Staff

Steve Schneiter – Administrator

Steve has been on his walk with the Lord for eleven years now. It all started with the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007. At that time, he was a professional in higher education, with 20 years of experience and his coursework completed for a Ph.D. in Education. Steve gave this up in 2009 to move back to New Philadelphia to take care of his mother, who died a year later from liver cancer. In 2010, Steve became the principal of what would become Grace Christian Academy. The Lord blessed him richly through the school by allowing him to meet his wife Katrina. They have a 3 year old son Caleb, a 21 month old daughter Shelby, and a nine month old son Joshua. Steve is excited to be serving the Lord as Principal at Northern Hills and looks forward to a great year.

Click for Interview with Courier Tribune Aug 9, 2018

Kristy Parks - 3 Year Old Preschool Teacher

Kristy Parks is looking forward to being the new 3 year old preschool teacher at Northern Hills. Kristy comes with 31 years of experience in early childhood education. She is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University and received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University. Kristy and her husband Jeff have been a part of the Kearney community for 26 years. They enjoy spending time with their 2 children and 3 grandkids. Kristy is an active member at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lawson, MO.


Traci Linder-Maloney – Preschool Teacher (4-5 yr olds)

My name is Traci Linder-Maloney and I am thrilled to be part of the family at NHCA. I will be teaching the pre-K 4 year old program this year. We have resided for the past 7 years in Smithville MO, moving from Garden City Kansas. This year I am celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my husband John and we have a 10 year old son Jack. We love engaging in sports with our son and are an avid track family along with baseball and basketball. My education background includes a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Development. I currently am studying with Truman State University to obtain my gifted teaching credentials and I am a special education certified teacher for Birth-3rd grade and an ESOL teacher for K-12. While living in Garden City Kansas I taught for USD 457 for 16 years. I taught science and mathematics to 6th graders for my first 5 years and then ventured into the early childhood world working in an integrated preschool classroom and as an early interventionist for families in the natural setting for 6 years. I piloted a science curriculum program for the district and served as their district science curriculum specialist. Following the completion of that assignment I worked as a third grade teacher for 2 years and as the creative writing teacher for grades K-4 for 2 years. Upon moving to Missouri I was blessed with the opportunity to be a SAHM for 3 years with my son before returning part time to work for Kearney school district for 3.5 years as a Parent Educator. In addition to working with PAT I worked for Joyful Noise preschool in the afternoons and this reignited my passion for teaching and I decided to resign my position as a parent educator and return to teaching when I was presented with the opportunity to join NHCA. I am thrilled to be a part of a fantastic early education team with a vast array of knowledge and experience serving in a God centered environment to best provide for our families at NHCA.

Bridget McDowell - Kindergarten Teacher

Hi there I am Bridget McDowell. I am teaching kindergarten, this will be my first year. I am so excited. I am a country girl born and raised in Vermont. I moves here 7 years ago for school and stayed since then. Over a year ago I met my fiance and we are getting married in Oct. God has blessed my life this past year and I can't wait to see what he does next.

Amy Ragsdale - 1st Grade Teacher

My name is Amy. I was born and raised in the small town of Kearney, about 25 minutes north of Kansas City. I was raised in a Christian home. For me, that meant church every Sunday morning, night, and Wednesday. I also attended a Christian school K-12th grade. Doing these things did not save me from my sin. When I was six years old, I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I was at home with my parents and brother. I remember my prayer almost word for word. I attended Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, FL. I majored in Education and minored in Bible. After graduation, I started teaching. I have taught for 16 years. I have taught pre-school all the way through 8th grade.

Sheila Schouten - 2nd Grade Teacher

Hi, my name is Sheila Schouten. I have taught a variety of elementary grades including Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fifth and a Fifth/Sixth combination. All of my experience has been in Christian Schools which I believe in very strongly. Four years ago I taught Second grade here at NHCA for 3 years. I have also home schooled my first daughter through the 8th grade. I have a Bachelors degree in Bible/Elementary Education from Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA. I have 24 credits towards my masters in Elementary Education as well. I also have an Associates Degree in Animal Science.

My family has just recently moved back to Missouri from New York so we are in the process of finding a church. I have been married to Gary for 32 years. We have two daughters. My oldest is Heather. She is 25 and has a degree in Music. She plays piano, violin, and sings. She works for a company called NuMotion in Kansas City and is the Assistant Director for the Kansas City Chorus which is a women's Barber Shop group. My youngest daughter, Ashley, is 17 and will be a senior at Northland Christian this year. She is very involved in sports playing volleyball, soccer, and her favorite basketball. I am so excited to be teaching here again and am looking forward to a great year of serving the Lord with your children.

