Get to know our Teachers

We are licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) which insures excellence in safety, health, early-care and educational standards. Children who experience a quality program have greater academic success, enhanced self-esteem, and increased self-control. Messiah’s Kids plans for at least two teachers in every classroom and maintains low teacher-to-child ratios. We are also committed to employing well-trained teachers who receive at least 24 hours of annual training and are certified in CPR and first aid. Our lead teachers hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or related field or a CDA.

Courtney Ludy, Preschool Director

I moved to Boerne when I was in sixth grade and am a charter member of Messiah Lutheran Church.  I grew up in Boerne and went on to college at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State).  I have my Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education) and am a certified teacher for Early Childhood through 8th grade with certifications in English Second Language, Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies, as well as being a Generalist in those grade levels.  I moved to San Antonio and married my husband, David, in March of 2004.  I taught for 7 years in Judson ISD in fourth grade and served as their team leader for 4 of those years.  My twins, Rory and Keller, arrived in March of 2009, and I left teaching temporarily to stay with my boys.  We moved back to Boerne in November of 2009 to have our children grow up in my hometown and as a part of Messiah Lutheran Church.  I taught at Messiah’s Kids Preschool from January 2010 to May 2010, and then accepted a job with Northside ISD as a fifth grade teacher in August 2010.  After our third son, Landon, arrived in January 2011, I  felt that God was moving me to go back to Messiah’s Kids Preschool.  Through His hand, Messiah’s Kids was growing, and I was able to return to teaching preschool!  I received my Director’s certification after completing several classes with SAC.  I was blessed to become Director of Messiah’s Kids in August 2013.  I am excited as I continue my venture in the director position and in our growing school!  I love kids, and I want to work with them that they may succeed and grow not only academically and developmentally, but also grow in their faith!  I believe that God has led me to be a part of Messiah’s Kids Preschool to make a difference in children’s lives and be a part of their developing faith.


Kristen Goeke, Assistant Director
I have been a member at Messiah Lutheran Church since 1998.  In 2012, I was a stay at home mom when God called me back to teaching, this time at Messiah.  I had the privilege to teach Transitional Kindergarten for six years at Messiah’s Kids Preschool.  In August 2018, I began a new journey as the Assistant Director at Messiah’s Kids Preschool.  I am excited as I get to continue my journey playing a different role at Messiah.  I can’t wait to get to know all of the families at Messiah this year!  I feel very blessed to have the privilege of sharing the love of Jesus with children everyday.
I graduated from Concordia University in Austin with a degree in Elementary Education.   I graduated with the Lutheran Education designation and Reading specialty.  I have taught first and second grades in Lutheran schools and public schools.  From 2000-2012, while my children were young, I worked part time tutoring kindergarten and TAKS small groups for Northside Independent School District.  During the summer of 201,8 I completed the courses needed to receive my directors certification.   I am proud to be the wife of Pastor Aaron, and we are blessed with four wonderful children, two boys and two girls.


Kim Pfaff, Lead Teacher-3 Day Kinder Prep

I was born and raised in Bloomington, Minnesota. I attended Concordia College, St. Paul, MN and graduated with a BA in education/early childhood and school music. While at Concordia, I married Rick Pfaff who went on to become a pastor. We have served the Lord in many places including South Korea, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas. We have 3 grown sons, 1 grandson, and 1 granddaughter. Son, Andrew and wife, Phuong, live in Houston together with two children. Ben, a recent Navy veteran, now lives and works in San Antonio and is married to Trina. Peter is currently teaching English in South Korea as a Lutheran missionary. We also have 2 dogs, Molly and Shiner, who keep things lively at the Pfaff household. I enjoy crocheting, knitting, quilting, making banners, and I love living in the hill country.

