! I am an East Cobb native and received my teaching degree from Kennesaw State. I have 4 years experience in primary grades at a local East Cobb school prior to staying home with my kids. I have 2 children at Mt. Zion and we have fallen in love with our sweet school. During my free time I enjoy reading, exercising and going to the beach with my family.

Holly Hugh_edited.jpg

Holly Hugh


I’ve been a part of Mt Zion preschool since 2009–first as a parent and since 2016 as a staff member. I love it here, and I’m thankful everyday for the opportunity to be a part of this community! 
My wonderful husband and I have 4 awesome kids—three of whom are Mt Zion alumni. As a family we love to travel and have adventures, play games, and cheer for one another—whether it’s at a soccer, lacrosse, or rugby game, a dance recital, or a stage production! Never a dull moment!


Meghan Bradshaw


I am thrilled to be joining Mt. Zion Preschool as the Tuesday/Thursday 2 year old assistant teacher.  I have taught both first and second grade at the elementary school level.  I have my undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education (B.S.), my Master of Education in Elementary Education (M.Ed.), and my Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.S.).  I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, and my husband and I moved to the Atlanta area 15 years ago.  We are raising our three children in East Cobb and are loving it.  I have a 5th grade boy, a 3rd grade girl, and a Kindergarten girl.  Our last child just graduated from Mt. Zion and I loved the school so much I decided to stay and teach. I love reading and spending time with my family and friends.  I'm looking forward to a great year!

Julie Taylor 2_edited.jpg

Julie Taylor


I am happy to be on staff at Mt. Zion Preschool. I grew up in South Carolina and attended Clemson University. I taught 4th grade for 9 years before moving to Marietta and staying home with my children. I have 4 kids who all attended Mt. Zion Preschool. I love reading and spending time with my family!

Kathryn Muraoka.jpg

Kathryn Muraoka


I am very excited to be the Assistant Teacher for the All Stars class this year alongside Ms. Jamie!  This will be my 5th year at Mt Zion Preschool.  Working with preschoolers is my joy and I’m grateful to be a part of our awesome school.  My own children attended here years ago, and Mt Zion has always held a special place in my heart.  My husband of 22 years and I have a college student, a high schooler, and a 12 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Ruby. I love spending time with my family, reading, walking/hiking  outdoors and traveling. 

Kay Morgan.jpg

Kay Morgan


Both of our children attended Mt. Zion Preschool. I fell in love with the preschool and started working as an assistant in 2011. I have a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) . I am the lead teacher in the 18-24 year old class "Little Bears", and the assistant in the MWF three year old class "Fabulous Fishies". I have been happily married since 2003. We have two children, a daughter, and a son. We enjoy music, traveling, and spending time with family.

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. We at Mt. Zion love them too.

Latta Patel_edited.jpg

Latta Patel


I have been teaching at Mt. Zion since 2018, I am a lead teacher in music. 

I have a background in dentistry, and I have also done my child development association from ashworth college.

I have been married to my wonderful husband for 15 years, we have 2 lovely daughters, and 1 fur baby. 

When I’m not teaching at Mt. Zion, I like to spend time with family and friends, going on trips, and taking our dog for a hike. 

MZ Headshot.jpg

Jody Clickner


I'm very excited to be joining the Mt Zion family! I grew up in metro Atlanta and graduated with my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University. My husband and I have lived in Marietta since 2012. We have 3 boys who have all attended Mt Zion! I love to read, bake, and spend time with our friends and family. I'm really looking forward to a wonderful school year with the Top Dogs!

Lauren Spears_edited.jpg

Lauren Spears


I am excited to be a part of the Mt. Zion team! I graduated from the University of Florida and now live in Marietta. My husband and I have two wonderful boys who attend school here at Mt. Zion. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing outside, running, and crafting. I look forward to a wonderful year!

Luba Abounassar.jpg

Luba Abounassar


I have been a 12-18 month assistant teacher at Mt.Zion Preschool  since 2015 and a 2 years old assistant teacher since 2018. Taking great care of small children is my biggest passion.

I live with my husband of 21 years in Roswell and we have three sons. I hold a master degree in early childhood education and have taught in elementary schools in Europe for 4years.

My hobbies are healthy cooking and baking,hiking and reading.

Marisa Carter.jpg

Marisa Carter


I am the lead teacher in the 4 day 4's class. Born and raised in Georgia, I received my Early Childhood degree from Georgia College. I began my teaching career in grades

kindergarten and first for 8 years. I have been at Mt. Zion since 2011. Teaching is my passion and I love Mt. Zion!

I am married to my high school sweetheart (Rob) with two boys ages 18 and 21 ( Mason and Hudson) and 2 dogs (Hank and Bo). When I am not in the classroom I love spending time with family and friends at our lake home, love reading, going to the movies, watching my boys play sports, and cheering on Auburn football.