Eva Smith - 3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Smith is excited to return to NHCA this year as 5th grade teacher. She earned her BA in elementary education from William Jewell College and has been in education since 1983 as a substitute, a home educator and as a 2nd & 3rd grade teacher at NHCA when it began in 2004.

Mrs. Smith has five children, all married, ten grandchildren, and two more in process, scheduled to arrive in 2018. Sadie, the golden retriever, is the only one still at home. Mrs. Smith has been a member of Northern Hills Baptist Church for 30 plus years. Mrs. Smith teaches High School Sunday School and Children’s Church. She also enjoys going to youth camp every summer.

Mrs. Smith’s favorite thing to do is be with family and friends. She loves snow, Colorado and traveling. She also likes to read, listen to music, watch football, hike in the mountains, ride the waverunner on the lake and eat out, specifically Indian food and Q-39. One of her favorite books is Safely Home by Randy Alcorn.

Amber Guldenpfennig - 4th Grade Teacher

Amber grew up in North Kansas City with her parents and four siblings. She was homeschooled by her mother from Kindergarten until 8th grade and then attended Faith Christian Academy for high school where she took part in theater and began working at her local church in Sunday School and Junior Church. After graduating she went to Calvary University where she studied Elementary Education, participated in multiple theater productions, and served as a tutor for a local Christian school.

After graduation, Amber worked as a Substitute Teacher in multiple districts and developed her costuming and artistic skills which she uses regularly within the classroom itself to help make every lesson fun and engaging.


Dani Smith - 5th Grade Teacher

My name is Dani Smith and I am the fifth grade teacher this year! I have an Interdisciplinary degree in Education, Language Arts, and Fine Arts from Liberty University. In addition to teaching at Northern Hills, I also teach English online to Chinese students through VIPKid every morning. My husband, myself and my 1.5 year old son moved here from Virginia in January to pursue our dream of creating a Skoolie, a converted full-time home out of a school bus! We bought our bus this summer and are actively working on it weekly to pursue our dream of tiny living and being able to travel! We currently attend Vineyard Church in Smithville, and are involved in the media departments and middle school ministries. We met at Liberty University as freshmen and recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this year. I am so excited to pour into my students this year and help them grow and learn more than ever!

Terri Walter - Special Education Teacher

Terri Walter is very excited to be a part of the NHCA staff this school year! She feels that it such a blessing to have this opportunity to work with the students and teachers at this school! She retired from Kearney School District in May, 2016 as a teacher with a total of 28 years of experience in Special Education. She previously taught in Kearney School District, Liberty Schools, and Kansas City School District. As a teacher in the Kearney School District, she was involved in after school tutoring, assisted with Special Olympics, and developed various friendship clubs including Bulldog Pack and Bulldog Buddies, which were designed for social skills enhancement. Kids Who Care was another friendship club that allowed the students to visit Westbrook Care Center residents to practice various social skills. Prior to teaching special education, she was an instructor at Sylvan Learning Center for 2 years and provided individualized instruction to students K-12. Terri received her BS in Elementary Education and Special Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education from NWMSU. After retiring in 2016, she began teaching preschool at Joyful Noise which is located at First United Methodist Church in Kearney and really enjoys working with the younger students.

Terri has been married to her husband for 33 wonderful years and they are very blessed to have 2 amazing sons. Her oldest son, who is 24, is currently a Special Education Teacher at NKC Schools. Her youngest son, who is 15 years of age, is currently a sophomore at Kearney High School. Her interests include spending time with her family, watching her sons participate in sports, traveling with her family, going to Royals games, and other outdoor activities. She attends First Baptist Church in Kearney and is looking forward to assisting with AWANAS and attending several Women’s Bible Studies this year!