I  have taught in Lutheran schools for over 25 years, teaching everything from Pre-K to 8th grade. In 2005, I received a MS in education/reading and literacy. It is my mission and great joy to help children develop a lifelong love of God and of learning.
Darcy Bykowski, Lead Teacher Kinder Prep
I am very excited to be able to continue my journey with the Messiah staff! I was raised in San Antonio, then ventured to Colorado to pursue my B.S. in hospitality from Johnson and Wales University.  Completing my degree, I moved back to San Antonio where I married my husband Chris, who is a Boerne native, and we settled in Leon Springs.  After obtaining my teaching certifications in EC-4 and Special Education EC-12, I spent more than 10 years teaching the special education preschool program as well as 1st grade in Boerne ISD.  Our daughter, Quinn, attends Messiah, and I fell in love with their nurturing environment and Godly teachings. I am love being a part of this wonderful preschool!
Kristen Koronczok, Assistant Teacher Kinder Prep
I am very excited to be part of Messiah’s Kids Kinder Prep team. Born outside of Chicago and raised in Florida, I moved to Texas in 2002 and have had the pleasure of living in Houston, San Antonio, Marble Falls, Tomball, and now Fair Oaks Ranch. My husband Steve and I were married in 2005 and have three terrific children, Brooks, Barrett and Kaitlyn. My two youngest both attended Messiah’s Kids Preschool. I have a bachelors degree from Florida State University in Interior Design. I was blessed to be a stay at home mom for 9 years after my first child was born. We have been members of Messiah Lutheran Church since 2016. It wasn’t until my youngest was in the TK program that I had an opportunity to be part of the Messiah’s Kids Staff. Whenever the weather is nice, you will find the whole family playing sports or exploring the great outdoors. I am looking forward to all the new things that your child will learn and create this school year!


Tanya Yowell, Team Teacher-Transitional Kindergarten
I have been an early childhood teacher for many years. As a teacher at Messiah’s Kids, I have over 150 clock hours of Early Childhood education from various organizations (ACSI, Smart Start, Texas Dept. of Protective and Regulatory Services and NAEYC.)  I also have a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Human Resource Management.  I also have my Child Development Associate Certification.  As if all that training wasn’t enough, I have life experience teaching my own two boys, who are now young adults.  I think some of the best experience sometimes comes from teaching your own children.  When I’m not teaching my family, I love to go camping and also enjoying reading, cooking and anything crafty.
Kayla Kneifel, Assistant Teacher Transitional Kindergarten
I am blessed and honored to be teaching at Messiah’s Kids Preschool. My family and I have been members of Messiah Lutheran Church since 2017. We have one son, Silas, who was baptized at Messiah and has been attending Messiah’s Kids Preschool since then. For many previous years I have worked as a CNA specializing in dementia and end of life care/hospice. My desire to care for and help others lead me to becoming a teacher at Messiah.
I grew up in a small town in Maine, where I happened to meet my husband from Texas while he was attending college. For a short period of time we also lived in Washington State where we got married and started our family. After having our son, we decided we wanted to be closer to family, so we relocated to Leon Springs. Shortly thereafter, I decided to be a stay at home mom while continuing my education. During the summer of 2019, I completed training for my Childhood Development Associate certification (CDA). Currently, I am also finishing my Bachelors of Science in Psychology and will graduate in the summer of 2020. I am passionate about sharing the love of Jesus and am very excited to learn and grow with your children this year!
Ashley Demma, Co-Teacher Transitional Kindergarten
I couldn’t be more excited to start my teaching career at Messiah! I was born in CA, grew up in MN, college in MO, and living in San Antonio since 2017. To say the least, I grew up/lived a few different places, but San Antonio has become home. After finishing my degree in Elementary Education at Missouri Western State University, I moved here with my, then, fiance. My husband, Joseph, and I have been married since February 2019! We also have two fur babies Buddy and Bruno. Since moving to San Antonio, I started working as a nanny for a family who’s children attend Messiah! Through this family I was introduced to this wonderful program and staff! I hoped my next step in my career would be to teach here, and my dream came true. I can’t wait to learn everyday with your children!
