Marti Wojcik, Kindergarten Teacher
Marti Wojcik graduated from William Penn University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in reading. Marti followed the Lord’s leading to be a nanny in New York and Michigan. She also lived in Arizona for a year teaching first, second, and third grades in a multi-age classroom.
She has had various teaching experiences including substitute teaching in New York, Iowa and Michigan. She has had a long-term sub positions in special education. She has also worked for Sylvan Learning Center as a tutor. For the past seven years, Marti has enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom with her three children. During this time at home, the Lord called her into children’s leadership at Bible Study Fellowship. She served in the children’s ministry at BSF for three years.
“I know, without a doubt, that God has called me to be here at JCA. I am more than excited to see what God will do at this school and through the students who attend here. I consider it an honor to work with the amazing staff that God has placed at JCA. I look forward to teaching the children academics while incorporating the love of Christ freely into every part of our day. What a blessing it is to be a part of Joshua Christian Academy.”
Kim Richman, 1st Grade Teacher
Kim Richman is the first grade teacher at JCA. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with honors (magma cum laude) in the top 4% of her class. Kim has also worked on her early childhood endorsement at Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa) and has just a 4 week class/teaching segment left to acquire this endorsement. She has subbed in the DM School District for the last two years. Prior to this, Kim has worked in the early childhood field as a teacher and caregiver of young children for over twenty years. Kim writes for The Mailbox Magazine and for other teaching trade magazines. Kim has also had some stories publishes in various Sunday School magazines and is working on trying to have some books published in the children’s market.
Her family attends church in Colfax at Hope Assembly where Kim is the Youth Ministry Leader. Kim has a passion for missions where she is very involved with her church in BGMC and Convoy of Hope ministries.
She is so excited about teaching at JCA where she can utilize her Biblical worldview in teaching her students in a natural way.
Andrea Terry, 2nd Grade Teacher
I finished out the last quarter of the 2014-2015 school year with the second grade, I was very impressed with what the Lord and His people were doing here at JCA.
My philosophy for learning is that each child is unique, and each child learns in a different way. One of my jobs as a teacher is to help your child discover his or her individuality and work alongside with them to maximize it.
Collaboration, cooperation, and open communication between home and school are keys to building a strong foundation for a successful school year.
Joy Root, 3rd Grade Teacher
I grew up on our family farm in Eastern Iowa. It was an especially fun place to grow up as I loved being outdoors, I loved animals and I loved working alongside my parents. After high school, I attended the University of Northern Iowa and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. During that time, I came to understand the truth of the gospel and I accepted Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as the payment for my sins. I also attended Bible college for a couple of years to help ground me in God’s Word.
I have taught 3rd grade, P.E. Kindergarten and aided or subbed in most grades over the course of my time at Grandview Park Baptist School in Des Moines. I home-schooled my three children for a few years as well. I married a wonderful man on September 4, 1982 and the Lord has blessed our home with three children, all of whom are married and involved in serving the Lord for which we are very thankful. We became grandparents to two new grandsons in 2014, and of course, we are enjoying that immensely!
I have been involved in many ministries at church over the years. Music ministries, children’s’ ministries, home Bible studies, evangelistic home Bible studies, and sports’ outreach programs are just a few of those activities.
I enjoy gardening, hiking, singing, cooking, spending time with my family and investing in the lives of children to help lay a solid foundation of Biblical truth in their lives that will help them live for the glory of God.
I am thankful for the opportunity to join the staff at JCA.
Anna Short, 4th Grade Teacher
Hello! My name is Anna Short. I am a recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa where I graduated summa cum laude in Elementary Education. I also have a certificate in Early Childhood Education from DMACC. While I was in college, I worked in Ankeny Christian Academy’s childcare and preschool. That was where I fell in love with children and first felt God calling me into teaching.
I trusted Christ as my Savior at a very young age and since then have striven to make Him the object of my life. I love learning new aspects of His character and work and am passionate about sharing His love with children. I have taught Sunday School at my church for two years and am excited to have the opportunity to share Christ with my students here at JCA.
I love to read, knit, play the piano and spend time with my parents and three younger sisters.
Julie Warning, 5th Grade Teacher
My name is Julie Waring, and I am thrilled to be teaching 5th grade at JCA! I received a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Social Studies from Evangel University in Springfield, MO. Following graduation I began teaching 5th grade for the North Kansas City School District where I remained until relocating to Iowa. Once in Iowa, I became the Worship Department Assistant at First Assembly, Des Moines and began work toward Iowa certification.
