Child Development Associate
Staff Credential certified FLDCF
Natasha Parham began working at Trinity as a K4 teacher’s aide in 2016. She began teaching in 2018. She enjoys reading and watching her children play sports. Natasha is married and has two children, Kinley & Zayne. Her favorite thing about working for Trinity is the support system Trinity has. Trinity is like a family.
Crystal McGehee was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fl. She knew from a young age that teaching children was her passion. She has been teaching preschool in 2019. She began working at Trinity in 2021. Crystal McGehee has her Child Development Associate and FACCS certification. In her free time Crystal McGehee likes to crochet and craft. She also loves to sing and act for activities at her church. She looks forward to making memories and becoming apart of the Trinity family.
Tallahassee Community College - AS Early Childhood Education
Florida State College of Jacksonville - AA General Studies
FACCS Certified; CDA Certified
Vanesha Dowdell started teaching K4 in 2003 at a Christian in Jacksonville, Fl and started teaching at Trinity Christian Academy in 2021. Mrs. Dowdell's goal for her students is to teach them to give God their best in everything.
Vanesha Dowdell loves family. She has been married to her husband for over 20 years. They have 2 daughters, both are in college. She loves to plan parties for her family and sing with her daughters. Mrs. Dowdell also have a cute little shih Tzu (Noah). Noah is very special her family, he's sweet, very affectionate and she has taught him how to count to 10 and add. Most of all Mrs. Dowdell love. to worship. She loves to sing praises to her Heavenly Father.
Liz Carpenter graduated from Trinity Baptist College in 2008 with her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She has been teaching since 2008. She enjoys spending time with her family. She has been married to her husband since 2006 and they have 2 sons.
Kristen Echols started aiding at Trinity in 2015 in the kindergarten building. Kristen has been teaching in K4 since 2019. Working with the little ones is where she finds a true fulfillment in her work. She and her husband both graduated from Trinity Christian Academy in 2008. They have been married since 2012 and have one son. Kristen counts herself truly blessed to be following God’s will for her life and to teach and lead young students here at Trinity Christian academy.
Katie Groen received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida. She is certified through FACCS and the Florida Department of Education, and has her DCF Staff Credential. Katie has ten years of teaching experience with seven of those being in K4 and kindergarten. She is passionate about educating young children through hands-on, fun learning experiences in a Christ-centered, nurturing environment.
Katie is married to Nick Groen, the Lower Division Vice Principal. They have two children who attend TCA. In her free time, Katie enjoys going on family adventures, reading, drinking good coffee, and eating BBQ! She is excited for another great year at TCA.
Child Development Associate
Staff Credential Certified FLDCF
Brooke Myers was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. She has been a resident of Jacksonville since 2014. She began teaching VPK in 2007 and spent most of her summers as a young adult ministering to young children in Ireland. She enjoys being outdoors in her garden and staying active while spending time with her husband Tyler and their daughter Ashlynn.
For her, working at Trinity is an answer to her prayers. She has always enjoyed sharing the love of Christ to young ones on the mission field and now she gets the honor of doing it every day while working at Trinity.
AA from Bob Jones University in Early Childhood Ministry
FACCS certified; Staff Credential through FLDCF
Wendi Prater was born in Rochester, NY but was raised in Jacksonville, FL. She began teaching three-year olds at TCA in 1990. In 2004, the Lord opened a door and allowed her to begin teaching K-4 here at Trinity. She and her husband Wesley both enjoy the camping life. They are both graduates of the Academy and are very thankful for the values instilled in them through the Academy. She loves working with the children and watching them learn and grow.
Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education
Angela Sharp was born in Louisville, Kentucky and raised in Jacksonville, Florida since the age of 5. She graduated from Terry Parker high school. She earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida. Angela is FACCS certified. She has two children, Kaelin and Isaac and a foreign exchange daughter, Anna, that attends Trinity Christian Academy. Family is an important part of Angela’s life. She has been teaching at Trinity since 2017. She was blessed to work with K4 for 3 years and now she is just as happy to be working with K5. Angela loves desserts and working out at the gym.
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi
Wendy Villa was raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She has been a resident of Jacksonville since 2004. Wendy started her teaching career in 2007 teaching 2nd grade and later Kindergarten for Duval County Schools. After enjoying a few years at home with her two children, she returned to teaching in 2017 teaching K-4 at TCA.
