Meet the Staff

Veritas Christian Academy 2014-15 Staff

 

Administrative

Headmaster: Sean Elgut
Sean Elgut serves as the Headmaster of Veritas. Mr. Elgut, along with his wife, Maria, founded Veritas Christian Academy as a Classical school with a vision to graduate young men and women leaders, who think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; who reason persuasively and articulate precisely; who are capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of the Scriptures; and who do so with eagerness in joyful submission to God. Mr. Elgut holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, as well as a Master in Education degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach. He has been teaching, facilitating, and administering within the realm of Christian education since 1994. When not at Veritas, Mr. Elgut spends most of his time with his wife, Maria, and 5 children, Caleb, Anna, David, Abigail and Rebekah, all of which have attended, or continue to attend Veritas.

Director of Grammar School (Lower School): Maria Elgut
Along with her husband Sean, and five children, Caleb, Anna, David, Abigail, and Rebekah, Maria Elgut co-founded Veritas Christian Academy, and serves as Elementary Principal, as well as School Nurse. Mrs. Elgut holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She served as a Registered Charge Nurse until she began homeschooling her children in 1996, until her oldest son, Caleb, entered the seventh grade here at Veritas. Mrs. Elgut’s vision for Veritas, combined with her zeal for praying for families and students, has forwarded the vision of the school, to encourage all students (and parents) to evaluate their entire range of experience in light of the Scriptures…with an eagerness in joyful submission to God.



Director of Dialectic & Rhetoric School (Upper School): Mark Keating
Upon graduating from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1980, Mark Keating went to a Bible school in Oklahoma (1981-83) and two years later began to follow the call to Christian education. He has been in Christian education since 1983. In his first year was principal of a small K-12 Christian school in Arizona. After five successful years with the school, he left to pursue his Master’s Degree at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Upon receiving his degree, he was employed by a school in Chesapeake, VA, in which he became the founding principal of the high school. As principal of this new high school, he laid the foundation for the vision of the school, created and developed the many programs of the school. He taught from full-time to part-time, built the infrastructure of the school with the many of the departments: admissions, guidance, athletic, student government, student affairs and traditions, alumni, etc. In his 19 years with the Christian school in Chesapeake, Mark was able to see the student body of 11 students grow to over 140 students, representing the Tidewater area, six different nations, and an alumni base of 350, many of them going to the finest colleges in the country. Mark has held as his passion to raise up Daniels and Esthers, young men and women that would be a distinctive voice to their generation of sound Biblical-principled thinking and, “serve the purposes of God fully in their generation.” (Acts 13:36). One other tool that Mark has felt available to him in developing the character of Daniels & Esthers outside the classroom is through the sports of swimming and tennis. His background inc ludes coaching and teaching for the past 30 plus years. He has coached numerous athletes from beginner level to national caliber athletes. 

Communications Director: Lisa Fox
Lisa Fox graduated magna cum laude from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She taught for several years in a third grade classroom before having –and home schooling—five children of her own, utilizing a distinctly Classical Christian methodology and curriculum. Lisa taught third grade at Veritas before assuming her position as Communications Director in 2014. She desires to use her God-given gifts to encourage others, and to keep VCA students, parents, faculty, and staff informed about the many wonderful happenings in and around the school. Along with her husband of 22 years, she and her children love running, biking, and hiking together—and are always up for great adventures with books, with movies, and with fresh and healthy food.


Assistant, International Student Relations: Jennifer Repko-Nowlin




Lower School: Grammar

Kindergarten: Kelly EhlersKelly is going into her 17th year of teaching and her 4th year here at Veritas. She graduated in 1990 from Ursuline College in Ohio and received her Masters in Education from Regent University in 2004. Kelly received the “Teacher of the Year” award from Veritas in 2012. She enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children. Her youngest, Connor, is an 8th grader this year at Veritas. Kelly is passionate about creating a joy-filled, creative, and loving educational environment for all children, which is evident in her classroom at Veritas. Kelly’s favorite things to do include sitting at the beach enjoying the ocean and attending Bible studies. In addition to teaching here at Veritas, Mrs. Ehlers plans to complete and publish her first book this year.