Jennifer Nichols, Lead Teacher Transitional Kindergarten
Hi! I’m Jen Nichols and I am so excited to be joining the staff at Messiah. When my family moved to Fair Oaks 5 years ago, we fell in love with this amazing school and even camped out overnight to ensure a spot for our youngest daughter, Kenzie, in the T-K program. That year we also worked with staff there to raise over $30,000 for the new building. So there was no question, that when I decided to return to teaching Messiah was a perfect place to be! My husband, Mark and I are both proud Fighting Texas Aggies, Class of ’01. I graduated with a degree in Health Education and started my career in non-profits. My main focus was designing, implementing and evaluating programs along with writing grants. In 2006 I decided to pursue my teaching certificate because impacting the lives of children and being a piece of their love for learning was where my heart was. I had the privilege of teaching 5th and 6th graders in South Side ISD for 3 years before I had my first daughter and took on the task of full time mom. We now have two beautiful daughters, Mckaylee (10) and Kenzie (8) who light up my life. Once they both where in full time school, I knew God was calling me back to the classroom. I spent the last year substitute teaching at Fair Oaks Elementary and working on continuing education to renew my teaching certificate. During my time substitute teaching I had the pleasure of filling a long term assignment in the preschool room there. I fell in love with the age group! Watching all the excitement in their eyes as they learn and accomplish new things made my heart sing. One of the things I enjoy the most about teaching is learning each of the students unique personalities and learning styles. I believe God has gifted each child in so many unique ways. In the same way I enjoyed evaluating communities to see where their strengths and deficits where and how to use them to help reach their upmost potential, I find it even more rewarding to do so on an individual level with young learners. I can’t wait to meet your precious gifts from God and be a part of their learning adventure!
Dottie Cupit – Lead Teacher Preschool
I am so happy to have the opportunity to teach at Messiah’s Kids. We recently relocated to Boerne after 15 years in Houston. We love the area, and it has quickly become home! I have been married to my husband for almost over 20 years. We have three children, one of whom attended TK at Messiah! I am a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I hold a Lifetime Texas Teaching Certificate for Elementary Grades 1-6, and Special Education PK-12. I have been able to teach third grade, first grade and transitional first grades, along with upper elementary reading intensives. I have also spent time in two preschools in the Houston area as a lead teacher with 3 and 4 year old classes. I received additional training in child development during my time as a licensed foster mom. Teaching really is my love and watching little ones learn through exploration and play is so exciting. In my spare time I love to exercise, read, organize and eat chocolate! “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Col 2:6-7
Savannah VanRyn – Assistant Teacher Preschool
I’m blessed with a very close relationship with my sister which after spending time apart living in different states, my husband and I moved to Boerne in 2016 to be apart of my nephew and niece’s lives. Apart from being really involved with my niece and nephew, church, family and working, I have found the time to finish my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and continue my education journey to become a certified teacher with a Masters degree. My passion is to encourage young children to love learning and to love learning about Jesus. My husband and I have been married since 2013 and have two crazy fur babies to keep us busy at home. In our free time we enjoy taking them outside. My family and I both love living in the beautiful hill country and can’t wait to see what God does in our lives in the years to come here.


