Our Staff

Each class has a two-person teaching team.  All staff have child abuse, state police, and FBI clearances. They are also trained in CPR and First Aid.  
2-year-old/young 3's class

Keri Paetzold ("Miss Keri")

Miss Keri has taught at Little Friends since 2013.  Since her first babysitting jobs as a young teenager, Keri has always loved working with children.  Prior to teaching, she worked for twenty years in the restaurant business.  After she became a mother, Keri transitioned to a career in preschool education, bringing with her all of the patience, multi-tasking, and diplomacy skills one learns in customer service as well as parenting.  She especially enjoys helping her students explore their creativity by making art they can share with their families.  Keri's favorite pastimes include crafting, swimming, gardening, travel, and most of all having fun with her family.


Amanda Gelbaugh ("Miss Amanda")

Miss Amanda is in her first year of teaching at Little Friends Preschool.

**More information to come!**

"3C" 3-year-old class - M/T/Th

Amber Robinson ("Miss Amber")

Miss Amber is excited to get to know her students this year! This is her 2nd year teaching at Little Friends. Before coming to Little Friends, Miss Amber was a Nanny and also has taught in Early Childhood for over 10 years. Miss Amber has a BA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, with a concentration in Special Education. Miss Amber lives with her Husband Dan, her 3 year old son Owen and 16 month daughter Skylar. She also has a dog named Clover. Miss Amber enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, hiking, running, crocheting and scrapbooking. She enjoys going to her family’s mountain house every year. Miss Amber loves making learning fun and is not afraid to get messy. Get ready for some fun with her!


Christine Burhans ("Mrs. Burhans")

Mrs. Christine Burhans is one of the newest teachers in our preschool, having joined our staff in 2021 following her retirement from full-time teaching locally.  Christine has been teaching for over 20 years and loves working with children of all ages.  She loves to travel with her husband, especially on cruise vacations.  Christine enjoys reading in her spare time, and loves spending time with her adult children and their families. *

"3M" 3-year-old class - M/T/Th

Trudy Krueger ("Miss Trudy")

Miss Trudy has taught at Little Friends since 2017; she joined the school as a TSS, then became a beloved 2’s teacher, and is now enjoying teaching in one of the 3’s classrooms. Prior to that, she taught at Playful Beginnings. After serving in the US Navy, Trudy has focused her career and life on her passion for child development, from running a childcare business to being a scout leader, Sunday school teacher, and youth sports coach. These experiences drive her dedication to creating an inclusive learning environment and taking a whole-child approach to teaching. Outside of school, Trudy enjoys travel, hiking, pickleball, gardening, and spending time with her family.


Beth Huwe ("Mrs. Huwe")

Mrs. Beth Huwe is one of the newest members of our preschool. She relocated to our area recently from Pittsburgh. She completed college at Duquesne University of Pittsburgh receiving a bachelor degree in music. She played professionally with the River City Brass Band for 20 years. She then went on to complete a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential while teaching music to preschool children. Mrs. Huwe and her husband moved to central Pennsylvania after their 6 adult children were "out of college and out of the house." Mrs. Huwe can be found on an occasional Saturday spinning yarn at the Frankenberger tavern , playing ukulele at the local park, and knitting with the gals from the Simpson library Tea and Stitches group. Mrs. Huwe is very happy to be a part of this community. She and her husband are proud to watch their children develop their careers and start their own families.

4-year-old class

Janet Rice ("Mrs. Rice")

Mrs. Janet Rice moved to the Mechanicsburg area 4 ½ years ago.  Her daughter attended the 4-year-old program at Little Friends Preschool; the following year, Mrs. Rice was hired to teach that same class!  Between her teaching degree, experience as a one-on-one aide, and time as a special education teaching assistant, it’s obvious that Janet’s passion is working (and playing!) with children.  2021-2022 will be her 4th year teaching at Little Friends.  Janet has also taught the 4/5’s summer camps and is a frequent and beloved substitute in the Pre-K classroom.  Above all, Janet believes in making learning FUN!  In addition to her now-second-grader daughter, Janet shares a home with a son starting 10th grade at Cumberland Valley High School; her husband, an Army retiree now “playing in the dirt” at a construction company; and a crazy cat named Abbott.*

Pre-K class - AM & PM

Vicky Shambaugh ("Mrs. Shambaugh")

Mrs. Vicky Shambaugh is starting her 12th year in the Pre-K classroom at Little Friends Preschool.  She has also taught the Lunch Bunch program and the 4/5’s summer camps.  She has a daughter attending Dickinson College and a daughter at Cumberland Valley High School.  Vicky also works in the children’s department at Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill.  She loves animals and has what she lovingly calls a “zoo” at home, with dogs, birds, guinea pigs, lizards, a rabbit, and even an axolotl!


Candice Rudy ("Ms. Rudy")

Candice Rudy is starting her 4th year of teaching at Little Friends Preschool, her 3rd year in the Pre-K Class.

**More information to come!*****


Jemma Church, Director

Jemma has a long history with Little Friends Preschool, having been a Little Friends parent from 2010-2015 and then a 3’s teacher from 2015-2021.  She assumed the role of Director in November of 2020 before officially stepping down from teaching in February of 2021.  When she’s not at the school, Jemma can be found hanging out with her husband Dan, her children Addison (14) and Owen (11), and their menagerie of pets (2 dogs, a bunny, a ferret, 7 guinea pigs, a rat, a leopard gecko, an axolotl, and a betta fish). Her love of working with children and her passion for ministry and outreach has made the director position at Little Friends a dream job for Jemma, and she truly loves coming to work, supporting the teachers, and interacting with the students and their families.