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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
Miss Abraham received a Bachelors in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University This is her first full teaching year with her own classroom. With 4 years of experience in practicum, teaching positions, substituting and student teaching at public, charter, and other private schools. Miss Abraham loves the outdoors including hiking, camping, paddle boarding, cliff jumping, and on occasion surfing. She is the youngest of 7 kids who live in multiple different states. Miss Abraham attends Christ Church Phoenix. She began working as a substitute teacher in January of 2023 at GCS.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them. Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18
Ms. Adams received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 1998 and her Master of Elementary Education in 2014. She has been teaching for 8 years–5 years in 3rd grade and most recently, 2 years in 5th grade ELA. She also was a teaching assistant for 3 years in Kindergarten. Ms. Adams grew up in Wisconsin, enjoys spending time outdoors, and has a pet aquatic turtle named Annie. She has two sons–Joey who graduated in 2021 and Alex who will graduate this school year. Ms. Adams currently attends Redeemer Bible Church and serves on the greeting team and sings in the choir. She will begin working at GCS in 2023.
“Be joyful in hope; be patient in affliction, be persistent in prayer.” Romans 12:12
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
Ms. Ashley graduated from NAU with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Ms. Ashley has 6 months of Student Teaching Kindergarten at Riggs Elementary. She also has a year and a half of experience in Practicum at Riggs Elementary (K) and Towne Meadows Elementary (1st and 4th grade). Lastly, she has over four years of teaching art classes with K-6th grade students at Young Rembrandts. Ms. Ashley loves to golf, create art, and work out. She is the only granddaughter out of twelve grandchildren. Ms. Ashley has one brother and two amazing parents. Ms. Ashley attends Cornerstone Church. 2023 was Ms. Ashley’s first year at GCS.
“Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.” Job 22:21-22
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!
Mrs. Azeka has received her Bachelors in Psychology from Northern Arizona University and her Masters of Education and Certification through Arizona State University. She has been teaching in the primary grades since 2017 and also has experience with curriculum coordination and team leadership. Mrs. Azeka loves to spend time with her family, read, watch movies, be creative, and go antique shopping. She has been happily married to her husband Bryan for 10 years. Mrs. Azeka currently attends Christ Greenfield Lutheran Church in Gilbert, Arizona. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8
Mrs. Bailey received her Bachelors in Education from the Pennsylvania State University. She taught second grade for one year and fourth grade for 7 years. She has also led fencing and gymnastics clubs over the years. Mrs. Bailey loves to listen to music, walk her dog every morning, and hang out with her family. She has been married to her husband, Brian, for 20 years and has three teenage children. Mrs. Bailey currently attends Redemption Gateway Church with her family. She loves serving in the nursery with her eldest daughter. Her first year at GCS was in 2023 but her fourth year teaching in a Christian school.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10
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
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
Mrs. Blunt earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Susquehanna University and a Masters Degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University. This is Mrs. Blunt’s 16th year of teaching Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Mrs. Blunt loves to play with her family farm of dogs and chickens. During school breaks, she will be hiking in Sedona or playing at the beach with her family. She has been married to her husband Brian for 20 years and they have a daughter (17) and a son (13). Mrs. Blunt and her family are members of Risen Savior Lutheran Church. She is a greeter and a volunteer for the Women’s Ministry. She began teaching at GCS in 2023.
“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
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. Brasier has received a Bachelors in Music Education, a Masters in Music Education, a Masters in Elementary Education, a Masters in Educational Leadership and is currently working on her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership in K-12 Education. She has taught in both music and elementary classrooms for over 10 years and has been a private Christian school administrator for 8 years. Mrs. Brasier loves spending time with family and playing video games on her Switch with her kids. She has been married to her amazing husband Robert for 29 years and has a son and daughter. Her son is an adult and her daughter is a senior at GCS. Mrs. Brasier currently attends Rock Point Church. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Mary Brotherton received her degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She taught 5th grade for 2 years and preschool for 5 years before stepping away from the classroom to stay home and raise her 4 children. She was so excited to be able to return to teaching at Gilbert Christian Schools! Mary is a Gilbert native and enjoys hiking and spending time with her family. She has been married to her wonderful husband, Mike, for over 14 years and they have 4 sweet kids who all attend Gilbert Christian Schools. Mary and her family attend and serve Christ Church. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
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.
