Michelle Abbott attended Baylor University where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music History and Literature. In 2017, she completed a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Arizona State University. Michelle lived in California, Texas, and Washington before moving to Arizona in 2007. Michelle has been married to her husband Josh since 2000 and they have two daughters, Grace and Mercy, who both attend Gilbert Christian Schools. The Abbott family attends Christ Church in Gilbert.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
Scott has earned a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Mathematics Education. He has over 34 years of teaching experience at the high school and college level. When not teaching math, Scott enjoys family time, working out, playing pickleball, and golf. Scott is married and has four married children, two grandchildren, and a foster son. Scott is one of the elders of a home church with locations in the East Valley and Casa Grande. He began working at Gilbert Christian Schools in 2021.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Shannon Albert received a Bachelors of Social Science at Azusa Pacific University in 2002. She began teaching in 2002, but took a long break and began subbing off and on again since 2013. She also loves the being at the beach with family, making homemade chocolate and reading. Shannon and her family attend Redemption Gilbert. Shannon has been married to Jared for 17 years and has two sons who attend GCS. Ethan who is in 9th grade and Brady is in 7th. She has been a part of GCS staff since 2015.
Philippians 4:8 has been one of her favorite verses since she was in high school. “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think on these things.”
Joanna has her BAE in Elementary and in Special Education along with an ESL Endorsement. She is also C.L.I.P. Trained (Reading Recovery). Her experience involves 4 years of teaching Sp. Ed in Tempe, AZ, 5 years teaching Elementary Ed. (grades K-3) in Tempe, 1-year teaching 1st grade in Mansfield, TX, and 2 and a half years homeschooling her children in Queen Creek. Joanna is a native Arizonian and has spent the last 2 and a half years homeschooling so that the family could travel. Her favorite place is to be with family and friends at their cabin in the White Mountains. Joanna met her husband Mark in school and have been friends since 1975. They went to kindergarten together and have now been married for over 15 years. They have 3 children: Avery, Caden, and Tessa who all attend Gilbert Chrisitan Schools. The whole family worships at Sun Valley Community Church where Joanna and Mark have served as mentors for engaged/pre-engaged couples. Joanna became a part of our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Mrs. Avery graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Western Baptist College in Oregon with an emphasis on Bible and music. She has taught grades PreK-3rd for over 20 years most of which in Christian schools. Mrs.Avery is excited to help students relate the Word to their lives. She enjoys getting to know the students and their families. She attends Grace City and serves in leading worship. She’s been married since 1990, and her twins graduate in 2020 from Gilbert Christian High School. She loves to plan vacations and of course go on them!
My name is Melissa Baker, and I am honored to be a part of the Gilbert Christian School family. I am from Ohio but have lived in Arizona for most of my life. I graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. I have been married for 15 years and have been blessed with two beautiful girls ages 18 and 12, one of which has special needs. This is my fourth year of teaching and I am very excited to be used by God in fulfilling my passion. In my spare time, I love to go camping and hiking and am an avid reader and writer. One day, I hope to be able to publish a book. My husband and I are members of Family of Faith Fellowship in Queen Creek where I serve as the Children’s Ministry Director. I believe that academic excellence is an expression of worship of our Almighty God. Each child is an expression of God’s principle of individuality. Students are seen as individuals created in God’s image, unique and possessing certain gifts and qualities that set them apart from all others. My purpose in teaching is to creatively identify my students’ gifts and abilities and have them apply these for the Kingdom. I desire for my students to be immersed in modeling God’s love as they work diligently through each subject. It is my role as an educator to address the ‘whole child’ by providing instruction, opportunity, and setting an example in loving God, loving our neighbors, developing a prayer life, embracing the Great Commission, and walking in purity in our thoughts and actions.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12
In 2018, Joy graduated from Spring Arbor University with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood. She student taught in a second-grade classroom and preschool classroom after graduation. She has been working in preschool centers since then. Joy is from Michigan! She loves being outside especially near the ocean or the mountains. She loves listening to music, watching movies, being alive outside, and being with her friends and family. Joy currently attends Mission Community Church. Joy comes from a family of educators. Both her parents taught at the Christian school she attended from preschool to senior year. She has a brother who lives in Virginia and a sister who is a teacher here in the chandler school district. Joy has 5 nephews–3 of the 5 live in Virginia and the other 2 live here in Gilbert. Joy started at GCS in the fall of 2020.
“Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? Who gives the ibis wisdom or gives ibis wisdom or gives the rooster understanding? Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens?” Job 38:35-37
Betz ’17, Claudia
Claudia graduated from Grand Canyon University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She completed her student teaching in the Gilbert Public School District and is thrilled to continue her education journey at GCS. Claudia is a GCS alum and attended from kindergarten to senior year of high school. She is so grateful to be a part of the GCS family where Christ is the center of everything that we do. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys time with her family and friends, traveling, and spending time outdoors. Claudia attends Christ Church Central Phoenix and enjoys serving in the children’s ministry. She began teaching at GCS in the fall of 2021. She feels so blessed to be a part of the GCS community with opportunities to point her students towards Christ every day.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Alumni:Class of 2017
Ricky graduated from Grand Canyon University in December of 2015, with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis in Biblical Studies. Ricky is currently attending Phoenix Seminary. He will be graduating with his Master’s of Divinity in May of 2021. Ricky loves playing basketball and golf. Ricky also enjoys snowboarding, hiking, camping, and many other outdoor activities. He and his wife Erica have been married since 2017 and currently attend Desert Hills Bible Church. Ricky has been a part of the GCS teaching staff since 2020.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
I grew up in Tucson and graduated from Tucson High School in 1967. Shortly after that, I joined the Navy and spent four-plus years on Navy bases in northern California and Guam working on aircraft. After completing military service, I worked for Seven-Up Bottling in Tucson for three years. Upon feeling the tugging of the Holy Spirit to enter full-time ministry, I moved our family to California in 1975 to attend Bible college. After graduation, I joined a church staff as the worship and counseling pastor. In 1983, God led me to help start a Christian school in south Orange County. We began with 38 students and eventually grew to over 600. I retired in June of 2015 after 32 years as the assistant superintendent, and we moved to Queen Creek to be near our youngest grandchildren. In September of 2016, I was offered the position as Future Families Liaison and joyfully accepted the position. I love assisting families in their search for the best Christian education for their children!! My wife and I have been married for 50+ years, and we have two grown children and seven grandchildren…and the youngest two are enrolled in Gilbert Christian!
Kelly Boggs graduated from Asbury University, a Christian college in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2001 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Middle School Education with an emphasis in English and social studies. Over the years Mrs. Boggs has taught English in grades 7-9 since 2001 in both Christian and public schools with a few years of substitute teaching in between while her daughters were young. Her family moved to Arizona from the Buckeye state in the summer of 2018, and she homeschooled her daughters in their year of transition before teaching at GCS. Kelly loves to read all kinds of books, enjoys traveling when she can get away, and can be found playing cards and board games with her family in most of her free time at home. She and her family worship at Life Link Church in Gilbert, and she and her husband currently serve in the greeters ministry. She has been married since 2003 to Chris Boggs and has two beautiful daughters, Charis and Gianna, who also attend Gilbert Christian. Mrs. Boggs began teaching at GCS in 2019.
“Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord Himself and not merely for others.” Colossians 3:23 (The Message)
Tammy received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and a Masters of Education with Distinction from Northern Arizona University emphasizing curriculum and instruction. She carries certifications in Structured English Immersion (SEI), Logic of English, Facilitative Leadership, and Gifted Education. Tammy has taught first, third and fifth grades in the Chandler Unified School District as well as BASIS.ed in Chandler. She has served in administration as the kindergarten through seventh-grade Director of Student Affairs for the past five years. Her responsibilities as the Director were to oversee the well-being of the student body, create and cultivate a positive school culture, mentor and professionally develop teachers, as well as lead the Student Support Department through academic, social/emotional, and behavioral support. In her spare time, Tammy enjoys baking. She is determined to perfect the tasty and delicate French Macaron, and she is getting pretty close! Tammy and her husband Joe have been married since 1990. They have two married children, Jessica and Joey, as well as one granddaughter, Blake. As a family, they love spending down time together, going to the beach, cruising, competing in board games, watching movies, baking, cooking, and playing with their dogs. Tammy and Joe attend Desert Springs Church in Gilbert. She joined the GCS team in 2022.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “TRUST in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths.”
Rachel Boylan graduated from Concordia University Nebraska in 2011 with a B.S. in Education and a B.A. in English and completed a master’s in reading instruction in 2015. Originally from Southern California, Ms. Boylan has spent her life traveling around the world with her missionary family. She’s lived in Namibia, Guatemala, Mexico, Sierra Leone, and all over the U.S., and she now calls Arizona home! Ms. Boylan loves school and loves her students even more. She has taught English at Gilbert Christian since 2015 and is looking forward to many years to come!