1st & 2nd Grade: Amanda Payne
Mrs. Payne is joining us for her first year of teaching this year. She graduated from Western Governors University with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education K-3. She has worked in the childcare field for more than twelve years. Teaching children is her true passion. She loves reading, writing and being crafty. Mrs. Payne was married in 2009 to an active duty sailor in the U.S. Navy. In 2010, they moved to Japan where they lived for three years and in 2012 added to their family with a beautiful baby girl. In her free time Mrs. Payne loves anything to do outdoors especially being at the beach and spending time with her family. She is excited for the opportunity to teach at Veritas and looks forward to getting to know everyone this coming year.

3rd Grade: Sarah Vogt
Sarah Vogt graduated Magna Cum Laude from Old Dominion University with a BA in English Literature and a minor in Secondary Education. She feels that God has led her to teach as He has given her an appreciation for learning and a love for children. She will be enjoying her fifth year at Veritas Christian Academy this year. Mrs. Vogt was born and raised in Virginia. Her favorite activities include going to the beach, reading, riding her bicycle and spending time with her family. She and her husband joyfully serve in the Children’s Ministry at their home church by teaching first grade Sunday school. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4

4th Grade: Toni Lynn BartoToni Lynn Barto is the fourth grade teacher at Veritas Christian Academy and hails from Pittsburgh, PA. She received her B.S. in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. in communication from Regent University. Her teaching experience is quite varied. Ms. Barto has taught grades one through four in private schools as well as eighth grade theatre arts and high school online English classes in public schools. She has re-joined the VCA family this year after previously teaching from 2004-2007. Her desire for her students is that they will acquire a body of knowledge and a developing curiosity to think more deeply about each new concept that they learn. In addition, it is Ms. Barto’s hope that her students will apply the Word of God to their curiosity, not merely because they were told to do so, but because they have sought the Lord and He has revealed His truth to them through His Word.

5th & 6th Grade: Cheri Toler
Mrs. Toler graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary/Middle School Education. In addition to her calling of being a wife and mother, she believes it is also her gift and calling to teach and minister to children. Her experience includes; teaching 6th grade in a Chesapeake public school, homeschooling, and teaching 6th grade in two local Christian schools. She has received training through ACSI and has served on an ACSI Accreditation team. Mrs. Toler is dedicated to challenging her students academically, so they are equipped to fulfill God’s plan for their life and are able to use their gifts and talents to glorify Christ as a leader of the next generation. It is also her desire to teach her students to “Love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind.” and to “Love their neighbors as themselves.” (Matt.22:37). When she is not in the classroom, Mrs. Toler loves spending time with her husband of 21 years, Todd, and their five children; Colby, Peyton, Claire, Paige, and Cassie. Colby is a 2012 graduate of VCA and the rest of her children currently attend VCA. She also enjoys serving in various children’s ministries at her church, reading, going to the beach, visiting historical locations, and being a cheerleader for her children and others at sporting events.

Grammar School Music and Choral: Kerri Alewine
Originally from South Carolina, Kerri Alewine is new to Virginia and excited about all the wonderful opportunities the Lord is providing her here. Kerri is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Lander University holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Music with Vocal Emphasis and K-12 Certification. The past five years, Kerri has taught in public schools across South Carolina and at all grade levels from Kindergarten to 12th grade. During her second year of teaching, Kerri received the Rookie Teacher of the Year award for her school and was chosen runner-up Rookie Teacher of the Year for her district. While teaching high school, her choral ensemble annually participated in many statewide choral events receiving excellent ratings at both State Choral Festival and Carowinds Music Festival. Kerri is so thankful for her musical gifts with which the Lord has blessed her and endeavors to share her passion for music with her students. When not working, Kerri enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and going to the gym. She is also a member of Seraph Song: the Singing Women of South Carolina and enjoys traveling across South Carolina performing and sharing God's love through music. Kerri looks forward to an excellent first year at Veritas Christian Academy!

