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- Agritopia Campus
- Greenfield Campus
- High School Campus
- District Staff
- Board Members
Mrs. Abbott attended Baylor University where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music History and Literature. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Arizona State University. While living in Northern California, Mrs. Abbott worked as a substitute teacher in the public school system for two years before relocating to Arizona. After spending time at home with her children, she returned to substitute teaching and then accepted the position of Teacher Apprentice for the second and third grades. She and her husband Josh have two children currently attending Gilbert Christian. Mrs. Abbott enjoys working with Troop AZ2029 of the American Heritage Girls which meets at GCS. The Abbotts attend Central Christian Church in Gilbert.
Mrs. Ames holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She has taught kindergarten at GCS since 2001 and currently teaches art to 2nd – 8th-grade students. Before coming to GCS, she taught for 10 years in Mesa Public Schools and three years in Kyrene Public Schools. In addition to introducing boys and girls to art, Mrs. Ames loves to lead children in worship and praise to God.
Dustin, his wife Quinn, and kids moved to Gilbert from Highlands Ranch, Colorado in August 2010. They visited many other Christian schools in Arizona and decided on Gilbert after falling in love with the staff and education offered at GCS. Their two oldest kids graduated from Gilbert Christian and the youngest is a student at the high school. Dustin attended Central Washington University and has worked in the technology and software industry for more than 20 years. He is currently the Global Industry Director for SAP’s Construction and Real Estate practice. Dustin and family are passionate about serving the people of Juarez, Mexico, and have led many house building and outreach mission trips to serve the incredible, hard-working families who live there. They currently attend Redemption Gateway Church. Dustin has been a Board member since 2011.
“‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men, it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.'” Mark 10:27
Joanna has her BAE in Elementary and in Special Education along with an ESL Endorsement. She is also C.L.I.P. Trained (Reading Recovery). Her experience involves 4 years of teaching Sp. Ed in Tempe, AZ, 5 years teaching Elementary Ed. (grades K-3) in Tempe, 1-year teaching 1st grade in Mansfield, TX, and 2 and a half years homeschooling her children in Queen Creek. Joanna is a native Arizonian and has spent the last 2 and a half years homeschooling so that the family could travel. Her favorite place is to be with family and friends at their cabin in the White Mountains. Joanna met her husband Mark in school and have been friends since 1975. They went to kindergarten together and have now been married for over 15 years. They have 3 children: Avery, Caden, and Tessa who all attend Gilbert Chrisitan Schools. The whole family worships at Sun Valley Community Church where Joanna and Mark have served as mentors for engaged/pre-engaged couples. Joanna became a part of our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I am a native Californian, recently relocated to Arizona from San Diego, where I was a teacher and coach for 20 years. I primarily taught Earth Science for 8th graders, but I also taught a variety of other subjects, including Bible, Math, and PE in Jr. high and high school, and even coached tennis. Since the beginning of this school year at GCS, I have been teaching 6th grade Earth Science, Bible and Ancient History, and beginning with 2nd quarter, and I am now teaching 7th grade Life Science and World History. My wife, Gail, and I attend Rock Point Church and love our new life here in Arizona. I am very excited to be on the team at GCS, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and GCS as God uses me to influence young lives.
My life verse is James 1:2 which says, “Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials, for the testing of your faith produces endurance.”
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!
My name is Melissa Baker, and I am honored to be a part of the Gilbert Christian School family.
I am from Ohio but have lived in Arizona most of my life. I graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. I have been married for 12 years and have been blessed with two beautiful girls ages 15 and 9, one of which has special needs. This is my first year of teaching and I am very excited to be used by God in fulfilling my passion. In my spare time, I love to go camping and hiking and am an avid reader and writer. One day, I hope to be able to publish a book. My husband and I are members of Summit Vista Bible Church in Gilbert where I fill in often as a Sunday school teacher and Children’s Church teacher, in addition to serving as a door greeter. I believe that academic excellence is an expression of worship of our Almighty God. Each child is an expression of God’s principle of individuality. Students are seen as individuals created in God’s image, unique and possessing certain gifts and qualities that set them apart from all others. My purpose in teaching is to creatively identify my students’ gifts and abilities and have them apply these for the Kingdom. I desire for my students to be immersed in modeling God’s love as they work diligently through each subject. It is my role as an educator to address the ‘whole child’ by providing instruction, opportunity, and setting an example in loving God, loving our neighbors, developing a prayer life, embracing the Great Commission, and walking in purity in our thoughts and actions.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12
Mrs. Benham has her B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a dual degree in Special Education. She has been teaching since 2014. Mrs. Benham shared the interesting fact that she is adopted by wonderful, helpful, and supportive parents. She and her husband Jake currently worship at Sun Valley in Tempe and at home have their furbaby, Sophie. Mrs. Benham became a part of our GCS Staff in 2018.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
I grew up in Tucson and graduated from Tucson High School in 1967. Shortly after that, I joined the Navy and spent four-plus years on Navy bases in northern California and Guam working on aircraft. After completing military service, I worked for Seven-Up Bottling in Tucson for three years. Upon feeling the tugging of the Holy Spirit to enter full-time ministry, I moved our family to California in 1975 to attend Bible college. After graduation, I joined a church staff as the worship and counseling pastor. In 1983, God led me to help start a Christian school in south Orange County. We began with 38 students and eventually grew to over 600. I retired in June of 2015 after 32 years as the assistant superintendent, and we moved to Queen Creek to be near our youngest grandchildren. In September of 2016, I was offered the position as Future Families Liaison and joyfully accepted the position. I love assisting families in their search for the best Christian education for their children!! My wife and I have been married for 47 years, and we have two grown children and seven grandchildren…and the youngest two are enrolled in Gilbert Christian!
