Mrs. Abbott attended Baylor University where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music History and Literature. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Arizona State University. While living in Northern California, Mrs. Abbott worked as a substitute teacher in the public school system for two years before relocating to Arizona. After spending time at home with her children, she returned to substitute teaching and then accepted the position of Teacher Apprentice for the second and third grades. She and her husband Josh have two children currently attending Gilbert Christian. Mrs. Abbott enjoys working with Troop AZ2029 of the American Heritage Girls which meets at GCS. The Abbotts attend Central Christian Church in Gilbert.
Mrs. Ames holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She has taught kindergarten at GCS since 2001 and currently teaches art to 2nd – 8th-grade students. Before coming to GCS, she taught for 10 years in Mesa Public Schools and three years in Kyrene Public Schools. In addition to introducing boys and girls to art, Mrs. Ames loves to lead children in worship and praise to God.
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 20 years most of which in Christian schools. Mrs.Avery is excited to be able to teach Bible again and relate the Word to the kids’ lives. She enjoys getting to know the students and their families. She attends Sun Valley with her family and has been involved in the children’s and women’s ministries. She’s been married for 25 years, and now her twins are in high school. She loves to plan vacations and of course go on them!
Kareena Brown is a familiar face to GCS families because she has been working both as a substitute teacher and as a teaching assistant to Mrs. Lindberg this year on the K8 campus. Mrs Brown is an ASU graduate and earned her BA in elementary education. After graduation, she worked as a para-professional at Hull Elementary School teaching advanced math. Kareena left the work force to raise her two children, Grafton and Deklan. Returning to teaching by working at GCS has been a welcome transition for Mrs Brown because she 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 attends Desert Springs Church where she serves in children’s ministry and women’s ministry as a speaker and Bible study leader.
Diane Buchanan is returning to co-teach art for 2-8 grades. Her passion is writing and teaching art curriculum that incorporates a biblical component. Diane earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio University. The Air Force moved her and family to Phoenix in 1975 where she has lived ever since. She spent 25 years serving as a Children’s Pastor before returning to the art classroom where she can combine her three passions: Jesus, art, and children. She is blessed with three children who have families of their own. Her granddaughter, Natalie Smith, will once again be one of her GCS art students. Diane feels totally blessed to be a part of the GCS community.
Mrs. Chisum believes that God has uniquely created each child and she is excited to foster communication and relationship to help students grow in their knowledge and relationship with Christ. She earned her degree in psychology and continued on to receive her teaching certification from NAU. Lisa has taught kindergarten, 2nd and 5th grade. Most recently she worked as a reading specialist for Mesa Public Schools before coming to teach kindergarten at GCS. Mrs. Chisum is married to the high school math teacher, Derrick Chisum and they have 2 children.
God brought Mrs. Cifuentes to Gilbert Christian in 2012 after teaching middle school for six years in the Kyrene School District. The integration of faith and learning was what attracted her most to GCS in addition to the genuine care teachers and administrators hold for each student. Mrs. Cifuentes currently teaches 4/5 science and loves seeing students explore, problem-solve, and understand God’s world around them. Mrs. Cifuentes was blessed to attend Wheaton College (IL) (M.A.) and NAU for her Master’s in Educational Leadership. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their two young daughters, serving at Hope Covenant Church, going on lots of walks, and trying not to step on too many Legos around the house.
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. Cunningham began teaching at GCS in the year 2000 and is now blessed to serve as K8 Vice-Principal and Dean of the Middle School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Ottawa University and an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction: Leadership Emphasis from Concordia University Portland. Mrs. Cunningham is passionate about encouraging middle school students at GCS to live a life worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:9-10). She loves developing programs that cause students to think deeply about the word of God and its application to their lives. She is thankful for the great blessing of her amazing husband, Jim, her three adult sons, and her beyond-cute grandson.
