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  • All
  • Agritopia Campus
  • Board Members
  • District Staff
  • Greenfield Campus
  • High School Campus
  • Blair Andrews
    Blair Andrews
    6th Grade Teacher
  • Dennis Bock
    Dennis Bock
    Future Families Liaison
  • Debbie Briggs
    Debbie Briggs
    4th-6th Grade Spanish
  • Katie Daily
    Katie Daily
    G.E.A.R. Coordinator & Teacher
  • Kayla De Bruin
    Kayla De Bruin
    2nd Grade Teacher
  • Dawn Echols
    Dawn Echols
    4th Grade Teacher
  • Mary Katherine Franklin
    Mary Katherine Franklin
    4th Grade Teacher
  • Erin Good
    Erin Good
    Half Day Kindergarten & Science Lab
  • Melynn Hagan
    Melynn Hagan
    Health Aide
  • Angel Hallaran
    Angel Hallaran
    Pre K 4 Teacher
  • Michelle Harrington
    Michelle Harrington
    6th Grade Teacher
  • Camille Hartley
    Camille Hartley
    General Music, Piano Lab and Choir
  • Trinka Henderson
    Trinka Henderson
    1st Grade Teacher
  • Bruce Hermesch
    Bruce Hermesch
    Band & Facilities
  • Deborah Hightower
    Deborah Hightower
    Godly Play (K-1st Grade)
  • Dawn Echols
    Dawn Echols
    4th Grade Teacher
  • Kelly Holly
    Kelly Holly
    Pre K 3 Teacher
  • Raquelle Joy-Gluvna
    Raquelle Joy-Gluvna
    2nd grade Teacher
  • Steffani Klontz
    Steffani Klontz
    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Alexis Knop
    Alexis Knop
    Copy Room Aide
  • Caylin Kukovich
    Caylin Kukovich
    Receptionist
  • Stefan Wilson
    Stefan Wilson
    Staff
  • Ashley Storey
    Ashley Storey
    Staff
  • Michelle Wilson
    Michelle Wilson
    Staff
  • Chris Russell
    Chris Russell
    Staff
  • Matt Wise
    Matt Wise
    Staff
  • Megan Tyler
    Megan Tyler
    Staff
  • Andy Robinson
    Andy Robinson
    Staff
  • Teri Ory
    Teri Ory
    Staff
  • C.L. Mitchell
    C.L. Mitchell
    Staff
  • Jody McCoy
    Jody McCoy
    Staff
  • Anita Opazo
    Anita Opazo
    Art Teacher
  • Christina Lang
    Christina Lang
    Staff
  • Kelly Kruse
    Kelly Kruse
    Staff
  • Krista Liddy
    Krista Liddy
    Staff
  • Don Keysor
    Don Keysor
    Staff
  • Bobbie Kost
    Bobbie Kost
    Staff
  • Kathy Gerber
    Kathy Gerber
    Staff
  • Yan Kao
    Yan Kao
    Staff
  • Jackie Patterson
    Jackie Patterson
    Staff
  • Camille Hartley
    Camille Hartley
    General Music, Piano Lab and Choir
  • Darcey Barnett
    Darcey Barnett
    Staff
  • Rob Lauer
    Rob Lauer
    Facilities
  • Julie Conover
    Julie Conover
    Staff
  • Brian Burkhart
    Brian Burkhart
    Staff
  • Michelle Abbott
    Michelle Abbott
    Staff
  • Robin Lindberg
    Robin Lindberg
    Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Julie Gilmore
    Julie Gilmore
    Tuition/Finance Assistant
  • Lisa Mueller
    Lisa Mueller
    Human Resources
  • Frank DeSena
    Frank DeSena
    Director of Student Services
  • Ron Miller
    Ron Miller
    Campus Building Manager
  • Debbie Hoffman
    Debbie Hoffman
    Principal's Assistant
  • Valerie Manley
    Valerie Manley
    1st Grade Teacher
  • Rachel Boylan
    Rachel Boylan
    English
  • Katie Ceton
    Katie Ceton
    English
  • Derek Chisum
    Derek Chisum
    Math
  • Charlie Markle
    Charlie Markle
    Board Member
  • Michelle Abbott
    Michelle Abbott
    2nd Grade Teacher
  • Richele Ames
    Richele Ames
    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Teresa Betz
    Teresa Betz
    K8 Office Assistant
  • Susan Avery
    Susan Avery
    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Mayra Lopez
    Mayra Lopez
    MS Spanish
  • Andrew Brown
    Andrew Brown
    Bible 7th & 8th
  • Kareena Brown
    Kareena Brown
    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Jamie Carver
    Jamie Carver
    K8 Front Desk
  • Jessica Cifuentes
    Jessica Cifuentes
    Science (Grades 4/5)
  • Marnie Clouatre
    Marnie Clouatre
    4/5 Grade Teacher
  • Michele Cunningham
    Michele Cunningham
    K8 Vice Principal and Dean of Middle School
  • Jack MacArthur
    Jack MacArthur
    Tech Support Specialist
  • Amy Dudley
    Amy Dudley
    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Pam Palacio
    Pam Palacio
    Theatre Arts
  • Jim Desmarchais
    Jim Desmarchais
    Principal
  • Natasha Desmarchais
    Natasha Desmarchais
    Girls PE
  • James Dragonette
    James Dragonette
    Finance/Tuition Manager
  • Holly Earle
    Holly Earle
    Pre-K Teacher
  • Susan Enright
    Susan Enright
    Curriculum Coordinator
  • Jay Feely
    Jay Feely
    Board Member
  • Laura Fellows
    Laura Fellows
    IT/Lab Monitor
  • Anna Field
    Anna Field
    Physical Sciences
  • Scott Finkbeiner
    Scott Finkbeiner
    Board Member
  • Ann Flagg
    Ann Flagg
    K8 Principal
  • Larry Fleischer
    Larry Fleischer
    Board Member
  • Chris Gargan
    Chris Gargan
    Assistant Athletic Director
  • Holly Garza
    Holly Garza
    Science (7th & 8th)
  • Jason Gehl
    Jason Gehl
    Board Member
  • Michelle Gonzalez
    Michelle Gonzalez
    4/5 Grade Teacher
  • Kathy Grebe
    Kathy Grebe
    Accountant/Finance Manager
  • Erin Good
    Erin Good
    Half-Day Kindergarten and Science Lab
  • Joy Grotenhuis
    Joy Grotenhuis
    Choral Accompianist
  • Christina Halaby
    Christina Halaby
    Playground Aide
  • Amy Majeski
    Amy Majeski
    5th Grade Teacher
  • Sandra Hamberg
    Sandra Hamberg
    K8 Principal's Assistant
  • Rachelle Hayes
    Rachelle Hayes
    2nd Grade Teacher
  • Tiffany Hendrix
    Tiffany Hendrix
    PreK Aide
  • Mark Henderson
    Mark Henderson
    6th Grade Teacher
  • Joel Holsinger
    Joel Holsinger
    Fine Arts
  • Kim Martin
    Kim Martin
    All Day Kindergarten Teacher
  • Angela Mazzola
    Angela Mazzola
    MS Math and MS Science
  • Breanna Hoppal
    Breanna Hoppal
    4/5 Grade Teacher
  • Carol Husbands
    Carol Husbands
    K8 Lunch Coordinator
  • Brent Jarles
    Brent Jarles
    Social Studies
  • Charlie Meo
    Charlie Meo
    Bible and PE
  • Rhonda Miller
    Rhonda Miller
    Lunch Aide Director
  • Beca Nelson
    Beca Nelson
    1st Grade Teacher
  • Amanda Johnson
    Amanda Johnson
    Counselor
  • Matt Johnson
    Matt Johnson
    Board President
  • Matt Johnson
    Matt Johnson
    Assistant Principal
  • Shane Jones
    Shane Jones
    Board Member
  • Kurt Keener
    Kurt Keener
    U.S/World History
  • Barry Klontz
    Barry Klontz
    Computer Tech
  • Jessica Lewis
    Jessica Lewis
    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Anita Opazo
    Anita Opazo
    Art
  • Matthew Littlefield
    Matthew Littlefield
    Science
  • Heather Peterson
    Heather Peterson
    Principal's Assistant
  • Chris Ross
    Chris Ross
    Strings
  • Rodger Mares
    Rodger Mares
    HS Facilities Assistant
  • Christine Ruggiero
    Christine Ruggiero
    2nd Grade Teacher
  • Chandra Ryals
    Chandra Ryals
    1st- 5th Grade Computer Teacher
  • Dorene McLaughlin
    Dorene McLaughlin
    English (Middle School)
  • Jeanne Murray
    Jeanne Murray
    5th Grade Teacher
  • Lynne Paasch
    Lynne Paasch
    Administrative Assistant
  • Mike Paasch
    Mike Paasch
    Spanish
  • Jacqueline Patterson
    Jacqueline Patterson
    History (Middle School)
  • Shawn Patterson
    Shawn Patterson
    Physical Education
  • Melody Perry
    Melody Perry
    Choral Accompianist
  • Mary Phillippe
    Mary Phillippe
    1st Grade Teacher
  • Nancy Poweleit
    Nancy Poweleit
    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Katelyn Rachoy
    Katelyn Rachoy
    Strings (4/5, Middle School & High School)
  • Paige Ramos
    Paige Ramos
    Math ( 7th & 8th)
  • Adam Rasmussen
    Adam Rasmussen
    Athletic Director
  • Kevin Rhineheimer
    Kevin Rhineheimer
    Board Member
  • Brenna Renaud
    Brenna Renaud
    4/5 Grade Teacher
  • Jim Roberts
    Jim Roberts
    K8 Physical Education
  • Andrew Robinson
    Andrew Robinson
    English
  • Jeff Rogers
    Jeff Rogers
    Audio Production
  • Debrah Delos-Santos
    Debrah Delos-Santos
    Chemistry
  • Cruz Thomas
    Cruz Thomas
    Development Director
  • Tammy Samp
    Tammy Samp
    1st Grade Teacher
  • Athena Scheina
    Athena Scheina
    K8 Health Aide
  • Dakota Smith
    Dakota Smith
    Bible
  • Jolina Shue
    Jolina Shue
    4th Grade teacher
  • Nicole Sundt
    Nicole Sundt
    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Denise Sutherland
    Denise Sutherland
    Graphic Design Director
  • Linda Tolson
    Linda Tolson
    Pre K 3 Teacher
  • Herbert Washington
    Herbert Washington
    Choral Director (4/5 & High School)
  • Pam Weinland
    Pam Weinland
    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Kimberly Young
    Kimberly Young
    Registrar
  • Steffani Klontz
    Steffani Klontz
    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Lori McConchie
    Lori McConchie
    Staff
  • Melynn Hagan
    Melynn Hagan
    Health Aide
  • Debbie Williams
    Debbie Williams
    MS English and MS History
  • Jennifer Lyon
    Jennifer Lyon
    Kindergarten Aide
  • Christine Ruggiero
    Christine Ruggiero
    2nd Grade Teacher
  • Raymon Ribeiro
    Raymon Ribeiro
    Staff
  • Marie Wilson
    Marie Wilson
    Principal
  • Dawn Echols
    Dawn Echols
    4th Grade Teacher
  • Becca Nelson
    Becca Nelson
    Staff
  • Craig Jones
    Craig Jones
    Staff
  • Mary Katherine Franklin
    Mary Katherine Franklin
    4th Grade Teacher
  • Linda Tolson
    Linda Tolson
    PreK3
  • Melissa Baker
    Melissa Baker
    5th Grade Teacher Apprentice
Blair Andrews
6th Grade Teacher