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.
Kareena Brown is a familiar face to GCS families because she has been working both as a substitute teacher and as a teaching assistant to Mrs. Lindberg this year on the K8 campus. Mrs Brown is an ASU graduate and earned her BA in elementary education. After graduation, she worked as a para-professional at Hull Elementary School teaching advanced math. Kareena left the work force to raise her two children, Grafton and Deklan. Returning to teaching by working at GCS has been a welcome transition for Mrs Brown because she considers Gilbert Christian the perfect place to work. “I love working in an environment where my passion for teaching and my Christian faith go hand-in-hand. I love the Word and Jesus, so to teach in a Christian school thrills me.” Mrs Brown and her husband Vince attends Desert Springs Church where she serves in children’s ministry and women’s ministry as a speaker and Bible study leader.
Diane Buchanan is returning to co-teach art for 2-8 grades. Her passion is writing and teaching art curriculum that incorporates a biblical component. Diane earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio University. The Air Force moved her and family to Phoenix in 1975 where she has lived ever since. She spent 25 years serving as a Children’s Pastor before returning to the art classroom where she can combine her three passions: Jesus, art, and children. She is blessed with three children who have families of their own. Her granddaughter, Natalie Smith, will once again be one of her GCS art students. Diane feels totally blessed to be a part of the GCS community.
Sean has had 6 years of experience as a maintenance worker for many churches. He enjoys playing basketball and has done so for the past 14 years. He currently worships at Bethel Church in Chandler. Sean joined our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.
“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise… Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 10:36 & 12:2
Sarah Carson received her B.S. in Elementary Education/PK-3rd grade certification in Ohio and Arizona. Her experience involves 12 and a half years teaching every grade from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. Sarah has lived in Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pensylvania, Ohio, and Arizona. Arizona is her 5th state to be certified to teach in, and she has loved learning new things everywhere she has gone! Sarah has been married to her husband Derek since 2000 and they have two sons. Both David and Drew attend Gilbert Christian Schools. Sarah has been a part of our Gilbert Christian Schools staff since 2018.
“Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
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.
Mr. Chisum has a Master’s in Elementary Education from NAU and is coming to us with 16 years of 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.
Mrs. Chisum believes that God has uniquely created each child and she is excited to foster communication and relationship to help students grow in their knowledge and relationship with Christ. She earned her degree in psychology and continued on to receive her teaching certification from NAU. Lisa has taught kindergarten, 2nd and 5th grade. Most recently she worked as a reading specialist for Mesa Public Schools before coming to teach kindergarten at GCS. Mrs. Chisum is married to the high school math teacher, Derrick Chisum and they have 2 children.
Mary has her B.A. in Elementary education with a minor in Bible from North Central University in Minneapolis. “I am so excited to be apart of the GCS family! I am a firm believer in Christian education and know that this is a specific calling that God has placed on my life. I am honored to have the privilege of coming alongside students and watching them grow academically, but more importantly spiritually. One of the most important things to me is my family and that is why I strive to establish the security and support of a family within the classroom. I was born and raised in Minnesota, where I attended college and began my teaching career. Prior to graduating college I also had the privilege of being a part of a ministry called Master’s Commission (a discipleship program) not only as a student but also as a staff member running their academic programming.” Mary has been a part of GCS since 2018.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
God brought Mrs. Cifuentes to Gilbert Christian in 2012 after teaching middle school for six years in the Kyrene School District. The integration of faith and learning was what attracted her most to GCS in addition to the genuine care teachers and administrators hold for each student. Mrs. Cifuentes currently teaches 4/5 science and loves seeing students explore, problem-solve, and understand God’s world around them. Mrs. Cifuentes was blessed to attend Wheaton College (IL) (M.A.) and NAU for her Master’s in Educational Leadership. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their two young daughters, serving at Hope Covenant Church, going on lots of walks, and trying not to step on too many Legos around the house.
Mrs Clouatre has a passion for Christian education and years of experience teaching 4th and 5th graders. Before joining the GCS in 2014, she taught 4th grade for six years at a California Christian school, and two years at the 4th and 5th grade at Bios Christian Academy. She delights to make learning interesting and see God glorified in each lesson. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from New Mexico State University.
Mrs. Cunningham began teaching at GCS in the year 2000 and is now blessed to serve as K8 Vice-Principal and Dean of the Middle School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Ottawa University and an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction: Leadership Emphasis from Concordia University Portland. Mrs. Cunningham is passionate about encouraging middle school students at GCS to live a life worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:9-10). She loves developing programs that cause students to think deeply about the word of God and its application to their lives. She is thankful for the great blessing of her amazing husband, Jim, her three adult sons, and her beyond-cute grandson.
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.
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.
Miss De Bruin is a seasoned Christian teacher with years experience teaching in upper elementary Christian classrooms both in the Midwest and in the Phoenix area. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Dordt college and began teaching at GCS, 4th grade in 2017. She loves working at Gilbert Christian and seeing how God helps young 4th graders grow and mature both academically, socially, and spiritually. She attends church at Redemption Tempe and runs marathons in her free time.
Frank received his B.A. with a major in Psychology from the University of Dayton and his M.S. with a major in Counselor Education from California State University, Los Angeles. He received credentials to work as a school counselor and school psychologist. He also earned a License to practice as an Educational Psychologist. Frank received his Administrative Services credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
He worked as a special education teacher, a school psychologist, the Director of Special Education, and then became the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. Frank was also an Adjunct Professor at CSUDH in the graduate education department as well as serving on the Advisory Committee for the Loyola Marymount University School Psychology Program. Overall, he has spent over 30 years in the field of education, working with populations that include special needs and at-risk students, as well as being in positions where he would make policy decisions for the entire unified school district.
