ADMINISTRATION

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TRACEY WALTER

Head of Grammar School

Preschool Director

1st Grade Core Teacher

Mrs. Walter has been with the Liberty Classical Academy since 2008 and assumed the role of Preschool Director in the 2011. She will also be the Kindergarten teacher beginning the 2020-2021 school season.. She received her B.A. in History from the University of Wales-Swansea, U.K. in 1998 before moving to Glenwood Springs to work with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and married Deric Walter. She spent 5-years working alongside major community and business leaders at the chamber before giving birth to their first child and changing her vocation to ‘mother’. She then worked from home with CLEER a few hours a week. With this new focus in life of being a mother, Mrs. Walter began seeking wisdom from teacher-friends and mentors as she and her husband considered various educational opportunities. After selecting Liberty Classical Academy and enrolling their first child, Mrs. Walter accepted many opportunities to substitute teach and increase her own love for learning until she eventually accepted an assistant position in the Preschool. Since then, Mrs. Walter has completed her ECE 101 and 103 courses and thoroughly enjoys educating Preschool students and edifying their families.

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MOLLY NOEL

Grammar / Logic Music (T/F)

Molly Noel is a much sought-after collaborative pianist in the Roaring Fork Valley. Known for her lyrical touch and supportive accompaniment, she collaborates with many of the valley’s top

musicians as well as students from the Aspen Music Festival and School. After earning her Masters of Music from Boston University she has gone on to perform with various institutes and ensembles including the New England Philharmonic and Concord Orchestras and on the stage of Boston’s Symphony Hall with the Boston University Orchestra. As a staff accompanist with Boston Conservatory she coached vocalists, played for private voice studios and accompanied ensembles and numerous private recitals. Molly’s performances have taken her around the United States and Europe. She has studied in Salzburg, Austria and was the winner of the 2002 Leopoldskron Concert Competition. She has been a staff accompanist for the Boston University

Tanglewood Institute, the Heifetz International Music Institute and the Maroon Bel Canto Choir. Prior to her current position as Music Director at Christ Episcopal Church, Aspen, she worked at the Aspen Music Festival and School for five years.

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CRYSTAL GARRISON

Kindergarten / 1st Grade (M/TH, P.E. T/F)

Crystal Garrison is excited to be joining the LCA family as a Kindergarten and Physical Education Teacher. A teacher for 24 years, 22 years has been in K-12 P.E. and Health. Although a native to Colorado she spent five years teaching high school to inner-city children in the California bay area. She and her husband returned to New Castle in 2007. Since then Crystal has taught for the Roaring Fork And RE-2 school districts. She also partnered with them as the owner and head director of the Beyond the Bell After School program and Summer Day Camp. Crystal also loves coaching Track and Field, Volleyball, and All Star Cheer and Tumbling. Most importantly, Crystal is looking forward to raising her daughter in a Christian environment and partnering with LCA for her daughter's education.

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YADI GUTHRIE

2nd Grade (M/TH)

Yadira (Yadi) Guthrie grew up in Carbondale. She was medically retired from the Army after serving a few tours overseas. Yadi has always had a passion for working with children. She volunteered with children in Afghanistan, teaching  them English. Yadi Graduated with honors from Arizona State University in 2022 with a B.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences. While attending school, she volunteered in both the preschool and the first grade classroom at LCA. When she is not working with children she enjoys learning new languages, reading, writing and hiking the great outdoors. Yadi speaks Spanish and intermediate German and is working on learning American Sign Language. Yadi is new to the Christian faith and is excited to continue being discipled by Mrs. Walter, who was instrumental in her new walk. 

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HEATHER PAULSON

3rd  Grade (M/TH)

Heather Paulson moved to the valley in 2004 where she and her husband, Chad, are busy raising their children, Lauryn and Cole, who have been attending LCA since 2014. Her love of community as well as her commitment to a strong, Christian education for her children, led her to teaching at LCA. Heather worked as a Senior Graphic Designer for seventeen years prior to becoming the Executive Director of The River Center in New Castle, where she continues to work as well. She has been able to still put her love of graphic design to use by volunteering for LCA over the last eight years. 

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HEATHER HEIDKE

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade (T/F)

Heather grew up in Massachusetts and has lived in Colorado since 2010. She graduated with a

bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and then a

Masters in Elementary Education from Curry College. She began her teaching career as a

teacher’s aide in behavioral programs and special needs programs before becoming a resource

teacher and interventionist for the Durango public school district. After having her first child in

2017, she left her teaching position to focus on raising her family. Since leaving the public

schools she has been inspired by other teaching methods, such a Montessori, Charlotte Mason

and Waldorf and has enjoyed incorporating these practices into her daily life with her children.

Heather and her family moved to New Castle in July 2021 and she is so grateful that they found

LCA. After a wonderful preschool experience for her daughter, she is excited for her younger

son and herself to join the LCA community this coming school year.

