Teachers & Staff

Betty Lou Deuchler


I have received degrees from Dupage College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and in 2014 from the Lutheran Seminary of Gettysburg, recently renamed United Lutheran Seminary.  I am married to a wonderful husband and best friend, Glenn for 46 years.  Together, we enjoy travel, hiking, camping, fitness, golf, and spending time with our family.  We have six children, three we raised plus their spouses, who we adore just as much. I have spent most of my life enjoying God’s beautiful and uniquely created world.  I cannot remember a time when I was not either volunteering, assisting the Pastor, teaching Sunday School, or leading Vacation Bible School. I love to laugh, sing a few notes, and do silly things with the little ones (and God’s more mature children). 

Brenda Jones

Assistant Director

Hello!  My name is Brenda Jones and I am the Assistant Director here at Salem.  Previously, I was a teacher here at Salem from '92 to '05 and I am so excited to be returning!  I have lived in Harford County all of my life, and my husband, Steve, and I live in Forest Hill.   I have a daughter, Natalie, who will be entering her first year of high school in the fall.  I also have two stepdaughters, Zoe and Kayla, who have graduated high school and are attending college. I received my AA degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Harford Community College.  Since then, I have taught Pre-K in Harford County for almost 20 years.  I am very excited to now be on the "office side" to help lead the center, our teachers, and our Salem families.

Marnie DiVenti


Hi!  My name is Marnie and I am a wife and mom to 3 girls from Monkton, MD.  I earned a BS degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson State University.  My teaching career began in Baltimore Co. where I spent 10+ years  teaching Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade.  I also taught Inclusion Reading and developed a Language Enrichment Program modeled throughout the county.  I've been part of the Salem team for 10 years and absolutely love my job.  I've made some great friends, family connections, and memories here!

Tiffany Martin


My son Josiah is 8 years old and he started at Salem in the 3's preschool class.  The next year, I started working here in the before and after school program.  After 3 years, I began working with the 4-year-old preschool program and have continued to do so for the past 2 years.  As a graduate from Essex Community College with an AA degree in Early Childhood Education, I have worked with children in daycares, special needs daycares, and as a nanny for 23 years.  I love working with children.

Lori Sheppard


My husband Stewart and I live in Monkton with our two boys, ages 16 and 19.  Our oldest is currently in college and our youngest is in 11th grade at North Harford High School.  

I have a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Pennsylvania State University with teaching certification in both Pennsylvania and Maryland.  I have been working at Salem Lutheran Children's Center in the capacity as either a teacher or teaching assistant since 2008.  My goal is for your child to have fun while learning.

Cyndy Testerman


I work with the 3-year-old extended care class in the afternoons.  I've been with Salem for 18 years.  My favorite thing about spending the day with children is seeing the world through their eyes.  I love "kid logic" and try to help them learn good strategies for living with the world around them as they grow.

Darlene Saffran

Teaching Assistant

I am a mother of two and a grandmother of two as well.  Both of my granddaughters came here to Salem Lutheran Children's Center and had Ms. Maria in the 3 day pre-k program.  I have been working at Salem with Maria for almost 4 years in both the before and after school day care programs as an aide.  Earlier, in previous years, I volunteered at Jarrettsville Elementary School in the Kindergarten department.  I enjoy working with children, playing games, and watching them create different projects of their own.  Just knowing that I have had a part in helping to mold the children that I work with into what they are today is amazing and overwhelming.

Trish Ireton

Teaching Assistant

I am married to a retired navy pilot.  I have 2 beautiful teen girls.  I graduated from the College of Notre Dame with an Elementary Education major and English minor.  I received my Master's degree in Special Education from Loyola College.  I enjoy working with the 4-year-old preschool class because they are adorable and do/say the funniest things.

Aubrey Gerhardt

Teaching Assistant

I have recently graduated from North Harford High School and I am attending Stevenson University in the fall.  Although I love to work with kids, I plan on pursuing Criminal Justice as a major with a minor in Psychology.  I have worked at Salem for almost 2 years and I have enjoyed every minute of it!  Working with children has taught me how to see the world from different perspectives and that positive attitudes go a long way! When I am not at Salem, you can find me relaxing by the pool!

