Godly Play Teacher

Albert, Shannon

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.”

Vice Principal's Assistant

Anderson, Joanna

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 Science Teacher

Andrews, Blair

I am a native Californian, recently relocated to Arizona from San Diego, where I was a teacher and coach for 20 years. I primarily taught Earth Science for 8th graders, but I also taught a variety of other subjects, including Bible, Math, and PE in Jr. high and high school, and even coached tennis. Since the beginning of this school year at GCS, I have been teaching 6th grade Earth Science, Bible and Ancient History, and beginning with 2nd quarter, and I am now teaching 7th grade Life Science and World History. My wife, Gail, and I attend Rock Point Church and love our new life here in Arizona. I am very excited to be on the team at GCS, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and GCS as God uses me to influence young lives.

My life verse is James 1:2 which says, “Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials, for the testing of your faith produces endurance.”

4th Grade Teacher

Babb, Marcie

2nd Grade Teacher

Baker, Melissa

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

1st Grade Teacher

Benham, Amanda

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

Campus Office Assistant

Blair, Natalie

G.E.A.R. Teacher

Branton, Cindy

3rd Grade Teacher

Carson, Sarah

Sarah Carson received her B.S. in Elementary Education/PK-3rd grade certification in Ohio and Arizona. Her experience involves 14 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

5th Grade Teacher

Christy, Mary

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

G.E.A.R. Resource Teacher

Converse, Carissa

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 about the opportunity to help create and develop a 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

Health Assistant

Crippen, Elaine

G.E.A.R. Coordinator & Teacher

Daily, Katie

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.

2nd Grade Teacher

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

6th Grade Teacher

Doest, Tara

Mrs. Doest received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fullerton and her M.A.Ed. from National University. Mrs. Doest has taught 6 years and all in the 6th grade. Mrs. Doest has lived in four different states. She enjoys running, cooking yummy meals, and spending time with her husband and three boys. Mrs. Doest attends Christ Church of the Valley-East Valley campus. Mrs. Doest has been married for nineteen years and has three teenage boys. Her family enjoys spending time together. Her most treasured times with her family are around the dinner table and frequent visits to the beach in Southern California. Mrs. Doest joined our GCS staff in 2019.

Philippians 1:27, “Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

General Music & Beginning Strings Teacher

Gripp, Sarah

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

Half Day KIndergarten Aide

Halaby, Christina

PreK 4's Teacher

Hallaran, Angel

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.

Technology Teacher & STUCO Advisor

Harrington, Michelle

Mrs. Harrington holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Western Governors University. She began her teaching career in 2011 at a Christian school in Oregon, teaching technology classes to grades Prek through 12th grade. She then taught 6th grade from 2012-2019. Mrs. Harrington and her husband have been blessed with ten grandchildren and love spending their free time with them. Mrs. Harrington counts it a privilege to serve the families at Gilbert Christian Schools.

6th Grade Teacher

Henderson, Mark

Mr. Henderson graduated from ASU in 1991 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. He worked as a classroom teacher at Shumway Elementary School teaching grades 5 and 6 for nearly 9 years. He left the classroom to work on school fundraising teams, and as a result, was able to work with students in schools all across the valley. Mark Henderson grew up in a Christian home and at age eleven he made a decision to follow Christ. He has been married to Trinka for 31 years and they have one adult daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson currently attend Sun Valley Community Church. They previously attended Chandler Christian Church where Mark served as an elder for nine years and youth/children’s ministry leader for twelve years. Mark has a true heart for leading young people to understand God’s Word and looks forward to teaching Bible 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.”

1st Grade Teacher

Henderson, Trinka

Hi, I’m Trinka Henderson. I’m blessed to be teaching first grade at the Greenfield campus this year. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 1985 and my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2001 from Northern Arizona University. I taught 17 years in the Chandler Public School District before being called into teaching in Christian Schools. I taught for two years at Bethany Christian School and 13 years at Hope Christian Academy. This will be my second year at Gilbert Christian. Teaching is my passion! I consider it a gift from God, to pour His life into young lives enabling them to grow spiritually, emotionally and academically. My husband Mark and I attend Sun Valley Church and have a love for missions and count it a joy and privilege to share Christ in ANY way that He chooses to use us. We are blessed with a beautiful 22-year-old daughter, and love living in our home state of Arizona!

