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Teaching Staff

Photo of Pastor John H.S. Austin
Headmaster – Since 1960
Work Phone: 410-679-4000, ext. 114

Biographical Info

Wide range of workshops, Parish Leadership Seminars, Independent School Management, Association of Christian Schools International, GraceWorks Ministries.

I have a passion for children.  I have a passion for every child to be involved in a Christian School where they have the opportunity to learn of God’s love given in Jesus Christ and receive the best academic education in a loving and safe atmosphere which will equip them to fulfill God’s desire for each child.

Notes

Staff Member Since: 1956
Pastor – 57 Years
Senior Pastor – 37 Years
Headmaster – 54 Years
B.A. Gettysburg College
M.S. Gettysburg Seminary
Wide Range of School Workshops: Parish Leadership Seminars, ISM, ASCI, Graceworks Ministries

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Early Learning Center Staff

Photo of Sharon Pindell
Early Learning Center Educational Director
Work Phone: 410-679-4000, ext. 128

Biographical Info

Early Child Education Since 1998

In my area of education and teaching, Christian education has such a simplistic, innocent feel.  When I work with small children, I can use the Christian values, teachings and stories to guide them in their day to day routines, struggles and social interactions.  Allowing children to learn and love Jesus provides them with such a valuable foundation.  Teaching and directing here has by far been the best experience in my career.  The school/ELC places the children first.  Their education and environment are held at very high standards.  I would love to speak personally with you regarding how Trinity can meet the needs of your child.

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Staff Member Since: 2012
B.S. Slippery Rock University
Early Childcare Educator – 20 Years
90 hr certification
School Age certified
Infant & Toddler certified

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Photo of Colleen Bohlen
Pre-K Teacher
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Photo of Carmen Draayer
Pre-K Teacher

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Room: 209
Staff Member Since: 2015
B.S. Towson University
Early Childhood Education
20 yr experience

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Photo of Karen Fox-Donahue
After Care Leader

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Staff Member Since: 2001
A.A. CCBC in Early Childhood Education
At Trinity Since 2001

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Photo of Christina Gross
Preschool B

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Room 133
Staff Member Since: 2014
90 hr certification
15 yrs experience

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Photo of Samantha Hill
ELC Floater
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Photo of Colleen Parker
Preschool A

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Room 138
Staff Member Since: 2015
90 hr certification
20 yrs experience

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Photo of Elizabeth Raley
After Care Leader

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Staff Member Since: 2010
B.S. Towson University in Elementary and Special Education
At Trinity Since 2011
Infant & toddler certified

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Photo of Michelle Shaffer
Preschool Teacher

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Staff member since 2008
AA Degree in Early Childhood Education
90 hour certification
School age certified

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Photo of Brooke Simons
ELC Music, Afternoon Preschool Teacher

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Staff Member since 2013

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Photo of Tanya Smith
School Age
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Photo of Julia Williams
Preschool Floater

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Staff Member Since: 2015
90 hrs certification
Infant & toddler qualified
School age qualified

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Room: 137
Staff Member Since: 2015
90 hr certification
School age certified
Infant & Toddler certified

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Lower School Staff

Photo of Patricia Ree
Lower School Director
Work Phone: 410-679-4000, ext. 119

Biographical Info

Lower School Educator/Director for 37 years

Hello, I am Patricia Ree, the Lower School Educational Director.  I have been a Christian Educator for 37+ years.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from The King’s College in New York and my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Administration from Towson University in Maryland.

I have greatly enjoyed many years of working with children in Sunday School and VBS at my church and teaching experience in Kindergarten, First Grade, and Fourth Grade all in private Christian schools.  I am a very strong advocate of children receiving a top notch quality CHRISTIAN education!

In 1990 I came to Trinity to teach First Grade.  In 1996 I assumed the Lower School Educational Director position.  I love working at Trinity because we always strive to provide a very high quality Christian education.  Our programs, curriculum, and technology are constantly reviewed and upgraded.  The curriculum and discipline system are based on God’s Word and a Christian philosophy of education.  The students are able to learn in a loving, safe, friendly, and small class environment.  The students, parents, and teachers are great to work with.  We are a family here.

