Meet our Staff

Cross of Hope Pre-School Staff

Carmen Vargas

Carmen Vargas

Preschool Ministry Support Specialist

Degrees/Credentials: Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education and an Early Childhood Program Admin Certificate. 

Favorite Bible verse: Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

I love that verse! Change is hard but it’s a big part of this life.The only thing and person that never changes is our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and that gives me such peace. We can be certain that Jesus is eternally trustworthy.  

The early education field is my chosen profession and where my heart is. I have been working with young children for over 25 years. I enjoy sharing the love of Christ with the students we serve. I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful preschool program.


Courtney Knutila

Courtney Knutila

Teacher 4's

Degrees/Credentials: Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Mulitcultural Eductaion, a mentor through CNM mentoring new teachers going in to the field of early childhood eductation

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 37:23-24 “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fail, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” This is my favorite verse because it is the ever present reminder that whatever misstep you make, He will always be there to hold you up.

I began working with preschool age children in 2008 at a local daycare center. I have been at Cross of Hope Preschool since 2015. In searching for a job as a preschool teacher I came across the Cross of Hope Preschool website. I saw that they were hiring lead teachers for their four year old program. As soon as I walked in the doors I felt like it was meant to be. It is obvious to me that it was God’s will for me to be here. COHP is a part of the community I grew up in and I even have friends who attended the preschool many years ago. I feel very blessed to be apart of the school and look forward to the many great things ahead.

Ann Martin

Ann Martin

Teacher 3's and 4's

Degrees/credentials: Associates Degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education, a mentor through CNM mentoring new teachers going into the field of early childhood education

Favorite Bible Verse: Isaiah 41:10 : So do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I love this verse because when I go through a tough time in my life, I know no matter what that the Lord is there for me and I will not go through it alone.

I first came to Cross of Hope as a young mother in MOPS in 1993 when my first child, a son, was 2 years old.  Being a part of MOPS I heard from another mother about how wonderful the preschool was. At that time my second child, a daughter, was four and I was happy to be able to put her in the four year old preschool program. My youngest child, a daughter, was able to attend Cross of Hope Preschool for two years.  For one of those years our wonderful Miss Janna was one of her teachers. I was totally in love with the preschool! I was asked if I would be interested in being a substitute teacher, to which I said “yes”. In 2005 I was asked if I would be interested in applying for the educational assistant position that was opening up in the three year old program the following school year, so I did. The following year I was so blessed by the Lord and this preschool to be asked to become the lead teacher for the three year old program. The Lord gave me a new song in my hear to teach!! I never thought I would be a teacher.  I love what I do and I feel very belssed to be just a little part of these children’s lives!!


Rhonda Cantu

Rhonda Cantu

Educational Assistant

Credentials: New Mexico (CDC) Child Development Certificate for Early Childhood

Favorite Bible Verse:  Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything, tell God what you need, and thank him for all that he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” God holds me by my right hand and He hears my prayer requests. The peace that God gives me comes for praising His name because HE is so good and faithful.

God truly has a plan and purpose for my life by sending me to this wonderful preschool to be a teacher when I was ready to go back to work after being a stay at home mom raising my two sons. While attending church and strengthening my faith, I walk in His grace. I love sowing seeds into the families and sharing God’s great love with these children and preparing them for kindergarten. I enjoy working with my colleagues because they are so much fun. I thank God for this ministry he gave me.


Marisa Lent-Koop

Marisa Lent-Koop

Educational Assistant


Favorite Bible Verse:  


Get in touch with Cross of Hope


Church: (505) 897-0047
Preschool: (505) 899-0928
Elementary: (505) 897-1832


6104 Taylor Ranch Rd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120


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