Mrs. Brown is an ASU graduate and earned her BA in elementary education. After graduation, she worked at Hull Elementary School in Chandler until she left the workforce to raise her two children, Grafton and Deklan. She returned to teaching in 2015 and considers Gilbert Christian the perfect place to work. “I love working in an environment where my passion for teaching and my Christian faith go hand-in-hand. I love the Word and Jesus, so to teach in a Christian school thrills me.” Mrs. Brown and her husband Vince attend Desert Springs Church where she serves in children’s ministry and women’s ministry as a speaker and Bible study leader.
Sarah Carson received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Millikin University. She holds a PK-3rd grade certification in Ohio and Arizona. Her teaching experience started in 1997 and involves years of teaching every grade from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. Sarah has lived in Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona. Arizona is her 5th state to be certified to teach in, and she has loved learning new things everywhere she has gone! Sarah has been married to her husband Derek since 2000 and they have two sons. Both David and Drew attend Gilbert Christian Schools. Sarah has been a part of our Gilbert Christian Schools staff since 2018.
“Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Mrs. Ceton was raised in a Christian household and attended Christian schools her whole life. She attended Phoenix Christian Preparatory Schools from Preschool-12th grade. After high school, she attended Biola University. While she originally wanted to work with 1st graders, she felt God leading her to work with high schoolers. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in English, as well as 3 minors: Secondary Education, TESOL (teaching ESL), and Bible. She decided to continue pursuing her education and graduated wither Masters of Arts in Teaching in 2015 from Biola University. She just completed taking some grad-level English classes through GCU in order to be certified to teach Dual Enrollment. Before coming to Gilbert Christian, she worked 2.5 years at Phoenix Christian focusing on freshman and sophomore English. She has worked for Gilbert Christian since 2017 teaching freshman, juniors, and seniors. She has been married since 2015 and has two daughters named Charleigh (3) and Skylar “Sky” (born on February 14th). She attends Cornerstone Church in Chandler, where she is a part of the “Young Families” group.
Mr. Chisum has been working in the schools since 1996 and been a teacher since 1999. He has a Master’s in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. He is a 3rd generation Arizona teacher as both his father and grandmother were teachers at ASU and Globe respectively. Mr. Chisum’s wife has also been working in schools since 1996 in varying positions. He has two daughters who attended Gilbert Christian Schools and has been a part of our teaching staff since 2016.
Tyffany Clements received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. Her experience includes 2 years of teaching kindergarten at Hull Elementary in Chandler, 2 years of teaching preschool in her home, and 8 years of homeschooling. She grew up in Salina, Kansas, but has lived in Arizona since 2001. Outside of teaching, Tyffany enjoys spending time doing large puzzles and camping, hiking, and biking with her family. Tyffany and her husband Kirby have been married since 2002 and have three boys, Keaton, Treyton, and Carsten, who all attend Gilbert Christian Schools. Tyffany has been a part of our Gilbert Christian Schools staff since 2019 and is excited to be a part of all that God is doing here. She is thrilled to be following her passion for teaching as well as leading her students to discover and follow God’s purpose for their lives. She and her family currently attend Desert Springs Church. Tyffany joined the GCS staff in 2020.
“The heart of a man heart plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Mrs Clouatre has a passion for Christian education and years of experience teaching 4th and 5th graders. Before joining the GCS in 2014, she taught 4th grade for six years at a California Christian school, and two years at the 4th and 5th grade at Bios Christian Academy. She delights to make learning interesting and see God glorified in each lesson. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from New Mexico State University.
Conover ’16, Jillian
Jillian has her B.S. in Elementary Education with emphases in Science and Structured English Immersion. She has a year of experience teaching Kindergarten in Atlanta, Georgia before joining GCS in the fall of 2021. Jillian is a GCS alum and is grateful for the opportunity to return and invest in the next generation of Knights. Jillian married her high school sweetheart Tanner, and while they have no children they do have a 95 pound Doberman they treat like their baby. Jillian and her husband attended Christ Covenant in Buckhead, Georgia and are eager to find a new church home in the East Valley of Arizona.
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.’” John 6:68-69
Alumni:Class of 2016
Amy received her B.S. in Business Management from University of Phoenix and her Masters in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. She taught 4th grade before moving to Gilbert Christian in 2022 as a 5th grade teacher. She is married and has 4 children that also attend Gilbert Christian. She also has a golden retriever, a german shepherd and a bunny, and they hope to get chickens and horses soon as well. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family swimming in the pool, hiking, reading, cooking, and baking. Her family attends Redeemer Bible Church and serves in the Children’s Ministry program. Amy has a deep love for the Lord and feels called to teaching and sharing her passion for God and children with her students.
Her favorite bible verse is Phillipians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Ms. Daily has been teaching in the elementary grade levels since 2009. Before teaching at GCS, Ms. Daily previously taught in Idaho where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education and Administration. Ms. Daily’s greatest joy is serving God; however, she feels very blessed and honored to serve the students and families at Gilbert Christian Schools, too. Ms. Daily currently resides in Gilbert, AZ with her two children and attends Sun Valley Community Church.
Frank received his B.A. with a major in Psychology from the University of Dayton and his M.S. with a major in Counselor Education from California State University, Los Angeles. He received credentials to work as a school counselor and school psychologist. He also earned a License to practice as an Educational Psychologist. Frank received his Administrative Services credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
He worked as a special education teacher, a school psychologist, the Director of Special Education, and then became the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. Frank was also an Adjunct Professor at CSUDH in the graduate education department as well as serving on the Advisory Committee for the Loyola Marymount University School Psychology Program. Overall, he has spent over 30 years in the field of education, working with populations that include special needs and at-risk students, as well as being in positions where he would make policy decisions for the entire unified school district.
Jim Desmarchais is thrilled to be a part of the Christian education at Gilbert Christian School. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Southern California, and Toronto, Canada. Jim received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and his Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix in Educational Administration. He has taught elementary physical education and sixth grade. At the administrative level, he served as the assistant principal at Rhodes Junior High, the principal at Barbara Bush Elementary School (which was named an A+ School), and later as principal of Robert Frost Elementary School in Mesa. Jim also served three years as the children’s pastor at East Valley Bible Church (Redemption Gilbert). He currently attends Redeemer Bible Church. Jim brings a passion for working with kids and families and is honored to be part of what God is doing at GCS. Jim is married to Natasha and has two sons. Christopher and Steven, who are both GCS Graduates.
Mrs. Doest received her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 1998, and in 2000 her teaching certification and Masters in Education from National University. She started teaching 6th grade in 2013 at Mesa Public Schools and, through an incredible God story, was placed at GCS in 2019. The Doest Family attends Christ Church of the Valley-East Valley campus where they have the opportunity to serve God and others through various ministries. Her life is filled with the love from her husband and three boys. She enjoys running, cooking yummy meals, and her most treasured times are with her family around the dinner table or at the beach in Southern California.
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Dragonette ’11, James
Alumni:Class of 2011
Mrs. Dudley earned her M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Grand Canyon University. In 2009, Mrs. Dudley found her love of teaching when she became involved in children’s ministry. Mrs. Dudley decided to go back to school to become a state certified teacher in Early Childhood Education. She began teaching at GCS in 2016 and feels blessed to teach the minds and hearts of her students, keeping Jesus as the focus. Mrs. Dudley and her husband have two children. The family attends and serves at Central Christian Church.
Rachel attended ASU for her undergrad, receiving her B.S. in Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement. Later, she went through GCU for her Master’s degree in TESOL (Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages). She’s been so fortunate to have spent the last 12 years in Mesa Public Schools for both student teaching and her educational career. Rachel started in 2nd grade, but has taught 1st through 4th grade, with 3rd grade being her absolute favorite! This next year will be her 11th year of teaching. Being raised in private Christian education, Rachel is so excited to be coming back now as a teacher – having the privilege to combine her passions of faith and education. She LOVES working with kids and sees it as God’s calling in her life! When not working with kids or on school-related things, reading, cooking, and watching baseball (Go Red Sox) are some of her favorites. She’s a morning person and can usually be found working out around 5 am and finding ways to stay active and healthy. In the winter months, this involves snowboarding and hiking with her husband. Rachel married her amazing husband, Nathaniel, in the fall of 2020. They just finished building their “forever home” and share it with their rescue dachshund-pug, Lolli. They love exploring Arizona, finding new restaurants, traveling to new places, and spending time together. Rachel and Nathaniel attend Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tempe. She has been a part of the GCS team since 2022.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Cory earned a bachelor’s degree from Eugene Bible College in 2005. He has been a pastor for many years and has served as a graphic design, Bible, & theology teacher as well. Cory plays guitar in a band based here in Gilbert, and writes and records worship songs. He and his wonderful wife Rebekah have two sons Caleb and Ezekiel who both attend GCS. Cory pastors Heritage Chapel here in Gilbert. He began working at GCS in 2021.
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” Isaiah 2:3
Mrs. Enright graduated from Truman University in Kirksville, Mo with an education degree in General Science with a minor in Biology. She taught 1st – 3rd combination class during her first 7 years at Gilbert Christian. She then took a break and came back to GCS to teach science and has blessed the school with the immense task of being the Curriculum Coordinator. She loves working with the amazing Godly staff at GCS. Mrs. Enright and her husband George attend Pursuit Christian Fellowship.
