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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

Teacher Feature: Renee Salsbury
Teacher Feature: Jennifer Nutter
Teacher Feature: Len Somers
Teacher Feature: Kelly Skinner
Teacher Feature: Kim Davis



Profiles of Our Teachers and Staff Members



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."

Ciara Stayton - British & World Literature Teacher


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 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.”

Kara Kinnius - Accounting Manager


Kara knows how much of an impact Heritage had on her faith, and she is excited that her position offers her continued opportunity for growth. “It allows me to use my gifts and talents in a way where I am truly able to see an impact.”

Abbey Leisure - 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.

Laura Hernandez - ESS Reading Interventionist


For Laura, a key part of helping students grow is being intentional about how she relates to them. She explained, “The values that are most important to me as a teacher are to be loving to students and to let them know that you truly care and want the very best for them.”

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.

Yetta Ewing - ESS Administrative Assistant


Yetta is able to combine her passion for both education and business in her role at Heritage! She’s excited to help students understand the kind of relationship they can have with God.

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.

Rachel Dinwiddie - Prep-K Teacher


“Viewing each student through the lens of Christ is an important value to me as a teacher. I hope each one of my students feels loved, valued, welcomed, and safe in my 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.

Sarah Wagers - Kindergarten Aide


Sarah’s goal is to build relationships with children so she can support them as they achieve academic excellence while also developing and deepening their faith in Jesus Christ.

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.

Terra Crow - Kindergarten Teacher


Terra loves watching her students discover the beauty of reading. “It is truly awe-inspiring to witness,” she said. “Seeing a child’s eyes fill with excitement when a whole new world is opened is one of the great joys of my life and career.”

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.

Alison Johnson - Athletics Coordinator


Alison keeps the athletics department rolling, confirming all athletic events, putting rosters together, assisting coaches' meetings, stocking concessions, you name it.

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.”
 

Katie Goff - 2nd Grade Teacher


Katie is a permanent substitute teacher in Prep-K through 6th grade. Katie grew up spending a lot of time in a school setting–and at Heritage. Her mom, Sharon Rager, was an HCS elementary teacher for many years, and Katie attended HCS for most of her schooling.

Karisa Steiner - Elementary Art Teacher


“I love how uninhibited and creative young kids are when it comes to creating art. I love seeing how students take an art project and add their own unique features and interpretation.”

Eileen Cantrell - 6th Grade Teacher


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 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.

Michaela Egler - 1st Grade Teacher


Michaela joins us as a recent Elementary Education graduate from the University of Southern Indiana. She is excited about developing relationships with her students and watching them grow and transform throughout the year.

Lauren Upchurch - 3rd Grade Teacher


Lauren loves watching her students learn things they never thought they could do, and she’s especially excited about being able to openly talk about Jesus and pray with her students.

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!”

Melissa Lawler - High School Art Teacher


High school art teacher Melissa Lawler is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to her art. When she’s not at school teaching, she may be knitting, spinning, and dying a sweater, taking photos, or selling her ceramics artwork.

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.

Marna Reutman - Prep-K Teacher’s Aide


Marna Reutman graduated from Butler University with a degree in music theory and composition, but after offering private music lessons to children, she realized her passion for teaching.

Janna Baker - 2nd 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 & 3rd 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 and third 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 - High School Director of Guidance


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

Allie Benson - Intermediate & Middle School Art Teacher


Art teacher, Allie Benson, loves turning her classroom into a space for expression and relaxation from the pressures of everyday life. Her art room is also a place to build deeper relationships with her students—and talk to them about how faith in God “changes the way we do everything.”

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.

Lori McCullough - Prep-K Teacher


We recently got to know new HCS teacher Lori McCullough. She joined the Heritage family in 2016 as a substitute teacher and now serves as one of our Prep-K teachers in our Early Childhood Education program.

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.

Kim Davis - High School Language & Literature Teacher


First as a parent and now as a high school language/literature teacher, Kim Davis has "always loved the community at Heritage." Her four children all attended HCS K-12, she started substitute teaching when the youngest was in first grade, and then officially started teaching in 2011.

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.