Meet The Teachers

 

Elaine Anderson – Kindergarten

What a joy and a privilege it is to work alongside parents as we train and teach these precious kiddos in this very unique place we call Cor Deo. Words are not enough to explain the depth of joy that comes from sharing in this process and investing in the lives of children! Once my students, they are forever my friends! My name is Elaine Anderson, but most know me as Mrs. A. I just completed my 7th year teaching here, although I have had the joy of being involved in some sort of teaching for almost 24 years.

My husband Greg and I are both originally from Montana where I lived on our family’s cattle ranch before I was married. I love bringing some of the things I learned living on a ranch to the classroom. I substitute taught in the public school in Montana before moving to Oregon. Shortly after we moved to Oregon for my husband’s work, our son Caleb was born and I knew I wanted to home school. I home schooled him through the 5th grade and am so grateful for those years! It is an incredible journey to teach with curriculum in which Christ is the center. Our son graduated from high school this year and is will be starting college in the fall!

Music is one of my favorite things to do in my free time. It brings me great joy to play with our church orchestra and with a music group that plays for assisted living facilities. I love to bring music into the classroom as well!

One of my greatest desires in teaching is that the children would be able to see how incredibly AWESOME is our Lord and how much He adores them! As they see this, my prayer is that they grow a greater appreciation for each other when they see how unique and special Christ made them. I love to bring many experiences and hands on things into the class room and appreciate how each child learns differently and is uniquely gifted. They are all so special - “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.

 

Loretta Williams – Kindergarten

It is so great to be back with the Cor Deo Family!  My name is Loretta Williams and I have previously taught as a Fourth grade and Second grade teacher at Cor Deo. This year I have the privilege of returning as a Kindergarten teacher. I can’t wait! I love this school and all the people involved with it.  My educational background includes a Masters in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Samford University. I have taught Kindergarten, First grade and Special Education in the public school systems. I’ve also, served as Service Coordinator of an Early Intervention Program and Homeschooled our three children.

I grew up in Alabama in a Christian family blessed with wonderful parents that taught my sisters and I to love the Lord at an early age. Church has always been a large part of our lives. I don’t remember a time when I have not been involved in someway. My husband, Cary and I have tried to follow this example with our three children. All three of our children live in Portland and are active in church (which makes this mom’s heart happy!). Our daughter, Elizabeth works as an interventionist for an autistic developmental center and has been married for almost 2 years to her husband, David an account manager at a local marketing firm. Our son, Griffin works as a graphic designer for an advertising company and our youngest son, Austin is in college studying business. Our home has always been open to the kids usually with plenty of extras! This summer is no exception, for the second year in a row we have two Hillsboro Hops Baseball players living with us. This has turned into a fun thing for our family. We open our home and share God’s love with a couple of 19-21 year old guys who need a home for the summer. I’m so grateful for the home and family God has given me!

One on my greatest joys in life is working with kids and sharing God’s love with them. No matter what age they are it always fills my heart. I am so fortunate to be a teacher at this wonderful school and can’t wait to meet a new group of Kindergarten kiddos!

 

Connie Valesano – First Grade

My name is Connie Valesano and I am the fifth born of six children. I grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon and graduated from Hillsboro High School. I attended Mt. Hood Community College and graduated from Western Oregon State College with a degree in Elementary Education and an Art Teaching minor. Soon after graduation, I began teaching first grade at Yamhill Grade School. My husband, Wade, and I were married in McMinnville in 1989. He now works as an electrical engineer at 3D Systems in Wilsonville.  After five years of teaching, I retired when my first child, Stephen, was born. Andrew, Paul, Hannah, and Sarah make up the rest of our family. Five children in eight years kept me very busy. I taught our children at home through most of high school, transitioning them to some community college classes when they were a junior. Stephen is 23 and married to our daughter-in-law, Allie. He is going to college at PSU and works full-time as a lead designer at Society 43. Andrew attends Hope College in Michigan and is a biology major. Paul goes to OSU and eventually wants to be a law enforcement officer. Hannah will graduate from high school this year and hopes to attend OSU. Sarah is 15 and is still in high school. As a family we love to hike and camp. In my free time I enjoy painting with watercolor, playing board games, going on walks with Wade, working in our garden and yard, or visiting with friends and family. You can see some pictures of our family at http://blog.valesano.com and old videos at http://valesano.com/vtube.html.

I became a Christian while in college, was discipled, and became a leader in a group called Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. I helped teach Sunday School when my children were young. Later on, Wade and I helped lead the junior and senior high school Awana group at North Albany Baptist Church for several years. We have always asked God to help us train our children in practical ways. After moving to the Sherwood area five years ago, our family found our church home at Southwest Hills Baptist Church. For the past four years, I have helped lead the Thursday morning, women’s Bible study group. I have also been involved in the home school co-op at Southwest Hills.

