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 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.”
Anna Short, 1st Grade Teacher
Hello! My name is Anna Short. I am a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa where I received my 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.
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 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.
Mrs. Shade, 4th Grade Teacher
Bio and photo to come!
Danette Gano, 5th Grade Teacher
My name is Dannette Gano and I am honored to be teaching at Joshua Christian Academy this year.
I have been an early childhood educator for over 25 years with a broad variety of experience as a teacher in public schools, private Christian schools, and also preschools as a teacher and administrator.
I moved to Iowa just over one year ago, having lived in Missouri for the previous ten years. My behind-the-scenes support team consists of my husband, daughter, and three teenaged boys. Our family’s honorary mascot is a Shih Tzu with no tail – Trixie.
I hope your child is as excited about this coming school year as I am; we’re going to have a great time and learn a lot of wonderful things!
Allonna Stovall, 6th Grade Teacher
My name is Allonna Stovall and I am so excited to be teaching 6th Grade 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 are 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!
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 English Teacher
Jeanette 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, Science and Social Studies Teacher for K-5th
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.
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 Diehl, Elementary Vocal Teacher
My name is Karen Diehl. I grew up in southern Iowa and spent most of my childhood on a farm near Moravia. After graduating from Moravia High School, I attended Vennard Bible College in University Park, Iowa where I received a BA degree with a major in Bible and a minor in music. Further degrees include a B.M.E.(Bachelor of Music Education) and an M.S.E. (master of science in elementary education), both from Drake University.
I had a wonderful 30-year career teaching in Des Moines Public Schools. Currently, I work part-time as a receptionist at Valley View Village, a Christian retirement center in Des Moines.
I trusted Jesus as my personal Savior at age 7 in VBS. I am an active member of my church. I have always wanted to teach in a Christian school or be a missionary. But God never led in that direction. I am so thrilled that in my retirement years He has opened up the opportunity to do both at JCA! After volunteering last year, I’m really looking forward to serving this year as a general music teacher for grades K-6 with Marsha Hale.
Marsha Hale, Elementary Vocal Teacher
My name is Marsha Hale and it’s my joy and privilege to be teaching K-6 music with Karen Diehl. I was raised in a Godly home and being immersed in Christian music and Biblical teaching, I accepted Jesus into my heart as a preschooler. I started playing the piano quite young and became our church pianist at age eleven.
Because teaching was my dream since second grade, I studied Elementary Education at Grand View College and Drake University where I earned undergraduate degrees and tgen my M.S.E. (Master of Science in Education Curriculum and Instruction). I taught twelve years at Edmunds Elementary, followed by fifteen years at Hoyt Middle School, many of them as a sixth grade unit leader. While at Edmunds, I challenged my church to become actively involved in assisting scores of refugees from Southeast Asia (known as “boat people”) who were our students, their families and friends. It was an endeavor of love.
I am thrilled to be here at JCA! God has certainly given me the desires of my heart, Psalm 37:4.
Andy Hansen, Instrumental Instructor 5th-12th Grade
Mr. Andy Hansen has taught band and lessons for 44 years, the past 30 in the Des Moines Public Schools. Mr. Hansen has directed high school bands at Lincoln, taught middle school lessons at Merrill for the past eight years, and has started 5th grade beginners in numerous elementary schools. Mr. Hansen is also the co-founder of Des Moines Summer Honor Band camp for the past 25 years.
Mr. Hansen retired from DMPS in 2011 so he could pursue his desire to help individual players improve their skills. Mr. Hansen was called by the Lord to start a band program at Joshua Christian Academy five years ago. He and his wife Connie attend Grace Church, where he plays in the orchestra and is active in ministry to senior adults.
Jim Goodwin, Band Teacher 5th-12th Grade
Mr. James Goodwin recently retired from Des Moines Public Schools after 38 years of teaching band in Michigan, Germany, and Iowa. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters Degree in Music Education from Drake University. Mr. Goodwin has composed numerous instrumental compositions for bands and various small ensembles. Mr. Goodwin served in Army bands in Maryland, Germany, Michigan, and Iowa. He was the Bandmaster of the 34th Army Band, Iowa National Guard, until 2010 when he retired with 29 years of service. He is a recipient of the Army Meritorious Service Award and the Legion of Merit Award. Presently Mr. Goodwin conducts the Iowa Military Veterans Band, an ensemble made up of 80 veteran musicians. He has been married to his wife, Janice, for 45 years. Their three children are all accomplished musicians.
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.
Kim Richman, STEM Teacher
Kim Richman is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) 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.
Minister Toni Jenkins Harris, Associate
Minister Toni Jenkins-Harris has been with Joshua Christian Academy for nine years. She is the mother of five children, grandmother to 15 and great-grandmother to many more.
She has been an associate for the DMPS. She worked with special needs children at Smouse, King, Moore and started at Logan. She retired in 2007.
Minister Toni Jenkins Harris has received her Associates Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Kingsway University and Theological Seminary. Minister Harris is an Associate Minister at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. She received her certificate of Ordination July 2001.