Our Staff

Staff (nine, currently) at Elim have taught or assisted for an average of 9 years.  One new staff person joined the fall of 2015 and one remains with 18 years of experience.  Continuity of staff helps maintain a consistent program for your child and reflects a love of preschoolers on the part of our staff!  A ratio of one staff person for every seven children in our 3’s programs and one staff person for every eight children in our pre-k classes creates a safe, stimulating learning environment.  Each class boasts a dedicated staff, not a shared staff amongst other classes.  

Our Director

Cathe Elim Lake Stevens PreschoolCathe Erhardt is the Director of Elim Christian Preschool. She is responsible for establishing goals, plans, schedules, and day-to-day management while working closely with the school staff to create a good relationship between students, families and school. Looking for ways to improve our preschool keeps her creatively busy.

Cathe, the mother of two adult children (and grandmother of three grandchildren!), has lived in the Lake Stevens area with her husband, Tim, for over 35 years. Cathe holds an Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies and teaches piano most afternoons. 27 years of preschool experience include fifteen years directing Elim Christian Preschool and ten years teaching in Marysville at Little Angels Preschool.

Our Teachers

Charlene Bloomingdale ElimChristianPreschool.com Preschool Lake Stevens WACharlene Bloomingdale begins her eighteenth year with our school by continuing her eleventh teaching year in both an AM 3-year-old and an AM pre-k class. Her enthusiastic interaction with our preschoolers, whether reading a book, sharing a joke or leading a game, makes class time more fun. She inspires creativity by encouraging dramatic play/story telling during play time.  In her 3’s program, she uses imagination to teach “problem solving”, a key social skill.  Her pre-k students love “the secret box” as it leads to discovering the letter of the day.  Charlene serendipitously rewards all her students by noting positive behavior through her “good job” sticker program, finding a playful competition yields a happier classroom.  “I love our two-year rotating curriculum,” notes Mrs. Bloomingdale, “as each day is new.”   Charlene loves to garden, work with children and plan teas for ladies! When Charlene isn’t spending time with Brad, her husband of 36 years, you can find her stamping or doing other creative projects. Charlene also enjoys time with her 33-year-old daughter Rachael and 28-year-old son, Jared, father of her first grandchild!
Deborah Elim Lake Stevens PreschoolDeborah Pulley continues teaching at Elim for her eleventh-and-a-half year in a 4-day-a-week AM class and a 3-day-a-week afternoon class. Deborah’s experience includes working with Debbie Carter and Margaret Smith in both the 4 and 3-year old classes at Elim Christian Preschool for 3 previous years. Her educational experience includes early childhood college level classes. Deborah loves working with preschoolers. She delights in seeing “the light go on” when a child achieves understanding in an area. Her open and friendly ways draw children to her. Debbie previously substituted as an Educational Assistant in Lake Stevens.

She loves interacting with her son (19) and daughter (21).  Extra-curricular activities include hiking with her family and riding her motorcycle on mountain trails with her husband Tom.

Carol de la Cruz 2015_6083Carol de la Cruz  took on teaching responsibilities three years ago in an AM 3-year-old class and last year added a pre-k class to her schedule.  For two years prior she learned the “Elim ropes”  as an assistant.  She lives in the Lake Stevens community with her husband of 23 years and family of 4 children (aged 18, 16, 12 & 8).  After graduating from Oregon State University, Carol taught high school social studies for six years.

She teaches preschool because the kids are fun-loving and eager to learn.  Helping to build a strong foundation in each child continually remains an important and worthwhile endeavor for Carol.  She also enjoys reading and family road trips.


Shannon Havener 2015_6090Renee LaSalle, our  afternoon teacher in the 4’s class, began assisting at our school in the 2006-7 school year.  She mentored teaching here at Elim Christian Preschool under Grandma Margaret Smith, Teresa Heap, Connie Tibbits and Deborah Pulley.  Shannon’s early childhood Elim experience also includes working with the Moppets for 4 years, teaching Sunday School for 10 years and being involved with the Journey program for 2 years.  Previously, Shannon worked in early childhood at Seattle Free Methodist Church on the Seattle Pacific University campus.  Shannon claims residency in Lake Stevens for 20 years and marriage to Fred for 25 years.  Her boys (aged 16 and 13), both avid hockey and baseball participants, make Miss Shannon an unpaid taxi driver in “real life”.  She hopes to get to scrapbooking piles soon!

Shannon enjoys preschool kids especially because of their accepting nature.  She loves working at Elim because of its Christian basis and low student-to-teacher ratio which allows a teacher to get to know the children well.


IMG_6117Ginger Washburn, well-known to many here at Elim, begins her first year as a teacher in a pre-k class.  Ginger mentored unter Mrs. Teresa Heap and Mrs. Charlene Bloomingdale for the past 7 years in our pre-k program as an assistant.  She has attended numerous preschool conferences and seminars to bolster her understanding of the preschool aged child during this time.  We are thrilled to welcome her to our teaching staff with all the hands on experience she represents, including previous work experience in a childcare facility.  Ginger, a local for the past 26 years, graduated from Snohomish High School and attended Everett Community College.  Her marriage to Loren, almost 20 years ago has produced two children, now 18 and 13 years old.

Her interests include reading, dancing, volunteering in her community and church as well as spending time with her family.  Seeing the “sparkle in their eyes” when they enthusiastically say, “Look what I did, Miss Ginger!” brings joy to her work in the preschool.