Mrs. Burgess has received her Bachelors in Elementary Education and her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. She has been a classroom teacher, interventionist, academic coach, curriculum coordinator, and assistant principal over the last 17 years. Mrs. Burgess recently moved to Arizona from Tennessee and loves to travel with her family to explore new parts of the country. She has been married to her husband Jason for over 29 years and has two sons. Reed is 22 and is married to Kaylie. Jack is 10 and will be in the 5th grade at GCS Greenfield. Mrs. Burgess is currently visiting churches in the area with her family as they look for a new church home. They look forward to finding their new church home where they can worship, serve, and make connections. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Mrs. Burke received her Bachelor’s in K-6 Elementary Education from Grove City College in 2019. She taught 3rd grade at an English Immersion school in Xela, Guatemala for her first year of teaching. She then taught 5th and 6th grade Math and Science for 3 years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Burke is going into her fifth year of teaching! Mrs. Burke loves to run! She ran cross country in college and usually trains for races throughout the year. She recently got married to her husband Justin this past June! She began working at GCS in 2023.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” – Romans 15:13
Mrs. Burkhart received her Bachelors of Music Education from Spring Arbor University where she studied Violin, Voice and Piano. She received her Masters in Educational Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She taught General Music, Choir and Orchestra in Florida for 10 years, and while on vacation in Arizona was hired to teach Orchestra in Phoenix. She has now been teaching for a total of 37 years, with students earning many Superior awards as well as an invitation to participate in a National Festival of Gold in Chicago where her students also received a Superior rating. Mrs. Burkhart likes to travel, visiting with family and friends, who are spread all over the country. Other interests include various kinds of needlework. Mrs. Burkhart has been married to her sweetheart, Richard, for 54 years this August. They have 2 daughters, Christine and Bethany, and one grandson, Brian Burkhart. Christine is a Certified Pharmacy Tech at Banner Desert Hospital, and Bethany is a 2nd-grade teacher at the GCS Val Vista campus. Brian makes barn doors for Eden Down Home and is also a mentor for the GCS Robotics Team. He is a graduate of GCS High School. Mrs. Burkhart currently attends First Baptist Chandler. Mrs. Burkhart taught Strings at the Agritopia campus in 2017 for some time and then returned to GCS in 2023.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” I Corinthians 10:13
Ms Burkhart holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State and a Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University She has been teaching for 16 years and has taught grades Preschool through 7th grade during her career. She was also been the Yearbook advisor at her previous school. Ms. Burkhart enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She has a 25-year-old son Brian, who graduated from Gilbert Christian in 2016. Ms. Burkhart currently attends Queen Creek Bible Church where she is part of the Children’s Ministry and the Cares Ministry. She began working at GCS in 2023.
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.”
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
Mr. Cervantez earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University in 1998 and his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Arizona State University in 1995. In 2006, Mr. Cervantez earned a certificate from the EVBC Training Center for completing the Training Center for Development of Church Pastors, Teachers, Elders, and Lay Leaders. Mr. Cervantez has been teaching PE since 1995. Mr. Cervantez is excited to use his gifts, experiences, and passions to communicate the glory and worth of Jesus Christ to students and families at GCS. Mr. Cervantez enjoys family time and vacations on the beach. He enjoys spraying golf balls around the golf course when time permits. Mr. Cervantez and his wife, Carina, just celebrated their 26th year of marriage. They have four children. The Cervantez family attends Redeemer Bible Church. Mr. Cervantez joined GCS in 2023.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
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. Chapman has received his Bachelor’s degree in Education. This will be his 5th year teaching. He has taught 4th, 6th, and 8th grades in the past. Mr. Chapman enjoys spending time outdoors and working out at the gym. Mr. Chapman attends Calvary East Valley. He began working at GCS in 2023.
“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
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.
Mrs. Christy has received her Masters in Elementary Education along with her teaching certificate and her Bachelor of Science in Journalism/Public Relations. This will be her first year with her own classroom though she has two years of experience teaching. Mrs. Christy loves to be active, enjoys singing, and likes to travel with her family whenever possible. She has been married to her husband, John, for eight years and has two young children. Mrs. Christy attends Mission Community Church and serves in Women’s Bible study and Children’s Ministry. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
Mrs. Clark has received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. She has 2 years of experience teaching, and 5 years of experience working in ministry at a local church on the Creative Arts team. Mrs. Clark likes to swim in the pool, bake or cook new recipes, spend time with her family, and enjoy the sunshine on desert hiking trails. She has been married to her husband Shelby since 2011 and has two daughters (Abby and Kate) that attend GCS. Mrs. Clark and her family attend and absolutely love Sun Valley Community Church. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5
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.
