classical christian school teachers

Paideia’s teachers and staff are all faithful Christians, living lives transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ and subscribing to our Statement of Faith. Here is the list of our teachers and staff for the 2019-2020 school year.

2019-2020 Board Members

Job Cacka, Matt Dau, David Spears, Kate Singleton, Mike True

David - CroppedDavid Spears: Head of School

David served in the military for six years and then gained his B.A. in Economics and Political Science from George Fox University. David is a permanent board member at Paideia and serves as disciplinary principal and head of school. He and his wife Rose have four boys and a passion for advancing Christian education in the Portland metro area.

Brenda.jpgBrenda Kulbe: Executive Assistant

Brenda received her diploma in Office Administration – Executive from Niagara College in Ontario, Canada. She worked for 12 years before taking time off to move to the States, get married, and raise her family. She enjoys paper crafts, painting, and amateur photography. She is an invaluable asset to our teachers as she coordinates volunteer scheduling, parent communications, and all things office-related.

Rose - CroppedRose Spears: Director of Academics and Admissions

Rose Spears graduated from New Saint Andrews College with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Culture. She has been teaching secondary-level classes using Classical curriculum and pedagogy for fifteen years, first at King’s Academy and Schole Academy, and now at Paideia. Rose also oversees academics and admissions at Paideia. She and husband David have four boys enrolled at Paideia. In her spare time, Rose writes historical fiction.

Amy HayesAmy Hayes: Kindergarten Teacher

Amy Hayes is in her third year at Paideia, having led the inaugural class and now teaching kindergarten. Amy has taught in a variety of educational settings for the past 20 years including homeschooling her own children, grandchildren and the children of friends, running a one-room-school classroom in her home, tutoring foreign students, Barton dyslexia tutoring, and doing teacher training in phonics curricula. She and her husband Doug raised his five children from a previous marriage and now delight in 10 grandchildren – five of whom attend at Paideia. When not teaching, Amy loves being in her kitchen, creating a welcoming home and garden, photographing babies, all things books, and the worship and life of her church community.

Jayna - CroppedJayna Heath: First Grade Teacher

Jayna continues with us in her third year at Paideia. Jayna graduated from Northwest University with a B.A. in Elementary Education, including endorsements in ESL and English. She is a native Oregonian who returned home after living in Washington, DC and Louisville, KY with her husband and growing family. Kurt and Jayna have four children.

Sharon T - CroppedSharon True: Second Grade Teacher

Sharon is entering her fourth year teaching at Paideia.  Previously she graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Special Ed. major/minor in Elementary Ed.,  then attained a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from City University.   She taught elementary for 15 years in Vancouver, WA, and high school English in Poland, then married a “True” musician and had three children, whom she homeschooled until she found Paideia, where all of her kids attend, love this school, and are thriving!  Signing for the deaf, traveling, and mentoring  youth have been  interests of hers since her late teens.  Recently she just returned to biking, (with her sons when she can keep up with them) as well as thoroughly enjoying listening to live piano, bass guitar or marimba at her house played by her children and husband.  Because it was done for her, she considers it an honor to pass on truth to the next generation, as there is no greater joy than taking the hand of a child and placing it in the gentle, kind hand of Jesus for all of life!

Lisa Poindexter.jpegLisa Poindexter: Third Grade Teacher

Lisa is excited to continue in her fourth year at Paideia teaching third grade. Previously, she worked as an R.N. on an Orthopedic Unit for 12 years before homeschooling her 6 children. Her family was involved with Classical Conversations during which time she tutored in the Foundations program for several years.  Her favorite things about third grade are introducing students to wonderful literature and having fun with fractions. Besides school, Lisa enjoys gardening, taking trips with her husband, and coffee dates with friends.

Kaitlyn - CroppedKaitlyn Phelan: Fourth Grade Teacher

Kaitlyn continues with us in her sixth year at Paideia in the fourth grade classroom. She holds her A.A. from Clackamas Community College, her one-year Certificate of Biblical Studies from Montana Bible College, and her B.A. in Humanities from Thomas Edison State University. Kaitlyn delights in bringing learning to life in the classroom through hands-on projects and singing. Her goal as a teacher is to instill a love for Christ and a passion for learning into her students as they uncover the many wonders of creation together. Kaitlyn is also the Elementary Dean at Paideia, helping oversee elementary curriculum.