Over the past 30 years I have had quite a variety of opportunities to teach. In high school and early college, I worked as a teacher for Washington County Outdoor School and for Campfire summer camps. As we home schooled our children, I have had multiple opportunities to teach children of all ages, in a variety of co-op classes. I have also enjoyed teaching watercolor painting and other art classes to children and adults in the summers for many years. See http://www.connievalesano.com for some classes that I taught last summer. This past year I have had the privilege of teaching the Character class at Cor Deo to students from kindergarten through sixth grade. It has been a wonderful year teaching God’s truths and how to apply them to our lives. I am very much looking forward to teaching first grade next year.

 

Cathy Lundy – First Grade

Hello, my name is Cathy Lundy, one of the First Grade teachers.  My passion is teaching, coming alongside children and parents, helping them strive for all that God would have them be, to walk in Christ-likeness.

Joel Lundy, my dear husband of 34+ years is one of the pastors at SW Hills Baptist Church.  We have four wonderful Christ-following children (Randy, Audrey, Amber, & Jonni), three of whom are happily married and have blessed us with four grandchildren and a fifth on the way!  Jonni is finishing college at this time.  All four of our children were homeschooled K-12th, with one of them attending a private school for a few years.  Through the years I have taught many classes at our large coop for various ages, taught Sunday School, helped at VBS’s, mentored mothers, and tutored children.  All that to say – my goal and love is teaching children and mothers.  That is why teaching at Cor Deo is such a joy for me.  It allows me to teach, encourage, & admonish gently these precious young people and work side by side, co-laboring with parents to help and challenge them to not grow weary, stay the course, lift their eyes a little higher, be firm and disciplined yet gentle, faithfully going to Christ for their answers and needs.

My goal is to give structure and instruction to my students M/W/F and to support parents as they teach their children on T/TH.  I love this model of co-laboring together for the same cause – to make strong, yet humble disciples of one another.

It is my experience that as the family and I bond over this endeavor, great things happen – children blossom, parents are better equipped and feel supported…AND, I am truly blessed!

 

Stacey Erickson – Second Grade

Greetings, 2nd grade families! My name is Stacey Erickson and I am so blessed that I get to be your teacher this coming year!

I have always loved spending time with children, it has been part of my story as long as I can remember. I have wonderful memories of working at camps, tutoring, helping with VBS, leading AWANA, and teaching Sunday School.

I received my bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University, and later received my Masters of Education from Portland State University. My schooling led me to work for Head Start, where I taught preschool and had the privilege of serving the children’s families in a social work capacity. I also taught 5th grade at Cornerstone Christian School.

Chris and I just celebrated 13 years of marriage! We have been blessed with three kids, Malia (10), Brighton (8), and Daisy (6). I have loved my last 10 years as a stay at home mom and we really enjoyed homeschooling this past year.

I love the Lord and am excited to see His hand in our upcoming year. I am committed to praying for your 2nd grader and your family as we partner in building Christ-like individuals and learning A LOT. Please contact me with any questions or concerns staceynerickson@gmail.com. I can’t wait!

 

Kathy Farquhar – Second Grade

Greeting Cor Deo Families!

My name is Kathy Farquhar and I am so blessed to be part of the teaching team.

My first memories of teaching reach back into my childhood when I attempted to ‘teach’ my four year old brother. With my prized chalkboard and chalk, I was ready to start. Unfortunately, my brother didn’t have the same enthusiasm and quickly abandoned my class room for the back yard.

Fast forward ….I graduated from the University of Illinois in the days of card catalogs, phone books, and typewriters.

God opened the doors for me to move to Oregon to complete an internship working with developmentally disabled children.

A few years later, I met my husband Dave. We were married in 1985.

I don’t know how 30 years could pass so quickly; how 4 babies born in over a period of 6 years could now be fully grown!  Rebekah is married to Chip Lubeck.  Our other children are David, Bethany, and Joshua.

But I do know that through it all God is faithful.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many teaching opportunities: teaching 2nd grade at a Classical Christian school, homeschooling my children, teaching classes at our church co-op, Sunday school, VBS, Awana and subbing at Cor Deo since its beginning.

When the school opened, my youngest children, Bethany and Joshua became part of the first Jr. High and 5th grade classes.

What a blessing to look back on the early years of Cor-Deo and reflect on how far God has led the school.

At just the right time (2012), I was honored to become part of the teaching team.

 

Sue Kraakevik – Third Grade

Hi! My name is Sue Kraakevik (many students and parents just call me Mrs. K.). I am a mom of three kids – Peter (13), Molly (10), and Amy (7). Peter goes to school at Whitford Middle School in the Summa Program and Molly and Amy are at Cor Deo. My husband, Jeff, is a Neurologist at OHSU.

Jeff and I attended Bethel University in Minnesota where I earned a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Social Studies and Children’s Lit. (I LOVE reading!) I taught school (mostly 4th grade) for 8 years in Iowa before our son was born. We moved to Oregon 10 years ago and I have been privileged to be a stay-at-home mom. At our church I have been involved with teaching in a variety of ways – KidSpeak (our children’s church/kids choir), Awana, and VBS. I also get to sing on the Worship Team and work with our church’s worship commitee.