Mrs. Clower received her Bachelors in Education from Ottawa University and also had an Early Childhood Endorsement. She has been teaching kindergarten for over six years and has also taught 1st and 2nd grade. She has served as a PTSO Teacher Representative, has been the kindergarten team lead, and served as a mentor for first year teachers. In her spare time, Mrs. Clower enjoys decorating her home and spending time in the mountains at her family cabin. As a family, they also enjoy fishing, hiking, exploring Arizona, and playing sports. She has been married to her husband, Scott, for 22 years and they have three children ages 19, 18, and 9. Her youngest son will be joining her at Val Vista and will be in the 4th grade. Mrs. Clower currently attends Generation Church with her family. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Mrs. Cook graduated with a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and teaching certificate from ASU in the Spring of 2022. Prior to teaching, she worked in college ministry for 12 years alongside her husband in CA and AZ. Most recently, Mrs. Cook taught kindergarten for Chandler Unified School District and has a background in working as a behavioral therapist for children with autism. Mrs. Cook likes to read, decorate, cook, and cheer her kids on in their sports and activities. She also enjoys visiting the beaches of her hometown with her family. She has been married to her husband Jared for 14 years and has three children (Dusty, Elijah, and Harper) who also attend GCS. Mrs. Cook attends Christ Church Gilbert with her family and is so thankful to be a part of a church body that is deeply rooted in the Bible. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“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
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.”
Mrs. Cruz received her Bachelors in Education from Ottawa University and her Master’s in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University. She has been in education for 18 years. She has begun her journey by working with English Language Learners, after graduating with her teaching certificate, she moved to general Education and taught in 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade classes. Mrs. Cruz enjoys cooking for family and friends, she likes to paint, and her favorite places to visit have to have a beach or a lake. She has been married to her husband for 30 years. They have two grown children, her daughter who lives in Northern California, and her son and his wife in Washington. She enjoys traveling to visit them and spending quality time together. Mrs. Cruz currently attends Shepherd’s House Bible Church. She began working with GCS in 2023.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Adriana Cure is from Colombia, South America and she graduated from Universidad del Atlántico (Barranquilla-Colombia) with a B.A. in Spanish (ELE) and English (ESL). She also has postgraduate certificates in teaching the English and Spanish languages to foreigners. She has been a teacher for twenty-three years. In 2000, she won a scholarship with the British Council to work in a high school in Birmingham, UK as a Spanish assistant for a school year period. During her career, she worked for Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla-Colombia for eleven years and the Colombian Naval Academy of her hometown. Her last job was with a private institute that is sponsored by the American Embassy in her country. She believes that her experience and her educational qualifications enable her to become an effective member of the GCS family.
“Bendice, alma mía, al Señor, Y bendiga todo mi ser Su santo nombre. Bendice, alma mía, a Señor, Y no olvides ninguno de sus beneficios. Él es quien perdona todas tus iniquidades” Salmo 103: 1-3a
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 her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Specialist 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.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
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. Dobbs is originally from Tucson, Az, and attended the University of Arizona for her Undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and then went on to get her Masters in Educational Technology from Northern Arizona University. She previously taught 1st and 2nd grade for 9 years in Casa Grande and was a technology teacher in New Jersey for Prek-8th grade for 3 years. Mrs. Dobbs loves to travel and has been to The UK, France, Germany, Holland, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, and Canada. She also enjoys a good trip to Disney whenever she can. She has been married for 7 years to her Husband Charles. He is a senior manager of business intelligence for Verizon. They have 3 children. Her stepson Sean is 17 years old and attends Desert Ridge High School, Their daughter Harper is 4 years old and will be attending the 5-day Pre-k program at Val Vista, and they have a 2-year-old son named Hunter. She and her family attend church at Cornerstone in Chandler. She is involved in their women’s ministry, and MOPS. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13
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.”
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. 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.
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.