Cecily Schumacher, Lead Teacher 2 Day Twos
I’m a wife and mother of two. I was married to my wonderful husband, Dana, in 2004. Our children, Rylan and Emma, are our pride and joy. I’ve worked with children for well over 15 years and enjoy learning everyday from them! My children play most any sport, and you’ll most likely find me cheering them on during the week/weekend! I was a stay at home mom for 9 years, but was longing to find something (or 14 little somethings) to share my day with and hopefully bring a little comfort to, while their away from their mommies and I’m away from my babies!
Kiya Schneider, Assistant Teacher 2 Day Twos
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. After graduating from High School, I attended San Jacinto College to obtain a degree in Business Administration, and I also worked full time as a project sales manager for a small distribution company. I married my wonderful husband, Neil in 2007 and shortly after, we were transferred to San Antonio where we immediately fell in love with the area and decided to stay to raise our family. I have two beautiful children Hudson and Caitlin, and they have been the joy of my life. I have been a stay at home mom/wife since my son was born, and now it is time for a new adventure! I could not be more excited or blessed to continue that adventure at Messiah’s Kids. I am always looking forward to all the new things I learn, the people I meet, and of course, all the wonderful kids that I work with.
Hayley Wobser, Lead Teacher 2 Day Twos
I am so excited to start my second year teaching at Messiah! I have a Bachelors Degree from Texas Tech University in Literature and Language, as well as my alternative teaching certification. I have over 10 years of teaching experience in early childhood education. While living in Plano, after graduating college. I worked at a NAEYC accredited preschool for a number of years. While there, I was the lead teacher for the two and four year old classes. After having children of our own, my husband and I decided to move back to the San Antonio area. While my children were younger, I substitute taught in Alamo Heights ISD and then went on to work at Cross Mountain preschool for two years. My daughter, Milly, will be entering Kindergarten this year, and my son, Davis, will be in the 4 day Preschool class. As a family, we love to spend time on our boat at the lake. We also enjoy camping, fishing, going to the beach, and pretty much anything outdoors! I am so excited and blessed to teach your children and watch them grown and learn. I know we are going to have a fabulous year full of fun and learning.
Kim (Kimy) Brown, Assistant Teacher 2 Day Twos
I was born in Houston, Texas and raised in San Antonio from seven years old and on. My husband, David, and I are high school sweethearts and have been married for 18 years. We are parents to three active boys ages 14, 12, and 4. I graduated in 2001 from Southwest Texas State University with a degree in Business Management. When my older two boys were in preschool, I worked as an assistant with the four year olds at a local church. I enjoyed my time there, and then became pregnant with our third boy. I have been a stay at home mom since. Being a parent is a continuous joy and working with children adds to that joy. I am constantly reminded of God’s part in my family’s life and how He shows us the way. I am looking forward to sharing my love for faith and children and learning with you at Messiah’s Kids.
Jamie Lackey, Lead Teacher 2 Day 18 Months
I’m a lover of family, friends, all things Disney, animals, and, most importantly, God and Jesus! I enjoy running, baking, and exploring the great outdoors. I am a proud wife and mother of three amazing children. My husband, Cody, and I were married in 2005. In 2007, we welcomed our first son, Hunter, followed by our second son, Jarrett, in 2009, and our daughter, Olivia, in 2011. I was a stay at home with our kids until Olivia started preschool here at Messiah’s Kids. I found myself wondering what I was going to do three days per week when all three of our kids were in school. God opened the door for me to join the wonderful staff at Messiah’s Kids Preschool. I began working here in 2015 as the Transitional Kindergarten assistant. Due to my husband’s work, I sadly had to leave MKPS to focus on our children while he was away for an extended period of time. I’m beyond excited to be a part of the MKPS family again as the 18-month class teacher. Watching children grow and learn and sharing the love of Jesus with them is such a privilege! I’m looking forward to being a part of your child’s life!
Joanmarie (JoJo) Gonzalez, Assistant Teacher 2 Day 18 months
I’ve been married to my best friend and love of my life, Ubaldo Gonzalez, for 12 years now. I have a cancer survivor princess named Leila Jaslene who just started kindergarten this year! My husband and I were raised in Killeen, Texas. Both of our dads retired from the Army, and decided to stick around. After my 6+ years in the banking industry, we decided to focus on my husband’s growth. So I quit my job and moved with my small family to Boerne. We have been here for 3 years now, and we’re active members of 1910 Church. I have worked with MDO programs, daycares, preschools … kids of almost all ages. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to work with your kids this year. I cant wait to meet each and every single one!
Cyndi Dufresne, Lead Teacher Preschool
My family has been blessed to live in the beautiful town of Boerne since 2009.  My husband, Mike, daughter, Hannah, and I moved here and shortly after, welcomed our son, Gage.  Mike and I met in 1999 at Southwest Texas State University, as I finished my degree in Ag. Business.  After graduation, I worked for Target as an Executive Team Leader for 8 years. When Hannah turned one, I decided to become a stay at home mom. Once both of the kids started school, it seemed like a perfect time to start working again.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to join the Messiah’s Kids team.  My son completed the TK program, and I was already in love with the school and teachers.  I am looking forward to a new year and watching the children blossom in God’s love!
Melissa Udell, Assistant Teacher 4 Day Preschool