Subsequently, I completed the Middle School Generalist endorsement as well as hours toward a Masters in Literacy through Drake University. Over the past 8 years I served in short and long term assignments as a K-8 substitute teacher for Des Moines and Ankeny public schools while also beginning coursework toward licensure and ordination with the Assemblies of God through Iowa School of Ministry. My son and I attend New Hope Assembly of God in Urbandale and participate in a variety of activities including JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz), VBS, and choir.
My life’s aim is to love and serve the Lord with all that I am and by faith learn and choose to love others as I have been loved by Him. I am grateful to be grafted into this part of His Body and look forward to seeing all He will do in, through, and for us!
Rev. Brandon M. Spriggs, Secondary Principal
Rev. Spriggs has worked in the field of education for the past 11 years. He started as a Before/After Care Coordinator. Later, he became a high school music teacher and special education assistant. Prior to working with Joshua Christian Academy, he taught kindergarten in West Des Moines.
In addition to being a JCA Principal, he is the Youth Pastor and Minister of Music at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. He also tutors at the Oakridge YEWP project.
Breck Appell, Secondary Math Teacher
I was born into a Christian family. We went to church practically every time the doors were open. We had regular family devotions at night, and from the beginning my parents made it very clear to my brothers and me that our salvation was not because of our family or church, but rather our personal relationship with God through Christ. I placed my trust in Christ when I was about five years old and was baptized when I was in high school.
I met my wife at our church youth group. We served together as youth group leaders for three years before entering Christian education full time. After the birth of our son, Josiah, the Lord led us to minister at Oak Grove Baptist Church and School in 1994, where I taught full-time in the junior and senior high. The Lord provided many opportunities for me to serve in the church as well as the school.
In August of 1998 God led our family to move to Ankeny so I could take a position as the Financial Aid Director and, most recently, as the Assistant Registrar at Faith Baptist Bible College. We joined Ankeny Baptist Church where I have served in various ministries over the years.
I am excited to be joining the Joshua Christian Academy family this year as the 6th-10th grade math teacher.
Rev. David Finnell, Secondary English Teacher
Rev. David Finnell lives in Ankeny, Iowa, but is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. He spent six years serving his country in the military and has been married to his wife, Mary, for 20 years. Together, they are the proud grandparents of Joshua Christian Academy students. Rev. Finnell has spent 30 years in ministry and eight years in pastoral ministry. He is the current assistant pastor at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church and has experience in clinical pastoral education as a chaplain for Iowa Methodist Hospital and Christian education as a professor for Kingsway Theological Seminary. Rev. Finnell holds a Masters of Theology.
Jeanette Reyes, Secondary Science Teacher
Jeanette Reyes is the secondary science teacher. Mrs. Reyes has a teaching degree from Faith Baptist Bible College. She has worked with students in a variety of ways, including as a nanny, daycare worker and substitute teacher before teaching full-time.
Mrs. Reyes came to know Christ as Savior at a young age. She was baptized as a teenager and has served the local church in multiple ways, including AWANA, youth group, evangelism and Sunday school teaching. She married her husband in April of 2013, and they live in Maxwell. Mrs. Reyes enjoys crafting, reading and cooking. She is excited to be a part of the JCA family and to have a part in teaching these students.
Alice Boyd is the Science and Social Studies Coordinator at JCA. She is a seasoned teacher, recently retired from 38 years in the Des Moines Public Schools. She spent her career at Cattell teaching 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th grades. Mrs. Boyd graduated from East High and received her Bachelor of Science and Education Degree from Drake University.
Alice has been very involved in the community and has received numerous awards for her commitment and service. Some of these include:
• YWCA Woman of Achievement Award
• Martin Luther King State of Iowa Service Award
• Church Women United Human Rights Award 2008
• Outgoing Director of Young People’s Dept. for Baptist State Convention
• Musician for National Young People’s Dept. for Baptist Convention
• Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Mrs. Boyd is a lifetime member of Faith Missionary Baptist Church where she is involved in music ministry.