Ms. Franklin earned her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Masters in Educational Leadership (Administration) She has been teaching for over 25 years. Most of her teaching assignments were Middle School/Jr High Science, Math, and/or Computer Science. Ms. Franklin is a soprano and loves to sing in choirs. She has been a member of the ASU Gospel Choir as well as singing on the church worship team and choir. She also enjoys experiencing the wonders of nature and is hoping to visit ALL of the National Parks. Her son and daughter-in-law are her pride and joy! Ms. Franklin is currently a member of Trinity Worship Center and serves in Sunday School and music ministry. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“…Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1 KJV
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. Geopfert has received her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies/ Undergraduate Education K-8 from Azusa Pacific University. She has taught Pre-K and assistant taught Kindergarten and 4th grade. She was a vocational ministry leader overseeing Kindergarten through 5th-grade Children’s Ministry for over two years before moving to leadership over the team of directors from Birth-Grade 5. Mrs. Geopfert is an Arizona native who loves going up to the mountains, boating, and hiking. She also enjoys reading and cooking for family and friends. Mrs. Geopfert has been married to her husband Tyler for 12 years and they have two sons and a daughter who will be attending the Val Vista campus as well. Mrs. Geopfert attends Rock Point Church and has loved being a part of the KIDS Ministry there. She joined the GCS staff in 2023.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:10-14 Also, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
Mr. Ghena received his Bachelors in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University. He also studied abroad at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He previously taught 7th-grade ELA and 7th and 8th-grade science at a charter school. This is his second year teaching and first year teaching 6th grade ELA. Mr. Ghena likes to watch Michigan sports, play golf, explore history documentaries, try new restaurants, and travel internationally. He also cherishes time spent with his family. He spends every Sunday with his parents who live in the Phoenix area. He also has a brother and a sister who live in the Valley that he sees quite often. Mr. Ghena attends Foothills Baptist Church in Ahwatukee and greatly enjoys worshipping with his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. He began working at GCS in 2023.
“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
Mrs. Gill received her Bachelor of Music Education, specializing in string instruments She has been teaching music and performing professionally over the past 20 years. Mrs. Gill enjoys coffee dates with her husband, spending time with and raising her children, playing violin professionally, and being active. She and her husband, Chris, have been married for 19 years and met in church preschool. They have four children who all love singing and playing instruments. Mrs. Gill attends Rock Point Church where the family is getting plugged into children’s, middle and high school ministries. She began teaching at GCS fall of 2023.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
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.
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.
Mrs. Hanson has received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She taught 4th grade for 4 years before spending some time at home raising her 3 children. Mrs. Hanson enjoys her time working out, baking, and spending time with her family! She has been married to her husband Aaron for 16 years. They have 3 children who will be joining GCS this school year. Mrs. Hanson and her family currently attend Redeemer Bible Church and they serve in various ministries. Mrs. Hanson became part of the GCS staff in 2023.
“…for He has said “I will never leave you nor forsake you” So we can confidently say the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me” Hebrews 13: 5-6
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. Hershey received his Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies and Master’s in Divinity Working in schools and churches for 5 years as a teacher, pastor, and administrator. He likes to play golf and basketball and snowboard with his wife. Mr. Hershey has been married to his wife Patience for over three years and has a daughter named Shiloh. He and his family attend Christ Church and he serves on the prayer team. Mr. Hershey became part of the GCS staff in 2023.
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4
Mrs. Hodge received her Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Bible and Theology from William Jessup University. She has experience teaching all ages but has spent the majority of her teaching career teaching middle school and High school. Mrs. Hodge loves to read and bake with her children. She has been married to her husband Taylor for 8 years and have three children together. Their oldest began attending GCS in 2023. Mrs. Hodge attends Generation Church with her family. Her husband is a Worship Pastor and she serves with their little G’s ministry. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“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.”
James 1:2-4 ESV
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.”
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. “
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
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.
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
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.
Mrs. Kerr has received her Bachelors in Education and has received her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. She has been teaching for 4 years. She has taught kindergarten and 3rd grade. Mrs. Kerr likes to knit, watch hockey, and visit her husband’s family cabin up north whenever they have the chance. She has been married to her husband Bryce for 4 years. They have a German Shepherd dog, who always keeps them active. Mrs. Kerr currently attends Gold Canyon Community Church. This is her first year at GCS.
“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
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.
Mrs. Lamberth received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City-Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Florida. She has been teaching music for over 20 years. Mrs. Lamberth enjoys traveling and playing games with her family. She has been married to her husband Nathan for over 20 years and has two sons, Max and Tate. Mrs. Lamberth currently attends The Oasis where she and her husband both serve on the worship team. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalms 100:4
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.
