Our Staff

Edie Stewart, Director

Edie Stewart has been working at Kids Express Preschool for the past 13 years in various roles including teaching, co-directing and now as director. She began her college education at Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada, and then moved to Cedarville University in Ohio where she majored in Special Education. After Edie completed her third year at Central Washington University, she married Jeff. She has over 30 years experience working with children as a day care provider, elementary school para-educator working with autistic children, home school parent, church and school volunteer. She has served for many years in Bethel’s Sunday School program and youth programs and will be involved again in the Middle School Ministry this year. Jeff and Edie have three children, Nathan (and wife, Jaimi) and their children Asher & Hadley (8) and Elliot & Jeslyn (3), Micah (and wife, Amber) and Heidi (26). Edie comments, “I love my job and I love interacting with our preschool students. They are truly God’s gift to us and it’s with great joy that we help them learn and grow here at Kids Express.” She enjoys meeting the families that come to Kids Express Preschool and the excitement and joy their children bring. She loves to see the children’s bright eyes of excitement and their contagious smiles!

Christy Stevanus – Assistant Director & Co-Lead Teacher of Coal Car Class

Christy Stevanus is entering her eighth year on our teaching team and is our Assistant Director here at Kids Express. Christy, originally born in Pennsylvania, moved here from Fort Myers, Florida in October of 2010.  She holds a BA degree in Social Work from Cedarville University and has worked with children in a variety of areas for over 14 years. She started her career working with children as a Social Worker in Pennsylvania. She has also worked as a Caseworker for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. She has many years of volunteer experience teaching Sunday School for a variety of ages of kids and co-leading the Two Year Olds’ class in Women’s Ministry. She has also worked on staff at McGregor Baptist Church of Fort Myers, Florida in the after school program as a Leader/Teacher, in the Daytime Preschool Program as a teacher and, most recently, in the Preschool/Children’s Ministry as a Childcare Coordinator. Christy has been married to Dave (Bethel W. Pasco Associate Pastor) for over 19 years and they have two children, Hayley – 15 and Dylan-11. When she has time, she enjoys cross stitching and bike rides – especially with her family. Christy is looking forward to getting to know her students this year and said, “I have always enjoyed being around kids. I enjoy hearing their stories and seeing their little faces. I love their energy and excitement. It’s very contagious!”

 Linda Waller, Co-Lead Teacher Steam Engine AM & PM Classes

Linda Waller is the Co-Lead Teacher for the Steam Engine AM & PM Classes. She received her A.A. degree from CBC in 1994. Linda has been with Kids Express Preschool since its start and has taught every age level and numerous classes! She brings joy and enthusiasm of learning to our Pre-K students and works diligently to complete their assessments so that parents are kept up-to-date on their student’s kindergarten readiness. She has over 20 years experience working with children which include working as a preschool teacher, a volunteer in church ministry and as a parent volunteer in the Richland School District.  “I love seeing the progress that the children make throughout their year here. Every milestone is great!” she says. Linda is married to Mark and they have two sons, Steven (23) serving in our United States Air Force, and James (21) attending college with future goals of a medical profession.

 Melody Blain – Co-Lead Teacher Caboose, Railcar Class & Coal Car Classes

Melody Blain will begin her sixth year teaching at Kids Express Preschool this year. She is Co-Lead teacher along with Adria Berven in the Caboose Class (3 yr. olds) and the Railcar Class (3-4 yr old’s).  She will be co-leading with Christy Stevanus in the Coal Car Class (3.5-4 yr old’s). Melody is from Hermiston, OR, but has made the Tri-Cities her home since 1997. She and her husband, Robert, have been married for 21 years. They have three children – Hailey 15, Logan 13 and a daughter, Leslie 9 (all Kids Express Alumni). Melody has worked with children for many years volunteering for Bethel Church. She has worked as the Wednesday Night Grow Groups Childcare Coordinator. She is also volunteering in Children’s Ministry as a Sunday School Greeter. For several years, Melody also helped us care for our Kids Express garden. She is a long time member of Bethel Church and she and her husband lead the Blain Grow Group on Wednesday nights. Melody’s favorite things include: spending time with her family, gardening and just being outside. She is excited about teaching our 3 & 4 year old’s and commented, “I really love spending time with these kids and I get excited for them as they discover new things!”

jeannette Farr 2013 Ms. Jeannette – Co-Lead Teacher Tank Engine Class

Jeannette is one of our veteran teachers here at Kids Express and has taught every age level over the years since beginning to teach here in 2007.  Jeannette will be co-lead teaching in the Tank Engine class. She is looking forward to teaching for the third year in our 5 -day class and is excited to be able to see how well the students will do with so much time devoted to their learning. Jeannette brings over 20 years experience working with children in a variety of areas including: teaching preschool, volunteering in the public school system, serving in Sunday Morning Ministry and church nursery care. As this school year began, Jeannette said, “I really enjoy getting to know the students and watching them grow and learn. We have a great time!”