Cor Deo itself has been a blessing to our family, as I hope it will be to yours. I so appreciate your prayers as we get ready for the upcoming year – I am excited to see what God is going to do!

 

Rosalie Francetich – Third Grade

Hello!  I’m Rosalie Francetich, 3rd grade teacher at Cor Deo Christian Academy. I am finishing up my 10th year of teaching at the school. Before that I taught my four children at home for 17 years, so teaching has been a major part of my life the last 27 years. Whether in Sunday school, AWANA, VBS, backyard clubs, or homeschool coops over the past several years, I delight in proclaiming the greatness of our God.

My husband Kerry and I have 4 children. They are all married now, and our originally family of 6 has grown to 17 including the grandchildren! I love spending time with each of them. When I have spare time I enjoy baking, sewing, crafting with paper, and gardening.

My greatest love is Jesus, my Savior. I love when I can help others to see and know Him better through the study of His Word.

 

Karen Pautz – Fourth Grade

My name is Karen Pautz and I am the new 4th grade teacher at Cor Deo. I am married to Brian and have 3 wonderful children. Our oldest is Grant, Kelsey is next along with her husband, Brennan, and Collin is the youngest. I was raised in a Christian home and at the age of 11, made my decision to follow Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I attended Oregon State and received a degree in Elementary Education. I taught one year in Corvallis, then 17 years in the Beaverton School District, teaching 4th and 5th grade, being an elementary librarian and kindergarten. After that I homeschooled my children for a total of 16 years. I have been a certified homeschool tester for the last 20 years and also an advisor to homeschooled high school students. I have taught Sunday school, VBS, led Bible studies and have been a mentor to young Christian women.

In my free time, I enjoy reading (have belonged to the same book club for 10 years!), cooking, meeting with friends and doing crafts.

I look forward to being part of the Cor Deo community and how the Lord will lead and guide us.

 

Julie Penn – Fourth Grade

Teaching children is a wonderful calling for parents and professionals.  From learning about adjectives, memorizing scripture, how to tie a shoe, or the importance of gratitude, every moment is a teachable moment.

I homeschooled my eldest daughter through sixth grade. When we adopted our other daughters, they were four and six years old. I taught them the English language and homeschooled them until fifth and sixth grade.  All three girls attended Cor Deo as their first experience with “away school”.

Having a passion for teaching, homeschooling has been a blessing for my whole family. As the lead Sunday School teacher for elementary kids at church, having assisted in VBS, and having been part of a homeschool co-op, learning to teach other children has been part of my teaching journey.

The Lord has been the ruler of my life ever since I was a little girl. I’m thankful for the lessons I experienced about confession, repentance, and forgiveness from Him. I have incorporated these principles and extended them to my children, preparing them for a life of following Christ.

In my other time, I mentor young gals at church, lead a women’s Bible study, exercise, read, and drink gallons of coffee. Of course, my true love is for my Prince Charming husband to whom I’ve been married since 1994.

 

Michelle Miller – Fifth Grade

Michelle grew up in a non-Christian home, but by the grace of God was sent to a private Christian school where she was given a solid foundation of biblical truths. Through the witness of faithful Christians and the study of God’s word she recognized the need to be delivered from her sin. Jesus Christ is her Lord and Savior!

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Michelle has been married to Don for 29 years and they have four wonderful children, Robyn (25), Bryan (23), Chris (16) and Holly (13). Having a heart for children, Michelle and Don have had the joy of teaching 10+ years of Sunday school as well as being AWANA leaders at SWHBC. Having home educated her four children for 18 years she is an experienced mother, wife and teacher. She looks forward to meeting your children and being an integral part of their academic and spiritual growth.

 

Felecia Sutton – Fifth Grade

Hello and Grace and Peace to you! I am the 5th grade teacher, Felecia Sutton. I had the privilege of being the 5th grade teacher when the school began, and my now twenty year old son was in my first class of seven! I had been homeschooling our kids and made the faith leap toward Cor Deo; it was one of our best family decisions. I have been joyfully married to my man, Dave, for thirty-one years. We have our son, Joseph, who is attending a Bible/Discipleship program in Canada; our daughter, Julia and her husband, Justin, who are starting a church in Portland called Mosaic North; and a delightful grandson, Forest Isaiah, whose job (and he does it well!) is to keep us laughing and entertained. We almost always have an international student or two living us from places like Japan, China, Spain and Saudi Arabia and we try to share the love and hope of Jesus with them. Oh, and I am staff to my cat, Prince Caspian, when he so chooses. I taught public high school in the 80’s and early 90’s and then brought education home. I love the Cor Deo model because it gives support where needed and yet allows that awesome home experience that builds family and memories. My passions are Jesus and His Word, family, Biblical Counseling, women’s ministries, children of all ages, history, tapping away at the piano, personal questions, the beach, painting (walls—my husband says I am a stress painter; I try watercolors), writing and lots and lots of books. My favorite teaching passage is Psalm 78:3-8 which states: “…but tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might and the wonders that He has done.” That’s my goal!

