Meet our teachers!
Circle of Love's teachers are loving, creative, and have a sincere love of the Early Childhood Education field! All of our teachers are fingerprint cleared, CPR and First Aid certified, and have the required health clearances to work with children. Below you will find our teacher's biographies listed by classroom. Staff emails are also listed!
Mrs. Julie Fellows
Mrs. Julie Fellows has been a preschool teacher since 1988. She earned her Early Childhood Education units through courses completed at El Camino College and UCLA. Mrs. Fellows feels strongly that teaching young children is her life's calling. When you visit her classroom, you will easily guess that animals are another great love. Mrs. Fellows is an active member at First Lutheran and a Parish Ministry Assistant.
Mrs. Marie Osborne
Mrs. Marie Osborne was born in the Philippines and moved to the US in 1991. She has studied Child Development and has earned 28 ECE units. She has worked as a preschool teacher since 2003. She joined the staff of COL in 2011 and feels blessed to be here!
Ms. Deshael Ealey
Ms. Deshael Ealey attended Long Beach City College. She Studied Child Development and has an AA in Business Administration. She has many years of experience from working with children in her church's Sunday School, working for the Los Angeles Parks & Recreation Department with their Day Camp and here at Circle of Love. Ms. Ealey has also volunteered at the Long Beach City College Preschool. "I love the Lord with all my heart."
Mrs. Cheryl James
Mrs. Cheryl James is a veteran preschool teacher with more than thirty years experience. She worked at Circle of Love for many years before retiring in 2017 but returned to substitute teach. Her love of working with children and love for Circle of Love/First Lutheran Church have brought her out of retirement and she is ready for a great year in the Red Room!
Ms. Jenny Perez
Ms. Jenny Perez has been teaching since about 2010. All her previous teaching experience was at a Lutheran preschool. She has earned Early Childhood Education units from Santa Monica College. She has two children. She feels blessed to be working at Circle of Love.
Ms. Melanie Perez
Ms. Melanie Perez has volunteered in Early Childhood Education since 2015. She has been teaching since 2016 and all of her experience has been at E.B.P. Child Daycare, LAUSD, as well as Circle of Love. She has earned her ECE units and she is working on finishing her Associates Degree in Early Childhood. She loves helping others, especially children. She feels blessed to have this opportunity to work at Circle of Love.
Ms. Peggy Tierney
Ms. Peggy Tierney came to Circle of Love in 1995 with 12 years of teaching in early childhood centers already under her belt. She has earned a B.A. degree in Home Economics with an emphasis in Child Development from CSULB. Ms. Tierney believes strongly in a play-based learning environment.
Mrs. Lynn Imamoto
Mrs. Lynn Imamoto has been working in the early childhood education field since 1991. She received her units through UCLA and has continued her education through early childhood courses. Her love of teaching has never wavered and she is very happy to be a member of Circle of Love's family.
Mrs. Ingrid Lang
Mrs. Ingrid Lang has been teaching at Circle of Love since 1996. Mrs. Lang graduated from CSULB with a B.A. in Art Teacher Preparation K-12. She has continued her education in Early Childhood at Long Beach City College, UCLA, and Chapman. Her husband Paul Lang is a Deacon at First Lutheran Church, Manhattan Beach, and her two grown children were raised at First Lutheran Church.
Mrs. Martha Ozog
Mrs. Martha Ozog has been working with children for over 20 years (as of 2019.) She has had the privilege of working in special education as well as teaching in Christian settings. Early childhood education has been one of Mrs. Ozog's most rewarding life experiences. She is grateful to serve God and all the families at Circle of Love.
Mrs. Karla Burkee
Mrs. Karla Burkee earned her Associates Degree in Child Development in 2005 and has worked in that field since 2003. She has been blessed to work with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. As a teacher, she loves having the opportunity to play a small role in each child’s development and watch them grow. She is married and has one son who is in elementary school.
TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN - 1
Mrs. Tracy Morgan
Mrs. Tracy Morgan came to Circle of Love Preschool after 12 years of public and private teaching experience. Mrs. Morgan began a new position of teacher for the Transitional Kindergarten class in 2009. Mrs. Morgan earned a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies and Psychology from CSU Dominguez Hills. She has also successfully completed 24 units of Early Childhood Education.
TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN - 2
Mrs. Ruby Diy
Mrs. Ruby Diy earned her M.S. in Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. She was a teacher/director for 16 years before joining Circle of Love as a teacher of the Pre-K Peach Room. "I love teaching because there's no other job that let's me experience each day in its simplest, purest and most truthful form."
STAFF/OFFICE SUPPORT & WEBSITE MANAGER
Ms. April Lang
Ms. April Lang (Ms. April) started as a substitute teacher at Circle of Love in 2013 and became a full-time staff member in 2017. She graduated with honors from Sonoma State University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Anthropology. She earned a Single Subject Credential (Social Sciences) in 2013, also from SSU. Her early childhood education units have been completed through El Camino Community College and Saddleback University. She enjoys her work at Circle of Love as a hybrid teacher/office help because gets to to do a little bit of everything! You will also see Ms. April helping in the kitchen everyday during hot lunch as well as during school events, working in the Circle of Love daycare program, substitute teaching, and helping in the office with various tasks including the school's re-accreditation reports! She's everywhere! Last but not least, Ms. April assists COL by maintaining the school's website and social media pages. Ms. April grew up in Manhattan Beach and she has been an active member here at First Lutheran Church since 1992.
Ms. Karla Devine
Ms. Karla Devine (Mrs. Devine) has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Michigan University. She has completed Levels I and II in the Orff Schulwerk Method, which is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments. She has taught preschool music for about 25 years, and has been a church since about 1991 and has been a church musician since she was a teenager, working with all ages. She lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband and two daughters.
FLOATING TEACHER (aka "FLOATER")
Ms. Esmeralda Madrid
"Ms. Esme" is our Floater and originally came to Circle Of Love as a sub. She has been with us since February 2021. Ms. Esme feels it has always been her calling to work with children of all ages. Her first exposure to working with children was in high school in a parenting program which allowed her to work the babies of the attending students as well as with a partner elementary school as a teachers aide. From there she proceeded to further her education at El Camino college where she received a Certificate of Achievement. Ms. Esme is working on transferring and completing her bachelor’s degree at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Before working at Circle of Love she was a substitute teacher for over 2 years. Ms. Esme is a woman of faith and was a Sunday school teacher for close to 10 years. She feels God led her here and is very blessed to be here. Her mission is to be a child’s advocate and has their best interest at heart.
Interested in watching our virtual Chapel Time? Check out our Facebook Page here!
At Circle of Love, our weekly Chapel time is when our entire school gets together to have fun, learn about the love of Jesus and sing songs of praise! Teachers and Staff take turns throughout the year leading Chapel. Some familiar faces you may see leading Chapel include...
Pastor Jonathan Burkee
Pastor Jonathan Burkee (“Mr. Chapel”) has served in pastoral ministry for over ten years. He attended Concordia University in Wisconsin earning a B.A. in pastoral ministry and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri earning his Master of Divinity. He has served at First Lutheran Church and Circle of Love Preschool since 2015 and loves it. Every year he looks forward to sharing the love of Jesus with the amazing children who attend Circle of Love. Pastor Burkee is married to Karla Burkee and they have one energetic and wonderful son.
Mr. Mark McCombs
Mr. Mark McCombs ("Mr. Mark") is a musician and educator born and raised in Southern California. After attending the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, Mark moved on to get a degree in music at USC. While attending USC, Mark was working in local studios as an engineer but, after graduating, decided to focus on teaching and church music full time in 2012. Mark joined us here at First Lutheran Church in 2017.