She married her husband, Carlos in 2006. Her son, Nick and daughter, Kaylyn both love attending Trinity Christian Academy. She is a huge Disney fan, loves to travel, going to concerts, the beach, and movies. Her favorite thing about teaching at Trinity Christian Academy is getting to share the love of Jesus with her students and co-workers.
Elementary Faculty (K5-3rd Grade)
Bachelors from Metropolitan State University of Colorado in Special Education and Elementary Education
FACCS certified; Staff Credential through FLDCF
Amanda Davis was born in Denver, Co. She began teaching in 2010 in special education. In 2011 the Lord presented an opportunity to teach Kindergarten. She dove into this new adventure with both feet and has loved teaching Kindergarten ever since. Amanda and her husband have been married since 2013 and have three beautiful children, whom all attend Trinity Christian. They just moved from Colorado to Jacksonville and they've enjoyed exploring and getting to know their new home state. She's so excited to be apart of the TCA team and to help students learn, explore and seek the Lord with all their hearts.
Bachelor of Science Elementary Education– Evangel University, Springfield, Mo
M.ED. Elementary Education – Campbell University
FACCS Certified, Staff Credential FLDCF
Shelley Praschan began teaching at Trinity in 2017 after relocating to Jacksonville from Fayetteville, North Carolina. While at Trinity, she taught Elementary Music, served as a VPK assistant, and is currently teaching Kindergarten. She has worked with and taught elementary children through church ministries, public and private education over a 30-year career. She is a co-author of three books for elementary music along with the curriculum to support elementary music teachers and provide students with the ability to read and write music. Shelley and her husband Ken have four wonderful children and four grandchildren.
She enjoys reading, studying God’s Word, baking, singing and being with family. One of her favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:6,7
Catherine (Katie) Forde
Katie Forde is a native to Jacksonville and is an alumnus of Trinity Christian Academy. She also attended Trinity Baptist College, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries/Children’s Ministry. She is also FACCS certified. She is happily married to her husband, Tony, and they have four children, Addy, Annsley, Jack and Liam. Katie and her husband are heavily involved in children’s ministry at Trinity. She enjoys playing softball, family time, and Italian food.
Karen Wankel taught for 6 years in the Early Intervention program (4-year olds) in a public school in south Florida. She then taught a preschool class at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Port Charlotte, Florida for a year and a half before coming to Trinity Baptist College to finish her degree. Miss Wankel has been teaching at Trinity Christian Academy since 2004. She taught one year of first grade, 11 years of second grade, and began teaching kindergarten in 2017.
She enjoys exercising, spending time with friends and helping friends with their small children.
I love the people I work with and the supportive environment that I work in. I also enjoy working with children and seeing them grow throughout the year as they master new skills.
BS from Trinity Baptist College
Beth Yerby has been teaching at Trinity since 1984. She started teaching in 1st grade and currently teaches Kindergarten. She loves spending time with family and friends playing games and just hanging out together. Beth is married and has 4 children, two of which are married, and one grandchild. She loves teaching at Trinity because she enjoys seeing children in her class get saved each year. She also loves being able to watch the children learn to read. Her goal for them is to learn to read the Bible. An enjoyable thing for her is being able to see the children in kindergarten grow from a young age to adults as they go through the classes at Trinity.
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Boyce College
Emily Foster joined the First-Grade teaching team at TCA in 2020. She also student taught at Christian Academy of Louisville in Kentucky. Emily enjoys working with young learners. She considers it a great pleasure to watch her students get excited about reading.
When Emily is not teaching, you might find her getting coffee with friends, going on a nature walk, and, of course, reading a good book. Emily considers it a blessing to be a part of the work going on at Trinity Christian Academy.
Joyce Hodges is from Macclenny, FL and has lived there her whole life. She and her husband, Dale have three sons, Micheal, Alan, and Dale Gene. She enjoys reading, going to the lake, beach, and spending time with her family. Prior to coming to Trinity, she worked at a private preschool. She has been at Trinity since 2018.
Donna Anderson has a successful track record of teaching VPK and Elementary children for over a decade. Donna grew up in a family of educators, her inspiration to become a teacher stems from early childhood. Many of her summers was spent helping her mother pack her classroom and make preparations for the up coming school year. After spending summers and holidays with relatives that were dedicated educators. The love of teaching became her passion. Upon completing high school she actively pursued other job interest. Often reminiscing on her educational experience led her to enroll in Bethune Cookman University with a majoring in Elementary Education, graduating magna cum laude and a member of Kappa Delta PI Educators Honors Society.