I would love to schedule an Educational Success Consultation and Tour with you so that we may personally discuss the goals and aspirations you have for your child and to see and experience our wonderful facility!

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Staff Member since 1990
B.S. Kings College
M.S. Towson University

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Photo of Linda Minarik
Kindergarten Aide

Biographical Info

I enjoy being able to share my faith with the students.  I hope to impart that Jesus lives in my heart and reflect that during instruction as well as discipline.  I feel a sense of security being in the midst of the wonderful Christian staff that supports and lifts each other up in prayer.

The whole child and their spiritual well-being are addressed in a Christian setting.  We have at Trinity, a great degree of consistency and treat the students fair and firm.

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Staff Member since 2000

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Photo of Julianne Wright
Kindergarten Teacher

Biographical Info

The families who come to Trinity Lutheran Christian School want a holistic Christian Education that includes Christian values and God’s word.  I enjoy working with guardians who advocate for their children, want them to learn with lessons of the Biblical Truth, provide best academics and prepare their child to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives with Christian Character.

My personal philosophy on Christian Education is that all lessons are presented with a biblical truth.  This allows the children to view life from God’s perspective because He is Truth.

It is my job to provide a loving and supportive environment in which the students prosper and flourish.  I am thankful every day for the chance to spread God’s word and love.  I enjoy teaching in Trinity Lutheran Christian School because it isn’t just a school, it is a family.  There is truly an amazing and supporting staff and family here at Trinity.

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Staff Member since 2015
B.A. Salisbury University

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Photo of Dawn Hebding
First Grade

Biographical Info

I am blessed to work for Trinity Lutheran Christian School.  The Christian ministry is our main mission.  Our job is not finished until our students know how much God loves them and His plan for their lives.  Academics are important.  We strive to encourage each student to reach their full academic potential.  The staff is nurturing, friendly, supportive, and dedicated to meeting students’ needs.  The teachers are an amazing support to one another too.  I am grateful that the administration truly cares about their teachers and the TLCS community.  I look forward to seeing the positive impact in the lives of each family that we service daily.

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Staff Member since 2014
B.A. College of Notre Dame

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Photo of Linda Stephens
First Grade

Biographical Info

I want to teach in a Christian School because I want to be a facilitator of active learning through Jesus Christ and share God’s love with families and others. Teaching in a Christian School incorporates God all day and in all things.

Notes

Staff Member since 2016
B.A./M.A.

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Photo of Kristen Roane
Second Grade

Biographical Info

Teaching at TLCS has been a huge blessing in my life!  I love being able to come to work each day and teach my students about Christ.  As a teacher I am responsible for the educational well-being of every student that walks into my classroom.  No matter what I teach, I am influencing the life of impressionable, image bearers of God.  God imparts wisdom and knowledge to me so that I can impart wisdom and knowledge to my students.  As a teacher, I want to work to ignite my students with a passion for learning and help them discover the gifts and skills God has given them.  I hope to positively impact my students and help them go on to be all that God has planned for them in their lives.

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Staff Member since 2012
B.S. Towson University, Cum Laude

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Photo of MaryAnn Hines
Third Grade

Biographical Info

I like teaching in Trinity Lutheran Christian School because the emphasis is on “Christ” in all areas of education.  I enjoy the “Morning Devotions” and prayer with other staff members daily.  The weekly chapel services are awesome and create a unity within the school.

My personal philosophy of Christian Education puts God the creator at the center of each subject taught.  My goal is to inspire students to love the Lord with all their heart and their neighbor as themselves.  I want to teach with a passion that impacts students for eternity and leads them, by my example, to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Each student is so different but the Lord can reach each one right where they are and take them higher.  Christian Education impacts a student long after they leave the four walls of my classroom.

Notes

Staff Member since 2014
B.A. Towson University, Cum Laude

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Photo of Malinda Markel
Third Grade

Biographical Info

I like to teach at Trinity because of the Christian family atmosphere.  There is a sense of community to help children learn in a Christian setting.  God is the focus of all that we do.  We are helping to prepare children for the future not just academically but also spiritually.  As a result of having small class sizes, we are able to better meet the needs of our students and get to know them each as a unique child of God.