Miss De Bruin is a seasoned Christian teacher with years experience teaching in upper elementary Christian classrooms both in the Midwest and in the Phoenix area. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Dordt college and began teaching at GCS, 4th grade in 2017. She loves working at Gilbert Christian and seeing how God helps young 4th graders grow and mature both academically, socially, and spiritually. She attends church at Redemption Tempe and runs marathons in her free time.
Mrs. Dodd has a love of languages and a heart that people in all tribes and nations would know Jesus Christ as their savior. She and her family lived overseas for two years, learning two languages in a helicopter-access-only village in Papua New Guinea. Mrs. Dodd has training in Greek, Hebrew, and the indigenous language of Ndo in Papua New Guinea as well as training to teach the distinctive GCS Spanish Program. After returning from the mission field where she homeschooled her 4 children, Mrs. Dodd began teaching boys and girls to speak Spanish and appreciate other cultures in 2018 at Gilbert Christian. She and her family attend Grace Bible Church in Tempe.
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. Mrs. Dudley found her love of teaching when she became involved in children’s ministry. After two years as a paraprofessional in a public school district, Mrs. Dudley is excited to come to GCS where education and faith work together. Mrs. Dudley and her husband have two kids who attend GCS. The Dudley family attends and serves at Central Christian Church.
Holly Earle started at GCS in 2008 as a playground aide as well as substituting and coaching varsity softball team. She began teaching morning pre-kindergarten in 2011 and currently teaches both morning and afternoon pre-kindergarten. Mrs. Earle provides an excellent program that prepares each child for kindergarten with a focus on the joy of the Lord.
Ann Flagg has been teaching students in public and private schools for over 20 years. She started her teaching career in the Washington School District teaching first grade and has taught pre-kindergarten through college including several years at Edu-Prize Charter School as a kindergarten teacher and science specialist and Northern Arizona University as an adjunct professor. As principal of Gilbert Christian Elementary School, she enjoys designing curriculum, supporting the teachers, and working alongside the parents for the good of the boys and girls and for the glory of God. Mrs. Flagg received both her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and English and her post-degree certificate in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. Her M.Ed. is from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and is in the area of science education. Mrs. Flagg earned a graduate certificate for state certification as a Principal from Northern Arizona University in the Educational Leadership Department in 2014. Mrs. Flagg has been married 30 years to Jay Flagg. The Flaggs attend Harvest Bible Chapel in Chandler and enjoy that their daughter Dana, son-in-law Jeremiah, and 3 grandchildren that live nearby.
Mrs. Garza graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2011. Holly has been teaching for eight years, the last four at Gilbert Christian. She moved to Arizona from Baltimore in 2006. (Go Ravens!) Holly has a love for science and firmly believes that studying God’s creation on a daily basis with students is one of the greatest privileges she has had. She also loves to craft! Holly and her husband, Josh, currently worship at Christ Church. They do not have children yet but do own a huge St. Bernard. Holly has been a teacher here since 2012 and is looking forward to another great year at GCS.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Mrs. Gonzalez earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The King’s College in New York. She has taught PreK, 2, 3, 4, and 6-8 grades in Christian schools in New Jersey and Tennessee before coming to Gilbert Christian in 2013. Mrs. Gonzalez desires to see her students grow in their knowledge, understanding, and love of the Lord while helping them develop a Biblical worldview. She is passionate about Christian education and feels blessed to be a part of Gilbert Christian Schools where she can minister to the students in her class and their families
Ms. Sarah Gripp graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in instrumental music education and violin performance and began working at GCS in 2018. For the past three and half years, she has been an intern in the NAU Suzuki Strings program, teaching private lessons and helping with group classes for elementary students. Additionally, she has student taught elementary and junior high orchestra students with Gilbert Public Schools. Sarah played with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra for several years and has played violin and mandolin in her church worship teams. Sarah is excited to help students develop excellence in God’s gift of music, for His glory!
