Please meet our Church and ECE staff. It is our privilege to share the love of Christ with you and your family!
Rev. Jeffrey W. King, Senior Pastor
Pastor Jeffrey King is originally from Mississippi and is a lifelong Lutheran. Before moving to Texas in his mid-teens, he thought all Lutheran congregations were small enough to meet in a living room and a typical youth “group” consisted of 2 people. Having moved around the country and seeing Lutheran churches of many sizes and “flavors” he is happy to be singing God’s praises in any setting available. Pastor loves teaching Bible classes and preaching God’s love. He and his wife, Julie met in College Station and have been married for over 16 years. They have two sons. The Kings came to Immanuel in 2013 and look forward to sharing Christ in the Heights for many years to come.
Rev. Claudio Perez Sr. serves as Assistant and Visitation Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. Rev. Perez holds a Teaching Degree from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. Upon graduation, he served at McAllen, Texas, El Buen Pastor congregation as teacher and principal at their school. In 1982, St. Luke congregation in Houston extended a call to him to serve as Director of Education. Then, in 1984, St. John congregation in Houston called him to be their Director of Christian Education. He accepted the call and served St. John as D.C.E. and Vacancy Pastor. In 1996, he entered the Colloquy Program offered by Synod in preparation to enter the pastoral ministry. He was ordained at St. John, who then called him to be their Pastor. In 2004, Immanuel congregation called Rev. Perez to serve as Assistant and Visitation Pastor. Rev. Perez is married to Elisa Perez and they have four adult children.
My name is Cathy Swanstrom, and I have been at Immanuel Lutheran for 19 years. Presently I am the Early Childhood Director, but I was a classroom teacher first. I have taught 2 year-olds, 3 year-olds, 4 year-olds and Kindergarten. Sharing the love of Jesus with children is what I love to do. As the ECE director I am able to share Christ with all of the families in our school.
I have been married to my husband for 14 years and we have 2 children and 1 grandchild.
Karen was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She has been a member of Immanuel her entire life and attended the Immanuel grade school. She began working at Immanuel part-time when her children were attending school here, and went to full-time eleven years ago. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and volunteering with The Friends of Down Syndrome.
Connie was born in Ashtabula, Ohio and moved to Texas to pursue a Master’s degree from UH Clearlake. One of her daughters started with the Immanuel School in 1996, leading her and her family to become members of the Church. Connie was a member of the School Board for four years and started to help out in the office part-time, which turned in to a full-time opportunity. Ten years later, she is still having fun meeting all of the children and families that choose Immanuel for their early school years. Connie is married with two children and two grandchildren. She and her family enjoy spending the weekends camping and enjoy a RV road trip to Ohio every year to visit her Dad and sister. She and her husband recently started listing the RV on Airbnb which has introduced them to so many different people from around the world.
Cheryl Kramer is a native Houstonian. She married Chris, her husband of 43 years. They have two children, 5 grandchildren and two dogs. When not working as the bookkeeper at Immanuel Lutheran Church she’s gardening, dancing or enjoying theatre and the symphony. She loves working at Immanuel and is looking forward to many more years.
I am Randi Budwit, and have been at ILC since 2012. I began working as an aide in the three year old program and extended daycare. I then worked as an aide in the toddler program. I have been teaching two year olds since 2015.
I am married to Peter Budwit and have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. I was a music/flute major in college and love teaching music to children. I love Bible study and worship music.
April Cagle was born and raised in Alvin Texas but she has always been a city girl. Moving to Houston after High School she has had some diverse careers. April worked in the independent film industry where she met her husband Wyatt. She also served as the Wardrobe Supervisor for the Houston Grand Opera for five seasons. In 2015, searching for a school for her son, Leo, she discovered Immanuel. It didn’t take her long to fall in love with the school and the staff. Shortly after Leo started school, April began working in the Toddler room. She loves the small town feel Immanuel embodies right in the heart of Houston. April looks forward to many years of teaching the youth of the Heights their ABCs and all about Jesus.
Mrs. Audrey Cooper is a Native Texan and teaches our 3-year olds here at Immanuel Lutheran. She has been teaching with us since 2010. Ms. Audrey has been married to her best friend, Robert Cooper, for 10 years and they have one son named Anthony.
Ms. Audrey loves working at Immanuel. She says “it gives her an opportunity to share her faith in God with both the students she teaches and their families”. Her favorite bible verse is “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Naomi Davis was born and raised in Florida. She is divorced and the mother of two adult daughters. Naomi was brought up in the Baptist Church, presently attending Holy Cross Lutheran, Lakewood Church, Triumphant Church and Seven Mile Ministries.
Her experience from medical to child-care, brought her to Immanuel Lutheran ECE in August of 2016. It is Naomi’s mission to bring Jesus, A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 to our future.
