Community of Grace Lead Teaching Team

Mercedes, Site-Director / Co-Lead Kinderstart Teacher  

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Mercedes has been working with children she was 15. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Early Childhood Education. After graduating, she focused on early education through laboratory schools, Kindergarten and Preschool. Her favorite part of teaching is providing a space for every child to holistically grow and learn to the best of their potential in all aspects of life. Then to watch their love for learning blosson. Mercedes joined the team at Community of Grace Discover Center in 2023.

“Let all that you do be done in love”.  – 1 Corinthians 16:14


Marissa Prelgo, Lead Explorer Teacher

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Marissa started at LADC in 2020. She graduated from Iowa State with a double major in Event Management and Public Relations and a minor in Psychology.  What Marissa looks most forward to in teaching is learning alongside the children. “They teach me something new every day as well! I love seeing how much growth and development occurs over the school year and I am blessed to be a part of that. 

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”   – 1 Corinthians 13:13


Christina Iverson, Lead Infant Teacher

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Christina joined the Infant Room Teaching Team in the Fall of 2019. She has her B.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a Concentration in Children from the University of WI, Stout. Christina enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to concerts, plays and movies, reading and staying fit with group exercise.

“And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you, giving you his peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

 Top Five Strengths:  * Harmony * Empathy * Developer * Consistency * Maximizer


Sarah Mathisen, EAP manager

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Sarah joined the staff at Community of Grace Discovery Center in 2023.  She attends the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, studying Animal Science. Her previous teaching experience includes Preschool before and after care with Mahtomedi Preschools and as part of the Wrangler staff with the YMCA Camp St. Croix.  What Sarah loves most about teaching is getting to know students and watching them grow and learn as the year goes on.

“But he said to me, ‘My grade is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ rest upon me.”     2 Corinthians 12:9

Shannon Goldstein, Co-Lead Kinderstart Teacher / Director of Quality Ratings 

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Shannon earned her BAS from the University of MN-Duluth in Speech and Language Development and has her MN Teaching License. She earned her Masters and Teaching Licensure in Early Childhood from Concordia University, St. Paul. She has been teaching and directing for the Discovery Center since 2003. Shannon’s interests include running, biking, knitting, training/showing horses and being with her family. She added running marathons in recent years!

Top Five Strengths: * Achiever * Consistency * Empathy * Harmony * Significance 


Stephanie Hinners, Lead Teacher Explorers

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Stephanie has been with the CGLC Discovery Teaching Team since 2019. She graduated from Bemidji State University with her BS in Psychology. Stephanie’s favorite part of teaching is how excited the children are for the activities, with every day filled with smiles and laughter from their joy for learning!

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  – Ephesians 4:32


Katie Murphy, Lead Discovery Teacher

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Katie has led the Discovery/3-year-old classroom since 2020. She has her B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of St. Thomas and has a wealth of experience in grade-school and preschool teaching. Katie’s favorite part of teaching is seeing how much each child grows from the beginning of the year to the end. She is always so proud of how much they learn!

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”  – Romans 12:11-12