Shannon Albert received a Bachelors of Social Science at Azusa Pacific University in 2002. She began teaching in 2002, but took a long break and began subbing off and on again since 2013. She also loves the being at the beach with family, making homemade chocolate and reading. Shannon and her family attend Redemption Gilbert. Shannon has been married to Jared for 17 years and has two sons who attend GCS. Ethan who is in 9th grade and Brady is in 7th. She has been a part of GCS staff since 2015.
Philippians 4:8 has been one of her favorite verses since she was in high school. “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think on these things.”
Joanna has her BAE in Elementary and in Special Education along with an ESL Endorsement. She is also C.L.I.P. Trained (Reading Recovery). Her experience involves 4 years of teaching Sp. Ed in Tempe, AZ, 5 years teaching Elementary Ed. (grades K-3) in Tempe, 1-year teaching 1st grade in Mansfield, TX, and 2 and a half years homeschooling her children in Queen Creek. Joanna is a native Arizonian and has spent the last 2 and a half years homeschooling so that the family could travel. Her favorite place is to be with family and friends at their cabin in the White Mountains. Joanna met her husband Mark in school and have been friends since 1975. They went to kindergarten together and have now been married for over 15 years. They have 3 children: Avery, Caden, and Tessa who all attend Gilbert Chrisitan Schools. The whole family worships at Sun Valley Community Church where Joanna and Mark have served as mentors for engaged/pre-engaged couples. Joanna became a part of our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
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 most of my life. I graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. I have been married for 12 years and have been blessed with two beautiful girls ages 15 and 9, one of which has special needs. This is my first 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 Summit Vista Bible Church in Gilbert where I fill in often as a Sunday school teacher and Children’s Church teacher, in addition to serving as a door greeter. 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
Mrs. Benham has her B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a dual degree in Special Education. She has been teaching since 2014. Mrs. Benham shared the interesting fact that she is adopted by wonderful, helpful, and supportive parents. She and her husband Jake currently worship at Sun Valley in Tempe and at home have their furbaby, Sophie. Mrs. Benham became a part of our GCS Staff in 2018.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
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
Mary has her B.A. in Elementary education with a minor in Bible from North Central University in Minneapolis. “I am so excited to be apart of the GCS family! I am a firm believer in Christian education and know that this is a specific calling that God has placed on my life. I am honored to have the privilege of coming alongside students and watching them grow academically, but more importantly spiritually. One of the most important things to me is my family and that is why I strive to establish the security and support of a family within the classroom. I was born and raised in Minnesota, where I attended college and began my teaching career. Prior to graduating college I also had the privilege of being a part of a ministry called Master’s Commission (a discipleship program) not only as a student but also as a staff member running their academic programming.” Mary has been a part of GCS since 2018.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
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
My name is Carissa Converse and I am a California native. I moved from a very small, rural town up near Yosemite National Park, California. I came to Arizona to start my college education at Arizona State University and after meeting my husband at the college church we both attended, I decided to stay for good. I started my career during my student teaching at Arizona State University where I got hired full-time as a long-term substitute in a gifted classroom. After graduating I was hired with Mesa Public Schools as a sixth-grade teacher and taught there for two years. I am very excited to continue to develop the resource program with Gilbert Christian Schools. I am passionate about student learning and making sure that each student feels successful and encouraged through education. Each child has a God-given gift and I love helping children discover their strengths.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:4-6 NIV
Ms. Daily has been teaching in the elementary grade levels since 2009. Before teaching at GCS, Ms. Daily previously taught in Idaho where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education and Administration. Ms. Daily’s greatest joy is serving God; however, she feels very blessed and honored to serve the students and families at Gilbert Christian Schools, too. Ms. Daily currently resides in Gilbert, AZ with her two children and attends Sun Valley Community Church.
