Kindergarten - Martha Pickering - Teacher

   What a joy it is to serve the Lord in the capacity of Director of Joyful Beginnings and as the Kindergarten teacher. I have been in Early Childhood Education for the last 25 years. I have taught 2's, 3's, Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. I am married, have 4 grown children and 7 grandchildren. There is nothing better than teaching young children and watching the wonder and the I got it in a child's eye. I have my BA in Early Ed, a National Directors Degree from Lewis University and a Certificate in management from Central Arizona College.  Joyful Beginnings is such a wonderful place, quality education at affordable prices, and small class sizes.

Pre-K-   Laurie Johnson - Lead teacher

   I grew up in Gallup, New Mexico and came to Arizona in 1977 to attend Southwestern Bible College. In 1979 I transferred to Arizona State University to study business. I met my husband, Chris in 1984 and we were married in 1986. I have taught private piano lessons along with teaching pre-schoolers. I have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. They gave me the desire to start teaching. 

    I have been teaching Pre-K aged children for 14 years. My first two years were spent as an aide, which greatly prepared me for teaching this wonderful age. I taught at Grace Community Christian School for 7 years before coming here to Joyful Beginnings Academy.

   I believe it is important to teach children that God is part of their learning as well as part of their everyday life. God is everywhere and I believe that young children need to see that early in life. God is in their counting, in the learning of the alphabet, in science as we look around, and many other areas. God is not just studied at church, but, God is also a part of our education and in everything we study.

Pre-K - Gabriela Arellano - Assistant Teacher

   I was born and raised in Sonora, Mexico. I moved to Tucson, Arizona after I finished high school to learn English. I attended Pima Community College, and then transferred to Chandler Gilbert College. While studying I met my husband, we got married, and now we have two kids.

   I became a Christian when I came to Arizona, and when my first child was born, I prayed for an opportunity for my child and I to be in a Christian environment. When my son turned one, I was hired at a Christian preschool in Tempe. God showed me how important is for a child to be taught, not only the letters and the numbers, but the love for God.

   I was hired at Joyful Beginnings Academy in 2012 as a teacher?s assistant and Spanish teacher. I am grateful to God for leading my children and I here to JBA. I have been blessed as a mother to have my kids come here, but also as a person to be able to work in a safe and loving school. I will continue to teach kids about God?s love and show them how to build a relationship with God. My prayer is that all of them will continue to love and follow Jesus all their lives.

Threes - Candy Jones-Mallette - Lead Teacher

   I was raised in a very close, supportive Christian family. I have 2 grown children, 2 dogs, a bird, chickens and a pond full of Koi. I have been married 6 years this September to a wonderful Christian man. I have always loved children and enjoy seeing the world through their eyes. This is my seventh year at Joyful Beginnings Academy and I love it.

   I believe that Christian education is so important in today's society. I know that the seeds planted here will help our children to grow into better adults and tackle life with a positive attitude. I always say in my class that they enter still at the baby stage and leave as little people. The role I get to play in the life of each child who attends my class is a gift from God.

Twos - Tammy Hallman - Lead Teacher

   I have been at JBA for five years now and love it!  The family atmosphere of this school is amazing! I have an A.A. in Early Childhood Education. I have taught in 3's, Pre-K, and Kindergarten classes in other schools before finding my home here in the 2's class.  I am married with 3 kids. Life is busy but great!

   It is such a joy to see the look of wonder and amazement come over the face of a little child when they learn something new! It is truly a blessing to work at a Christian school and watch the children grow and learn about Jesus!

Ones - Katie Pratt - Lead Teacher

   I studied early childhood education at Weber State and Chandler Gilbert Community College. I met my husband in college, we got married, and now we have three children ages 4, 5 and 6.  

   I had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home and was taught the Bible at a very early age.  For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for working with children. At 16 years old I started volunteering in children?s ministry. I did everything from nursery to youth, my favorite being nursery/preschool.  A year ago, God opened the door for me to teach here. I feel as though it is a special gift from God.  It is my desire to show them the love of Jesus.



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