Meet The Team

WHITNEY SIMPSON

Director

Hi! I am Whitney Simpson! I am the Director of Culpeper United Methodist Preschool!  I truly believe I        answered God’s calling in 2009 to start a Preschool Ministry here at Culpeper UMC.   I know this because our preschool has been truly blessed each and every day since it’s beginning.

 

Culpeper UMC was my home church as a child and young adult.  In 1995, I married my high school sweetheart, Lee Simpson, and we moved close to his home town in Kentucky where he could attend the University of Kentucky for Dental School.  I utilized my Psychology degree from Bridgewater College (1994) and worked as a certified Substance Abuse Counselor and a Licensed Correctional and Pre Release Counselor for the    Federal Bureau of Prisons.  

 

My career took a drastic change in 1999!  I became a mom!  Lee and I have three gorgeous daughters -      Lauren, Rylee and Georgie!   They definitely changed our world and we are so excited each and every day to see God’s hand working in and through their lives! 

 

In 2006, Lee and I moved back home to Culpeper, where he is a dentist and the owner of Culpeper Dental      Associates.  We returned here to Culpeper UMC where we both became members and active volunteers within the church.  In 2009, while co-directing the Children’s ministry, I was approached to begin a preschool.  At first, I was hesitant; I had three small children. But the more I read and investigated the more excited I got and then God took over!  In 2016, myself along with our preschool staff received our Teaching Credentials from the Christian Child Development Education Alliance.  This was a very exciting two year process for us.  To not  only become certified Early Childhood Educators, but to have our school credentialed, as well, was a huge mile stone for our preschool program!

 

When I am not working and playing with our preschool friends, I truly enjoy spending time with my family.  They are my breath of life!  I love watching my girls play sports (field hockey, swimming, lacrosse).  I love our family dinner chats of listening to their shenanigans from the day’s events!  I love talking with my oldest daughter on facetime while she attends the University of Mary Washington, majoring in Historic Preservation and Museum Studies.  I love to crochet and to cook - but I don’t like cleaning up my mess :-)!  I love the beach!  To me there is no greater place to sense God’s majesty than looking out into the ocean, sinking your toes in the sand,  and the warm sun smacking you in the face!  The beach is my true happy place!

 

If you have not visited our awesome preschool, I invite you to do so!  You can’t help but smile when you are on this hall!  And Yes - consider that a challenge!  My office is in Room 14, the last door on the preschool hallway - and my door is always open!  I invite you all to stop by and say “Hey!”

KRISTI GIBBONS

Lead Teacher

3 Year Old Class

Kristi graduated from John Jay High School in 1990 and Dutchess Community College in 1994 with an Associates Degree in Business Management.  In 1999, Kristi moved to Culpeper from upstate New York.

 

Kristi and her husband Mike have three wonderful children.  After having their first child, Kristi became a stay at home mom.  Along with taking care of her own children, she also enjoyed babysitting other children in her home and volunteering at her children’s school. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to spend such special, quality time with her children during their younger years.

 

Kristi and her family have been members of CUMC since 2004. She served for many years on the Children’s Ministry Team and taught Sunday school. Also, she has taught Vacation Bible School and was a member of the Mothers Of Preschoolers Ministry Team.  Kristi has enjoyed being a table leader and mentor for confirmation, in addition to attending Helping Hands mission trips with the kids.

 

Kristi has been teaching here at CUMC Preschool since 2010. In 2016, Kristi completed her Christian Childhood Development Education Credential.  She loves working with the children and knows that for many, this is their first experience being in a school environment and away from their parents.  Being able to provide a safe, happy and loving environment for the children is most important to her. Nothing brings more pleasure than seeing one of her students apply the skills they have learned.  It warms her heart to be a part of such a special preschool family.

CHRIS

WOODS

Lead Teacher

4 Year Old Class

Chris Woods joined Culpeper United Methodist Church Preschool at its conception in 2009.  She developed the classroom daily routine and lesson plans for the new preschool.  The first two years she taught both classes of three-year-old and four-year-old students.  As the preschool grew, she concentrated her efforts as the lead teacher for the four-year-old class.

Chris loves teaching young preschool age children because of their enthusiasm, honesty and pure joy for life.  She believes working with them helps her keep a positive perspective, an open mind and sense of appreciation for the little things we often take for granted.  Chris loves to see the world through their eyes.    

Each year, Chris has pursued continuing education class credits in early childhood education.  In May 2016, she completed her Christian Childhood Development Education Credential (CCDE).

Chris is a member of Culpeper United Methodist Church.  She taught at CUMC Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for five years.  She also taught Children’s Worship on a rotation for two years.  She served on the Children’s Ministry Team for four years.  All of these activities helped Chris to know her true passion and joy was working with young children.

Chris has a warm, loving family of four.  She has a wonderful husband and two amazing daughters.  They moved to Culpeper in 2004 from Northern Virginia.  They love the familiarity and caring support in the community.

Prior to the birth of her daughters, Chris worked in IT recruiting and government contracting in Northern Virginia.  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree at Virginia Tech.

Teaching preschool at Culpeper United Methodist Church Preschool has been the highlight of her working career.  She finds it her most rewarding position so far.  She enjoys every little success of her students and is thrilled with each small step in their development.

Chris’s personal goal at CUMC Preschool is to make a positive difference in the lives of her students, provide a happy and loving environment in the classroom, and offer them a strong spiritual and academic foundation for continuing their education in the future.     

Staff

Culpeper United Methodist Church
1233 Oak Lawn Drive | Culpeper, VA 22701