De Bruin, Kayla
Miss De Bruin grew up in Pella, Iowa and attended Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. She graduated in 2016 and moved to Arizona in the summer. Miss De Bruin has been teaching at Gilbert Christian since 2017. She enjoys being part of the GCS community and loves guiding students to be disciples of Christ while teaching them academically. Miss De Bruin lives in Chandler and attends Christ Church in Gilbert. Miss De Bruin earned an Elementary Education degree with an endorsement in Early Childhood from Dordt College. She graduated in 2016. Miss De Bruin has been teaching since 2016. She enjoys reading, watching movies, playing tennis and spending time with family. Miss De Bruin currently attends Christ Church in Gilbert and begin working for GCS in 2017.
“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.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
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.”
Ms. Sarah Gripp graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in instrumental music education and violin performance and began teaching at GCS in 2018. Prior to this, she was an intern in the NAU Suzuki Strings program, teaching private lessons and helping with group classes for elementary students. Additionally, she has student taught elementary and junior high orchestra students with Gilbert Public Schools. Sarah played with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra for several years and enjoys playing violin and mandolin in her church worship teams. She is excited to help students develop excellence in God’s gift of music, for His glory!
“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25
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.
Rachelle Hayes has been a part of Gilbert Christian Schools since 2015 and wholeheartedly enjoys serving the students and parents of GCS. Mrs. Hayes is originally from Minnesota where she earned her Bachelors of Science Degree from the nationally accredited teaching college, St. Cloud State University. She moved to Arizona and began her teaching career in 1998. Mrs. Hayes has been a public and charter school teacher and has experience with students in the primary, upper elementary, and middle school grades. Rachelle received her Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University in 2001 and is ACSI certified. She and her husband Dean have been married since 2000. They have three children Mikaily, Nolan, and Kianna. As a family, they worship and serve at Rock Point Church. They also enjoy watching and playing sports, swimming, vacations, and going to the movies together. Rachelle is passionate about God and teaching his children and considers it a blessing to be his hands and feet in the classroom and in their home.
Her favorite verse is Ephesians 2:9-10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
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.”
Mrs. Hoyle teaches all-day kindergarten. She received her B.A. in elementary education from Westmont College. She began teaching elementary school in Colorado in 1993. She taught second and third grade in Colorado, and then she stepped away from teaching to be home with her children. She is enjoying being back in the classroom. Her favorite things to do are spend time with her family, read, and explore the outdoors. Mrs. Hoyle loves to teach and feels honored to be able to share the love of God with her students. Her family attends Christ Church. Mrs. Hoyle and her husband have been married for over 25 years and have four wonderful children. Three of her children have the privilege of attending GCS. She has been a part of the GCS staff since 2018.
Mrs. Hoyle’s favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Melissa Hudson graduated from Arizona State University in 2017 with here Degree in music education and state certification in K-12 music. She finished her masters in Curriculum and Instruction in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2019. Mrs. Hudson taught middle and high school band and choir at ASU Preparatory Academy for three years. She worked with the Phoenix Girls Chorus for 2 years. She also teaches private piano and voice lessons. Melissa enjoys any sort of craft including scrapbooking, knitting, and sewing. She also enjoys playing sports like volleyball and basketball. Mrs. Hudson is the worship leader at CrossPoinTempe Church and lives with her husband Jaron. Melissa joined the GCS staff in 2020.
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.” 1 Chronicles 16:23
Allison attended Arizona State University and graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She has been teaching in Arizona since 2015. Outside of teaching she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors and shopping. Allison currently attends Agros Reformed Baptist Church in Gilbert. She has been married to her husband since 2013 and has two children, Aaron and Harper. Allison joined the GCS staff in 2019.
Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
She studied International Commerce in her hometown Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, at Kino University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. She became part of our GCS family as a Spanish middle school teacher in 2016. In her school days, she had the privilege of attending a Christian high school. For her, those were the most meaningful years of her childhood. She loved how all her teachers taught her to approach every situation in her life with the Bible, and it was there that she learned to have a real relationship with Jesus. She also met her best friends there, and even over time, they still stayed close, like family. She married the love of her life, Josue Lopez, in 2001. He is now one of the pastors and the worship leader at their church: Redemption Church West Mesa. They have two children: Misael and Michelle, and both love to serve in their church as part of the worship team by playing drums and piano.
