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 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.
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.
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.”
In his role at Heritage, Dr. Stevens works to ensure that we are building a firm biblical foundation in instruction and discipleship.
Kirsten is excited to help children in her classroom experience the love of Jesus Christ and start a relationship with Him.
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.
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.”
In her role at Heritage, Rachel strives to expand God’s kingdom through the gifts He has given her as an educator.
In his classroom, Mr. Schantz wants students to be both knowledgeable and thoughtful writers – a concept he refers to as “deep thinking.”
Emily strives to encourage teachers to acknowledge and appreciate every student’s God-given abilities and strengths, while challenging them in the classroom to reach their full potential.
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.
In her classroom, Jodi strives to make children laugh, move, create, explore and know that they are loved and adored by our Heavenly Father.
In his classroom, Matt wants to be effective in assisting students with their understanding of the God of the Bible better and learning about Jesus.
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.”
In his classroom, Matt strives to show students that he cares about them and wants them to succeed. “I also want them to have a relationship with Jesus and learn to trust him through everything, especially through hardships."
In her classroom, Reyna strives to model what it means to live a Christ-centered life. She works each day to show students how to be more Christ-like through our words and actions.
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.”
Throughout his life, Steve has seen God’s leadership – each different job preparing him for his current role where he is guiding students to purposefully explore God’s direction for their lives.
“Teaching history and Bible are two great ways to provide students with real-life examples of people who follow after God every day.”
In her classroom, Michelle works to guide students through life and their growth in Christ. “I help teach them about different histories and cultures of the world to better understand their Creator.”
Melissa believes her life mission is to walk with people to meet Jesus and her prayer is that God’s love is extended and Christ can be seen through her and the work He has called her to do at Heritage.
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!”
Katie looks forward to being “the biggest cheerleader” for all HCS students and staff.
In his classroom, Bailey plans to empower students to take charge of their own unique perspectives and stories and to be confident in sharing them with their classmates and the world.
“We can all learn so much about the Lord through learning about the other people He has created around the world.”
“I am most excited about the opportunity to continue my career at a school where Christ is the center of everything that we do.”
Christie intends to show Christ’s love through her daily interactions with Heritage students and staff.
"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."
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.”
Brandon strives to be a positive influence for all students and “an example of the Messiah’s love,” no matter the task or position he’s serving in.
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.
Eric uses science to show students God’s amazing creation and character. “I want to point students to a real, vibrant and growing relationship with Jesus."
“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.”
Bryan hopes to help Heritage students develop a life-long desire to learn and make learning fun.
“I want to walk alongside my students in their education and assist them where they need help."
“I want students to know that I care for them, and I want the best for them to succeed. I want to give the best information to my students that will help them make good, healthy decisions that will honor the Lord and help strengthen their relationship with Christ.”
In Michelle’s classroom, she wants to be an example of Christ to both her students and their families.
In the classroom, Grant strives to be a positive male role model for all students – something that he believes the world needs more of today.
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."
Ciara believes that the classroom offers a unique opportunity to model the life of Christ to students, and in her literature classes, her students have the chance to apply a biblical worldview to the world surrounding them.
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.”
Rachel desires to create a classroom environment that invites growth and honors her class mission: “To educate for a life of faith and service in the church and society through excellence, generosity, integrity, responsibility, and servant leadership.”
Abbey recognizes the importance of understanding each individual student and their background and experience. Most of all, she wants to spiritually encourage her students.
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 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 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.
Krista has been involved in Christian education for 18+ years and has multiple degrees. She is committed to combining her experience, love for music, and passion for God to encourage her students and the teachers in her department.
Katie has always loved working with children. She is looking forward to creating positive, long-lasting, God-centered relationships with her students.
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 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’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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
Rhonda has been teaching and coaching at Heritage for 26 years, having coached 26 different HCS teams including basketball, softball, track, volleyball, and lacrosse.
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 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 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.
Wende enjoys being the catalyst that inspires her students to do their best and be all that God created them to be. She loves seeing her students take ownership of their learning.
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 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 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.
Seventh grade Bible teacher Paul Houck will complete his 38th year of teaching at Heritage this spring (2021)! In addition to teaching, Paul also coaches track and field at HCS.
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.
Diann most loves witnessing growth in her students, whether that be when they begin to grasp a deep spiritual truth or when an idea or concept in literature finally clicks with them.
Bryan Baker teaches 7th grade Bible and middle school and high school health, and he coaches middle school baseball. He loves being able to have discipleship and meaningful conversations with his students.
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.
“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.”
Ashley primarily works with first graders and loves getting to do fun crafts and play soccer with them. Her favorite part of working with students is watching them learn something new for the first time.
Sharie has loved getting back into teaching. She has a heart for working with teenagers and she most loves seeing them grow, academically and spiritually.
Lindsi loves seeing students have fun and learn at the same time, and she’s eager to form relationships with them over the year.
Eileen is excited to be teaching her favorite subjects – social studies and science! “Hopefully the students will grow to love them as well,” she said. “I look forward to applying what we learn to our everyday lives and seeing how it all connects together!”
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.
Michelle is teaching Intro to 2D, Drawing, Painting, Portfolio, and AP 2D Art and Design. Many of the students she has now are students she’s had since elementary.
Jessica enjoys building relationships with her students and discovering what they enjoy doing outside the classroom. She also loves seeing them grow in confidence with their math abilities.
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.
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 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.
Molly Straka is our newest 5th grade Instructional Aide. Molly has been a Heritage parent for years and is excited to be back in the classroom.
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 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 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.
“There’s hardly a day that I don’t come home without a smile after being around the kindergartners. They love you so unconditionally!”
ESS teacher Melissa Meabon and her children joined the Heritage community this year! Before coming to Heritage, Melissa worked in a variety of teaching positions.
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.
For over 10 years, third grade teacher Jennifer Nutter has been sending letters to former students who accepted Christ in her classroom.
Christy Deaton grew up among teachers, with a grandmother and two parents who dedicated their lives to teaching. When the time came for college at Indiana University, she knew she wanted to study Elementary Education.
The littlest Heritage students have had the joy of learning music under Angie Rihani!
Ann Hrinowich joined the Heritage community as a substitute teacher last spring, then came on as a fourth grade teacher in 2018.
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 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.
When she began her job at Heritage in 2015, Lacy was no stranger to the Heritage campus. Lacy and her husband, Kevin, both attended HCS and were high school sweethearts.
Katie Jensen has taught a variety of grade levels and subjects over the years, but has now found her home at HCS as a third grade teacher's aide.
Jodi Sarver has always been an educator at heart. She currently serves as a teacher for Educational Support Services (ESS).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
For high school history teacher and head high school baseball coach Dan Ambrose, Heritage hits close to home. His four children all currently attend HCS—one in elementary school, one in intermediate school, and two in high school.
Kim Everhart started out ministering to middle school girls as the soccer coach then moved to the 7th grade Language Arts department in 2017.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.