Ms. Sara Cortez has worked with children as long as she can remember. “Their smiles make my day,” she says. She enjoys how St. Elijah operates like a school, not a daycare. “We follow a curriculum and are able to spend time with each child individually to really get to know their needs.
Ms. Sara has more than ten years of experience, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Kansas State University. In addition, she holds a Texas Teaching Certificate.
Ms. Sara has a daughter, Caroline, who attends St. Elijah MDO.
Ms. Rawan Shawareb collaborates with the director on daily operations and researching new ideas and plans for St. Elijah Mom’s Day Out and Preschool. Born and raised in Jordan in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, Ms. Rawan is a member of St. Elijah.
Ms. Rawan joined MDO in 2009 as the two-year-old classroom teacher and was named director assistant in 2010. She says it is a blessing to be a part of this ministry and to see faith and love grow in the children, including her own.
Ms. Rawan studied at Rosary College and the New York Institute of Technology in Amman, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in marketing. Ms. Rawan and her husband Tamer have three children, Farris, Raya and Karam.
Teacher – Older Threes
Ms. Katy Werlinger teaches in the preschool and two-year-old classroom. “I love the smiles on the children’s faces when they enter the classroom in the morning, and I love spending my day with our next generation of doctors, teachers, etc.”
“St. Elijah is very unique because religion is a big part of our daily learning,” she says. “We have morning prayers, daily Orthodox curriculum and weekly chapel.”
An Oklahoma City native, Ms. Katy joined St. Elijah MDO in 2014. She is trained in CPR and First Aid. She and her husband, CJ, have a busy house with four children, ranging from in ages teenager to baby.
Teacher – THREES
Ms. Ashlee Mashburn joined St. Elijah MDO in 2013 and teaches in the two’s classroom and one’s classroom, rotating between both. “I believe a child’s first years are when they learn and grow the most, and I love being a part of that,” she says. “I love seeing the kids grow and being a positive role model.”
Ms. Ashlee attended Francis Tuttle with a focus on nursing courses. She has four years of experience in childcare.
Teacher – TWOS
An Orthodox Christian and member of St. Elijah, Ms. Brittany Ham teaches in the one-year-old room. She has been with St. Elijah MDO since 2013, and she appreciates the family atmosphere as well as the religious teachings that define the program.
Ms. Brittany holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Lamar University. She and her husband, Amos, have four children – Amos, Sofi, Esper and Grady.
Teacher – Toddlers
Ms. Jennifer (Jenny) Rose has been a teacher at St. Elijah Mom’s Day Out and PreK for five years. Her son attended MDO, so Ms. Jenny appreciates the program as a parent and faculty member. She says St. Elijah benefits from strong parent-staff relationships and offers a loving, safe and clean environment for kids to learn and grow.
Ms. Jenny is certified in first aid and CPR. She has completed professional courses in the importance of play and early childhood communication. Ms. Jenny studied nursing at Oklahoma State University, Rose State and the University of Central Oklahoma. Her plans to become a labor and delivery nurse shifted after she had a baby and realized she wanted a career that would allow her to be more available for her family. Ms. Jenny and her husband, Douglas, have three children, Emma, Hannah and Preston.