blair.andrews@gcsaz.org

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. 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.”

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.

Dennis Bock
Future Families Liaison

dennis.bock@gcsaz.0rg

I grew up in Tucson and graduated from Tucson High School in 1967. Shortly after that, I joined the Navy and spent four-plus years on Navy bases in northern California and Guam working on aircraft. After completing military service, I worked for Seven-Up Bottling in Tucson for three years. Upon feeling the tugging of the Holy Spirit to enter full-time ministry, I moved our family to California in 1975 to attend Bible college. After graduation, I joined a church staff as the worship and counselling pastor.

In 1983, God led me to help start a Christian school in south Orange County. We began with 38 students and eventually grew to over 600. I retired in June of 2015 after 32 years as the assistant superintendent, and we moved to Queen Creek to be near our youngest grandchildren. In September of 2016, I was offered the position as Future Families Liaison and joyfully accepted the position. I love assisting families in their search for the best Christian education for their children!! My wife and I have been married for 47 years, and we have two grown children and seven grandchildren…and the youngest two are enrolled in Gilbert Christian!

Debbie Briggs
4th-6th Grade Spanish

debbie.briggs@gcsaz.org

My name is Debbie Briggs, better known as Sra. Briggs. I praise God often for sending us to Arizona eight years ago so that my husband could lead the finance ministry at Central Christian Church. We love it here! My two degrees and years of teaching initially go back to public schools and fortunately transitioned into the incredible privilege of teaching in Christian schools, with a few years in administration. There is no place I would consider teaching than at Gilbert Christian Schools. I so desire that my students have fun and see the value of other languages and cultures and how to impact the world.
My passion in life is the home and how we can entrust others to make ripples as we pray diligently for our family, described in my new book. Spending time with my children and grandchildren are off-the-chart fun for me, as well as returning to warm Caribbean waters with my hubby, where we lived for five years.

Katie Daily
G.E.A.R. Coordinator & Teacher

kate.daily@gcsaz.org

Mrs Daily brings seven years of teaching experience to the GEAR classroom at Gilbert Christian School. Before teaching at GCS, Mrs Daily previously taught 1st and 2nd grade in Idaho where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education and Administration. Mrs Daily’s greatest joy is serving God; however, she felt very blessed and honoured to serve the students and families at Gilbert Christian Schools, too. Mrs Daily currently resides in Chandler, AZ with her husband and daughter.

Kayla De Bruin
2nd Grade Teacher

kayla.debruin@gcsaz.org

I grew up in Pella, Iowa and attended Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.  I graduated in 2016 and moved to Arizona in the summer.  My first year of teaching was in Kindergarten at Bethany Christian School in Tempe.  This is now my second year teaching, but my first year at GCS.   While I was in my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to student teach in Mrs Martin’s classroom for two months.  I wanted to teach at GCS because, through my observation during my student teaching, I enjoyed the positive, Christian atmosphere.  I also appreciated the positive relationships among the teachers and between the students.  I enjoy hiking, reading and playing tennis in my spare time.  

Dawn Echols
4th Grade Teacher

dawn.echols@gcsaz.org

Hello, my name is Dawn Echols, and it will be my first year teaching at Gilbert Christian Schools.  I feel blessed to have been called to this position and know God has amazing things planned.

This will be my 12th year as a classroom teacher. I took six years off to raise my children but felt the passion for teaching again once they were all in school. I have had the privilege of teaching in all sectors (public, charter, and parochial).  I have taught grades 2,3,4,5 and 6.  I am super excited to be teaching 4th grade again and that I get to show God’s word again.

I am thankful that I get to proclaim that I am a Christian. To me, this means being a believer in all things Biblical. It means praising God and Jesus in good and bad times. It means having communication with my heavenly father about life and praying in all circumstances. I have many favorite verses, but one that stands out to me is Philippians 4:6-7  “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Mary Katherine Franklin
4th Grade Teacher

marykatherine.franklin@gcsaz.org

I was born and raised in Georgia but moved to Arizona in 2009 to attend college. I am a graduate of Grand Canyon University, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Math and a Master’s Degree in Reading Instruction.

Although this is my first year teaching at Gilbert Christian, I have been a teacher for six years. I started my career in my hometown of Lilburn, Georgia, at the Christian school that I attended kindergarten through twelfth grade.

A Christian school education played a huge role in my walk with the Lord as many teachers poured into me in a way that made a difference in my life.  Their impact greatly influenced my desire to teach at a Christian school. In 2014, I moved back to Arizona to work with English Language Learners in the west Phoenix area.  I am so excited that God has called me back into Christian education where I can encourage my students in their walk with Christ.

Erin Good
Half Day Kindergarten & Science Lab

erin.good@gcsaz.org

I am very excited to start my second year at Gilbert Christian! I taught science at a title one school in Chandler for several years before coming to GCS. I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve God and your children in Half-Day Kinder and Half-Day Science. These are two of my most significant areas of passions, and I feel blessed in God’s unique equipment of me for these rolls.

Personally, my husband and I celebrated our six year anniversary this May. We were high school sweethearts and will have been together for ten years this October. We don’t have any kids but do have a huge Great Dane Mastiff mix dog named Rue. Apart from family, my other joys in life are reading and writing. It is not uncommon for me to read 4-7 books a month and I hope to be a published author one day. I hope to share my love of reading and writing with your student(s) this year.

My husband and I attend Harvest East Valley and serve every other Sunday in the Nursery. I have been a Christian for many years and have found that what I love most about GCS is the Christian culture. I adore the staff that supports and encourages all with the love of Christ, and I have a particular delight in sharing what the Lord has taught me to the students. GCS is indeed the epitome of Hebrews 10: 24-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Melynn Hagan
Health Aide

melyn.hagan@gcsaz.org

I am incredibly excited and honoured to be joining the GCS family.  I am an ASU graduate with a degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Arabic.  My husband and I have been married for three years and are blessed to have two sweet dogs that we love.  We currently attend Redemption Gateway, where we both serve in the Youth Ministry as mentors for high school students.  As I join GCS, I am so excited to be a part of a community that focuses so much on Jesus and training kids up in the faith.  I am looking forward to loving on every kid, teacher, and parent that I get to interact with in my position.

Angel Hallaran
Pre K 4 Teacher

angel.hallaran@gcsaz.org

After serving as a Pre-K, aide at Gilbert Christian Schools for the last three years, I found myself genuinely enjoying loving, nurturing and guiding preschoolers. I am thrilled for the opportunity to teach Pre-K at the Greenfield campus this year. I’m an Arizona native, married for almost 22 years to my husband Scott, and have three beautiful children, McKenna, Olivia, and Jameson. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business, I am now pursuing an Early Education degree. I am looking forward to learning and playing while sharing Christ and guiding our “littles” to know and love Jesus.

Michelle Harrington
6th Grade Teacher

michelle.harrington@gcsaz.org

My name is Michelle Harrington, and I’m excited to be joining the team at Gilbert Christian Schools as a 6th-grade teacher at the Greenfield Campus. It is such a privilege to work in an environment where I have the opportunity and directive to share God’s truth daily with my students. This will be my 6th year teaching 6th grade. My heart is deeply rooted in this age group. Every child is special and uniquely created, and it is my privilege to work alongside our parents in watching God’s plan unfold in the hearts and minds of each student in my care.