 

Judy Fast – Sixth Grade

Hi. My name is Judy Fast, and I am currently the 6th grade teacher at Cor Deo. I have been at Cor Deo for eight years. The first four years I taught a variety of junior high and senior high classes including world history, U.S. history, English and biology. I enjoyed the interaction with the older students, but four years ago, the opportunity came for me to move to the elementary program and 6th grade. I absolutely love my job with 6th grade. Sixth graders are changing every day, and I am so thankful that I have the chance to work with them and pour into their lives, not only with teaching academic subjects but also sharing a love for God and His Word.

I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home and received Christ as my Savior at a young age. I have had the opportunity to serve Him in various capacities in the church such as Sunday School and the Awana program.

I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher and began my teaching career “teaching” my dolls and stuffed animals. I went to Seattle Pacific College and received a B.S. in social science and my teaching certificate. I continued my education with a master’s degree from Lewis and Clark College. I have taught in two other Christian schools prior to coming to Cor Deo. I homeschooled my children and as a result participated in and taught numerous classes in private and co-op situations. As you can see, I do enjoy teaching.

My husband, Dave, and I are empty-nesters after having raised three daughters. We are also the proud grandparents of two granddaughters.

I look forward to working with your child and you as we partner together.

 

Royale Jackson – Sixth Grade

Hello Cor Deo families. I would like to introduce myself. I am Royale Jackson and will be teaching 6th grade. I have been in education since 1996 and truly feel it is God’s calling for my life.

I graduated from Pacific University with a B.A. in Japanese language and culture and spent my first 2 years as a teacher in Japanese junior high schools in Niigata. After returning to Oregon I taught part time in public schools and for homeschool groups when my children were very young. For the last 11 years I have been a middle school teacher at a Christian school here in Oregon.

My family and I live in Beaverton and are members of SW Hills Baptist. We enjoy hosting international students and fostering greyhounds after they retire from the race track. My husband Charles works as an account manager in the healthcare industry. Nick, our oldest son, is 17 and attends Beaverton High School. Hope (9th grade) and Markus (3rd grade) are attending Cor Deo this Fall. Our grown daughter Erin lives in Tanasbourne and has 2 boys.

My favorite part of teaching is being able to experience “ light bulb moments” with my students. Watching the eyes and heart of a student open up in a moment of understanding brings me great joy. I look forward to many of these “light bulb moments” this year for myself as well as for students as His Spirit empowers our class to live and learn for Him.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at blessedrjacksons@hotmail.com

 

Joshua Schneider – South Campus – Recess/Security/Operations

Hi, my name is Joshua Schneider and I am very much looking forward to working at Cor Deo. I will be helping with recess and various other operations.

I grew up in Beaverton, Oregon with my parents, as the oldest of 4 siblings (I have 1 sister, 2 brothers). My parents also chose to homeschool my sister and I through 12th grade. Despite growing up in a loving Christian home, where my parents taught that salvation came not by works but by faith alone in Jesus Christ, I believed that my good works determined my standing with God until the end of my last year of high school. God used the friendship of one of the volunteers in my youth group to open my eyes to see Jesus’ love for me and my need to repent of trusting in my good works. Because Jesus’ saved me, I developed a desire to pursue a career in ministry.

I got my BA in Biblical and Theological Studies from Bethlehem College and seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota (where I lived for 5 years). While at college I also decided that I wanted to become a biblical counselor. About two years ago I moved back to Portland and have been working full time Detailing cars for a Ford Dealership (detailing means cleaning). I now live in Sellwood with three other Christian guys and have become a member of Sellwood Baptist Church.

I have a desire to use my education and grow in being able to give biblical counsel, and I think that Cor Deo will be a good environment for doing both of those things. I hope to help create an environment where Christ is made much of and kids’ hearts can be drawn to see their need for him through friendship and good structure. I look forward to getting to know you all soon.

 

Kevin Puckett - North Campus Principal 

Hello, My name is Kevin Puckett. I was born and raised in a Christian home but never understood God’s immeasurable love for me until I was in college.

1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” When I read this verse, I realized there were a number of people whom I did not like and wondered if I really knew God. It was then I cried out to God for forgiveness and asked Him to help me experience and share His love. Through the study of scripture God changed my heart.

It is my heart’s desire to show the world who God is, what God does, and that lives can be changed through the study and application of His word. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I am committed to following Him for the rest of my life.

My wife Elyse and I have been married for two years and welcomed our first born, Joanna, in December of 2014. We met at Moody Bible Institute’s Spokane campus, but did not begin to date until after Elyse accidentally pocket dialed me over a year later. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute and moving back to Oregon, we became members of South West Hills Baptist Church and currently enjoy leading the young marrieds’ ministry.

My background is in management, team development, and bible. I am excited to serve Cor Deo’s teachers, students, and parents in the 2015/2016 school year as the North Campus’ Administrator.