My personal philosophy of Christian Education is that Jesus Christ is the center of all that is done in a Christian School.

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Staff Member since 2012
B.S. Stevenson University, Cum Laude
M. Ed. Towson University

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Photo of Linda Gast
Fourth Grade Teacher
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Photo of Tammy Geelhaar
Fourth Grade

Biographical Info

I believe that all instruction comes from God.  God should be included in all subject areas through Biblical integration.  The students will hear me speak of God in every subject.  I teach the students not just the subjects, but Christian Character as well.  I will look at the child’s heart and nurture them with kindness and prayer.  Teachers are to be a Christ-like example for the children to watch and emulate.  I strive to be that example for the students.

The activities and academics offered to the students are of the highest quality.  The school does its best to provide everything a teacher needs for the classroom and students.  I have been grateful for the continued educational workshops that have been given to the teachers.  They have been times of learning and keeping up with the 21st Century.  As Trinity continues to grow and minister, I will continue being a part of it, Lord willing!

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Staff Member since 2005
B.S. Towson State University

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Middle School Staff

Photo of Pastor John H.S. Austin
Headmaster – Since 1960
Work Phone: 410-679-4000, ext. 114

Biographical Info

Wide range of workshops, Parish Leadership Seminars, Independent School Management, Association of Christian Schools International, GraceWorks Ministries.

I have a passion for children.  I have a passion for every child to be involved in a Christian School where they have the opportunity to learn of God’s love given in Jesus Christ and receive the best academic education in a loving and safe atmosphere which will equip them to fulfill God’s desire for each child.

Notes

Staff Member Since: 1956
Pastor – 57 Years
Senior Pastor – 37 Years
Headmaster – 54 Years
B.A. Gettysburg College
M.S. Gettysburg Seminary
Wide Range of School Workshops: Parish Leadership Seminars, ISM, ASCI, Graceworks Ministries

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Photo of Suzanne Bowden
Middle School

Biographical Info

I like teaching at Trinity because it is a family.  I like being able to relate God into everyday life.  My personal philosophy of Christian Education is that our goal is to teach the children to be true Disciples of Christ.  To be able to witness to others when they leave Trinity.  My goal is for them to realize they are a gift from God, created in His image, and unique.  I want them to respect their differences and learn to see God in all that they do and put Him at the center.

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Staff Member since 2003
B.A. West Virginia University

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Photo of Karen Gaubatz
Language Arts Teacher

Biographical Info

I am excited to teach at Trinity because I want to teach in a place that not only incorporates faith into everyday, but a place in which all staff and studnets are part of a family and community that work together to help each other be as great and successful as they can be.

I love teaching reading because I like how reading takes you places and how an author can put you into a story.  I love looking deeper into books for a life lesson to be learned or to truly know a character.  When writing, I can be creative or realistic and I can tell someone a story in my own words or thoughts.

I want my students to see that although I have high expectations for them, I care about building strong, positive relationships with them, and even though I take my job seriously, I can make learning fun and interesting, and appreciate a good laugh.

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Photo of Donna Hostetler
Dean of Students, Middle School Math Teacher

Biographical Info

It is a real privilege for me to return to Trinity Lutheran Christian School this year to teach Mathematics. The professionalism and genuine caring of the other teachers and Administrators at Trinity is something I have admired for several years, especially during my years of service as a member and Director of the School Board. I am now proud to be joining their ranks. My commitment to Christian education can be evidenced by the number of years I served in other Christian Schools within and outside of Maryland as a Christian school teacher, guidance counselor and administrator at all grade levels.

I am recently retired from Baltimore County Public Schools where I taught Middle School Mathematics to children from many different cultures, economic and social environments, as well as children with special needs. It has been a passion of mine to inspire within students a love for mathematics, by helping them to discover its value in their everyday lives. This is especially critical in these times where they are becoming more and more immersed in the global village with ever-increasing advances in technology. Students need to balance being technologically savvy with learning to become more solidly grounded in ethics based on firm Christian values and biblical morality. I am delighted to be able to share my previous experiences and love for mathematics at this time in my life, with my Trinity Lutheran Church and school community.

