St. Luke Lutheran Church &
Early Childhood Center
Dix Hills, NY 11746
(631) 499-8656
Rev. Dr. Roy W. Minnix, Pastor

St. Luke Lutheran Church & Early Childhood Center

Meet the Preschool Staff

Beth Krass - Director

Beth Krass comes to St. Luke Preschool and Child Care Center from Trinity Lutheran School in Hicksville, NY. Beth served as a lead three year old teacher and director during her 13 years at Trinity. Beth received her undergraduate degree from SUNY @ Stony Brook and attended Adelphi University for her graduate work in Early Childhood Education.

Beth feels extremely blessed to have been invited to serve as the preschool director at St. Luke, overseeing and supervising all of the daily activities. One of Beth’s goals as the director is to ensure that the preschool environment is safe, fun, nurturing, positive and always Christ-centered.

Beth grew up on the south shore of Long Island and currently lives in Williston Park with her husband,  two of her three children and numerous pets.  Beth is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Williston Park where she has served as a VBS instructor, played in the bell choir and maintains an Adopt-A-Garden. She enjoys reading, gardening, swimming and traveling. Beth is always open to experiencing new adventures!

Kathy von Thaden
Kathy has been working at St. Luke Preschool for the past 5 school years and enjoys her position as Office Manager.  She feels blessed to work with such a wonderful staff that  she calls St. Luke her second “family”!   Kathy is married, has three married children and two grandchildren.  When not working, Kathy enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.  She also likes to work on all different kinds of craft projects

Amy Rogener

My name is Amy Rogener and I am proud and honored to be a teacher at St. Luke for 21 years and an educator for the past 30 years.  I earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Hofstra University, a Master of Art from Stony Brook University along with many hours of professional development courses in Early Childhood Education.


I am married to my wonderful husband, Charlie for 35 years and adore my two adult sons, Charly and John.  My family and I are members of St. Luke Lutheran Church and have been helping children and their families grow in God's love.


I extend my love of children and God while teaching at St. Luke Preschool and Early Childhood Center.  I am committed to sharing and providing an environment that supports a child's creativity, self esteem, love of learning, exploring, discovering and growing in God's world!  


I look forward to being a part of your child's learning and academic experience here at St. Luke. 

Maria Wade

Mrs. Wade has been at St. Luke Preschool since 2002. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood from Farmingdale University. She continued her education at St. Joseph’s College.


Mrs. Wade lives in Commack with her husband John, her two daughters Alex and Sammi and her dogs Oreo and Phoebe. Both Alex and Sammi attended St. Luke. As a parent Mrs. Wade loved St. Luke and was sad when her youngest daughter Sammi was graduating Pre-K. She didn’t want to leave St. Luke. That summer she was offered an assistant teaching position in the Learn and Play class. She was thrilled to stay in preschool while her daughter moved on to kindergarten.


Today Mrs. Wade is a Head Teacher in the three year old program. Her love and passion for early childhood education shines through in her classroom. She has described St. Luke as “Disneyland” and feels blessed to work in an environment where she can make a difference in a child’s life.

Laura Bruno

Hi! My name is Laura Bruno. I've been teaching Pre-K at St. Luke Preschool for three years.  I previously taught in the Pre-K, three year old and Mommy and Me programs at Hicksville Nursery School. I graduated with a BA from Hofstra University and studied special education in graduate studies. 


I have four children, and my youngest attended St. Luke Preschool.  I fell in love with the school the day my son began Learn and Play.  The teachers are loving and nurturing, and care for your child as if they were their own. It is a wonderful place for a child's first school experience.  I've experienced the joy of being a parent at St. Luke and now it continues by working here as a teacher.  

Diann Lastihenos has been teaching at St. Luke since 2010. She is a Certified NY State teacher with a BS in N-6 Education from Concordia University. She is a certified Lutheran teacher and has a Master’s degree in Special Education from C.W. Post. Diann is also certified through the Concordia University system as a Lutheran teacher. Diann’s previous work experience includes teaching Kindergarten at Trinity School of Hicksville, New York and K-2 at Locust Valley Public School District.

Diann has worked with our Four year old program as well as teaching the Three year old and Mommy and Me classes. St. Luke is her home away from home, as it is her church family as well. She says, "St. Luke is like family, warm and welcoming! Just a happy, loving, caring place to be!" 