Caity GentleCaitlin Gentle: Fifth Grade Teacher

Caity Gentle is excited to join the Paideia community as the fifth grade teacher this year. Caity holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible and Christian Ministry from New Hope Christian College and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Northwest Christian University and has seven years experience in education. She and her husband, Rob, have twins who are going into sixth grade. Caity loves being a wife and a mom, cooking, playing games, smiling and being happy, and coffee!

Alice - CroppedAlice Barnard: Sixth Grade Teacher & College Advisor

Alice continues at Paideia in her fifth year as teacher of our sixth grade classroom. She also works as our College Advisor and Standardized Testing Coordinator for the secondary grades. Alice graduated from Trinity Western University with a B.A. in Geography, minor in English. She loves to garden, crochet, and read, read, read. Whenever possible, she visits art museums and studies art history. Previous to teaching at Paideia, she tutored Foundations and Essentials classes for Classical Conversations. She is married to Gary who keeps bees for fun, and they have four children ranging from secondary through college age.

80F1F2B2-3586-4655-BFCB-C35C0BD9B8DFAlison Tertin: Secondary Math

Ali returns to our team this year as math teacher for Algebra 2 and Geometry. She hails from northern Minnesota, where she taught middle school and coached for 8 years before moving to Oregon in 2007. She is a mother of two, the wife of a pastor, and a compassionate friend to all, having served for years in youth ministry, women’s ministries and the Classical Conversations home school co-op in Portland. On any given weekend, you’ll almost certainly find her with her husband and kids on some kind of adventure in the woods, on the beaches, or down the trails of the Pacific Northwest. Her peppy German Shorthair Pointer, “Daisy, the Roo Roo,” is always nearby, tracking squirrels and birds. To her, cooking is a necessary evil more than an art, and household plants are simultaneously beautiful and impossible to keep alive, but she remains optimistically hopeful on both accounts. Most of all, Ali continues to experience the profound grace of Jesus each day and is always inviting students, parents and neighbors into the way of life that belongs to Christ alone.

Lauryn_Kay_Photography_Portland_Oregon_Head_Shots-40Emily Hoos: Secondary Literature, English; Theater

Emily graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a BA in both English and theatre arts and has a master’s in teaching from Henderson State University. Originally from Arkansas, Emily has taught high school English and theatre for the public school system in her home state, and spent time in New York City directing and producing professional theatre. In addition to teaching, Emily is also a studio florist and often spends her weekends “flowering” weddings and special events in the Portland metro area. She and her husband David live in SW Portland and enjoy trips to the coast, being active members of their church, reading about entrepreneurship, and spending time with their little dog, Scout.

Elsha WinsorElsha Winsor: Secondary Bible, English, History

Elsha graduated from the Master’s University in Santa Clarita, California with a degree in English and later revived her teaching license and Master’s of Teaching from the same institution. She taught both middle and high school classes in California where she first encountered the value of classical education. Having moved to Oregon two years ago, she enjoys exploring coffee shops and book stores with her Husband, Ryan, two year old daughter, Charlotte, and brand new son, Jack. Teaching is one of her favorite things and she looks forward to the adventures of this year!

IMG_9485Chelsi Lacine: Secondary Science, Math, Bible

Chelsi studied Biology at Chemeketa Community College and George Fox University. She is a pastor’s wife and mother to four children. Chelsi is passionate about inspiring young people in the wonder of God through the study of the Bible and his creation.

Connie MeyerdierkConnie Meyerdierk: Secondary Bible

Connie studied Elementary Ed. at Western Oregon State College. She and her husband Mike are committed to educating their three children from a Christian perspective. She has enjoyed many years of homeschooling.  Connie helped to form a co-op in her early homeschooling days, and taught a variety of subjects in the six years her family participated in it.  She is returning for her second year as Paideia’s 8th grade Bible Class teacher with the desire to nurture a love for God and His Word.