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, granddaughter, and grandson.
Jim Desmarchais is thrilled to be a part of the Christian education at Gilbert Christian School. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Southern California, and Toronto, Canada. Jim received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and his Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix in Educational Administration. He has taught elementary physical education and sixth grade. At the administrative level, he served as the assistant principal at Rhodes Junior High, the principal at Barbara Bush Elementary School (which was named an A+ School), and later as principal of Robert Frost Elementary School in Mesa. Jim also served three years as the children’s pastor at East Valley Bible Church (Redemption Gilbert). He currently attends Redeemer Bible Church. Jim brings a passion for working with kids and families and is honored to be part of what God is doing at GCS. Jim is married to Natasha and has two sons. Christopher and Steven, who are both GCS Graduates.
Mrs. 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 favorite 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!
Mrs. Dodd has a love of languages and a heart that people in all tribes and nations would know Jesus Christ as their savior. She and her family lived overseas for two years, learning two languages in a helicopter-access-only village in Papua New Guinea. Mrs. Dodd has training in Greek, Hebrew, and the indigenous language of Ndo in Papua New Guinea as well as training to teach the distinctive GCS Spanish Program. After returning from the mission field where she homeschooled her 4 children, Mrs. Dodd began teaching boys and girls to speak Spanish and appreciate other cultures in 2018 at Gilbert Christian. She and her family attend Grace Bible Church in Tempe.
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. James and his wife are both graduates of GCS, so getting the opportunity to come back to serve and work alongside 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.
Mrs. Dudley earned her M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Dudley found her love of teaching when she became involved in children’s ministry. After two years as a paraprofessional in a public school district, Mrs. Dudley is excited to come to GCS where education and faith work together. Mrs. Dudley and her husband have two kids who attend GCS. The Dudley family attends and serves at Central Christian Church.
Holly Earle started at GCS in 2008 as a playground aide as well as substituting and coaching varsity softball team. She began teaching morning pre-kindergarten in 2011 and currently teaches both morning and afternoon pre-kindergarten. Mrs. Earle provides an excellent program that prepares each child for kindergarten with a focus on the joy of the Lord.
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 is a parent here at Gilbert Christian Schools and also coaches our High School women’s soccer team. Jay has spent 14 years of his life in the NFL, 4 years as a Financial Advisor, and 4 years experience as a CBS sports and football announcer. He enjoys any sport, but his favorites would be golf, soccer, and tennis. Jay has 4 children in Gilbert Christian Schools, and his family worships at The Grove. He has been a Board member at GCS since 2016.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
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.
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.
My wife, Tera, and I are originally from South Dakota. We moved our family to Gilbert, AZ in 2012. We have five children: Taylor, Brayden, Gwyneth, Maycee, and Owen. Taylor graduated from GCS and married Saile Daimwood, another graduate. She is soon to graduate from Azusa Pacific University while Braydon is attending Bethel University. Gwyneth, Maycee, and Owen currently attend GCS working their way to graduating like their older siblings. I am an Internal Medicine Physician and own OneLife Medical Center in Queen Creek. We currently attend Redemption Gateway Church. I have been a Gilbert Christian Board member since 2014.
“Let Your work appear to Your servants and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:16-17
Ann Flagg has been teaching students in public and private schools for over 20 years. She started her teaching career in the Washington School District teaching first grade and has taught pre-kindergarten through college including several years at Edu-Prize Charter School as a kindergarten teacher and science specialist and Northern Arizona University as an adjunct professor. As principal of Gilbert Christian Elementary School, she enjoys designing curriculum, supporting the teachers, and working alongside the parents for the good of the boys and girls and for the glory of God. Mrs. Flagg received both her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and English and her post-degree certificate in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. Her M.Ed. is from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and is in the area of science education. Mrs. Flagg earned a graduate certificate for state certification as a Principal from Northern Arizona University in the Educational Leadership Department in 2014. Mrs. Flagg has been married 30 years to Jay Flagg. The Flaggs attend Harvest Bible Chapel in Chandler and enjoy that their daughter Dana, son-in-law Jeremiah, and 3 grandchildren that live nearby.
Larry and his wife Susan have been married 24 years and have two children; Jamie who graduated from GCHS, currently attends ASU and works at Dutch Bros; and David who is a sophomore at GCHS and is a member of the Concert Choir and Men’s Volleyball team. The Fleischer’s live in Queen Creek, love sports and music, are avid movie watchers and are members of Epiphany Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Chandler where Larry also leads a Sunday morning Bible Class and has been a member of Epiphany’s Board of Ministry Director’s. Larry graduated from Arizona State University with an undergraduate degree in Accounting, 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. Larry has been blessed to be on the GCS Board for 4 years of amazing growth and has been an assistant coach on the GCS Middle School and High School Softball Teams over the past seven years. Susan graduated from the University of Phoenix with a degree in Business Administration and currently works at Isagenix in Gilbert.
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31-32
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 second year of 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.
Chris and his wife, Lori, were high school sweethearts while at Schaumburg HS in the suburbs of Chicago and were married in 1993. They moved to the East Valley in 1995. Their son, Kyler, attended GCS from kindergarten through high school, graduating in 2018, and he is now attending Grand Canyon University. Their son, Karsten, also started in kindergarten at GCS and is a member of the high school class of 2021. Chris has been working at GCS in various capacities since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania. The Gargans attend Rock Point Church in Queen Creek.
