Anthony Dreesen Writing Lab Instructor
Ken Kovarik Middle School History
Bible
Kara Atkinson Middle School English and Writing
Wendy Bjornsen Middle School/High School Media Receptionist
Shawn Bertholf Middle School Science
Sean Willingham Physical Education
Larry Hoxie Middle School Principal
Dana Cordell Middle School Bible

    Dana Cordell  |  Middle School Bible

Psychology/sociology teacher Barbara Williams has a passion for both her profession and the subject she teaches.

“I had a beloved teacher in high school that dearly loved teaching and loved her students. She impressed me so much that I developed that same loving desire to teach,” recounted Mrs. Williams.

She also explained why she loves the subjects she instructs in, especially sociology: “I was drawn to sociology first of all in college. I had a fascination with learning about subjects with a social nature, for example classes in society, industrial psychology, juvenile delinquency… I gobbled up so many sociology courses in college that I soon had a major in that area.”

After earning her B.A. in sociology from UNC Asheville, Mrs. Williams pursued a teaching certificate from Meredith College. She has taught history and criminal justice as well as her current subjects, psychology and sociology. She likes what she currently teaches the best because of how much it interests her as well as how it can benefit her students.

“Many aspects of psychology and sociology can be very personal and lead to a better understanding of our world and of ourselves,” said Mrs. Williams, “Each year I try to challenge my students to take these courses very personally, putting themselves in the pages of their textbooks so that they will gain a better understanding of themselves, the people closest to them, their community, and the world.”

Mrs. Williams also demonstrated how taking her course is helpful for students whether or not they want to pursue a career in a field that relates to psychology or sociology.

“Psychology and sociology are general survey courses that give our students a background in these subjects,” she stated, “Students will gain a general knowledge that will help them get off to a good start when they take these subjects in college, as many college degrees require one or both of these subjects.”

When she’s not helming psychology/sociology class, Mrs. Williams loves to spend time with her husband of forty-three years, Tom, their three adult children, and their three grandchildren. Additionally, Mrs. Williams loves Romeo, her “teddy bear” of a dog  whose hobby is watching television.

Mrs. Williams may love being able to delve into fascinating subjects everyday, but for her, the best part of teaching is reconnecting with her past students. She said, “The most rewarding aspects of teaching for me is seeing our graduates return to Wake Christian Academy and hearing about their life journeys.”

 

Karen Tew Middle School Science
Vicki Scott High School Science
Middle School Fine Arts
High School Fine Arts

    Vicki Scott  |  High School Science
    Middle School Fine Arts
    High School Fine Arts

Heidi Reid Middle School Math
Patricia Mooney Media Center Specialist

    Patricia Mooney  |  Media Center Specialist

Media Center specialist Patricia Mooney has served the middle and high school students of Wake Christian Academy for what will be seven years now, helping them grow into ravenous readers and lifelong learners.Mrs. Mooney earned a degree in Speech/Elementary Education from the State University of New York in New Paltz, New York. Before working in the Media Center, she was a substitute teacher here at Wake Christian.

She said of her current position, “My main focus in my job is to help students do research and to help them find books that will interest them. I enjoy finding books for students that will spark an interest in reading.”

Mrs. Mooney loves getting to know her students and stated that she feels most rewarded when students “come into the Media Center excited about a book, and I am able to point them towards similar books.”

Involvement with Wake Christian Academy has been a family affair for Mrs. Mooney. Her youngest son, Caleb, attended Wake Christian from kindergarten to senior year and now studies at NC State University. Mrs. Mooney has two other adult children with her husband of thirty-eight years as well as three “darling” grandchildren, in her words!

Outside of the Media Center, Mrs. Mooney loves volunteering in her church. She shared, “I enjoy singing on the praise team and in the choir at my church as well as working with Awanas and helping in Vacation Bible School.”

Mrs. Mooney certainly loves to serve and is a great role model in the Media Center!

Todd Medlin Band Director
Sonya Massengill High School English
English Department Chair

    Sonya Massengill  |  High School English
    English Department Chair

English department head Sonya Massengill, who received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, English Education, from NC State University, teaches junior and senior English classes and enjoys it immensely.

“Teaching allowed me to balance family and career — and spend my days immersed in subjects that I love,” she elaborated, adding, “There’s always more to learn about the craft of teaching.”