Mrs. Fellows was born and raised on the east coast working as a licensed commercial insurance broker/legal admin before moving to Arizona with her family in 1996. Since her children were still quite young, she was a stay-at-home mom. During those years, she decided to fulfill a life-long goal to complete college and graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix in 2004 with a B.S. degree in Management with an emphasis on technology. Wishing to keep the same school hours/vacations as her children, she became a certified substitute and moved from being a Para-educator to substituting in the Chandler Unified School District. She did this for 11 years and gained most of her teaching experience from long-term positions in kindergarten, first, fourth, and fifth grades. In 2015, she became certified in Career and Technical Education. Through daily prayer and devotion, Mrs. Fellows feels God has led her to Gilbert Christian HS. She feels truly blessed and humbled by all the Lord has helped her achieve. Mrs. Fellows looks forward to directing her Christian beliefs and values through education to encourage the growth of students who embrace God’s wisdom in every subject they study. Mrs. Fellows has been married to her husband, Bill, since 1987. She has two adult children and is blessed with grandchildren. They currently attend Sun Valley Community Church.
Ellie graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in Biblical Studies. Ellie has been teaching since 2020 and joined the GCS team in the fall of 2021. Ellie loves trying new restaurants and playing her ukulele. Ellie is married to her wonderful husband Cooper. Ellie and Cooper currently attend Christ’s Church Gilbert.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Mrs. Field graduated with her Master’s degree in natural science from ASU, where she completed a research project on the benefits of teaching proportional reasoning to strengthen understanding of scientific concepts. She completed her bachelor’s degree in physics at San Diego State as a McNair scholar, where she published multiple papers and worked as a GTA. After graduation, she worked in a research position for two years. Since 2008, Mrs. Field has taught at GCS, teaching everything from 7th-grade science to college physics and robotics. She coaches the robotics team, The Knights of the Lab Table and has led them to the First Tech Challenge World Championships two years in a row. Mrs. and Mrs. Field and their 4 children attend Harvest Bible since 2008.
Joseph received his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education-History and his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Chapman University in 1997. From 2002-2012 Joseph earned his initial National Board Certificate. He renewed the certificate in the 2012-2022 school year. Joseph began his teaching career in 1990 in which he taught both middle-level social studies, served as the Athletic Supervisor and In School Suspension Teacher, and taught a variety of social studies topics at the high school level in the valley. In 1997 Joseph moved to the Gilbert Public Schools and taught at Mesquite Junior High, Highland Junior High, and Gilbert High School until the 2022 school year was completed. Joseph was unintentionally named for both of his parents’ high schools. His mother attended St. Joseph’s Academy in Prescott, AZ. while his father attended St.Ignatius High School in San Francisco, CA. Joseph grew up in a large family in Prescott, AZ. being the sixth of eight children. In 1990 Joseph married his beautiful bride Gina and had two amazing sons, Noah and Will. Noah is a member of the Arizona National Guard and a member of the Mesa Police Force this fall. Will is an avid golfer who is playing college golf. Joseph and Gina attend Generation Church-Mesa where they both serve for the early afternoon service in the Foster Group Ministry and as an usher during the service. Joseph is beginning the newest phase of his career at GCHS in the fall of 2022 and looking forward to spreading God’s love to the students in his classes.
2 Timothy 4:17: But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.
Holly Garza has a Bachelors in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She has been in education for eleven years. Holly has lived in six states but in Arizona the longest. Holly has been married to Josh since 2014, and together they have a golden retriever named Parker. She and Josh attend Christ Church Gilbert. She began working at GCS in 2012.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Mrs. Gonzalez earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The King’s College in New York. She has taught PreK, 2, 3, 4, and 6-8 grades in Christian schools in New Jersey and Tennessee before coming to Gilbert Christian in 2013. Mrs. Gonzalez desires to see her students grow in their knowledge, understanding, and love of the Lord while helping them develop a Biblical worldview. She is passionate about Christian education and feels blessed to be a part of Gilbert Christian Schools where she can minister to the students in her class and their families.
Ms. Sarah Gripp graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in instrumental music education and violin performance and began teaching at GCS in 2018. Prior to this, she was an intern in the NAU Suzuki Strings program, teaching private lessons and helping with group classes for elementary students. Additionally, she has student taught elementary and junior high orchestra students with Gilbert Public Schools. Sarah played with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra for several years and enjoys playing violin and mandolin in her church worship teams. She is excited to help students develop excellence in God’s gift of music, for His glory!
“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25
Ashlyn Gross graduated from Dordt University in 2019 with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Physical Education. Ashlyn was born in Texas but considers herself an Arizona native. Ashlyn has attended Christian schools from kindergarten through college and her favorite subject has always been P.E. She has previously taught 6th grade and now hopes to enable the students at GCS to grow in their love for being active and to appreciate how God has uniquely created each one of us in His own image, for His glory. Ashlyn attends Phoenix United Reformed Church. She joined the GCS teaching staff in 2020.
Her favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Mrs. Hallaran served as an elementary substitute teacher and Pre-K aide at Gilbert Christian Schools and found herself genuinely enjoying loving, nurturing and guiding preschoolers in particular. She is thrilled for the opportunity to teach Pre-K at the Greenfield campus. Mrs. Hallaran is an Arizona native, married for almost 25 years to her husband Scott, and has three beautiful children, McKenna, Olivia, and Jameson. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business, she is now pursuing an Early Education degree. She is passionate about learning and playing while sharing Christ and guiding our “littles” to know and love Jesus.
Brian earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University. He has been in the field of education since 2002 and began teaching elementary school at the same school he attended as a child where he taught for a decade in grades from second to fifth. His desire to make a larger impact on the lives of children required a move to teacher coaching and administration. He spent three years as a teacher coach before moving into a principal position where he has served students in that capacity since 2015. Brian and his family love traveling, they often can be found in the great outdoors enjoying the natural beauty that God has created. He and his wife Erin have been married since 2006. Their oldest daughter Addison attends GCS, and their son Benjamin will, once he is old enough to attend. Brian and his family currently attend Cornerstone Church in Chandler. Brian has been a part of the GCS team since 2022.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinder and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ” Hebrews 12:1-3
Mr. Heintz attended UW-Platteville, a small state school in the University of Wisconsin system. In 2002, he graduated with a bachelor of science in mathematics with a minor in biology and an emphasis in secondary education. Since then Peter has taught mathematics and science at the middle and high school levels and has coached baseball and football. He currently holds an Arizona Department of Education Certificate to teach mathematics and biology in grades 6-12. He enjoys coaching and traveling with his wife. In the past couple of years they were able to go to San Antonio, TX, Kauai, HI, Washington D.C, Milwaukee, WI, and Huntsville, AL. Mr. Heintz is currently attending Redemption Church – Gateway. In 2015, Peter married his lovely wife, Kira. Mr. Heintz has been a part of our GCS teaching staff since 2020.
Romans 5:8 is his favorite verse, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Mr. Henderson graduated from NAU in 1983 with a B.S. in Public Relations. In 1991, he completed his B.S. in Elementary Education. He worked as a classroom teacher at Shumway Elementary School in Chandler teaching 5th and 6th grade for nearly 8 years. He left the classroom and joined the school fundraising industry, and as a result, worked with students in over 350 different schools and organizations all across the state of Arizona. In 2015, he returned to the education field joining GCS at that time. Mr. Henderson grew up in a Christian home and at age eleven he made a decision to follow Christ. He has been married to Trinka, a first-grade teacher with GCS, for 37 years. Their daughter, Mariah and husband, Luis, live in the valley with their new granddaughter, Kodi. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson currently attend Sun Valley Community Church, while serving in the area of missions. They previously attended Compass (Chandler) Christian Church where Mr. Henderson served as an elder for nine years and youth/children’s ministry leader for 19 years. He has a true heart for leading young people to understand God’s Word and looks forward to teaching Bible and ELA to students in his new GCS homeroom.
Mr. Henderson explained the call on his life during his interview, “I know God has given me a talent and gift to work with kids as a teacher. He has given me a passion to work with young people.”
Mrs. Trinka Henderson is a First Grade teacher at the Greenfield campus. She received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education with a Special Ed. an emphasis in 1985 from NAU. She began teaching in the Chandler School District that year as well. In 2001 she received her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from NAU. She was called into teaching in Christian schools in 2002 where she taught at Hope Christian Academy for 13 years and 2 years at Bethany Christian School. She joined GCS in 2016 and helped open the Greenfield campus the following year. Mrs. Henderson’s husband, Mark is a 6th-grade teacher here as well, and they attend Sun Valley Church, where they serve in the missions area. They previously attended Compass Christian Church where she served in youth ministry for 19 years. Their daughter, Mariah, husband Luis, and new granddaughter, Kodi live in the valley. Mrs. Henderson is looking forward to helping little Kodi learn to read and loves summer travels to the cool pines of northern Arizona and Colorado. Teaching is her passion and she says “it is a gift from God, to pour His life into young lives enabling them to grow spiritually, emotionally and academically.” Her students have a unique way of beginning each school day. “We recite Eph. 6:10-20 every day and the kids love to put on the full armor of God to begin our day of learning.”