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Photo of Dave Merritt
Christian Ed/ PE/ Health Teacher

Biographical Info

Mr. Merritt is a 2002 graduate of Towson University with a BA degree in Sports Management. He has served as Athletic Director at Concordia Preparatory School, and this past year was a Senior High Physical Education/Health Instructor for Aberdeen High School.

He says: “I love the ability to openly share your faith with each student in your thoughts, actions, words and deeds. Christian schools offer a nurturing support system for students, staff, and educators that you normally do not find in the public school system. I also enjoy the smaller class atmosphere. Teaching in a Christian School has a family atmosphere. At the forefront is our heavenly Father and your students and colleagues become your pseudo-family.”

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Photo of Albert Ringgold
Middle School

Biographical Info

I grew up in a Christian family and I was educated in the public school system.  My family and I prayed at home, church, and anywhere else we wanted at any given time.  Unlike today’s public school system, I was able to pray at school with my teachers and the other students in my classes.  I believe Christian schools are necessary in order to continue to produce Christians who are high achieving, intelligent, individuals who truly care about the world in which we live.  From my experience, many Christian students work harder at achieving more academically, and they enjoy it.  I believe that today’s Christian schools are setting the pace and tone for our schools for the future.  For those who want, not only a Christian education, but a safe, academically fit and well-rounded education, a Christian school like Trinity Lutheran Christian School will continue to be their solution.

I love teaching at TLCS because I am free to share my Christian values with my students and my colleagues.  Not only are we free to pray to our God, we are encouraged to pray.  In addition to being able to share the work of God, I love teaching math to students who, for the most part, have a strong desire to learn.  The students’ desire to learn, challenges me to stay on my A-game.

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Staff Member since 2013
B.S. Johns Hopkins
M.S. Towson University

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Photo of Lee Thomassen
Social Studies Teacher

Biographical Info

Mr. Thomassen has previously been a teacher at Woodlawn and Dumbarton middle schools for a period of 26 years, where he taught Social Studies, World Cultures and U.S History. He received his BA from The American University and MAT from The Pennsylvania University.

“I have enjoyed teaching in a secular middle school for over a quarter of a century, but I have always felt that I was doing the will of God through teaching the Maranatha Class at my church. Teaching is described by Paul as a gift of the Spirit. I have been able to use that gift throughout my lifetime, but as I enter the final decades of my life, I want to use my God-given gift in service to Christ’s church.”

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Photo of Donna Wright
5th & 6th Language Arts Teacher
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Resource Teachers

Biographical Info

Teaching since 2003

I like teaching as a Spanish teacher at Trinity Lutheran Christian School.  The most important reason, as a Christian School, our main goal is to produce students who desire to and are prepared to live out the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).  I have encountered here at Trinity Lutheran Christian School, a great passion for learning, teaching, and demonstrating the love of God to students.  This passion and guidance is cultivated by the administration which allows the staff to receive not only professional growth but spiritual growth.  These characteristics distinguish a Christian school from a public school.  This school not only provides a traditional academic education but it prepares the students to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives with Christian Character.  This school is distinctive from other secular schools because we include God and scripture in our curriculum.  Children are equipped not only academically but with the knowledge, character, and skills needed to be competent servants of Christ.  I feel it is important to prepare students to live in a community where they can promote a missionary spirit that prepares the faithful to be present as Christians in society.

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Staff Member since 2015
B.A. City University of New York

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Photo of Carol Frey
Learning Resource Assistant
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Photo of Lauren Friedly
Art Teacher
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Photo of Dawn Garner
Band and Middle School Teacher

Biographical Info

Trinity Christian School is a wonderful place to be able to help grow God’s kids in all areas of life. Christian education is an all-inclusive establishment. God is involved in every area and every subject! As a music teacher, I enrich students in cultivating their talents and doing their best for our Lord. As a middle school teacher, I teach God in all things. We also concentrate on speaking and doing things with His love. I am thankful to work in an environment where His love can flourish.

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Staff Member since 2016
A.A. Arts, Equivalent B.A.