Before being employed at Wake Christian, Dr. Massengill taught voice at UNC-Chapel Hill as well as private voice lessons. When her children grew older, she decided to try teaching middle school English.

“I loved middle school,” she explained, “But an experience performing with Christian Youth Theatre led to my interest in working with older students.”

Now she instructs the eldest students at Wake Christian Academy in literature and writing. In addition, she teaches first-year writing at Campbell University.

For Dr. Massengill, the most rewarding part of teachings is “when a student suddenly discovers a love for literature or begins to develop as a writer — well, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

She also tries to help her students understand the social and moral contexts of the works they study and then view those works through a Christian lens.

Dr. Massengill explained, “One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Carlyle: ‘Literature is but a branch of religion, and always participates in its character.’  I want students to see literature as a reflection of the culture, including its religious and philosophical developments. It’s important to understand what a writer is trying to say, but that’s only the first step. Students then need to weigh those ideas in light of a Christian worldview.”

 

Justin Everett High School English

    Justin Everett  |  High School English

Wake Christian Academy has been blessed with many amazing teachers, and English teacher Mary Ann Martin is one of them. Say her name, and students’ faces automatically light up!

Mrs. Martin has worked at Wake Christian for almost twenty-seven years. She has worked with a variety of grade levels and has even taught science, and currently she teaches tenth grade English as well as one tenth grade Bible class. She has been married to her husband Ricky, a retired captain with the Wake County Sheriff’s Department, for thirty-four years, and their two children, Barrett and Brittney, both graduated from Wake Christian.

In addition to instructing her students, Mrs. Martin somehow finds time to be a High School Student Council Sponsor and a Senior Class Sponsor. She balances many roles at the school but says she finds her reward in her “former students and… how God has directed their lives.”

“I think the most rewarding aspect of teaching is seeing students mature and function as Christians in life,” she explains.

Mrs. Martin had “always wanted to be a teacher” and remembers, “I taught my dolls and even taught my brother phonics.”

She’s now teaching ideas a little more advanced than phonics — high school English, her “favorite” subject, and the vocabulary, grammar, and literature that comes with it. Mrs. Martin states, “Of course, I emphasize proper grammar and a love of reading.”

But one aspect of Mrs. Martin that makes her students love her is her attention to their spiritual needs as well. She explains, “I also want my students to see the importance of making good choices that will help them to honor God in all they do. I try to be a good listener because students have real problems, and they want to talk to someone. I want to give them good godly advice and to encourage them.”

This attitude is why Mrs. Martin has so much success with her students. Perhaps this quote from Mrs. Martin sums her up best: “ I can honestly say that I love my students!”

Michael Manning High School English
Paula Henson Middle School History

    Paula Henson  |  Middle School History

Paula Henson teaches history because she has “always enjoyed learning from the past.”

She loves her role educating Wake Christian Academy’s seventh and eighth graders about United States history. Mrs. Henson attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned bachelor’s degrees in both History and Bible as well as a minor in Education.

“I have always enjoyed learning and communicating to others what I had learned, much to the dismay of my younger brother,” she said, “I got a chalkboard for Christmas one year, and the rest is history.”

Mrs. Henson’s students especially like learning about World War II and current events. She gives them unique projects to show them that history can be exciting.

“Last year, my students had debates on the best president,” she recounted, “They were passionate about their assigned president and very competitive. Many unpopular presidents made it to the final four.”

Outside the classroom, Mrs. Henson enjoys spending time with her husband and son as well as reading and crafting. Inside the classroom, she impresses on the middle schoolers that they must be responsible in their academic lives.

“I try to teach my students that assignments that look hard to tackle are easy when you have a plan and don’t procrastinate,” she said.

Mrs. Henson cherishes watching her students grow in their understanding of the past.

“I love when a student connects one fact with another,” she said, “I love when they can anticipate how a new fact fits into history.”

Laura Glas Middle School History
Technology Integration

    Laura Glas  |  Middle School History
    Technology Integration

Laura Glas grew up in a southwestern Michigan city called Kalamazoo.  Since second grade, she’s known she wanted to be a teacher.  After taking her field placement tests, Miss Glas found her niche in teaching middle school. She also recognizes that critical thinking skills are imperative in her day-to-day teaching and in student’s lives as a whole.

“Middle schoolers are old enough to start developing critical thinking skills, and that makes every day something new and different.  It keeps me on my toes,” she stated.