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STEPHANIE SMITH

4th Grade / 5th Grade

Mrs. Smith has been with LCA since 1997. After receiving her B.A. in Elementary Education from Concordia College in Portland, Oregon, with a minor in Art in 1981 she began teaching 3rd - 5th grade and a Jr. High choir at Messiah Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Dells, WI from 1982-1983. Moving to Oregon, she began teaching in the Multonomah outdoor education program for 6th graders in Portland from 1983-1985. 

 

She developed and taught a children's summer art program in Aspen in 1986. Later moving to Hawaii, she taught at the Lutheran School and coached Jr. High volleyball from 1986-1989.

 

Mrs. Smith moved back to Colorado and began her career with LCA as well as teaching a summer art program through the Center of the Arts in Glenwood Springs, CO during the summer of 2007. She also became the Director of KidKamp through the City of Glenwood Springs, CO from 2008-2012.

 

Mrs. Smith is also the Director of our Liberty Adventure Summer Camp.

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KELLY WHITTINGTON

Dean of Spiritual Direction

M/TH - 5th grade, 6th grade / Spanish 1 & 2 / Head of  Houses

T/F - 3rd - 6th grade Upper Grammar

Mrs. Whittington has been with LCA since 2013. She has taught in CMC's Family English Learning Profram (FELP) and English as a Second Language Program. She taught ESL for three years in the Re2 School District.

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AMANDA NORTON

Dean of Logic / Rhetoric

Rhetoric Humanities / Algebra / Physics

Amanda is a physician assistant by training with a Master’s degree in Health Sciences, but has

fallen in love with classical education through homeschooling her 4 children the past 8 years.

She has tutored with Classical Conversations for 3 years and taught her children at home in the

classical model. Until moving to Colorado 3 years ago she has worked as a PA part-time in

emergency medicine/urgent care. She has always loved science and math but through learning

about classical education has renewed her love for literature and the language arts. She and

her husband have been involved in lay ministry leading small groups and children’s ministry in

their church for many years and are now in vocational ministry with Midvalley Church in

Carbondale. She is a runner, coffee drinker, avid reader and a terrible skier, but greatly enjoys

Colorado’s outdoor recreation.

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JEANETTE THOMPSON

Logic 2 Humanities / 5th grade - 8th grade Latin  / Math / Rhetoric Personal Finance

Jeannette Thompson has a heart for service. Her background includes serving on Rifle's Planning and Zoning Board, four years as a Rifle City Council member, serving on the Liberty Classical Academy Board, as well as being a MOPS Coordinator, volunteering in her church's nursery and a Sunday School teacher. She has lived in Rifle for the past 24 years and in that time has worked as an auto claims representative, substitute teacher for grades K-12, taught preschool for two years, taught Trigonometry for LCA one year, has run a home daycare for the past 10 years, and currently works part-time as the Office Manager for the Methodist Church in Rifle. In college, Jeanette majored in German, studied French for three years, and Spanish for two. 

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EVA BOWER

Grammar Latin / Math (M/TH)

Eva Bower is originally from beautiful Eger, Hungary and has been living in Colorado for 18 years.  She was inspired from a very young age to teach, as  her passion was to learn  languages (She speaks Hungarian, Russian, English,  German and French in high school and now Latin). Eva decided to become an English and German teacher receiving her master degree in German and  Bachelor degree in English. Eva has worked in Middle and a High School in Eger, Hungary until she married Tim and moved to Colorado. Homeschooling her two sons has been her most important job over the last several years. Her boys are students at LCA now.She enjoys music, traveling, hiking and serving the Lord Jesus in our community. I am thrilled to be able to teach in a Christian environment.

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MATT CHILSON

Rhetoric (M/TH)

Matt Chilson is originally from Flint, Michigan. He received his B.S. in Youth Ministry and M.A. in Local Church Ministry from Grace College and Theological Seminary. He also received his M.Div in Discipleship Ministries and Th.M in Biblical Studies from Liberty University. He has a passion for history, biblical studies and teaching. Matt and his family moved to Colorado in 2014 to serve as pastor at Glenwood Springs Baptist Church. Matt and his wife have 5 young children. 

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DENNIS SUNDERLAND

P.E. (M/TH) / Boy's Devotionals

Dennis retired from 23 years in the U.S. Air Force. He spent 15 years with clinical duties, including general dentistry and specialty care. The last 8 years he spent in overseeing clinical operations for up to 10 doctor office. He also held positions in training operations. Dennis has attended New Hope for the past 15 years. Since becoming a Christian in 1995 he has worked with church youth groups and is best known for his faithful heart of service helping with sound. Many of your Logic Students met Mr. Sunderland when he stepped in to help with our back-to-school camp. We are looking forward to Dennis' many years experience taking students on service learning/mission trips in the US and Mexico. We are thankful he is joining our community and appreciate his resourcefulness in thinking through physical education activities for our kids. 

He developed a passion for volleyball while serving 23 years in U.S. Air Force and has been playing indoor and all forms of outdoor- doubles, 4-man, grass and sand since 1988. 