Kathy Graff, Secondary Social Studies Teacher
Kathy feels very blessed that God has called her to teach Social Studies to 6th-10th graders at JCA. Kathy graduated from Augustana College with a BA degree in Deaf Education K-12 and Elementary Education K-6. Kathy taught in a self-contained classroom for the deaf/hearing impaired with 3rd-5th graders for Des Moines Public Schools until her children were born. Then she worked with students ranging in age from 4-40 years of age for Sylvan Learning Center. Once her oldest child was school aged, Kathy began subbing for Carlisle Community Schools one to two days per week so she could stay home with her priority blessings versus having them be raised in daycare. Now that her youngest child is old enough for all day school, Kathy is excited to go back to teaching full time and to have her own classroom again!
Kathy also taught Sign Language as a Foreign Language to students at the Network over the last two years. Kathy enjoys spending time with her family and gardening. She is also very active in ministry at Grace Church. She loves learning about other cultures and has been on four different mission trips both within the United States and in the country of Portugal. There, she got to be a part of the very first deaf church that Portugal has ever had! Kathy also studied abroad in Brisbane, Australia, at Griffith University. All that traveling has helped Kathy to see that God loves diversity and so should we. JCA feels like home as it has a lot of diversity and it incorporates Sign Language that is used to help students memorize scripture.
Becca Kramer, Physical Education Teacher
I was born in rural NE Iowa where I attended a small Christian Academy. We moved to Des Moines in 5th grade, where I finished the rest of my schooling at home. Upon high school graduation, Northwestern College became my home away from home for five years. There, I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Christian Education, met and married my husband and worked full-time at the college
for one year.
Team sports have always been a passion of mine; I played basketball and soccer throughout most of my life. In high school, I played as an East High Lady Scarlet, making the state tournament my senior year. Next, I became a NW College Red Raider, competing for one year of college soccer along with four years of basketball, during which we succeeded in securing three National Championships and a Final Four appearance.
Since graduating, I have had three kids with my husband, Jon, been a coach in some capacity for four years at East High school and two years at JCA, refereed youth soccer for four years, substituted for four years in the Des Moines Public Schools system and am currently starting my 6th year of teaching Physical Education at JCA.
My ambition is to teach children how to develop basic coordination when using their bodies, improve their knowledge and ability in stretching, strength movements, games and lifetime sports and, most of all, how to compete with respect for others and with an encouraging spirit to those around them. I know what a joy is to play and compete with others in an excellent, disciplined, humble and cooperative way! My hope is the things and way I teach inspires my students to compete in life with love, winning others to Christ through their words and example.
Karen Kehoe, Elementary Art Teacher
I was born and raised in a small community in southeastern Iowa. After high school, I attended and graduated with an art/education degree from Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas. Teaching positions were provided in Uniontown, Kansas; Carroll, Iowa; West Des Moines and, for 14 years, at Des Moines Christian School.
I am married and have two daughters and sons-in-laws and a wonderful grandson. I attend Timberline church where we lead a small group, and I participate in a women’s group and senior leadership.
I accepted Christ as my savior when I was seven years old. Each day it is a joy to say I am saved by grace and have a desire to serve Him where He leads.
Allonna Stovall, Elementary Vocal Music Teacher
My name is Allonna Stovall and I am so excited to be teaching elementary music at JCA!
I was born in Kansas and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and was baptized at age 7! After graduating from Lincoln High School, I attended the University of Northern Iowa where I studied vocal music for two years. I met my husband, Damien, in the UNI Gospel Choir when I was just 19 years old! I graduated from UNI with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Family Studies, and a minor emphasis in vocal music. Damien and I have been married 19 years and have 7 children, ages 16, 15, 14, 12, 11 ,10, and 7. In October of 2015, I gave my initial sermon and, subsequently, became licensed for ministry. My calling and passion is to see people of all ages realize that God has an abundant life that He created for them to live if we are willing to trust Him!
Phyllis Ousley Voss, Resource Teacher
We welcomed Phyllis Ousley Voss to our staff this fall. She is a member of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. She is married to Brad and has two adult sons. She received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Drake University.
She has been employed by Des Moines Public Schools as a special education teacher, 1st and 2nd grade classroom teacher, ELL teacher and currently is a tutor for Sylvan Learning Center.
She serves as our Resource Teacher and has over twenty students she sees on during the week. Her primary responsibility is academic remediation. She is a great support for the classroom teachers.
She had taught for over thirty years in the public schools but she desired to teach in a Christian school where she could share the love of Jesus with the children every day.