Each teacher at Heritage has their own unique personality that makes students want to be more involved in the classroom, allowing teachers to make school fun and engaging. Elementary Teacher, Kyle Ray, is one of these teachers. Even though this is his first year teaching at Heritage, he has a positive energy and desire to connect with his students that will make him a great addition to theHeritage community.
Meet Our Teachers
Our teachers make us distinctive. They are committed, sacrificial servants who care for our students. They mentor by modeling a Christian lifestyle. They cultivate character inside and outside of the classroom. We invite you to take a peek inside our classrooms by exploring the teacher profiles listed below.
As you walk into the elementary gym, seeing the plethora of students running around or playing games, you may spot Miss Alicia Michaelsen, the elementary PE teacher. Her positive energy and love for the students is evident in the way she interacts with them.
One of the many unique features of Heritage is its long history and how God has worked through the years in the Heritage community. Katie Heath, the elementary librarian, is no exception to experiencing this history. She is married to Craig Heath, a 2006 Heritage graduate, whose mother taught in the elementary for many years.
Even though he does not interact with students in a typical classroom setting, Tom Flynn is able to help students grow stronger in the faith as they are preparing for the challenges of their lives after high school, including their education.
Jacobson joined HCS' Educational Support Services (ESS) faculty in 2006 and has taught multiple grades within the Explorers and Directed Studies programs. Today, she teaches elementary students in the STAR small-group reading program and oversees the SEARCH AND TEACH one-to-one early intervention program. She also works with individual students and helps teachers to address learning differences in their classrooms.
Freeman's 28-year career in education has at different times placed her in first-, third- , fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms. Fourth grade, she says, is her favorite. "At this age, they still love their teachers. I get hugs every day," she says. "In fourth grade, they're learning to be self-sufficient." For six of her 23 years at Heritage, Freeman served as assistant principal for grades five through eight. She enjoyed the administrative role, but missed teaching and the daily interaction with her students. She returned to the classroom in 2008 and to the joy she finds in her profession.
On a window ledge in Teresa Stroop's first-grade classroom sits a black, three-ring binder whose contents this Heritage teacher cherishes. In cutout letters and shapes, it's labeled "The Stroop Troops." Inside its covers are slip-covered pages with class photographs of every student she has taught during her 27 years at Heritage Christian School.
Choir Teacher, Erin Voiles firmly believes that every student has the ability to sing. Even, and maybe especially, those who don't think that they can. Over her three years of teaching here, she has seen many students do things vocally that they never dreamed possible, by embracing their unique voice and working hard to develop it.
"It's all about encouraging the student to question deeply," she explains, "to verbalize their thinking and then come up with a process of strategy for learning the concepts." This process of learning through self-discovery empowers the student and helps them tap into their strengths, she says. Meyer loves to help "connect the dots" for students who sometimes struggle to understand concepts in a traditional setting.
Somers never tires of teaching the nine-week elective course about Lincoln that he developed over 12 years ago. Lincoln's life has become a springboard for Somers to draw spiritual applications from the pages of history. The legendary president's life changed in 1863, when he came to know Christ. "Lincoln became a new creation," he explains. "His viewpoint on humanity changed. How can you not get excited about that?" The historical parallels don't end there. "I want to help students see that God is always in control; that there are no accidents or coincidences; that history is the progressive unfolding of God's plan for mankind," he says.
"As believers, it is important that our minds be engaged in our walk with the Lord, just as much as our hearts," says Carter Booker, Heritage Bible teacher and Bible Department Head. To that end, Booker challenges his students to think critically and deeply about what it means to follow Christ. His senior Bible classes examine prevalent worldviews that stand in stark opposition to the Gospel: Naturalism, New Age, Pragmatism, Positivism, Pluralism and Consumerism.
With administration, recruitment, and marketing experience at Butler University, Tami Crabtree is well versed in any and all aspects of the college search, making her the obvious choice for one of Heritage's high school guidance counselors. Now, she coordinates school-wide events, organizes the annual Christian College Fair, and assists with every step of the college search process.
Talk to Freshman in accelerated math and you'll hear two things: "Schnake's class is killing me!" and "You have to take Schnake next year." What I thought would be contradictory statements often came from the same people, and often in the course of one conversation. With my friends' encouragement, I took Schnake's Honors Geometry course in my sophomore year. I was ready to change my schedule within the first week, and ended the year looking forward to math class for the very first time in my life.
Imagine a colorful, spacious classroom at Heritage Christian School, where sun spills through big windows. Conga drums, xylophones, keyboards and a well-used guitar adorn the room. No need here for desks and chairs that typify other elementary school rooms. Fourth graders cluster in circles on the floor, creating and clapping out rhythms and rhymes. Third graders crouch and jump, slink and glide around the room to the sounds of Mussorgsky's concerto. Throughout the week, Heritage prep-K through sixth grade students experience exceptional music instruction here, all wrapped up in big fun.
Van Antwerp is what some call a "life long student" as well as a teacher, having both a masters in education and a law degree. "Teaching math is my first love," she admits. "I really went to law school because I wanted to keep going to college--I'd probably still be going to college if it paid." Luckily, Van Antwerp was able to transform this love of learning into a love of teaching as early as her college days. Even while she was practicing law, she still found a way to teach, instructing students in paralegal civil procedure. Now, she's found another avenue to her passion: teaching seventh and eighth grade math at Heritage.
With 25 years of her life spent at Heritage, Rachel Smiley is perhaps even more of a fixture of the school than homecoming lip sync competitions or the playground ark. Now a core member of the Educational Support Services (ESS) department she integrates her life and family so deeply into the school that it becomes difficult to imagine it without her.
Some Heritage teachers have been blessed with the opportunity to be both a student and a faculty member. Kristen Gotsis, who first came to Heritage when she began 6th grade, has recently moved back from Lansing, Michigan with her husband to embrace this special community of believers by coming back as our new 7th grade Language Arts teacher.
We say all the time that our teachers are what make Heritage special. The impact they have extends beyond the classroom and into the Indianapolis community. For five years, Jennifer Nutter and her family have worked with friends to provide donated items to refugee families on Indy's west side.