Preschool Staff

Mrs. Abbie Johnson
Director

My name is Abbie Johnson and I am honored to be the Director of our fabulous Preschool. Over the course of my teaching career I have taught in both public and private school settings, but always in Early Childhood Education. I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a specialization in Human Development from Indiana University. Throughout my career I taught 4-year old Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade, for a number of years. I believe in age appropriate activities and learning through play in order to allow children to use their creative side while developing an imagination, dexterity, physical/cognitive growth, and emotional strengths. Play is extremely important for healthy brain development, it is through these activities that children will learn at an early age how to engage and interact with their peers and the world around them. Like you, my greatest achievement through all of this has been my family. My husband and I have three beautiful children; our oldest, Ethan (18) is a freshman at Liberty University where he is studying Aerospace Science and flight, he has already obtained his Private Pilot’s license and is working on the next step in his future career as an airline pilot. Our youngest children, Emalie (13), and Lucas (10), both attend Nativity Catholic School in our Diocese. I have often been told by parents that I treat their children as if they were my own, this is absolutely the case. Please know that while in my care I will work to ensure your children are safe, feel loved, and have the best experience in school as I possibly can provide. I am extremely blessed to be granted the opportunity to bring all my experiences, both professionally and personally, to St. Paul Catholic Preschool and its wonderful community. I look forward to getting to know you and your families.

Ms. Mindy Geer 
Assistant Director

When my two children attended the preschool I became involved with helping in the classroom and with car line. I began working as an Assistant Teacher with the four-year-old class in 2012.  The following year I moved to the office to better utilize my degree and background in Business. This experience has given me a wonderful insight into the staff and classroom’s needs.

 

Mrs. Michelle Musial
Assistant Teacher for two-year-olds

As the parent of two children who attended our preschool I became familiar with the preschool through volunteering at first. In 2015 I joined the staff and am currently working to attain the required coursework. My patient, loving nature makes a wonderful asset to our program.

 

 

Mrs. Stefanie Morehouse
Lead Teacher for two-year-olds

Ever since my middle daughter was a student at this school, I have been a part of our preschool family. My love for children is undoubtable as I have six of my own (the younger four attended our preschool). My husband and I are originally from Michigan, where I earned an AS Degree in Commercial/Graphic Arts. After spending some twenty-five years coaching gymnastics, I decided to change my career focus to Early Childhood. I now hold a National Child Development Associate degree. My time is divided between my children’s activities (track & cheering), sports photography, crafts and taking continuing education classes for my job here.

Mrs. Shannon Wynn
Lead Teacher for three-year-olds

In 2016 I joined the staff, bringing over 25 years of teaching experience. I received a BS degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University and obtained a Professional Florida Educator's Certificate in Pre-Kindergarten/Primary/Elementary Education (Ages 3-Grade 6). My greatest joys are my two children ages 23 and 25, visiting the beach, caring for my three dogs, and crafting. I served as an advisor for Alpha Delta Pi sorority at Florida Southern College and the University of South Florida which gives me a wide variety of experience with children in various different stages of life. My teaching experience includes 4 years in public schools and over 20 years in private schools including the Bowman Academy where I taught 3 year olds, pre-K, jr-K, and Kindergarten, St. John’s Episcopal and Cambridge where I taught Kindergarten.  In addition I have obtained certification from Lindamood-Bell in reading. I feel so fortunate to have taught with fellow co-workers in the past as well as taught some of the teacher's children. I love working with young children and believe that as children realize they are in a safe, loving, and nurturing environment they become sponges for new information and that creates the ideal foundation for learning.

Mrs. Monica Bliss
Assistant Teacher for three-year-olds

I have always been a big lover of children and interested in being a positive influence on young people. As a long time parishoner and as a parent of two children attending St. Paul's Catholic Preschool, I was very involved in volunteering.  This was a natural tranisition into becoming a teacher assistant.  With past experience in childcare at Cannella Elementry After School Care Program, this was a much welcomed position in my career.  Graduating from Florida State University has given me the knowledge to help grow these young minds. Being bilingual in Spanish is also a proven assest for the program.