Her favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:8, and she would love to share it with you in Spanish: “Por lo demás, hermanos, todo lo que es verdadero, todo lo honesto, todo lo justo, todo lo puro, todo lo amable, todo lo que es de buen nombre; si hay virtud alguna, si algo digno de alabanza, en esto pensad.” Filipenses 4:8
My name is Amy Majeski, and I have been a part of the Gilbert Christian community since 2013. I feel very privileged to work in a school where the Lord is the foundation and focus. I know that God specifically called me to Gilbert Christian Schools, a responsibility I do not take lightly. It is my goal as an administrator to cultivate a trusting and productive relationship between parents, students, and staff through a Biblically centered worldview, where students can gain an understanding of the world we live in, interpret life situations and apply Biblical truths in all areas of life. I earned a BA in Social and Behavioral Science and Elementary Education from Seattle Pacific University with endorsements in K-12 Social Studies and History in 1995, and MS of Education in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University in 2019. God truly directed me to Christian Education where my philosophy of education is firmly founded in my love for Christ. Living out 1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind….” gives me strength every single day to share this love with others around me.
Mrs. Martin has been part of Gilbert Christian Schools since 2000. She teaches all-day Kindergarten and feels blessed to partner with parents in the education of their children. Mrs. Martin grew up in Phoenix and attended college at Arizona Bible College, where she studied Elementary Education. She continued her education at NAU receiving a MA in Education. Mrs. Martin and her husband have been married for over 30 years and have three children, Amanda, Nik, and Michael. Mrs. Martin’s favorite thing about teaching is sharing the love of Jesus with her students every day. Her prayer is that they will know they are loved with the everlasting love of God and will accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus.
Mrs. Masci earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Reading from Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Masci has been teaching since 2009 and in those years she has taught 2nd and 3rd grade in the Chandler Unified School District. She has been born and raised here in our lovely state of Arizona. Mrs. Masci and her husband have been married since 2014 and are currently worshipping and serving at their church Redemption Tempe. She became part of our GCS Staff in 2018.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” Psalm 28:7
Mrs. Mazzola earned her MS in Mathematics in 2017 and in Math Education: Curriculum and Instruction in 2002. She taught for five years before staying home to take care of her children. Since 2012, she has also taught Algebra and Trigonometry at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. She began her career with GCS as a substitute teacher. Mrs. Mazzola and her husband, Dan, have three boys who attend GCS, Daniel, Joshua, and Anthony. The Mazzola’s are active participants of Redemption Church, lead Bible studies and are Cub & Boy Scout den leaders. Mrs. Mazzola loves to share God’s ingenuity with her students through the instruction of mathematics.
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
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 currenlty worships at Redeemer Reformed Baptist Church. 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. Pam Palacio is all things Drama! Since 2006 she has produced and directed over 30 theatrical plays and musicals at Gilbert Christian Schools. Each year she produces 4 plays for the High School and Middle Schools and leads 2 Elementary Drama Clubs. Mrs. Palacio is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and studied Theater at the University of Hawaii. She has taught Drama, Student Council, Choir, Speech and Debate, and Yearbook at GCHS. She has also directed plays through MoezArt Productions. She and her husband, Mark, married in 1990 and have 4 wonderful children. Born and raised in Hawaii, she became a believer in LA, where she and her husband enjoyed the great teaching at Grace Community Church, pastored by John MacArthur. She homeschooled her kids there, and, after moving to Gilbert, they became a part of the GCS family for many years. They joyfully attend San Tan Bible Church where she serves in the nursery. She loves to point her students to Christ through glorifying God with the Fruit of the Spirit – in rehearsal and onstage! All Glory to God
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.
Kellie received her Bachelors of Science in Business Management and has prior experience teaching Sunday School, coaching Jr. high softball, and being a mom at home. She loves to play sports and defines herself as pretty competitive in that area. Currently, Kellie worships at Impact Church in Scottsdale, AZ. She has been married to her husband Brandon for 11 years and they have four boys: Elias, Kaden, Tobin, and Judah. All four of their children attend Gilbert Christian Schools. Kellie joined our staff in 2018.