I look forward to advancing Cor Deo’s vision to put God and family first. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call: (503) 352-5663.

In Christ, Kevin Puckett

 

Jennifer Anderson – Science 7 & 8 – Chemistry – Geography – World Literature

I have had the privilege of teaching at Cor Deo since 2007. I teach 7 and 8th grade science and high school Chemistry. I also teach 9th grade Geography and World Literature. Although that may sound like several different subjects I am often delight to see how they overlap in the classroom and our studies.

My Bachelor of Science is in Microbiology from Cal State University at San Luis Obispo, but my teaching credentials come from 20 years of homeschooling our 5 kids, about 10 years at the SWH co-op and now 10 years at Cor Deo. As much as I love teaching, I love my students even more. I see my mission as a mentor in the class room to teach each subject as reflection of loving Jesus, understanding how amazing His creation is and how vital it is to live a life obeying His laws in the natural and spiritual sense. I became a Christian as a teen and often remember how it was to struggle at that age.

Because I teach several classes at different levels I often have the same students through middle and high school years. I love that I get to see them grow up, and know them over a long period of time. Teaching then seems like a continuum that gives me history with each student and a basis to challenge them on a deeper level. That is the best part of my job. I genuinely look forward to each day and each class throughout the year.

 

Wendee Lewis – Upper Grade English

“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.”  Psalm 100:2

One of my earliest memories entails teaching my younger brother how to write his name on a drawing he made in Sunday School. That was the spark that lit the fire. Other treasured teaching moments include Children’s Church, Camps, VBS, and Youth Group.

In 2002 I graduated with a BA in Writing/Literature from George Fox University. After graduation I felt like the Lord was calling me into teaching. I enrolled in the MAT program at the University of Arkansas, graduating in 2004. Since then I have had the opportunity to teach at Sylvan Learning Center, Substitute in several school districts, and homeschool my own two children.

Throughout my life, there have been many wonderful people that have invested their time into my life. I now have that same passion to invest into others’ lives, specifically as a teacher. Being at home with my children when they were young was such a blessing. Nonetheless, I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life. This is my first year at Cor Deo, teaching both 7th grade and 9th grade English. It has been a joy being back in the classroom both teaching and learning.

This summer, Paul and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. We have two beautiful daughters, Dahlia (7), and Mahala (5) who attend Cor Deo. As a family we love the beach, breakfast for dinner, and serving the Lord.

From an early age, teaching has brought gladness to my heart. I am looking forward to sharing that gladness with you in addition to partnering with you this year. Thank you for all you do at home.

 

Dawnelle Breum – Upper Grade World History

Hello! My name is Dawnelle Breum, and I am so thankful to be a part of Cor Deo, both as a teacher and as a parent. My husband Jason and I have seven children, ranging in age from 20 all the way down to 5. Our youngest five children attend Cor Deo and they really love it. As parents, Jason and I really appreciate the environment of Cor Deo, the strong curriculum and the study days at home.

I received my degree in Education from George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. Over the years I have held a variety of positions, including full-time teaching, tutoring (both at Sylvan Learning Center and privately), and have taught classes for groups of homeschooled students in co-ops and from my home.

This year was my first year teaching at Cor Deo, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to teach World History to the 10th grade students. Welcome to Cor Deo!

 

Jason R. Washburn - Math 7 and Gov/Econ

Howdy! My name is Jason R. Washburn, but most people just call me Washburn. I grew up on the east side of Portland, moved away for a few years for school and the war and then came back. I have bachelor’s degrees in Economics from University of Oregon and Information Technology from Oregon Tech. I’ve been married for almost ten years to my awesome wife Heather who’s an RN in the NNICU. I enjoy working out, running, water sports, snow sports, reading and studying (especially Theology, History, and Philosophy), and tabletop games.

I’m very joyful about the continued opportunity to teach at Cor Deo, but it’s not a blessing that’s come from anything I have done or earned; I’ve been blessed with a passion for working with youth. I’ve been on staff for youth groups for about 13 years now and have been blessed with a plethora of opportunities for teaching, mentorship, and helping teens follow after Christ. Whether it’s questions about their faith, a call at 2 a.m. to come pick them up from a party they realized they shouldn’t be at, or watching them continue to follow Christ after they leave home, God has been so good to me in letting play a very small role in His plans for young people.

I’ve been blessed with another opportunity to use my experience with youth and combine it with my passions for academic topics (especially Social Studies and Philosophy) to teach at Cor Deo. I’m very excited to see what opportunities there will be for God to use me in the classroom, and what He will teach me about my own walk with Him.

 

Don Heberling – Upper Grade Bible

Having grown up in a Christian family attending a Bible-teaching church, I had an all-too-common problem: I knew the “answers” before I had even asked the questions. At some point, I knew I had to make a choice, either make it my own faith, or walk away from it all. God graciously gave me an “Elijah” moment. No, not the dramatic earthquake or whirlwind – just the still small voice that said, “If the Lord is God, then follow him! If not, then go your own way.” At age 15, He gave me the ability to see that following my own way is like leaning the ladder against the wrong wall. Even if I make it to the top, life without Him ends up empty and meaningless. So I made my choice, got baptized, and began to learn as much as I could about how to follow Him.