Rhonda Rhonda Marlow –  Co-Lead Teacher Freight Train AM & PM Classes

Rhonda is beginning her 5th year with us at Kids Express Preschool. She will be teaching the Freight Trains AM & PM (PreK) Classes. Rhonda, a native Texan, moved to Spokane, WA, where she was raised from age 3. She fell in love with children many years ago in Jr. High and began volunteering as Sunday School teacher, camp counselor, nursery worker and this love led to a passion for teaching young children. She graduated from Spokane Falls Community College with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood and earned her Special Education degree a year later. Rhonda taught preschool for 10 years in Spokane, Seattle, The Dalles and Hood River until she and husband, Rob, started their family. When asked what she’s looking forward to most in teaching at Kids Express, Rhonda said, “This is my passion! I love the classroom full of kids, and being a part of their excitement for life. They have such a fresh look at ordinary things. I love the growth at this age!” Rhonda and Rob have lived in the city of Richland for seven years and have two children— Libby, 14, is in 9th grade and Levi, 10, is a fifth grader. Rob and Rhonda serve as small group leaders at Bethel Church. What Rhonda enjoys most in her busy life, is spending time with her family and cheering on her kids at their sporting events.

Becky Becky Mayer- Co-Lead Teacher Freight Train AM & PM Classes

This school year, Becky Mayer begins her fifth year on our teaching team at Kids Express Preschool. She is the Co-lead teacher along with Rhonda Marlow in the Freight Train AM & PM Classes (Pre-K). Becky was born in Salmon, Idaho and raised in American Falls, Idaho. She earned her B.S. in Communication at the University of Idaho and later earned her Masters Degree in Teaching from Washington State University at Tri-Cities. Becky brings many years of teaching experience to the Freight Train Classes. She worked as a 4th grade teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Kennewick. She has served as a Kindergarten Sunday School teacher at Bethel Church and volunteers many hours in the Richland School District. Getting back in the classroom, Becky’s looking forward to seeing how the children get excited about learning new things and dancing and singing with the kids—and just having fun! Becky and husband Whit, and along with their three children, Max, 16, Will, 11 and Ella,8, have been attending Bethel Church for seven years. Becky’s hobbies include running, hiking and biking. Making jewelry, playing outside with her kids, visiting family in Idaho and just traveling with her family are also some of her favorite things to do. And, at the top of the favorite list of travels with the family (of course), is Disneyland! When asked a favorite Bible verse that Becky leans on, she listed: “I can do all things—all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Brooke Brooke Cannon- Co-Lead Teacher Trolley Car Class 

Brooke Cannon is returning for her fifth year here at Kids Express. Brooke will be Co-Lead Teacher in the Trolley Car Class (3 ‘s-4’s year olds). Brooke, born and raised in Richland, WA has had a love for children from a young age. She started baby sitting siblings early on and held several volunteer positions working with children as a teenager. By age 18, she began her first teaching job at Children’s Garden Montessori Preschool. She graduated from Columbia Basin college with an Associates Degree with an emphasis in Science. Most recently, Brooke graduated from Porterbrook Seminary. Brooke’s excitement and energy for working with children is still very much alive as she spends a lot of her time volunteering. She has worked as Sunday School teacher, camp counselor, homeschool teacher, and coach of Upward basketball and City League basketball teams. Brooke’s past work experience also includes being a dental assistant and exercise instructor at the gym. Brooke’s love for teaching preschool is very apparent and she commented, “I love teaching preschool because at this age, you can play a real part in shaping who these little ones are going to be. Having the opportunity to give them a love for learning, a love for school and a love for Jesus just fills my heart. Being able to see the curiosity, wonder and excitement at everything new that they learn and experience is truly a gift.” When asked her favorite things to do in her down time, she said, “I love hanging out with my hilarious husband (Charlie) and wonderful kids (Chloe, Brady, Chase and Brynnley) playing board games and enjoying wild family fun nights. We are a super silly and a busy bunch. I also love watching my kids dance and play sports. We love hanging with our friends and family.”

 Holly Holly Davis –  Office Assistant/Shopper

Holly Davis is our faithful Office Assistant/Shopper and we appreciate all she does to gather supplies for our teachers and to lend a helping hand wherever needed here at Kids Express. Holly taught in our Pre-K classes before she lived overseas in England for a time. She has stepped in to teach when we have needed her in the past and she will be on our substitute teacher list again this year prepared to step in and help us out in a pinch. Holly is married to Steve and has two grown sons. To her delight, she is a grandma to two granddaughters and will soon have a new grand baby joining the family! Holly is creative and enjoys art, making jewelry and shopping for all our craft needs here at Kids Express!