Diann is married with 4 children and lives in Dix Hills. Her hobbies include Yoga, raising Shubunkin goldfish, caring for her bunny and growing Bonsai and Lavender plants.

Annemarie Sabatino

I have a BS in Elementary Education from Queens College with a minor in Behavioral Sciences.   I taught in the NYC public schools for eight years prior to the birth of my twin girls.  I also taught grade 2  in a catholic school, an evening  Adult Education ESL program and a program for learning disabled adults in NYC.

I have been married for 23 years to Dominick.  We have three children: Arianna and Olivia are our identical twins who are 18 years old, graduates of HHH high School West who currently attend  Washington College in Maryland playing soccer for their team.  Our son Dante is an 8th grade athlete at Candlewood middle school, an NJHS member, a JDRF Youth Ambassador and a proud graduate of St Luke Preschool! 

I began teaching at St Luke in September 2007 once Dante went off to Kindergarten at Otsego elementary.  I obtained a classroom position in September of 2008 and grow more delighted to teach at St Luke with each passing year.  I was blessed to be a parent of St Luke and found the same embracing, faith enriching atmosphere on both sides of the classroom door.  I consider it a blessing to give to the younger parents today the very gifts I received from my son’s teachers at St Luke.   My favorite saying is, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  I am proud to be part of the ‘St Luke village’ and to partner up with our St Luke parents to provide the most developmentally nourishing environment for their children.

When I am not at St Luke, I enjoy baking, cooking, reading, gardening, playing with our two young dogs, and watching my three favorite athletes on the soccer fields, basketball courts and baseball fields.  

Cynda Renaldo

My name is Cynda Renaldo and I have been a teacher at St. Luke for 10 years! I've taught at every age level but I especially love teaching our sweet 3 yr olds on Tuesdays and Thursday's. In addition to that I teach our Fun with Movement enrichment class on Wednesdays. 


I discovered my love of teaching about 15 yrs ago after being a stay at home mom with my two sons. I worked at Gymboree for several years, and then was convinced by Mrs. Wade that St. Luke was where I really belonged. Boy , was she right! It's the best decision I've ever made! St. Luke is a very special place to work thanks to our supportive staff, and of course because of our wonderful St. Luke families. 


I've lived in Commack with my husband Angelo, sons Brian and Scott and two dogs Penny and Belle for over 20 years. 

Nancy Pisano

Hello my name is Nancy Pisano. I am in my 14th year at St. Luke Preschool. For the past 6 years I have been an assistant teacher in the 3 year old program. Prior to that, I was an assistant in the four year old program. I have led Art and Science Enrichments for 14 years.  I enjoy telling others that " my two boys graduated St Luke, but I never left!"  I went back to school and received my CDA in Early Childhood. The ministry of St Luke Preschool drew me in and I feel fortunate to be a continuing part of it. Every September is a new adventure I look forward to.

Christine Konfino

Mrs. Konfino graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University, CW Post campus.   Mrs. Konfino has a wonderful husband Ben.  They have been married 20 years.  They are blessed with three beautiful daughters, Katie (a freshman at Fordham University), Megan (a junior at Commack High School) and Olivia (a seventh grader in Commack Middle School and an alumni of St. Luke Preschool).


Some of Mrs. Konfino’s hobbies include gardening, reading and spending time with her family and friends (preferably at the beach). Mrs. Konfino was lucky enough and blessed to help care for her 91 year old dad, a decorated, ex-prisoner of WWII, who just recently passed away.


Mrs. Konfino loves teaching Learn and Play classes and is excited each September to greet the new families with the same warmth that was extended to the Konfino family when they came to St. Luke.


Gina Morrissey

Gina Morrissey has been teaching the 3 year program at St. Luke for eight years. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education from The State University of Old Westbury. She started working at St. Luke, after her youngest child attended the 3 year old program. Watching the children mature from curious toddlers to confident Pre-Kindergarteners is one of the many rewards Gina enjoys working at St. Luke.

Gina is married and has a blended family with 6 children. She volunteers for Lean on Me, a non profit organization, giving support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

In her spare time, Gina enjoys reading, cooking and music.