My family moved to Gilbert two years ago from Oregon where I taught 6th graders at a Christian school. We are blessed to have my two sons, daughters-in-law, and our three (soon to be four) grandchildren living here as well. We are all enjoying the warmth and sunshine that Arizona provides! I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and I recently earned a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University.

Ephesians 2:10 states, “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.” Helping students develop an accurate view of God’s love, and purpose for their lives is the most significant accomplishment. I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend my days with your kids. We’re going to have a fantastic year!

Camille Hartley
General Music, Piano Lab and Choir

camille.hartley@gcsaz.org

This is my first year with Gilbert Christian Schools, and I could not be more excited. I will be teaching Kindergarten through Eighth Grade general music, piano, music theatre, and choir. I am a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, with a degree in secondary music education. Since student teaching I have been teaching at local high schools, choreographing for choir concerts, teaching many private voices and piano students, as well as teaching musical theatre at Valley Youth Theater in downtown Phoenix.  It is my joy to be around children, and my calling to be a missionary within a classroom environment. I am so excited to start this journey at Gilbert Christian Greenfield!

Trinka Henderson
1st Grade Teacher

trinka.henderson@gcsaz.org

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 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!

Bruce Hermesch
Band & Facilities

bruce.hermesch@gcsaz.org

I am a proud Husband and father of three amazing children. One is married and about to become a lead colour 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 favourite sport.

Deborah Hightower
Godly Play (K-1st Grade)

Deborah.hightower@gcsaz.org

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!

Dawn Echols
4th Grade Teacher

dawn.echols@gcsaz.org

Hello, my name is Dawn Echols, and it will be my first year teaching at Gilbert Christian Schools.  I feel blessed to have been called to this position and know God has amazing things planned.

This will be my 12th year as a classroom teacher. I took six years off to raise my children but felt the passion for teaching again once they were all in school. I have had the privilege of teaching in all sectors (public, charter, and parochial).  I have taught grades 2,3,4,5 and 6.  I am super excited to be teaching 4th grade again and that I get to teach God’s word again.

I am thankful that I get to proclaim that I am a Christian. To me, this means being a believer in all things Biblical. It means praising God and Jesus in good and bad times. It means having communication with my heavenly father about life and praying in all circumstances. I have many favorite verses, but one that stands out to me is Philippians 4:6-7  “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Kelly Holly
Pre K 3 Teacher

kelly.holly@gcsaz.org

Originally I am from Orange County, California, where I graduated from CSU Long Beach in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Food Administration and a certificate in elementary teaching. Shortly after, I moved to Arizona to be closer to family and begin my teaching career. I taught 4th grade for two years and 3rd grade for three years. Within that time, I met and married my husband. We are blessed to have two boys who currently attend GCS Greenfield. I was a stay home mom until they began elementary school. During that time, I volunteered in their preschool classes and was a lead teacher in toddler and preschool classes for a MOPS group. I’ve been actively volunteering in preschool church ministry for over 11 years. We attend Sun Valley Community Church where I’m a coordinator for the children’s ministry, and I’ve been a leader in their VBS for three years. I’m honoured and blessed to be a part of Gilbert Christian School with its loving, nurturing, and Christ-centered culture.

Raquelle Joy-Gluvna
2nd grade Teacher

raquelle.joy-gluvna@gcsaz.org

Hi! My name is Raquelle Joy-Gluvna. It is an honor and a privilege to begin teaching my second year at Gilbert Christian Elementary.

I received my Bachelor degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University; several years later I returned for a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. In between my degrees, I taught German for the fifth, sixth and seventh grade at a public school in Flagstaff. After receiving my Master’s degree, I taught second and third grade at a Charter School in Glendale. I was then blessed with a baby boy, Dallon, and decided to stay home to raise him.

I found Gilbert Christian Elementary when I registered my son for Kindergarten in 2013. As soon as I walked onto the campus, I felt a sense of overwhelming peace and contentment. I knew it was the Holy Spirit! Throughout my time in volunteering in the classroom and at school functions, I loved and appreciated the amazing sense of community that existed between the parents and staff. It was these experiences at GCS that brought me to the decision to go back to teaching. I was blessed when offered a 4th/5th Grade teaching position in 2016. Second grade has always been my absolute love, so I am thrilled to be teaching this grade level once again. I am looking forward to teaching the truths of scripture and creating a loving Christian relationship with the children in my classroom.

Steffani Klontz
3rd Grade Teacher

steffani.klontz@gcsaz.org

My name is Steffani Klontz, and I am so excited to teach 3rd grade at Gilbert Christian Schools this year!

I am a native Arizonan and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in Music. I have been married for six years, and feel incredibly blessed to now work with my wonderful husband who works as IT for Gilbert Christian. I have taught for five years, and I love teaching 3rd grade! I am an avid reader and writer, with a passion for travel, performing arts, and trivia. My husband and I are members of Family Bible Church, where I sing weekly on the worship team and help facilitate Vacation Bible School each summer. We have two cats, Meeko and Tigger, who keep us on our toes with their crazy antics.

My goal as an educator is to teach with an eternal perspective, thinking not only about the knowledge gained but how it can help each child build a relationship to become closer to God. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 Every moment is a teachable moment, and we will be working together to create habits of righteousness every day in my classroom and throughout the school. I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of Gilbert Christian Schools and look forward to an incredible school year!

Alexis Knop
Copy Room Aide

alexis.knop@gcsaz.org

My name is Alexis Knop, and I am a teacher’s aide at the Greenfield campus.  This is my first year being a part of Gilbert Christian and is so blessed with the opportunity to work here!  I have been attending Family Bible Church with my family since 2013. In my free time, I love getting together with friends, playing games, and music.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Colossians 2:6-7
Caylin Kukovich
Receptionist

caylin.kukovich@gcsaz.org

Hi, my name is Caylin Kukovich. I graduated from Grand Canyon University with a B.A. in Christian Studies. My heart lies in acts of worship through music, and that is where my calling lies in ministry. I’m going on my second year of being a part of the Gilbert Christian Schools family. My first year involved a position in the facilities department at the Agritopia campus where I was able to serve the students, staff, as well as our wonderful parents. I have now transferred to the receptionist position here at the Greenfield campus and could not be more excited about the beautiful blessing God has given me to interact with new families and staff. As of the end of July, I will be newly married entering a new season with my wonderful husband! My prayer is that you feel at home as soon as you enter our front doors of our beautiful campus! Thank you for entrusting your young ones to our care!
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…” Ephesians 3:17-18

Stefan Wilson
Staff
Ashley Storey
Staff
Michelle Wilson
Staff
Chris Russell
Staff
Matt Wise
Staff
Megan Tyler
Staff
Andy Robinson
Staff
Teri Ory
Staff
C.L. Mitchell
Staff
Jody McCoy
Staff
Anita Opazo
Art Teacher

Anita Opazo grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received her undergraduate degree at Grand Canyon University in Art Education and Secondary Education and her Master’s in Education at Arizona State University. She has been a teacher since 2000 and has spent 9 years of that teaching overseas in Kuwait and Morocco. She taught photography at George Fox University as well as teaching ESL at a University in Kuwait. Art and music are her passion and she’s excited to share the joy of art with students at GCS this year! Anita plays the violin, guitar and piano and loves singing. She has been blessed to be married to her husband, Hamlet for 16 years and they’ve been blessed with a son, named Phoenix. This will be her first year stateside after living in Morocco and is excited to be part of the GCS community to help her in her transition to life in the states again. As she resettles stateside, she is clinging to this truth in Philippians 4:8 and 9… ” Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 about such things.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you”

Christina Lang
Staff

Christina Lang is a California native who graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and minors in English and Bible in 2000. Education and Church Ministry have been her focus for the last 17 years as she has taught in Jr. High/High School, Children’s Ministry, Marriage Ministry, Women’s Ministry, and most recently as a Keynote Speaker in several churches and conferences across the country. Her greatest joy is to proclaim the message of freedom that can be found only when one surrenders their entire life to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. She has written for several publications, including Focus on the Family, and published her first book (a woman’s Bible Study) in 2015. Christina feels strongly that God led her family to Gilbert Christian School. Her new role as Guidance Counselor will allow her to pair two of her greatest passions: education and ministry. Working with students, teaching them to live intentionally by setting attainable goals, while simultaneously realizing that their greatest worth will always be found in their Creator is what she is most excited about. Christina and her husband Brandon are active members of Mission Community Church along with their six children who all attend Gilbert Christian School.

Kelly Kruse
Staff
Krista Liddy
Staff
Don Keysor
Staff
Bobbie Kost
Staff
Kathy Gerber
Staff
Yan Kao
Staff
Jackie Patterson
Staff
Camille Hartley
General Music, Piano Lab and Choir

This is my first year with Gilbert Christian Schools, and I could not be more excited. I will be teaching Kindergarten through Eighth Grade general music, piano, music theater, and choir. I am a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, with a degree in secondary music education. Since student teaching I have been teaching at local high schools, choreographing for choir concerts, teaching many private voice and piano students, as well as teaching musical theater at Valley Youth Theater in downtown Phoenix. It is my joy to be around children, and my calling to be a missionary within a classroom environment. I am so excited to start this journey at Gilbert Christian Greenfield!