Mrs. Jen Waibel
Lead Teacher for three-year-olds

I have lived in Tampa for 35 years and have been a parishioner at St. Paul since childhood. My husband and I have three beautiful daughters who are all former or current students of St. Paul Catholic Preschool. I have spent time here as a parent volunteer and substitute teacher so I am very excited to return as a lead teacher. I earned my education degree from the University of South Florida and have taught in both Pasco and Hillsborough counties. I look forward to getting to know all of my students and families this year. I know we will work together to make it a year of purpose and growth!

Mrs. Barbara Blair
Assistant Teacher for three-year-olds

I am very excited about teaching your children throughout this school year and pray the Lord will guide me and give me strength to work with the children to become the best version of themselves they can possibly be.  I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and came to Tampa when I was 12 years old so I consider Tampa my home.  I owned and operated my own Italian Restaurant when I was 19-23 years old.  Some of you may  remember Paesano's in Temple Terrace.  Afterwards I worked at Tampa Electric Company 19 years, then worked for St. Joseph's Hospital as a Laboratory Manager for 19 years and retired March, 2017.  My Bachelor's degrees are all Business/Management and I am currently working towards a Certification in Teaching.  

My spouse and I have been together 46 years.  We do not have any children, however, we do have 4 fur babies; 3 Brussels Griffons and 1 miniature long-hair Chihuahua.  In addition to spending time with Chiquitica (6 pound alpha dog), Falcon (rescued when the Atlanta Falcons were playing in the Super Bowl), Dusty (retired show dog from Louisiana), and Twinkle (smooth coat Brussels Griffon from Dublin, Ga.), we spend as much time as possible with Zoey, our 4 year old great niece and my God-daughter.  Spending time with Zoey from birth until now (4) is the primary reason I decided to teach at St. Paul's.  My father's mother was a teacher, both my Aunts were teachers and my Aunt Ruby was the first female principal in Rome, Ga.  I was told I should be a teacher and being the "rebellious" child at the time, said "absolute not".  I took a different direction in Business and Corporate environments for my career but after retiring there was something missing.  I needed a purpose and wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people.  God led me to you.
 
My favorite past time is playing with Zoey and/or my little dogs, gardening, swimming, reading, or watching movies My spouse and I particularly like to watch the old movies on Turner Classic Movie Network.  We lived in West Tampa 10 years until we built our home in Carrollwood 36 years ago, where we still reside. Our parish is St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Cherry Street but we plan to transfer to St. Paul.
 
I look forward to meeting all of you and especially the children. God Bless you.

Mrs. Karen Overmeyer  
Lead Teacher for four year olds

I joined the St. Paul Catholic Preschool family as a parent in 2015 when my son, Davis (6), enrolled in the two-year-old program. He continued on and will be attending Kindergarten, fully prepared due to the wonderful teachers and curriculum at this school. My younger son, Rhys (4), will be attending his second year here. I received my BS in Elementary Education at Clemson University in South Carolina and my Master’s Degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University. I have eight years of elementary teaching experience in Johns Creek, Georgia. I thoroughly enjoyed my time staying home with my sons but I am looking forward to being back in a school setting with the ones who make it all worthwhile…the children! I was a substitute teacher during the 2017-2018 school year. I believe in the learning philosophy at SPCP which is to nurture the unique learning styles of children and foster a safe learning space for a child’s development. In my spare time I enjoy running, reading, and spending time with my family.

Mrs. Kathy Ault  
Teacher Assistant for four year olds

My husband and I recently moved to Tampa from Virginia.  We settled in the Carrollwood area and became members of St. Paul Catholic Church.  We quickly felt at home with the warm welcome we have received at St. Paul Catholic Church.  I have worked in early childhood education for over 20 years as an assistant teacher for kindergarten students.  I love to share in the learning, exploring and academic growth of children.  I have a BS in Business from Virginia Tech and am currently working to attain the required coursework by the state of Florida.  My husband and I love exploring Florida.  We enjoy hiking, bike riding, and of course going to the beach!  I feel lucky to be a part of the St. Paul Preschool family and am looking forward to teaching and learning with the students.