Grammar School Art: Carolyn Venable
Carolyn Venable has taught Upper and Lower School art at Veritas for almost ten years. Art has been a passion of hers since childhood. She graduated from TCC with a commercial art degree and spent three years at Norfolk State pursuing additional art related classes. Carolyn loves children and she loves art; teaching combines both of these! What she loves most is to see students excited about their own artwork. In addition to teaching, Carolyn also enjoys painting murals, both in homes and in commercial buildings. She has three wonderfully artistic children; her final high schooler is in 11th grade at VCA. Carolyn looks forward to another year of teaching at Veritas!


Grammar School Physical Education/Running Club: Christine Fernandez
Christine Fernandez lives in VB with her husband and three sons. She began teaching at Veritas Christian Academy in 2007. Christine has been active in the fitness and nutrition world for ten years. In addition to teaching Physical Education classes, she is a certified personal trainer and enjoys training people for local running events. She believes P.E. can be more than just playing games- that it is a great time to work and develop character. She stresses that fitness is important, and enjoys teaching children and adults how to treat their God-created bodies through movement and with nourishing food. Christine loves spending time with her family. They all currently take Tae kwon do at King Tiger Martial Arts in Virginia Beach where they all have their first degree black belts. Christine also loves surfing, running, painting, playing guitar and learning other styles of martial arts.

Lower School Etiquette Teacher: Donna Beethoven
Mrs. Donna Beethoven has a passion for teaching our rising generation the importance of godly character traits as clearly outlined in the Word of God. Donna attended The American School of Protocol in Atlanta, GA. to prepare her to train children, as well as young men and ladies, from first grade through college. At Veritas, Donna has designed a hands-on etiquette curriculum. Her teaching adventures go beyond merely classroom instructions to include student oral presentations, etiquette preparation for school field trips, and restaurant dining. She closely partners with Veritas parents to encourage student progress throughout the year. Donna unabashedly loves her Lord and Savior, His Word, and His children. This is quite evident as she weaves scripture throughout her etiquette lessons. Donna begins each school year reviewing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which she believes is the foundation for good manners. Her classroom motto, "We should strive for excellence in everything we do!" is based on Mark 7:37: “And the people were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He (Jesus) has done all things well.’” Donna and her husband, Kevin, have four children, four grandchildren, and a Mastiff. Their twin sons and two grandchildren attend VCA.

Dance/Kinetics: Andrei Yemelianov & Natallia Yemelianova
Born in Ukraine Andrei began his ballet training at the Kiev State Choreographic College at the age of ten. He completed the full curriculum with the major in “Choreographic Art”. Andrei was granted the qualification of “Ballet Dancer” and after graduation he danced with Donetsk Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Jewish Theater “Mazeltov“. In 1998 Andrei began his new career as a teacher and a choreographer working at Academie de Ballet and Masterworks and as a guest choreographer with TMCJ International Productions. His students are dancing nationwide with companies like Nashville Ballet and Ballet West as well as local dance companies such as TR Dance and VBT.

Natallia studied Ballet at Belarusian State Choreographic College. In her senior year at the Choreographic College she was accepted as a trainee with The State Musical Comedy Theatre of Belarus. Natallia continued her Ballet training as an apprentice at The National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus. In the United States Natallia danced with the Renaissance Ballet performing throughout the country. She also danced for Masterworks and as a guest dancer for TMCJ International Productions. Now Natallia teaches pointe technique at Academie de Ballet and Masterworks. For both Andrei and Natallia it will be their fourth year teaching Kinetics at Veritas Christian Academy.





Resource Teacher: Deborah Rastelli
Deborah Rastelli graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She joined VCA this past school year as the Resource Teacher and has a passion for working with children who learn differently. Studying and working with children who have learning differences has showed her the immense variety of ways in which people learn; she believes that each child is unique and their uniqueness is their gift. Deborah also teaches the first grade catechism class at her home church. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, coffee, music, dancing, and outdoor activities with her family.