Marlene Asensio_edited.jpg

Marlene Asensio


I taught at Mt Zion from 2004 to 2015 and am so excited to be returning as an Assistant Teacher for the 4-year old class. I have also taught Spanish in After School Programs at different East Cobb elementary schools. I have a degree in Marketing from Georgia State. I am from Panama. I have been married for 30 years and have three children Melissa, Cristina and Charlie. I love to spend time with my family and going to the beach. 

Missy Ayele.jpg

Missy Ayele


I have been a member of the Mt. Zion staff since 2006. I have worked with in the fours class throughout that time. I was born in Ethiopia, but moved to the United States in 1992. I have two wonderful children, Mathew and Elaine. In my spare time I love catching up with them and spending time together. 

image0 (18)_edited_edited.jpg

Paulina Gomez


I am very excited to be assisting in the Spanish class with Mrs Suzy Viera and joining Mt Zion Team!
I was born in Mexico City. I am married and have 3 children (2 boys and 1 girl). My daughter Andrea attended Mt Zion preschool and we love everything about it!
We moved to the US in 2021 from Mexico, it has been a great experience living here.
I enjoy excercising and traveling. I love spending time with my family and friends.

Paige Schuckmann.jpg

Paige Schuckmann


I am very excited to be teaching the MWF 2-year-old class again this year.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Cincinnati.
My husband, Bobby, and I have been married since 2007 and we have two great kids, Avery, and Reid. We relocated from Cincinnati to East Cobb in
2014 and we couldn’t be happier. Both of my children have attended Mt. Zion and we fell in love with this sweet school. It is such a privilege to be a
part of this school community. In my free time I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with my friends and family. I am looking forward to another wonderful year in the 2’s!

image1 (5)_edited.jpg

Jessica Schiappa


Hello, Mt. Zion families! My name is Ms. Jessica, and I feel so fortunate to be the Assistant Science Teacher at such wonderful school. I graduated with my Bachelors of Education from the University of Georgia in 2015. I have two awesome boys, Henry and Charlie. Henry is a second grader, and Charlie is a student at Mt. Zion. In my free time, I’m typically at home with my husband Louis, my two boys, and my dogs Cookie and Birdie. I love to grow lots of fruits, veggies, and herbs in my backyard garden, bake fresh bread, and cook for my hungry guys. I’m also Secretary on the PTA board at Murdock Elementary. Prior to teaching at Mt. Zion, I had my own at-home cookie decorating business called Jessie Bakes. I still make a dozen here and there for loved ones. 

I so look forward to meeting all of my students this year! Not only will I be teaching, but also exploring, growing, and learning alongside them. I can’t wait to dig in with Ms. Chris and experiment! In the famous words of Ms. Frizzle, “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” Science rules!

Neha Marfatia



Shelly Overton


I joined the wonderful staff at Mt. Zion in 2016 as an assistant teacher in the Young Fives class.  I love all the different personalities in the classroom.  They make me laugh everyday.  Watching them grow and become more confident and independent is the best part of my job. 

At the University of Kentucky, I majored in Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations and minored in Psychology.  I worked at Kentucky Educational Television before taking the new job as Mom to twin daughters.  We moved to Georgia in 1996.  My husband and I enjoy playing tennis, traveling and visiting our daughters.  

Susan Kaye.jpg

Susan Kaye


I am the lead teacher for the 2 1/2yro classes. I have been teaching at Mt. Zion since 2007. I have a degree in teaching. I love sharing my excitement of books and crafts with my students! I have loved Mt. Zion Preschool since both of my children went to the school.

I have a wonderful husband, Rod and 2 amazing children, Amelia and Justin. We are members of Mt. Zion church. I love doing crafts, exercising, going for walks and spending time with family.

Suzanne Viera.jpg

Suzanne Viera


I am the Spanish teacher. I was born in Venezuela. I got married in 1990 and we moved to the United States to pursue a Masters degree in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech.  I have two children, Juan and Susy. I started working at Mt Zion in January 2003. I began as an assistant teacher and, after a few years I started the Spanish program at the preschool.   I also teach Spanish in the after school programs in some of the public schools in East Cobb. I love teaching Spanish! I also enjoy spending my time with family and friends.


Yoko Calhoun


Time flies..... I have been at Mt. Zion Preschool since 2002. Both of my children attended the school; therefore, I knew how wonderful the school was! I was born and raised in Japan. After studying English litterateur in college and worked in Japan, I decided to come to the U.S.  I attended LSU in 1983. I am now married and blessed with 2 adult children.  I have been with children between the age of 12 month and 24 month all those years, and now am with 12 to 18 mos. and 4s. and young 5s. for Art also.  I love the nature of young children, and my heart melts for them.  

image0 (16)_edited.jpg

Angela Burton


Our family has been a part of Mt. Zion Preschool since 2018 and I am so excited to be starting my second year as the assistant art teacher! My husband and I met while attending Valdosta State University and have loved raising our 2 girls here in East Cobb. I loved being a preschool parent of Mt. Zion and I am now so delighted to be able to work here too!

bottom of page