After graduating Ms. Anderson joined the faculty at ABC Daycare where she taught VPK for several years. While teaching at ABC Daycare she gained much experience. She was inspired from her colleagues to utilize her degree to teach in traditional schools. Ms. Anderson moved forward with her career and was offered an opportunity to teach Kindergarten where she joined the faculty at Ephesus Jr, Academy. Ms. Anderson's track record began to grow then as a Kindergarten teacher and is still growing today where she now teaches at TCA as a first grade teacher. Throughout her many years in teaching since 2006 Donna has influenced her students to pray to God for all their struggles in life, be thankful for their blessings, stay in school, study hard, and seek higher education and make it happen. Donna has the passion for educating young minds and directing them in the right path with prayer to become future leaders for our world.
During her free time Donna enjoys going to the beach, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Whenever she gets the opportunity she also enjoys interior decorating, horseback riding and sunflower picking.
God has truly blessed her with a beautiful family of 3 teenagers, two boys, one girl, and supportive parents. Donna has kept her children in private schools since their younger years and involved in church activities. Donna believes "Training up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it". Her children are very talented they enjoy sharing their God given talents in music, singing and drama. Donna gives all the praise to God with the blessings He bestowed on her family.
Ms. Anderson's favorite saying is " Make it Happen". She applies this phrase to motivate her students, family and friends to push themselves in hard times. She believes that "We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us". Philippians 4:13.
Katie Hardy is originally from Jacksonville, FL. She graduated from Trinity Baptist College with her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and has been teaching since 2013. She married her husband, Zac, in 2014, and they have two boys: Ezra and Andrew. In her free time, Katie enjoys going to the pool/beach and spending time with her family.
Melissa attended West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California where she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught at Faith Baptist School in California for two years before moving to Jacksonville in 2009. She worked at Trinity Baptist Church five years before transferring to the academy where she has been teaching since 2017. When not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children.
BS in Foreign Missions and a BA Elementary Ed. from Trinity Baptist College
Kristine Huisman was born and raised in Oregon. She came to Trinity Baptist College in 2000. She graduated from TBC with a Bachelor degree in both Missions and Elementary Education. In 2006 Kristine began teaching second grade at TCA. She enjoys reading, crafting, and spending summers with family in the Great Northwest.
Victoria graduated from Trinity Baptist College in 2020 with her degree in Interdisciplinary with a focus on English and a minor focus on Counseling. She started teaching at Trinity Christian Academy in 2021. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have a sweet dog named Cooper. She enjoys traveling, photography, and an iced coffee. In her free time, she likes to read or watch Disney movies.
BS in Elementary Education with ESOL endorsement from the University of South Florida
Lauren Ferguson has taught 2nd grade at TCA since 2017. Prior to teaching at Trinity, she taught 3rd grade at a Christian school in the Tampa area. She has also taught Kindergarten and 1st grade in the public-school system. She has been married to her husband, Micah, since 2003 and they have three amazing children, all of whom attend TCA. She enjoys serving in her church’s middle school ministry and speaking at girls’ events. In her free time, she loves going to the beach with her family and baking. She loves Disney World, coffee, and West Florida sunsets.
Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Trinity Baptist College
Katie Tomlin was born and raised in Greenville, RI, and relocated to Jacksonville, Fl, to attend college. In 2007, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Trinity Baptist College. After teaching for a few years, Katie took a ten-year teaching hiatus to have and raise her three small children. She returned to the TCA classroom in 2018. She enjoys traveling, shopping, all things coffee, and spending time with her husband and children. Katie is so thankful to be a part of the wonderful family at TCA!
B.A. Degree in Elementary Education from University of North Florida
Mr. Ballard is state certified to teach Elementary Education, ESE, and Social Sciences. For the last several years he has specialized in teaching Elementary Math and Science. He is currently retired from the Florida public school system. He has been a part of TCA since 2017.
Liberty University; Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education
Chrislyn Durham’s educational experience started in Lake City Fl, where she taught 1st grade. The Lord led her to France and Honduras for several mission trips, camp counseling, and a variety of children’s ministry activities. In her spare time, she enjoys going on outdoor adventures to parks and the beach with her two children Luke and Hannah. Being at Trinity is a blessing to Chrislyn. She can use her God given talent to teach children about Jesus and the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus.
Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Trinity Baptist College
Crystal Robinson received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Trinity Baptist College. She has been teaching third grade since 2002. Crystal is married and has one daughter named Elizabeth who is currently attending Trinity Christian Academy. Crystal loves her family and enjoys doing crafts and activities with her daughter.