I am so excited to be a new addition to the Messiah family this year! I was born and raised in San Antonio and moved away to attend Texas A&M University where I received my Bachelors of Science. My husband and I have three beautiful daughters, Abigail (9), Avery (6) and Harper (2). I also have my animal family, Sarge (Boxer), Major (Boxer), Luna (Cat), and Oreo (Bunny). My second daughter has attended Messiah for three years, and we fell in love with the program and the people. I enjoy being with my family, playing games around the table at dinner with the girls, reading anything I can get my hands on, camping, and when I get a really good recipe, I love being in the kitchen. I can’t wait to start working and playing with the children and getting to know each and every one of them!  
Lisa Lewis, Lead Teacher-Kindergarten
I am beyond excited to have been given an opportunity to be a part of this amazing preschool!
My husband Mark and I have lived in the Leon Springs area for over a decade. I had been a stay at home mom which was a wonderful blessing. Our children, Hopelyn and Reagan, both attended Messiah’s Kids, and we couldn’t have asked for a more positive experience for them.  I graduated from Angelo State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I have taught Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, and Middle School ESL. There is no greater joy than watching children learn and grow throughout a school year. It has been great to get back into the classroom and I look forward to teaching Kindergarten at MKP!
Kathy Pemberton, Assistant Teacher Kindergarten
I am a native of San Antonio. My family and I moved to the Boerne area a couple of years ago. Although it is growing, I love the small town feel not far from a big city. I have many years of experience teaching at an NAEYC accredited preschool in San Antonio. I started working with young children when my teenager children were in preschool. My husband, children and I are active members of our church, just down the road from Messiah Lutheran. I believe it is a great responsibility to help young children learn and grow through not only academics, but also their love for God and others. I am blessed to be given the opportunity to join the Messiah Kids team! In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, music, art, and volunteering at my church. I am looking forward to an exciting school year and getting to know you all!
Gina Huskey, Lead Teacher Transitional Kindergarten
Originally from Chicago, I made my way to Houston many years ago to begin teaching and escape the cold weather. Since the early 2000’s, my husband and I have called many places home including Mobile, Lumberton, Qatar, and now Boerne. I’ve been fortunate to teach in many different places, including overseas, and have had the unique opportunity to teach alongside many amazing educators. As our family began to grow, I took a break from the classroom and became a stay-at-home mom. I have three children, and we are always on the run. Now that my kids are getting older, my heart is tugging me back into the classroom and Messiah’s  Kids is the perfect place.
Jennifer Gray, Assistant Teacher Transitional Kindergarten
I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 with a BA in Sociology. After college, I dabbled in various industries including sales, real estate, and oil & gas before turning to music education. I began teaching private piano lessons in 2017. Using my own experience as a student to inspire me, I built my studio, JBG Music Studios, on the foundation that lessons should be fun, exciting, and end with a smile. I was excited to bring this philosophy to Messiah’s Kids when I joined in 2017. Messiah is truly a Christ centered family of learners, and I feel blessed to be a part of this learning environment. This year, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to teach art and music to our new Kindergarten class! My husband and I moved from Houston to the San Antonio area in 2016. We enjoy fishing and relaxing at home in our time off together.
Andrew Guzman, Teaching Assistant Kinder Prep
I have been a member of Messiah Lutheran Church since 2015 and am excited to call myself a member of Messiah’s Kids Preschool and its outstanding reputation. I am a Hallmark University Graduate, originally from Holland, Michigan. I have lived in Boerne, Texas for almost 10 years. Currently, I am pursuing the calling to become a certified and degreed teacher and am hopeful that teaching and connecting with the children in Messiah’s Kids, along with helping them learn about life and God’s Word, will help me to become an effective and personable teacher. This will be an amazing school year, and I am blessed to be a part of it.
Lauren Johnson, Lead Teacher Preschool
I am excited to spend this amazing year with your sweet ones! My husband and I have three children. We are originally from Southern California, and most recently from Plano, Texas. We are continuing our journey here in Boerne, Texas! I attended DePaul University in Chicago, IL where I graduated with a BS in Early Childhood Education. This is my 5th year teaching 3’s Pre-K. In previous years, I have worked at a private Lutheran school up in Plano, TX, and am so excited to now be part of the Messiah’s Kids program! I have a love of traveling, reading good books, movies, enjoying a healthy lifestyle, fitness, and spending time with my family. We are always on the hunt for new and exciting activities to fill our free time! I look forward to sharing the wonderful journey discovering the “love of learning” with your kiddos this year!
Maria Ross, Assistant Teacher Preschool
I am so excited to be teaching at Messiah! My family and I moved to Boerne from Dallas in May 2017. I have two daughters, Sloan and Blair, who keep me busy and on the move. Both of my girls have attended Messiah, and I fell in love with both the program and its teachers. I attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX and received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Behavior. My love for animals led to me working at the Dallas Zoo as a gorilla keeper and at Sea World here in San Antonio working with beluga whales and sea lions. When my oldest daughter, Sloan, was born, I became a stay at home mom. As my girls got older, I was ready to go back to work and wanted a role I enjoyed as much as working with animals. I worked as a teacher in the toddler room at Prestonwood Children’s Learning Center in their Plano, TX location. In my free time, I love spending time with my family, listening to live music and being outdoors.
I am looking forward to sharing my love of Christ and learning with your children.