Upper School: Dialectic and Rhetoric

Latin I-V: Melinda Allen
Mrs. Melinda Allen graduated from Covenant College in 1990 with a Bachelor's in Business Administration and no intention to become an educator. As her children entered school, however, her lack of intention turned into an intense investigation of the classical approach to education and an inevitable decision to home school her three children classically. Several years later, Melinda and her husband discovered Veritas Christian Academy (VCA) and immediately enrolled their three children. Since that time, Melinda has capitalized on her children's school attendance to pursue her classical interest more rigorously. She has studied Wheelock's Latin, Cambridge Latin and attended Veritas Press's Latin seminar. Currently she manages multi year Latin curriculum and teaches all Dialectic and Rhetoric Latin classes at VCA.

Omnibus I, II-A, & IV (7th, 8th, & 12th Grades): Marti Dart
After homeschooling her two sons from kindergarten through graduation, Marti Dart returned to college to finish her undergraduate degree at Old Dominion University. With a B.A. in European Cultural Studies, Marti – along with her husband and sons – moved to Israel for two years, where she earned an M.A. in Early Christianity and New Testament. Upon their return to the States, Marti began teaching Bible, Latin, history, and literature to the third and fourth graders at Veritas. The following year, Marti was “promoted” to Omnibus teacher in the upper school, where she happily taught these classes which integrate history, literature, and a bit of theology. In 2012, Marti and her family departed for New Zealand, aka Middle-Earth, where she spent the year in travel, photography, cooking, and much reading. There and back again, Marti lives in Chesapeake with her family and once again teaches Omnibus at Veritas.

Omnibus II-B (9th Grade): Kyle Dunham
In addition to teaching Omnibus at Veritas this year, Kyle C. Dunham is an Associate Professor of Old Testament and Registrar at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to VBTS in 2011, Dr. Dunham taught as a faculty associate at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California, and at Northland International University in Dunbar, Wisconsin. He also assisted with a church plant in Bakersfield, California, and has taught various Bible studies and seminars in Michigan, California, Kenya, South Africa, and southeast Asia. Prior to this, he served as an associate pastor in upstate New York and as a short-term missionary in Ecuador. He currently teaches an adult Bible study class at his home church. Dr. Dunham earned the Doctor of Theology in Old Testament from The Master’s Seminary and the Master of Divinity and Master of Theology in biblical studies from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. As a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship, Dr. Dunham received the Bachelor of Science in missions from Baptist Bible College of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Dr. Dunham’s areas of expertise include the kingdom of God, ancient Near Eastern theodicy, the book of Job, and Israelite wisdom literature. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature. Dr. Dunham is currently under contract with Logos and Lexham Press to co-author a commentary on Ecclesiastes. He has a number of forthcoming book reviews and is currently researching and writing on a biblical theology of the kingdom of God and on the nature of canonical wisdom literature. His upcoming book reviews will appear in the International Journal of Public Theology and Master’s Seminary Journal. Dr. Dunham and his wife, Judith, reside in Virginia Beach and have two daughters who attend VCA. In their spare time the Dunhams enjoy reading, playing and watching sports, cooking, hiking, and hosting get-togethers.

Omnibus III-A & III-B (10th & 11th Grades): Judi Dunham
Judi Dunham is passionate about history, theology, travel, and family. She received her History degree from Cedarville University in Ohio. Her minor in college was Bible, with an Education emphasis. In addition to teaching in Brazil and Hungary, Mrs. Dunham has also studied in Israel and taught K-11 in the United States. She has taught in a public school, a Christian school and in a homeschool setting. She has visited eight foreign countries and has lived in seven states, all without joining the military! Judi loves spending time with her amazing husband and two amazing kids. Together, they all enjoy animals, road trips, presidential libraries and museums (they've visited six so far), national parks (especially Sequoia NP in California and Zion NP in Utah), the ocean, the mountains, hiking, and reading--especially at libraries. And most especially at libraries on a college campuses. This is the Dunham family's first year teaching and learning at Veritas.