Mrs. Garza graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2011. Holly has been teaching for eight years, the last four at Gilbert Christian. She moved to Arizona from Baltimore in 2006. (Go Ravens!) Holly has a love for science and firmly believes that studying God’s creation on a daily basis with students is one of the greatest privileges she has had. She also loves to craft! Holly and her husband, Josh, currently worship at Christ Church. They do not have children yet but do own a huge St. Bernard. Holly has been a teacher here since 2012 and is looking forward to another great year at GCS.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Jason Gehl is a Sr. Private Wealth Advisor for the Private Wealth division of Ronald Blue Trust and serves his clients out of the branch office in Phoenix, Arizona. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certificate and an experienced wealth advisor to individuals, families, and businesses, Jason uses his objective perspective to help clients make wise financial decisions, live generously, and leave a lasting legacy. His goal is to help those he serves have the clarity and confidence to focus on the things that matter most to them. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Jason graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance. Active in his community, Jason is a member of his local church in Gilbert, AZ where he serves in leadership and with the youth ministry. He is also a board member of Gilbert Christian Schools and coaches various Gilbert youth sports teams. Jason works with individuals through different avenues, such as Crown Financial Ministries, to advise members in biblical principles of finance and stewardship. Jason and his wife, Courtney have five children and currently worship at Calvary East Valley. He has been a GCS Board Member since 2016.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
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
I am very excited to start another 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 Kindergarten. 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.”
Ms. Sarah Gripp graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in instrumental music education and violin performance and began working at GCS in 2018. For the past three and half years, she has been an intern in the NAU Suzuki Strings program, teaching private lessons and helping with group classes for elementary students. Additionally, she has student taught elementary and junior high orchestra students with Gilbert Public Schools. Sarah played with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra for several years and has played violin and mandolin in her church worship teams. Sarah is excited to help students develop excellence in God’s gift of music, for His glory!
“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25
Jenna received her degree in Graphic Design from Dordt College in Iowa December of 2015. She has 3 years of experience and 2 of them were spent in a church as the communication coordinator. Some interesting facts are that she played volleyball for Dordt College for 4 years, then coached for their rival school, Northwestern College, for 1 year. She has three sisters with family back in Iowa and also enjoys doing portrait and sports photography. Jenna is married to Brandon Haagsma and they currently attend Redemption Church in Gilbert. She has been a part of GCS staff since 2018.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
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.
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. 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!
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.”
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.
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.”
Hi, I’m Trinka Henderson. I’m blessed to be teaching first grade at the Greenfield campus this year. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 1985 and my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2001 from Northern Arizona University. I taught 17 years in the Chandler Public School District before being called into teaching in Christian Schools. I taught for two years at Bethany Christian School and 13 years at Hope Christian Academy. This will be my second year at Gilbert Christian. Teaching is my passion! I consider it a gift from God, to pour His life into young lives enabling them to grow spiritually, emotionally and academically. My husband Mark and I attend Sun Valley Church and have a love for missions and count it a joy and privilege to share Christ in ANY way that He chooses to use us. We are blessed with a beautiful 22-year-old daughter, and love living in our home state of Arizona!
Mrs. Hendrix has been an Aide at Gilbert Christian Schools for 6 years. Additionally, she taught Kindergarten science for three years. Before coming to GCS, Mrs. Hendrix homeschooled her two children and helped her husband run a business. She has been married to her husband Gary for 26 years and has two children, one graduated from GCS and the other is currently a senior. Mrs. Hendrix attends The Grove church in Chandler. She is blessed to be a part of GCS. Mrs. Hendrix loves teaching the children and sharing Jesus’ love.
I am a proud husband and father of three amazing children. One is married and about to become a lead color stylist at a very prestigious hair salon about to open in Nashville TN. The other two are currently in third and fifth grade and enjoy being active and playing all kinds of sports. I attended Mesa Community College and Arizona State University where I started as a Music Education major and switched to Music Theory and composition. I enjoy studying music to try to figure out exactly what the composer was thinking and trying to communicate. This is my first year teaching band. However, I have taught youth (7th-12th grade) for at least ten years in the churches that I’ve been a member of. I am a member of Hiway Baptist Church in Mesa and am in training to serve as a Deacon there. I lead one of the small youth groups, and I also play in the praise band for services on a rotating basis. I have wanted to teach band since I was in high school but never really had a realistic opportunity until I heard about Gilbert Christian looking to start a band program. This is the perfect scenario for me I get to teach band in a Christian environment where I am not only able to, but also encouraged to share my faith. I am of course a huge music fan, but I am also a huge sports fan. My son plays baseball, so I have probably focused more on that in recent years than the other sports however basketball was and still is my favorite sport.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Mrs. Hoppal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Missouri Southern State University. She also graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Bible and Elementary Education from Ozark Christian College. Before coming to Gilbert Christian, Mrs. Hoppal taught for two years at J.O. Combs Unified School District in San Tan Valley. She loves to teach students to write well and strives to help each one understand more about God’s love.
Troy received his MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2010 and has had 20 years of professional full-time experience. He enjoys the outdoors and all kinds of sports. Troy married his wife Kristy in 2004 and they have two children, Charity and Josiah. In 2018, he was welcomed onto our Gilbert Christian Schools staff as our Business Director.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6
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.
Mr. Joassin attended Tallahassee Community College from 2012 to 2014. At Florida State University, he received his B.A. in Social Work, and since 2017 has been working toward his Masters in Missional Theology from Missional Training Center Seminary. Through the years he has worked in ministry at a local church in Tallahassee, FL as a volunteer, then became an intern before he was hired as the full-time Youth Pastor at that same church. He began his first year working within the school system in 2018 with Gilbert Christian Schools. An interesting fact about Mr. Joassin is that he is 100% Haitian, but says he cannot speak his own native tongue fluently. He’s been married to his wife Wandaline with two children; Micah and Kailand. The family currently worships at Redemption Church.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 72:25-26
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.
