Meet the Team

Dedicated & Certified

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Kristi Olterman

Director

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 26 years and we are entering the realm of "empty nesters". We have two awesome boys, Nathan (21), who is a senior at Clemson University, and Cameron (18), who is a freshman 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!

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Lory Pruitt

Assistant Director

I have been at Mt. Zion UMC preschool, the best school 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 is now living in Arlington, VA.  My son Tyler is a senior at Auburn (total house divided!) and my son Brandon is a Senior at Pope High School.  I am so blessed to be part of this wonderful Mt. Zion Preschool family.  Come join us because you will love it, too!!!

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Allyson Smart

Teacher

I am a teacher of  the  Monday- Thursday 3 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.

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Allison Redhead

Teacher

I am so excited to join the amazing Mt. Zion staff this year as an Assistant Teacher in the M-F 4's class! I have spent the past 12 years as a Paraprofessional at Murdock Elementary 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 freshman at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Natalie is a rising senior at GCSU (Georgia College and State University). My husband Robert and I met at College of Charleston, SC and we lived in Charlotte, NC and Scottsdale, AZ before we moved to East Cobb 17 years ago. I enjoy traveling, decorating my home, yoga, and spending time with family and friends.

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Bekah O'Toole Crosby

Teacher

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.

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Carley Rex

Teacher

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!

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Catherine Sands

Teacher

This will be my 4th year at Mt. Zion Preschool! I was with Sra. Viera in the Spanish classroom for two years, took a 3 year hiatus, and then came back to the preschool as a 24mo classroom teacher. I have two children in the program who love it just as much as I do! They are both young, so I practice what I teach frequently. Our family loves to travel to National Parks, go camping, explore museums, and spend as much time outdoors as we can. I am honored to be part of this wonderful preschool!

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Christine Fritsch

Teacher

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.

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Christy Luttrell

Teacher

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!

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Cindy Nekrasas

Teacher

I teach the 4 day 4's class. I have taught at Mt Zion for 10 years, and have worked with Maddy Devine the entire time!  

Prior to the birth of my own children, I taught K-2 at the in the International School in Vilnius, Lithuania. I hold a masters in Elementary Ed from the College of NJ. 

I have been married for 20 years and have two children (Grace and Dylan.) I enjoy knitting, reading and running around after two teenagers! 

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Coach CJ Whyte

Teacher

I am the lead teacher for Movement and Music.  I plan to bring a ton of energy to the class 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.   

In my free time, I like to take family vacations, exercise, cook, paint, play bass and spend time with my family.

Remember: Seven Days without Exercise Makes One Weak.

Coach Whyte

Jamie Crawford

Teacher

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.

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Elizabeth Miller

Teacher

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 9 years to my husband David, have two children (6 and 4) 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.

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Erica Brinson

Teacher

I am originally from North Eastern NJ where I earned my degree in Early Childhood Education from Kean University in Union NJ. In 2006 Jonathan and I moved to the Atlanta area; I transferred my teaching certificate  and began working in Fulton County Schools and then Dekalb County Schools. Jonathan and I have two children and live on the Roswell side of East Cobb. We are a very active family and can always be found outside and most likely on a baseball field. I am so excited to start another school year as an assistant in the 3 day 3 year old class. Mt Zion is a wonderful place to work, learn, and play!”

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Gabriella Boyle

Teacher

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..

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Hannah Slocum

Teacher

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.

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Holly Hugh

Teacher

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!

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Jennifer Kolb

Teacher

I am very excited to be in the 2 year old class this year !  This year marks my 5th year at Mt. Zion.  Time flies when you are having fun !  I love living my life with my husband and 3 growing kiddos.  I have twin middle schoolers, a son at Georgia Southern and one totally spoiled dog named Jersey. I love a good book, historical fiction mostly.  I love hiking but I am so slow my kids call it meandering, and I think I could be considered a professional lacrosse game spectator, as all 3 of my kids play.  I love every single kid that I have taught at Mt. Zion and when I see them graduate from preschool and head on to elementary school I am just as proud as their parents !

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Julie Taylor

Teacher

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!

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Kathryn Muraoka

Teacher

I am delighted to continue serving as the Assistant Science Teacher at Mt. Zion Preschool since 2018. My own children attended preschool here many years ago and Mt. Zion has always held an extra special place in my heart! I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1997 with a Bachelor's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. Since that time, I have worked in various roles for investment service companies, and have been a stay-at-home mom. I love fostering curiosity through playful learning experiences in our science program. I enjoy spending time in nature, reading, and hanging out with my husband (Ken), our children (Madelyn-Freshman at Berry College, Nick- Sophomore at Pope High School, and Ruby- our 11-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).

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Kay Morgan

Teacher

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 lead in the MWF three year old class "Happy Hippos". 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.

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Latta Patel

Teacher

This is my first year at Mt. Zion, I'm going to be assisting in movement. My younger daughter Saira is currently enrolled at Mt. Zion. I have subbed at Mt.Zion many times and love working with kids. I have completed the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. I am happily married since 2008 and we have two amazing girls Peher, Saira and an adorable fur baby Hobbes.

In my free time I like to take family trips to the beach, read books, exercise, and spend time with friends and family... 

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Jody Clickner

Teacher

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!

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Lauren Spears

Teacher

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!

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Luba Abounassar

Teacher

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.

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Marisa Carter

Teacher

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.

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Marlene Asensio

Teacher

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. 

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Missy Ayele

Teacher

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. 

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Paulina Gomez

Teacher

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). Last year my daughter Andrea attended Mt Zion preschool and we love everything about it!
We moved to the US a year ago (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.

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Paige Schuckmann

Teacher

I am very excited to be teaching the MWF 24 month class this year. I have a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Cincinnati.
My husband and I have been married since 2007 and we have two great kids, Avery and Reid. We moved to Atlanta from Cincinnati in 2014. Both of my children have attended Mt. Zion and my son will be enrolled in the 4's class this year. In my free time I enjoy cooking, continuing to explore Atlanta, and spending time with my friends and family.

Dani Benner

Teacher

Neha Marfatia

Teacher

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Shelly Overton

Teacher

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.  

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Susan Kaye

Teacher

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.

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Suzanne Viera

Teacher

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.

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Yoko Calhoun

Teacher

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.