Composition 7, 8, & 10, Rhetoric: Jana Allen
My name is Jana Allen and this is my first year, not only as a teacher, but at Veritas Christian Academy. I recently graduated from Regent University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. I have a heart and desire to teach kids to have a deeper appreciation and love for writing and reading. I am extremely family oriented and am very close with my two older sisters, Hayley and Heidi, my younger brother Nathan, and my brother-in-law, Will. My parents, Tom and Kelley have been amazing role models in my life, always leading me towards a deeper relationship with the Lord. I currently reside in Chesapeake, although my Dad is a Chaplain in the United States Army and the rest of my family moves quite regularly. I enjoy playing the piano, reading, spending time with my family and snuggling on my couch to a good movie and a cup of coffee. I am enthusiastic about English, but even more so towards young people who are eager to learn. I look forward to spending my first year as a teacher at Veritas growing and learning alongside my students.

Dialectic Math (Math 87 & Pre-Algebra) and General Physical Science: Nanette Zimmerman
Nanette Zimmerman graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Life Science and a minor in Microbiology. After graduating, she accepted a position at a classical Christian school in North Carolina as the math, science and Latin teacher for grades 2-8. Nanette classically home schooled her own three children for six years before God brought her family to Veritas Christian Academy. She has had extensive training and teaching experience through a national classical home school organization and has also benefited from training at Logos School in Moscow, ID, one of the leading schools in classical education. In addition, she has years of experience as a private math tutor. This is Nanette's second year at VCA, and she believes that God has called her to Veritas in order to exercise her commitment to the classical model of education, her love for children, and her passion for math and the sciences. She is excited to help educate the next generation of students to know God through the beauty of math and science. Nanette is an avid reader and attends church regularly with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys running and playing at the beach and lake with her family.

Rhetoric School Math (Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Chemistry): Tim Folsom
Tim graduated from Veritas in 2010 and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a B.A. in Biology. He has always had a passion for grabbing life by the horns and never letting go, hence his desire to teach high school math and chemistry -- a unique opportunity to shape some of the brightest minds of a generation as they transcend the cusp of youth. Never one to idly embrace the status quo, he has sought to adopt the teachings of Christ and the Prophets not just as a personal ethic but as a holistic academic and professional philosophy, viewing all vocational callings as opportunities to partner with Jesus in his renewal of all things. To this end, he hopes to, at some point, go on to enter the field of medicine and community health, to “be the change,” as it were. Additionally, he has a rather exquisite taste in music and enjoys the richness and beauty of creation which finds expression therein.

Biology, Anatomy & Physiology: Sean Elgut
Sean Elgut serves as the Headmaster of Veritas. Mr. Elgut, along with his wife, Maria, founded Veritas Christian Academy as a Classical school with a vision to graduate young men and women leaders, who think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; who reason persuasively and articulate precisely; who are capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of the Scriptures; and who do so with eagerness in joyful submission to God. Mr. Elgut holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, as well as a Master in Education degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach. He has been teaching, facilitating, and administering within the realm of Christian education since 1994. When not at Veritas, Mr. Elgut spends most of his time with his wife, Maria, and 5 children, Caleb, Anna, David, Abigail and Rebekah, all of which have attended, or continue to attend Veritas.

Logic I & II: Cynthia Newman
A wordsmith by trade, Cynthia has enjoyed decades of writing adventures. It all began in her hometown, Buffalo, NY, where she landed a news producer assignment for CBS. From there, amazing national and international assignments awaited. She moved to Virginia Beach, VA to work for CBN. She traveled cross country and around the globe producing, writing, reporting, and hosting a myriad of television and radio assignments…features, sports, entertainment, news, investigative specials, and documentaries. Freelance work opened more possibilities to script inspirational testimonials and a variety of teaching series. Cynthia worked in Israel as a news anchor and correspondent. She also was a White House correspondent during President George W. Bush’s term. Her script writing garnered her many awards, including a national Emmy nomination in the category of news investigation. Weaved throughout her travel were unparalleled ministry opportunities. It was these opportunities, Cynthia says, that gave her work purpose and substance. Cynthia received a BA in French and Secondary Education at Wittenberg University, and an MA in Broadcast Journalism at Regent University. Cynthia’s undergrad venture included a year’s study of le français in Dijon, France. C’était formidable! Cynthia appreciates the importance of imparting to her students the logic skills needed to think critically, and the writing skills needed to craft sound arguments. Cynthia lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with her husband, Drew, two children, Joshua and Renee, who attend VCA.