Band Teacher

Hermesch, Bruce

I am a proud husband and father of three amazing children. One is married and about to become a lead color stylist at a very prestigious hair salon about to open in Nashville TN. The other two are currently in third and fifth grade and enjoy being active and playing all kinds of sports. I attended Mesa Community College and Arizona State University where I started as a Music Education major and switched to Music Theory and composition. I enjoy studying music to try to figure out exactly what the composer was thinking and trying to communicate. This is my first year teaching band. However, I have taught youth (7th-12th grade) for at least ten years in the churches that I’ve been a member of. I am a member of Hiway Baptist Church in Mesa and am in training to serve as a Deacon there. I lead one of the small youth groups, and I also play in the praise band for services on a rotating basis. I have wanted to teach band since I was in high school but never really had a realistic opportunity until I heard about Gilbert Christian looking to start a band program. This is the perfect scenario for me I get to teach band in a Christian environment where I am not only able to, but also encouraged to share my faith. I am of course a huge music fan, but I am also a huge sports fan. My son plays baseball, so I have probably focused more on that in recent years than the other sports however basketball was and still is my favorite sport.

Pre K Aide

Holly, Kelly

Kindergarten Teacher

Hoyle, Jenn

Mrs. Hoyle received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Westmont College. She taught elementary school in Colorado for four years and homeschooled in Washington state for seven years. Her favorite things to do are spend time with her family, read, and explore the outdoors. Mrs. Hoyle loves to teach and feels blessed to be able to spend time in God’s word with her students. Her family attends Sun Valley Community Church where she serve as an usher and greeter. Mrs. Hoyle and her husband have been married since 1994 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.”

7th/8th Grade Bible Teacher

Joassin, Rochto

Rochto Joassin graduated Tallahassee Community College in 2014 before he transferred in 2016 to Florida State University to earn and receive his Bachelors Degree in Social Work. Since September of 2017, Rochto has been working to earn his Masters Degree in Missional Theology from the Missional Training Center Seminary Program located in Tempe, AZ, and also known as MTC. Rochto’s experience working with youth begins in 2012 where he first began serving in ministry at a local church in Tallahassee, FL. Rochto first started as a volunteer, then served as an intern, before being hired as the full-time Youth Pastor to teach, counsel, & mentor the youth in the church. Rochto has also completed an internship working with at-risk youth and has volunteered his time within the community serving at-risk youth in Tallahassee, FL. In January of 2019, God led Rochto to his next ministry opportunity serving within the school system with Gilbert Christian Schools. Rochto is both excited and grateful to be teaching at GCS. Something you may not know about Rochto is that he loves hip hop culture and art. Rochto and his family are also involved in inner-city ministry serving youth in Phoenix. Rochto has been married to his beautiful bride, Wandaline, since 2015 and has been blessed with two amazing boys; Micah and Kai.

The Joassins are currently worshipping at Redemption Church. Rochto has many scriptures that he can call his favorite, however, he loves the words of the Psalmist Asaph found in Psalms 73. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26

3rd Grade Teacher

Johannsson, Allison

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 Church in Gilbert. She has been married to her husband since 2013 and their first son was born in September of 2017. She has a Jack Russell Terrier named Luna. Allison joined the GCS staff in 2019.

Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Front Desk

Knop, Alexis

MS Spanish

Lopez, Mayra

Mayra Lopez studied International Commerce in her hometown Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico at Kino University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. It was until 2009 that she began working in Children’s Ministries with East Valley Bible Church and also started teaching private Spanish lessons to small groups of homeschool children. In 2012, she taught Spanish for elementary and middle school (fifth-eighth grades) at Grace Community Christian School in Tempe. After that, she worked at Eduprize Schools for three years as an aide, and just for the last year, as an aid in the enrollment department too. She became part of GCS as a Spanish middle school teacher in 2016. In her school days, she had the privilege of attending to a Christian high school. For her, those were the most meaningful years of her childhood. She loved how all teachers taught her to address every situation in her life with the Bible, and it was there that she learned how to have a real relationship with Jesus. She met her best friends there, and after all these years they still stayed so close, as a family. Mayra is married to her best friend and love of her life Josue Lopez who is one of the pastors at Redemption Church West Mesa, and he is also the worship leader. They have two children: Misael (16) and Michelle (12), and they’re also part of the worship team by playing drums and piano.

“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

Kindergarten Teacher

Lyon, Jennifer

PK-8 Vice-Principal

Majeski, Amy

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.

All Day Kindergarten Teacher

Martin, Kim

My name is Kim Martin, and I have had the privilege of being a part of Gilbert Christian Schools since 2000. I teach all day Kindergarten, and I feel blessed to continue to educate alongside dedicated and excellent teachers. I grew up in Phoenix and attended college at Arizona Bible College, where I studied Elementary Education. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have three children, Amanda, Nik, and Michael. My favorite thing about teaching is sharing the love of Jesus with my students every day. My prayer is that they will know they are loved with the everlasting love of God and will accept the gift of salvation through Jesus. I’m delighted to learn and explore with your children this year!

3rd Grade Teacher

Masci, Kristen

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

Math Teacher

Mazzola, Angela

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.