“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25
Rachelle Hayes has been teaching in Arizona for ten years and is excited to integrate her love for the Lord and to teach in the classroom. Mrs. Hayes is originally from Minnesota where she earned her teaching degree from St. Cloud State University. Rachelle received her Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. She and her husband Dean have been married for 15 years. They have three children ages 13, 11, and 9. As a family, they worship at Rock Point Church. They also enjoy watching and playing sports, swimming, vacations, and going to the movies together. She is passionate about God and teaching his children and considers it a blessing to be his hands and feet in the classroom and their home.
Mrs. Hendrix has been an Aide at Gilbert Christian Schools for 6 years. Additionally, she taught Kindergarten science for three years. Before coming to GCS, Mrs. Hendrix homeschooled her two children and helped her husband run a business. She has been married to her husband Gary for 26 years and has two children, one graduated from GCS and the other is currently a senior. Mrs. Hendrix attends The Grove church in Chandler. She is blessed to be a part of GCS. Mrs. Hendrix loves teaching the children and sharing Jesus’ love.
Having been a part of Gilbert Christian Schools for nineteen years, in a variety of roles from a parent, prayer/mission coordinator, substitute, part-time and full-time teacher, I have experienced from, a unique perspective, the development and emergence of a quality Christian school. My passion for my own four children, as well as those who continue to attend here, has been to do all I can to help them grow physically, academically, emotionally and spiritually to be all they can be in Christ. My varied background including a B.A. from East Stroudsburg State University, PA, along with great dance and performance experience gleaned from years of living in the NY metropolitan area, have enabled me to serve in a variety of roles at the school. The shared focus of staff and teachers alike, to support one another, while wholeheartedly serving the Lord, our families and students are unmatched by anything I have encountered. I am exceedingly blessed to be able to continue to teach, facilitate prayer and provide ministry opportunities that lead to the expansion of God’s kingdom at GCS and beyond, through the impacted lives of our students!
Mrs. Hoppal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Missouri Southern State University. She also graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Bible and Elementary Education from Ozark Christian College. Before coming to Gilbert Christian, Mrs. Hoppal taught for two years at J.O. Combs Unified School District in San Tan Valley. She loves to teach students to write well and strives to help each one understand more about God’s love.
Mrs. Jones received her B.A. in Communications from California State University, Fullerton and now has 8 years of experience in the field. She and her husband have been in full-time ministry for over 20 years. Megan and her husband have four sons: Michael, Jacob, Levi, and Luke. They currently worship at Calvary East Valley in Gilbert. Megan has been a part of Gilbert Chrisitan Schools since 2011.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness, and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Mrs. Kao has completed her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Massachusettes (Amherst, MA). She also has a K-8 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University (Belmont, CA.) and a Master of Education – Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduation School of Education (Cambridge, MA). Mrs. Kao has been teaching for since 2011 and has been a Children’s Ministry Director since 2015. An interesting fact about her is that she still stays in touch with her own 3rd-grade teacher. Her and her husband George, have 2 boys and 1 girl. They currently worship together at Cornerstone Church in Chandler. Mrs. Kao has been a part of our GCS Staff since 2017.
“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army.” Habakkuk 3:19a AMPC
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.
Krista received her Bachelor Degree in Education from ASU with reading and math endorsements. She also received a Middle School endorsement. Krista has spent 5 years teaching junior high math in Mesa Public Schools and 3 years teaching in various positions at Gilbert Christian Schools. An interesting fun fact about Krista, is that she does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She has worshiped at Central Christian since 4th grade and attended for about 30 years. Krista is married with 3 children who attend Gilbert Christian Schools and her and her husband also foster. She has been a part of our GCS staff since 2015.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; and he shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7
Hi, my name is Mayra Lopez. God brought my family and me from Mexico to this beautiful country in December 2004, and since then we have been serving God working in Latino ministries. Today, my husband is one of the Pastors at Redemption Church West Mesa and the worship leader. We have two kids: Miseal (14) and Michelle (10) and they are a part of the worship team too, my musicians. I studied International Commerce at Universidad Kino, where I received my Bachelor’s degree. I have worked with kids since I can remember, but in 2004 I started working at East Valley Bible Church with the Children’s Ministries. I started teaching private Spanish classes to small groups of kids, and after that, I taught Spanish at GCCS in Tempe to fifth-eighth grades. Following that, I worked at Eduprize Schools for three years. I had the privilege to assist a Christian High School in my hometown of Hermosillo, Sonora. For me, those were the most beautiful years of my childhood. I loved how my teachers taught me to address every situation in my life to the Bible, and it was there that I learned how to have a real relationship with Jesus. I met my best friends there and throughout the years and the distance we have stayed closer, as a family. I firmly believe that all of life, it’s all about Jesus. That Christian schools can be an extension of what our children learn at home. I love to teach Spanish, and I am excited to start my second year at GCS as a Middle School Spanish Instructor.