Darcey Barnett
Staff
Rob Lauer
Facilities

rob.lauer@gcsaz.org

I am from St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. I have been married for 36 years and recently moved to the valley so that my wife and I could be closer to the family. I worked as an engineering geologist for 38 years in state government and in private consulting working on many projects involving transportation infrastructure. My interests include fly fishing, hiking, reading, travel, following the St. Louis Cardinals, and spending time with my young grandson.  My wife and I are members of Christ Greenfield Lutheran Church and participate in group bible study and volunteer opportunities.

Over the years, I have served as a church usher and on a number of church and school boards including stewardship, trustees, and education.  Christian education has always been a big part of my life and continues to be a passion for my wife and I.  I feel fortunate to be able to work in a Christian environment and entrusted to be a good steward of all that God has blessed us with at Gilbert Christian Schools.  “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Julie Conover
Staff
Brian Burkhart
Staff
Michelle Abbott
Staff
Robin Lindberg
Director of Curriculum and Instruction

robin.lindberg@gcsaz.org

Robin Lindberg earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in 1987. She taught in the Kyrene School District in Phoenix before having a family then homeschooled her two sons until the oldest began in the fifth grade at Gilbert Christian Schools (then Surrey Garden Christian School). She began teaching at GCS as a substitute teacher and part-time home school program teacher in 2005. While teaching first through third grades, Robin earned her master’s degree in Educational Psychology / Human Relations from Northern Arizona University.  After spending 12 years in the classroom at GCS, in 2017 she stepping into the role of Director of Curriculum and Instruction.  Being a passionate lifelong learner, Robin enjoys supporting teachers to foster in their students that same enthusiasm to learn about the Lord, His story, and the gift of His marvellous creation.  Robin has been blessed to be married to her sweetheart, Doug, for more than 25 years.  Both of their grown sons, Aidan and Nolan, are GCS graduates.

Julie Gilmore
Tuition/Finance Assistant

Lisa Mueller
Human Resources

Frank DeSena
Director of Student Services


Frank received his B.A. with a major in Psychology from the University of Dayton and his M.S. with a major in Counselor Education from California State University, Los Angeles.  He received credentials to work as a school counsellor and school psychologist.  He also earned a License to practice as an Educational Psychologist.  Frank received his Administrative Services credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills.  

He worked as a special education teacher, a school psychologist, the Director of Special Education, and then became the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services.  Frank was also an Adjunct Professor at CSUDH in the graduate education department as well as serving on the Advisory Committee for the Loyola Marymount University School Psychology Program.  Overall, he has spent over 30 years in the field of education, working with populations that include special needs and at risk students, as well as being in positions where he would make policy decisions for the entire unified school district.  

Frank is a member of Desert Springs Church in Chandler.  He is married to Shana and has two sons, Bryan and Eli, as well as a daughter in law Tiffany, and granddaughter Sofia.  

 

Ron Miller
Campus Building Manager

Ron Miller

ron.miller@gcsaz.org

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 in 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.

Debbie Hoffman
Principal's Assistant

Debbie moved from Kansas City, MO one year ago with her family. She and her husband enjoy six children and five grandchildren.  Debbie was raised in a loving Christian home, and that strong heritage is what she has instilled in her children and grandchildren.  In her spare time, she loves watching her kids in sporting events, scrapbooking, and worshipping and pleasing God in everything she does.

Valerie Manley
1st Grade Teacher
Valerie Manley
valerie.manley@gcsaz.org
Mrs. Manley holds a B.A in elementary education she earned from Arizona State University. Before coming to Gilbert Christian School, she taught first grade for three years for Gilbert Public School.  For those three years, Mrs. Manley worked in Gilbert Christian’s kindergarten program as a teacher in the half day and full day program before taking over the first-grade classroom in 2016. Mrs. Manley loves being able to combine her two passions in the workplace; her love for the Lord and her love of teaching.  She enjoys working towards the success of her students with both families and staff. Her three children attend GCS, and her family worships at Mission Community Church.
Rachel Boylan
English



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Ms Boylan graduated from Concordia University Nebraska in 2011 with a B.S. in Education and a B.A. in English. She is currently studying for a master’s degree in reading instruction. Originally from Southern California, Ms Boylan has spent her life travelling around the world with her missionary family. She’s lived in Namibia, Guatemala, Mexico, Sierra Leone, and all over the U.S., and she now calls Arizona home! Ms Boylan loves school and loves her students even more. She has taught high school for four years, focusing mainly on English and honors or AP English, but making the occasional foray into theology, social studies, and Spanish as well.

Katie Ceton
English

Katie was raised in a Christian household and attended Christian schools her whole life. She attended Phoenix Christian Preparatory Schools from Preschool- 12th grade (then Light and Life Elementary and Phoenix Christian Jr/Sr High School). After high school, she attended Biola University.  She felt God leading her to work with high schoolers. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in English, as well as 3 minors: Secondary Education, TESOL (teaching ESL), and Bible. She decided to continue pursuing her education and graduated with her Masters of Arts in Teaching in 2015 from Biola University. The past 2 years she has worked as a freshman, sophomore, Honors, and Foundational English teacher at Phoenix Christian Preparatory School. She got married in September 2016 and started attending Cornerstone Church in Chandler.  She works with the nursery and is a part of the “After I Do” young marrieds group.

Derek Chisum
Math

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Mr. Chisum has a Master’s in Elementary Education from NAU and is coming to us with 16 years or teaching experience. He is looking forward to teaching at a Christian school where he can share his faith without restraint.   He enjoys serving in children’s ministries at Redemption Gateway Church.

Charlie Markle
Board Member
Michelle Abbott
2nd Grade Teacher

MichelleAbbott


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 through 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.

Richele Ames
Kindergarten Teacher




Mrs. Ames holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She has taught kindergarten at GCS since 2001. 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 math and reading, Mrs. Ames loves to lead children in worship and praise to God.

Teresa Betz
K8 Office Assistant

TeresaBetz

Susan Avery
3rd Grade Teacher

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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!

Mayra Lopez
MS Spanish

mayra.lopez@gcsaz.org

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 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

Andrew Brown
Bible 7th & 8th



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Mr Brown began teaching at GCS in the spring of 2015. He holds a B.A. degree in Bible from Bob Jones University and an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary. He has been serving in student ministry at various churches for 15 years and continues to do so currently at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chandler. He loves Jesus. He loves being with students. And he loves watching God’s grace heal broken people (including himself). He loves spending time with his wife Kristin and their three children. Also, teaching Bible at GCS is the greatest job he’s ever had.

Kareena Brown
3rd Grade Teacher



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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.

Jamie Carver
K8 Front Desk



Jessica Cifuentes
Science (Grades 4/5)

JessicaCifuentes


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.

Marnie Clouatre
4/5 Grade Teacher




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.

Michele Cunningham
K8 Vice Principal and Dean of Middle School

MichelleCunningham


Mrs. Cunningham began teaching at GCS in the year 2000 and is the instructional leader for the 2/3 team. She holds a B.A. degree in Communications from Ottawa University and is currently pursuing an MEd in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Cunningham is passionate about her students learning to treasure Christ above all else. She loves literature and loves teaching students to think deeply about the lessons of literature from a Christian worldview. She is thankful for the great blessing of her husband, Jim Cunningham, and her three adult sons.

Jack MacArthur
Tech Support Specialist

jack.macarthur@gcsaz.org

Jack MacArthur has been with GCS since Spring of 2017. He actively serves on the worship team of Family Bible Church, playing the bass guitar, and is also currently attending ASU where he is studying software engineering. When not at work or school, Jack enjoys playing basketball, the occasional video game, or binge-watching a good show on Netflix.

Amy Dudley
Kindergarten Teacher

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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.

Pam Palacio
Theatre Arts

Mrs. Pam Palacio teaches High School Theatre Arts. She directs the plays for the HS, MS, and Elementary at Gilbert Christian. She graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles after studying Theatre at the University of Hawaii and has pursued an acting career in LA.  At Gilbert Christian, she has directed 18 plays and musicals, and has taught Drama, Student Council, Choir, Speech/Debate and Yearbook, as well as substituted on both campuses.  She has also directed seven home school, and community theatre plays through MoezArt Productions.  She and her husband, Mark, have been married for 25 years and have four beautiful children.  Born and raised in Hawaii, she became a believer in LA, where she and her husband enjoyed excellent teaching at Grace Community Church, pastored by John MacArthur.  Her children were homeschooled for eight years, and after moving to Arizona in 2004, all attended GCS for many years.  They joyfully attend San Tan Bible Church in Agritopia where she serves in the nursery.

 

Jim Desmarchais
Principal

Jim Desmarchais


Jim Desmarchais is thrilled to be a part of the Christian education at Gilbert Christian School. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Southern California, and Toronto, Canada. Jim received his bachelor’s degree from the Universtiy of Toronto and his Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix in Educational Administration. He has taught elementary physical education and sixth grade. At the administrative level, he served as the assistant principal at Rhodes Junior High, the principal at Barbara Bush Elementary School (which was named an A+ School), and later as principal of Robert Frost Elementary School in Mesa. Jim also served three years as the children’s pastor at East Valley Bible Church (Redemption Gilbert). He currently attends Redeemer Bible Chruch. Jim brings a passion for working with kids and families and is honored to be part of what God is doing at GCS. Jim is married to Natasha and has two sons. Christopher and Steven, who are both GCS Graduates.