Mr. Holsinger received a full-tuition scholarship in 1992 from the Gibson Greetings Foundation to study Fine Art at Miami University where he earned a BFA degree with two areas of artistic specialization in 1996: Fine Art Painting and Graphic Design. After beginning his career as a graphic designer for Campbell Hausfeld, and later as a graphic designer at Cedarville University in their on-campus public relations department, Mr. Holsinger began teaching Visual Fine Art at Dayton Christian High School in 1997. After that, he moved from Dayton, Ohio to Phoenix, Arizona to begin work as a professional fine artist and commercial art apprentice to a highly successful Phoenix abstract artist/designer—one of the co-owners of the Phoenix Art Group. Mr. Holsinger worked there as a professional artist/designer for over six years in their large art studio and gallery space along with more than forty other professional artists. In 2004, he left to establish his own fine art business, Holsinger Fine Art Studio, where he creates fine art for various private clients, businesses, agents, art publishers, and art galleries, nationally and internationally. In 2011, after sensing the Lord’s tug at His heart toward his gift and calling as a teacher, Mr. Holsinger began teaching Visual Fine Art and Creative Design at GCHS. He and his wife, Natalie, have five children, four of which currently attend GCS at the High School and the Agritopia Campus. They attend Apologia Church in Mesa, Arizona.
Mrs. Hoppal holds a Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University in Educational Technology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Missouri Southern State University, and an Associate’s Degree in Bible and Elementary Education from Ozark Christian College. Before coming to Gilbert Christian in 2010, Mrs. Hoppal taught sixth grade for two years (2008-2010) at J.O. Combs Unified School District in San Tan Valley. She loves to travel. Each summer, her husband and their 4 kids pack up and road trip around the country. They are planning to visit each state before their oldest son, Tommy, graduates high school in 2024. Her family attends Central Christian Church- Gilbert campus. She and her husband Jason married in 2012 on the beautiful island of Kauai. Together, they have 3 sons and 1 daughter. Mrs. Hoppal as been a part of the GCS staff since 2010.
Matthew 6:27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Cami graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Dordt College where she majored in elementary education. She taught 8 years in Christian schools and 12 years in public schools before joining GCS in the fall of 2021. Ms. Hopper has lived all over the United States, but spent most of her childhood right here in Arizona. She has two college-aged kids. Her son Tyler attends Grand Canyon University, and her daughter Lauren attends Grace College in Indiana. She is currently attending Arizona Community Church.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1
Mrs. Hoyle teaches all-day kindergarten. She received her B.A. in elementary education from Westmont College. She began teaching elementary school in Colorado in 1993. She taught second and third grade in Colorado, and then she stepped away from teaching to be home with her children. She is enjoying being back in the classroom. Her favorite things to do are spend time with her family, read, and explore the outdoors. Mrs. Hoyle loves to teach and feels honored to be able to share the love of God with her students. Her family attends Christ Church. Mrs. Hoyle and her husband have been married for over 25 years and have four wonderful children. Three of her children have the privilege of attending GCS. She has been a part of the GCS staff since 2018.
Mrs. Hoyle’s favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Melissa Hudson graduated from Arizona State University in 2017 with here Degree in music education and state certification in K-12 music. She finished her masters in Curriculum and Instruction in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2019. Mrs. Hudson taught middle and high school band and choir at ASU Preparatory Academy for three years. She worked with the Phoenix Girls Chorus for 2 years. She also teaches private piano and voice lessons. Melissa enjoys any sort of craft including scrapbooking, knitting, and sewing. She also enjoys playing sports like volleyball and basketball. Mrs. Hudson is the worship leader at CrossPoinTempe Church and lives with her husband Jaron. Melissa joined the GCS staff in 2020.
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.” 1 Chronicles 16:23
Kristy received her B.S. in Education from Northern Arizona University in December of 2003. She taught 4 years as a kindergarten teacher in Gold Canyon before stepping out of the classroom to raise her own children. She then decided to homeschool and did that for 9 years before her children started at GCS in 2020. Kristy loves the gardening and the farm-to-table joy of harvesting from your own yard. Additionally, Kristy spends time each year hunting with her husband. Kristy has been married to her husband Troy since 2004, and they have two children, Charity and Josiah. Kristy and her family attend Calvary East Valley Church. Kristy began teaching at GCS in the fall of 2021.
Kristy’s favorite Bible verse is a constant reminder to live and move and breathe in God’s power, provision, and strength, Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Keith has a BS in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology with a Minor Secondary Education and a MEd Principal Leadership. He has 12 years of teaching experience before joining GCS in the fall of 2021. An interesting opportunity he had was spending the night in an igloo! Keith is the middle child of three and is one of over 50 grandchildren. Keith has been married to Jennifer since 1998 and a father to Hunter. Keith and his family attend Calvary East Valley.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
Justine received her English Education degree and Middle School level endorsement at Illinois State University in 2010. She’s been a teacher for 10 years. She attends church at Antioch Community Church in Chandler. She joined the GCS family in 2020 after moving from Illinois in 2019.
Her favorite verse is Ephesians 1:17, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
Mrs. Jarrett earned her degree in Child Development from Harding University in Arkansas. She has hours towards her Masters in Education from Grand Canyon University. After graduation, she came back to Arizona to teach Kindergarten in Phoenix for 1 year. She then taught Kindergarten at Bright Beginnings charter school in Chandler for 4 years. After that she then moved over to teach Kindergarten at Archway Chandler, she worked in Great Hearts for 10 years. She is excited to come to GCS and be a part of the team. Mrs. Jarrett loves to teach Kindergarten and is looking forward to the opportunity to help her students grow to their full potential. She is married and has two children. Their family serves and attends Sun Valley Church of Christ. Mrs. Jarrett began working at GCS in the fall of 2022.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. “
Allison attended Arizona State University and graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She has been teaching in Arizona since 2015. Outside of teaching she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors and shopping. Allison currently attends Agros Reformed Baptist Church in Gilbert. She has been married to her husband since 2013 and has two children, Aaron and Harper. Allison joined the GCS staff in 2019.
Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Mrs. Johnson earned her BS in Physical Education, with minors in Sports Physiology and Bible, from Biola University. Following graduation, she completed her post-baccalaureate teaching certification through Ottawa University, in Arizona. In 2002, she earned her Masters in Education from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Johnson has also earned her certification in College Guidance from Anderson University in conjunction with the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals. She taught in the local public schools as a science and PE teacher, before staying home to take care of her children. While staying home with her children, she continued to teach online for a distance learning program. Amanda was grateful to move back into the classroom when she came to Gilbert Christian. She has taught in the computer lab, as well as science classes. God had plans when He made a way for her to move into the counseling department. She loves working with students in social, emotional, and academic ways. She and her children are grateful to be part of the Gilbert Christian family for so many years.
Faith attended Colorado Christian University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Faith began teaching in the spring of 2021 and feels confident that this is the career that the Lord has called her to. Faith was born and raised in Gilbert, Arizona, and is a Gilbert Christian alum. She is so excited to be teaching at GCS and pour into her students as her teachers did for her. Although teaching is her main passion, Faith loves to be creative through painting and lettering. Faith has attended and served at Christ Church Central Phoenix since its launch in December 2020. Faith joined the GCS staff in 2021. She is excited to be able to point her students to Christ through teaching!
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Taryn graduated from Arizona State University where she received her Master’s in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Structured English Immersion. She began her teaching career in 2017 as a 5th grade teacher at a small private school in San Tan Valley before joining the 5th grade team at CTA Independence in the Chandler Unified School District. She took a short break from full-time teaching when her daughter was born and feels excited and privileged to be getting back in the classroom and joining the GCS family. Outside of teaching, Taryn enjoys spending time with her family and friends, crafting, and traveling. She married her loving husband, Nathan, in 2015 and together they have two wonderful children, Kynsley and Levi. Taryn and her family attend Central Christian Church in Queen Creek. Taryn began attending Central, with her family, as a young child and she feels incredibly blessed to be raising her children in the same church/ministries that had such a profound impact on the daughter, wife, mother, and teacher she is today. Taryn began teaching at GCS in the Fall of 2022.
“This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Chris has received his B.A. in Pastoral Studies from Vanguard University, a Single Subject Teaching Credential (grades 8-12) in Social Science, and a Special Education Teaching Credential – Mild/Moderate for grades K-12. He has been teaching for over 15 years in private and public schools. Chris enjoys mountain and road biking, playing soccer, and enjoys being outside with his family. His wife Kelly, and children Asa and Gavin currently attend Redemption Gateway. Chris started working for GCS in 2019 teaching in the GEAR program. Starting the 2020-21 school year, Chris will be the Athletic Director at the Greenfield Campus.
Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” NASB
She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Vanguard University of Southern California in 2000 and her teaching credential from California State University Dominguez Hills in 2005. She has been teaching since 2001 in California She enjoys reading, cooking, baking, and spending time with her family. She can also play the guitar and has led worship at her church in the past. As she and her husband are new to the area, they are still searching for a home church. She and her husband, Chris, have 2 boys: Asa and Gavin. Kelly began working for GCS in 2019.
