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Meet Our Teachers & Staff

Our teachers and staff 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 videos and profiles below.

Hear From Our Teachers

Profiles of Our Teachers and Staff

Sam Straub - Dual Credit Marketing Teacher

Sam kicked off his classes this term by reviewing with students Romans 12:2 and explained that in his classroom, he hopes to open students’ minds to a Christ-centered marketing perspective of the world.

Elana Muñiz - Visual Arts Teacher

As she works with HCS students, Elana wants to bring visual arts to life for them. She hopes that students feel refreshed and confident that they can make artwork for the Glory of the Lord.

Karen Jolliff - High School Biology Teacher

In her classroom, Karen wants to help students connect biology with the Creator of the universe. “I want them to see that God designed it all so perfectly that you can see His handprint in everything.”

Kendrick Krueger - 5th-8th Grade Math Teacher

In her classroom, Mrs. Krueger works to inspire her students to love the process of learning math and how they approach math problems, while weaving in truths about God and how awesome He is.

Nancy Awabdy - Instructional Aide

In her role at Heritage, Nancy wants to speak into the lives of students, staff, and families so that they know that they are loved. “I want to encourage them where they are in life-- whether a student, teacher, parent, or anything else.”

Ellen Frankham - Elementary STEM Teacher

Ellen strives to share a love for STEM with elementary students and teach them all the different ways STEM is used in real-life jobs. She also shows them the many ways that God is all around us when we study science.

Rachel Henry - 8th Grade Teacher

In her classroom, Rachel strives to help students find confidence in themselves and their abilities. “I want students to love stories and see the beauty in the power of word.”

Jennifer Williams - Third Grade Teacher

Jennifer felt God’s calling on her life to teach children. “I completed a Transition to Teaching program so that I could get back into the classroom, where I truly felt God wants me to be.”

Jaime Young - Elementary PE Teacher

Jaime thought she would always be in the general education classroom, “but God directed my path when I accepted my first teaching job as a Specials teacher (music, PE, computer lab, and others) and I didn’t know just how much I would love it!”

John Ball - High School English Teacher

"I want to help students engage with the world around them through literature and to know that if they put in the effort, they have what it takes to make it in the world as they follow God's direction."

Abby Hamachek - Third Grade Teacher

In the classroom, Abby wants to “show God's light to each of my students and help them develop a love of learning, and most importantly, a love for the Lord.”

haleigh frazier

In her classroom, Haleigh creates a safe space for her students, where they feel loved and learn more about God's love for them through their classroom experiences.

Annie Wilson - First Grade Teacher

“I want my students to see the Lord’s hand in all that they do and know that they are known and loved by Him. Learning about Jesus is the most important aspect of school.”

Casey Simmons - Intermediate Spanish Teacher

Casey believes that faith has a unique place in language lessons, so she looks for creative ways to emphasize students’ relationships with Christ. “I try to interweave God’s truths into the lessons."

Elissa King - 2nd Grade Teacher

Elissa centers the lessons in her classroom around the Gospel. Every class includes time in Scripture. Elissa says she teaches her students biblical concepts like the fruits of the Spirit by “engaging in discussions about Jesus and pointing them to Christ through each and every subject taught.”

Abbey Catton - Prep-K Teacher

Abbey recognizes the importance of understanding each individual student and their background and experience. Most of all, she wants to spiritually encourage her students.

Cheraimee Anderson - Prep-K Teacher

As a teacher, Cheraimee hopes her students know it’s okay to make mistakes while learning, and this spirit of grace and patience makes her classroom a welcoming place.

Julia Clark - 6th Grade Math Teacher

Julia hopes that her students see their potential, and she wants each of them to know they can trust her. “Trusting in leadership is the key to feeling safe in every way—physically safe, safe to make mistakes, safe to ask questions, and safe to share information."

Kim Armstrong - Elementary Library Media Specialist

Kim graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s in education, and she has over 25 years of teaching experience, including 15 years at Heritage! She has been away for 7 years, but she’s excited to return in a new position.

Angie Marshall - High School Math Teacher

Angie is very passionate about the younger generation, and she is excited to see what God will do through them. She puts God first in everything she does, and that is evident in her classroom.

Kirsten Waterway - 4th Grade Teacher

Kirsten loves being with her students all day. Their creative, funny, and inquisitive minds challenge her to think in new and different ways. Kirsten will support her students in learning what interests them and helping them pursue opportunities in a way that will ultimately glorify God.

Kelly Childs - 4th Grade Teacher

Kelly’s classroom is full of encouraging relationships, intentional discipleship, creativity, and fun. Students are welcomed by name each morning. They are known, loved, and can feel safe to make mistakes and try again.

