About Us


Redeemer Lutheran Preschool
An Accredited Early Childhood Program


Mission Statement:

Our goal is to make a positive contribution to the life of each child in our care.  We believe each child is a unique and special gift from GOD.
(Mark 10:13-16, Luke 10:27, Proverbs 22:6)

The staff of Redeemer Lutheran Preschool strives to create a positive first learning experience by providing:

  • A Christ-centered environment/curriculum
  • Teacher directed activities and self-chosen centers that by nature of design instill learning
  • A structured work time that follows the California Preschool Learning Foundations as it applies to social/emotional development, language and literacy, and mathematics
  • Extra-curricular activities that instill the values of friendship, family, and fellowship (please see our annual calendar of events)

Our Philosophy:

Each child is a precious gift from God and should be cared for and nurtured in a supportive environment at home and at school.  Redeemer Lutheran serves the community and our local families by providing a quality, Christian education that prepares its students for a life of learning, growing and excelling.
  • Your child will experience the joy of learning with age-appropriate curriculum which involves the cultivation of each child's interest and curiosity while preparing them for kindergarten and beyond.  Focus on language development, writing, counting, and science exploration.
  • Your child will know Christ's love and forgiveness through Christ-centered programs and curriculum, Bible stories, activities, weekly chapel and prayer.
  • Your child will develop a positive self-image, become independent and self-reliant, understand individual differences, and learn respect adn compassion for others through play and social interaction.
  • Your child will enjoy participating in music, movement, drama and art.

Reasons to choose Redeemer Lutheran Preschool

  • Faith-based chapel offered twice a week
  • Creative arts and a comprehensive music program
  • Learning materials that can be readily adapted to use with varying skill levels depending on developmental placement.
  • Spacious and clean rooms
  • Learning centers that engage and challenge children
  • Extended care that offers enrichment activities
  • All staff have completed an AA or BA in early childhood or Child Development
  • Curriculum that is age appropriate (please see specific classroom goals/schedule)

Preschool Staff:


Ms Lauren Lauren Heckman - Director

Since I was 12, I knew I wanted to be in the field of education and child care.  My passion is working with children and watching them grow.  I have worked with preschool aged children through Senior high, but my favorite group to work with is early childhood.  I have worked at Christ Lutheran Preschool in Costa Mesa for 12 years.  My job title has changed many times as I have held many positions there, such as: morning floater - working alongside all the teachers in three separate classrooms, an afternoon teacher, a co-teacher, a lead teacher, an outside curriculum coordinator, and an interim director for 8 months.  In addition, my sensitivity to the families in our care is shown by respecting the parent's traditions and cultures, while treating their child/children as a unique child of God.   I have an A.A. and an Early Childhood certificate, and Administration units from Orange Coast College.  Therefore, I meet qualification for a master teacher/director of a preschool facility according to California state licensing. My areas of strength are demonstrated by open communication, developing relationships with all staff, children, and families by supporting their needs and interests.  As an educator, I am dedicated to facilitating growth by encouraging others to be independent.  I connect staff, families and students to Jesus in a respectful, loving and supportive way.  My favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  This bible verse shows how we can always count on Jesus no matter what our life circumstance may be.

Ms Virginia  Virginia Higley – Angelfish Teacher (ages 4-5)

I have served in the teaching ministry for 28 years.  I started teaching English as a second language to children ages 4 to 15, discovering that my favorite age group was early childhood.  I enjoy nurturing the children with care and love and assisting their development and instruction on their journey to kindergarten and beyond.  My real passion is creating activities for the educational development of the children through music, art, and play.  I started as an Assistant teacher, then worked as a pre-k co-teacher for 12 years and preppy-k lead teacher for 6 years at Grace Lutheran Preschool in H.B.  I was also responsible since 2011 for implementing and aligning the Infant/Toddler, Preschool, and Pre-k curricula to the California Learning Foundations and adding a faith-based program to it.  Since 2013 I have created a rich program for the preschool summer camp.  Additionally, I have conducted diverse workshops to Grace preschool staff and other local preschools.  I hold a Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology and an A.A in Executive Secretarial from St. Peter’s University in New Jersey.  I also have 20+ units in Early Childhood Education along with Administration units from Orange Coast College and I hold a Child Development Assistant Permit from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing in CA.  In my free time I enjoy my family’s company, reading, and playing with Bebe, our cat.

