Valley Christian School

2364 Huntingdon Pike

Huntingdon Valley, PA

19006

info@vcskids.com
Tel: 215.947.4581

 

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2019 - 2020 FACULTY

The mission of Valley Christian School in partnership with each parent is to develop 
Christ-centered thinkers with a heart for God, equipped to serve and excel in all aspects of life.

Mrs. Betty Harpur

3's Preschool Teacher

 

Education 

B.S.C.E., Civil Engineering, NJ Institute of Technology, 1992

 

Certification 

PA, 2009; ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

Christian education is important as it provides students an opportunity to learn academically in a Christ centered environment.

 

Testimony & Biography

I was raised in nominal Christian home where we attended church every Sunday. I thought that I was "pretty good" and believed in God and Jesus so that was all that I needed. My junior year in High School I became friends with a Christian girl and through her example knew that I did not have a relationship with Christ and that He was not the Lord of my life. I began to read through the new testament and invited Jesus into my heart that summer!

Years Teaching

12

Years at VCS

12

Mrs. Rebekah Blanda

Pre-K Teacher

 

Education 

BA, Early Childhood Education and Spanish, University of Richmond, 1991

M.Ed. in Multicultural Education, Eastern University, 2002

 

Certification 

Reading Specialist, Eastern University

 

Philosophy of Christian Education 

As Christian educators we have the great privilege of helping build the foundation of Biblical truths upon which children will base their decisions for life. Teachers are a part of the students’ daily lives and routines and are blessed to have the opportunity to teach them through a Biblical worldview; to see God’s hand through history, His miracles in science, His order in math, His beauty in art and music. By studying His Word in the Bible our prayer is that children will come to know God as their Savior and seek to live their lives in a way pleasing to Him. Proverbs 22:6 and 2 Timothy 3:15 speak of the importance of teaching children according to God’s Word.

 

Testimony & Biography

I was blessed to grow up in a strong Christian family where the Lord was a central part of our lives. Understanding my need for the forgiveness of my sins, I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the age of four. In high school and college my faith was strengthened through fellowship with other believers and through various mission trips overseas and with local ministries. Throughout my life God has been teaching me to trust Him in His perfect timing and plans for me. I am thankful for the opportunities He has given me to serve - in my teaching career, at church, and as a wife and mother.

Years Teaching

20

Years at VCS

5

Mrs. Dawn Mitchell

Kindergarten Teacher

 

Education 

BS, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Temple University, 1992

Certificate of Children’s Ministry Leadership, PBU Institute for Higher Learning, 2008

 

Certification 

PA Instructional I, Elementary/ Early Childhood

ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

Christian education is designed to reach the whole child.  All subjects are taught from a Biblical perspective, as the Bible is our unfailing truth.  The focus, while including strong academics, should be geared toward the knowledge that this is not our forever home.  The Christian School is an extension of the home where parents are admonished to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4b)

Testimony & Biography

In the past, I served as Children's Ministry Director for 3 years and Nursery School Director for 3 years at a local church. I was raised in a Christian home where church and worship were very important.  I do not remember a time when I did not know Christ as my Savior.  Through my teen years, our family life was in turmoil, but I was blessed with many people who prayed for me and mentored me as a Christian.  I had the privilege of working at a Christian camp for 3 summers, and participating in a mission trip to Poland, during which my Christian faith was solidified.  I am saved by grace, and though not worthy, call Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior.

Years Teaching

20

Years at VCS

10

Mrs. Lisa MacIntyre

First Grade Teacher

 

Education 

BA, Bible/Elementary Education, Philadelphia College of Bible, 1982

 

Certification 

ACSI, 2010; PA, 1984

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

The Christian school should support the parent in the purpose of strengthening the child academically, emotionally, and spiritually to develop a well balanced child to glorify God. The goal is for the child to think biblically and to see God in all areas of academics.

Testimony & Biography

I was raised in a Christian family and thought "I was a pretty good kid". However, at age 6 I realized that all are sinners and in need of a savior. It was then that I believed that Jesus died to take the punishment for my sins and He was my Savior. The Lord has been teaching me through various circumstances to rely on Him for strength. As it says in Phil. 1:6, He is not finished working in me yet.