Her favorite verse is Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Mrs. Jorgensen earned an M.A. in Foreign Languages from Illinois State University and later an M.A. in Spiritual Formation from Lincoln Christian University. She holds an ACSI Life-time certificate besides being certified to teach in Illinois and Arizona. She taught for 25 years before joining GCS in the fall of 2021. She jokes that “chocolate” is her middle name, but it must be Dove Dark Chocolate. She has been married to her husband, Kyle, since 1993. They have two sons who both graduated the same Christian school where their parents taught down the hall from each other for 16 years. One is studying Veterinary Medicine and the other is studying Finance. She has four small dogs that love the Arizona sunshine as much as her. She attends Central Christian Church.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3
Mr. Keener graduated from Wittenberg University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and secondary education. He earned his Masters of Science degree in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy in 1986. Mr. Keener spent 35 years at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, Michigan where he taught history, coached the boy’s varsity basketball team and served as the Director of Upper School Athletics. When he left Michigan, he had the second highest boys coach winnings in Michigan prep history with a record of 688-121. In that time he coached DCDS to nine state championships and produced four McDonald’s All-Americans. As a member of Rosedale Park Baptist Church, he was active in many ministries including youth Sunday School, church landscaping, the homeless ministry and the urban garden ministry. Mr. Keener came to Gilbert Christian Schools to work in an environment in which the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence is achieved in an atmosphere of Scriptural based spiritual growth. Away from school, Mr. Keener enjoys gardening, hiking, and watching sports events. He and his wife Nedra have two grown sons.
Maria Klassen or Coach MK as she is known on campus, is from British Columbia (BC) Canada and has lived in Gilbert since the fall of 2019. Maria came to teaching in her late thirties after being a youth worker for a decade and staying at home with three children. Coach MK has a vast experience in teaching, coaching and youth work. She has been a substitute teacher on and off in her career for a total of 8 years, two of those right here at GCS. Her full-time teaching career began as a Grade 5 classroom teacher for three years. She has also been a Grade 6/7 split co-classroom teacher; taught Physical Education for all grades from K through 12; Social Studies to Grade 8-11, Bible for Grades 9-12, and a few different electives at the Junior and High School level. Maria’s love for basketball was fueled by a great coach while playing in Alberta, Canada on the Grade 9 team as an 8th Grade student. After winning a High School BC AAA Provincial Championship, she went on to play at the University of Victoria. She then caught the coaching bug after a summer tour in Taiwan with AIA (Athletes in Action) in 1991. She has coached basketball at the foundational levels between Grades 3-7, Varsity Girls at St. Thomas More Collegiate, JV Girls at Terry Fox Secondary, the 2012 U16 Girls Team with Basketball BC, Canada, and from 2013 to 2016 as the U14 Development Team Head Coach with Triple Threat Basketball in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Maria is passionate about the Bible and helping others to learn to love God’s word through Bible study and reading it aloud. If Coach MK isn’t teaching or coaching you will most likely find her camping, hiking, paddle boarding, enjoying Mimi life, visiting family, or traveling with her husband Gene.
Mrs. Kost loves to create wonderful lessons and encourage her students to always do their best and glorify God with their lives. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon College and is Arizona State Certified. Before coming to GCS, she taught 4th grade in public school and homeschooled her own children for 15 years. God has given her a tremendous heart for children and her entire family loved and cared for foster children in their home from many years. Mrs. Kost has three grown daughters and two who attend GCS. She and her family worship God together at Cornerstone church.
Steve and his wife, Drew are both natives of Arizona. When considering schooling options for their children, Gilbert Christian Schools quickly rose to the top because of their commitment to academic excellence and the genuine care the teachers have for each student, all within the framework of a Christian worldview. Steve and Drew have three children at GCS in elementary school. Steve has seen and been a part of the growth of the valley as a leader in the Arizona construction industry for over twenty years and their family loves being outdoors whenever they get the opportunity. Steve and Drew are members of Grace Bible Church in Tempe and serve in various ways with a passion for seeing the unreached come to Christ.
Christina Lang is a California native who graduated from Azusa Pacific University (Go Cougs!) with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and minors in English and Bible in 2000. Christina is entering her 4th year as the College and Career counselor at GCHS and feels so blessed to work alongside and mentor students as they process through their next steps. Education and church ministry has been her focus for the last 20 years as she has taught in Jr. High/High School, Children’s Ministry, Marriage Ministry, Women’s Ministry, and as a keynote speaker in several churches and conferences across the country. Her greatest joy is to proclaim the message of freedom that can be found only when one surrenders their entire life to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Her role as the College & Career Counselor allows her to pair two of her greatest passions: education and ministry. Working with students, teaching them to live intentionally by setting attainable goals, while simultaneously realizing that their greatest worth will always be found in their Creator is what she loves the most about coming to school every day. Christina and her husband Brandon are active members of Mission Community Church along with their six children who all attend Gilbert Christian School.
Deborah Tennison received a Bachelors’s Degree from Azusa Pacific University, followed by a fifth-year for her teaching credential in 1996. She taught a variety of ages over the next many years, followed by a long break to be a stay-home mom with her two children. She came back to work at Gilbert Christian in the 2019-2020 school year, teaching both 4th grade and now 7/8th grade Math and English in the GEAR program. She enjoys hiking and paddle boarding, playing piano and singing, spending time with her two children, and watching their many sporting events. Deborah and her two children attend Two Rivers Church in Gilbert, where she serves in the children’s ministry. Her twins, Blake and Brianna, are currently juniors in high school at GCS this year. She cherishes every student individually and loves the learning and laughter that takes place in her classroom. She is passionate about teaching from a Christian worldview and considers her job an absolute blessing!
One of her favorite verses is Psalm 121:1-2, which says: “I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Matthew Littlefield has been an educator for the last 19 years, starting his career as a Science teacher and Baseball coach at Oaks Christian High School in California. He became a teacher after graduating Summa Cum Laude from Vanguard University with his Bachelors of Science in Biology and Chemistry. His family moved to Arizona in 2005, where he continued teaching at an all-boys boarding school, St. Paul’s Academy, while working on his Masters in Educational Leadership from Ottawa University. Upon getting his Principal certificate, he became an administrator at St. Paul’s before moving on to AAEC South Mountain and AAEC Red Mountain where he was the Principal until 2011. During this time he completed a Certificate in Graduate Studies from Ottawa in Psychology. After completing his Masters, he continued his education at ASU where he completed his doctoral work in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Change. In February 2014 he joined the GCS community as the high school principal. His four kids attend GCS and allow him to see his students grow and mature under the guidance of Christian teachers. Matthew raises his four children by himself after being widowed in January 2013 when his wife suddenly passed away. He feels incredibly blessed to be part of such an amazing community and school.
She studied International Commerce in her hometown Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, at Kino University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. She became part of our GCS family as a Spanish middle school teacher in 2016. In her school days, she had the privilege of attending a Christian high school. For her, those were the most meaningful years of her childhood. She loved how all her teachers taught her to approach every situation in her life with the Bible, and it was there that she learned to have a real relationship with Jesus. She also met her best friends there, and even over time, they still stayed close, like family. She married the love of her life, Josue Lopez, in 2001. He is now one of the pastors and the worship leader at their church: Redemption Church West Mesa. They have two children: Misael and Michelle, and both love to serve in their church as part of the worship team by playing drums and piano.
Her favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:8, and she would love to share it with you in Spanish: “Por lo demás, hermanos, todo lo que es verdadero, todo lo honesto, todo lo justo, todo lo puro, todo lo amable, todo lo que es de buen nombre; si hay virtud alguna, si algo digno de alabanza, en esto pensad.” Filipenses 4:8
My name is Amy Majeski, and I have been a part of the Gilbert Christian community since 2013. I feel very privileged to work in a school where the Lord is the foundation and focus. I know that God specifically called me to Gilbert Christian Schools, a responsibility I do not take lightly. It is my goal as an administrator to cultivate a trusting and productive relationship between parents, students, and staff through a Biblically centered worldview, where students can gain an understanding of the world we live in, interpret life situations and apply Biblical truths in all areas of life. I earned a BA in Social and Behavioral Science and Elementary Education from Seattle Pacific University with endorsements in K-12 Social Studies and History in 1995, and MS of Education in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University in 2019. God truly directed me to Christian Education where my philosophy of education is firmly founded in my love for Christ. Living out 1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind….” gives me strength every single day to share this love with others around me.
Mrs. Manley holds a B.A in elementary education she earned from Arizona State University. Before coming to Gilbert Christian School, she taught first grade for three years for Gilbert Public Schools. For three years, Mrs. Manley worked in Gilbert Christian’s kindergarten program as a teacher in the half day and full day program before taking over the full day first-grade classroom from 2016-2019. 2019-2020 school year, Mrs. Manley will return to the kindergarten full-day program to serve our families. Mrs. Manley loves being able to combine her two passions in the workplace; her love for the Lord and her love of teaching. She enjoys working towards the success of her students with both families and staff. Her children attend GCS, and her family worships at Rock Point Church.