” 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. McLaughlin earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education/English from Edinboro University, graduating Cum Laude. Her master’s degree in English is from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. McLaughlin began teaching in 1991 and has taught at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels. She leads her students to be better communicators and critical thinkers through a variety of creative means. Mrs. McLaughlin is a committed believer with a strong Christian testimony.
Ron Miller serves Gilbert Christian School as the new Agritopia campus building manager. The Miller family attends 29:11 Church. Mr. Miller has participated in planting several churches and loves to see new churches become established. His daughters both attend GCS one in middle school and one has recently graduated from GCS High School. As our new building manager, he oversees the Agritopia facility making sure the school grounds and classrooms are clean, safe and in good repair.
Mrs. Moore is so happy to teach children in a Christian environment because she loves to help each child grow academically and spiritually. She has a BS in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and is Arizona state certification. She homeschooled her own children and has spent many years in the elementary classroom including teaching 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 Grace Community Church.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Mrs Murray earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, then a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Phoenix. She began her teaching career at Gilbert Christian Schools as a substitute teacher in 2008. Mrs. Murray considers teaching at GCS a great blessing and cherishes every day with her students!
Cassie has her Bachelor’s in Health Education from Lee University. She has taught for 10 years and 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, have been married for 7 years. They are blessed with two boys, Tate who is starting Kindergarten here at Gilbert Christian schools and Bryton who is 3 years old and hopefully a Future Knight. 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
Mrs. Patterson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1990 receiving a BS in communication and business. For the past 16 years, she has been at home raising her four children. Upon her last child entering GCS she began substituting during the 2006-2007 school year. This is her third year teaching junior high History. Mrs. Patterson and her husband, Shawn, have four children who attend GCS.
Sharon Pearson has been teaching adults and children for 30+ years. She worked as a training and development specialist for Honeywell for 15 years, creating and administering training materials to meet corporate employee development goals. She started her degree in education at the University of Phoenix and completed it at Desert Baptist Bible College while teaching in the elementary school associated with it. Sharon taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade in all subjects during her 13 years at Gateway Baptist Academy. In addition, she taught 10th grade English and created and taught a college Creative Writing course. Sharon strives to make each student feel loved and supported in whatever they do.
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.
Mary Phillippe has been a believer in Jesus Christ since she was 15 years old, and she is looking forward to sharing her faith with GCS first graders as our newest first-grade teacher for 2015/2016. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education, and she has over 14 years of classroom experience. “I am very excited to get to know the children at GCS. I want to know each child and family well,” said Mrs. Phillippe. Her husband Jeff owns a small business. Their son Austin works in the family business and attends college, and daughter Logan is a senior at ASU in fashion design, while a hunting dog and a Yorkie round out the family. Mary attends and serves at Sun Valley Church and volunteers in crisis pregnancy as part of her ministry to others.
Mrs. Poweleit has a Master of Arts in French Literature/History and extensive experience in teaching foreign languages including French, German, Spanish and Japanese. In her classroom, it is clear that she regards children as a gift from God and educates each with love and skillful experience.
