Staff

Preschool Director

Lisa Mower

I began working as a teacher’s assistant in a Pre-K class in 1988. I have spent every year since working in preschools, summer camps and elementary schools. I believe that each child is unique and precious to God and as Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
As preschoolers, our children are so impressionable and it is important to teach not only the 3 R’s but also how to be kind, compassionate, loving citizens of the earth. At Manahawkin Methodist, our focus is on the whole child and as a teacher I would continually strive to meet each child at his or her level and develop him or her not only cognitively but also socially, spiritually, physically and emotionally. I believe that kind of love and respect builds a strong foundation for future academic success.

 Pre-K Teachers

Sue Benson

I was so happy to have found a school like MMP when we moved to this area. My husband and I came here from Sussex County for his job change, and I retired after 30 years of teaching in the New Jersey public school system. We are originally from Queens, New York, and I have a BS in Elementary Education with a concentration in early childhood education from Wagner College. I spent some time teaching kindergarten in Pennsylvania while my husband was in seminary, and we moved to central Jersey where I taught Basic Skills, ESL and 3rd grade. We later moved outside of Philadelphia, where we had our two children. I was a teacher and director of a church-related preschool when my children were very young. Upon my return to the public schools, I developed and directed a Gr 2-8 program for gifted children. 14 years later we moved to Sussex County where I taught kindergarten and Reading Recovery for 13 years, then first grade for an additional 5 years. During those years I also received my MEd degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Moravian College. My area of focus was early writing development.
 I have always enjoyed my time teaching young children. Working at MMP has given me an opportunity to partner with young families and help prepare their children for the years to come. I am always amazed at the progress the children make as the year goes on; it is a delight and an honor to be a part of that educational journey.

Cheryl Gallas

I have been teaching since 1998 when I earned my Early Childhood degree from Kean University. Over the years I have taught in first grade down to the toddler years. 2017 is my first year at Manahawkin Methodist Preschool and I am excited to be here. The staff, families and children are warm and welcoming.
Here is a small glimpse into my world- I have two beautiful daughters. They are 14 and 10. They are growing up so fast! We love living by the water in Ocean County.
I am the youngest of 5 girls. My parents taught me to work hard and enjoy the small treasures in life. This is something I bring into my classroom also. Art, music and nature play a big part in my personal and professional life. 

Beth Schenck

I am delighted to be a member of the Manahawkin Methodist Preschool family.  It is so exciting to see the smiles on the little faces as they listen to stories and sing songs!  I have a broad background in the field of education.  I taught first and second grade students during my last eight years at Stafford Township School District.  I retired in 2015 after working in education for 31 years.  I spent 28 years in the Stafford Township School District.  Throughout those years I held many different positions from special education teacher, regular education teacher, Tier III Multi-sensory Reading Interventionist, Family/School Liaison, LDT-C CST, and Supervisor for Language Arts grades 3-6.  Prior to joining the Stafford Township School District I worked in the Barnegat Township school system and in Surf City at the E.J. School.  I attended Stockton University and Georgian Court University where I obtained my Master’s Degree and additional educational certifications.  In 2009 – 2010 I was honored to be named the Teacher of the Year for the Oxycocus Elementary School.  I have enjoyed my career in education and love to see the children blossom throughout each year.
At home my husband and I live with our two curly Labradoodles, Penny and Hannah. We enjoy spending time with our blended family. Together we have three sons and two grandchildren. During the cold winter months we like to go to the movies, read, and talk around the world on Amateur Radio. Over the hot summer days we love to travel, spend time in our swimming pool and relax on our back deck.

Preschool Teachers 

Shannon Rabbitt

I am thrilled to be back in a teaching position, especially at such a wholesome school such as MMP! I worked in a preschool for many years before becoming a private nanny and then eventually having my own child to raise. I currently work with children as a volunteer stage manager, assistant director, choreographer, and lighting designer with our local community theatre group, Our Gang Players. I enjoy teaching children of all ages how to express themselves and gain confidence through the performing arts. I have both trained and worked in the medical field as well.
I have a twelve-year-old daughter and we recently moved back to Manahawkin and couldn’t be happier to be back in town! In my free time (what little I have, haha) I enjoy seeing plays, wandering around NYC, going to concerts, working with the Lighthouse International Film Festival, and lounging on the couch with Netflix.
I look forward to getting to know and bond with your Preschoolers and preparing them for Pre-K and beyond!
A friend loves at all times
Proverbs 17:17

Cheryl Gallas

I have been teaching since 1998 when I earned my Early Childhood degree from Kean University. Over the years I have taught in first grade down to the toddler years. 2017 is my first year at Manahawkin Methodist Preschool and I am excited to be here. The staff, families and children are warm and welcoming.
Here is a small glimpse into my world- I have two beautiful daughters. They are 14 and 10. They are growing up so fast! We love living by the water in Ocean County.
I am the youngest of 5 girls. My parents taught me to work hard and enjoy the small treasures in life. This is something I bring into my classroom also. Art, music and nature play a big part in my personal and professional life. 

Beginner Teacher

Colleen Miller