Faculty

Hiring Godly, qualified teachers and administrators is crucial to fulfilling our mission as a school.  Our staff must exemplify the highest Christian character as they reflect Christ’s love and encourage each child’s own obedient response to God.  Our staff meets the educational requirements as established by the State of Ohio and are licensed to teach in their area.
Mrs. Susan Gifford, Academy President
Mrs. Gifford has been serving as the Administrator for the school since its opening in the 2005-2006 school year. She brings more than 20 years of business experience to her position. Mrs. Gifford holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Bowling Green State University, a Master’s from Cleveland State University and has completed coursework in Early Childhood Education at Lakeland Community College. Mrs. Gifford, her husband Russ, and daughter Emily live in Orwell.
Mr. Russ Gifford, Troy Campus Administrator
Mr. Gifford has been serving as administrator of the Troy Campus Middle School/High School since its opening in the 2010-2011 school year. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Math from Heidelberg College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. Mr. Gifford serves as board chair and is husband to our Academy President Mrs. Gifford. They reside in Orwell with their daughter Emily.
Mrs. Ellen Frecka, Three/Four Preschool Teacher
Mrs. Frecka earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Grove City College with a concentration in Spanish for Grades Kindergarten through Twelfth. She has served as a tutor and a substitute teacher.  Mrs. Frecka teaches in her church’s Sunday school ministry and has worked with children from Toddler age through 12 years old. She resides in Rome.  Mrs. Frecka joined Agape’s teaching team for the 2017-2018 school year.
Mrs. Elizabeth Miller, Four/Five Preschool Teacher
 
Mrs. Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Mount Union College and holds a Preschool through Third Grade teaching license with a Reading Endorsement for Preschool through Twelfth. She joined Agape’s teaching team for the 2014-2015 school year bringing experience as a Kindergarten teacher and Reading Intervention Tutor. Mrs. Miller resides in Burton with her husband Caleb, sons Oliver and Sawyer and daughter Lucy.
Mrs. Havilah Southern, Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Southern has been with Agape since our first school year in 2005-2006. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Kent State University. Prior to joining Agape, she was a teacher at Head Start. Mrs. Southern, her husband Mike, and sons Elijah, Abram, Aaron and Caleb reside in Hiram.
 

Mrs. Amy Taddeo, Kindergarten Teacher
a.taddeo@agapeca.com

Mrs. Taddeo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Lake Erie College with a teaching license for First through Eighth Grade with a concentration in reading.  Mrs. Taddeo, her husband Al and daughters Isabella and Maddy reside in Chardon.  Mrs. Taddeo joined Agape for the 2015-2016 school year.
 

Miss Michelle Trask, First Grade Teacher

m.trask@agapeca.com

 

Miss Trask earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Malone University with a teaching license for Preschool through Third Grade. After graduating from Malone, she spent time on the mission field teaching English in Honduras and has also served as a teacher in Quito Ecuador in a First and Sixth Grade Classroom. Miss Trask joined Agape for the 2016-2017 school year.

Miss Kalyn Ward, First Grade Teacher k.ward@agapeca.com

Miss Ward holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Mount Union with a major in Early Childhood Education and minors in Intervention Specialist and Psychology. Her teaching license is in Early Childhood Education.  Miss Ward resides in Chardon and joined Agape for the 2015-2016 school year.
Mrs. Clarissa Dearth, Second Grade Teacher
 
Mrs. Dearth holds a Bachelor of Science in Bible with an emphasis in Elementary Education from Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania and an Association of Christian Schools teaching certificate. She brings more than 10 years of Christian School teaching experience to Agape. Mrs. Dearth, her husband Ken and daughters Dakota and Makayla reside in Middlefield. Mrs. Dearth joined Agape for the 2011-2012 school year.
Mrs. April Haladyna, Third Grade Teacher
Mrs. Haladyna earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Mount Union and holds teaching licenses in both Early Childhood Education Grades Kindergarten through Fifth Grade and Mild/Moderate Intervention Grades Kindergarten through Twelfth.  Mrs. Haladyna joined Agape for the 2016-2017 school year. She lives in Chardon with her husband.
Mrs. AnnMarie Phillips, Third Grade Teacher
Mrs. Phillips holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Reading Specialization from Kent State University. She holds a teaching license for Grades First through Eighth with a Reading Endorsement for Kindergarten through Twelfth.  Mrs. Phillips resides in West Farmington with her husband Tim and sons Joshua and Zachary. Mrs. Phillips joined Agape for the 2012-2013 school year.
Mr. Larry Domokos, Fourth Grade Teacher
Mr. Domokos holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Faith Baptist Bible College and a Master of Arts in Elementary Administration and Supervision from Bob Jones University. He brings 36 years of Christian school teaching experience from Northfield Baptist Christian School. Mr. Domokos resides in Middlefield. He joined Agape for the 2016-2017 school year. 
Mrs. Martha Hach, Fifth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Martha Hach earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Bob Jones University with a minor in English. She also holds a Master’s in Education with an Elementary/Reading focus and a Writing Instruction Certificate from Clemson University. This is Mrs. Hach’s third year teaching Fifth Grade at Agape.  She resides in Madison with her husband Emil and son Konstantine.
Mrs. Sara Furman, Sixth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Furman is a graduate of Grove City College where she earned her Bachelors in English with a minor in Communication Studies. She holds her Teaching License in English. Mrs. Furman loves to write and served as Copy Editor for The Collegian which is the Grove City school newspaper. She also served as an intern at The City Mission in Cleveland where she worked with children.  She resides in Cleveland Heights with her husband. Mrs. Furman joined Agape’s teaching team for the 2017-2018 school year.
Mrs. Jeni Najjar,
Fifth/Sixth Grade Bible Teacher
j.najjar@agapeca.com