 Adria Berven – Co-Lead Teacher Steam Engine AM & PM Classes

Adria Berven will be teaching with Ms. Linda in our Steam Engine Classes this year. She leaves the 3-4’s age that she has been teaching for several years, to start a new adventure with our Pre-K students. Adria enjoys working with the students and making class time fun! Adria has worked with young children for over 18 years and owned her own daycare/preschool for 7 years. When asked what her favorite thing is about teaching, she said,” The Kids!”. She loves helping them learn and grow in a fun way but allowing them to be silly. Adria is a native Tri-Citian, born and raised in Richland. She now makes her home in Pasco. She and her husband, Ric, have 4 children: Zac and Ian 25 yrs, Marlie 10, and Asher 6. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, scrapbooking and traveling/camping with her family. Some fun things that Adria loves…photos, chapstick, God’s creation and the color orange!

Heather Long Heather Long – Co-Lead Teacher Trolley Car 

Heather begins her third year this year at Kids Express. She will be our Co-Lead Teacher for the Trolley Car students. Fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a teacher, Heather earned her BA in Education from Eastern Washington University in 2000, specializing in Reading and minoring in Early Childhood Education. In 2004, she completed her Masters in Teaching from Grand Canyon University. She has worked in the public school system as a Reading Specialist and as a Substitute Teacher and has been a volunteer teacher for over 12 years in our Pre-K Sunday School program here at Bethel. Heather and her husband, Corey, have three children: Lauren (16), Ali (14) and Levi (6). Levi is from China and joined the family 5 years ago and has been a joyful and perfect part of their family ever since. The Long family enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, boating and skiing. Heather most enjoys her time at home where she can cook and read a good book. Their family had an amazing opportunity to live overseas in Bavaria, Germany for almost 3 years when their girls were young! Heather looks forward to continuing with us here at Kids Express and says, “The community of teachers, staff and parents at Kids Express is a huge reason why I’m looking forward to this year. The love and care put into shepherding the kids and supporting each other is something that I very much want to be a part of!”

 Kim Freeman Co-Lead Teacher Tank Engine Class

We want to welcome Kim back as she begins her third year here at Kids Express! She will be teaching in the Tank Engine Class (4-5 yr. olds). She has been both a volunteer and a para-educator in the public schools.  Kim also worked in the medical field for a number of years and, most recently, as a Children’s Ministry Assistant. Her favorite hobbies are spending time with her family, Bible journaling, camping and playing board games. She also enjoys helping others. She and her husband, Jay, have been married for 16 years and have an 11-year-old son, Caden. Kim and her family moved to the Tri-Cities five years ago and have attended Bethel for over 3 years now and have made it their home church. Kim enjoys being a part of the team of teachers and staff here at Kids Express and also looks forward to providing hands-on-learning experiences for all children as well as having a God based relationship with children and their parents.

 

julie-2 Julie Billow – Co-Lead Teacher Boxcar Class 

We are excited to have Julie here at KEP for her 3rd year co-lead teaching in the Boxcar Class. Julie was born and raised right here in Richland and received her BA in Art from Whitworth College. She has been married to her husband, Todd, for 17 years. Julie and Todd have three children: Nora – 12, Charlie – 9 and Lulu – 5. Prior to the birth of her children, Julie worked as a florist and as a pharmacy technician. She has many years of experience working with children, starting during her own childhood and continuing on as an adult and parent. She has volunteered in both the church and community and her newest adventure has been coaching a Destination Imagination team at Lewis & Clark Elementary School. The team took 3rd place at Regionals last spring! Recently, Julie has served in the Sunday School program at Bethel West Pasco and was also known as “The Snack Lady” during Bethel West Pasco’s Vacation Bible School. Her hobby is Parties! She loves to transform her house into spectacular themed wonderlands for her kids’ birthdays. HGTV and anything mid-century modern are also on her list of things she loves. Julie is most looking forward to getting to know the students in her class and cultivating a warm and joy-filled community. She says, “I love teaching kids because they are so full of wonder; delighting in all of life’s simple joys and asking the most sincere questions.”

