Preschool Faculty

Mrs. Beth Burke

Mrs. Burke has spent the past ten years working in early childhood education first as a preschool teacher for ages 3 – Junior Kindergarten and the past four years as a preschool director. As a graduate of Mary Washington College in History and Secondary Education, she began her early years in education as a High School history teacher. She has also had the opportunity to work in the private sector for several years managing a variety of educational programs and writing supporting curriculum. Mrs. Burke is the proud mom of three boys. Her youngest will be an 8th grader at St. Louis, and her older two boys attend Bishop Ireton. It was with the arrival of her own children that she discovered her true passion and love of early childhood education. Mrs. Burke looks forward to continuing the partnership with both staff and parents to create a loving, nurturing, safe, and supportive learning environment for your children.

Three's Classes and Teaching Team (Lambs and Monkeys)
Mrs. Kate Larrabee
We are excited to have Mrs. Larrabee leading our Monkey and Lamb classes this year! This is Mrs. Larrabee’s 4th year working within the program and 3rd year being a lead teacher in our 3’s classroom. With a degree in English literature from Auburn University and a VCEA license, Mrs. Larrabee supports our preschool’s early literacy program, and she looks forward to exploring all the movement, creativity and social-emotional development that comes with being with our littlest learners. As a military spouse, Mrs. Larrabee is happy to have found a home at St. Louis School and grateful for the roots her own children (3 current students and one alumni!) have been able to put down in this special place.

Mrs. Mary Apaza
Mrs. Apaza will join Mrs. Larrabee for her second year in the Monkey class sharing her loving and warm demeanor with her students. Along with her teaching duties, Mrs. Apaza will continue to serve as our lead Lunch Bunch teacher for the preschool program. Mrs. Apaza has taught in our EDC program for the past nine years as well as worked as a substitute teacher in both Lunch Bunch and Preschool classes for the past six years. She is fluent in Spanish, which is a great asset to the diverse community we serve. Mrs. Apaza has a nursing degree from her home country of Peru and is a proud mom of a 14 year old daughter who will be a freshmen at Bishop Ireton this fall.

Mrs. Lingling Valle
Mrs. Valle is excited to join Mrs. Larrabee in the Lambs class this year. Last year, she worked as a substitute teacher with the preschool, and helped out during Lunch Bunch and enrichment classes. Before moving to Virginia, Mrs. Valle worked as an English Language Arts and homeroom teacher for eleven years before retiring early to raise a family. She now has two young children, with her eldest currently in St. Louis. She is thrilled to return to the classroom and spread her love for learning with the preschoolers.

Four's Classes and Teaching Team (Zebras and Pandas)
Mrs. Bridget Flaaen 
Mrs. Flaaen is excited to serve as our lead Zebras teacher again! She began teaching at St. Louis Preschool 8 years ago as the music teacher. She shares her experience, creativity, warmth, and positive energy with our little ones and staff alike. She has a degree in music education with a concentration in voice from the University of South Carolina, and she holds a teaching license for music education (grades preK-12) by the Virginia Board of Education. She brings 15 years of preK-8 general music and choral instruction to our classroom, having also taught in Fairfax County and Ann Arbor, MI public schools. Mrs. Flaaen is not only a compassionate and enthusiastic teacher, but also a proud St. Louis School Alumni (class of 1998), and parent of three St. Louis school students (McKenna, 7th grade; Ben, 3rd grade; and Maura; a fellow Zebra!).


Mrs. Juliette Theroux
Mrs. Theroux grew up in Belgium, holds degrees in Humanities, International Health and Nursing, and has worked in the fields of international exchange programming, hospice and public health education. She has experience working with young children as a preschool teacher at St. Louis Catholic School and Plymouth Haven Christian Preschool, a volunteer in local public elementary schools, a Scout troop leader, and a pianist for the St. Mary’s Children’s Choir. She and her husband, Conrad (a Coast Guard veteran) have five children (ages 10, 12, 13, 14 and 17) — the youngest three at St. Louis, and the oldest two at Bishop Ireton and West Potomac. Mrs. Theroux is thrilled to be leading the Pandas class, and looks forward to working with all of your precious children!

Mrs. Sandra Avery
Mrs. Avery is thrilled to be once again joining Mrs. Flaaen in the Zebras Class and Mrs. Theroux in the Pandas class! Mrs. Avery brings seven years of experience working with three-year-olds at a Catholic preschool in Maryland, along with her three years of experience at St. Louis in our Monkey, Zebra, and Panda classrooms and previously as a substitute teacher and helper in the cafeteria. She is excited to share her classroom experience and wonderful energy with our fours program. Born in Italy, Mrs. Avery speaks several languages and can’t wait to share her love of language with our little ones. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Avery is also a mother of two sons.