Justine Kang – Co-Director, Pre-K Teacher
Miss Justine is back at Faith Nursery School after a short hiatus. Justine is the lead teacher in the “Kangaroo” Pre-K Class.
She has an M.S. from Saint John’s University in Elementary Education and a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education form New York University. She holds a Permanent New York State Teacher Certification in Nursery, Kindergarten & Grades 1-6.
In addition to teaching 2 and 3 year-olds here at Faith in the past, Justine has a vast array of teaching experiences including NYC Department of Education teaching 4th and 5th grade, The Seoul Academy International School, in Seoul, Korea, teaching Kindergarten, and 4th grade, as well as being an independent ESL instructor in Seoul, Korea, and The Dalton School, New York, NY, teaching Kindergarten and 3rd grade.
Justine has spent the last 14 years volunteering her time teaching Sunday School: Nursery to Grade 6, and Summer VBS Nursery to Grade 5.
Justine lives in the Syosset community, is an avid sports fan of her 3 children. Other interests revolve around piano, tennis and arts and crafts. Justine is Bilingual.
Darlene Happel – Co-Director, Nursery School Teacher
Miss Darlene, the lead teacher in the “Bunny” Nursery Class, has been with Faith for 15 years. In that time she has worked with every age group and has also worked in our summer program for many years.
Darlene is currently working towards her CDA. The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most nationally recognized credential in early childhood education. In becoming a CDA, Darlene is demonstrating herself as a committed, confident practitioner with command of today’s best practices for teaching young children.
Darlene attended Plaza Business Institute and Queens College for her Business Degree and worked in the financial industry, including working for Lloyds bank where she traded foreign exchange for Fortune 500 companies on their corporate foreign exchange desk for 10 years. Darlene left the business arena to raise her family.
Over the past years, Darlene has volunteered in Syosset’s Elementary, Middle and High Schools, chairing various PTA committees, she taught Sunday school and was a Girl Scout Leader. When Darlene is not here, she is often providing private childcare in the community.
Wendy Abruzzo – Co-Director and Teacher’s Assistant
Miss Wendy has worn many hats while working at Faith for the past 27 years. She is currently the Assistant to the Director and a Teacher’s assistant.
Wendy has worked with all age groups as a teacher’s assistant, camp counselor, and camp director. She is the person in charge in the afternoons, organizes all our supplies, and keeps both the church and school office in line.
She is a reliable and dedicated worker, to both Faith and the children. She keeps calm and is always caring and nurturing.
Before working at Faith, Wendy was a Customer Service Representative for Allstate, as well as an Ice Skating instructor for 6 years.
Wendy has lived in the community for 32 years, has a grown daughter, and has recently become a grandmother.
Christine Diekmann – Teacher’s Assistant
Miss Chris is the assistant teacher in the Bunny classroom. Miss Chris has been with Faith for 27 years. Over the years she has worked with all age groups.
Chris is a certified medical assistant; she graduated from the Mandel School. Chris worked as a medical secretary and medical assistant for many years before switching careers and coming to work at Faith.
Chris has been a member here at Faith Evangelical Lutheran church for many years. She has worked in the office, taught Sunday school and has been a counselor in the summer program. Chris and her husband sing in the choir.
Chris loves her job, loves to work alongside this great group of women, and enjoys working with the children. She will cry right along with the children when they are sad or upset and cheer them on when they succeed. Miss Chris is always encouraging the students to try new things.
Marie Hamlin – Teacher’s Assistant
Miss Marie is the assistant teacher of the three year old Bunny Class. Marie worked at faith a few years back and we are lucky she has returned to us after a small hiatus.
Marie worked for a scientific publishing company for 16 years before she left to raise her son. When returning to the work force Marie helped tutor elementary school students in Math. She was a teachers aide in the higher grades and then she realized Nursery School was where her heart was.
Marie was class Mom at her son’s elementary school for many years. She was actively involved in the PTA. Miss Marie feels privileged to be witnessing and sharing precious moments and milestones in her students lives. She loves to learn and discover along side them.