J.EdmondsJulie Edmonds: Secondary Bible, Secondary History

Raised in the Seattle area, Julie studied Early Childhood Education at Edmonds Community College after high school. She also attended Calvary Chapel Bible College in California. She’s been married to her high school sweetheart for 40 years and they have 7 sons together. While living in Anchorage, Alaska she started homeschooling their sons and began to delight in the redemptive story of scripture and human history. She has taught history classes in several home school cooperatives, and for 4 years directed the Classical Conversations of Happy Valley’s Foundations and Essentials Programs. Julie will be teaching 9th grade bible and 7th grade history this year at Paideia. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, travel, mentoring women (including doula birth work), and time with her husband, sons, daughters-in-law, and 19 grandchildren.

Jakob JanssenJakob Janssen: Secondary

Jakob is excited to start his first year teaching at Paideia. Raised in Dayton, OR, Jakob received his BA in Medieval Studies from St. Olaf College in 2018. During his time at St. Olaf he enrolled in the college’s Great Books program, took organ lessons, and tutored Latin. It was also during this time that he discovered Classical Christian schools. As a Medievalist he is passionate to preserve the use of the Trivium and the exploration of our European heritage. His favorite author is C.S. Lewis, his favorite hike (right now) is Cascade Head, and his favorite organist is Dietrich Buxtehude.

Rachel CogbillRachel Cogbill: Secondary Spanish

Rachel Cogbill is the wife of a pastor and mother to two at Paideia and one more still at home. She earned a B.A. in Business Finance (minor in Spanish) from Texas Christian University and a Master’s in Education with emphasis in teaching reading from Dallas Baptist University. She taught at the elementary level for five years before “retiring” to stay home with her kids, and this year she will teach eleventh grade Spanish at Paideia. Rachel enjoys running and spending time with her family and church.

Jeff Lacine 2Jeff Lacine: Biblical Greek

Jeff Lacine was captured by God in April of 2000. Ever since then Jeff has had a passion to glorify God through preaching, evangelism, and discipleship. He received his B.A. from Multnomah University and his M.Div. & Th.M. from Bethlehem College & Seminary (Minneapolis, MN). He and his wife, Chelsi, have four children; Hosanna, Hope, Abraham, and Haven. In his free time he enjoys reading, fishing, camping and hiking with his family. Jeff has served as the pastor of Sellwood Church since January of 2014.

IMG_6410 (2)Beth Anne Cacka: Art Teacher / Upper Elementary Teacher’s Aide

Beth Anne Cacka continues with us this year as art teacher for 1st through 4th grades, and a teacher’s aide for the upper elementary classes. She graduated from Hyles-Anderson college with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade for several years before marriage and becoming a mom of two boys. She loves art, history, music, animals, baking, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her family in our beautiful state.


Ana Dau: Art Teacher

Ana Dau continues with us as art teacher for this year, teaching Kindergarten Art. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Classical Studies from the University of Idaho. She has had several years instruction in drawing and painting and enjoys studying art history and theory in her spare time. She has extensive experience teaching dance and theater arts at both the elementary and secondary levels. Ana is a stay at home mother with three students at Paideia and one more waiting in the wings.

IMG_3779Sarah Kugelberg: Art Teacher

Sarah feels honored to be returning to Paideia to teach art to 5th-11th grade. She is originally from Southern California. She studied fine arts at California State University of Fullerton and graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting and gained Teaching Credential in Art Education. She has previously taught art in various settings. Sarah and her family moved to Oregon in 2011. She is the wife of a pastor and a mother of two students who currently attend Paideia. Sarah loves spending time with her family at the beach or going on adventures.

Resized_20180906_215142_6032Imelda Nedelcu: Music Teacher

Imelda was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and has led various singing groups over the years. Before ten years of homeschooling her children she worked at Spring Mountain Elementary and Sunrise Middle School. She and her husband Ovi enjoy farm life at their Damascus homestead, along with their five children, all of whom attend Paideia. This year she will be teaching 5th-11th grade music at Paideia.

Maria McClish: Elementary Music Teacher


Maria just graduated from Clackamas Community College with an Associates Degree in Music, and she is thrilled to be starting her first year with Paideia teaching K-4th grade music. Paideia’s music curriculum is exactly what she wishes every child could be taught. After two years of intensive training in music, she is looking forward to sharing the joy of singing as an act of worship. When not teaching or writing lesson plans, Maria loves reading, singing and playing the piano, and taking long runs.