We have an amazing staff at Bethany Christian School! The faculty and staff are the ambassadors to students, families, and others associated with the school. Their role and function is of paramount significance to the school, whether that role be in the classroom, office, lunchroom, or playground. All strive to fulfill the mission and vision of Bethany Christian School. All employees of the school require a profession of faith in Christ, screening and fingerprinting.
Kindergarten Teacher, Genevieve Ferrara
Mrs. Ferrara is the Kindergarten Teacher at Bethany Christian School, and has taught both kindergarten and third grade. She received her BA in Education from Ottawa University, and her Master in Education from University of Phoenix. In her free time, she loves doing anything and everything with her family! She is married to her husband, Anthony, and has four children – Michael, Anthony, Dominic and Bella. They also love their guinea pig, Vincent.
“I love teaching kindergarten! I feel blessed to work at a Christian school where I get to share God’s word with these precious children daily. I love to watch the light bulb go on and see children learn how to read and write! I consider it a true blessing to be a teacher.”
First Grade Teacher, April Ellis
Mrs. Ellis is the First Grade Teacher at Bethany Christian School. She received her BA in Communication from Point Loma Nazarene University and her Masters in Elementary Education from Arizona State University with a certification in ESL. In her free time, she loves reading, hiking and having fun with her family. She is married to her husband, Scot, and has two sons, Tyler and Dylan. They also love their dog, Joey.
“I love helping students discover that learning is fun!”
Second Grade Assistant, Chrystal Gellner
Chrystal Gellner is returning to our Bethany Christian School staff in the position of Teacher Aide for 2nd grade. Chrystal has supported our school in various roles over the years including positions as extended care director, lunch program coordinator, playground coordinator, teacher aide, staff substitute, and numerous volunteer roles as a parent, including Parents in Prayer group leader. Chrystal and her husband Eric have two students here at Bethany, Micah – 3rd grade and Ezekiel – 1st grade. Chrystal is also very involved serving her church, loves to work out and participate in activities to stay active with her family.
Second Grade Teacher, Elisabeth Witbeck
Miss Witbeck is the Second Grade Teacher at Bethany Christian School. She received her BA in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and is also a graduate student pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership at ASU. She is passionate about integrating the arts in her teaching. In her free time she loves hiking, painting, watching movies, and spending quality time with friends and family.
“I love teaching at BCS because I not only get to teach my students about God’s character, but who they are in Christ and how they can have a personal relationship with Him.”
Third Grade Teacher, Kris Sawyers
Mrs. Sawyers is the Third Grade teacher at Bethany Christian School. She received her BS in Liberal Studies from California State University Long Beach and her Masters in Education from Northern Arizona University. In her free time, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her family. She is married to her husband, Marty, and has two children, Makenzie and Connor. They also have two dogs, Lucy and Ricky.
“Every day is different and I love watching faces light up when students learn something new!”
Fourth Grade Teacher, Jennifer Cornejo
Mrs. Cornejo is the Fourth Grade teacher at Bethany Christian School. She received her BA in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She has also begun her coursework to obtain her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. She is from Chicago, IL. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, with, some of her favorites being London and Lima, Peru. She enjoys planning parties, baking, and of course, spending time with her beautiful family.
I love being able to share my love of scripture with my students and to let them know that it is okay to turn to Jesus at any point in the day in whether it be in prayers of comfort, praise or thanksgiving.
Fifth Grade Teacher, Charmain Thorneycroft
Mrs. Thorneycroft is the Fifth Grade Teacher at Bethany Christian School. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University. In her free time, she enjoys walking, running, hiking, reading, baking, and watching sports on TV. She is married to her husband, Lee, and has three grown children.
“My favorite thing about teaching is making sure my students feel loved and accepted. I enjoy encouraging my students in all sorts of ways. When students feel loved, they tend to learn more.”
Middle School Lead Teacher, Louise Nichols
Mrs. Nichols is Middle School Lead Teacher, one of the middle school Bible and math teachers, and the computer teacher at Bethany Christian School. She received her BA in Psychology from Ottawa University. In her free time, she enjoys writing, teaching a ladies Bible study, and spending time with her family. Mrs. Nichols also serves at her church on the teaching team. Nothing gives her greater joy than to study the Word of God.
Middle School Teacher, Diana Rhoades
Mrs. Rhoades is the Sixth Grade Homeroom Teacher. She teaches 6th grade language arts, 6th – 8th grade history, and Pre-Algebra. She received her BS in Family Studies from Arizona State University and her teaching certification from Ottawa University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing games, and singing. She is married to her husband, Tyler, and has a daughter, Catherine.
“I love impacting children’s lives for Jesus! I feel very blessed that God brought me to Bethany Christian School years ago, and I am excited to see how He will continue to move at our school.”
