Laura Veverka - Administrator/Middle School Teacher
Hi, my name is Laura Veverka and I am the new Administrator for NHCA. I will also be teaching the upper Math classes for the upcoming school year. I was born and raised in the small town of Lawson, Mo. My husband Travis and I, of 23 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, and a Bachelor of Science in Geoscience at UMKC, UMKC is where I also did all my Masters course work. I traveled to several places while in Grad School working on scientific discovery and archaeology. I taught for five years at Maple Woods Community College as an Adjunct Professor. In 2014 I decided to stay home and start educating my children. My family and I attend VCU Church where I currently am the Children’s Church Director, Women’s Ministry Leader, and Event Planner. I have been blessed to be a part of the NHCA family for the last three years, as a teacher and on the Administrative Team, and look forward to serving many more.
Cheryl Simmons - Administrative Assistant
Cheryl Simmons returned from retirement to serve as our Principal for the 2020 & 2021 school years. Cheryl served as NHCA's Administrative Assistant from 2004-2017 and knows much about the history, culture, operation and needs of the school. Before joining the NHCA family for her "second career", she spent 25 plus years in the travel industry working as a travel agent, automation instructor and customer service supervisor for a major airline corporation.. Cheryl has a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia and did some post graduate work in education prior to entering the travel industry.
Cheryl has been married to her husband Randy for 46 years and they have two sons Jesse and Nathan, two daughters-in-law Nicole and Noelle, and four perfect granddaughters, Aubrey, Brennan, Isabelle and Dillon. Cheryl is always very involved with her church, Northern Hills Baptist, and the school! She still loves to travel, walk, read, be involved in Bible study, and spend time with her biological, church and school families!
Terri Walter - Special Education Teacher
Terri Walter is looking forward to her sixth year of teaching at Northern Hills Christian Academy, after retiring from the Kearney School District!! She has also enjoyed teaching preschool for 5 years at Joyful Noise Preschool, after retiring. Terri Walter has previously taught in various schools including the Kearney School District, Liberty Schools, and Kansas City Schools and has been teaching for a total of 36 years in special education.
Terri Walter was also very involved in developing and implementing various social programs for social skills enhancement, self-esteem, and friendship skills while teaching at Southview Elementary for 17 years. Terri also enjoyed many years of individualized tutoring and assisting with Special Olympics after school. Terri received her B. S. Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education and also a Master’s Degree in Special Education from NWMSU.
Terri has been married to her husband for 37 wonderful years and they are blessed to have 2 sons. Her oldest son is currently a Special Education Teacher at NKC Schools and her youngest son is currently involved in broadcasting for ESPN and other sports related events. Mrs. Walter’s interests include spending time with her family, listening to her son broadcasting various sports related activities on ESPN, traveling, and going to Royals and KC Chiefs games. She is so excited to be part of such an amazing team and to serve in a God centered school to provide the best education for our NHCA families!!
Stephanie Knoche – PreK4 Teacher
Stephanie Knoche is joining the NHCA staff as our Pre-K teacher. Stephanie has a Bachelor's Degree in Christian Education and is particularly interested in teaching lower elementary children. Teaching is her passion and in her life she has homeschooled her own children, taught in various children's ministries and has also taught at NHCA in the past and another Christian school in the area. Stephanie says that watching children learn to love Jesus is one of her greatest joys.
Stacey Zarges – PreK4 Teacher
Stacey Zarges is excited to be returning to NHCA as a Pre-K 4 teacher. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Education and enjoys teaching students about the Bible and about God’s love for them.
She accepted Christ at an early age and has worked in children’s ministries since her teens. She has taught Middle school at NHCA and has a passion for Christian education.
Stacey homeschooled her two daughters, has taught Sunday school, Backyard Bible clubs, Awana, VBS, Nursing home ministry, homeschool co-op classes, served in nursery, and various other church ministries.