Years Teaching

29

Years at VCS

21

Ms. Jessi Lloyd

Second Grade Teacher

 

Education 

BS Bible and MS Elementary Education, Philadelphia Biblical University, 2010

 

Certification 

PA, 2011; ACSI, 2011

 

Philosophy of Christian Education:

I believe that every student was created in the image of God, yet reflects it in a totally unique way. As a Christian Educator, I believe it is my role and calling to support each student according to their individual needs in their journey to grow and learn what it means to be a godly person in our world today. Each of the subject areas is an opportunity to explore God’s hand in the world, and our roles as His followers. I believe that parents are given the responsibility of raising their child “in the way they should go.” Therefore, a positive partnership with the home is crucial for a child to not merely “get through” the year, but to flourish and grow.

Testimony & Biography

I grew up as a child of missionaries who were translating the Bible and planting churches in rural Mexico. With the strong Godly example of my parents (and grandparents), and seeing God’s faithfulness in their work in Mexico, I accepted Christ at a young age. I knew all the Bible stories, and could quote hundreds of verses and “Sunday school answers.” However, it wasn’t until high school that I truly understood the need to walk that faith for myself, and not just follow along with my parents. I went to a Christian college, and really began to grow and thrive through my regular church attendance and small group meetings. It was a huge blessing to enjoy sweet fellowship with the body of Christ! Just over four years ago, I felt the Lord finally answering my repeated requests to live and serve overseas. In the four years I spent in Panama, God had a TON to teach me! It stretched and challenged me in new ways to be in ministry as an adult. I am so thankful for the experience. I look forward to what God has in store for this next chapter of my life!

Years Teaching

9

Years at VCS

New in 2019

Mrs. Kaitlyn Kreimeyer

Third Grade Teacher

 

Education 

BS Middle Level Science/Math Education, Grove City College 2014

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

As a Christian educator, I believe that every child was instilled by their Creator with a natural curiosity to discover and understand the world around them. It is the job of a Christian educator to cultivate this desire by integrating a Christian worldview into every aspect of his or her teaching. Teaching our students to think critically about the world through the lens of Christianity will help our students to make decisions rooted in Biblical truth and to form relationships based on the love of Christ. 

 

Testimony & Biography

I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ as my Savior at an early age. Growing up I regularly attended my church's youth group, was a counselor for a Christian camp and taught Sunday School for several years. These experiences deepened my love for Christ and my desire to know him more. This desire led me to attend Grove City College to pursue a degree in teaching from a Christian perspective. I am now overjoyed and humbled to be able to share the love of Christ with the students in my classroom.

Years Teaching

5

Years at VCS

3

Mrs. Chryss Mench

Fourth Grade Teacher

 

Education 

BA, Elementary Education, Houghton College, 1982

BA, Psychology , Houghton College, 1982

 

Certification 

ACSI, 2010; PA, 1982

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

Christian education is an education based on the eternal truth of God and His Word. This will influence curriculum as well as teaching methods. The teacher will seek to integrate God's truth into the subject matter. The teacher, with Jesus, the Master Teacher, as an example, will strive to present the curriculum in ways which will encourage students to internalize concepts, build on what they already know, think on their own, and apply what is learned to life evaluating all from the perspective of God's Word.

 

Testimony & Biography

From a young child, my parents taught me about the love of Jesus and how the only way to heaven was through faith in Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. I believed this whole heartedly. During high school, a friend brought me into the youth group of a Bible preaching church. There, I realized what a more active relationship with my Savior meant. I have been growing in my love for the Lord and my relationship with him, ever since.