A few years later in college, I got confused by all the different things Christians were telling me. Once again, God gave me a moment of clarity in thinking. I decided I needed to learn to study the Bible for myself and find out what God said rather than relying on others to spoon feed me. So I applied for seminary. Going from a Bachelors in Physics to a Masters in Theology was an unusual combination, but I never regretted it.

In seminary, I married my college sweetheart, Ruth. Following graduation, we moved to Portland where Ruth got a graduate certificate from Multnomah. I served in a series of 3 churches in Portland, Hillsboro and Beaverton as teaching pastor, deacon, and Sunday school teacher, all the while completing a 37 year career as an engineer at Intel.

Ruth and I have been married 39 years now, with 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Our two girls are married and live in Washington and Oregon, and our 2 boys are still single, living in Ireland and California.

I look forward to teaching Bible to the 7th to 12th graders this year. My prayer is that they will come to understand that the only sure truth we have in this world is God’s Word.

 

Luke Bernard – Bible 7, 8, 9 & 11

My name is Luke Bernard and this year I have the privilege to teach Bible 7, 8, 9, and 11. I am so excited that God has given me another opportunity to teach at Cor Deo.

A little bit about me:

I love Jesus. Serving him is the source of my deepest joy and greatest satisfaction. I want nothing more than to serve him every day of my life, becoming more like him in the process. I desire to give him glory in all my thoughts, words, and actions, and to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col 3:17).

I love the Bible. It is God’s eternal word to humanity. It’s the book he’s given us. Through it, God has taught me so many amazing things. Every time I read it, even the parts I’ve read many times before, I see something new, I learn something new, and I hear God speaking through the Scriptures to me. The Bible is old, but it’s still completely and totally relevant to the present day.  I once heard someone say that, “Nothing is more relevant that that which is eternally true.” One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 23:29 where God himself says, “Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”  I don’t know about you, but I think that’s so awesome!  Nothing can stand against the truth of God’s Word!

I love my family.  My wife, Nancy, and I met at church, began dating in 2004, were married in 2009, and we had our first child, a girl, in 2015 and her name is Emerson. It’s been truly amazing to see a brand new human being grow. God’s design of life is so precious and so wonderful to witness. She brings immense joy into our lives.

Other odds and ends: I really like Star Wars, peaches are the best fruit, and I love reading. I love listening to lectures and sermons, and writing papers. I am currently in the process of obtaining my master’s degree. I got my bachelor’s degree at Western Oregon University. My favorite city is Monmouth, Oregon.

I am so thankful and excited for another year at Cor Deo! I look forward with much anticipation to what the Lord will do this year.

 

Linda Kopp – Upper Grade Health

I became a Christian over 35 years ago, but continue to grow in Him. Christ’s free gift of salvation is something that none of us can earn. The Lord’s sacrificial death on the cross helps us to walk humbly. I praise God for the opportunity to serve in the children’s and youth ministries for the past 20 years as a teacher. If one life is changed for eternity sake, the angels rejoice.

My husband, Charles and I, have been married for 23 years. Charles works as a Business Analyst, for the State of Oregon. We have two older children, which I homeschooled for 11 years. Brittany is 21 years old and is studying to be a teacher at West Coast Baptist College in Southern California. Andrew is 18 years old and recently graduated from Cor Deo Christian Academy.  He plans to attend college for engineering this fall. Our family loves spending time together camping, knitting, and water-skiing.

I earned a college degree in General Studies. However, a few years ago I completed classes in Calculus I and II, Computer Programming I and II, Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry. I was pursuing a degree in Engineering; however, I realized that I had a more important job at home with my kids. The education that I received, equipped me to continue homeschooling through the high school years. Moreover, it will enable me to teach your children and to delight in it.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He, who made us, and we are his; we are His people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

 

Crystal Susbauer – Algebra 1 and 2

Hello! My name is Crystal Susbauer, and I am very excited for the coming school year at Cor Deo Christian Academy. I grew up in a Christian family, and am the second of four siblings. I always believed in God, but really made my faith my own when I was twelve. I have always had a passion for ministry a heart for service.

In 2014, I met my amazing husband, Steve, while we were both volunteering at our Church youth group. We were married in January 2016, and are enjoying a wonderful first year married.

Growing up, I struggled with math constantly. When I started college, I was blessed to have a professor who was able to help me see that understanding and even enjoying math was possible, given enough instruction, time, and hard work.

I went on to graduate from Pacific University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I believe that anyone can have success in mathematics, and I am committed to helping my students achieve it.

