Our Faculty and Staff

Ms. Amber Terry

Hello! I am the Director of First Steps. My husband Jon and I moved to Oconomowoc in 2004.  We have two children Isaiah who attends Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota  and Evelyn who attends Concordia College.

Background and experience: I have a degree in Child Development and over 20 years of experience in early childhood education. I have completed my WELS certification from Martin Luther College. I have a passion for working with children and their families.

About me: I love to be busy! I am a doer and planner. My top 5 strengths are Communication, Achiever, Includer, Woo, and Developer. I strive to live my life by example and take great pride in my experience, faith, and sharing that with the staff and families at First Steps.

As a family, we enjoy: Camping, bike rides, and taking trips to Door County together. 

Fun fact about me: I am the seventh child out of fifteen. My parents were foster parents for over 25 years and through that we cared for hundreds of children. 

My favorite bible verse: Ephesians 2:8″ For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” 

This gift God has given to us all! I love having the opportunity to share that message with our staff, children and families!

Watch My Video

Email: aterry@smls.org

Ms. Megan Fury

Hello! I serve as the Assistant Director of First Steps. I am originally from Houston, TX but fell in love with Wisconsin and its four seasons when I began attending Luther Preparatory School for high school. I am the fourth of six children (3 boys and 3 girls), and we are sprawled all across the US from Wisconsin to Texas to Washington D.C.

Background and experience: I graduated from Martin Luther College in 2018 and received my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Upon graduating, I served for a year as a Director Apprentice at a WELS center in Manhattan, KS.

About me: I am a lifelong learner! I love learning as I travel and experience new things, especially in the great outdoors. I feel like I never lost the enthusiasm to find out something new about God’s creation that I had as a young child. I love watching the fascination of little ones innocently learning about the world around them.

Fun fact about me: I have wanted to be a teacher since I was three years old.

My favorite bible passage: Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

It’s a beautiful life, and it begins when we are just little. God is so good, and I am here to assist you with the beautiful trust God has given you to raise and nurture your child, your children. You don’t need to ever be alone — I am here to assist, all of us at First Steps are here to assist you, to serve you, to build up your child, and to encourage you along the way!

Email: mfury@smls.org

Ms. Trisha Altreuter

Greetings!  I am the PreK Teacher of First Steps.  My husband Kurt and I live in the Watertown area where we built our house in 2001.  We have 2 daughters Haddie and Molly.  Our home church is Emmanuel in Famington.

Background and experience: I majored in Early Childhood Education from WCTC and have taught 4k since 1998. Jesus says, let all the little children learn. I love experiencing the world of 3 and 4 year olds and embellishing on their giant personalities. I hold being a teacher very dear to my heart and find teaching to be one of life’s greatest gifts from our Savior!

As a family we enjoy: Wildlife, DIY projects, gardening, cooking, mornings/evenings on our back porch, and 4H of Jefferson county.

Fun fact about me: I’m a farm girl at heart.  I grew up on a dairy farm and now enjoy sharing responsibilities with Kurt, Haddie and Molly on our small hobby farm.

My favorite bible verse: Psalms 105:1  “O give thanks unto the lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.”

Ms. Emily Lauterbach

Hello! I am the Young 3’s Teacher at First Steps. I attended St.Matthew’s and graduated from UW-Whitewater in 2016 where I pursued a degree of Communication Disorders with an emphasis in Special Education.

Background and experience: I worked as a Summer Camp leader at St.Matthew’s for 3 summers at the old campus. After graduation I worked as a Behavioral Therapist  for children with special needs and started working part time for First Steps when it opened in 2018.

I enjoy: Live music, camping, spending time with my family and friends, playing volleyball in the summer and any kind of DIY project or craft I can get my hands on.

My Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Ms. Meghan Splinter

Hello! I am the 2 Year Teacher at First Steps. I attended St. Matthew’s School, graduated in 2018 from Lakeside Lutheran High School, and currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education from Waukesha County Technical College.

Background and Experience: I was a Summer Fun Day Camp teacher for 2 years at St. Matthew’s old campus.  I have been working at First Steps since it opened in 2018.  I really enjoy being with children and watching them learn and grow in their faith.