Bachelor's of Science in Special Education at Georgia College & State University
Miss Shane is very close to her family back in Georgia - her mother, father, older sister, twin sister, and her sisters' precious foster children. Her hobbies are cooking, listening to music, playing and watching sports, working out. She said, "God answered my prayer in moving to Jax that I would find an incredible, God-centered Christian school where I could work in a setting that combines my education degree with my ministry experience. Psalm 145:15-17".
Elementary Faculty (4th-6th Grade)
Rebecca Murphree is a veteran teacher with her career beginning in 2003. Ms. Murphree has taught several grades as well as several subjects ranging from elementary to middle and high school. She has been a Christian since childhood and hopes that God will use her to bring others to Jesus.
Ms. Murphree is married and has two kids. She loves reading, swimming and horseback riding. She also breeds miniature schnauzers and has 4 dogs and 2 cats.
Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Trinity Baptist College
Taylor Brown has taught 4th grade at TCA since 2017. In her spare time, she volunteers in children’s church on Sundays, loves to read, and loves spending quality time with friends and family. Her husband Jason has been the Children’s Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church since 2014. Taylor loves meeting new families and connecting them to the church.
Jordyn Schreiber has a BA in Elementary Education from Saint Leo University. Originally from Gainesville, she recently made a move to Jacksonville after getting married in the fall 2019. She has been teaching at TCA since 2019. Outside of the classroom she enjoys CrossFit, fishing, hunting, kayaking, and being outdoors with her husband and family.
Pam Lamb has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and is FACCS certified and holds a teaching certificate from the FLDOE. She has taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades in Alabama and in Clay County, Florida.
Pam is married to a local worship pastor and they have a son and a daughter. She enjoys listening to her son play music and watching her daughter play sports. In addition, Pam really likes to travel and has a dream to visit all 50 states! She is active in her church, serving in the children's and music ministries.
Pam loves being a wife, mom, and teacher!
Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bob Jones University
Melissa Warren has taught at TCA since 1992. Melissa loves to run and spend time with her family. she has been married to her husband, Daniel, since 1993. He is the Executive Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church. She has four children which have graduated from or are attending TCA. She loves teaching and seeing students develop to their fullest potential.
Jessica Swinson was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She attended Trinity Christian Academy from K4 through graduation from high school. She earned her Associates Degree in nursing from FCCJ and her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Trinity Baptist College. Jessica met her husband, Tom, while attending Trinity Baptist College and they were married in 2001. They have two children, Molly and Luke. Family is an important part of Jessica’s life and that is how she spends much of her time. She also loves sweets and a good book.
Jessica Wenberg graduated from Trinity Baptist College in 2003 with her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She began teaching at Trinity Christian Academy in 2003. She worked as a second-grade teacher for ten years. She has taught fifth grade since 2013. Jessica loves reading and spending time with her family and friends. She met her husband in college, were married in 2003, and they have two children, Lydia and Aiden.
Ashley Bielling received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Valdosta State University. She has taught kindergarten, third grade, and is currently teaching 5th grade. Ashley also helps lead the GROW running club at Trinity, where she educates and encourages elementary aged girls to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. She has attended Trinity Baptist Church since 2005 where she has served in both the children and youth ministries. When away from work, she enjoys running, baking, and spending time with her husband, Zeb, and daughters, Addie and Lily.
Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Tennessee Temple University
Shari Smith is a native Floridian. She completed her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Tennessee Temple University, and has been teaching at Trinity Christian Academy since 2000. Her four children are all graduates of TCA. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends.
Pensacola Christian College; Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education
American College of Education; Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction
Wendy McKinnon’s educational experience started in Pensacola, FL, where she taught 2nd grade for four years. Then she moved closer to family and taught 4th grade in the Dallas area for two years. The Lord led her to Romania where she taught missionary children for a year. Through these early years of teaching, several mission trips, camp counseling, and a variety of children’s ministries, God confirmed and blessed her desire to be an educator. In 2006, God led her to TCA, where she taught 3rd grade for eight years and served in children’s church. In 2014, she became a stay-at-home mom for five years and returned to TCA in 2019 to teach 6th grade history. She loves using her hands in creating things and loves living life with her husband and two beautiful children.
Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Trinity Baptist College
Ashley Goodman attended Arkansas State University from 1985-86 and graduated from Trinity Baptist College in 2003 with a BS in Education. She began teaching at TCA in 2003. She has taught 3rdgrade and 4th grade as well. Ashley has been teaching 6th grade since 2009 and began to exclusively teach science in 2018. Her hobbies are reading science fiction novels and political biographies. She also enjoys riding her motorcycle. Ashley has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1986. She has 5 grown children and 3 grandchildren, all of whom live in Jacksonville. The thing she loves most about working at Trinity is the friendships she’s formed with her coworkers and feels at home here.
