Our Teachers & Staff

Our Directors

Michelle Pearson, SEED Director

Rachel Blair, SEED Assistant Director

Michelle was born in Lansing, Michigan, but has lived in Aiken for most of her life. She and her husband, Barry, have three married children and eight grandchildren. To her, the best aspect of being the Director is watching the children laugh and learn while sharing the love of Jesus Christ with them. She has been on the staff at St. John's since 1995. 
Rachel has been a long time member of St. John’s. She was born and raised in Aiken and is an alumni of the University of South Carolina Aiken where she received her Bachelors in Business Administration. Rachel has two daughters who have both attended and completed the SEED program here at St. John’s. Rachel and her husband, Dusty, love watching their girls grow their faith and love for Jesus Christ through the children’s ministry here at St. John’s. 

Blooms- 5k

Jennifer Wilson, 5k Teacher

Jennifer has taught for many years and loves it.  She is married with two grown children and 5 grandchildren.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood from Old Dominion and William and Mary.  Jennifer has a Master's from Southern Wesleyan.  She is a huge animal lover.  Her friends call her St. Francis.  Jennifer and her husband are member's of St. John's United Methodist and she is thrilled to teach kindergarten for the SEED program.

Andrea Smith,  Classroom Aide

Katie Yaeger,  Classroom Aide

Andrea Smith, a native Clemson girl, lives in Aiken with her husband Jason and twin daughters Blakely and Blaire. She graduated with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education and has a Masters degree in Educational Leadership. She taught for several years before taking a break from teaching when she had her daughters, but is back and is excited to be teaching Kindergarten at St. Johns this school year! Andrea also works at Carolina Dance Studio as a dance teacher and in her spare time, enjoys watching her girls dance and play sports!
Katie was born in New York where she received her Bachelors in Mathematics and Masters in Education. She has taught High School Mathematics for the past 10 years including both Spring Valley HS in Columbia and South Aiken HS. She is excited to be joining the kindergarten team as her two boys, Owen and Caden, will be attending the SEED program this year.

Sprouts- 4k

Melissa Patterson, 4 Day Teacher

Elaine Ray, Classroom Aide

Melissa was born in Indianapolis, IN but has spent most of her life in North Carolina.  She moved to Aiken 10  years ago.  Melissa has been married to Tommy for 24 years and they have 3 children, Zachary, Connor and Emory.  She loves watching the children learn, grow and explore! 
Elaine is originally from Pennsylvania and has lived in Aiken for over 30 years.  She and her husband, Joel, have a daughter and two sons.  On the St. John's staff since 1998, Elaine continues to enjoy watching the children learn and grow.  She can't imagine a better place to be. 

Ashleigh Whittle, 5 Day Teacher

Anna Macdonald, Classroom Aide

Ashleigh lives on a farm in New Holland. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Chris. They have 2 children, Madee and Noah.  Ashleigh loves to teach because she enjoys seeing a child’s eyes light up when they master a new task for the first time. She believes teaching is a calling, and she loves to serve Him. 
Anna is originally from Manchester UK, but has lived in the USA since 1998. She has two children and a wonderful husband who is a chef! This is her seventh year as a 4K aide here at St John’s and she feels so blessed to be part of this fabulous SEED program. In Anna’s spare time, she loves working in her yard and all things equestrian! 

Haley Freeman, 5 Day Teacher

April Doane, Classroom Aide

Haley graduated from the University of South Carolina Aiken in 2016. Haley has two daughters who have both attended the SEED program.  She enjoys spending time with her family, camping, and teaching. Haley feels blessed to be a part of this program because she is able to do what she loves most, teach young children in a Christ-centered environment.
April began working with St. John's SEED in August of 2022.  She has two young children who both attend the SEED program.  She enjoys seeing the growth in the children from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.  April is excited to work with the next group of children that come through the program. 

