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Colorful Toys



St. Paul Preschool staff

Karen Strusz, preschool director


Karen is in her 18th year at St. Paul Lutheran Preschool. She attended Winona State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Administration. After several years in the field, Karen decided to pursue her passion for teaching. She taught at Scott Community College in the Early Childhood Program for several years before transitioning to teaching preschool at St. Paul in 2006. After nearly 10 years of teaching, Karen became the Assistant preschool director in 2015 and made the move into the director role in 2017. The best part of the job is fostering the love of learning by making connections and providing children with opportunities to learn about the world around them. St. Paul is a loving and nurturing environment where children can play, explore, and learn surrounded by God’s love.


Kathy Becker, assistant preschool director

Kathy is in her 24th year at St. Paul Lutheran Preschool. She attended Kirkwood Community College, the University of Missouri, and has her Associate Credential in Child Development. Kathy began working at St. Paul Preschool teaching 4-year-olds until she became the Assistant preschool director in 2019. In this leadership role, Kathy loves the connections and relationships she has with an amazing staff, the children, and their families. She feels very strongly the responsibility of ensuring that the student’s first educational experience is a positive one and that both they and their families feel loved and supported. Kathy also loves music. A highlight of her week is leading chapel and singing and dancing with the children.

Staffing requirements

All teaching staff have the following training:


  • Two hours of Iowa's mandatory reporting of child abuse training (renewed every three years)

  • At least one hour of training regarding universal precautions and infectious disease control (renewed yearly)

  • Certifications in infant, child, and adult CPR (renewed every two years) along with training in child and adult first aid (renewed every two years)

  • 13 hours of Passport to Early Childhood Education

  • 12 hours of Essentials Training which includes minimum health and safety training approved by Iowa Health and Human Services.

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