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 fastpitch softball. In 2008, Mr. Johnson 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.
Mrs. Jones received her B.A. in Communications from California State University, Fullerton and now has 8 years of experience in the field. She and her husband have been in full-time ministry for over 20 years. Megan and her husband have four sons: Michael, Jacob, Levi, and Luke. They currently worship at Calvary East Valley in Gilbert. Megan has been a part of Gilbert Chrisitan Schools since 2011.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness, and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Mrs. Kao has completed her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Massachusettes (Amherst, MA). She also has a K-8 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University (Belmont, CA.) and a Master of Education – Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduation School of Education (Cambridge, MA). Mrs. Kao has been teaching for since 2011 and has been a Children’s Ministry Director since 2015. An interesting fact about her is that she still stays in touch with her own 3rd-grade teacher. Her and her husband George, have 2 boys and 1 girl. They currently worship together at Cornerstone Church in Chandler. Mrs. Kao has been a part of our GCS Staff since 2017.
“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army.” Habakkuk 3:19a AMPC
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 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 or guitar.
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. 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!
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”
Mrs. Kost loves to create wonderful lessons and encourage her students to always do their best and glorify God with their lives. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon College and is Arizona State Certified. Before coming to GCS, she taught 4th grade in public school and homeschooled her own children for 15 years. God has given her a tremendous heart for children and her entire family loved and cared for foster children in their home from many years. Mrs. Kost has three grown daughters and two who attend GCS. She and her family worship God together at Cornerstone church.
Steve and his wife, Drew are both natives of Arizona. When considering schooling options for their children, Gilbert Christian Schools quickly rose to the top because of their commitment to academic excellence and the genuine care the teachers have for each student, all within the framework of a Christian worldview. Steve and Drew have three children at GCS in elementary school. Steve has seen and been a part of the growth of the valley as a leader in the Arizona construction industry for over twenty years and their family loves being outdoors whenever they get the opportunity. Steve and Drew are members of Grace Bible Church in Tempe and serve in various ways with a passion for seeing the unreached come to Christ.
Hi, my name is Caylin Kukovich. I graduated from Grand Canyon University with a B.A. in Christian Studies. I have been a part of the Gilbert Christian Schools family since 2016. 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. My second year I was the receptionist at the Greenfield Campus serving staff and families again and now I have been blessed to be the Marketing & Communications Coordinator of all our campuses. I have been married to my husband Colton since the summer of 2017 and we have two fur-children. We currently worship at Rock Point Church.
“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
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.
Krista received her Bachelor Degree in Education from ASU with reading and math endorsements. She also received a Middle School endorsement. Krista has spent 5 years teaching junior high math in Mesa Public Schools and 3 years teaching in various positions at Gilbert Christian Schools. An interesting fun fact about Krista, is that she does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She has worshiped at Central Christian since 4th grade and attended for about 30 years. Krista is married with 3 children who attend Gilbert Christian Schools and her and her husband also foster. She has been a part of our GCS staff since 2015.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; and he shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7
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.
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 University 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.
Hi, my name is Mayra Lopez. God brought my family and me from Mexico to this beautiful country in December 2004, and since then we have been serving God working in Latino ministries. Today, my husband is one of the Pastors at Redemption Church West Mesa and the worship leader. We have two kids: Miseal (14) and Michelle (10) and they are a part of the worship team too, my musicians. I studied International Commerce at Universidad Kino, where I received my Bachelor’s degree. I have worked with kids since I can remember, but in 2004 I started working at East Valley Bible Church with the Children’s Ministries. I started teaching private Spanish classes to small groups of kids, and after that, I taught Spanish at GCCS in Tempe to fifth-eighth grades. Following that, I worked at Eduprize Schools for three years. I had the privilege to assist a Christian High School in my hometown of Hermosillo, Sonora. For me, those were the most beautiful years of my childhood. I loved how my teachers taught me to address every situation in my life to the Bible, and it was there that I learned how to have a real relationship with Jesus. I met my best friends there and throughout the years and the distance we have stayed closer, as a family. I firmly believe that all of life, it’s all about Jesus. That Christian schools can be an extension of what our children learn at home. I love to teach Spanish, and I am excited to start my second year at GCS as a Middle School Spanish Instructor.
” Por lo demás, hermanos, todo lo que es verdadero, todo lo honesto, todo lo justo, todo lo puro, todo lo amable, todo lo que es de buen nombre; si hay virtud alguna, si algo digno de alabanza, en esto pensad.” Filipenses 4:8
Mr. Lovelady received his Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University and a Temporary Principal Certification from ACSI. He is currently working on his Masters in Educational Leadership. For the past 25 years, he had the privilege of working in Tacoma, Washington, at Life Christian Academy with middle school and high school students in a variety of roles including teacher, varsity basketball coach, athletic director, department chair, upper vice principal, middle school principal, and Director of Advancement. He has thoroughly enjoyed mentoring students, parenting alongside parents, and building relationships with the staff and teachers. Mark was the 15-time speed skate champion and the school table tennis champion at his last school. He also had the privilege of coaching both the High School boys and girls basketball teams last year and both teams qualified for the state tournament. Currently, Mark and his wife are looking for a new church home in Arizona for their family. For over 35 years they were attending Life Center Church in Tacoma, Washington and served as an assistant youth pastor for 15 years. He has been married to his wife Jennifer for 23 years. They have four children Alexis, Luke, Landyn, and Ashton. Alexis is currently working at a couples and pastors retreat center in Northern California and will be joining them here in Arizona in the fall and finishing her degree at GCU. Luke is on scholarship playing basketball at Point Loma in San Diego. Landyn will be a Junior at Gilbert Christian High School this year and Ashton will be in the 7th Grade at our Greenfield Campus. Mark has joined our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in the summer of 2018.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
My name is Jennifer Lyon and this is my second 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.