 

Leanne Redlinger – Upper Grade Math & Science

I married Mark, whom I met in physics at OSU, in 1999. After working for three years as a structural engineer, we had our first child, Sarah, in 2002. At this point, I postponed my engineering career to pick up my professional mommy career, while Mark continued as a professional structural engineer. In 2005, our second child, Jacob, joined our family.  We enjoy being active together including running, camping, and hiking. One of our favorite events is camping at a Mt. Hood fire lookout tower, in the summer and in the winter.

Although I have always known Jesus, I did not claim my faith as my own until college when I began to understand my personal relationship with Jesus.  After I married Mark, the Lord brought us to an evangelical church (Cedar Mill Bible Church). He continues to deepen our relationship with Him each day.  In 2006, Mark and I rededicated our life to the Lord through our immersion baptisms.

At Oregon State University, I earned my Bachelors in Civil Engineering and a dual masters in Civil Engineering and Forest Products. I continue with regular seminars and classes to keep my professional license current.

Although my degrees and experience are in Civil Engineering, my studies and work includes numerous mathematics and science courses. My education and professional experience emphasize the practical application of mathematics and science—an important part of learning and understanding these topics. In the classes I teach, I try to share examples of how math is applied practically in life. I have taught at Cor Deo since the 2006-07 school year. Classes I have taught include: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and Physics.

 

Anne-Marie Wachsmuth – Upper Grade Spanish

My story starts up in Ottawa, Canada, where I was born to French Canadian parents who professed Christ as their Savior and Lord. I was child # 9, the long awaited sister to three older sisters who had had enough of the long string of boys born into the family in the recent past. I was born in a laissez-faire home where guidelines were loosely-defined and you learned to figure things out pretty much on your own. Although I didn’t receive much direct instruction, I knew what would please my parents because of what they modeled for me. The two things that seemed to matter most to them were the chief principles of working really hard at whatever task is at hand and serving God in church. Being a people pleaser and perfectionist by nature, I tried my best to do be good at both. I answered an altar call at about age 8 and from then on tried to apply what I was learning at the Christian school and at the church where we attended. I tried to become more spiritual than my peers so I would be looked at as a leader, like my parents.  Even at a young age, though, guilt started eating me up inside because I knew I was not who I was making myself out to be. I might be able to fool others with my little white lies, but God knew about the lies, the selfish thoughts, the jealousy, and the pride inside. Since the Gospel story was never fully explained to me in those early years, I just tried to cope with the guilt by being harder on myself. This went on until I was 15, which is about when things at church started to fall apart. I quickly became disillusioned with the leadership of the church and, although I was convinced of my parents’ sincerity, I also could tell that they were misguided. Something was not right. The teaching and character of the pastors left much to be desired. Although I didn’t fully grasp the Gospel yet, I knew what was being preached from the pulpit couldn’t be ‘it’. In an unconscious response to all that spiritual upheaval, I started feeding my need for perfection and control by slowly starving myself.  I eventually became anorexic and struggled with anorexia for the next 2-3 years. Although in some ways I see those years as the dark and sad ones, I also recognize them as God’s gracious means by which he could truly show me my brokenness and my desperate need for a Savior.  During those years of internal turmoil, it became obvious to me that the image I had tried to project from an early year was now tainted. Everyone could physically see that I had issues. It was through hearing ‘pieces’ of the Gospel here and there over the next several years that I slowly began to really get what Jesus had accomplished on the cross for me. I gradually shifted from following Jesus because I’m a ‘good girl’ to realizing I need Jesus so desperately because I’m a ‘wretched girl’ without him. I was and had always been enslaved to sin. God, in His great wisdom and with great patience, had reached down and peeled back the layers until I could finally see the beauty of the cross.   I just read this quote that I feel captures my testimony well: “That God knows everything about me and still loves me is indeed my ultimate consolation.” R.C. Sproul. Over the course of the next years until now, God has been in the process of sanctifying me for His glory. There have been some painful lessons, but the joy of knowing He is working on me and bringing me closer to a true union with Christ overwhelms me.  I am so thankful for the promise that “he who began a good work in [me] will bring me to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”. Philippians 1:6   Being so aware of the dangers of couching the Gospel in morality, I pray that I would be God’s instrument of grace to my children and my students, and that the real Gospel would be evident in my life by the way I cling to Jesus.

My husband Andrew and I have been married for 17 years. Andrew is my true companion, my spiritual leader, and a constant reminder to me of God’s grace in my life. We met in college up in Canada. He was from Tigard, OR, which explains why a French Canadian like me would end up so far from my origins.  God has blessed us both with two children, Isaiah (12) and Brielle (10).

I graduated from Trinity Western University (Langley, British Columbia) with a History Major and an Intercultural Religious Studies Minor.  After teaching at a bilingual school in Honduras alongside my husband for a year, I came back to the States to get my Masters in Teaching at George Fox at night while I worked as a teacher assistant a West Hills Montessori School by day. Halfway through the program (after 11 months), I was granted a deferment of my studies so I could teach 5th grade at West Hills Christian Academy full-time while my husband went through the very same program at George Fox full-time.  I never was able to return and complete the degree.

