Our Preschool Staff

Our school has been accreditied by NAEYC since 1999. Our staff are all professionals trained in Early Childhood Education along with CPR and first aide certificates. We are licensed by the State of California and have high standards for our teachers.

Our staff has many years experience teaching in a loving, Christian environment. Teachers have taught here an average of ten years and several of us over twenty! We pride ourselves in our individual attention with all our students, nurturing each and everyone towards life learners as well as kind and thoughtful citizens. We feel our school and family connection is a critical part of the partnership we share in these most precious years of your child’s life.

Becci Lukes began teaching at Shepherd of the Hills in 1986, and has been director since 1998. She has taught all ages at Shepherd from young 3's to to T-K, and Lunch Bunch. Becci is now the Executive Director over our Mission Viejo Site as well as our Santa Margarite Site which is located in the Santa Margarita United Methodist Church.  One preschool two sites.  We will now be able to reach families all over our valley with our program.  This is an exciting time for our school!

Cindie Reilly, Rancho Santa Margarita Preschool teaching/Site Director. Cindie is a very organized person, which makes a big difference when multi-tasking amongst 3/4 and 5 year olds. She is that ray of sunshine beaming from the preschool office each morning. Cindie started at our Mission Viejo site in 2001 and has been a great asset to our program's success.  She has taught all ages and has over twenty five years of experience with early childhood education.

Deanna Roberson, Tk teacher
Deanna began teaching at Shepherd in 1978 when her youngest was at Shepherd. She is foundational to our school. In 2008 we dedicated our newest building on our playground in her name. "Roberson's Retreat" is a place at our school where children can dance, ice skate, build with blocks, eat lunch, and be well rounded preschoolers. Deanna has given children that strong foundation in all her programs all these years.

Dorothy Walther, 3 year old Teacher
Dorothy began teaching at our school in 1985. She grew upon on campus! She is so patient with our youngest of the young, truly her strength and gift. She always is sensitive to these little ones as they grow in their independence from home. She is always there with a hug and a sympathetic ear.

Laurie Canedy, 4 year old Teacher/Enrichment programs
Laurie is the kind of teacher who develops new curriculum during her summer time off, even after many years of teaching. She is always trying new things and adjusting her program for the individual needs of her students. She is our most artistic teacher and her love of art flourishes in each child's interpretation of whatever media she offers them. We are proud to have her as a Mentor Staff Teacher since 1997.

Michelle Denny, Associate Teacher and Lunch Bunch
Michelle started as a dedicated Lunch Bunch teacher when her girls attended Shepherd. They graduated and she stayed!  She is very conscientious with her charge and is sensitive to all the children's needs.  Michelle is the second teacher in the four year old program as well as the three year old.  Michelle has been a part of our team for over ten years.

Lisa Arnold, Outdoor Classroom and Curriculum Coordinator Lisa began teaching at Shepherd with our oldest children in our TK program. The children enjoy Lisa's thoughtfulness to their every need, and the parents in her class always feel comfortable with her easy going personality. Later, we found a way to share Lisa's gifts with the whole campus as she develops wonderful interest areas in our "Outdoor" classroom. Lisa taught for many years, then took time off to raise her two sons before coming to Shepherd.

Sarah Galliver, Transistional Kindergarden Teacher
Sarah started in 2008 and what a great find! We love all the "dramatic" changes she has brought to our TK program. She is always making something new with a real "child-like" enthusiasm and attention to detail. Her "English Tradition" has a lovely influence on us all.  She is amazing with this age group.  Everyday is full of excitement as we watched the children bloom! 

Lezlie Rodgers,   Lead teacher in our 5 day four year old program.
Lezlie began at our school as a parent, student teacher, the Lunch Bunch and now a Lead Teacher in the classroom in 2010.  We have enjoyed watching all the great ideas she has added to our program.  Lezlie has a wonderful love for this age group and we know this will be great year for all involved. She is are "early drop off teacher" now and is a welcoming smile as the children start their day.


crossflame300dpigray1aShepherd of the Hills
26001 Muirlands Blvd.
Mission Viejo, CA 92691





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Shepherd of the Hills
United Methodist Preschool

Mission Viejo:
26001 Muirlands Blvd.
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Rancho Santa Margarita:
30605 Avenida de Las Flores
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children