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.
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 centered worldview, where students can gain an understanding of the world we live in, interpret life situations, and apply Biblical truths in all areas of life.
I earned a BA in Social and Behavioral Science and Elementary Education from Seattle Pacific University with endorsements in K-12 Social Studies and History in 1995. 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.
My name is Kim Martin, and I have had the privilege of being a part of Gilbert Christian Schools since 2000. I teach all day Kindergarten, and I feel blessed to continue to educate alongside dedicated and excellent teachers. I grew up in Phoenix and attended college at Arizona Bible College, where I studied Elementary Education. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have three children, Amanda, Nik, and Michael. My favorite thing about teaching is sharing the love of Jesus with my students every day. My prayer is that they will know they are loved with the everlasting love of God and will accept the gift of salvation through Jesus. I’m delighted to learn and explore with your children this year!
Charlie Markle is one our Gilbert Christian parents. He is currently an attorney focused on commercial litigation as well as church and non-profit law. He enjoys biking, charcoal grilling, hunting, and shooting. Charlie has been married to his wife since 2004, and together they have two kids. He and his family worship at Sun Valley Community Church. Charlie has been a Board member at GCS since 2017. “I count it both a sobering responsibility and an immense privilege to be on the board of a school that again and again impresses me by how much it actually embodies the “C” in GCS. This is a special place. I am involved in an attempt to offer whatever minimal contribution I may make to help ensure that it remains special for my children and those that will come after them.”
Though he truly feels that it’s a moving target based on one’s life season, his favorite verse, for now, is “‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,’ says the Lord. ‘But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.'” Isaiah 66:1-2
Mrs. Masci earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Reading from Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Masci has been teaching since 2009 and in those years she has taught 2nd and 3rd grade in the Chandler Unified School District. She has been born and raised here in our lovely state of Arizona. Mrs. Masci and her husband have been married since 2014 and are currently worshipping and serving at their church Redemption Tempe. She became part of our GCS Staff in 2018.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” Psalm 28:7
Mrs. Mazzola earned her MS in 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.
Mrs. McLaughlin earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education/English from Edinboro University, graduating Cum Laude. Her master’s degree in English is from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. McLaughlin began teaching in 1991 and has taught at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels. She leads her students to be better communicators and critical thinkers through a variety of creative means. Mrs. McLaughlin is a committed believer with a strong Christian testimony.
Ron Miller serves Gilbert Christian School as the new Agritopia campus building manager. The Miller family attends 29:11 Church. Mr. Miller has participated in planting several churches and loves to see new churches become established. His daughters both attend GCS one in middle school and one has recently graduated from GCS High School. As our new building manager, he oversees the Agritopia facility making sure the school grounds and classrooms are clean, safe and in good repair.
Mrs. Moore is so happy to teach children in a Christian environment because she loves to help each child grow academically and spiritually. She has a BS in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and is Arizona state certification. She homeschooled her own children and has spent many years in the elementary classroom including teaching at GCS since 2016. Teaching children to love reading is one of her passions, and she enjoys sharing and discussing books with budding second-grade readers. She and her family, including 3 children who attend GCS, worship at Grace Community Church.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Mrs Murray earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, then a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Phoenix. She began her teaching career at Gilbert Christian Schools as a substitute teacher in 2008. Mrs. Murray considers teaching at GCS a great blessing and cherishes every day with her students!
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 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!
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 received his MA in Spanish Linguistics at New Mexico State University and 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 and his family have lived abroad for the gospel in Mexico and 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. They are foster parents. He has engaged in cross-cultural service for many years. His desire is to encourage this generation of students to pour out their lives for Jesus!
Cassie has her Bachelor’s in Health Education from Lee University. She has taught for 10 years and loves God, basketball, coffee and chocolate. She is a native of beautiful Arizona and actually a Sun’s fan, she says, if you can believe it! Cassie worships at Redemption Gateway with her family. Her and her husband, who is also a teacher, have been married for 7 years. They are blessed with two boys, Tate who is starting Kindergarten here at Gilbert Christian schools and Bryton who is 3 years old and hopefully a Future Knight. Cassie joined our GCS staff in 2017.
“In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7
Mrs. Patterson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1990 receiving a BS in communication and business. For the past 16 years, she has been at home raising her four children. Upon her last child entering GCS she began substituting during the 2006-2007 school year. This is her third year teaching junior high History. Mrs. Patterson and her husband, Shawn, have four children who attend GCS.
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.
Sharon Pearson has been teaching adults and children for 30+ years. She worked as a training and development specialist for Honeywell for 15 years, creating and administering training materials to meet corporate employee development goals. She started her degree in education at the University of Phoenix and completed it at Desert Baptist Bible College while teaching in the elementary school associated with it. Sharon taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade in all subjects during her 13 years at Gateway Baptist Academy. In addition, she taught 10th grade English and created and taught a college Creative Writing course. Sharon strives to make each student feel loved and supported in whatever they do.
Mrs. Perey has her Bachelor’s in Education and 28 years of experience. She is married to her husband Dale and has four children Lane, Allison, Sara, and Grant. She and her family currently worship at Reformation OPC. Mrs. Perey has been a part of GCS Staff since 2018.
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Ms. Perry is an accompanist with over 30 years experience. She studied piano performance at Western Oregon State University. She taught music at Eastside Christian School for fourteen years and was the accompanist at Central Christian Church (Mesa) for twenty-three years. She currently performs with various groups around the valley and teaches private piano lessons. She has accompanied all of the Gilbert Christian Schools choirs since 2007.