Mrs. Lentz has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, with Middle School Endorsements in both math and science. She also has a Master’s Degree in Gifted Education from Grand Canyon University. She has been teaching 6th-grade math and science for the last 5 and a half years and also has 7 years of experience as a junior high and high school youth leader through her church. Mrs. Lentz loves to sing and has been a musician for as long as she can remember. She also has a blackbelt in TaeKwonDo and enjoys continuing to learn new styles of martial arts. Most recently she has taken a liking to gardening and learning how to grow different fruits and veggies. She has been married to her husband Joshua for the last 5 years and they have a wonderful son named Jameson together. Mrs. Lentz has attended Redemption Gilbert for the last 26 years. She previously served as a leader for their youth ministry, and is proud to call her church “home”. She began working at GCS at the start of the 2023/2024 school year for the opening of the Val Vista Campus.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
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
Mrs. Lottes received her Bachelors in Multi-age Music Education from Cedarville University in Ohio. She has been teaching music and theatre for over 20 years. Mrs. Lottes has a deep love of God’s creation, and spending time outdoors. She has been married to her husband Michael for for over 10 years and has two children. They have a son who attends GCS Agritopia, and a daughter who hopes to join pre-k there when she is old enough. Mrs. Lottes and her family attend Christ Church Gilbert, and she serves on the worship team for the Students ministry. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
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.
Megan Martin has received her Bachelors Kinesiology and a Masters degree in Education She has taught kindergarten through 8th-grade physical education for over 15 years and has coached after-school athletics for 10 years. “Coach” Martin loves to spend time weightlifting and traveling with her family. She has been married to her husband, Michael for over 7 years and they have one daughter who is in first grade at GCS. Coach Martin currently attends Rock Point Church with her husband and volunteers with the Kids Ministry. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. Philippians” 4:13
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
Mr. Mathews has a Bachelors in Anthropology and is currently enrolled in pursuit of a Masters of Divinity from Southern California Seminary. He has ministered in college and young adult ministry on church and para-church staff for 10 years, with a focus in discipleship and inductive Bible study. He loves hiking, climbing, golf, snowboarding, kayaking, mountain biking, exercising, traveling, Jeopardy, and board games. He has been married to Adrienne since 2019. He attends Shepherd’s House Bible Church and serves in discipleship ministry and young married discipleship He began working for GCS in 2023.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
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
She has received her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, Masters in Elementary Education, certified as a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood Generalist. She is also currently finishing her second Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in August from Grand Canyon University. She has been teaching preschool to fourth graders for over 18 years. Mrs. Meyer likes to spend time gardening, baking with her girls, playing with two dogs, hiking, camping, watching movies, and creating crafts with her Cricut. She has been married to her husband Rob for over 16 years. They have three sweet kids. Their oldest is Phyllicity (Felicity) and she attends ALA Gilbert High High School. Then Shelby is an 8th grader also at ALA Gilbert. Their youngest is Robbie and he is in 3rd grade at ALA Mesa. her family attends Christ Church of the Valley (CCV). We have been there for 6 years. Our kids attend youth group. We attend small group. She will begin working at GCS this current school year.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
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
Ms. Monk graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature. She started out teaching 2nd grade until she realized that middle schoolers were better able to appreciate her terrible puns. She’s been teaching 6th grade English for the last 4 years and was head of the middle school English department. In her spare time, Ms. Monk loves to go on long hikes (anywhere from 17.5 miles in Iceland to a little jaunt in the Superstitions), read books, and write novels. She spends quite a bit of time catching up with her 10 siblings and is the loving aunt to 6 (soon to be 7!) nieces and nephews, and in October, she will be marrying her fiance! Ms. Monk has led worship and served in prayer ministry at churches in the Gilbert area for the past 10 years and is currently transitioning to Sun Valley Community Church to attend where her fiance works in full-time ministry. Ms. Monk joined the GCS staff in 2023.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
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
Mrs. Otto graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a focus in Physical Education. She has been teaching PE since 2014. Mrs. Otto likes to take weekend trips up to Prescott and travels to Balboa Island during the summers with her family. She also enjoys being outdoors and fishing with her husband. She has been happily married to her husband, Josh, since 2015. Mrs. Otto currently attends Redemption Church Gateway with her husband and family. This is her first year teaching at Gilbert Christian School. She is excited to come alongside fellow believers and serve the students, families, and staff of GCS! She is praying that God uses her to instill the importance and enjoyment of being active and taking care of the bodies that God has gifted us.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Jesus saved Mike during his college studies and gave him a love for God and his people. He is married to Lynne and has two grown daughters: Hannah (River) and Amy. Mike and Lynne fostered immigrant children from Central America, who also attended GCS. He and his family have lived abroad for the gospel in Mexico and North Africa. He serves in a multi-ethnic church here in the valley. His desire is to encourage this generation of students to know Jesus and then to live their lives for Him. Mike received his Masters Degree in Spanish Linguistics from New Mexico State University and his BA at Arizona State University. He’s currently pursuing his biblical counseling certification.