Highlights include Air Force USAFE Champions 1988, 2nd place AMC Championship 1995; Several top 3 finishes in regional men’s open tournaments 1991-1998, and being a Base Level Setter from 1994-2000. He has played tournaments both indoor and outdoor in seven different countries. His coaching experience includes: Air Force Squadron Coach from 1993 to 2010 with two Base Championships, and they never finishing below 5th place, ever. 

Dennis is currently the Colorado Mesa University Head Coach for the Men's and Women's Club Programs in Grand Junction, CO. In 2017, his CMU Men's team finished 5th in the Region, being eliminated by Air Force ironically. Air Force was ranked second in the nation at the time. 

Dennis is IMPACT Certified, Beach IMPACT Certified and CAP II Accredited in the USA Volleyball High Performance Program. He desires to improve the quality of players by increasing skills, knowledge and character leading to an abundant life through life skills taught by the game. 

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JO HENDRICKSON

5th - 6th Grade Math / Pre-Algebra / Girl's Rhetoric Devotionals / Assistant Director

Mrs. Hendrickson has over 12 years experience schooling her 3 children UMS style and is now the mother of a graduate. She began working at LCA in 2004. While being an invaluable part of the administrative team, Jo has also served as  Co-Producer and stage manager for the last 8 annual spring theater productions and had previously directed three. Her other hats include Bookkeeper and teacher for the Girl's Devotional class. Before joining the LCA team she served as a MOPs (Mother of Preschools) Coordinator for 6 years.

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RENEE MILLER

Geometry / Head of School

With 25 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools, Mrs. Miller is passionate about education. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies and M.A. in Teaching and Learning from Point Loma Nazarene College. After teaching in the public school system for five years in CA and for DODDS, she started Liberty Classical Academy, originally calling it The Garden School, in 1997 with her husband Dave. This was the beginning of University Model Schooling her seven children as well as teaching and directing for LCA. She founded Cornerstone Classical School in Basalt in 2012 and has taught ESL and GED Classes for CMC.

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NICHOLAS VILLAREAL

Computer Programming

Nicholas Villarreal has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 2003. He began working with his father in their family software business in 2013. Most days he can be found working at his home office, building custom software (or breaking it). He teaches computer programming at LCA to students in grades 6-12.

 

Nicholas enjoys discussing theology, politics, and how the Bible applies to every area of life. He loves to read, practice martial arts, and spend time with his family.

 

Nicholas and his wife Natasha have 3 young children and are looking forward to homeschooling them when the time comes.

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DOROTHY BLEAKLEY

Arrowsmith Program / 6th - 8th Grade Future Cities

Mrs. Bleakley received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from West Texas A&M. She taught special education as a resource teacher in Amarillo TX. Dorothy was one of three teachers in the district receiving training as a dyslexic specialist. She has home-schooled her own children for 11 years now and has been teaching at LCA since 2011.

Mrs. Bleakley also teaches our Future Cities class for 6th through 8th graders.

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BRENDA SIMONSON

Biology

Brenda Simonson received her nursing degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction in 1984. She began practicing as an R.N. in 1985. She has worked in various health care settings such as general med surg, home health, hospice, geriatrics and in secured Alzheimer and dementia units. In 2010, Mrs. Simonson followed her passion for teaching quality health care to Colorado Mountain College where she began teaching various health science classes. Mrs. Simonson and her husband raised their family in the New Castle area where they still reside and enjoy the many pleasures of their small farm and family.

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TREA TRAVER

Logic & Rhetoric Choir / Drama

Trea Traver has lived in Glenwood Springs for over 30 years. She has three children, one that has graduated and two that attend LCA. She studied Music at UNC, attended Bible College and went on to serve in many countries on the mission field with her husband and later on has run several successful businesses. She began homeschooling her first daughter in 2007 and started a homeschool co-op in 2010. In 2017 she became the Art and Music director for the private school that her children attended. She has taught art, music, math, Shakespeare and drama to students in grades K-12. Trea enjoys travelling abroad with her children during the summers, walking her Basset Hounds, writing music and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. She is full of the joy of the Lord and brings that to every lesson. 

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ZACH KRUIS

Rhetoric Greek / Hebrew / Boy's Devotionals

Mr. Kruis moved to New Castle with his wife Kelly and two oldest children, Cohen and Zoe, from Westcliffe, CO, in 2017, adding Abel and Levi to the mix since arriving. Zach has taught at LCA on and off over the last five years, including Greek, Hebrew, and boys' devotions. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America, Zach pastors Trinity Reformed Church and works part-time answering Bible and theology questions on a live chat service for Ligonier Ministries. Zach has a degree in fine woodworking, a BA in project management, and an M.Div from Sangre de Christo Seminary. He enjoys many hobbies, including fly fishing, gardening, cooking, and woodworking.

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DAVID MILLER

Guidance Counselor

Mr. Miller has 11 years of public school teaching experience in CA, DODDS and CO. He is a Co-Founder of LCA. He has served as a Humanities teacher at LCA for 12 years. He received his B.A. English Literature from Ottawa University in 1983 and his ESL Certificate and teaching credential from San Diego State University in 1985. Dave is currently serving as our Guidance Counselor for the Rhetoric Class.