My name is Heather Peterson, and I am the Administrative Assistant for GCS Greenfield Principal, Marie Wilson. This will be my 3rd 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
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.
Kellie received her Bachelors of Science in Business Management and has prior experience teaching Sunday School, coaching Jr. high softball, and being a mom at home. She loves to play sports and defines herself as pretty competitive in that area. Currently, Kellie worships at Impact Church in Scottsdale, AZ. She has been married to her husband Brandon for 11 years and they have four boys: Elias, Kaden, Tobin, and Judah. All four of their children attend Gilbert Christian Schools. Kellie joined our staff in 2018.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Mrs. Poweleit has a Master of Arts in French Literature/History and extensive experience in teaching foreign languages including French, German, Spanish and Japanese. In her classroom, it is clear that she regards children as a gift from God and educates each with love and skillful experience.
Mrs. Purtell has a B.A. in Education, an M.A. in Reading Instruction, a Principal Certification, and is recognized as Highly Qualified in Middle School/High School History. She has over 12 years of experience and loves to read and hike. Mrs. Purtell has actually hiked in Spain, Croatia, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Scotland, and of course the USA. She has been married to her husband Dan for over 25 years with four children: Sarah, Nathan, Rebekah, and Rachael. Mrs. Purtell joined our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.” Psalm 91:1-2
Mrs. Rachoy is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona, holding a B.M.E. degree in Music Education with an Instrumental Emphasis. She has more than 5 years of experience teaching privately and in group classes. Her teaching experiences have been in early childhood strings, middle school outreach band, middle school orchestra, and elementary orchestra. Prior to teaching at Gilbert Christian, Mrs. Rachoy substituted for music classes in the Mesa Public School district. She is very excited to be teaching music at a Christian school where she can motivate students to glorify God through stringed instruments.
Mr. Ramos has taught MS mathematics in both public and charter school environments. He believes the junior high years are some of the most important years in a student’s education, so it is a blessing to teach students during these important years. Mr. Ramos is a veteran of the United States Air Force and holds a B.A .in Education with an endorsement in mathematics from Boise State University and is certified by the state of Arizona in science. Mr. Ramos attends Cornerstone Church in Old Town Scottsdale with his daughter. He wants families to know, “My faith in Christ is of the utmost importance in my life, followed next by family. I consider it a privilege to serve Christ in and through Gilbert Christian Schools.”
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 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 pursuing a Ph.D. 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.
Mrs. Renaud earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Texas Woman’s University and her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Communications from The University of Iowa. She began teaching at Gilbert Christian in 2010 and taught elementary grades previously in Texas public schools. She considers it a blessing to be a teacher at GCS because of the Christian love and family atmosphere here. It is her passion to teach and instill a lifelong love of learning in her students.
Mr. Roberts earned both his B.A. and M.Ed. from Arizona State University. He is certified to teach K-12 physical education and also holds an administrative certification. While at ASU, Mr. Roberts played as an offensive lineman for the Sun Devil football team. He has 32 years of teaching experience and spent the first 31 years of his career teaching Physical Education in the Mesa Public School district before joining the GCS team in the fall of 2015. Mr. Roberts was recognized as the 1998 National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education. He loves working with both children and young adults in order to cultivate in students a love for physical fitness and an active lifestyle. He and his wife Cate both enjoy working with High School students as Student Ministry Discipleship Leaders at Redemption Church in Gilbert. Mr. Roberts is thankful for the opportunity to impact the lives of students both in their physical development and in their development in godliness. He loves the Word of God and is blessed to be able to share the Gospel and love for Jesus with the students of Gilbert Christian. 1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come.”
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 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.
I am excited to be part of such a wonderful team. Although I was new to Gilbert Christian School in 2017, I had previously 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.
Mrs Ryals has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University. She spent ten years serving 1st-grade families in private and public education before moving to Arizona. She has taken extra college courses and attended technology conferences as the Lord has prepared her to serve as a teacher. She and her husband (Alex) and their two daughters (Abby and Alyssa) attend Christ Church where she is involved in children’s ministry.
Mrs. Samp graduated, Summa Cum Laude in 2012, from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has been a volunteer at Sun Valley Community Church in their “Special Needs One-On-One” Sunday school program and taught elementary music at both Calvary Academy and Faith Christian School in Mesa. Incorporating joy through music is just one way Mrs. Samp brings God’s love to the boys and girls in her classroom.
Mr. Shue joined the 6th-grade team 2018-2019 school year. He enjoyed a 23-year United States Navy career and he retired from active duty service in 2015. For seventeen of those years, he was a classroom instructor and taught military leadership and many other courses. He is a certified high school Naval Science Instructor through the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Program. Mr. Shue has completed studies at Vincennes University, Arizona State University, and Grand Canyon University. Towards the end of his naval career, God called him to Christian education and younger students. He is sincerely grateful to serve at Gilbert Christian Schools where he can teach, mentor, and pray with his students. His wife Jolina also teaches at GCS and they have three wonderful children.
Mrs. Shue earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Azusa Pacific University in California. She began teaching in 2010, after staying home with her three children for ten years. Her husband has recently retired from a naval career, and her family has relocated to Arizona. Mrs. Shue views teaching as a ministry and considers it a blessing that God has called her to GCS. She is passionate about helping her students discover their spiritual gifts and become faithful stewards of God’s blessings. Mrs. Shue enjoys reading and collecting children’s literature.
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).
Mrs. Sundt graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Accounting. She has taught kindergarten at GCS since 2005, and was instrumental in successfully launching the GCS, all-day kindergarten program. She seeks to help young children have a successful first year in school and especially enjoys teaching math from a Christian worldview.