“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 creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Rayom has been teaching the Bible since 2015 both in the United States and in different countries around the world. Some interesting facts about Rayom– he speaks Portuguese, is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, loves to read and learn, enjoys surfing, and traveling to different countries to witness and participate in the work God is doing around the world. Mr. Ribeiro and his family attend Redeemer Bible Church. He has been married to his wonderful wife, Brooke, since 2013. They have two sons, Benaiah Ackson, who was born in 2015, and Cedar Haddon, who was born in 2019. Mr. Ribeiro joined the GCS teaching staff in 2020.
“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt HIs name together.” Psalm 34:1-3
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Jenny received her Bachelors in Arts Degree from Western Governor’s University. She has been teaching since 2010 and was born and raised in Florida where she learned to swim in the Atlantic Ocean. She and her wonderful husband have been married since 1985 and have 4 wonderful sons and attend Rock Point Church. She enjoys swimming, reading, movies and hiking. Jenny became part of the GCS Staff in 2019.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
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
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 13 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 central China. 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. They attend church at Calvary East Valley in Gilbert. 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
Deborah Tennison received a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts at Azusa Pacific University in 1995, then completed a fifth year for her teaching credential in 1996. She began teaching in 1997, but then moved back to Arizona, where she worked at ASU in their Human Resource and Development Department while taking additional courses for her Master’s Degree. She then taught for another 4 years, but took a long break to be a stay-home mom with her two children. She came back to work at Gilbert Christian in the 2019-2020 school year, and worked as an instructional aid and long-term sub in 4th grade the last quarter of the year. She enjoys hiking and paddle boarding, playing piano and singing, spending time with her two children and watching their many sporting events. Deborah and her family attend Redemption Gilbert. She has two children, boy/girl twins, Blake and Brianna, who will be sophomores in high school this year. They have both attended Gilbert Christian since Kindergarten, and are enjoying GCS High School. Deborah has been a part of GCS since 2019.
One of her favorite verses is Psalm 121:1-2, which says: “I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Mrs. Tolson is teaching the 3-year olds at Gilbert Christian’s Greenfield Campus. She has a AA degree in Early Childhood Education from Central Arizona College. She also attended Northern Arizona University and majored in Business Administration. She has taught preschoolers for more than 35 years and has been both a Director and an Assistant Director at three Christian preschools. Mrs. Tolson provides a loving, nurturing and fun-filled environment that encourages and fosters curiosity, a love of learning, and the freedom to be creative. She LOVES her job. Mrs. Tolson is enthusiastic about teaching and bringing experience and knowledge to the classroom. She is an active member of the Children’s Ministry at her church and knows how important it is 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 our blessings come from God. Mrs. Tolson is excited to be a part of such a fantastic teaching team. She looks forward to sharing age-appropriate scriptures and stories with the little ones and to help them to “meet, know and follow Jesus”.
“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
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
Marie Wilson has served in education for many years. She began teaching in 1986 in the Chandler school district and became the principal of Chandler Christian School in 1997. After seven years at CCS, her husband’s work took them to Southern California where she taught and led the after school program at Mariners Christian School. Marie has also been principal and assistant superintendent for a large charter school district here in Arizona. Although she enjoys all aspects of school leadership, Marie feels God has genuinely called her to Christian Education and is delighted to be the first principal of the GCS Greenfield campus. She loves educating children, supporting parents, and mentoring teachers in a Christ-centered environment that brings God glory. Marie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from AZ State University and a Master’s Degree from Northern AZ University. Marie and her high school sweetheart, Doyle, have been married since 1986. They have an adult son and daughter, son-in-law and grandson.
One of her favorite verses is Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Mrs. Zimmerman has a BA in Elementary Education an MA in Bilingual/Multicultural Education and is Certified by the Arizona Department of Education 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 over 18 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 over 22 wonderful years of marriage. They have two children, a young adult and a student who attends GCS.
“It is both an honor and a blessing for my family to be a part of Gilbert Christian School. Though I have been shot by a machine gun, fallen from out of a tree, and have been run over by a truck, the Lord sustains me, keeps me, and has filled me with his joy!”
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.