Mrs. Martin has been part of Gilbert Christian Schools since 2000. She teaches all-day Kindergarten and feels blessed to partner with parents in the education of their children. Mrs. Martin grew up in Phoenix and attended college at Arizona Bible College, where she studied Elementary Education. She continued her education at NAU receiving a MA in Education. Mrs. Martin and her husband have been married for over 30 years and have three children, Amanda, Nik, and Michael. Mrs. Martin’s favorite thing about teaching is sharing the love of Jesus with her students every day. Her prayer is that they will know they are loved with the everlasting love of God and will accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus.
Mrs. McCloskey graduated from Arizona State University in 2012 earning a B.A. in Secondary Education (Mathematics) and from Grand Canyon University in 2016 earning an M.A. in Teacher Leadership. Prior to joining GCS in the fall of 2021, she taught for eight years in a variety of math courses at the high school and junior high levels, plus many years of private tutoring experience. An Arizona native, she is blessed to have attended Christian schools her 4th-12th grades and has a passion to be a part of Christian education. She loves helping students better understand math principles and applications, develop positive character traits, and grow in their relationships with God and come to know and love Him more. She enjoys reading, watching sports, baking, hiking, playing board games, trying different restaurants, and traveling to new places. Mrs. McCloskey married her high school sweetheart, Trevor, and they have two dogs, Simba and Nala. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share the world of math and how it can be used to glorify God with the GCS students.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“I was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in curriculum and instruction from Columbia International University in South Carolina in 2019. I also hold a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration (1996) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education-Mathematics with a minor in the Teaching of Physical Science (1990), both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I hold three professional certificates: Secondary Principal Administrative Certificate from ACSI (through 2023) and from the state of Illinois a General Administrative Endorsement and a Teaching Mathematics and Physical Science, Grades 6–12 (Type 09) Certificate (both through 2022). I’ve been an educator since 1990. The first 18 years of my professional life were spent in public high schools in the suburbs of Chicago where I taught high school mathematics, physical science a few times, served a mathematics department chair, and an associate principal for curriculum and instruction. In 2008, I began my career in Christian schools serving at El Camino Academy in Bogota, Colombia (2008-2013) where I filled the role of Secondary Principal (2008-2010) and K-12 Director of Academics (2010-2013). After finishing our five-year term, we relocated to Maryland where I served as the Upper School Principal (2013-20) at Annapolis Area Christian School. I was raised in the Chicago suburbs and I’ve been a Chicago Cubs fan since I could talk. It was a tortured existence most of my life until the Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016! Vicki and I met and fell in love while teaching at a public high school in the suburbs of Chicago. There was a romance in the Mathematics Department! We married in 1994 and have two adult daughters.” Mr. McCollum joined the GCS administration in 2020.
Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.”
Mrs. McCollum graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Education in 1985 and from the University of Illinois – Chicago with a Master of Science in the Teaching of Mathematics in 1996. She has taught mathematics, mostly at the high school level, since 1985 with a 10-year break in the middle to stay home with her two young girls. Mrs. McCollum also taught mathematics at the United Arab Emirates University for 2 years and in Bogotá, Colombia for 5 years. She is married to Robert McCollum who is the Vice Principal of Academics and they have two daughters, Kaitlyn and Melissa. Mrs. McCollum has been a part of the GCS staff since 2020.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1
Amy graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2006 with my Bachelor’s Degree and Teaching Certificate for K-8th grade. Then, she graduated from Azuza Pacific University in 2009 with my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Amy also holds my Standard Arizona Teaching Certificate for PreK-12th grade and Arizona Principal’s Certificate for PreK-12th grade. She began teaching in 2003 at a Christ Lutheran Preschool in California. In 2006 Amy moved on to teaching elementary school first in California and now in Arizona. She taught all grades preschool through 5th grade and have been an Instructional Coach as well. Amy loves to exercise and take Zumba and Hip-Hop classes. She was in competitive dance as a child (for 18 years actually) which lead me to my first job working at Disneyland in the character department. Disneyland was a magical place to work. She and her family currently attend and serve at Rockpoint Church in Queen Creek and love it! She is married to her high school sweetheart in 2004. They have three beautiful children and two fur babies. Amy became part of the GCS staff in 2019.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Heather graduated from Western Washington University in 2012 with a degree in Early Childhood/Special Education. In 2013, Heather moved to Zambia, Africa, where she provided Special Education for elementary school children, as well as coordinated the Special ed. program at an International school. She also volunteered in community outreach through a ministry in Zambia. She returned to her Bellingham, Washington, hometown in 2016, and taught 2nd grade for three years at a Christian Classical School until 2019 when she transitioned to teaching 1st grade at GCS. In her free time, Heather enjoys reading classic literature and traveling. She is a self-proclaimed Tolkien fan and crazy cat lady.
“BUT GOD shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
Susan loves teaching children in a Christian environment and helping students grow academically and spiritually. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and has over 10 years of classroom teaching experience, in addition to home educating her own children for 9 years. She has enjoyed being a second-grade teacher at GCS since 2016. Teaching children to love reading is one of her passions, and she enjoys sharing and discussing books with budding second-grade readers. She and her family, including 3 children who attend GCS, worship at Sun Valley Community Church.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Mrs. Murray began her career at Gilbert Christian Schools in 2008. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, as well as Masters Degrees in Special Education and Sports Management. Mrs. Murray has had the pleasure of teaching multiple grade levels at GCS, including 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. Currently, she is embracing her latest position as a middle school G.E.A.R. Resource teacher. Mrs. Murray cherishes every student individually and loves the learning and laughter that takes place in her classroom. She is passionate about teaching from a Christian worldview and considers her job an absolute blessing!
Miss Nelson is an Arizona native and recently graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education for Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education. She feels blessed to be able to combine her love for the Lord with her passion for teaching and can’t wait to see what God has in store this school year! Miss Nelson has been teaching at Gilbert Christian Schools since 2017.
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16
Coach Norris graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Health Education. Coach Norris has been a teacher since 2016 as a Physical Education/Weight Lifting Teacher and Sports Performance Coach. During the 2018-2019 school year, Coach Norris served in an Administration role as an Athletic Director and Head of Discipline at a 7th-12th Junior High and High School. Prior to working in Education, Coach Norris was a Personal Trainer/Sports Performance Coach for 7 years. Coach Norris is the Head Football Coach at Gilbert Christian High School and has been a high school football coach in Arizona since 2009. Coach Norris attends New City Church in Phoenix, AZ and has been a member since 2014. He began working for GCS in 2019.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Mike Paasch received his MA in Spanish Linguistics at New Mexico State University and his BA in Political Science at ASU. Languages have been a big part of his life: he is fluent in Spanish. He and his family have lived abroad for the gospel in Mexico and North Africa. God saved him during his college studies and gave him a desire to reach the nations far and near with the good news of Jesus. He is married to Lynne and has two grown daughters: Hannah and Amy. Mike and Lynne are foster parents to immigrant children. He has engaged in cross-cultural service for many years. His desire is to encourage this generation of students to pour out their lives for Jesus.
Mrs. Pacheco earned her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Music Education from Northern Arizona University. She began her first year of teaching in spring 2021 in Queen Creek, AZ where she taught general music (K-6) and joined the GCS team in the fall of 2021. An interesting fact about Mrs. Pacheco is that she was in a hand bell choir in college in which she played the biggest and lowest sounding bells that required two hands and some major arm strength to play. She resides in Mesa, AZ with her husband Mario Pacheco Jr. She loves spending time with her husband and her nieces and nephews. She serves and loves her community at Fuente de Vida Church in Chandler, AZ. Mrs. Pacheco is excited to be a part of the GCS family!
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Cassie has her Bachelor’s in Health Education from Lee University. She has a huge passion for kids of all ages and has taught since 2006. She also loves God, basketball, coffee and chocolate. She is a native of beautiful Arizona and actually a Sun’s fan, she says, if you can believe it! Cassie worships at Redemption Gateway with her family. Her and her husband, who is also a teacher at the High school, have been married Since 2011. They are blessed with two little boys, Tate and Bryton. Cassie joined our GCS staff in 2017.
“In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7
Mr. Pasquariello Graduated from Washington State University in 2007 with a BA in History. He received his Masters in Teaching from City University of Seattle in 2009. After moving to Arizona in 2009, Mr. Pasquariello began working in the Washington Elementary District at New Beginnings Academy, the behavior school for that district. In his final year at New Beginnings, he was the on-site coordinator. In 2013 Mr. Pasquariello took a job at Carson Jr. High teaching 7th-grade social studies. At the same time, he began first as an assistant then as the JV Boys coach at Westwood High School. In 2015 He began teaching at Westwood High School where he taught World History, US History, and AP US History. In addition to basketball, Mr. Pasquariello also coached Girls Golf. Mr. Pasquariello enjoys spending time with his family, whether it is a quiet night at home or going out to experience what Arizona has to offer. He also enjoys watching and playing basketball, reading (mostly history), and playing video games. Mr. Pasquariello and his family currently addend Redemption Church Gateway. Mr. Pasquariello married current GCS teacher Mrs. Pasquariello in 2011. They have two children. The oldest, Tate, born in 2012, began Kindergarten at GCS in 2018. Bryton was born in 2015. Mr. Pasquariello joined the GCS staff in 2019.