Mrs. Najjar joined Agape’s teaching team as our Fifth and Sixth Grade Bible Teacher for the 2016-2017 school year. She attended Moody Bible Institute for two years before graduating from Kent State University with her degree in Elementary Education. She resides in Huntsburg with her husband Rick and children Callie, Nathaniel and Cooper.
Mrs. Mary Carr,
Middle School/High School History & Math Teacher 
 
Mrs. Carr holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and a Masters of Education in Kindergarten thru 12 Reading Endorsement from Baldwin Wallace College. She holds a Teaching License in History Grades 6 thru 12 and Language Arts for Grades 4 thru 9. Mrs. Carr and her husband Mike reside in Sagamore Hills. She joined Agape for the 2011-2012 school year.  She also serves as girls’ Volleyball coach.

Mrs. Lorna Chavez,

Middle School Language Arts, Social Studies & Spanish Teacher
 
Mrs. Chavez attended Grove City College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a Minor in Spanish. She holds a Grade 1 thru 8 teaching license, and Association of Christian Schools International Educator’s Certificate and a State of Ohio Non-tax Supported School Certificate. Mrs. Chavez brings 25 years of teaching experience to Agape all of which was at Warren Christian School where she taught Middle School Language Arts, Social Studies and Spanish, High School Spanish and Bible. Mrs. Chavez and her family reside in Southington. Mrs. Chavez has been with Agape since the 2010-2011 school year.
Mrs. Linda Davis,
High School English & Speech Teacher
Mrs. Davis holds a Bachelor of Arts in English-Professional Writing from Capital University and a Master of Arts in English from Cleveland State University. She was most recently an instructor at Lakeland Community College where she taught a variety of English courses to entry level college students and high school students.  Mrs. Davis joined Agape for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Mr. Dan Itschner,

Middle/High School Guidance Counselor
Mr. Itschner holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Administration and Counseling from Kent State University. He brings over 30 years of educational experience with the Berkshire School District where he served as a teacher, principal and counselor. He also served at Geauga Christian School prior to his college graduation. Mr. Itschner and his wife Mim reside in Burton.  Mr. Itschner has been with Agape since the 2012-2013 school year.

Mrs. Mandi Matchinga, Intervention Specialist
m.matchinga@agapeca.com

Mrs. Matchinga holds a Bachelors of Education in Elementary Education and Special Education from Capital University and she holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University. She joined Agape’s teaching team for the 2014-2015 school year bringing more than 10 years of teaching experience. She resides in Middlefield with her husband Mike, son David and daughter Riley.

Mr. Courtney Miller, IT Administrator & Teacher
 
Mr. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.  He has used computers for many years during his electrical engineering and project management career and had instructed others on the use of computer software during his employment in industry.  Mr. Miller lives in Burton with his daughter Suzanne.   Mr. Miller joined Agape for the 2012-2013 school year.
 
Mrs. Susan Rice, Middle/High School Math Teacher
 
Mrs. Rice brings nearly 25 years of teaching experience to Agape. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Bowling Green State University with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Physics and earned a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from Kent State University.  She resides in Newbury with her husband Micky and joined Agape for the 2013-2014 school year.
 
Miss Ashley Ronschke,
Middle/High School Math & Science Teacher
Miss Ronschke holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University with a major in Middle Childhood Education (Grades 4 thru 9) with concentrations in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and a Generalist with a Reading Endorsement. She earned her Masters in Education from Liberty University. Miss Ronschke resides with her family in Chardon and has been with Agape since the 2012-2013 school year.  She also serves as Volleyball Coach.
Mr. Kevin Wilmot,
Middle/High School Bible & Science Teacher
 
Mr. Wilmot is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute. He holds a Bachelors in Education with a Major in Bible.  He also earned a Bachelors in Physics and a Bachelors in Religious Studies from Cleveland State University. He joined Agape as a Student Teacher in the Fall of 2014 before graduating and now teaches Bible and Science. He resides in Burton with his wife Kelly and three small children.