Beth Shipton is a graduate of Trinity Baptist college with a BS degree in Elementary Education. She has taught for 22 years in various Christian schools, including Trinity Christian Academy. Recently Beth relocated to Jacksonville, after living in Virginia for the past 14 years where she taught 6th grade History and Science. Beth is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother to 6 grandchildren. She enjoys reading, refinishing furniture, and playing with her grandchildren.
Lower Division Enhancements Faculty
Kindergarten Music Teacher
Joy Schreck is a graduate of Trinity Baptist College with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She has been the kindergarten music teacher at Trinity since 2018. One of the greatest pleasures in her life is sharing God’s gift of music with her students.
PE / Enhancements
Heather has been married since 2009 to her husband Charles. They have 3 beautiful children. They have a set of boy/girl twins and a daughter, their bonus baby! They also have a menagerie of pets, 6 to be exact. They are passionate animal lovers.
She completed her education at UNF, where she graduated in 2007. She has a Bachelors degree in Public Health with a minor in Health Education. In 2011 she also graduated from UF Health where she received a certificate as a certified X-ray technician. Her background is vast but she is most passionate about health and wellness. She has been a health educator since 2007. She has worked predominantly with adults in her career. However, in recent years she has spent a lot of time working with children from coaching sports to working with them at church. She is very passionate about the physical education of her students and showing them all their body is capable of. She believes GOD has given us a body that can achieve great things if we learn how to take care of it.
In her free time she enjoys anything outdoors. She and her family spend a lot of their free time in the mountains of Georgia and Tennessee. They love to hike and explore. They also love the beaches of Florida. They live their best life outside. She also enjoys watching sports of any kind, especially the Florida Gators.
Elementary Music & Chorus Teacher
Miss Meagan Schlabach is an elementary music educator from Canton, Ohio. Miss Schlabach graduated with a degree in Music Education, vocal emphasis, from Lee University in the Spring of 2021. As an educator, she is passionate about creating a classroom environment where students’ experiences are valued, and music is used to facilitate community among a diverse group of students. Miss Schlabach believes music is a gift from God, and she is so excited about sharing this gift with her students and the TCA community.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, making music and spending time with friends and family.
STEM Enhancement Teacher
Tammy Tuell began teaching in 1998 and has had the pleasure of teaching students at many grade levels, including 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades. She is a bit of a NASA-nut and loves exploring the amazing world that God has given to us. She is excited to have the opportunity this year to teach with a problem-based learning approach in the STREAM lab.
Tammy and her husband have two children and three grandchildren. Their favorite hobbies spending time together as a family and exploring new places as they travel. Tammy feels honored to join Trinity because she loves helping learners develop 21st century skills and explore the wonder of God’s creation.
Elementary Resource Teacher
Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Trinity Baptist College, Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Trinity Baptist College, Master’s degree in Psychology from American Public University
Karen Akins has been teaching at TCA since 1997. Her teaching has been with the elementary, resource, and then in 2018 she began teaching ESL English and Bible to our International students. She loves using technology in the classroom and takes every opportunity to incorporate new methods of teaching and attends tech conferences to stay current on new options for our students. She has traveled to Jamaica, Trinidad, Colombia, Whales, Peru, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, and Austria; so, she enjoys sharing a love of other cultures with the students.
Trinity Baptist College - B.S. Church Ministries
James began working in the Extended Ed program at Trinity Christian Academy in August 2017, and in 2021 moved full time into a teaching position. His goal is to help students discover their extraordinary life with God, and also give them a love and appreciation for technology that they may not have had before.
James loves to watch all sports, but especially Alabama football. He also plays them intramurally on occasion, and has coached in church leagues and rec. Additionally, James is currently working on his first published book, and has written several plays that were performed at his church in Alabama.
Kirsten Christmas graduated from Trinity Baptist College in 2010 with her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She began teaching at Trinity Christian Academy in 2010. She has worked as a fifth-grade teacher, a second-grade teacher, the PE teacher, and is currently the IXL teacher and Elementary Librarian. Kirsten loves reading, Hallmark movies, and spending time with her family and friends. She is married to Dr. Adam Christmas and they have two children, Emily and Ethan. Naturally, her favorite holiday is Christmas!