Laura Veverka - 6th-8th Grade Teacher

Hi, my name is Laura Veverka and I will be teaching Middle School Science and Math. I was born and raised in the small town of Lawson, Mo. My husband Travis and I, of 20 years, have made Lawson our home to raise our three girls: Lilly, Cassie and Elaina. I completed my Associates of Arts at Maple Woods Community College, a Bachelors of Science in Geoscience at UMKC, UMKC is where I also did all my Masters course work. I traveled several places while in Grad School working on scientific discovery and archaeology. I taught for 5 years at Maple Woods Community College as an Adjunct Professor. In 2014 I decided to stay home and start educating my own children. My family and I attend VCU Church where I am currently the Children’s Church Director, Women’s Ministry leader and Event Planner. I also help teach at Lawson Baptist with their AWANAS program. I have been called to teach since I was a young child and I have let the Lord lead me where he has called me to go.

Leah Lewis - 6-8th Grade Language Arts Teacher

Hello, my name is Leah Lewis, and I am so excited to be working at NHCA! I am a passionate follower of Jesus, and love Him with every fiber of my being. I am married to my high school sweetheart and best friend, Landon, and we have a silly one year old named Joseph, who fills our hearts with endless joy. I am a Texas girl at heart, but I reside in Lawson, where I attend Lawson Assembly of God Church. I received my teaching degree at Park University for middle school education, with concentrations in language arts and social studies. I have such a huge heart and God-given passion for middle school students, and I have experience working with them for over five years. I am heavily involved in my church, and serve in areas like teaching Sunday school, youth ministry, and leader of the 6-8th grade girls.

I absolutely love spending time with my family, reading my bible, writing, watching movies, being outside, caffeinated beverages, messy buns, and laughter.

Jeff Parks - Bible, Middle School History and Gifted Teacher

Jeff Parks is currently the pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lawson, MO, and for the past 30 years he has taught primarily at the middle school level in Liberty and Kearney Public Schools. Jeff has been married to his wife Kristy for 31 years and they have two children, Jordan and Kaitlyn. Jeff and Kristy also have three grandchildren, Josiah, Harper, and Megan.

Karen Evans - Speech and Drama Teacher

As a teacher in Marceline High School for 12 years, during my tenure, I taught seventh grade literature, eighth grade writing, journalism, public speaking, drama, and ninth grade English. Outreach Christian School in Avondale, Mo., hired me to teach public speaking and drama. I assisted teen girls with online school at Teen Challenge International. Now God is blessing me with a position at Northern Hills. I am a 1983 graduate of University of Central Missouri, plus earned my teacher certification requirements at Central Methodist University, Fayette, Mo. I earned 32 hours of graduate credit in speech communication at University of Central Missouri.

Megan Lukehart - High School

I grew up in many different places from Spain to Hawaii and Ohio to Florida as we traveled with my father's military career, but made Kearney our permanent home. I studied child and family development in college; teaching and families have always been passions of mine. I love to read, craft, camp, and spend time with my family exploring Kansas City.

Laurie Rothwell - Art Teacher

I am first a daughter...a King’s daughter. I get my creativity from him...who knows...I might look a little like him. I hope so!

I am a very blessed and thankful wife. I am a mama to 8 kids. All but one have grown up and started their own lives. Kaeden is 11 so it will be a few more years...like 20 or so!

We have, as of now 3 grandbabies. They are absolutely some of the bests parts of our lives.

I love cooking, working in my flowerbeds, decorating and entertaining. But my favorite is painting...art of all sorts...and teaching others to create art.

I have my own business, Pieces of My Art. I started it in 2011. I taught art to kids in my home. I now travel around the KC area as well as at my own studio and teach and encourage others...ages 4 to 104 that painting is good for the heart. And anyone can make something beautiful.

Kelly Nickles - Music Teacher

I have been married to my husband, Larry for 36 years. We have 3 grown children. We are members at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. I have a BS in music from William Jewell College, and have taught private lessons or group classes for over 25 years. I also directed musical/plays for KHCT for over 20 years.

Glenda Gramling - Administrative Assistant

Glenda lives in Lawson, Missouri. She graduated from Polo High School in 1998. She then attended Martinez School of Cosmetology and has worked as a cosmetologist for 16 years. Glenda has been married to Todd Gramling for 10 years and has one daughter, Bree who is 5 years old and is attending Kindergarten here at NHCA, and expecting her son in November 2017. Glenda is also a member at Lawson Bible Church in Lawson, Missouri. Glenda is active in her church with the communication teams. Glenda enjoys spending her free time with her family.

Debbie Michael - School Librarian

I have been married to my husband, Steve for 48 years. Kids have always been the joy of my life - from my own kids to church kids, grandkids and now school kids. I love my life.