Dialectic and Rhetoric School Art: Carolyn Venable
Carolyn Venable has taught Upper and Lower School art at Veritas for almost ten years. Art has been a passion of hers since childhood. She graduated from TCC with a commercial art degree and spent three years at Norfolk State pursuing additional art related classes. Carolyn loves children and she loves art; teaching combines both of these! What she loves most is to see students excited about their own artwork. In addition to teaching, Carolyn also enjoys painting murals, both in homes and in commercial buildings. She has three wonderfully artistic children; her final high schooler is in 11th grade at VCA. Carolyn looks forward to another year of teaching at Veritas!


Introduction to Art History (10th-12th Grades): Rose Marie Bohs
An art major in high school, Mrs. Bohs attended the State University of New York at New Paltz. It was there that she was selected in her junior year to study oversees at the Instituto D’Arte in Urbino, where she studied art history, silkscreen printing, graphic design, oil painting and restoration. She exhibited her artwork there before returning to the USA to complete her BA degree in Art Education and Art History. Mrs. Bohs has taught Art classes to a wide range of ages at Good Shepherd School in Kingston, New York, Greenbrier Christian Academy, and on the mission field. She is joyfully returning for a third year to teach art history to the high school. She has served with Youth with a Mission (YWAM), been a guest speaker for Women’s Ministry, President of Chesapeake Chapter of Aglow International, and VA State Aglow Prayer Advisory Council, lead Beth Moore Bible Studies, a Mom’s in Touch Prayer Leader, and Room 219 Prayer Coordinator. Mother of three adult children: Charles, Melissa and Rachel and a proud Grandmother of three: Gabriel, Taylor and Cameron. Her daughter Rachel is a 2013 graduate of Veritas Christian Academy and is accepted into the nursing program at Liberty University, as a sophomore.

Dialectic and Rhetoric School Music History/Appreciation: Kerri Alewine
Originally from South Carolina, Kerri Alewine is new to Virginia and excited about all the wonderful opportunities the Lord is providing her here. Kerri is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Lander University holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Music with Vocal Emphasis and K-12 Certification. The past five years, Kerri has taught in public schools across South Carolina and at all grade levels from Kindergarten to 12th grade. During her second year of teaching, Kerri received the Rookie Teacher of the Year award for her school and was chosen runner-up Rookie Teacher of the Year for her district. While teaching high school, her choral ensemble annually participated in many statewide choral events receiving excellent ratings at both State Choral Festival and Carowinds Music Festival. Kerri is so thankful for her musical gifts with which the Lord has blessed her and endeavors to share her passion for music with her students. When not working, Kerri enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and going to the gym. She is also a member of Seraph Song: the Singing Women of South Carolina and enjoys traveling across South Carolina performing and sharing God's love through music. Kerri looks forward to an excellent first year at Veritas Christian Academy!

