Teachers & Staff

Lynn Hockenberger
Lynn Hockenberger (Mrs. H)
Preschool Director

Hello! My name is Lynn Hockenberger and it is a true joy for me to come to work every day at Children of Hope Preschool! I have been privileged to serve as Director of this wonderful school since 2009 and have been a teacher here since the school opened in 2007. I have enjoyed being an early childhood educator since moving to the valley in 2000.

I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Children’s Literature with a minor in Elementary Education. I continue to take courses in the field of Early Childhood Education and have completed the Aim 4 Excellence National Director’s Credential sponsored by Arizona’s First Things First initiative. I am looking into obtaining my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Administration. I currently hold the Faith Representative seat on the First Things First East Maricopa Regional Council and am a member of both the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association (ELEA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

My husband, Fritz, is a pilot with American Airlines and we are the proud parents of two adult children. Our daughter Laura graduated from The University of Arizona and is now a Physician Assistant graduate student at The University of Charleston in West Virginia. Our son Jake is studying to be a school counselor at The University of Arizona – Bear Down!

I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful preschool and to work with such a great staff. I so believe in this special ministry and am very thankful to work with God’s precious children.

Amy Angilletta
Amy Angilletta
Teacher

My name is Amy Angilletta and it is an absolute joy for me to work at Children of Hope! I have been an assistant teacher here at Hope since 2014 and have had the privilege to work with all our littles, from the 2’s through the Pre-K classes. Currently, I get to spend my days with Mrs. Luken and our Pre-K Llamas.

Prior to coming to Children of Hope, I worked at the elementary school level, for several years, as a substitute teacher, special education assistant, and most recently as a K-3 Instructional Assistant at Estrella. 

I grew up in New Jersey, where I graduated from The College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Psychology.  My husband, Mike and I have two great, almost adult, kids. Our daughter Taylor will graduate from ASU in May 2020 with a degree in Music Therapy. Our son Kyle is a Junior at Desert Vista with a passion for all things drumming. We moved to Ahwatukee in the summer of 2010 for my husband’s job as a professor at ASU. Go Sun Devils! I enjoy volunteering for the band boosters, traveling, movies, attending live music events and watching my kids performances.

I look forward to another wonderful year getting to know and nurture your children!

Kathy Dolny
Kathy Dolny (Mrs. Dolny)
Teacher

The adventure continues…and this school year it begins with precious two year olds! Talkative, tender, tenacious, tiny, timid, trusting, and thoughtful make this teacher very thankful for the opportunity to work with your children.

I was born in Goose Bay, Canada and 6 weeks later moved to Texas. I grew up mainly in the south and for three years lived in Okinawa, Japan where my dad was stationed. I graduated from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, TX with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Early Childhood). I’ve enjoyed teaching Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 4th grade, and pre-school (4’s).

Bill and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in January. His job has moved us to Phoenix, Fort Worth, Ahwatukee, Singapore, and back to Ahwatukee. As you can see Arizona keeps pulling us back. We have 3 amazing children. Emily will be a sophomore attending Purdue University and Robert and Billy (twins) will be starting their junior year at Desert Vista.

I enjoy volunteering for the band boosters, cheering on the Dallas Cowboys, baking, book club, and most of all watching my kids doing what they enjoy. The fall is full of marching band shows (the boys) and the spring has many rowing regattas (Emily).

I’m very excited and blessed to be a part of the Children of Hope staff and look forward to watching your children flourish in our class.

Lisa Krach
Cindy Gerrish
Teacher

It has been my pleasure to work at Children of Hope in Mrs. Krach’s class for ten years. I also enjoy teaching a Science Enrichment class in the spring.

I have been a member of Esperanza Lutheran Church for over 20 years and have enjoyed working with our Sunday School and Vacation Bible School programs through the years. I am originally from New Mexico; I grew up on the Navajo Reservation where my parents were missionaries for the Christian Reformed Church.

I received a BS from the University of New Mexico and have lived in the Phoenix area with my husband Paul for many years. I worked at the American Cancer Society until my first daughter was born. I have three grown children, Heidi (married to Miguel), Julie and Stephen. I love teaching little children and watching them grow and learn.

Denise Johnson
Denise Johnson
Teacher

Hello! My name is Denise Johnson and I am so excited to be teaching Pre-K at Children of Hope! As an early childhood teacher, I am thrilled to provide a child centered, hands-on learning environment for your child. I hope to foster creativity, problem solving and compassion in your child and encourage a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

I have taught elementary school for eighteen years. I taught fourth grade in Mesa Public Schools, kindergarten at Sierra in the Kyrene School District, kindergarten as well as first grade at Magical Journey Learning Center and kindergarten at Bright Beginnings School. By teaching Pre-K, I am excited to have the opportunity to prepare your children for their kindergarten year.