Middle School Teacher, Rebekah Fischer
Mrs. Fischer is the Middle School Science Teacher, she also teaches Bible and upper level Math. She received her BS in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-Physician Assistant and her Masters in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. She also has earned a Certificate III in Discipleship from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Townsville, Australia. She has a heart for missions and discipleship, both locally and globally. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, playing sports and games, traveling, watching D-backs games with her husband Aaron, and spending time in fellowship with friends and family.
Athletic Director/PE Teacher, Matt Wiehl
Coach Wiehl is the Athletic Director and PE Teacher at Bethany Christian School. He has taught and coached for over 20 years. He received his BS in Physical Education from Tennessee Temple University. Prior to working at Bethany Christian School, he coached Mens’ Soccer at Arizona Christian University. He currently coaches Boys’ Soccer at Valley Christian High School. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, watching his son play college soccer, hiking the various trails in the Valley of the Sun, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers. He is married to his wife, Melissa, and they have two sons, Taylor and Travis.
“I really enjoy encouraging our students to take pride in their school by participating in our athletic program. Go Bobcats!”
Music Teacher/Worship Team, Randy Van Der Pol
Mr. Van Der Pol attended Dordt College and graduated from University of Northern Iowa with his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, in classical voice and trumpet. His skills and abilities are very diverse ranging from his brass instrumental and vocals to keyboard, bass guitar and percussion instruments. Randy has been leading contemporary worship for several years and his greatest passion is glorifying God through worship music. Randy and his wife Melissa have two sons Jack and Nathan and music runs in their whole family. All of them participate in the worship band at Arizona Community Church’s weekend Thrive services.
Administration and Support Staff:
Administrator, Kris Colvin
Mr. Colvin recently returned from China where he served as the head of school at Shenyang Transformation International School (K3-12) and the superintendent of Transformation Academy Shenyang. Prior to his family’s service in China, he was the Theater Director for Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts in Savannah, Georgia. During his five years at Garrison, he taught grades 3-8. Mr. Colvin, along with his wife, Lisa, and their two sons, Julian (4th grade) and Miles (1st grade) are very excited to be joining the Bethany family.
Business Manager, Greg Cipriano
Mr. Cipriano is the Business Manager at Bethany Christian School and coordinates family accounts, school finances, and human resources. He received his BS in Allied Health & Science from Grand Canyon University, Masters in Curriculum & Instruction from Arizona State University, and Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He has worked in the educational field since 2000. He has three adult children and enjoys regular church attendance, with his wife Shelly, and Sunday family dinners.
Mrs. Lorbeck is the Receptionist at Bethany Christian School, and is usually the first person you will talk to you if you call or visit our school! She received her BS in Quantitative Business Analysis from Arizona State University. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, spending time with family and friends, and watching her nephew play baseball. She is married to her husband, Pete, and has two grown daughters, Kelsey and Kendra.
“I love working at the school where I am surrounded by people who follow Christ and live each day for Him. I adore all of the children and have met such wonderful new friends. It is a blessing to be a part of the Bethany Christian School family!”
Ms. Pelton is the Administrative Assistant at Bethany Christian School and also teaches our Yearbook elective for middle school students. She studied at the Salt Lake School of Interior Design. Prior to working at the school, she was an interior designer, pharmacy technician, and worked at the Deer Valley ski resort. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, swimming, playing golf, and cooking. She has two grown children, Jeffrey and Alison, and two dogs, Tanner and Cory.
“What a blessing to work at a Christian School where a strong foundation in Christ is built, I love being part of a thriving Christian community.”
Student Support, Paige Harrison
Mrs. Harrison is excited to continue working with students who have accommodation plans for the 2018-2019 school year. Her background is in Elementary Education and she has taught 1st and 2nd grades, as well as middle school grades. After staying home for several years with her children, she went back to work in an elementary school office where she enjoyed the interaction she was able to have not only with the staff and students, but with families as well. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and watching her sons play baseball, basketball and golf. She is married to her husband, Tom, and has two sons – Trey and Jake.
I feel very blessed to be part of such an amazing school where God’s love is shown on a daily basis.
School Nurse, Janine Sass
Mrs. Sass is the School Nurse and has her Registered Nursing license. Prior to coming to Bethany Christian School, she worked in the Emergency Room at Chandler Regional Hospital and the Cardiac department at Health West Regional Medical Center. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with family and friends, reading, scrap-booking, cooking and baking. She is married to Kevin and they have a son, Jeremy, who just graduated from Valley Christian High School. Jeremy went through Bethany from 1st grade to 8th. They also have 2 dogs, their 4 legged kids.
“I love the people I work with, the students I get to take care of, and the parents I get to know. I AM blessed!”
Bio coming soon!