“For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith. And this is not of yourselves but it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8
Mrs. Patterson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1990 receiving a BS in communication and business. She had been home raising her four children until her last child entered GCS in 2006. Since then Mrs. Patterson has been teaching Middle School Social Studies at Gilbert Christian. She is married to Shawn Patterson, head of the Security Department at GCS. All of their children are grown adults. Their daughter Kaitlyn serving in the United States Space Force and their youngest son Kyle attending the United States Air Force Academy!
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Mrs. Perey has her Bachelor’s in Education and 28 years of experience. She is married to her husband Dale and has four children Lane, Allison, Sara, and Grant. She and her family currently worship at Reformation OPC. Mrs. Perey has been a part of GCS Staff since 2018.
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Ms. Perry is an accompanist with over 30 years experience. She studied piano performance at Western Oregon State University. She taught music at Eastside Christian School for fourteen years and was the accompanist at Central Christian Church (Mesa) for twenty-three years. She currently performs with various groups around the valley and teaches private piano lessons. She has accompanied all of the Gilbert Christian Schools choirs since 2007.
Kelly received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Science Education from Northland University in 2003. Kelly has worked in Christian Education for 11 years. She has taught in various grade levels including 3rd grade, middle school science, elementary and middle school P.E., and high school Bible Teaching. She also was a middle school basketball coach for 2 years and a girls’ varsity head coach for 7 years. Kelly enjoys traveling and seeing new places with historical or spiritual significance. She visited the Holy Land with her church, went to St. Vincent on a mission trip with her college basketball team, and visited Rome and Naples with family. She and her husband Ed have been married for 15 years and have 2 boys who will be attending GCS this year. Kelly and her family is visiting several local churches and is excited to see which church God directs them to as their new home church. She joined the GCS team in 2022.
Psalm 43:3 Send me your Light and Truth, let them lead me; let them guide me to your Holy Mountain, to the place where You dwell.
Katelyn Rachoy has been an orchestra director at Gilbert Christian since 2013. An Arizona native, she earned a B.M.E. in Music Education with an Instrumental Emphasis from the University of Arizona. Mrs. Rachoy started playing the viola at age seven and loved the experiences she had in school orchestras, youth symphonies, private lessons and festivals and hopes to share that joy with her students. Her teaching experiences have been in early childhood strings, middle school outreach band, and elementary through high school orchestra. Prior to teaching at Gilbert Christian, Mrs. Rachoy substituted for music classes in the Mesa Public School district. Katelyn and her husband John attend Grace Bible Church of Phoenix where she enjoys serving in the nursery and on the worship team. She loves teaching at a Christian school where she can motivate students to glorify God with their gifts and abilities.
Jordan Rakita received his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University. Prior to that, he completed a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from NAU. Jordan has been teaching since 2015, working primarily with high school students, which is his true joy in life. His ensembles have consistently received superior ratings at local, state and regional festivals. He serves on the statewide AMEA Board as the ACE HS Fall Festival Vice President and is a former member of the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale. He loves to play basketball and ultimate frisbee. He has an amazing wife Kayla, a daughter named Ruby, and a son named Milo. Jordan joined our GCS staff in 2019.
Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.”
Mr. Ramos has taught MS mathematics in both public and charter school environments. He believes the junior high years are some of the most important years in a student’s education, so it is a blessing to teach students during these important years. Mr. Ramos is a veteran of the United States Air Force and holds a B.A .in Education with an endorsement in mathematics from Boise State University and is certified by the state of Arizona in science. Mr. Ramos attends Christ Church in Gilbert with his daughter. He wants families to know, “My faith in Christ is of the utmost importance in my life, followed next by family. I consider
it a privilege to serve Christ in and through Gilbert Christian Schools.” Mr. Ramos has been a part of GCS staff since 2018.
Rayom has been teaching the Bible since 2015 both in the United States and in different countries around the world. Some interesting facts about Rayom– he speaks Portuguese, is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, loves to read and learn, enjoys surfing, and traveling to different countries to witness and participate in the work God is doing around the world. Mr. Ribeiro and his family attend Redeemer Bible Church. He has been married to his wonderful wife, Brooke, since 2013. They have two sons, Benaiah Ackson, who was born in 2015, and Cedar Haddon, who was born in 2019. Mr. Ribeiro joined the GCS teaching staff in 2020.
“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt HIs name together.” Psalm 34:1-3
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Jenny received her Bachelors in Arts Degree from Western Governor’s University. She has been teaching since 2010 and was born and raised in Florida where she learned to swim in the Atlantic Ocean. She and her wonderful husband have been married since 1985 and have 4 wonderful sons and attend Rock Point Church. She enjoys swimming, reading, movies and hiking. Jenny became part of the GCS Staff in 2019.
“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.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Kathi graduated from Whitworth University in 1998 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with an emphasis in Secondary Education and a minor in Biology. She is certified in both English and mathematics for grades 7th – 12th. She’s taught to a total of 12 years, but took time off for a season to be home with her children when they were young. Kathi was a heptathlete in college and began running distance after graduating. She fell in love with the marathon and then ultra-marathons, racing frequently until 2017. She’s run across the Grand Canyon several times, completed multiple 50ks, 50 milers, and even a 100k! She married her husband, Chris, in 2000 and had her first baby, Carson, in 2004, then Bethany in 2005. They are a family who loves the outdoors and escapes the heat to the mountains as often as possible. The Ridgeways attend Redemption Gateway. Kathi joined the GCS team in the fall of 2021.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
Kendall graduated from the honors college at Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in the spring of 2021. She received her Arizona Teaching Certification the same year. Kendall completed her student teaching here at Gilbert Christian and is thrilled to continue her teaching career at such a Christ centered school beginning in the fall of 2021. She feels so blessed to work in a school where her two passions are combined: serving Jesus and educating the next generation. A fun fact about Kendall is that she was a 4 year member of the GCU cheer team, so she loves to stay active in her free time by weight lifting, hiking, skiing, and tumbling if she gets the chance! Kendall enjoys spending time with her family and is thankful that her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece all live close by. Kendall worships the Lord at Rock Point Church.
“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.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Mr. Robinson graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (English). He currently attends Tempe Nazarene Church, where he serves on the church board and as the lead guitar player for the main service’s worship team. He married his wife, Megan Robinson, in 2010. He and his wife are parents to a 3-year-old daughter, Rory, and a 10-month-old daughter, Riley. He is also currently pursuing his Master’s in Biblical and Theological Studies at Phoenix Seminary. In his spare time, he plays guitar and enjoys spending time with his family. He also likes playing and watching soccer. He is excited to work at GCS because of the ability the school provides to implement Biblical and spiritual teaching and guidance throughout his classes, which he believes provides each student with a truly complete education.
Mona graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and completed the Teacher Education Program to earn her licensure to teach Kindergarten through 6th grade from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1996. She has been trained in Orton Gillingham, TAP, Heggerty, Spalding, and various other practices. She holds certification in Arizona and endorsements in SEI and Early Childhood Education. Mona has over 22 years of education experience in which she taught P.E., Computer Lab, 4th grade, 1st grade, and Kindergarten. Her teaching experience has included classic programs, a Title I school, and a Classical Traditional Academy (which is an accelerated program). Mona went to college on softball and academic scholarships. Mona is blessed with a wonderful family–husband Steve, adult children Brittain and Aubri (new son Ryan by marriage), and precious dachshund Nutmeg. Mona and Steve attend Christ Greenfield. She will begin working at the Agritopia Campus for the 2022-23 school year.
Galations 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ yet I live; but not I, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live, I live by faith through Jesus Christ who loves me and gave himself for me.”
Mrs. Ruggiero was born and raised in New York City. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. She taught in private schools until she and her husband, Will, and daughter, Jessica, relocated to Apache Junction, Arizona. As her husband built his horseshoeing business, she began teaching second grade in a small Christian school in Apache Junction and then in Chandler. Six years after moving to Arizona, her family was blessed with another little girl. With her husband’s business established, she stepped away from her teaching career to home-school their daughter, Janelle. Although it was an incredible blessing to home-school, they are thrilled that Janelle now attends Gilbert Christian. Mrs. Ruggiero has taught second grade at Gilbert Christian since 2017. As a family, they attend Rock Point Church and enjoy horseback riding, hiking and family game night. They continually praise and thank God for His faithfulness and provision as they look forward to another great year.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21
Ryberg ’14, Carol
Carol Ryberg graduated from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, along with a certificate in teaching English as a second language. For the past two years, she has worked as an aide and tutor at the GCS Agritopia campus, where she also taught 7th/8th grade art. In her free time, she enjoys swing dancing, traveling with her husband, and reading. She and her husband, Elijah, attend San Tan Bible Church.
Psalm 119:65-66 “You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your promise. Teaching me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.”