I enjoy:  Spending time with my family and friends, being outdoors, raising sheep and playing softball in the summer.  I also enjoy coaching the St. Matthew’s girls B-Team basketball.

Fun Fact: I raise and show sheep throughout the year.

My favorite bible verse: Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” 

Ms. Anna Prost

Hi! I am Toddler Lead Teacher at First Steps. My husband, Morgan, and I recently moved back to Pewaukee with our two daughters, Adelaide and Emelia after living in Doral, FL and Appleton, WI the last two years. We are loving being back closer to family and friends and everything Milwaukee has to offer!

Background and experience: I received my Early Childhood Education degree from Waukesha County Technical College in 2017. Throughout college and after graduation, I’ve had the privilege of teaching at multiple child care centers and preschools in the greater Milwaukee area. The toddler age has always been my favorite to teach. I love watching each child learn and grow through play. Play and reading at that age are so important to their learning and I love basing my teaching around that, and Jesus of course!

I enjoy: Evening walks with my family, leisurely walking through Target, and exploring Milwaukee with my husband

Fun fact about me: I was the toddler teacher at First Steps when the center opened back in 2018. I’m so blessed to be back and in the same classroom again!

My favorite Bible verse: 2 Timothy 3:15 “How from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus”

Ms. Kristal Widmar

Hi! I am the Infant Room  Teacher at First Steps.  My husband, Justin, and I moved to Oconomowoc in 2009 when we were expecting our first son. We wanted to be closer to family since I grew up here and actually went to St. Matthew’s for grade school. We now have 4 children. Jake and Luke go to St. Matthew’s and our twins Noelle and Zach join me at First Steps

Background and Experience: I started working as an assistant teacher here at First Steps in September of 2020, and I’ve worked mostly in the 2 year old room. My older boys went through 4 years of onsite child care at my previous job. That experience combined with everything I’ve learned here so far, has given me a lot of ideas to use in the classroom. It’s great seeing the children learn new skills and interact with their friends, but I love that here we also get to help them grow spiritually!

I enjoy: Running (I’ve done 3 ½ marathons), biking, reading, hiking, and spending time with family and friends

Fun fact about me: Before First Steps, I worked for 16 years in the buying office of a major retailer in various roles and departments. Some of the categories I bought were men’s ties, junior’s clothing, toys during the Frozen craze, and girl’s accessories and pajamas. If you bought matching family jammies in the past few years, I may have picked them out!

My favorite Bible verse: Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ms. Heather Bigelow

Hi! I am the lead teacher for the Nursery room at First Steps.  My husband, Phil, and I moved to Oconomowoc in 2019 when he accepted a call to be the outreach pastor here at St. Matthew’s.  We have three boys, Isaiah, Elijah and Caleb and they are all students here at St. Matthew’s.  Eli and Caleb are twins, not identical, but most people still have trouble telling them apart. 🙂

Background and Experience: I have a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-8) and Early Childhood Education with a Music minor from Martin Luther College. I worked 4 summers at a childcare center during college and taught preschool for a year before being a stay-at-home mom.  Recently I started working again as a teaching assistant before moving to Oconomowoc in 2019 and joining First Steps.

I enjoy: Walking, reading, camping, and music (playing piano, flute and singing)

Fun fact about me:  I have moved 6 times and lived in 3 different states (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan) since I married Phil back in 2003.  

My 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.”

Mr. Tyler Prekop

Hi, I am the lead School Age After School Care teacher and summer camp planner here at First Steps! Our family moved to Watertown in 2020 where my wife is ECE Director at Trinity-St. Luke’s. My wife Keely and I have two children, Marek and Audrey.

Background and experience: I went to school at Martin Luther College for being pastor, but due to chronic migraines and illness at the time was not able to continue at the Seminary.  I have worked and organized camps since high school in 4 different states of varying types and sizes, and have worked child care with ages 2-12 for 3+ years at both Bethlehem in Menomonee falls and here at First Steps. God has surely seen fit to bless me with an opportunity to use my gifts here!

I enjoy: When I’m not with children, I enjoy going to the movies and spending time with my family and friends.

Favorite Bible Verse:  Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  (This was my confirmation passage and also a passage I was blessed to preach on at a Celebration of Life.  Something to remember at all times of our walk through life with God.)