Miss Glas has found teaching at Wake Christian Academy to be better than she could have ever expected, and she said, “The entire school family is so supporting and welcoming which can make teaching a lot easier.”

David Jeffreys Elementary/Middle School Assistant Principal
Campus Pastor

    David Jeffreys  |  Elementary/Middle School Assistant Principal
    Campus Pastor

Lindsay Myrick High School and Middle School Bible

    Lindsay Myrick  |  High School and Middle School Bible

Norma Fincher Elementary Music
Middle and High School Orchestra

    Norma Fincher  |  Elementary Music
    Middle and High School Orchestra

Music teacher Norma Fincher has instructed at Wake Christian Academy for twenty-six years. She received her bachelor’s degree in Religion and Biblical Education from Luther Rice College and Seminary in Georgia. Currently, she is the general music teacher for grades K-5 and the strings orchestra director for grades 4-12. She revealed that her interest in teaching was sparked at a young age.

“I have four younger sisters and feel like I have been teaching all my life,” Ms. Fincher recounted, “It’s what God made natural for me.”

Ms. Fincher finds the most rewarding part of her occupation to be “when a student comes back later and continues the relationship we have started, or when a student who has been in my classes uses their musical talent for the Lord, or when a parent writes and thanks me for the difference I have made in their child’s life.”

She also has a “policy to be transparent” with her students.

“My desire has been for them to see how things should be done by one who loves the Lord — whether they are pleasant or unpleasant experiences,” she said. Ms. Fincher has two “favorite quotes” she especially likes to share with her students: “God’s ways are always best, and He loves me no matter what happens in my life” and “It doesn’t matter so much what happens to you; it’s how you react to what happens that makes the difference.”

But Ms. Fincher hasn’t just preached to her students without letting them see the trials she has gone through in her life.

“I have been suffering from hand problems for the past few years which has taken me out of the music ministry,” she disclosed, “So God has allowed me to change direction in my focus. Travel, art and church history, collecting, photography, and books are my interests.”

Most of all, Ms. Fincher loves that her students gain invaluable music skills under her tutelage and can continue to use their abilities to serve the Lord.

She said, “For my instrumental students, they can play a violin, viola, cello, bass, or the piano, and that is a rare talent these days! The general music students… are equipped to be involved in any musical program at school, church or the community. Music is truly a God-given gift in an international language.”

 

Gayle Davis Art

    Gayle Davis  |  Art

Art teacher Gayle Davis may have one of the most fun jobs at Wake Christian Academy.

She has taught art at the school for over ten years, and on she stated she has “learned so much from the students and the art that they produce. Each one is blessed with wonderful talents from the Lord.”

Ms. Davis said, “I have always been interested in teaching. I had opportunities to teach in Vacation Bible School and tutor in high school.”

These leanings led to her studying education at Bob Jones University, and the fact that she “[loved] to create” drew her to teaching art. Now, she shares her love of drawing, painting, and sculpting with Wake Christian students from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

Ms. Davis has four children, one of whom, Preston, graduated from Wake Christian in May of 2015.

Whether she is working with an elementary schooler or high schooler, Ms. Davis finds her reward in “guiding and watching students create a piece of art that they never thought would become a success become a success.”

This past year, her older classes focused on impressionism. They deepened their understandings of the movement through many projects, which “[seemed] to cement the excitement about the subject or artists” being studied, in Ms. Davis’ words.

But the students do not solely learn about the secular aspects of art as Ms. Davis is able to integrate faith into the classroom. She expounded that she focuses on “the preface that we are created by the great Creator God to create beauty to glorify Him. As artists we see the world differently and must express what we see and feel as a gift to the Lord.”

 

Karen Cox High School English

    Karen Cox  |  High School English

Wake Christian Academy strives to envelop each student as family. A veteran teacher now in her twelfth year, Karen Cox doesn’t want to teach anywhere else than Wake Christian Academy. The family atmosphere and the servant-hearted leadership is something she greatly enjoys about Wake Christian.

Connecting with her middle school students is very important to Mrs. Cox. She tries to relate to them on a personal level.

“I connect with my students through simply talking with them,” she explained.

In an effort to get them to open up, she often shares facts about her own life. Teaching is an exciting way to learn more about student’s lives, engaging them not only in the classroom setting but listening to them and learning with them.