Alumni:Class of 2014
Mrs. Samp graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012, from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Elementary Education. In 2015 she graduated, With Distinction, completing her Master Of Education in Early Childhood Education. She has been a volunteer at Sun Valley Community Church in their “Special Needs One-On-One” Sunday school program and taught elementary music at both Calvary Academy and Faith Christian School in Mesa. Incorporating joy through music is just one way Mrs. Samp brings God’s love to the boys and girls in her classroom.
Madison graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics. She began teaching in the spring of 2021 and is confident that this is what the Lord has called her to do. Madison is excited to see all of the ways God works through her in her journey at GCS. Outside of teaching, Madison loves spending time with friends, working out, reading, and exploring new coffee shops. On Sunday mornings she attends Rock Point Church in Queen Creek. Madison began working at GCS in 2022 and feels so blessed to teach at a school where she can combine her heart for serving the Lord and education.
“Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” Ephesians 3:17-18
Nicole earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from the University of Washington. She also earned her Bible & Theology Certificate from Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, IA. Nicole has experience in nearly all grade levels of education. She has been a lead preschool teacher, high school substitute and most recently she worked on a 4th/5th grade team running remedial intervention groups. During her time working in Elementary school, she also worked as a paraeducator in the special education department as well as assisted in the highly capable/gifted program. Nicole and her family moved from Washington State, trading the forest for the desert. She and her family love exploring the great outdoors! Nicole moved from Washington in 2022 with her husband Kelly, daughter Georgiana, son Levi, their quirky dog Irwin and a pet fish named Bob. The Smith family is excited to find their new church family in AZ. They are thankful for all of the wonderful churches in the area to choose from. She joined Gilbert Christian Schools in 2022.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Ashley first started at GCHS as the school’s certified athletic trainer in 2015 after graduating from the University of South Florida. In 2017 she began teaching sports medicine as well. Ashley currently attends Compass Christian Church in Chandler. One of her life verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” She honestly believes it was God’s plan to bring her to GCHS. This school quickly became like a family to her. Nothing brings her more joy than getting to teach what she is passionate about every day while helping students and athletes grow spiritually as well. Watching students go from not knowing how to rip tape to taping ankles confidently each year has most definitely been a highlight in her time here.
Mr. Stow has a B.S. in Physical Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, an M.A in Christian Education from Southwestern Seminary, and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Biola University. He has over 15 years of teaching experience and also has experience working in a church and non-profit settings. From 2015-2017, Mr. Stow and his family lived and served on a University campus in east Asia. He loves to travel and experience new cultures. Mr. Stow has traveled to six of the seven continents (Antarctica is on his bucket list). Jay and his family enjoy serving International students at ASU. Jay is thankful for his family, his wife Jennifer and daughter Landry. Mr. Stow joined our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.
“Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Philippians 2:2
Mrs. Tolson is the Preschool Director at the Greenfield Campus and provides Aide support in the Pre-K 4’s class. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and also attended Northern Arizona University majoring in Business Administration. She has taught preschool for more than 30 years and has been the Director at previous Christian Preschools. Mrs. Tolson is enthusiastic about teaching and brings extensive experience and knowledge to the classroom. She is active in the Children’s Ministry at Sun Valley Community Church and believes it is critically important to provide a Christ-inspired classroom environment and to instill moral values in our children. Her goal is to help the children learn the educational basics and to understand that all of our blessings come from God. Mrs. Tolson has been a part of the GCS teaching staff since 2017.
“Always give thanks to God.” Ephesians 5:20
Mrs. Tutty received her B.A. in Music and Speech Communication from the University of Washington and her Masters in Music from Boise State University. She also holds an Arizona Teaching Certification for K-8. Her teaching experience includes 2 years as a 4th-grade teacher and Choral/Music faculty at Arizona School for the Arts, Rosie’s House, and Rolling Hills Charter School. As a performer, she has played piano for Opera Idaho and sung on 2 Grammy award-winning albums with a professional choir. Mrs. Tutty has served as Assistant Artistic Director and Accompanist with the Phoenix Girls Chorus since 2010. She loves family hiking, jogging, listening to her favorite podcasts, Boise State Football, and Starbucks dates with her husband. Jeremy and Kandis have three children; Kambry, Chaucer, and Ellerie, and currently worship and serve at Central Christian Church in both Children’s and Marriage Mentoring ministries. She has been a part of GCS Staff since 2018 and loves guiding students to sense and experience God in unique ways through music.
“Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Van Den Top, Anna
Vander Peut, Brenna
Brenna has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas Woman’s University. She has been teaching since 2007, where she started in Texas public schools. It is Brenna’s passion to partner with parents to foster a love of both the Lord and learning within her students. She considers it a calling and blessing to be a Christian educator, to incorporate a Christian worldview throughout every subject. She has two daughters, both of whom attended GCS and are now in college. Brenna attends Rock Point Church. She has been teaching at Gilbert Christian Schools since 2010.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
Mrs.Vanni was born in Florida, raised in Georgia, but found her home in Arizona. Her career began as a Designer of interior spaces and printed materials. She has a Bachelor of Science in Design from the College of Architecture at Arizona State University. Mrs. Vanni worked for 10 years in the Architecture field, then gave it up when she became a mom but God had another plan to use her gifts and talents in a different way. She is currently Greenfield’s Art teacher…teaching 2nd – 8th graders to tap into their creativity and to open their eyes to God’s beautiful artwork that surrounds us all. Mrs.Vanni enjoys quiet moments, paint on her hands, the smell of rain before a storm, the sound of waves on the beach, reading a good book, gazing at the stars, and helping someone in need. She is a visionary with her head in the clouds but her feet firmly planted in God’s word. Her life is a reflection of Christ inside of her and it is a masterpiece in the making. She has been married to her husband, Steve, for over 20 years and has two children that attend GCS.
” For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”…Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Aly has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English and has two years of teaching experience before becoming a full-time teacher at GCS in fall of 2021. Aly is married to JD and they have three children. She is a huge lover of cats! Their family attends Fresh Start Church.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3
Breena graduated from Northwest University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She has experience in kindergarten classrooms but was also a student teacher in a 3rd grade class at an elementary school in Bothell Washington. Breena has taught swimming lessons for 3 years and tends to find herself outside or doing water activities. She loves spending her extra time traveling with her friends and family. Most of her family is back in Oregon and Washington but she has two wonderful parents, an amazing older brother, and a great sister-in-law! Breena and her mom are currently attending Cornerstone Church in Chandler. She joined the GCS family in the Fall of 2022.
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Mrs. Wilfong is a seasoned Christian teacher with years of experience teaching in upper elementary Christian classrooms both in the Midwest and in the Phoenix area. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Dordt college and began teaching at GCS, 4th grade in 2017. She loves working at Gilbert Christian and seeing how God helps young 4th graders grow and mature both academically, socially, and spiritually. She attends church at Redemption Tempe and runs marathons in her free time.
Catharina owns a B.A. in Psychology as well as a MBA in HR Management. In addition, she has 15 years working Creative Arts running her own business. She is bilingual with her first language Afrikaans. Catharina and her husband Kevin enjoy their busy household with their four children Emma, Tobie, Caden, and Cate. Catharina and family attend Redeemer Bible Church. Catharina has been working at GCS since 2019.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Mr. Wilson serves currently as the Biblical Worldview Director for the Gilbert Christian Schools district. He received his Masters from Phoenix Seminary and his Bachelors from Northern Arizona University. He is an avid bowhunter and outdoorsman. Mr. Wilson has been married to his wife Jeannie for more than 10 years and they have two children, Abigail and Caleb, who both attend GCS. He joined the Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2017.
“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
Jenn Wyss attended The University of Illinois where she received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Later, she obtained her master’s degree in Educational Leadership/Principal Certification at Northern Arizona University. Her work background includes teaching for 4 years in the Higley Unified School District and working as the Children’s Pastor at Vineyard Gilbert for almost 8 years. She is passionate about guiding children to become who God designed them to be academically, spiritually and emotionally. Furthermore, her philosophy of math is to ultimately help students understand and enjoy the benefits, power and creativity that math provides. She has been married since 2004 to her husband, Josh, and they have 3 children together. Vineyard Gilbert is still where her family attends and serves. She joined the GCS staff in 2021 after admiring the culture, education and personnel at Gilbert Christian as a parent for the 5 years prior.
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4
Mrs. Zimmerman has a BA in Elementary Education, a MA in Bilingual/Multicultural Education, and is certified by the state of Arizona to teach grades K-8, with endorsements in middle grades (5th – 9th) and ESL. She has taught in public schools and private Christian schools for 20 years with experience teaching in elementary school, middle school, and behavior disorder classrooms. Much of her experience includes training in science and math, including the opportunity to train teachers to teach science through the D.E.S.E.R.T. Project, science conventions, and the Christian School Educators Science Academy. She currently attends Two Rivers Church in Gilbert. She has been married for 24 wonderful years of marriage. She and her husband have two children, a young adult and a student who attends GCHS.
“It is both an honor and a blessing for my family to be a part of Gilbert Christian School. Though I have been through a variety of trials, I am encouraged to “count it all joy” as it is Jesus that has transformed my life and I pray he does the same for all of the students I am blessed to work with!
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.