Our dedicated teachers

Messiah is blessed to have a caring, qualified and experienced staff.  Take a moment to meet our dedicated teachers and assistants!

  • Selena Daniel -Lead TEACHER 2-year-old

    Selena Daniel is our 2-year-old teacher. She started as an assistant teacher 15years ago in the VPK classroom. She has met the requirements to teach at Messiah and is planning to pursue her CDA credential. She is a member of Messiah Lutheran Church. We are blessed that she has been a part of our preschool. She does a wonderful job helping the children learn and grow and shares the love of Jesus. She has learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to a 2-year-old as they keep you on your toes! 


    Jessica Pille is our lead teacher in the 3-year-old classroom. She has been at Messiah for 6 years. She has experience in the 2-year-old program and the 3-year-old program.

    She earned her Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC) and attended several additional courses to obtain her Staff Credential. Teaching has always been her passion and she enjoys being in the classroom.

    She feels so thankful to have been given this opportunity to help children grow. She feels, there is no greater joy than watching students enter your classroom and flourish throughout the year. She loves to see their personalities blossom.  What a privilege to encourage them to make friends, thrive, and share the love of Jesus.

  • Laura Brown -LEAD TEACHER VPK

    Laura Brown is our teacher in the VPK classroom.

    She is originally from North Carolina and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Spanish. She spent 5 years teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade before moving to Florida. In addition to working at Messiah Lutheran, she also tutors elementary and middle school students.

    Laura sees every day is an adventure and is so excited to see the children learn new skills and develop their problem-solving abilities throughout the year. One of her favorite parts of the day is playing with the children during center time. In fact, one of her memorable adventures was constructing a cave made from blocks for the play dinosaurs and creating food for them all made from Legos!


    Diane Maritato is our assistant teacher in the three-year-old classrom. She spent 15 years as the Lead VPK teacher, retired for a few years to enjoy time with her family and grandchildren. We feel blessed that she is working with us again as she brings so much experience to the classroom. She loves working with children and helping them grow both academically and in their faith.

  • Trent Carnathan

    Trent Carnathan-Assistant Teacher

    Trent Carnathan is an Assistant Teacher in the two-year-old classroom. She graduated from Florida State University in 2011 and spent two years working as a preschool teacher in Tampa before teaching Elementary Art in the public school system. She holds valid Florida Teaching Certificates in Preschool (Birth-Age 4) and Art K-12.

    Trent believes strongly in learning through play, and that children are most likely to succeed in environments filled with trust, respect, and care.

    Outside of school she loves spending time with her large extended family and pets. She enjoys reading, camping, and working on various art projects.

    This is her first year teaching at Messiah, after a year of being involved as a parent. 

  • Amanda Chenoweth

    Amanda chenoweth-VpK Assistant

    Hi! My name is Miss Amanda and I am excited to be helping in the blue room this year! I enjoy going to the beach, reading, and going fishing with my husband and 4 year old son. We have been in the Tampa area for a little over a year and I am so happy to be a part of the Messiah family! 

our preschool director

Judy Patterson has over 25 years of experience teaching in Christian schools.   Judy has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Concordia University, St. Paul, MN.  She recently moved to Tampa to be the preschool director.

Judy is married to a Lutheran Pastor and is the proud mom of three young men.  She loves reading and going to the beach.  

As the preschool director, Judy loves seeing the children so happy and eager to learn and explore new things. She is grateful to Messiah Lutheran for giving her the opportunity to lead a great preschool with such a dedicated staff, and to share the love of Jesus with all the little children that walk through our doors.