5th Grade Teacher

Milchman, Amy

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

6th Grade Teacher

Milchman, Jacob

Lunchroom Coordinator

Miller, Rhonda

K-8 Facilities Director

Miller, Ron

MS Choir Director

Mosby, John

John received his Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Grand Canyon University in 2018. He has been teaching since 2019. John serves as a deacon at Agros Reformed Baptist church, enjoys rock climbing, and within three weeks had sung at Carnegie Hall, graduated from GCU, and married his beautiful wife! John joined the GCS staff in 2019.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”‘ John 11:25-26, NKJV

1st Grade Teacher

Nelson, Becca

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

4th Grade Teacher

Ness, Marry Katherine

Mrs. Ness was born and raised in Georgia but moved to Arizona in 2009 to attend college. She is a graduate of Grand Canyon University, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Math and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction of Reading. Mrs. Ness began her teaching career in 2011 in her hometown of Lilburn, Georgia, at the Christian school that she attended kindergarten through twelfth grade. In 2014, she moved to Arizona to work with English Language Learners, but was excited when God called her back into Christian education. She became a part of the GCS Staff in 2017. Mrs. Ness and her husband, Thomas, attend and enjoy serving at Scottsdale Bible Church.

Drama Producer

Palacio, Pam

5th Grade Teacher

Perey, Sheila

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

HS Keyboarding Teacher & Choral Accompanist

Perry, Melody

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.

PK Aide

Peters, April

Principal's Assistant

Peterson, Heather

All Day Kindergarten Aide

Phillips, Kellie

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

MS English/Social Studies

Purtell, Elizabeth

Mrs. Purtell has a B.A. in Education, an M.A. in Reading Instruction, a Principal Certification, and is recognized as Highly Qualified in Middle School/High School History. She has over 12 years of experience and loves to read and hike. Mrs. Purtell has actually hiked in Spain, Croatia, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Scotland, and of course the USA. She has been married to her husband Dan for over 25 years with four children: Sarah, Nathan, Rebekah, and Rachael. Mrs. Purtell joined our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.” Psalm 91:1-2

4th Grade Teacher

Richmond, Jenny

Jenny received her Bachelors in Arts Degree from Western Governor’s University. She has been teaching for over 7 years and was born and raised in Florida where she learned to swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Jenny and her wonderful husband have been married since 1985 and have 4 wonderful sons. She is the oldest in her family of 6 children. 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

2nd Grade Teacher

Ruggiero, Christine

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

Half Day KIndergarten Teacher

Ryals, Chandra

Mrs Ryals has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University. She spent ten years serving 1st-grade families in private and public education before moving to Arizona. She has taken extra college courses and attended technology conferences as the Lord has prepared her to serve as a teacher. She and her husband (Alex) and their two daughters (Abby and Alyssa) attend Christ Church where she is involved in children’s ministry.

G.E.A.R. Teacher

Savage, Robyn

P.E. Teacher

Stow, Jay

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

Pre K Director & Teacher

Tolson, Linda

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

Pre K 3 Aide

Toma, Stacie

Music/Piano Lab Teacher

Tutty, Kandis

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 her Arizona Teaching Certification for K-8. Mrs. Tutty has spent 2 years as a 4th-grade teacher; Choral/Music faculty at Arizona School for the Arts, Rosie’s House, and Rolling Hills Charter School. She has served as Assistant Director and Accompanist with the Phoenix Girls Chorus since 2010. Mrs. Tutty loves family hiking, jogging, listening to her favorite podcasts, Boise State Football, and Starbucks dates with her husband. She and her husband Jeremy have three children; Kambry, Chaucer, and Ellerie, and they currently worship at Central Christian Church. Mrs. Tutty has been a part of GCS Staff since 2018.

“Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Art & Yearbook Teacher

Vanni, Meredith

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

MS Honors English/Social Studies

Williams, Debbie

Debbie taught for many years homeschooling her children, teaching art and substituting at a nearby elementary Christian school. In 2013, Debbie joined the faculty of GCS as a sixth-grade teacher, and in 2017, became part of the founding team that opened GCS Greenfield which was a great privilege for her where she now teaches Honors History and Honors English to 7th and 8th-grade students. Debbie believes God has called her to encourage and minister to students at GCS by sharing her faith in and love for Christ that they may be nurtured in their walk with the Lord. Among the gifts, God has given Debbie are a passion for history and art and a love of language arts. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University where she earned her Highly Qualified status in both K-8 Language Arts and Middle School History and will soon have her Masters degree in Teaching American History and Government. Debbie married her high school sweetheart, Michael, and they live in Mesa with their two little dachshund puppies. They have a son in Mesa, a daughter and son-in-law in Colorado, and a grandson, Daniel, who is the light of their lives!

PK-8 Principal

Wilson, Marie

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.”