Natasha Desmarchais
Girls PE



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Mrs. Desmarchais has been teaching Physical Education since 1989. She took a wonderful hiatus to stay home for eight years and raise her boys, returning to teaching in 2009. Mrs Desmarchais has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical/ Health Education and Dance from the University of Toronto, the city in which she was born and raised. She moved to Gilbert, with her husband Jim, in 1988 where she received her AZ teaching certificate, allowing her to teach PE grades K-12. She continued her graduate work in Secondary Education at ASU and the University of Phoenix. Mrs Desmarchais came to Gilbert Christian Schools in 2008 and established the Elementary PE Program, teaching K-6 grade students for six years. In 2015 she continued her teaching at the High School by teaching a girl’s Fitness/PE class. Besides her faith and her family, teaching students about physical education and have them understand and appreciate that fitness is a lifestyle, is what she most cares about. Mrs Desmarchais is a member of Redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert and serves in the Nursery ministry. Her favourite pass time is anything that involves being with her husband, Jim and her two boys, Christopher and Steven, both GCS graduates. Mrs Desmarchais enjoys being active: hiking, bike riding, and working out. She balances that with her love of cooking/baking and finding new restaurants to enjoy!

James Dragonette
Finance/Tuition Manager

JamesDragonette

James has been married to his wife Adrianna since 2012.  He was born in Indiana, but since 1996 has lived with his family in Gilbert.  In 2012 James had the privilege of joining the staff at Gilbert Christian Schools.  As the Tuition and Finance Manager he sees his role as an opportunity to minister to both the families and students of GCS.  James and his wife are both graduates of GCS, so getting the opportunity to come back to serve and work along side some of those who educated him, has been a very unique opportunity.  When he is not working, James enjoys spending time with his family, serving at his Church Tempe Nazarene, drinking coffee and all things car related.  In addition to these things and his love for the Lord, James is also passionate about the State Tax Credit scholarship program that is available at GCS.  He is responsible for educating both current and future families of GCS about this program.  He takes this responsibility very seriously, as he knows this program affords many the opportunity to join GCS, that otherwise could not afford to attend.  He looks forward to his continued service at GCS.

Holly Earle
Pre-K Teacher




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.

Susan Enright
Curriculum Coordinator



Mrs Enright graduated from Truman University in Kirksville, Mo with an education degree in General Science with a minor in Biology. She taught 1st – 3rd combination class during her first 7 years at Gilbert Christian. She then took a break and came back to GCS to teach science and has blessed the school with the immense task of being the Curriculum Coordinator. She loves working with the amazing Godly staff at GCS. Mrs. Enright and her husband George attend Pursuit Christian Fellowship.

Jay Feely
Board Member

Jay Feely


Bio coming soon

Laura Fellows
IT/Lab Monitor




Mrs. Fellows was born and raised on the east coast working as a licensed commercial insurance broker/legal admin before moving to Arizona with her family in 1996. Since her children were still quite young, she was a stay-at-home mom. During those years, she decided to fulfill a life-long goal to complete college and graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix in 2004 with a B.S. degree in Management with emphasis on technology. Wishing to keep the same school hours/vacations as her children, she became a certified substitute and moved from being a Para-educator to substituting in the Chandler Unified School District. She did this for 11 years and gained most of her teaching experience from long-term positions in kindergarten, first, fourth, and fifth grades. In 2015, she became certified in Career and Technical Education. Through daily prayer and devotion, Mrs. Fellows feels God has led her to Gilbert Christian HS. She feels truly blessed and humbled by all the Lord has helped her achieve. Mrs. Fellows looks forward to directing her Christian beliefs and values through education to encourage the growth of students who embrace God’s wisdom in every subject they study. Mrs. Fellows has been married to her husband, Bill, for 28 years and has two adult children. They currently attend Sun Valley Community Church.

Anna Field
Physical Sciences



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Mrs. Field has a B.S. in Physics and 25 graduate hours from San Diego State University as a McNair scholar. She previously taught 2 1/2 years at college level. She worked as the research scientist for two years. For the past nine years, she stayed at home with her children. Mrs Field and her husband David have four children and is looking forward to her second year of teaching at GCS.

Scott Finkbeiner
Board Member

 


Bio coming soon

Ann Flagg
K8 Principal

AnnFlagg


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 live near by.

Larry Fleischer
Board Member

Larry Fleischer


Larry and his wife Susan have have two children; Jamie who is attending GCHS and David who is at GCS Middle School.  Both kids have been attending GCS since 2008.  The Fleischer’s live in Gilbert in the Morrison Ranch area, and attend Epiphany Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Chandler where both Larry and Susan are active in ministry.  Larry leads a Sunday morning Bible Class, is a member of the choir and has been a frequent member of Epiphany’s Board of Ministry Directors.  Larry graduated from Arizona State University with an undergraduate degree in Accounting.  He also received an MBA from University of Phoenix, and is a CPA who worked with the Apollo Group for 31 years in finance and accounting before leaving in 2013.  The Fleischer’s love sports and music and are avid movie watchers, and Larry has enjoyed being an assistant coach on the GCS Middle School and High School Softball Teams since 2009.  We thank God for bringing us to GCS, and Larry looks forward to serving in this new capacity.

Chris Gargan
Assistant Athletic Director

Chris and his wife, Lori, were high school sweethearts while at Schaumburg HS in the suburbs of Chicago and has been married 23 years.  They moved to the East Valley in 1995.  Both of their sons, Kyler, now a Junior, and Karsten, now an 8th grader, have attended GCS since Kindergarten.  Chris is in his ninth year working at GCS.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  The Gargans attend Rock Point Church in Queen Creek.

 

Holly Garza
Science (7th & 8th)


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Mrs Garza graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2011. Holly has been teaching for five 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. Holly and her husband, Josh, both serve in the youth ministry at Harvest Bible Chapel Chandler. The do not have children yet but do own a huge St. Bernard. Holly is looking forward to another great year at GCS.

Jason Gehl
Board Member

 


Bio coming soon

Michelle Gonzalez
4/5 Grade Teacher

MicheleGonzales


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

Kathy Grebe
Accountant/Finance Manager



Erin Good
Half-Day Kindergarten and Science Lab

I am very excited to start my second year at Gilbert Christian! I taught science at a title one school in chandler for several years before coming to GCS. I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve God and your children in Half-Day Kinder and Half-Day Science. These are two of my greatest areas of passions and I feel blessed in God’s unique equipment of me for these rolls.

Personally, my husband and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary this May. We were high school sweethearts and will have been together for 10 years this October. We don’t have any kids, but do have a very large Great Dane Mastiff mix dog named Rue. Apart from family, my other joys in life are reading and writing. It is not uncommon for me to read 4-7 books a month and it is my hope to be a published author one day. I hope to share my love of reading and writing with your student(s) this year.

My husband and I attend Harvest East Valley and serve every other Sunday in the Nursery. I have been a Christian for many years and have found that what I love most about GCS is the Christian culture. I adore the staff that supports and encourages all with the love of Christ and I have a special delight in sharing what the Lord has taught me with the students. GCS is truly the epitome of Hebrews 10: 24-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Joy Grotenhuis
Choral Accompianist

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“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live!” Mrs. Grotenhuis feels so privileged to share in the growth of students in the art form of music, particularly singing and piano playing. Growing up in the music of the church, she began playing organ at age 13. She earned a vocal performance degree from Dordt College, where a deep love for singing artistically to the glory of God was instilled. She has served the Lord in music in various places of the U.S. and Canada. She has led youth and adult choir programs, and taught elementary-college level private voice lessons. At GCS she serves as the High School accompanist, vocal coach, and tutor for individual music students. She also has directed the Summer Song choral camp for 3 years offered at GCS. She is married to Phil, who is a pastor, and they have 4 children (the 2 youngest have attended GCHS).

Christina Halaby
Playground Aide

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Amy Majeski
5th Grade Teacher

amy.majeski@gcsaz.org

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 teach at Gilbert Christian, a responsibility I do not take lightly. It is my goal, as an educator to cultivate a trusting and productive relationship with my students through a Biblically centred 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. God truly directed me to teach in the Christian school environment, where I have been since. My love for teaching 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.

Sandra Hamberg
K8 Principal's Assistant

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Rachelle Hayes
2nd Grade Teacher

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.

Tiffany Hendrix
PreK Aide

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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 home schooled 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.

Mark Henderson
6th Grade Teacher

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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.”

Joel Holsinger
Fine Arts



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Mr. Holsinger graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) in 1996, receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Graphic Design. After college, Mr. Holsinger worked as a graphic designer and a high school art teacher before moving from Ohio to Arizona in 1998 to begin his career as a professional fine artist. Starting as an art apprentice for three years in a fine art studio, Mr. Holsinger worked for six years as a painter along with many other professional artists at the Phoenix Art Group. In 2004, he left to establish his own fine art business, Holsinger Fine Art Studio, where Holsinger continues to create paintings for various private clients, businesses, agents, art publishers, and art galleries, nationally and internationally. Mr. Holsinger is excited to teach art at GCS, both at the high school and the middle school. He and his wife, Natalie, have four children, two of which attend GCS.

Kim Martin
All Day Kindergarten Teacher

kim.martin@gcsaz.org

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 30 years and have three children, Amanda, Nik and Michael. My favourite 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!