Stacey teaches with a christian worldview and will always apply Biblical truth to the lesson, along with application to our lives.
Courtney Curry – PreK4 Teacher, PE Teacher
Hello there, my name is Courtney Curry, and I have the pleasure to be a part of such a huge mission and vision this year with NHCA!
As I searched and prayed to provide a powerful educational setting for my son God and his people not only made it possible for him to learn and grow here but I am also able to be a part of this place in a positive impactful kind of way! I simply love where our Father in Heaven places me in this world and fulfilling my calling, my purpose daily, knowing it’s a part of Gods plan!
This 2022/2023 school year I will be following Mrs. Mcrary’s lead as a PE instructor for a few hours a week and then end my days with all the Pre K, kiddos! What a delight, truly!
My journey began working with kids and families at a young age; working alongside my mother in our community. I soon fell in love with people of all kinds and learned how valuable Life and community can be as we follow and believe. This passion and calling in my life really took off in 2003 in Asheville, NC and it carried me into a beautiful and powerful college experience at Ferrum College, in Ferrum VA. This is where I studied and grew in the recreation and leisure field with the emphasis of outdoor rec. connecting with our outdoor world and a minor in journalism, learning the power of words and how to use them especially Gods word.
During my college career and many years after I worked with kids and families in outdoor summer camps, overnight and day camps, before and after school care, community parks and rec programs, preschool classes, organizing special events and so much more for almost 20 years now.
So, So thankful for this Life we live and all we get to be a part of!
Bridget McDowell - Kindergarten Teacher
Hi there I am Bridget McDowell. This will be my second year teaching. I am so excited. I am a country girl born and raised in Vermont. I moves here 8 years ago for school and stayed since then. Over a year ago I met my husband and my step daughter. We got our first dog a year ago and he has brought so much laughter into our home. God has blessed my life this past year and I can't wait to see what he does next.
Kristy Parks - 1st Grade Teacher
Kristy Parks is serving as the resource teacher for NHCA after retiring from the Kearney School District. She has 32 years of experience in early childhood and elementary 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 27 years. They enjoy spending time with their 2 children and 4 grandkids. Kristy is an active member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lawson, MO.
Sheila Schouten - 2nd Grade Teacher
Sheila Schouten has taught in a variety of elementary classrooms including homeschooling her children within the last 30 years. All of her education experiences have been in christian schools. Sheila holds a Bachelor's degree in Bible/Elementary Education from Baptist Bible College, now known as Summit University in Clarks Summit, PA. She also has 24 credits toward her Masters in Elementary Education, as well as an Associates Degree in Animal Science, with which she was a dairy farmer for several years.
Sheila is a member of Faith Community Church in Kansas City, and has two daughters, Heather and Ashley. Heather has a degree in Music Performance and credits toward a Masters in Choral Conducting. She teaches the Secondary Choirs at Faith Christian Academy, is the Associate Director of the Kansas City Chorus of Sweet Adelines, sings in a Barbershop quartet, and directs a choir for individuals with disabilities in KC named Tota Voces. Ashley is a Senior at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, finishing her Bachelor's in Athletic Training. She plans to begin her Masters next year in the same degree.
Jeanette Wright - 3rd Grade Teacher
Jeanette Wright joined the NHCA Staff in 2020 as the 3rd grade teacher. She is excited about this opportunity to share the Love of Christ with her students in a Christian School setting.
Jeanette and her husband, Larry, have been married since 1976. They met while students at Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, Ks. Jeanette holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bible/Christian Service from Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, Ks. She also studied at Kansas State University in the areas of Human Ecology and Mass Communications. Jeanette took classes through Highland Community College and Emporia State University in Early Childhood Education. She has taught and directed in private Christian Preschools in Kansas, and completed training in Montessori Education. She had the honor of helping start a state licensed Christian Preschool at a church in Leavenworth, serving as both the Director and Lead Teacher. After moving to Kearney, Jeanette worked part-time at the Kearney branch of the Mid-Continent Library. Her main responsibility was planning and implementing the Children’s Story-Time and related events. Jeanette worked for 15 years as a substitute teacher for the Kearney School District, teaching in classes K-7. This included many long-term substitute positions in the regular classroom plus Library and Special Education.