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Biographical Info

I have had the pleasure of being the school counselor at Trinity for 8 years.  As a resource person in the school, having a supportive headmaster, administration team, and staff makes a big difference in serving the students and their families.  I am blessed to have that experience here at Trinity.  One of my main goals as the school counselor is to help all children reach their full potential by developing an understanding of self and an appreciation for others.  I have tried to “normalize” counseling at Trinity so students feel comfortable talking with me and reaching out when they are struggling.  Some of the services I provide to the students at Trinity are individual counseling, classroom guidance lessons, small groups, and mediations.  Students are able to self-refer by putting a note in my box outside of my office or by emailing me.  Parents and teachers are also able to refer students to me as well.

Throughout the school, I help in organizing and running a buddy program, Christian Character Education program, the Title 1 program, a Disability Awareness Day, and a Career Fair.  Not only do I work with the students, but work closely with the teachers and families to help them and our students with any needs they may have.  Working collaboratively with parents and educators helps create an environment that promotes student achievement.

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Staff Member since 2008
B.S. University of Delaware
M.A. Loyola University

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Photo of Cathy Pilachowski
School Nurse

Biographical Info

32 years as a Nurse

I love working at TLCS.  The teachers and staff are amazing and so supportive to the students and each other.  I know the children are loved and are receiving a top-notch education academically and spiritually.  There’s just so much going on here that the atmosphere at Trinity is energizing!

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B.S.N. 1983—R.N. 2014

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Photo of Bonnie Schnell
Physical Education

Biographical Info

For the past 19 years, I have been part of an amazing organization.  TLCS continues to strive for the best curriculum and provides top-notch technology.  Besides academics, Trinity offers outstanding extracurricular programs from Drama, Chorus, Computer, and Praise Team to electives, sport teams, class field trips and so much more.  What makes Trinity special and a place I love teaching at is more personal.  The entire staff loves and cares for each child’s well- being.  We work together as a team to develop each students potential.  We can teach them morals, values and about God.  The parents are wonderful.  I cannot thank them enough just for my programs.  They have volunteered for coaching, walkathon, Jump Rope for Heart and Field Day events.  Without them, my programs would not be as successful.  Lastly, but most importantly, Trinity is a place where we cannot only teach and share our faith, It’s a place where I grow spiritually every day.  Trinity is the best!

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Staff Member since 1997
B.S. East Stroudsburg University

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Photo of Laura Smith
Technology Specialist

Biographical Info

This school has become my family.  Through the many years that I have been here, I have had the great opportunity to meet, work with, and teach hundreds of wonderful families, teachers and students.  I love that our school is always striving to be better and meet the needs of our students.  I care very much about our school and sing its praises every chance I get.

I think it is so important that we not only teach our students subjects such as Math, Science, and Social Studies, but also teach them how to be good people as well.  Using Jesus as an example shows the students how we should behave towards others.  Teaching and education is not just about content, but about the whole child.

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Staff Member since 2003
B.S. Towson University

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Photo of Rebecca Stachnick
Resource Teacher

Biographical Info

Teaching since 1974

I LOVE what I’m doing – making a difference for kids who have special needs!  I have enjoyed putting a “new spin” on the resource program and getting it to grow and meet the needs of the children and staff.  I enjoy working directly with the children, parents and teachers to promote success in learning and interacting.  Finding interventions that work, resulting in success and making children feel smart, capable, and successful.  I also enjoy helping to grow healthy self-esteems and putting smiles on faces as connections are made.  Helping the teachers with special accommodations/modifications.  I enjoy working one-on-one, in small groups, or in the classrooms.  I love making learning a positive experience.  My educational philosophy:  It’s all about the KIDS!

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Staff Member since 2015
B.S. Towson State College
M.S. Loyola College in Special Education
M.S. Towson University in Elementary Education
M.S. Instructional Technology

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Photo of Jennifer Sullivan
Library Media, 5th Grade Science

Biographical Info

I like teaching in Trinity Lutheran Christian School because I can teach the children the word of God.  I love the small class size where I feel like I can really make a difference in their life.  The staff at Trinity makes me feel like a part of a family.  The students and parents always try their best.  Having iPads and a Blog really helps with communication and involving technology to teach.  I want students to know that God is at the center of all things and I hope to show them this throughout all of their education.

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Staff Member since 2013
B.S. State University of New York
M.S. Armstrong Atlantic State University

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