Years Teaching

35

Years at VCS

23

Mrs. Amanda MacIntyre

Fifth Grade Teacher

 

Education 

BA in Elementary Education, Covenant College, 2015

 

Certification 

ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education:

As a Christian educator, my primary goal is to teach, love, and serve in such a way that

my students experience God’s presence and are given the chance to know Him, experience Him, and develop a personal relationship with Him by placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Because students are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), I value my students, giving them the chance to be creative, imaginative and gifted human beings. In my classroom, God’s Word is the ultimate source of truth. The Bible leads students to Jesus, guides students as image bearers, and informs their learning. My job is to be committed to Biblical truth and to help students understand and memorize Scriptures that apply to their everyday life. 

Testimony & Biography

I was raised in a fun-loving Christian home. The gospel was preached to us daily by my parents. When I was 8 years old my Sunday school teacher taught a lesson on the bridge and chasm between us and Jesus. I went home that afternoon with a lot of questions. In the course of the conversation my Dad led me to the Lord, and I was baptized later that year. Since then life has been full of joys, sorrows, and much growth. God is continually teaching me that I can trust him with all aspects of my life including my calling as a teacher. 

Years Teaching

5

Years at VCS

New in 2019

Miss Heidi Weldon

Middle School Team Leader, Middle School Science, Resource, Makerspace, and Flute Teacher and Student Council Advisor

 

Education 

BS Middle Grades Education, Temple University, 2014

 

Certification 

PA; ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

Being created in the image and likeness of God, we are blessed with a natural curiosity and desire to learn. I believe that as Christian educators, we have the opportunity to nurture that curiosity in the hearts and minds of our students, encouraging them to study the world around them through the lens of God's word. It is my desire that, through both academic and spiritual teaching, our students develop the skills and knowledge that will equip them for whatever God calls them to do.

 

Testimony & Biography

I grew up in a loving Christian home, attending church regularly with my family and hearing the gospel from a very early age. As a young child, I knew the Sunday school stories and memory verses, but my own need for salvation became real to me when I was eleven when I accepted Christ as my savior. Every day God continues to teach me to rely on His faithfulness and trust that He has plan and purpose for my life.

Years Teaching

6

Years at VCS

6

Pastor Dan Morrison

Middle School Chaplain and Middle School Boy's Bible Study Teacher

 

Education 

BA in Philosophy from Marlboro College, 1984

MPhil in Philosophy from New School University, 1989

MDiv in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, 2005

Certification 

Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church

 

Philosophy of Christian Education 

Christians should be the smartest, most creative, most productive people on the planet!  For centuries, the church was the leader in education at all levels.  I think the church needs to reclaim that powerful legacy.  Jesus said the greatest commandment is: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)  Christian education is heart, soul and mind education.  Students who receive a Christian education have a huge advantage because their understanding is deeper and their worldview is more integrated.

Testimony & Biography

I am a sinner saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.  My parents were missionaries, so I grew up hearing the gospel constantly.  But it wasn’t until the fourth grade that it dawned on me that the call of the gospel required a response for me.  I remember going to my father and asking him, “How can I be saved?”  Since 2005, I have worked as the pastor of Huntingdon Valley Presbyterian Church.  In that role, I am constantly challenged by the Word of God – challenged to a deeper love of God, to a more robust understanding of God, and to a more faithful walk with him.  My hope is in Christ alone.  My own merits count for nothing.

Years Teaching

24

Years at VCS

1

Mrs. Stacey Shon

Middle School Math and Drama Teacher

 

Education 

BA, Education and Bible, Philadelphia Biblical University

Certification
ACSI

Philosophy of Christian Education 

I believe all that we learn about everything in this world is ultimately about God. There is no secular knowledge and spiritual knowledge. God is the Creator of all things; music, art, science, math, language, etc. The more knowledge we gain, the more we end up learning about who God is. It is such a privilege for me to be able to help students grow in knowledge and learn more about God and prepare to be used by Him. 

Testimony & Biography

I was born in South Korea and moved to the United States when I was 11 years old. Although I am not from a Christian home, I have always felt that there was a Creator of this world. I was saved at age 13 at a retreat, and God has been working in me and through me since then. I graduated from Central High School and Philadelphia Biblical University with Bible and Education degrees. I also studied music and piano. For the past 20 years, I tutored math and am currently teaching middle school math here at Valley Christian School. 