Ashlee was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She has been a member of Immanuel Lutheran from birth. She has been working for Immanuel’s ECE for three years and caring for children for ten years.
Hayley Huckleberry was born and raised here in Houston, TX. She and her loving husband Andrew have been blessed with a daughter, who is in the Pre-K program here at Immanuel. Hayley enjoys teaching our three-year-olds. Before coming to Immanuel, she gathered her knowledge and love for education from her family of teachers, and working for Klein ISD as a Special Education Para Professional. Her career expertise began at Eiland Elementary in the Early Childhood program for 3 years. She was then placed at Nitsch Elementary to work in the kindergarten through 5th grade Special Education classes. Haley enjoys helping the teachers she works with to further nurture children’s faith and love for our Lord and Savior as well as for their early development and learning. Hayley’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13, “For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
My name is Stephanie Kasper. Childhood is full of thrilling new experiences which we, as parents and teachers, relive through the eyes and laughter of our children. I started here at Immanuel teaching our two-year-olds, who’s enthusiasm and energy is extraordinary. I now teach one of our prekindergarten classes, and love guiding them on the beginning of their journey to lifelong learning.
This is my third year teaching Two-Year-Old Mother’s Day Out at Immanuel. Before teaching here, I taught English and theatre arts for eleven years at Bellville High School in Bellville, Texas. My experience as a theatre teacher allowed me to work with and entertain children of all ages. I’m married and have two children, Kate (five years old) and Kai (seven years old). My son attended Immanuel for four years and this is Kate’s third year here. As a parent, I can say that Immanuel provides a nurturing and supportive environment in which your son or daughter will truly thrive. When I’m not working with children, I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with my family.
Joan Luker is from Taylor, Texas, and she is presently in her 25th year of teaching in Lutheran schools. She has a BS degree in education for grades K – 12, with a major in math and a minor in English Literature from Concordia Teachers’ College in Seward, Nebraska. She began her teaching experience at St. John Lutheran School in Denver, Colorado before receiving a call to St. Mark Lutheran School in Houston. While teaching at St. Mark, Joan met her husband, David, and they have been married for 34 years with two children, Geoff (28) and Heidi (26.)
Most of Joan’s teaching career has been teaching math and English to middle school aged children, however, she is now in her 3rd year of teaching Pre-Kindergarten here at Immanuel. Joan has been at Immanuel since the year 2000.
Estela Machuca, moved to Houston around ten years ago from the bay area in California. I’m currently a toddler teacher for ILC, and it has been a wonderful experience. I have four children three of which currently live in California. I have about 20 years of experience working as an educator both in Texas and California. My favorite pastimes are reading, going on walks, and listening to music while working in my garden.
Winnie McNamara is a native Houstonian raised just outside the Heights proper. In fact, she will tell you that she and her brother used to play basketball in our parking lot when she was a kid. Winnie has worked at Immanuel since 2010, but has been associated with Immanuel and Bethany Lutheran churches for more than 50 years. Some of her ancestors were members of the first Lutheran churches in Texas located at Shelby and Berlin near Brenham. Her daughter, Robin, is an Immanuel graduate. Winnie works with our two-year-olds. She loves teaching this age! “It is amazing to be part of the transformation that occurs between ages two and three. Children at this age are so curious. They want to know about everything in God’s creation. It is my privilege to be part of such a wondrous time in their lives.” Winnie does volunteer work with the Houston Area Women’s Center, Friends of Down Syndrome Academy – Houston and Heights Interfaith Ministries Food Pantry. Her hobbies include genealogy, Texas history and helping to repopulate the vanishing Monarch butterfly.
Ms. Megan Moynagh is originally from Holden, Massachusetts. Her Educational background consists of Graduating from a Vocational high school in 2000 and studied Early Child Care and Development. She then got her Associates degree in Human Health Services in 2004, and A Bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in Theater and minored in Art media/history in 2007. In 2010 she moved to Houston Texas to explore opportunities that would expand her horizons from living in a small town to living in a large city. Ms. Megan has been working with young children for 6 years in varies settings from Theaters, to museums, to the classrooms. She joys teaching young children because their curiosity and eagerness to learn makes you patient to teach them the things that you have a desire of. At ILC Ms. Megan teaches the Mother’s Day Out three-year-old class. For her every day is a new adventure and new opportunities to learn and grow. She is new to the ILC family being at the school for less than a year, but looks forward to many happy years at the school and teaching new generation of young children about creativity, exploring, learning and love.
Paloma Rey is a native Houstonian and the second youngest of six siblings. She is
the mother of Nathan (10), and Nadeline is (9). Although, Paloma is new to
Immanuel, she has been working with young children for nine years. Paloma
loves teaching the children and watching them grow. In her spare time she loves
exercising, reading books and going to the movies.