The Wright’s have served churches in Kansas and Missouri all their years together. They moved to Kearney in 2000, and currently are meeting as a home church with Holt Christian Church. They have four adult children, three of whom are married, and nine grandchildren who are all serving the Lord and learning of His love and purpose in their lives.
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. She looks forward to starting her second year of teaching at Northern Hills Christian Academy!
Deanna Gilliam - 4th Grade Teacher
My name is Deanna Gilliam and I am so excited to be one of the 4th grade teachers at NHCA. I hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree from MO State University in Springfield. I have taught children in many different capacities for over 30 years. My experience is broad and I have had many opportunities to work with children from preschool to young adults. I have always had a passion for teaching and working with children. I am looking forward to connecting with my students and teaching them the love and ways of Jesus helping them reach their full potential in Christ.
I have been married to my loving husband Jesse Gilliam for 26 years. He serves as the pastor at Lawson Baptist Church where we have been members for 18 years. Jesse and I have 4 children. Isabelle is 20 and studying mechanical engineering at Washington University in St Louis. Olivia is 18 and will be attending Northwest MO State in Maryville to study education. Clara is 13 and will be entering 8th grade and Samuel is 8 and and will be entering 3rd grade.
In my spare time, I love to read, journal, organize, and spend time with my friends and family. I also love hosting people in my home to share the love of Jesus and connect on a more intimate level.
Eva Smith - 5th Grade Teacher
Occasionally a student will accidentally call a teacher “Mom” which has happened in my classes. Recently a student called me “Grandma” which is an indication that I have taught for a long time.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from William Jewell College in 1983. While I was in college my dad asked if I knew anything about home education. I had never heard of home education, so I did a research paper about the movement for one of my classes. A few years later I began to teach my five children at home and continued that for more than twenty years. I never imagined that God would give me my dream of teaching in a classroom until Northern Hills Christian Academy opened in 2004, just around the corner. I brought my two youngest children to school and began teaching third grade. I also taught second and fifth grade. In 2021 I completed the Orton Gillingham training and worked as a reading specialist.
In addition to teaching I also enjoy meeting new friends, hearing people’s stories, eating good food, particularly Indian food and ice cream, skiing and hiking in Colorado, reading, singing with worship music and hymns, and visiting my kids and sixteen grandkids in various parts of the country.
When I was eight years old, Jesus called me to follow Him and He is faithfully completing the work that He started.
It is a gift from God to be back at Northern Hills Christian Academy teaching fifth grade.
Jeff Parks - Middle School/ACE Teacher
Jeff Parks teaches Bible at the middle school and ACE at NHCA. Jeff has been at NHCA since the fall of 2017. He has a B.S. in Elementary Education (grades 1-8), B.S. in Physical Education (secondary level), and a Master’s Degree in Education from Webster University. Before coming to NHCA, Jeff taught for approximately 30 years in the Liberty and Kearney school districts, primarily at the middle school level.
Jeff is also currently the pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lawson, MO and on the board of directors for Indigenous Church Strategies where he also helps train pastors in the remote areas of Oaxaca, Mexico. Jeff has been married to his wife Kristy for 30 plus years and they have two children, Jordan and Kaitlyn. Jeff and Kristy also have four grandchildren, Josiah, Harper, Megan, and Audrey.
Rosanne Briscoe - Middle School Teacher
Rosanne Briscoe will be joining the NHCA staff this year, teaching Social Studies and Math in the middle school. Rosanne grew up on a farm in Michigan. She accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of 11. While in high school she served as a counselor at a mission camp for disadvantaged youth called Youth Haven. At Youth Haven, she met her husband, Jerry, who was training to be a pastor. They have been married for 46 years and have four married children and eleven grandchildren.