Elizabeth Collins Middle School Math
Susan Burke High School Choirs
Fine Arts Director

    Susan Burke  |  High School Choirs
    Fine Arts Director

Susan Burke is the high school Fine Arts Director at Wake Christian Academy, and she helms the high school chorus, chorale, and elementary chorus. After graduating college with a major in vocal performance, Mrs. Burke began work in the business field as an insurance agent and then decided to be a stay-at-home mom for five years after she had children.

When her children began school at Wake Christian Academy, she heard that the school was looking for someone to lead the elementary chorus. After accepting the position, Mrs. Burke was also given the opportunity to teach computer at Wake Christian, and most recently she started directing the high school chorus and chorale.

Her strongest motivation for teaching is that she wants to make a difference in the lives of young people, and she finds it extremely important to incorporate Biblical teachings into her classes. As her students sing spiritual music, she revels in the fact that they can meditate on what the lyrics of the songs mean.

Mrs. Burke also does her best to connect with her students mainly by getting to know them one on one. She has been teaching for fifteen years and hopes and prays that she will be able to continue teaching for many more because of her passion for the field as well as her desire to mold the lives of her students and help them grow.

Kellie Auerweck Middle School English

    Kellie Auerweck  |  Middle School English

Sixth grade English and writing teacher Kellie Auerweck guides students during what may be the hardest time in their scholastic careers, the transition from elementary to middle school.

“I enjoy the small moments and the day-to-day progress, but it’s so rewarding at the end of the year to see the total growth, whether it’s in reading, learning how to study for a test, learning more about Christ, or socially maturing,” she stated.

Mrs. Auerweck, who received her Bachelor’s in Education from UNC-Greensboro, has taught almost every subject in the fifth, sixth, and eighth grades. Regarding her current position, she said, “Every year is a little different due to constantly redoing lesson plans, changing the order of grammar units to meet the needs of the students, and evaluating literature.”

She elaborated that “literature is the heartbeat of our English classes” as well as the part of class that excites her students the most. Mrs. Auerweck tries to stress to her students that “English and writing are not just about books and writing; it’s the lessons that we learn from the characters in books…”

“I love discussing with the students… what God’s Word says about how a character’s predicament and how to problem solve,” she added.

Mrs. Auerweck also tries to show how what she teaches applies to real life.

“For example, why grammar is important in a job application and how vital it is to communicate effectively through oral and written language,” she explained.

Additionally, Mrs. Auerweck helps her students learn how to handle situations maturely.

“Sixth grade is an age where it is key to learn compassion and patience with others,” she stated, “Teachable moments are many when counseling a student individually or collectively when other people and their feeling are involved. I try also to follow up after chapels to ensure understanding and to answer any questions that were not answered at that time.”

Mrs. Auerweck loves spending time with her family whether it be attending her son’s soccer games or taking a trip to the beach. In her free time, she enjoys decorating and gardening. She is a kind and caring teacher who pays special attention to meeting her students’ needs, both academic and spiritual.

Randy Johnson Athletic Director
Chad Robbins Athletic Administrative Assistant

    Chad Robbins  |  Athletic Administrative Assistant

If your student has participated in athletics here at Wake Christian Academy, or if you have attended any sporting event, chances are you have had the pleasure of interacting with Robynne Brown, the Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director. Serving in this role for the past eight years, Mrs. Brown was first a substitute teacher here and now manages a multitude of schedules, athletes, and coaches.

Robynne received her Associate of Arts Degree from Louisburg College. Robynne’s husband, Donnie Sr, graduated from Wake Christian in 1986 and desired that their children, Donnie II and Dillon, to attend his alma mater. Their sons, who are now in their twenties, attended the school from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

In her spare time, Robynne enjoys spending time with her family on the boat or at the beach, watching baseball, and coaching the Junior Bulldog Cheerleaders in the summer. The Browns have attended Midway Baptist Church for the past twenty-four years.

“I love the family atmosphere here at Wake Christian,” said Robynne, “I love cheering on the athletes and watching them succeed in sports. It’s great to see so many Wake Christian alumni who are still involved with the school and are now sending their kids here.

“To parents considering Wake Christian Academy for their children, I would say this school has it all — a quality education, a Christian atmosphere, competitive athletics, great coaches, and well-mannered children. I am amazed and humbled by God’s grace and goodness. He continues to bring the most wonderful families to our school!”

 

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