Stephanie Yerkes - Preschool Director  

Stephanie joined the preschool as the director in June of 2020.  She holds her Bachelor of Arts degree from Neumann University in Early Childhood/Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education.  Stephanie received her Masters of Science from Drexel University in Special Education with a concentration in Autism and English Language Learners. As a child Stephanie participated in choir, youth group, and missions trips with NUMC.  She first became a part of the NMP community when her son started the 2-year old program.   Some of her favorite things include hiking, gardening, reading, and running.  Stephanie is very excited to be a part of the NMP family!




69 East Main Street

Newark, DE 19711


Preschool Office   302-368-1754


Church Office  

Debbie Knight - Preschool Office  

Debbie Knight began working at Newark Methodist Preschool in 1993.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Delaware.  Her three children are all alumni of Newark Methodist Preschool.  Debbie started out as an assistant teacher and long-term substitute and since 1995 has held the position of Administrative Assistant.  She was active in her children’s sports and school activities while they were growing up and now is enjoying her three grandchildren.  Her love of children, flexibility, and willingness to help out wherever needed make her a valuable asset to the preschool.

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Jessica Robinson

Jessica Robinson started working at Newark Methodist Preschool in January of 2018 as a substitute teacher.  In September of 2018 she joined the staff as an assistant 3-year-old teacher, and she is currently the lead 3-day teacher in room 215. Jes graduated from Delaware Tech in 2010 with her associates degree in Early Childhood Education. Before joining the NMP staff, she was a nanny for multiple families and taught 2-year-old and 3-year-old preschool.

Jes is married to her high school sweetheart. They have two children, Jack who is 6 and Adelyn who is 4.  Jack is an alumnus of NMP and is in kindergarten at Downes Elementary School. Adelyn currently attends NMP and is in PreK.

In her spare time, Jes loves spending time with her family and traveling all over the world, especially to the beach and to Walt Disney World.  She also enjoys baking, photography and sports.

Patricia Shaw 

Patricia Shaw has been an assistant teacher in the two-year-old program since 2005. In addition, she is the lead teacher of the Friday Parents' Day Out Program. Tricia graduated from Hodgson Vocational - Technical High School with a Certificate of Exemplary Performance in Early Childhood Education. She has twenty years of experience working in the field of Early Childhood Education and has even had experience managing an in-Home Daycare. She has three daughters Ashlyn, Brenna and Kelsey, who are all alumni of Newark Methodist Preschool. While her children were here Tricia was a frequent substitute and Friday Kids' Day Out staff member. It was then that she was so impressed with the loving and nurturing staff that she decided to become a permanent member.

Anne Spoor

I began teaching at NMP in the Fall of 1999.   I graduated from the University of Delaware in 1983 with a BA in English, completed TECE 1 in 2007 and TECE 2 in June 2008.  I have two daughters. Sam teaches sixth grade English and Abby is a paraprofessional and is beginning grad school.  In my free time I enjoy reading, antiquing, and decorating.  I began teaching at NMP because my youngest daughter, Abby was enrolled in the 4's program at the time.  The schedule allowed me to be available for my daughters and allowed me the time to volunteer at their schools.  NMP always had an excellent reputation and I was proud to be a part of it.  Teaching was not my original intention but has turned out to very fulfilling. I have amazing co-workers and I feel very blessed to do what I do.

Patti Brooks

I moved to Newark in 1965 and graduated from Glasgow High School and the University of Delaware.  I have a BS in Consumer Economics and previously worked in the Admissions Office at UD and in a law office in Dover.


I started working at Newark Methodist Preschool in 1997.  I started off in the 2-year-old program and Kid's Day Out.  Over the years I have also worked with the 3's and the 4's as well as Lunch Bunch.  I have enjoyed working with all different ages at the preschool.  I love reading books with the children, doing puzzles with them and playing with them on the playground.


I have been married for over 30 years and have two awesome sons who attended NMP in the 90's.  My boys have now graduated from college - Jeff works at a bank in New Orleans and Brad is the head swim coach at Penn State - Altoona.  I also have a beautiful daughter-in-law, Shannon, who is getting her PhD at Penn State and the cutest grandpuppy in the whole world!  I love spending time with friends and family especially when it involves traveling to cool new places.  I love all sports and especially enjoy watching my boys compete in swimming, running and triathlons.   

Mandy Manzella

Joining the NMP staff in 2019, Mandy has been working with young children since her first job in high school as an Extended Day/Camp Counselor for 3 & 4-year olds at Ursuline Academy.  She went on to study Early Childhood Education and Development at the University of Delaware, where she also worked as an undergraduate assistant for New Directions Early Head Start.  After college she spent 6 years as Pre-K teacher at Our Lady of Fatima School until deciding to stay home with her son once he was born.  

Mandy has now been a part of the NMP family as a parent and volunteer since her children started attending in 2015, and both her son and daughter have loved their time at Newark Methodist.  She is very excited to now be returning to the classroom as an assistant teacher! Her favorite part of teaching young children is watching just how much the students learn, grow and change in such a short time. Some of her other favorite things include music, being crafty, photography, reading, and spending time with her family.  

Katie Hughes

Katie recently joined the Newark Methodist Preschool the Summer of 2015. Her Bachelor of Science degree comes from the University of Delaware. The Spring of 2015 she attended Delaware Technical Community College to obtain her TECE I & II Certification (Training in Early Childhood and Education). She currently works as a School Age Teacher for the University of Delaware Early Learning Center for their After School Program.  Katie’s two daughter’s are Newark Methodist Preschool alumni! She enjoys gardening, traveling and spending time at the beach.  She is inspired by the warm and caring hearts of the little people who come into her life.

Suzy Moyer

Suzy Moyer has taught at Newark Methodist Preschool since the fall of 2011, first as a substitute teacher and currently as an assistant teacher in the PreK program. She also works at Newark Day Nursery in the afternoon.


She decided to pursue her TECE 1 and TECE 2 (Training for Early Care and Education) when her children were in the last years of high school. Before this she was a stay-at-home mother and felt that she would like to continue helping children grow and learn.


She has three boys, Josh, Ian, and Eric that are her pride and joy. During the years she was raising them, she took part in their school activities and supported their school PTA. Suzy was also on the Board at her Swim Club. While raising her children she supported family and friends with childcare in times of need.


She chose to leave her previous teaching position and make the move to Newark Methodist Preschool for many reasons. Suzy says she feels accepted and has the utmost awe of the staff. Newark Methodist Preschool provides her the opportunity to be closely involved with the education and care of each student.

Christina Doughty

Christina began working at NMP in 2010 and is currently the lead teacher in the 2-year old program. . In addition to substitute teaching in all classrooms, she has worked in the Friday Parents' Day Out Program as well as with the 2-day 3's. Christina has her Bachelor of Science in Human Services from the University of DE. Her three children are all NMP alumni, and she is very active in the outreach programs related to their school and extracurricular activities.  Christina's gentleness, patience and kindness, as well as the many years’ experience with children make her a wonderful addition to this team.