Years Teaching

20

Years at VCS

2

Mr. Ethan Kreimeyer

Middle School Social Studies and English Teacher

 

Education 

BA, English, Grove City College, 2014

 

Certification 

ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education 

C.S. Lewis wrote, “The task of the . . . educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” The creative mind behind talking animals, heroic children, hungry giants, and dufflepuds (can there ever be a greater made up word?) was insistent on the necessity of education, not merely providing academic instruction, but also shaping the mind and morality of students. Every day the student must make choices that impact him or her both inside and outside the classroom, and it is the role of the teacher to provide the student with the tools to make wise and informed decisions. As Christian educators, our role is to point our students toward God whether we are diagramming sentences or collecting crushed, colorful flowers. We become God’s conduit when we teach truth to our students, inspiring them to learn more each day about the mysterious and wonderful world God has created.

Testimony & Biography

Similar to many of the other teachers, I was also raised in a Christian household. Even before I knew Him, Jesus was a part of my life, whispering in my ear even when I was not willing to hear. When I finally did respond to His call, I came to the realization that a life in Christ does not guarantee instant ease but requires additional focus and attention to my own sin and choices. As a father of a young daughter and a husband to a beautiful wife (much better than I deserve), I understand that the road is long and hard, but the burden is eased with a loving God and giving family. As Paul writes in Hebrews, we are in a race that is a marathon and not a sprint, demanding all we have and more. Luckily, I have a wife strong enough to carry me.

Years Teaching

2

Years at VCS

2

Mrs. Heather Craven

Elementary and Middle School Art Teacher, Elementary Chaplain, Middle School Bible and Girl's Bible Study Teacher

 

Education 

BS, Biblical Studies, and BS, Elementary Education- Cairn University

Bible Certification- Philadelphia Biblical University: Wisconsin Wilderness

 

Certification 

ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

I believe each student is created in the image of God as both special and unique. However, we are born into a fallen world, and completely depraved. God has provided the means of restoration through the death and resurrection of Jesus. As a Christian educator it is my role to model God’s grace through my instruction and create avenues for students to develop mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I believe that understanding who we are in Christ impacts how we view education and learning.  As unique beings, each student has varying strengths and weaknesses which should be reflected in classroom instruction through discovery learning, modeled practice, and evaluation; not rote memorization or continued lecture.  The overarching theme of education should be rooted in the truth that God is the beginning of all knowledge and wisdom is understanding.  Through biblical integration, students can connect with the world around them in light of God’s redemptive history, and active work in our hearts and lives.

Testimony & Biography

I grew up in a Christian home, went to Christian school, and knew the Bible at a young age. It wasn’t until my freshmen year of college that I truly began to take ownership of my faith. From then on I have tried to grow in my knowledge and understanding of who God is, surround myself with wise biblical role models, devote myself to prayer, and love others well. Becoming a mother has significantly impacted my understanding of grace and all that Christ has done for me. It is my desire to live out grace through failure, authenticity, and forgiveness.

Years Teaching

5

Years at VCS

5

Mrs. Charlotte Gleason

Middle School English Composition

 

Education                                          

BS, Biblical Studies, and BS, Secondary English Education, Cairn University, 2000

MLS with emphasis in English Literature, Fort Hays State University, 2006 

Certification 

ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education 

My philosophy of education stems from my view of humans. I believe that humans are image bearers. They are beautifully made but tragically fallen. And I am just as fallen as my students. This realization requires me to show grace, but it also requires me to show wisdom. Sometimes students learn best through struggle.

 

I also believe our culture expects too little of our youth. In my classroom, I want my students to know that I expect much of them. My hope is that they will rise to the occasion instead of sinking to low standards. 

As an English teacher, I feel a special calling to promote thought and creativity in my classroom. If we claim humans are made in God's image, we must claim them to be thinking, creative beings. Reading and writing are an incredible way to demonstrate both. 