Ms Keri  keri Byers - Rainbowfish Teacher (ages 3-4)

I am very excited about joining the teaching team at Redeemer Lutheran Preschool.  I recently relocated from the Dalles, OR to Huntington Beach, CA to live with my two youngest daughters and family.  I have 4 precious and talented children, Brandon age 30, Brianne age 26, Brooke age 21, and Danielle age 16.  I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and moved to Oregon about 22 years ago.  Previously, I was the lead teacher and created curriculum in the K4-K5 Kindergarten program at Covenant Christian Academy for 14 years in the Dalles.  For 4 1/2 years I was an early childhood education instructor for Columbia Gorge Community College as well.  Also, I was a Fitness Instructor at MCMC, Water's Edge Fitness Center for 5 years, teaching Body Pump and Water Aerobics.  I enjoy riding bikes, exercise, cooking and spending time with family.
Early Childhood Education is my passion and I enjoy all aspects of it.  I believe my favorite experiences in teaching young children is observing their development and growth cognitively, emotionally, socially and physically throughout the year.
Children are brilliant!!! 
My education includes an A.A. in Early Childhood Education, B.A. in Management/Leadership, M.A. in Education/Curriculum with a Minor in  Early Childhood Education. One of my favorite quotes in the field is "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." - Theodore Roosevelt


Ms Crystal Crystal Miller - Dolphin Teacher (Ages 2-3)

I began working with young children when I was 14. It was through a peer program called P.A.L.S. that connected junior high students with elementary students in need of tutoring. I tried it as an after school activity and have been hooked on the field of education ever since. I have spent the last 10 years focusing mainly on early childhood education. I have an A.A degree from Cerritos College in Liberal Arts, a B.A. in Child Development and am currently attending Azusa Pacific University to obtain my M.A. in Christian Leadership. Books and reading are my two favorite things in life, aside from spending time with my husband, and Juju, my cat. I also love writing and journaling. My favorite Bible verse is Matthew 19:26 that says, “With God, all things are possible”. My faith is a very important part of my life and I strive every day, both in and out of the classroom, to live and love as Christ did. My favorite thing about being a teacher here at Redeemer is witnessing God’s love each and every day through the families and coworkers. I also love helping my students find new ways to learn about the world around us and seeing them grow in God’s Word!

Ms Kat Kathryn Murphy - Dolphin Assistant

I've worked with children my whole life, even though I've only been living for a short twenty-five years, I could never seem to get away from children nor did I want to.  As a child, my grandmother owned a family daycare where my mother was the director.  My mother was also a preschool teacher before she became a director and now she's back into teaching.  I remember helping with the younger kids every opportunity I could get and having an amazing Kindergarten teacher.  Becoming a teacher was my dream since I was 4.  I LOVE learning and I have a passion to help others learn.  I would call myself an observer, so watching the progress in children from year to year or even month to month amazes me!  I'm a very avid reader.  I love to cook and eat!  And I also really enjoy writing, it helps me organize my thoughts.  Art wise, I love music, dancing and crafting!  I have a pure heart for studying God's word and teaching it in a way that applies to our daily lives.  I attend the Rock Christian Fellowship in Long Beach, where I have the honor of holding the title of Children's Ministry Director and assist my co-pastor in the Young Adult group also.  My belief is that Christian Education should be a necessity, not a privilege.  I have two A.A. degrees earned from Cerritos College, Liberal Arts & Sciences: Social Behavioral Science and in Elementary Teacher Education.  I have recently graduated with a B. A. in LIberal Studies from CSULB.  My favorite bible verse is John 13:7 "Jesus replied, You don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will".  This helps me to trust in Jesuseven when I don't fully understand.  My confidence is that even if I don't understand something in that moment, that one day He is sure to impart in me that understanding.


Ms Andrea Andrea Mezzapelle - Teacher Assistant

I am so pleased to be a part of Redeemer Lutheran Preschool! I am a native Californian and have been living in HB with my wonderful husband, Matthew, for 8 years. We have a friendly and energetic son, Royce, who will be turning two this summer.  I have my Associates Degree + 25 Early Childhood Education units from Fullerton College. I have a passion for art, child development, psychology, music, Montessori, and am inspired through Reggio philosophy. What does that mean? I enjoy a balance of structure in a natural environment, to guide children, to facilitate independence and encourage their autonomy.  My perspective is to teach in a way that makes learning fun. If we take the time to listen to a child's inner dialogue, we can assist each child to find their interests. We can then lead them to embrace their unique desires. All of us are creative beings, though not necessarily created in the same way. I recognize that all of us learn, create, and express ideas in different ways. How sad it would be to live in a world where it was all the same. I encourage children to seek their own creative outlet and aspirations.


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