Rosanne earned a BA in Sociology from Culver-Stockton College in 1976. For 25 years she served alongside her husband, who pastored two churches in Indiana and Missouri. After sensing God’s call to overseas mission work among missionary children, Rosanne returned to college and earned a BA in Elementary Education from Buena Vista University. She taught kindergarten and first grade in La Plata, Missouri, before moving to the Philippines. Rosanne taught middle school for thirteen years at Faith Academy in Manila, an international school primarily for the children of missionaries working in Asia. After retiring from the mission field in 2019, Jerry and Rosanne moved to Kearney. They are members of Northern Hills Baptist Church, and Rosanne has been volunteering as a substitute teacher the past two years at NHCA.
Cassandra Hutchison - Middle School Teacher
Hi, my name is Cassandra Hutchison, and I will be teaching Middle School Language Arts, Science and French this year at NHCA. Though this is my first year teaching at the school, many of you may know me from my role as NHCA’s cheerleading coach. This will be my 5th year coaching Patriot Cheerleading.
My roots are in Kearney, MO, where I attended Kearney schools in kindergarten through 12th grade. I didn’t stray too far from home and now live in Holt with my husband, Brint, and my three daughters, Grace, Arielle and Trinity. When I am with my family, you will often find us playing board games, watching movies together, and singing and dancing to music in our kitchen. In our house, there is so much singing and dancing life might as well be a musical!
I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Psychology and Minor in Religion from Park University. My degree helped to make me well rounded in the areas of literature, religion, philosophy, history, the arts and humanities. I studied French for 7 years in school and I am excited to give Middle School students the opportunity to learn this foreign language and broaden their horizons. I have completed 48 hours in undergraduate Biblical Studies and Ministry courses and have spent the last 14 years in Children’s and Youth Ministry in local churches. I am passionate about leading children and youth to a greater understanding of God and a relationship with Him and look forward to extending this passion to teaching a biblical worldview at NHCA.
Megan Lukehart - High School (ACE) Teacher
Mrs. Megan Lukehart is in her second year this year of leading our ACE program for our High School students. She has her Bachelor's of Science in Child and Family Development, and is passionate about educating each student according to his or her needs. Family is very important to Megan; she finds the connection between school and home life to be absolutely imperative and enjoys building those links in the classroom. Outside of school, Megan enjoys spending time with her family on outdoor adventures, she loves thrift stores and traveling, and keeps herself busy with random projects from knitting and reading to chickens and gardening!
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.
Meg Miller - Art Teacher
Meg, her husband Chuck and their two kids, Ruby and Race, are Kearney residents who enjoy dirt biking, camping and other outdoor activities. Megan loves to read, write and create. They are members of Northern Hills Baptist Church.
Megan graduated from K-State with a degree in Journalism/ Public Relations and a focus in art. Her sculpture teacher told her she should major in art, but she had other plans at the time. She is happy to be putting the skills the Lord gave her to use at NHCA and hopes to encourage a love of art and creating in your kids.
Meghan McCrary - PE
My name is Meghan McCrary and I'm excited to be back at NHCA teaching PE this year. I have been a part of NHCA in some form for the last few years. I love the passion NHCA teachers have to speak Truth into the lives of students here. My husband and I are very involved at Pisgah Baptist Church and have a desire to teach our two children His Word under His grace. I am a certified K-12 Art teacher and have taught at South Callaway Public School for five years prior to being married. I also have a masters degree in Athletic Directing and for many years coached middle school/high school basketball and track. While in college I was blessed to be a part of Centrifuge summer camps here in the states and overseas. I became a Recreation Director my last two years with Fuge and I loved being able to share the Gospel using sports and recreation with students of all ages.
Justin Culp - School Librarian