I met my husband, Mike, at ASU many years ago and we have been so happy living in Arizona ever since. We love hiking and adventuring in this beautiful desert. Our daughter, Maria, is twenty-nine and will be teaching Marine Conservation for Prescott College at their field station in Kino Bay, Mexico in the fall. She also loves to create beautiful artwork, focusing on animals, nature and conservation. Our son, Taylor, is twenty-six and is a corporate trainer for Five Guys. He has enjoyed the opportunity to travel around the world as he is opening up new stores for Five Guys. We have a silly cat named Weeble that the kids will hear all about!

I am so excited to have the opportunity to teach at Children of Hope and look forward to being your child’s teacher! The early years in education are such a special time in a child’s life and I can’t wait to be a part of that experience with you and your child.

Lori Palomaa
Lori Palomaa
Teacher

My name is Lori Palomaa and I am a rarity: a native Arizonan, born and raised in Phoenix. While I have worked at Children of Hope since 2012, I have been an active member of Esperanza Lutheran Church for 29 years. I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Ray, for 40 years, and we were blessed with two wonderful children. Our son, Eric, and his wife, Colleen, recently moved to Denver, CO where our daughter Kimberly, (a high school Math teacher) lives with her husband, Quentin. (No grandchildren so far… just grandpuppies.)

My greatest joy is working with children. Over the years, I have taught You & Me Baby (pre-natal/post partum & infant exercise classes), Sunday School (preschool-elementary), was the Sunday School coordinator for several years, taught Vacation Bible School, volunteered in my children’s classrooms and activities, coordinated (3 yrs) and taught (6 yrs) the Masterpiece Art program at Kyrene Monte Vista, worked extensively in the Kyrene School District as an Instructional Assistant at Monte Vista, a Resource Instructional Assistant at Colina, and as a Substitute Teacher at various schools within the Kyrene District. I worked for Mathnasium of Chandler at several Title I schools across the Valley, tutoring math as part of the No Child Left Behind Supplemental Education Services program. You can find me assisting in the 3’s and Pre-K classes, as well as teaching the Art Enrichment program for our Children of Hope Preschoolers, and, more recently, our Get Set For School (Handwriting & Math) Enrichment class.

As you can see, I love working with children! They are a gift from God, and there is nothing better than helping children reach their potential and to share in their joy and excitement. I look forward to a fabulous year watching your children blossom and grow. Thank you for sharing all of them with us.

Rebecca Paterson
Rebecca Paterson
Teacher

I am excited to join Children of Hope as an Assistant Teacher in the Toddler Class. I truly adore this age as it is full of colorful imagination, amazing discovery and growing independence.

My husband Todd and I moved to Ahwatukee from St. Louis in 2001 and we have been in love with the beautiful state of Arizona ever since. We have two children; Our son Brody is 14 and entering Desert Vista High School and our daughter Sophie is entering the 3rd grade at Monte Vista. Sophie is a proud alumni of Children of Hope! She started in the Toddler Class and was a part of the preschool all the way through Mrs. Krach and Gerrish’s Pre-K Class. Children of Hope has always held a special place in our family’s heart, and we have so many wonderful memories of when Sophie attended.

I hold a B.S. from Southern Illinois University in Management Information Systems and was a software developer for Anheuser-Busch Corporation. Upon moving to Arizona I was a Group Home Manager which allowed me the opportunity to collaborate with Arizona Social Services and Foster Care Services. I have enjoyed being an active volunteer in the Kyrene school system as well.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of all the exciting experiences your child will enjoy this year and I look forward to helping make wonderful memories for your child and family!

Jess Pierce
Jess Pierce
Teacher

I am originally from Iowa, although I did spend some of my elementary years in Ahwatukee. I earned my BA in Exercise Science/Athletic Training from Central College in Pella, IA, in 2004 and my MS in Athletic Training from UNI in Cedar Falls, IA, in 2006. I moved to Phoenix in 2006 and worked as an athletic trainer at Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee for 10 years.

During that time, I also earned my teaching certificate and taught Sports Medicine and a few PE classes for 4 of those years. In October of 2007, I found a new preschool that was looking for teachers and I started working at Children of Hope in the 2s class. I stayed for 7 years with Mrs. K in the 2s and 3s classes until my oldest son was born in 2014 and I took on more hours at the high school. Then I returned as a parent in 2016! The past 2 years I have served on the preschool board. I truly love this school and want to see all the best for this little place!

I was married to my husband, Nathan, in 2012. We have 2 boys, Chase and Charlie. Chase is almost 6 and will be in 1st grade at Monte Vista next year. He attended Children of Hope for 3 years. He made some best friends for life in his time there. Charlie will be 4 in August and will be in the Pre-K extended day class next year. It will be a sad day to have no more kids of my own at Children of Hope after this year, but I am excited to meet new friends in my own classroom!!

Outside of the classroom, I also am a consultant for Usborne Books & More because I love their books so much! I also have coached both boys in Little League for the past 3 years with many of the Children of Hope friends. As a family, we love to get out of the heat and enjoy some time in the mountains exploring and trying to burn off the never-ending boy energy we have!! We also like to take a summer trip to Iowa for the boys to have extended time with grandparents and cousins!