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
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!
Alicia Jones, Secondary English Teacher
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.
Alice Boyd, Science and Social Studies Teacher
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.
Deborah Neustadt, Secondary Science Teacher
I grew up in the St. Louis metropolitan area going to a Lutheran grade school. I have a degree in Education from the University of Missouri at Columbia and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. I moved to Des Moines in 1983 and think of it as my home. I have two grown sons.
I am retired from the Des Moines school district. After retirement, I taught in a variety of settings from junior college to a private elementary school. For a year I went back and forth between Des Moines and St. Louis on a weekly basis to help my parents who have since gone to heaven.
Ever since moving here, I have attended Grand View Lutheran Church. I believe that God has led me to this school. I am very happy to be at Joshua Christian Academy teaching Science to students in sixth through the tenth grade.
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.