Angela Mazzola
MS Math and MS Science

angela.mazzola@gcsaz.org

Mrs. Mazzola earned her MS in Math Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University in 2002. She taught for five years before staying home to take care of her children. Since 2012, she has 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 Scout den leaders. Mrs. Mazzola loves to share God’s’ ingenuity with her students through the instruction of mathematics.

Breanna Hoppal
4/5 Grade Teacher

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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, Ms. Grizzle 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.

Carol Husbands
K8 Lunch Coordinator

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Brent Jarles
Social Studies




Mr. Jarles attended Northern Arizona University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an emphasis in History, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. He has been teaching since 2002 at various high schools including Mountain View, Valley Christian, and Blue Ridge. Mr. Jarles has taught a wide range of classes such as AP Composition and Language, World History, Senior level English, Government and Economics, and Broadcast Journalism. Mr. Jarles has two wonderful children that attend GCS, Abrielle and Alijah. He loves teaching at GCS, and being able to share the Gospel with students on a daily basis, taking these daily interactions and using them as teachable moments.

Charlie Meo
Bible and PE

charlie.meo@gcsaz.org

Hello, my name is Charlie Meo and I have the joy of teaching P.E. and Bible at the Greenfield Campus. I graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies and am currently working on an M.A. in Missional Theology from the Missional Training Center in Tempe. My experience in athletics spans an almost ten-year basketball career, having played at Mountain View High School in Mesa and Arizona Christian University in Northern Phoenix. I have a passion for students, most recently working as a Resident Director at Grand Canyon University and as a Student Ministries Pastor in Mesa, AZ. I have the privilege of being married for almost three years to my wife, Keaton, and we have a one-year-old named Clarke. The three of us are part of Missio Dei Communities church where we are living out the identity of being a family of missionary servants for the good of the city.

Rhonda Miller
Lunch Aide Director

rhonda.miller@gcsaz.org

 

Beca Nelson
1st Grade Teacher

beca.nelson@gcsaz.org

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 serves as the 4-5-year-old Sunday School teacher at Grace Covenant Church where she has worshipped for almost ten years. Miss Nelson is extremely excited for her first year of teaching at Gilbert Christian School. 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!

Amanda Johnson
Counselor



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Mrs. Johnson earned her BS in Physical Education, with a minor in Bible, from Biola University located in La Mirada, CA. Following graduation, she completed her post baccalaureate teaching certification through Ottawa University in Arizona. In 2002, she earned her Masters in Education from Northern Arizona University. She taught in the local public schools as a junior high science and PE teacher, before staying home to take care of her children. She has also taught part time as an online instructor, since 2001. Mrs Johnson and her husband, Jeff, have two children. Garret and Sarah have attended Gilbert Christian since 2010. Mrs Johnson appreciates being part of the Christian environment here at GCHS.

Matt Johnson
Board President

 


Matt and his wife, Lindsay and their 7 children have lived in Gilbert, AZ for the past 15 years. The Johnsons have been attending Gilbert Christian Schools since 2007, and have loved the community, education and friends the kids have enjoyed. They also attend Harvest Bible Chapel in Chandler. Matt and Lindsay have a passion for obeying God’s calling (especially when it comes to kids!), and enjoy opening their children’s eyes to helping others in Mexico. Matt earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Arizona State University and has worked in the distribution and sales field since 1997.

Matt Johnson
Assistant Principal



matt.johnson@gcsaz.org


Mr. Johnson graduated from The Ohio State University in 2005 and 2006, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and a Masters of Education in Mathematics focusing in Secondary Education. After college, Mr Johnson moved to Georgia where he taught for two years at East Paulding High School. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Johnson coached several sports including basketball, golf, and fast pitch softball. In 2008, MrMrJohnson moved to Arizona to Fountain Hills High School. During his five years there, Mr. Johnson taught Geometry, Geometry Concepts, Algebra 2, Algebra 2 Honors, AP Calculus AB, and AP Calculus BC. He was also the head coach of the basketball team at Fountain Hills amassing 98 wins, five consecutive trips to the state tournament (including state runners-up in 2011), and two region coaches of the year. In 2013, Mr. Johnson changed to Skyline High School in Mesa, Arizona. He taught Geometry, Geometry Honors, and Algebra 2 in his time at Skyline. In 2015, Mr. Johnson joined the high school staff at Gilbert Christian High School as a math teacher (Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Precalculus, Statistics, Calculus 1, and Calculus 2) and as the varsity assistant boys’ basketball coach. In his free time, Mr. Johnson enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife, Andrea, and daughter, Stephanie.

Shane Jones
Board Member

Shane Jones


Shane and his wife Becca have been married 15 years and have 3 children; Ben (12), Cameryn (10) and Carsyn (6) who all attend GCS. The Jones live in Agritopia, and have enjoyed being part of the school and community since 2007. The Jones have attended Mission Community Church for the last 3 years and previously attended the Grove Bible Church where Shane served in youth ministries and mens ministries. Shane also participated in missions trips to Mexico and Africa. Shane graduated from ASU with a Bachelors in Business Communications. Shane went to work in the auto industry in 1995, and started his own business wholesaling and retailing cars in 2001. In 2007, he started JONES MOTORS and has recently expanded his business to a new location in Mesa. The Jones feel truly blessed to be part of the GCS family, and they are thankful for the staff, leadership and community of believers that make GCS the God-centered school that it is.

Kurt Keener
U.S/World History



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Mr. Keener graduated from Wittenberg University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and secondary education. He earned his Masters of Science degree in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy in 1986. Mr Keener spent 35 years at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, Michigan where he taught history, coached the boy’s varsity basketball team and served as the Director of Upper School Athletics. When he left Michigan, he had the second highest boys coach winnings in Michigan prep history with a record of 688-121. In that time he coached DCDS to nine state championships and produced four McDonald’s All-Americans. As a member of Rosedale Park Baptist Church, he was active in many ministries including youth Sunday School, church landscaping, the homeless ministry and the urban garden ministry. Mr Keener came to Gilbert Christian Schools to work in an environment in which the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence is achieved in an atmosphere of Scriptural based spiritual growth. Away from school, Mr Keener enjoys gardening, hiking, and watching sports events. He and his wife Nedra have two grown sons.

Barry Klontz
Computer Tech

BarryKlontz

Barry Klontz has been with GCS since Fall of 2012. Before that he worked as a technical support representative for AT&T, and did IT work for a local mapping company Sites USA. In 2004 Barry helped in starting Family Bible Church, creating their first website and working with the tech team to understand any new audio/visual equipment. He is married to Steffani. Barry has been the worship leader at Family Bible Church since 2009, and his wife also sings on the worship team. When he is not working, Barry is engaged in a heated after school chess match, playing video games, or relaxing with a piano/guitar.

 

Jessica Lewis
Kindergarten Teacher

JessicaLewis


Mrs. Lewis holds a BA in Religious Education: Elementary Education and Bible from West Coast Baptist College in California. She has taught K-5th grades for City of Lancaster After School Programs. Before coming to G.C.S She taught 5-6th grade at Saguaro Hills Christian School in Arizona. In 2012-2013 she was the Lunch Coordinator at G.C.S. Elementary/Middle school campus. Mrs. Lewis says that it is a blessing to be a part of molding the minds and hearts of God’s children. The Lord has given her a passion for children, and she thoroughly enjoys teaching. Her favorite verse is Psalm 18:2.

Anita Opazo
Art

anita.opazo@gcsaz.org

Anita Opazo grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She received her undergraduate degree at Grand Canyon University in Art Education and Secondary Education, and her Master’s in Education at Arizona State University.  She has been a teacher since 2000 and has spent nine years of that teaching overseas in Kuwait and Morocco.  She taught photography at George Fox University as well as teaching ESL at a University in Kuwait.  Art and music are her passion, and she’s excited to share the joy of art with students at GCS this year!  Anita plays the violin, guitar and piano and loves singing.  She has been blessed to be married to her husband, Hamlet for 16 years and they’ve been blessed with a son, named Phoenix. This will be her first year stateside after living in Morocco and is excited to be part of the GCS community to help her in her transition to life in the states again. As she resettles stateside, she is clinging to this truth in Philippians 4:8 and 9… ” Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 about such things.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you”

Matthew Littlefield
Science


Matthew Littlefield has been an educator for the last 15 years, starting his teaching career at Oaks Christian High School in California. He became a teacher after graduating from Vanguard Universtiy with his BS in Biology and Chemistry. His family moved to Arizona in 2004, where he continued teaching at St. Paul’s Academy while working on his Masters in Educational Leadership from Ottawa University. Upon getting his Principal certificate, he became an administrator at St. Paul’s before moving on to AAEC South Mountain and AAEC Red Mountain where he was the Principal until 2010. During this time he completed a Certificate in Graduate Studies from Ottawa in Psychology. After completing his Masters, he continued his education at ASU where he completed his doctoral work in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Change. In February 2014 he joined the GCS community as the high school principal. His four kids attend GCS and allow him to see his students grow and mature under the guidance of Christian teacher’s. Matthew raises his four children by himself after being widowed in 2013, when his wife suddenly passed away. He feels incredibly blessed to be part of such an amazing community and school.

