The Child Care Center is a program of St. John's Lutheran Church as a ministry to the congregation and an outreach to the community.

3-star certification

General Info

Ages Served: 12 months thru Pre Kinder (4 & 5 years)

Hours: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Director: Maudena Dunn

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Meet Our Staff
We have experienced and tenured staff who are committed to the field of early childhood education and who display a natural aptitude for working with children.  All staff are trained in first aid and infant/child CPR and receive at least 20 hours of training per year in child development and related subjects.

Director: Maudena Dunn

All of my adult life, I have worked with children in some manner.  Upon completion of my BA degree in Sociology, I worked as a Child Protective Caseworker, then as a Licensing Representative for the state of Texas.  I have directed church sponsored child care centers beginning in 1978. After a ten year break and being a full time mom of three boys, I was given the ooportunity to direct the child care program at St. John's in January, 1999. I am blessed to be able to spend my life caring for children, helping to shape their lives while ministering to their parents. Ministering by giving them the peace of mind that their children are in a safe place; a place where they are nurtured, respected, loved and taught. I love the daily interaction with the children and delight in watching them learn and grow just as God intends.

Pre-K Teacher: Heather Durant

I began my teaching career in 1995 at Memorial Baptist Christian Schools in New Orleans. In 2001, I married, moved to Austin and have been happily employed at St. John's Lutheran Child Care Center ever since.  I took the 2011-2012 school year off as we were blessed with the addition of a little girl to our family. After a year as a stay at home mom, I returned to teaching the 3 year old class. It has been a tremendous blessing to work with this age group. But beginning with the Fall of 2013, I began a new endeavor --- Pre-K teacher. I can see how the Lord has prepared me for this opportunity to grow in my chosen profession. It gives me great joy to see children grow in knowledge and in the love of the Lord. I treasure my relationship with Christ, my family and of course; the LSU Tigers! I enjoy cooking, singing in the church chior and spending time pool side with my husband and daughter.

Preschool Teacher: Sherry Petriella

I am Sherry May Petriella. I have worked in the child care profession since 2002. I am the teacher for the three year old preschool class. I have always loved children and being able to work with them is a blessing. I have been given the talent and aptitude for helping children learn and grow. I am proud of the work I do with children. My goal is to guide them to make good decisions and be happy, self-confident, and successful individuals that know they are loved by me and the other St. John’s staff .
My husband, Chris, and I have two daughters. Azabeth is in the early teens and Luna is a toddler.


Preschool Teacher: Diane Robertson

I am the teacher for the Busy Bee Class, older 2's younger 3's. I began my career in child care in 1995 at Bethany Lutheran Child Development Center and came to St. John's Lutheran Child Care Center in April, 2005. After bringing up three children, who are now young adults, I am attending Austin Community College working on an Associate Degree in child development. I find it rewarding to work in the child care field and feel this is what I am supposed to do with my life.

Toddler Teacher: Leticia Colunga

Hi! My name is Leticia Colunga. I was born and reared here in Austin. I am a wife and mommy. Since my son plays baseball, we spend a lot of time at practice and games.
I have worked in child care since March, 2014. I am a co-teacher for toddlers class (ages 12 to 23 months). Working with children comes natural to me and I see myself doing this for the rest of my life.

Toddler Teacher: Heather Webb

My name is Heather Webb. I’ve been working with children for almost twenty years. It is a great privilege for me to help little ones learn and grow. I am proud to be a member of the St. John’s child care team. In my free time, I enjoy reading, roller blading and spending time with my little boy

Toddler Teacher : Nicole Perez

I have lived in Austin all my life. My family consists of a son, a daughter and three grand-children. I have worked in the child care field since 2005. Before coming to St. John's Child Care Center in April, 2011, I worked in three other facilities. Most of my experience has been with two year olds. Some of the reasons I enjoy teaching 2's are: (1) I can see their personalities developing through their behavior and the way in which they speak and communicate with each other. (2) Twos have a unique sense of humor and like to laugh and giggle. (3) They are eager to learn. My class keeps me on my toes; but I love them all just the way they are.

Young Twos Toddler Class Teacher: Julie Dillon

I am originally from New Orleans and lived in Los Angeles for twenty-five years. While in Los Angeles I ran an in-home day care center for a few years. During that time, I cared for seven children and still keep in touch with most of them. After moving to the Austin area, I was a nanny for twin boys for several months. I began working at St. John's Lutheran Child Care Center in the Fall of 2012. From that time until March, 2016, I was a morning floater working with all ages and a caregiver in the afternoon with the pre-k class. I am now the teacher for the young two toddler class.
There is great satisfaction from working with children. I enjoy watching them learn and grow.

Cook/Food Manager: Diane Heitmann

I was born and raised in Galveston but moved to Austin in 2009. I have worked in the food industry for many years and have always enjoyed cooking. I became employed at the child care center through the reccomendation of a friend. I feel blessed to be able to work in the child care center as a cook preparing snacks and lunch for the children. They are always so appreciative of the food and are quick to tell me "thank-you for the food" and "you are a good cooker". It makes me happy to see them enjoying the food I prepare. My favorite things to do are cooking, playing bingo and visiting my kids and grandkids in  Galveston.

Toddler Teacher: Justine Espinosa

I am Justine Espinosa. I grew up in the Austin area but graduated from High School in Calallen, TX, in the Spring of 2015. I have always been interested in the early childhood field and plan to enroll in college in the Fall of 2016 to work on a degree in Early Childhood Education. My long range goal is to be a Pre-K teacher. I am the oldest child in my family and in addition to having three siblings, my parents are fostering a young relative.

My job at St. John's is as a teacher's aid in the 12 - 24 month class. I like being a part of their day and watching them grow and discover new things. Example: Last week I got to see a child take his first steps. It was rewarding to know I had a part of helping him meet this milestone. He was so proud of himself. I look forward to more experiences like this.