Debra Scheffler - Prep-K Teacher

Debra is very passionate about our youngest students. She loves the joy and excitement they have for life. She also understands the importance of being a good leader and teaching with a biblical worldview.

Riley Krause - 7th Grade Math Teacher

Riley has always had a passion for working with students. His experience coaching and tutoring led him to realize God was leading him towards a career in education. Riley remembers the impact of his teachers and hopes to have a similar influence on his students.

Esta Jesch - Middle School & High School Spanish Teacher

Esta previously taught at Heritage from 1999-2012, and started the Spanish program in our middle school! After 13 years of teaching, Esta and her family left to be missionaries in Latin America. They spent seven years serving in Colombia and Mexico.

Lesley Barker - 5th Grade Teacher

Coming from a family of educators, Lesley always knew she wanted to follow the same path. The experiences in Christian education in her own life prepared her well to teach at Heritage.

Emily Smith - 1st Grade Teacher

Emily plans on filling her classroom with conversations about Jesus. “I will speak openly about God’s Word and how He is working in my life, and I will encourage students to do the same."

Tae Aye - 3rd Grade Teacher

Tae was born in a refugee camp, and her experience there inspired her to become an educator. “I wanted to become a teacher because I have always wanted to go to Thailand to teach in the refugee camps."

Lisa Morton - High School Math Teacher

Lisa loves getting to know her students and seeing them grow in confidence throughout the school year. Knowing that math can be tough, she works to encourage her students that making mistakes is part of learning.

Sherman Williams - Athletics Facilities & Equipment Manager

Sherman is known around the Hoosier state for his unbelievable high school and college basketball career. He still holds the second place rank for scoring and field goals made at Indiana State University, trailing only behind basketball legend Larry Bird.

Debbie Bray - Substitute Teacher

Debbie finds it a privilege to be able to work as a first grade teacher’s aide in the elementary school. She also enjoys so many friendships with teachers and aides who love Jesus and their students.

Dave Watt - High School History Teacher

Dave just completed his 32nd year of teaching high school history at HCS this spring. He most loves hanging out with his students and sharing Jesus’ love for them.

Jim Benedict - Middle School Teacher

Jim Benedict has been a staple in the Heritage middle school for almost 30 years. He is also the reason Heritage has a cross country program, which he started in 1986.

Bill Burdine - 5th Grade Teacher

Bill Burdine has been teaching 5th grade at Heritage for 25 years! He loves helping his students develop a desire to be at the center of God’s will and watching the joy that unfolds from that.

LeAnn Morton - High School Math Teacher

LeAnn has been teaching high school math at Heritage since 2007. She loves seeing her students gain confidence in their math ability as they move through the school year.

Jenni Kolenda - 5th Grade Teacher

Jenni Kolenda teaches 5th grade history, language arts, and Bible in the intermediate school. She enjoys building relationships with her students and sharing Jesus in her classroom every day.

Maggie Clark - School Nurse

This year, Maggie started working in the HCS nurses’ office. Though her job looks a little different this year due to COVID, she enjoys getting to know the students and being a support to them.

Karen Snyder - Substitute Teacher

“One of my biggest joys is simply being a consistent, encouraging presence in their lives... So having the opportunity to be a reassuring presence, a voice that reminds them of His constancy, and a person who cares about each of them as an individual–that is my goal and source of joy.”

Jessie Foster - 2nd Grade Teacher

Jessie loves teaching 2nd graders because they are becoming more independent but they still think she’s funny! She most loves witnessing students finally understand a concept they’ve been struggling with.

Angela Ruiz, Ph.D. - Academic Director

Thirty years ago, Angela Ruiz was a busy young mom with a high school diploma. Today, she’s the Academic Director at Heritage Christian with four degrees under her belt. Angela has seen how God has guided her on her path to Heritage.

Rachel Thomas - ESS Star Reading Teacher

Having attended Heritage from K-12, Rachel was excited when a position for an Educational Support Services (ESS) teacher came up. She loves getting to work with different grade levels and helping children improve their reading skills.

Kelly Skinner - Science Teacher

Kelly Skinner is an HCS alum from the class of 1997 and has returned to Heritage to teach Honors Chemistry, Honors Physiology, and 7th grade Life Science.

Kristina Thompson - Prep-K Teacher

Meet Kristina Thompson, our newest Prep-K teacher! Kristina has a passion for serving others and being surrounded by children, so she’s excited about this role.