 

Brea Bates – Co-Lead Teacher Thursday  & Friday Choo Choo Classes

Brea will begin her 2nd year teaching here at KEP. She will co-lead the Thursday & Friday Choo Choo Classes. Brea is a familiar face here at Bethel as she has served in Bethel’s nursery and Sunday School for over 5 years and is a part of Bethel’s welcome team and in a small group ministry. Most recently she took on the role of Women’s Ministry Childcare Coordinator for the Tuesday morning ministry. Brea graduated from high school on the west side of the state and was able to gain experience working with children at a day care. Her past work experience also includes  managing a dry cleaning business. Brea and her husband, Guy, have been married for 17 years and have two children, Micah (14) and Landon (9). Brea enjoys teaching here at Kids Express Preschool by “Sharing the love of Christ and helping to foster a love of learning!” We are so thankful for Brea’s sweet personality and know that she will do a wonderful job with our youngest students here at Kids Express!

 

 Sarah Steinert – Co-Lead Teacher Boxcar Class

Sarah Steinert, our Co-Lead Teacher in the Boxcar Class, will begin her 2nd year here at KEP. Sarah brings to us over 20 years of experience working with children and is very familiar with the educational field as her husband, Brent, is a music teacher in the Pasco School District. Sarah has worked with children in numerous ways, including Kindergarten Aide, Nanny, Camp Counselor, worker in summer recreational programs and volunteer positions in elementary schools and churches. Sarah’s first year of college was at North Central University majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Reading. She then attended Stewart School of Hairstyling and became a Cosmetologist. She attended Northern State University with her husband and continued studying education until she accepted a teaching position as Senior Instructor of Cosmetology, and taught in that capacity for three years. Sarah and Brent have two children, Ben, 15, and Elliauna, 12. Some of Sarah’s favorite hobbies are music, reading, hiking, basketball and water skiing. Sarah volunteers at Bethel in the Middle School Program and enjoys opportunities to sing in the holiday choirs. She grew up in Minnesota and enjoyed having an active family life with four brothers, a sister and foreign exchange students in their home.  When asked what she is most looking forward to at Kids Express, Sarah said, “I am looking forward to the team environment at Kids Express and promoting the growth of students both socially and academically.”

New Teachers this year! 

Chelsea Niemela – Co-Lead Teacher Caboose & Railcar Classes

Chelsea joins our KEP team this year after working the last three years with children ages 18-36 months in a private daycare facility in Texas. Before that, she volunteered in children’s programs and enjoyed helping with Vacation Bible School on a mission trip to Haiti. Chelsea graduated from high school in 2014 and has worked in a retirement home as a server as well as her time in the daycare. Chelsea grew up here in the Tri-Cities, attending Bethel Church – W. Pasco location, and enjoyed volunteering with the youth there. She and her family moved to Texas right after her HS graduation and have recently relocated back to this area. She is thankful for the time in Texas, where she met her husband, Toni. Toni is from Finland and Chelsea met Toni while he was visiting the USA over two years ago. Toni and Chelsea were married this spring have been married for 4 months. Chelsea enjoys relaxing outdoors, going for calm bike rides and loves going to the beach. She is looking forward to teaching at KEP and watching young children grow and learn every day and looks forward to being able to learn and grow herself while she teaches.

Lindsey Gentz-Rodriguez – Co-Lead Teacher Friday Choo Choo Class

Lindsey has been teaching at our W. Pasco KEP location and will add a class here at our Richland KEP site. Last year Lindsey assisted in the 2 year old class at W. Pasco KEP.  Lindsey is employed as a Medical Assistant for Kadlec Hospital and will be kept busy juggling three places of work this year! Lindsey attended Eastern Washington University where she majored in Early Childhood Education. She comes to us with over 15 years of prior experience working with children. She began working with children during her high school years as a lifeguard and a swimming instructor.  Her husband, Jesus, and her have two daughters: Ella (5) and Lily (2). Lindsey attends Bethel-W. Pasco and serves in the Children’s Ministry there. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and some of the activities they enjoy are swimming, soccer, dance and gymnastics. She is very excited to be joining the Richland KEP Team and looks forward to this new school year.

 

 Casey Privratsky – Co-Lead Teacher Thursday Choo Choo Class

Casey joins our KEP team mid-year to co-lead in the Thursday Choo Choo Class. Casey has been a substitute teacher for us this year in the Friday Choo Choo Class and we are delighted to have her join our teaching team on a regular basis! Casey grew up in Arizona and Montana and moved to Washington State in 2010. She has been married to her husband, Ryan, for 13 years and they have three children: Peyton (12), Myles (9), and Avia (3). Casey began her education at Dickinson State University and transferred to Glendive Community College where she received her AA Degree. Her previous employment has been primarily in the medical field, but she has worked with children for many years in various roles from daycare worker to foster parenting. She has been serving as a volunteer helper here in Bethel’s 2nd Grade Sunday School program. Casey enjoys baking, eating, sewing and party planning! She looks forward to teaching our little ones here at KEP and says, “I love being around kids, they are so easy to please with fun and love. My favorite thing about teaching is interacting with the kids. God has made each one unique and interesting!”


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