Apologetics/Thesis/Leadership Swim/Tennis Coach: Mark Keating
Upon graduating from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1980, Mark Keating went to a Bible school in Oklahoma (1981-83) and two years later began to follow the call to Christian education. He has been in Christian education since 1983. In his first year was principal of a small K-12 Christian school in Arizona. After five successful years with the school, he left to pursue his Master’s Degree at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Upon receiving his degree, he was employed by a school in Chesapeake, VA, in which he became the founding principal of the high school. As principal of this new high school, he laid the foundation for the vision of the school, created and developed the many programs of the school. He taught from full-time to part-time, built the infrastructure of the school with the many of the departments: admissions, guidance, athletic, student government, student affairs and traditions, alumni, etc. In his 19 years with the Christian school in Chesapeake, Mark was able to see the student body of 11 students grow to over 140 students, representing the Tidewater area, six different nations, and an alumni base of 350, many of them going to the finest colleges in the country. Mark has held as his passion to raise up Daniels and Esthers, young men and women that would be a distinctive voice to their generation of sound Biblical-principled thinking and, “serve the purposes of God fully in their generation.” (Acts 13:36). One other tool that Mark has felt available to him in developing the character of Daniels & Esthers outside the classroom is through the sports of swimming and tennis. His background inc ludes coaching and teaching for the past 30 plus years. He has coached numerous athletes from beginner level to national caliber athletes. 

Spanish: Ryan Ellis
Ryan Ellis is an exciting, humorous, outgoing child at heart. After graduating from Miami University in Ohio (NOT University of Miami!) with a B.A. in Spanish, he attended ministry school in Kansas City. Upon graduating he was offered a position teaching at a local Christian Junior High School. The following year he and his wife moved to Hampton Roads. Since then he has taught Spanish for three years at Kings Fork High School in Suffolk, had a baby girl, opened his own mobile detail and repair service, learned how to surf, and now is teaching Spanish I-IV at Veritas. Ryan is passionate about being a father and mentor, and seeing his students succeed and grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Upper School Leadership Class Mentor: Donna Beethoven
Mrs. Donna Beethoven has a passion for teaching our rising generation the importance of godly character traits as clearly outlined in the Word of God. Donna attended The American School of Protocol in Atlanta, GA. to prepare her to train children, as well as young men and ladies, from first grade through college. At Veritas, Donna has designed a hands-on etiquette curriculum. Her teaching adventures go beyond merely classroom instructions to include student oral presentations, etiquette preparation for school field trips, and restaurant dining. She closely partners with Veritas parents to encourage student progress throughout the year. Donna unabashedly loves her Lord and Savior, His Word, and His children. This is quite evident as she weaves scripture throughout her etiquette lessons. Donna begins each school year reviewing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which she believes is the foundation for good manners. Her classroom motto, "We should strive for excellence in everything we do!" is based on Mark 7:37: “And the people were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He (Jesus) has done all things well.’” Donna and her husband, Kevin, have four children, four grandchildren, and a Mastiff. Their twin sons and two grandchildren attend VCA.

Resource Teacher: Deborah Rastelli
Deborah Rastelli graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She joined VCA this past school year as the Resource Teacher and has a passion for working with children who learn differently. Studying and working with children who have learning differences has showed her the immense variety of ways in which people learn; she believes that each child is unique and their uniqueness is their gift. Deborah also teaches the first grade catechism class at her home church. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, coffee, music, dancing, and outdoor activities with her family.



Upper School Spiritual Mentor & Facilitator, The Gathering: Kimberly Powers
Kimberly Powers, Cofounder of Walk the Talk Youth Ministries, Inc. has been challenging and inspiring thousands of teens for more than seventeen years as a conference speaker, teen mentor, and radio and television guest. This is Kimberly Powers' 5th year at Veritas Christian Academy. As a mom, teacher, and now the facilitator of Veritas' monthly The Gathering, Kimberly's inspirational messages of hope, encouragement, and God's truth challenges teens to walk the talk of their faith. Kimberly and her husband, Tim, live in Virginia with their two sons, who both attend VCA.




Office

Office Secretary: Melissa Thompson
Melissa was born and raised in the Hampton Roads area. She now resides in the Chesapeake with her husband, daughter and two furry sons. She enjoys working at Veritas Christian Academy in the position of secretary, and has been blessed by the relationships with the teachers, students and families. She enjoys reading, bike riding and relaxing with her family.





Lunchroom Coordinator: Lisa Copeland
Lisa Copeland is a native of Chesapeake, Virginia, and enjoys living here with her three children. Together they like to do anything outdoors, and especially love the beach. Lisa also enjoys reading and helping children at Veritas get just what they need at lunch time.