Heather Peterson
Principal's Assistant

heather.peterson@gcsaz.org

My name is Heather Peterson, and I am the Administrative Assistant for GCS Greenfield Principal, Marie Wilson. This will be my 2nd year working at Gilbert Christian Schools, and I feel so blessed to be a part of this community. Although I am a CNA, though most of my career has been spent in the public school system. I am excited to continue that work at GCS. My husband Robert and I have been married for 10 years, and our family attends Life Link Church. We have two students who attend GCS as well and we are so grateful for the opportunity to have their education grounded in the knowledge and love of God!

​”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 a hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

Chris Ross
Strings

chris.ross@gcsaaz.org

Hello, my name is Chris Ross, and I bring a deep love for Christ and music education to GCS. I have a degree in secondary music education and an elementary music endorsement from Ottawa University. Also, I am a professional bass player and jazz musician with experience teaching double bass, trumpet, trombone, piano, voice, and guitar to students from ages two through high school.

Rodger Mares
HS Facilities Assistant

Rodger Mares


Christine Ruggiero
2nd Grade Teacher

christine.ruggiero@gcsaz.org

This will be my first year teaching at Gilbert Christian School and I am excited to be part of such a wonderful team.  Although I am new to Gilbert Christian School, I have taught second grade in smaller Christian schools for a total of six years.  I am dedicated to equipping my students with the academic skills they need in ways that make learning fun so they will become lifelong learners.  I also value teaching children about the love and wisdom of God that will guide them as they grow and seek His plan or their lives.

I was born and raised in New York City and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.  I taught in private schools until my husband, Will, daughter, Jessica, and I relocated to Apache Junction, Arizona.  As my husband built his horseshoeing business, I began teaching second grade in a small Christian school in Apache Junction.  Six years after moving to Arizona, our family was blessed with another little girl.  With my husband’s business established, I stepped away from my teaching career to be a mom and homeschool my daughter.  Although it was an incredible blessing to homeschool, we are thrilled that Janelle will be entering sixth grade at Gilbert Christian Schools.  I praise and thank God for His faithfulness and provision, and look forward to a great year.      

Chandra Ryals
1st- 5th Grade Computer Teacher

chandra.ryals@gcsaz.org

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 computer teacher. She and her husband (Alex) and their two daughters (Abby and Alyssa) attend Christ Church where she is involved in children’s ministry.

Dorene McLaughlin
English (Middle School)

DoreenMcLaughlin


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.

Jeanne Murray
5th Grade Teacher




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!

Lynne Paasch
Administrative Assistant



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Mrs Paasch has a degree in Sociology, from Arizona State University and is studying for her Masters in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding at California State University. She has spent many years as an international worker in Mexico, as well as Morocco, North Africa. Mrs Paasch loves to encourage her students and is passionate about sharing the love of Christ with those she encounters. She is looking forward to teaching Spanish and Social Studies to her students at Gilbert Christian High School!

Mike Paasch
Spanish



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Mike Paasch received his BA in Political Science at ASU. Languages have been a big part of his life: he is fluent in Spanish and spent a year studying Arabic. He has lived abroad with his family, years in Mexico living in Mexico and about one year North Africa. God saved him during his college studies and gave him a desire to reach the nations far and near with the good news of Jesus. He is married to Lynne and has two daughters: Hannah and Amy. He has engaged in cross-cultural service for the past 15 years. His desire is to encourage this generation of students to pour out their lives for Jesus!

Jacqueline Patterson
History (Middle School)

JacquelinePatterson


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.

Shawn Patterson
Physical Education

ShawnPatterson


Mr. Patterson graduated from Arizona State University in 1989 receiving a bachelors of science degree in Bio Mechanics. While at ASU, Mr. Patterson played as a defensive lineman for ASU Sun Devil Football. After college, Mr. Patterson played as a defensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers Football Team for six years. He then worked as a custom home builder. Mr. Patterson and his wife, Jackie, have four children who attend GCS.

Melody Perry
Choral Accompianist

MelodyPerry


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
1st Grade Teacher

MaryPhillippe


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.

Nancy Poweleit
3rd Grade Teacher

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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 skilful experience.

Katelyn Rachoy
Strings (4/5, Middle School & High School)

KatelynRachoy


Ms. Katelyn 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, Ms. 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.

Paige Ramos
Math ( 7th & 8th)


Paige Ramos graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and with a Minor in Mathematics. Before working at GCS, she worked for two years as a middle school math teacher for Gilbert Public Schools. She has several years of prior experience working with mathematics students, having worked as a math tutor with Mathnasium during high school and with NAU during college. She enjoys teaching at GCS because of its amazing community and because she gets to educate the whole student, both mind and spirit. She loves coming along and encouraging middle school students in their walk with Christ. Paige attends Mission Community Church with her husband Micah, who is a graduate of GCS.

Adam Rasmussen
Athletic Director



Adam Rasmussen brings 20 years of experience in Christian education to his role at Gilbert Christian Schools. Adam received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College and his master’s degree from Wheaton College in Educational Ministries. Before moving to Arizona, Mr. Rasmussen was on the pastoral staff of the College Church in Wheaton, Illinois where he joyfully served as the Pastor to Students under the leadership of R. Kent Hughes. Through the years Adam has done consulting work for various non-profit organizations including churches, missions agencies, and schools in the Gilbert and Mesa Public School districts. He has taught courses at a the college level in the areas of leadership, Christian worldview, and university success. He has served with North Central Accreditation on quality assurance reviews of area schools. This invaluable experience has familiarized him with research-based standards which help schools succeed. Adam is currently pursing a PhD in Educational studies with a focus on leadership and administration from Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology. Adam and his wife Lynnette have four daughters and live in Gilbert. His passion is to glorify God by helping students grow to maturity in Jesus Christ.

Kevin Rhineheimer
Board Member

 


Bio coming soon

Brenna Renaud
4/5 Grade Teacher

BrennaRenaud


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.

Jim Roberts
K8 Physical Education

JimRoberts


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.”

Andrew Robinson
English

Andres Robinson


Mr. Robinson graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (English). He currently attends Tempe Nazarene Church, where he serves as both a Youth Ministry adult/worship leader and the lead guitar player for the main service’s worship team. He is married to a fellow teacher at GCS, Megan Robinson. In his spare time he plays guitar and enjoys spending time with his family and two dogs, Scout and Foxy. He also likes playing and watching soccer. He is excited to work at GCS because of the ability the school provides to implement Biblical and spiritual teaching and guidance throughout his classes, which he believes provides each student with a truly complete education.

Jeff Rogers
Audio Production

jeff-rogers

Jeff Rogers leads the Audio Production Department at Gilbert Christian High School. He attended Mesa Community College for Audio Production. Jeff also is currently the Technical Director of student ministries at Mission Community Church, as well as a production coordinator for adult ministries. From Front of House and Monitor mixing to lighting designer and video director, he has the understanding of the production technical field and has a passion for it. He connects technology with music, and how it can glorify God, and create environments that point to Jesus.

Debrah Delos-Santos
Chemistry

Dr Santos has a Nursing Degree and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She previously taught for five years as adjunct faculty at the college level. She recently moved to Gilbert and retired her clinical practice. Dr Santos and her husband Ken Delos-Santos have two boys attending Gilbert Christian High school, and they are looking forward to answering the call of Christ in guiding today’s youth at GCS.

Cruz Thomas
Development Director

 

cruz.thomas@gcsaz.org

Cruz Thomas is excited to be relocating to Arizona from California to be a part of the Gilbert Christian Schools.  He was born in Columbia, SC and was born and raised in the south.  Cruz received his bachelor’s degree at Limestone College in Criminal Justice and his master’s degree at Concordia University in Educational Leadership.  Cruz has served as Athletic Director, Bible Teacher, Dean of Students and Assistant Director of Technology all at private schools in San Jose, California.  He brings high energy, excitement and joy to any school campus he is a part of through the love of Jesus Christ.  Cruz has been married for seven years to Vanessa, and they have been blessed with two children, Olivia Grace (Live Love) who is 4 and Cruz Jaden (CJ) who is one year old.

Tammy Samp
1st Grade Teacher

TammySamp


Mrs. Samp graduated, Suma 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.

Athena Scheina
K8 Health Aide



Dakota Smith
Bible


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Dakota Smith is an Arizona native who teaches Junior and Senior Bible. He also serves as the college ministry leader at Mesa Baptist Church. In 2012 he graduated from Arizona Christian University and had been involved in youth ministry, teaching, and coaching high school sports for 8+ years. He has served as a missionary for the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association in the Philippines and spends extra time ministering to Muslims for the cause of Christ. At the moment, he is attending Grace School of Theology and continuing his current work towards an MDIV with an emphasis in Global Outreach. In 2014, he married his wife and best friend, Shannon. As a Registered Nurse, she also has a passion for the lost and joins Dakota in ministry efforts for the Lord. This past September they welcomed their first baby girl, Selah Noel, into their lives. As for hobbies, Dakota loves hiking, backpacking, Arizona sports teams, and setting up romantic dates for his beautiful wife. Going forward Dakota and his wife have aspirations to make Jesus Christ known to people who are experiencing the emptiness of the world, and seeing the moving of God’s Spirit evident among the saints through revival and prayer (Ephesians 1:15-17; 2nd Thessalonians 1:9-12).

Jolina Shue
4th Grade teacher

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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.

Nicole Sundt
Kindergarten Teacher

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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 world view.

Denise Sutherland
Graphic Design Director

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Linda Tolson
Pre K 3 Teacher

linda.tolson@gcsaz.org

My name is Linda Tolson, and I will be teaching the 3-year olds at Gilbert Christian’s Greenfield Campus.  I attended Northern Arizona University and had an AA degree in Early Childhood Education.  I have taught preschoolers for more than 30 years and have been both a Director and an Assistant Director at three Christian preschools.

