Preschool at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church


Michelle Staarmann

Michelle Staarmann

As the Preschool Director and PreK-3’s teacher, I am thrilled to play an integral role in providing an enriching learning experience for your children. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Miami University in Ohio and taught for several years in the Cincinnati area before my family moved to Rochester in 1997. My son attended Abiding Presence Preschool and thoroughly enjoyed his preschool days. As a parent and educator, I understand the importance of providing a safe learning environment, developing Kindergarten readiness skills, and fostering the social-emotional growth for children of all abilities. In 2001, I joined the Abiding Presence Preschool staff. Each year, I look forward to welcoming your children into our nurturing program where they can learn, play, and thrive!

Miss Michelle Sings the Calendar Song

Wendy Rittner

Wendy Rittner

I’m Miss Wendy, the Begindergarten teacher at Abiding Presence Preschool. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College. My teaching career began in the Waterford Public School District where I taught 5th grade for four years. Then I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom. When my own children attended Abiding Presence Preschool, my passion for teaching returned. In 2006, I began teaching at our preschool. I have fallen in love with the fun-loving energy of four and five year olds and feel blessed to be part of the Abiding Presence Preschool staff and community.

Miss Wendy Reads Pete the Cat

Maria Thomas

Maria Thomas

I’m Miss Maria, and I’m thrilled to be teaching at Abiding Presence! Prior to working at Abiding Presence Preschool, I taught in the public schools for 16 years. I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Elementary Education and an Early Childhood Endorsement. I decided to continue my education and received my Masters in reading through Oakland University. My family, a busy household with 4 children and a dog, loves spending time making memories and having fun experiences. Thank you for sharing your children with me for a year of fabulous learning!

Science Experiment with Miss Maria

Barb Benitez.

Barb Benitez

I’m Miss Barb, and I’m so excited to be teaching at Abiding Presence. I grew up just down the road in Troy, and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I am married with four daughters who all attended Abiding Presence Preschool. I enjoyed the preschool years with my girls so much that I knew I needed to get back to teaching. After sending my youngest off to kindergarten, I joined the Abiding Presence Preschool staff. It’s a joy to be on the other side of the classroom door, returning to what I love to do!

Wind Race with Miss Barb


Renee Mick

I’m Miss Renee and I am so excited to be a part of the Abiding Presence family as one of the PreK teachers! I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education along with a mathematics endorsement at Wayne State University. I went on to receive my Master of Arts degree in Education at Central Michigan University! Fire Up, Chips! I have 20 years experience in the educational system. During those 20 years, I taught third grade at a parochial school in Warren, I substitute taught in various school districts (including Rochester Community Schools), and I worked in tutoring facilities where I would teach students math, reading, and study skills strategies! I currently am continuing my love for teaching by tutoring students at Huntington Learning Center. I was first introduced to Abiding Presence when my daughter attended preschool there. My whole family fell in love with the preschool program and now I get to be a part of it! When I am not in the PreK classroom, you can find me tutoring students, spending time with my husband, our two daughters, our dog, Charlie, or out and about at my FAVORITE store, Target!!!

Miss Renee reads The Pigeon Has to Go to School

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