Mrs. Rachoy is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona, holding a B.M.E. degree in Music Education with an Instrumental Emphasis. She has more than 5 years of experience teaching privately and in group classes. Her teaching experiences have been in early childhood strings, middle school outreach band, middle school orchestra, and elementary orchestra. Prior to teaching at Gilbert Christian, Mrs. Rachoy substituted for music classes in the Mesa Public School district. She is very excited to be teaching music at a Christian school where she can motivate students to glorify God through stringed instruments.
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 Cornerstone Church in Old Town Scottsdale 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.”
Mrs. Renaud earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Texas Woman’s University and her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Communications from The University of Iowa. She began teaching at Gilbert Christian in 2010 and taught elementary grades previously in Texas public schools. She considers it a blessing to be a teacher at GCS because of the Christian love and family atmosphere here. It is her passion to teach and instill a lifelong love of learning in her students.
Mr. Roberts earned both his B.A. and M.Ed. from Arizona State University. He is certified to teach K-12 physical education and also holds an administrative certification. While at ASU, Mr. Roberts played as an offensive lineman for the Sun Devil football team. He has 32 years of teaching experience and spent the first 31 years of his career teaching Physical Education in the Mesa Public School district before joining the GCS team in the fall of 2015. Mr. Roberts was recognized as the 1998 National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education. He loves working with both children and young adults in order to cultivate in students a love for physical fitness and an active lifestyle. He and his wife Cate both enjoy working with High School students as Student Ministry Discipleship Leaders at Redemption Church in Gilbert. Mr. Roberts is thankful for the opportunity to impact the lives of students both in their physical development and in their development in godliness. He loves the Word of God and is blessed to be able to share the Gospel and love for Jesus with the students of Gilbert Christian. 1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come.”
Mrs. Samp graduated, Summa Cum Laude in 2012, from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Elementary 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.
Mr. Shue joined the 6th-grade team 2018-2019 school year. He enjoyed a 23-year United States Navy career and he retired from active duty service in 2015. For seventeen of those years, he was a classroom instructor and taught military leadership and many other courses. He is a certified high school Naval Science Instructor through the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Program. Mr. Shue has completed studies at Vincennes University, Arizona State University, and Grand Canyon University. Towards the end of his naval career, God called him to Christian education and younger students. He is sincerely grateful to serve at Gilbert Christian Schools where he can teach, mentor, and pray with his students. His wife Jolina also teaches at GCS and they have three wonderful children.
Mrs. Shue earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Azusa Pacific University in California. She began teaching in 2010, after staying home with her three children for ten years. Her husband has recently retired from a naval career, and her family has relocated to Arizona. Mrs. Shue views teaching as a ministry and considers it a blessing that God has called her to GCS. She is passionate about helping her students discover their spiritual gifts and become faithful stewards of God’s blessings. Mrs. Shue enjoys reading and collecting children’s literature.
Mrs. Sundt graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Accounting. She has taught kindergarten at GCS since 2005, and was instrumental in successfully launching the GCS, all-day kindergarten program. She seeks to help young children have a successful first year in school and especially enjoys teaching math from a Christian worldview.
Herbert Washington serves as the Director of High School Choral and Drama Activities at Gilbert Christian High School and the Cadet Choir Director of the Phoenix Children’s Choir. He graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a B.A in Music and Fine Arts. He also holds a Masters of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona. Washington frequently serves as a guest clinician for choral festivals throughout Arizona. Recently married, Herbert resides in Phoenix with his beautiful wife Yadira and their two sons Elian and Yadian. God’s gift of music is an eternal blessing!
Mrs. Webb has 20 years of experience in education as a music teacher, preschool teacher, substitute teacher, and aide. She has a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Arkansas. Anne and her husband, Rich, have 3 boys. Max, a 2018 GCS graduate, Luke, a sophomore at GCS, and Sam, a GCS 6th grader. She currently teaches private voice and piano. Anne is so excited to be working with students at her favorite school, GCS, and sharing the love of Christ!