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
Mr. Pastor earned his bachelor’s degree in Commercial Physical Education at Colorado State University. He later earned his master’s degree at the University of Arizona in Exercise & Sports Sciences. He continued his education by earning a post-baccalaureate degree at Arizona State University in elementary education (K-8). He has been teaching middle school and high school math for 26 years. He also taught biological sciences for 7 years and a STEM class for 3 years. Mr. Pastor enjoys coaching, most recently volleyball and softball. He is an avid Denver Broncos fan. He has been married to his beautiful bride, Terri, for 35 years. He has two children. Hannah, his oldest, is 27 and is, presently, a stay-at-home mom. She graduated from Grand Canyon University. Jared is 25 years old. He is living and working in Irvine, California. He works as a web designer and technology manager for a realty company. Mr. Pastor is, presently, looking for a new church home. He is new to the Gilbert community since moving from Oro Valley, AZ. He began his new teaching venture at GCS in 2023.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7,8
Mrs. Pastor attended Northern Arizona University where she received a dual degree in elementary/special education. During her years of teaching in Phoenix, she continued her education and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education through Northern Arizona University. Her first teaching job was in the Cartwright School District in Phoenix, Arizona. She taught 3rd grade for 10 years at Heatherbrae Elementary School. She moved back to her hometown, Tucson, in 1999. She continued pursuing her love of teaching in the Amphitheater School District. She taught for 10 years in 4th grade and 12 years in 3rd grade at Wilson K-8. For the past two years, she had the blessing of teaching 4th grade at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, also in Tucson. Mrs. Pastor’s interests include enjoying the outdoors by hiking and going on walks, reading, attending plays, and watching movies. She has been married to her husband, Mike for over 35 years. Her husband, Mike, is the 7th/8th grade math teacher at Val Vista. She has two amazing, grown children. Hannah, her oldest, graduated from Grand Canyon University as an education major. Presently, Hannah is a stay-at-home mom with her grandson, Zander. It is so fun having a little one in our lives again! Jared, her youngest, is living and working in Irvine, California. He works as a web designer and technology manager for a realty company. Mrs. Pastor is currently looking for a new church as she and her family are new to the community. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“But 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 faint.” Isaiah 40:31
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.”
Mr. Pearson received his Bachelors in Education from Arizona State University. He has been teaching 4th grade for 7 years. He also taught a year of 5th grade. Mr. Pearson enjoys all things nerdy (Superheroes, Star Wars, Video Games, and much more). He collects comic books and loves to play board games whenever he gets a chance. He has been married to his wife Kayla for over 8 years and is a foster parent who has had many littles ones over the last 3 years that have so far all gone back to live with their families. Mr. Pearson currently attends The Source Church in East Mesa and serves as an elder as well as in the sound booth on Sunday mornings. He has been a part of the Gilbert Christian Schools team since 2023.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
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.
Mrs. Person received her Bachelors of Arts in Special Education from Arizona State University and her Masters of Education in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. She has over 19 years of education experience teaching special education resources, special education self-contained, and general education English Language Learners. Her experience includes public and charter schools. Mrs. Person loves to hike, camp, and hunt in the forests of Arizona. She has been married to her husband Dennis for over 35 years. They have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. Mrs. Person and her husband attend Redemption Church Gilbert where she serves in the R/Kids children’s ministry. Mrs. Person is very excited to join the GCS family at Val Vista for the 2023-2024 school year.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Mr. Peters has received his Masters in Educational Administration and his Bachelors in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. He has been teaching for five years. One year in first grade, three years in fourth grade, and one year in sixth grade. Mr. Peters and his family have 10 animals at home. They have five dogs, four cats, and a bird. Mr. Peters is married to his wife Desiree going on eight years. Together they have four children. Tristan, Logan, Emmaline, and Madeline. All of their children attend GCS. Mr. Peters and his family attend Rock Point Church. He began working at GCS in 2023.