Mrs. Thackrah received her B.A. in Sociology through Biola University in California and is a Certified Professional Sports and Massage Therapist. Mrs. Thackrah has seven years of University Administration experience including academic adviser, enrollment counselor, and graduation counselor positions. In addition, she was the Campus Coordinator for the Orange County satellite campus of Biola University where she oversaw all operations of the site. Mrs. Thackrah told us something interesting about herself, “I have always been a “late bloomer” so I didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 21, didn’t head to University until I was 24, didn’t get married until I was 28, and didn’t become a mom until I was 36.” Mrs. Thackrah’s husband Dale is the Executive Pastor at Redeemer Bible Church and is soon heading back to Talbot Seminary to work on his Doctorate. They have two children Noah and Kenna who attend GCS and her father Dennis Bock is on our staff as our Future Families Liason. She loves having the opportunity to work with him! Shawna has been a part of our District Staff since 2017.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
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 eight years to Vanessa, and they have been blessed with two children, Olivia Grace (Live Love) who is 4 and Cruz Jaden (CJ) who is two years old.
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 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 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
Tara is an Arizona native who graduated from Evangel University with an Associate of Arts in Human Services in 2005. From there she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science from Western International University. She has an extensive background working in Higher Education and is passionate about helping others. Tara enjoys spending time with her husband Craig and her two young boys who are actively involved with Gilbert Christian Schools.
Mrs. Tutty received her B.A. in Music and Speech Communication from the University of Washington, and her Masters in Music from Boise State University. She also has her Arizona Teaching Certification for K-8. Mrs. Tutty has spent 2 years as a 4th-grade teacher; Choral/Music faculty at Arizona School for the Arts and Rosie’s House and Rolling Hills Charter School. She was also the Assistant Director and Accompanist with the Phoenix Girls Chorus since 2010. Mrs. Tutty loves family hiking, jogging, to listen to her favorite podcasts, Boise State Football, and Starbucks dates with her husband. She and her husband Jeremy have three children; Kambry, Chaucer, and Ellerie and they currently worship at Central Christian Church. Mrs. Tutty has been a part of GCS Staff since 2018.
“Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Herbert Washington serves as the Director of High School Choral and Drama Activities at Gilbert Christian High School and the Cadet Choir Director of the Phoenix Children’s Choir. He graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a B.A in Music and Fine Arts. He also holds a Masters of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona. Washington frequently serves as a guest clinician for choral festivals throughout Arizona. Recently married, Herbert resides in Phoenix with his beautiful wife Yadira and their two sons Elian and Yadian. God’s gift of music is an eternal blessing!
Mrs. Webb has 20 years of experience in education as a music teacher, preschool teacher, substitute teacher, and aide. She has a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Arkansas. Anne and her husband, Rich, have 3 boys. Max, a 2018 GCS graduate, Luke, a sophomore at GCS, and Sam, a GCS 6th grader. She currently teaches private voice and piano. Anne is so excited to be working with students at her favorite school, GCS, and sharing the love of Christ!
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 counselor certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). My husband and I attend Grace Covenant Church, where I have been counseling women and teenagers since 2010. It is my joy and honor 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.
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. I have been teaching at GCS since 2013, and I’ve helped open 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 Legacy Schools. Our daughter, Kimberly, is a registered nurse in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and our grandson, Daniel, is the love and light of my life.
Marie Wilson has served in education for many years. She began teaching in 1986 in the Chandler school district and became the principal of Chandler Christian School in 1997. After seven years at CCS, her husband’s work took them to Southern California where she taught and led the after school program at Mariners Christian School. Marie has also been principal and assistant superintendent for a large charter school district here in Arizona. Although she enjoys all aspects of school leadership, Marie feels God has genuinely called her to Christian Education and is delighted to be the first principal of the GCS Greenfield campus. She loves educating children, supporting parents, and mentoring teachers in a Christ-centered environment that brings God glory. Marie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from AZ State University and a Master’s Degree from Northern AZ University. Marie and her high school sweetheart, Doyle, have been married since 1986. They have an adult son and daughter, son-in-law and grandson.
One of her favorite verses is Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Mr. Wilson received his M.A. in Ministry from Phoenix Seminary and his B.S. in Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University. He is an avid bowhunter and archer. Mr. Wilson has been married to his wife Jeannie for 8 years and they now have two children: Abigail and Caleb. He joined our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2017.
“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
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.
I am a parent of a 6th grader and a 4th grader and currently enjoy coaching 6th-grade soccer. I am also the Executive Pastor of Mission Community Church. I really enjoy the outdoors and anything that has to do with fishing, hiking, soccer, and eating. Our family currently worship at Mission Community Church and we truly believe that Jesus is the answer. I have been a member of the Board since 2014.
“For ‘Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'” Romans 10:13
Mrs. Zimmerman has her B.A. in Elementary Education, her M.A. in Bilingual/Multicultural Education, and is Certified by Arizona Department of Education to teach grades K-8th with endorsements in middle grades 5th-9th and ESL. She has taught in public schools and private Christian schools for over 18 years. Mrs. Zimmerman has experience in teaching elementary school, middle school, and behavior disorder classrooms. Her experience includes training in science and math, including the opportunity to train teachers to teach science through the D.E.S.E.R.T. Project, science conventions, and the Christian School Educators Science Academy. Mrs. Zimmerman says that it is both an honor and a blessing for her family to be a part of Gilbert Christian Schools she states, ” though I have been shot by a machine gun, fallen from out of a tree, and I have been run over by a truck, the Lord sustains me, keeps me, and has filled me with His joy!”. She and her husband have recently celebrated their 22nd year of marriage, and have two children, one who is attending our Greenfield Campus. Currently, the family worships at Two Rivers Church in Gilbert. Mrs. Zimmerman joined our Gilbert Christian Schools staff in 2018.
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5