Meet our Pre-K Teachers


Ms. Megan Welsh, Director, Teacher

Ms. Welsh has been at St. Agnes since 2001. She taught 5th, 3rd and 1st grades before becoming Preschool Director, a position she has held since 2016. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Villanova University. Ms. Welsh is currently working on her certification in Orton Gillingham. She lives in Arlington with her husband and their four children.

Mrs. Dawn Timothy, Teacher

This is Mrs. Timothy’s 9th year teaching in the Early Childhood Program at St. Agnes Preschool. Prior to teaching, her career focused on Child Advocacy in the dependency and family courts in Tampa, Florida. She obtained a B.A. in Criminology from the University of South Florida and is an active member of the Virginia Catholic Education Association. Her oldest son, Colin,  graduated from St. Agnes and attends Penn State University, her daughter, Caroline, graduated from St. Agnes and attends The Connelly School of the Holy Child and her youngest daughter, Claire, is currently a 6th grader at St. Agnes. In her spare time, the sandy shore of the beach with her family is a source of complete contentment and fulfillment.

Mrs. Margaret McFadden (Beth), Assistant Teacher

This will be Mrs. McFadden’s eighth year as a Pre-K Teaching Assistant. Prior to that she was a substitute teacher at Faith Lutheran Preschool. She attended Louisiana State University and The Art Institute of Houston, receiving a degree in Visual Communications. Mrs. McFadden came to St. Agnes first as a parishioner and school parent in 1997; all three of her children graduated from St. Agnes, where she was active as a room parent and served as a Girl Scout Leader for nine years.  She considers New Orleans her hometown and loves to visit her friends there whenever she can.

Mrs. Gracelin Emmanuel, Teacher

Mrs. Emmanuel has been teaching at St. Agnes for 23 years, and has been part of the St. Agnes community for 25 years. She has five children, all of whom graduated from St. Agnes. She has been teaching for over 30 years, and was trained as a Montessori teacher. She holds a Master’s of Education in PreK-6th and a Graduate Certificate in Special Education. She has also received training in Orton Gillingham.

Mrs. Ana Penado, Assitant Teacher

Mrs. Ana Penado has more than eight years of professional experience as a food safety manager, where she has helped St. Agnes students of all ages, ranging from Pre-K to 8th grade during their lunchtime.  For the past four years, Mrs. Penado has worked in the Pre-K & Kindergarten extended day program.  She has helped the students with crafts, coloring, reading, music and movement.  This is her first year serving as a teacher assistant in a Pre-K 4 class where she assists in day to day activities helping the teacher and aiding.  She has certifications in Food Allergy and Concussion.  Mrs. Penado is mother to three children, ages seventeen to eleven.

Mrs. Kathleen Hofer, Teacher

Mrs. Kathleen Hofer is beginning her sixth year at St. Agnes. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from George Mason University and a Certificate in Special Education from Marymount University.  ‎Kathleen has worked in diocesan schools for 7 years.  She has served as a lead preschool teacher and instruction assistant as well as a 3rd grade teacher.  Prior to‎ her career in primary education, Kathleen worked at George Mason University as Assistant Director of the Alumni Association and the Assistant Director of the Annual Fund.  Kathleen is also the mom of three St. Agnes graduates.

Mrs. Ana Canales, Assitant Teacher

Mrs. Ana Canales has more than thirteen years of professional experience as a childcare attendant, four of those years specializing in Pre-K and Kindergarten at St. Agnes School. She has worked with students of all ages, ranging from Pre-k to 8th grade. In those thirteen years, she was the team lead for extended day; this is her first year serving as a teacher assistant, where she assists in day to day activities helping the teacher and aiding students prepare materials needed for after-school and classes. She has her certifications in CPR, food & allergy, including MAT and ApplebunTraining. She has lived in North Arlington for nearly 35 years and currently resides in Annandale, VA.

Pre-K Program At A Glance

Our Preschool program encourages the joy of learning in a Catholic environment that nurtures the whole child.  We focus on development in the following areas:

  • social-emotional (which includes spiritual)
  • physical
  • cognitive (including language).

Our program integrates all aspects of a young child’s development in a way that acknowledges their active learning style.  This involves learning through both large and small group settings.  Our four-year-old classes follow two curriculum: Handwriting Without Tears and Sing, Spell, Read and Write.  These fun, hands-on approaches introduce the children to:

  • letter and number recognition and formation
  • language arts
  • early math concepts.

Preschool teachers are trained in Responsive Classroom techniques to foster a strong sense of community. Every day starts with a morning meeting where the children practice greeting one another and sharing and listening. They will also learn to cooperate, converse, help, and negotiate with one another and adults. Through their religious instruction, the children will discover God’s goodness, their own God-given uniqueness, and God’s presence in all that is good and beautiful around them. Above all, they will come to know of God’s presence in themselves, in their families, and in their friends.

Each Preschool class has a full-time teacher and an assistant.  Preschool classrooms are on the lower level of the school, providing a safe environment geared toward our youngest students.

St. Agnes offers the perfect transition from home to school for children age 3 by September 30 in our three-year-old program and children age 4 by September 30 in our four-year-old program.  The three-year-old program is half-day (8 am – 12:15 pm).  The three-year-old students may attend after care (12:15 pm – 3:15 pm) and extended day (3:15 pm – 6 pm).  The four-year old program is full day (8 am – 3:15 pm) with a half day option (8 am – 12:15 pm).  Four-year-old students may attend extended day (3:15 pm – 6 pm).  Aftercare and extended day is housed in Preschool classrooms.

7:50 am – 12:15 pm

  • Circle time and large group sharing
  • Fine and gross motor skill activities
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Sing, Spell, Read & Write
  • Specials classes: Art, Music, PE and Computer
  • Snack
  • Outdoor recess play
  • Imaginary play and free time
  • Small group activities
  • Exploratory play

12:15 pm – 3:15 pm

  • Lunch
  • Rest time and quiet activities
  • Science/Social Studies activities
  • Outdoor recess play
  • Imaginary play and free time
  • Small group activities
  • Exploratory play
  • Specials classes: library