“In God, whose word I praise- in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:4
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.
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.
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
Emily Russell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from ASU and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She served as the MOPs Kids Lead Coordinator for two years in 1st Grade and one year in 4th Grade. Interestingly, Emily has three daughters who were all born in different states: Reese in California, Stella in Arizona, and Tatum in Florida. Despite this, they are not a military family. Her teaching journey began in California, where she taught 1st Grade, and she continued to serve in children’s ministry through their church. Before GCS, Emily was at home raising her three daughters, alongside her husband, Geoff. She is excited to support her children in their spiritual growth and help them reach their full potential. Emily is a member of the Sun Valley Community Church in Tempe and joined the GCS staff in 2023.
“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
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.
Mrs. Schmersahl earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis in special education, a Master of Arts in Educational Studies with an emphasis in learning disabilities, and was certified in 2007 as a psychological examiner in the state of Missouri qualifying her to diagnose educational exceptionalities. She holds current teacher certificates from the state of Missouri in elementary and special education. Mrs. Schmersahl has 17 years of professional experience teaching in a variety of professional roles including middle school special services teacher and coordinator, elementary education classroom teacher, district response to intervention coordinator and trainer, and college instructor in a teacher preparation program. Mrs. Schmersahl enjoys studying theology, exploring new places with her family, watching her kids’ activities, hiking beautiful trails, kayaking, snow skiing, reading, journaling, and spending quality time with good friends. She has been married to her husband Jeff since 2000 and they have a son and daughter who both attend GCS. Mrs. Schmersahl and her family worship at Christ Church. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
Mrs. Schwindt received her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Western Governors University. She is a certified Arizona state K-8 teacher and holds certification in Structured English Immersion. She has taught pre-k at a private school in Washington and taught first grade at a charter school in Gilbert. Mrs. Schwindt loves spending time with her family, friends, and serving at her church. She also enjoys going for walks, listening to podcasts, and cooking. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has four amazing kids and one cuddly little dog. Mrs. Schwindt and her family attend Rock Point Church where she serves in the children’s & middle school youth ministries. She joined the GCS team in 2023.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 NLT
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
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
Mrs. Vilhauer has a Masters in Education and a Bachelors in Biblical Studies. She holds an AZ Teaching Certificate as well as a Lifetime ACSI Teaching Certificate. She has been teaching for over 20 years with most of those years being in 2nd grade and a few in 1st grade and 3rd grade. Mrs. Vilhauer’s first teaching job was in rural Montana where she taught in a one-room schoolhouse on a Hutterite Colony. She had 8 students that were spread out from 1st grade to 7th grade. She has been married to her husband Kevin for 24 years and has 2 sons. The oldest lives in Washington with his wife and son. The youngest is studying at Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Vilhauer and her family currently attend Generation Church in Mesa. She began working at GCS in 2023.
”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
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
Becca Warbreck graduated from Central Washington University with her Bachelors in Education. She double majored in Elementary Education and in Early Childhood Education. Becca is currently working on her Masters in Theology with an emphasis in Apologetics. Becca comes to Gilbert Christian after teaching 7th/8th grade Bible for 6 years at Life Christian Academy in Tacoma, Washington. She enjoys building legos with her family, going cycling with her husband and reading when possible. She has been married for over 20 years to her husband, Justin and they have 4 children who will all be attending GCS. Becca and her family are still looking for a church home, since moving to Arizona this past summer. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
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
Mrs. Woods received her Bachelors in Education from Grand Canyon University. She has been teaching science for 8 years and also has led/taught peer-leadership clubs and classes. Mrs. Woods loves to be out in nature. Reading and baking are close seconds, but whether it is hiking or camping with her family, the outdoors is her favorite place to be. She has been married to her wonderful husband David for 11 great years. They have three young, amazing children Everly, Mila, and Noah. Mrs. Woods is a member of Redemption Gateway Church. She serves alongside her husband as a small-group leader. She began working at GCS in 2023.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3
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.