Mrs. Carrie Echenique 
Lead Teacher for four-year-olds

I joined the St. Paul family like so many of my fellow teachers—as a parent first. When my daughter was attending preschool here, I began substituting. I became an assistant the following year and then became a lead teacher. I returned after spending two years teaching Kindergarten. I am married and have two children. My son Austin recently graduated from Jesuit and now attends FSU, and my daughter Abby attends Academy of the Holy Names. I love going to the beach, reading, and love, love, loves teaching!

 

Mrs. Maggier Faerberboeck
Assistant Teacher for four-year-olds

I am the four year old assistant teacher working with Carrie. I have been happily married to my husband, Dave, for twenty years. I have two daughters. Gretchen who is a freshman at USFSP and Bridget who is in eighth grade at Sunlake Academy of Math and Science. I am so happy to be a part of the St. Paul Catholic family.

 

 

Mrs. Ioana Laine
Lead Teacher for four-year-olds

One of the things that attracted me to St. Paul Catholic Preschool is the feeling that most of its teachers tell my life story: a nervous mom trusting the school with the care and education of her children then gradually falls in love with the St. Paul family and wants to be part of it even after her children have graduated. Therefore, moving from my career in the legal field, I recently obtained a teaching certificate from the Educator Preparation Institute at Hillsborough Community College. I am originally from Romania, Transylvania more specificly. Aside from spending time with my husband and two children (Julia-5, Erik-3), I enjoys travelling, cooking and playing tennis.

Mrs. Amanda Hurst
Assistant Teacher for four-year-olds

My husband and I are parents to Kara, 7, and Kina, 4.  We joined the St Paul’s family in 2015 when Kara started preschool.  We were immediately drawn to the school for its national preschool accreditation and felt welcomed from the first time we visited.  As parents, we always appreciated St Paul’s nurturing, safe and fun learning environment for our girls.  Now, I am excited to be part of the preschool staff this year as a VPK assistant teacher. 

I graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in elementary education and a M.A. in Varying Exceptionalities.  I currently hold a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate in prekindergarten-12th grade as well as an ESOL endorsement and earned my National Board certification as an Early Childhood Generalist during my teaching career before having the girls.  I have almost 10 years of teaching experience working in the school district of Hillsborough county as a kindergarten teacher, mentor and professional development facilitator.  After having Kara, my passion for teaching took a back seat while I dove into motherhood and fell in love with my Fit4Mom village.  I immediately found my second calling for health and fitness and have been a group fitness instructor and manager during the past 7 years.  In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching movies, crafting, shopping and exercising. 

Mrs. Gabriella Ruiz
Lead Teacher for Extended Day Program

In 2013, my oldest daughter attended St.Paul’s Four-year-old program, this is when I realized how very special St. Paul’s preschool program is. When it was time for my son to go to preschool in 2016 I knew it had to be St. Paul’s, and my youngest followed the year after. I can whole heartedly say that St. Paul’s preschool has created a great foundation for a love of learning that all of my children still hold today. 

While I hold a B.S. in Business Administration, life has slowly nudged me toward educating the young. From substituting in Hillsborough county public schools, to teaching a STEM based after-school program, and coaching my daughter’s cheerleading team, the passion in my heart for teaching has gone from a dull whisper to a loud roar. In 2018 I joined SPCP staff as a teaching assistant and grew to love educating the young, it was quite beautiful to see such a difference between the beginning and end of school. I am currently working on my preschool teaching certificate and I love to get to apply new knowledge first hand.

A few of my favorite things are: baking, Harry Potter, and cuddles with my little ones. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this school family and I am grateful for the opportunity to inspire our young.

Mrs. Michelle Gant
Assistant Teacher for Extended Day Program

My name is Michelle Gant and I am so excited for this upcoming year! I am currently a student at HCC working towards my music education degree.  I have previously worked at the St. Paul's nursery and a tutoring company called Bay Area Support. I grew up at St. Paul's and even went to preschool there myself! I am excited to meet you all!

 
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