Kristin Smiley - 2nd Grade Teacher

Kristin graduated from Eastern Illinois University and is currently working on her Masters in Literary Instruction from Ball State University. Working with children has been a desire of hers ever since she was a child herself – she used to play school in her basement every day after school.

Kimberly Galloway - Kindergarten Teacher

Kimberly first discovered an interest in teaching when she worked in a daycare in high school. She studied Elementary Education at the University of Southern Indiana, and has previously taught third and fifth grade.

Angie Wilkins - Kindergarten Aide

“There’s hardly a day that I don’t come home without a smile after being around the kindergartners. They love you so unconditionally!”

Brad Gregory - Band Director & Bible Teacher

Brad Gregory keeps busy teaching all 5th-12th grade band classes, middle school and high school jazz bands, and two seventh grade Bible classes. He also plays in the pit orchestra for Heritage musicals and runs the Honors Band Day. 

Janice Houghton - Librarian

Anyone who’s attended Heritage in the last 30 years knows Janice Houghton, the school librarian! She loves getting to introduce students to good books, to be a part of dozens of research projects, and to collaborate with teachers across all grade levels.

Brenda Klingerman - Elementary School Principal

Brenda Klingerman first began teaching 4th grade at HCS and when the beloved Mary Jane English was about to retire, transitioned to assistant principal, and then principal in the elementary school.

Janna Baker - 4th Grade Teacher's Aid

Janna came to HCS in 2016 and says what she loves most about her job is being able to take things off the teachers’ plates so that they have more time and energy to devote to their students.

Becky Rogers - 2nd Grade Teacher

After rekindling a childhood love of teaching through homeschooling her own children, Becky Rogers completed Indiana Wesleyan’s transition to teaching program and joined the Heritage family.

Carol Lamke - 2nd Grade Aide

Carol Lamke didn’t always plan on being a teacher. Her education is in Speech Pathology with a minor in Instrumental and Vocal Music. She now serves the Heritage community as a second grade aid.

Kelly Goossen - Elementary Receptionist

Mrs. Goossen found her love of literature—and her faith in Christ—while in college. After receiving her degree in English Literature, she planned on continuing in academia and becoming a college professor, but God had other plans.

Erik Smith - Assistant Director of Guidance

This teacher is a familiar face to anyone who has been through high school at Heritage. Erik Smith, our Assistant Director of Guidance, has dedicated a life of service to the HCS community - first as a math teacher and now in his current role in the guidance office.

Kathy Meyers - PLTW Teacher

Kathy Meyers coordinates the Middle School robotics teams, and works with grades 5-12 in various technology subjects. Under her supervision, students learn engineering design, modeling, and robotics automation with Project Lead the Way.

Kaleigh Bennett - 1st Grade Teacher

Kaleigh Bennett teaches the age that she realized her love of learning: First Grade! She also leads the kindergarten and first grade Math Pentathlon club and participates as an elementary mentor teacher for the tutoring program.

Tracy Helm - Educational Support Services Teacher

Teaching is a family legacy for Educational Support Services (ESS) teacher Tracy Helm. Her mother set an example of excellent teaching and by the time she was a freshman in high school, Helm knew she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her role model.

Tony Hinkle - High School Science Teacher

Tony Hinkle came to HCS in 1995 and has taught all but one year since his arrival. Currently, he teaches integrated chemistry and physics, zoology, and botany in high school.

Catherine Curry - Elementary Teacher

There are 685 stones in a jar at Catherine Curry's house. Those stones represent the 685 students that Curry has worked with in the nearly 23 years that she has been a Kindergarten teacher at Heritage. Continue reading to learn more about Curry.

Elena Landa - High School Spanish Teacher

For Elena Landa, an experienced educator with 17 years in private and public school classrooms, much of her current personal and spiritual growth is happening in the context of her first year of teaching Spanish to Heritage intermediate and middle school students.

Kyle Ray - Elementary Assistant Principal & Varsity Football Head Coach

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. He has a positive energy and desire to connect with his students that will make him a great addition to theHeritage community.

Nancy Jacobson - Educational Support Services Teacher

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. 

Erin Voiles - Choir Teacher

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.

Caryol Meyer - Educational Support Services Teacher

"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.

Len Somers - Middle School History Teacher & Coach

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.

Carter Booker - High School Bible Teacher

"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.

Tami Crabtree - High School Guidance Counselor

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.

Caleb Schnake - High School Math Teacher & Coach

"Everything I do is with the intent that students fully comprehend math and honor God more," Caleb Schnake says. His classes include writing papers, measuring the school with trigonometry and standing on desks—practices uncommon for math classes, but every bit as effective.