I provide a loving, nurturing and fun-filled environment that encourages and fosters curiosity, a love of learning, and the freedom to be creative. I love my job.  I am enthusiastic about teaching and bring experience and knowledge to the classroom.  

I am an active member of the Children’s Ministry at my church, and I know how important it is to provide a Christ-inspired classroom environment and to instil moral values in our children.  My goal is to help the children learn the educational basics and to understand that all our blessings come from God.  I am excited to be a part of such a fantastic teaching team.  I look 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

 

Herbert Washington
Choral Director (4/5 & High School)

HerbertWashington


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!

Pam Weinland
3rd Grade Teacher

pam.weinland@gcsaz.org

Hello, my name is Pam Weinland, and I am the third-grade teacher.  I am blessed to continue my second year teaching at Gilbert Christian Schools. I am a native Arizonan with a degree in Elementary Education.  I have homeschooled my two daughters and also taught third grade in northern Arizona.  I am a biblical counsellor certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).  My husband and I attend Grace Covenant Church, where I have been counselling women and teenagers since 2010.  It is my joy and honour to partner with parents in teaching children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  I have found that I am very like-minded with GCS in this goal and look forward to forming meaningful relationships with each child.

Kimberly Young
Registrar

Kimberly Young joined the staff at Gilbert Christian Schools in 2008 as their first official registrar.  Born and raised in Ashland, Ohio, she received her Associates Degree in Applied Science (Executive Secretarial Administration) from North Central Technical College in 1990.  She and her husband Daryl were married later that same year.  Before moving to Arizona in 1999, she worked at a law firm for several years in Wooster, Ohio.  She then took time off to raise and homeschool their three children:  Corbin (GCHS Class of 2013), Colleen (GCHS Class of 2014), and Caleb (GCHS Class of 2017).  Kimberly enjoys watching her kids compete for Christ in athletics, as well as keeping the scorebook for her husband’s basketball games.  Her family attends Mission Community Church.

 

Steffani Klontz
3rd Grade Teacher

My name is Steffani Klontz, and I am so excited to teach 3rd grade at Gilbert Christian Schools this year!
I am a native Arizonan, and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in Music. I have been married for 6 years, and feel incredibly blessed to now work with my wonderful husband who works as IT for Gilbert Christian. I have taught for 5 years, and I love teaching 3rd grade! I am an avid reader and writer, with a passion for travel, performing arts, and trivia. My husband and I are members at Family Bible Church, where I sing weekly on the worship team and help facilitate Vacation Bible School each summer. We have two cats, Meeko and Tigger, who keep us on our toes with their crazy antics.
My goal as an educator is to teach with an eternal perspective, thinking not only about the knowledge gained but how it can help each child build a relationship to become closer to God. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 Every moment is a teachable moment, and we will be working together to create habits of righteousness every day in my classroom and throughout the school. I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of Gilbert Christian Schools and look forward to an incredible school year!

Lori McConchie
Staff
Melynn Hagan
Health Aide

I am extremely excited and honored to be joining the GCS family. I am an ASU graduate with a degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Arabic. My husband and I have been married for three years and are blessed to have two sweet dogs that we love. We currently attend Redemption Gateway, where we both serve in the Youth Ministry as mentors for high school students. As I join GCS, I am so excited to be a part of a community that focuses so much on Jesus and training kids up in the faith. I am looking forward to loving on every kid, teacher, and parent that I get to interact with in my position.

Debbie Williams
MS English and MS History

debbie.williams@gcsaz.org

I joined GCS four years ago and began teaching sixth grade after completing my student teaching at GCS in 7th and 8th grade. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University and have my Highly Qualified status in both K-8 Language Arts and Middle School History. This will be my fifth year teaching at GCS, and I am excited to begin it at our new Greenfield campus teaching history and English to our 7th and 8th grade students.

To share my faith in and love for Christ with my students and to nurture them in their faith is the greatest joy of teaching at GCS. I cannot imagine teaching without guiding my lessons by and through the Scriptures every day. The Lord has graciously prepared me for this new challenge by giving me a real love of history and of our language and literature. What a joy and delight it will be to teach alongside the amazing teachers God has brought to GCS Greenfield! In addition to teaching, I have a passion for art – a gift I am grateful to God for.

My husband, Michael, is currently an elder at our church, Reformation OPC and is working on his doctorate. Our son, Chris, who lives in Mesa also works for GCS. Our daughter, Kimberly, is a registered nurse in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and our grandson, Daniel, is the love and light of my life.

Jennifer Lyon
Kindergarten Aide

My name is Jennifer Lyon and this is my first year at Gilbert Christian School!
Words cannot express how excited I am to be at Gilbert Christian
School this year! I am a native Arizonan, and I graduated from
Arizona State University with a Post Baccalaureate in Elementary
Education and a Master’s of Education Degree as well. I have been
married for 16 1/2 years, and feel incredibly blessed to have been
able to stay at home for the past 15 years to raise my two boys. I
have a 12 year old son with Autism and a 14 year old son that started
high school this year. I am passionate about eating healthy, working
out and spending time with my family. My family attends Sun Valley
Community Church on a regular basis, where I serve in the coffee shop
almost every weekend. We have two small dogs, Buddy and Dakota. These
pups have brought so much joy and entertainment in our house.
I truly believe that God has his hand in every situation and I am
where he wants me to be this year. The goal for me as an educator is
to help educate children and build relationships that are centered
around Christ. “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide
me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope
is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5.

Christine Ruggiero
2nd Grade Teacher

This will be my first year teaching at Gilbert Christian School and I am excited to be part of such a wonderful team. Although I am new to Gilbert Christian School, I have taught second grade in smaller Christian schools for a total of six years. I am dedicated to equipping my students with the academic skills they need in ways that make learning fun so they will become lifelong learners. I also value teaching children about the love and wisdom of God that will guide them as they grow and seek His plan or their lives.
I was born and raised in New York City and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. I taught in private schools until my husband, Will, daughter, Jessica, and I relocated to Apache Junction, Arizona. As my husband built his horseshoeing business, I began teaching second grade in a small Christian school in Apache Junction. Six years after moving to Arizona, our family was blessed with another little girl. With my husband’s business established, I stepped away from my teaching career to be a mom and homeschool my daughter. Although it was an incredible blessing to homeschool, we are thrilled that Janelle will be entering sixth grade at Gilbert Christian Schools. I praise and thank God for His faithfulness and provision, and look forward to a great year.

Raymon Ribeiro
Staff
Marie Wilson
Principal

marie.wilson@gcsaz.org

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 favourite verses is Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

Dawn Echols
4th Grade Teacher

Hello, my name is Dawn Echols and it will be my first year teaching at Gilbert Christian Schools. I feel blessed to have been called to this position and know God has amazing things planned.
This will be my 12th year as a classroom teacher. I took 6 years off to raise my children, but felt the passion for teaching again once they were all in school. I have had the privilege of teaching in all sectors (public, charter, and parochial). I have taught grades 2,3,4,5 and 6. I am super excited to be teaching 4th grade again and that I get to teach God’s word again.
I am thankful that I get to proclaim that I am a Christian. To me this means being a believer in all things Biblical. It means praising God and Jesus in good and bad times. It means having communication with my heavenly father about life and praying in all circumstances. I have many favorite verses, but one that stands out to me is Philippians 4:6-7 “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Becca Nelson
Staff

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 serves as the 4-5 year old Sunday School teacher at Grace Covenant Church where she has worshiped for almost 10 years. Miss Nelson is extremely excited for her first year of teaching at Gilbert Christian School. 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!

Craig Jones
Staff
Mary Katherine Franklin
4th Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in Georgia, but moved to Arizona in 2009 to attend college. I am a graduate of Grand Canyon University, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Math and a Master’s Degree in Reading Instruction.
Although this is my first year teaching at Gilbert Christian, I have been a teacher for six years. I started my career in my hometown of Lilburn, Georgia, at the Christian school that I attended kindergarten through twelfth grade.
A Christian school education played a huge role in my walk with the Lord as many teachers poured into me in a way that really made a difference in my life. Their impact greatly influenced my desire to teach at a Christian school. In 2014, I moved back to Arizona to work with English Language Learners in the west Phoenix area. I am so excited that God has called me back into Christian education where I can encourage my students in their walk with Christ.

Linda Tolson
PreK3

My name is Linda Tolson and I will be teaching the 3-year olds at Gilbert Christian’s Greenfield Campus. I attended Northern Arizona University and have an AA degree in Early Childhood Education. I have taught preschoolers for more than 30 years and have been both a Director and an Assistant Director at three Christian preschools.
I provide a loving, nurturing and fun-filled environment that encourages and fosters curiosity, a love of learning, and the freedom to be creative. I love my job. I am enthusiastic about teaching and bring experience and knowledge to the classroom.
I am an active member in the Children’s Ministry at my church and I know how important it is to provide a Christ-inspired classroom environment and to instill moral values in our children. My goal is to help the children learn the educational basics and to understand that all our blessings come from God. I am excited to be a part of such an amazing teaching team. I look 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

Melissa Baker
5th Grade Teacher Apprentice

My name is Melissa Baker, and I am honored to be a part of 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 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. I Timothy 4:12: “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.