Buds- 3k

Mary Gail Staubs,  3k Teacher

Angela Vandergrift, Classroom Aide

Mary Staubs is the 3K teacher at St. John’s. She has been with the SEED staff since 1991 and enjoys helping children learn through play and interactive skills. She loves seeing God work in their little lives. Mary and her husband and have 4 children and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys the beach, thrift shopping and spending time with her loving family. Mary believes showing Christ’s love through the way we live our lives is the most powerful witness we can have. 
Angela was born and raised in the Graniteville area. She currently lives in North Augusta with her husband Scott and two sons Kyle and Nathan. She loves Clemson football, shopping, going to the lake and spending time with her family. Angela has been with St. John’s SEED since 2017. She loves watching the kids learn and grow. Angela also loves the excitement on their faces everyday when they come in the room. She feels so blessed to work here with all the wonderful people at St. John’s. 

Natalie Jones,  3k Teacher

Lisa Langford, Classroom Aide

Natalie was born in West Virginia and moved to Aiken in 1990. She previously worked in accounting, but her move to Aiken presented her the opportunity to work in childcare. Natalie has been with St. John’s since 2004 and she has loved every minute of it.  Natalie is married with one daughter and three amazing grandchildren, Aaliyah, Christopher and Robert. Her family enjoys taking their camper to the beach and lake for family fun and memories.   During her time at St. John’s she has met many great people and families. To Natalie, St. John’s SEED program is a true family. 
Lisa was born is Seattle, Washington and moved to Aiken with her parents in 1987. An alumni of USC, Lisa graduated with a degree in Accounting & Management. She has been married to Jeff since 1995. They have a daughter who attended and flourished in the SEED program. Lisa has been working with SEED since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, helping with FOTAS, pickleball, birdwatching, crafting and walking the dog. She has a compassion for helping kids learn and grow; she is looking forward to teaching your children this year.

Pods- 2k

Brandi Foster,  2k Teacher

Dixie Hardee, 2k Teacher

Brandi was born and raised in Aiken. She and her husband Darren have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Brandi looks forward to all the new and fun things we will learn each year. She has been on staff since 2002. 
Dixie was born in Spartanburg and raised in Inman, SC. She Moved to Aiken in 2013. She and her husband Tim have 6 children and 2 grandchildren. She considers it a blessing to be able to come to work and be surrounded by all the smiling faces of Gods miracles. 

Pods- Nursery/Toddlers

Rae Felix, Nursery Teacher

Anna Lyons, NurseryTeacher

Rae has been working with babies and toddlers for over 25 years.  Caring for these ages, watching them grow and change so rapidly, is still amazing!  Rae is originally from Kansas and has lived in Aiken for over 35 years.  She and her husband have two grown sons, a daughter in love and one grand dog. They welcomed their first grandchild into the family this past year.   Rae and her growing family enjoy watching and attending Braves baseball games, outdoor activities, and traveling. 
Anna was born and raised in Aiken, SC.   She and her husband have two daughters, Baylee and Oaklee, who have both attended the SEED program.  She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.  Anna looks forward to watching how the babies learn and grow.  

Sandra Belcher, Toddlers Teacher

Stephanie Gagnon, Toddlers Teacher

Sandra was born and raised in Lima, Peru.  She moved to Aiken in 1980 where she met her husband, Norman.  Together they have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.  She enjoys spending time with family, knitting and going to the beach.  She is excited to be a part of the SEED program in the Toddler Room.  Sandra also teaches Spanish to our Kindergarten class weekly.  
Stephanie was born and raised in Aiken, SC.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and their two dogs.  Stephanie loves traveling to watch the Braves play.  She is excited for all the new faces to the toddler room this year.  


Patsy Flowers, Music Teacher

Patsy is an Aikenite having been born, reared, and educated in Aiken. She and her late husband, Neil, worked with the youth of St. John's and Patsy directed the children and youth choirs for many years. Patsy taught 4K for St. John’s preschool for 35+years as well as being the music teacher, which she continues to do. She also is currently the pianist and choir director at St. Paul's UMC. She has one son, Scott, and daughter in law, Summer, and one grandson Bennett  and one granddaughter Carly Ann - her most wonderful blessings! One of Patsy's greatest joys is getting to share her love of music with children. "I love children and I love music - it's a perfect fit! I am so blessed."