My teaching experience ranges from teaching preschoolers to now teaching high school. Schools where I taught are: Mayatan Bilingual School in Honduras (4th grade), West Hills Montessori School (1st and 2nd grades), West Hills Christian School (2nd and 5th), Pilgrim Lutheran School (7th and 8th grade Spanish), and Cor Deo. I am currently on my 4th year of teaching Spanish I and Spanish II at Cor Deo.

 

Rick Stark – English 10 – Essays

Hello, my name is Rick Stark and I’m married 41 years to my Canadian Sweetheart, Carol. God blessed us with two sons, Jake Stark of Oahu, Hawaii, and Jono Stark wed to Aimee.  They have three beautiful children, Hudson, Ollie and Jersey (in photo with us) all happy to be Cor Deo Elementary students here in Beaverton!

I received my Elem. Ed. Degree at Seattle Pacific College (now University) along with a major in PE. I taught 5th grade during my last year at SPC. Then received my diploma from Prairie Bible College in Alberta, Canada, as well as a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago, IL. During an 8-year period between missionary assignments, I taught ESL at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA, specifically advanced level in grammar and writing.  I also substitute taught K-12 during the same 8 years.

Before teaching ESL and substitute teaching in Mount Vernon, WA, Carol and I planted churches as missionaries in Brazil for a total of 17 years. The first 4 years we served in Sao Paulo, followed by 10 years back in Washington. We returned to Brazil in 2001, this time to Rio de Janeiro for another 13 years. Jesus gave both Carol and me a passion to minister to Rio’s urban poor, homeless, addicted, sexually confused and abused. We were privileged, while working with Christland, an arm of the Brazilian Baptist Convention, to see hundreds of lives transformed (harvest factory) by the power of God. Our job description included receiving over 45 short-term youth and adult mission teams with whom we ministered in Rio’s countless favelas (drug controlled slums). After our retirement from Converge Worldwide Missions staff 09/30 2014, Carol and I settled in Beaverton, OR in March 2015.

I have always been energized by youth and recently when my wife helped me dye my white goatee lime green for a Seahawks game, my Converge Worldwide boss on FB described me as “right up there with In/Out Burgers as being the best anti-depressant on earth”! I am not only crazy about sports, but also crazy about our good, heavenly Father and His final harvest. This includes prayerfully finding young and old “people of peace” (Luke 1o:1-6), especially among the “poor in spirit”, who immediately take the Good News to others. This results in multiplication of harvesters (harvest factory) as we clearly communicate God’s love, especially in writing, to all the nations. I look forward to praying and growing this year in our writing adventures with each one of my students, and your families. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to email me at: rc1stark@gmail.com.

 

Shelley Chase –  Biology and Physical Science

Kneeling on a bale of hay at the age of eleven and praying a simple a prayer was the beginning of a challenging and exciting life of following Jesus wherever he leads me. This past year, that path led me to teaching Biology and Physical Science at Cor Deo.

I have been teaching for most of my life. My husband and I raised four children, whom I taught at home for 15 years. Before I had children, I taught high school life science and biology in a public school. While my children were small, I taught piano and music theory out of my home for 16 years. For the past 12 years or so I taught science to small groups of homeschoolers. I have taught every kind of science, including botany, zoology, biology, forensic science, anatomy and physiology, general science, chemistry, and physical science. I love to teach, and don’t tell anyone, but I’d probably do it for free.

My science classes are hands-on, laboratory-based classes. It is my hope that through the study and observation of our natural world and its amazing complexity and creativity, students would be able to discover for themselves the awesomeness of our Creator, and would come away with growing faith and enough knowledge to defend their faith in a world that often believes science and faith do not mesh.

Our large family strives to be disciples of Jesus. Our youngest son just turned 16, and is a sophomore at the School of Science and Technology in Beaverton. Our next youngest son is a junior at Oregon State. We also have two grown daughters, both marriage and family therapists, who are married. I have the privilege of looking after my two grandsons, 2 years, and 2 months, several afternoons a week. That’s me in the purple bathrobe.

 

Hannah Couch – School Nurse

My name is Hannah Couch and I am so excited to have the opportunity to work at Cor Deo! In addition to helping with miscellaneous tasks throughout each day, I get to be the official school nurse!

Most of you know me as the volunteer coordinator and the immunization records organizer. I am also a Christian who loves the Lord whole heartily. I’ve been married to my amazing husband for almost 11 years and I am the mother of four wonderful kiddos (Mia, Silas, Lexie & Titus). Before becoming a mama, I worked as a pediatric RN for 6 years at both Shriner’s Hospital and at a pediatric clinic. I’ve also been blessed to travel to other countries to help children in need and provide training for orphanage caregivers. I love taking care of children during both their highs and lows.

It’s been so fun getting to know your children this year and I look forward to getting to know them even better as I care for their scrapes, bonks & tummy aches.

Please contact me with any question that you may have: hannahmcouch@gmail.com