Testimony & Biography

I knew I wanted to be an English teacher by the time I was a junior in high school. My lifelong love of reading and the ability to clarify my thoughts with words motivated me to pursue a degree in secondary English education and later, a master’s in liberal studies with an emphasis in English literature. After teaching high school English for five years, I decided to stay home after the birth of my first son. For 6 years, I homeschooled my three children and taught as a part-time faculty member at Cairn University. I continued working at Cairn University, and I am entering my 11th year, teaching composition, literature, and education courses. Currently, I also oversee all of the English composition courses, providing training and feedback for the instructors. When I am not wrangling thesis statements from students, I am running, gardening, eating, or writing. My husband of almost 20-years and my three children can attest to my desire to do a little bit of everything (all at once). Of late, James 3:17 has been at the forefront of my mind. I hope to have this wisdom inside and outside of my classrooms: "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." 

Years Teaching

19

Years at VCS

New in 2019

Mrs. Carolina Gilchrist

Elementary and Middle School Spanish

 

Education: 

Business degree, JFK Technical School, Santiago, Chile, 1983

 

Certification:

Fluent in Spanish

Philosophy of Christian Education:

I believe that Christian education is important because it helps the children grow more in their faith and love of Christ. It helps them have a good foundation in who they are as a child of God. I also believe that every child should have a good education because it helps develop their life and people skills. It also helps them build relationships and have good moral character. We are all created in God's image, and we should reflect that through our actions in our daily life.

Testimony & Biography: 

I grew up in San Antonia, Chile. I was born and raised in a non-Christian home, but I came to know the Lord when I finished high school. I met my now husband who led med to Christ, which is one of the best moments in my life. I moved to the United States when I was in my early twenties and started a family. I have three beautiful children, two girls and a boy. My children are all grown, currently in college, and I have been married for 35 years. God has blessed me and is still blessing me with my wonderful family. I truly enjoy the Lord's presence in my life every day!

Years Teaching:

13

Years at VCS:

5

Mrs. Sally Bethmann

Elementary and Middle School Music and Physical Education Teacher

 

Education 

BS, Music Education with Vocal Concentration, Messiah College

 

Certification 

PA Music PK-12

 

Philosophy of Christian Education:

As an educator, I strive to teach children to be upstanding members of society through my content areas. As Christians, we can do this by emulating Christ in all aspects of the classroom. Whether it be playing ukulele, dancing, singing, or anything, it can all be used to glorify God. This mentality is at the center of my teaching. The arts are such a gift to our fallen world that we need to encourage children to express themselves and inspire others through these platforms. 

Testimony & Biography

I have always had the teacher gene inside of me, passed down by my mother and grandmother. In addition, I have always been singing, and I do not think I will ever stop. So when it came time to choose a career path, music education seemed to be the perfect choice for me. Currently I sing and perform locally, in addition to giving private voice and piano lessons.  I grew up in a Christian home but attended public schools for all my years of schooling. This can prove difficult to continue to choose Christ over and over when the world so desperately tries to pull you away from Him. This experience deepened my desire to keep following hard after Him while growing up. I also regularly attended church and youth group. This past summer, I spent surviving on the music staff at Camp-of-the-Woods. This opportunity really ignited my love of worship leading. 

Years Teaching

2

Years at VCS

New in 2019

Mrs. Elissa Marino

Elementary Technology

 

Education 

BA in Bible/Theology, Elementary Education, Appalachian Bible College, 2001

Certification 

ACSI

 

Philosophy of Christian Education

Christian education is a partnership with families in pointing children to Christ through education.  This education is based on the Bible as absolute truth and centered on Christ as children are taught to see His hand in all areas of learning and life.

 

Testimony & Biography

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home where my parents daily showed me the love of Christ and placed my siblings and I in a Christian school.  During a chapel service in kindergarten, the eyes of my heart were opened and I trusted Jesus Christ to rescue me from my sin.  Through the years, I have come to love the doctrine of grace, realizing that this rescue from my sin had nothing to do with me and everything to do with Christ.  I praise Him that He is daily working to complete the good work He began in me. 

Years Teaching

13

Years at VCS

7

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