Cherie Johnson


I am thrilled to be the director of SLCC!  My husband, Rick, and I have been married for 24 years. We have two amazing children - Maddy, who is teaching 3rd grade in Montgomery County Public Schools, and Garrett, who is in his third year at VMI.  I graduated from Towson University with a  B.S. degree in elementary education.  While in college I actually taught here at Salem for 4 years.  After graduation, I taught elementary school in Baltimore County and then taught preschool in York County, PA.  I have a passion for working with and teaching children.  With an open-door policy, I am always available for your questions, concerns, or just to say hello.  I am very excited to be a part of the caring and supportive environment at Salem!

Maria Bartenslager


As a Towson University graduate with a degree in elementary education, I've worn every possible "hat" that exists at Salem since beginning in 1996.  Currently, I teach the morning and afternoon pre-k 4 classes three days a week and the before and after school program downstairs.  I love impacting little lives for good and love to watch the dawn of new knowledge break upon them!  My husband Jan and I have been married since 1980 and have two beautiful daughters and recently, two amazing sons-in-law!  Traveling is my passion and I plan to do it continuously, until I can't!

Shari Thorn


Hola!  Me llamo es Shari.  I lived in Mexico with my family for 2 years.  I now enjoy incorporating Spanish into the curriculum.   I began my career at Salem in 1984.  I also have been a nanny and drivers education instructor.  I have two wonderful adult daughters and a grandaughter who is 2.  I enjoy photography, reading and finding interesting topics to teach my boys and girls at Salem.

Diane Huber


I started working at SLCC in 1987 and I received my BA degree in Early Childhood Education from TSU in 1986.  I work with the before school children in grades 3, 4, and 5 and I also teach our Two and You Program.   

Diane has over 30 years of teaching experience.  She also taught for Harford Community College's Parent-Preschool Learning Laboratory for 13 years.

Sharon Swank


I started working at Salem in 1991 as an aide to the nursery school program and the preschool program and I was the teacher for the before & after school program.  I left Salem in 1993 when my son was born and returned 3 years later and continued working these positions until he was in middle school. I've worked as a teacher of 4-year-olds in a church-based school and the Goddard School. I have now returned to Salem and feel like I am "home" again! My children attended nursery school, preschool, and the before and after school programs here.  I also met my "Best Friend" here 27 years ago! Knowing that I am helping children achieve their full potential and feel happier and better about themselves makes me smile and feel very happy!

Judy Ober


I am so happy to be a part of the Salem family.  I look forward to having lots of fun and learning experiences with the new friends in my class.

I started working with children when my oldest daughter went to preschool at age 3, she's now 45 so I've been doing this a while.  I have my Early childhood Certification from HCC and many years of continuing education.  I did take a few breaks and worked as a bookkeeper, a secretary, and an optometrist's assistant  But, these little people have always been my first love.

I have three children, Shelly, Mandy, & Mike and 4 wonderful grandchildren, Jake 19, Kole 15, Spencer 10, and Stella 7.  I live in White Hall with my crazy dog Archer, senior dog Baby, and 3 very lazy cats.  In my spare time, I love to sew and do crafts with my grandchildren.  My favorite place to be is the beach.

Everyone here at Salem is so friendly, kind, and helpful.  I'm so excited to be a part of such a wonderful place.

Jen Hardegen


Hello!  My name is Jen and I attended CCBC in the early nineties.  I have been teaching and nurturing young children for nearly 30 years.  I taught at Bryn Mawr Little School for 10 years, managed the child care program at Bel Air Athletic Club for 8 years and before coming to Salem I was a lead teacher at Advent Lutheran.

I am married and have one daughter Maddie and our dog Tucker.  I have lived in Jarrettsville with my family for the last 15 years and absolutely love this community.  Lastly, I am very excited to begin a new adventure with the SLCC family.  God Bless, Ms. Jen

Kayla Taylor

Teaching Assistant

When I was in kindergarten through fifth grade I went to Salem.  Now I'm studying Early Childhood Education, so I wanted to come back and work here.  In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and dabbling in interior design.

Mackenzie Clark

Teaching Assistant

I am attending Harford Community College with an Early Childhood Education major. I love to have fun in the classroom while learning as much as possible.  I have been at Salem for over a year.

Kristyn Funk

Office Assistant

I started working at Salem in October of 2018.  Before that I worked for the WIC program for 8 years and I have a Sociology degree from Towson University.  My favorite part about Salem is the supportive environment that encourages kids to have fun while they learn and grow.

Contact Us

(410) 557-6612

3825 Norrisville Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084


Connect with us

Salem Lutheran children's center . 410-557-6612 

© Salem Lutheran Children's Center