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JCA Main

JCA Main serves as our main office and is located at 1740 Garfield Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. We serve students in grades K-7. Please see our two other locations, JCA West and JCA South, which serve additional grade levels.

JCA Main Teachers & Staff


Click on a staff member to get to know them

Marti Wojcik

Ms. Wojcick graduated from William Penn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Reading. She has had various teaching experiences including teaching in New York, Iowa, Michigan, and Arizona. She has held positions in special education and with Sylvan Learning Center as a tutor. Ms. Wojcik has three children. 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.”

1st Grade

Tanekia Wright

Des Moines native Tanekia Wright spent 18 years in Des Moines Public Schools prior to joining Joshua Christian Academy. Proverbs 22 influenced her decision greatly-"train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
2nd Grade

Andrea Terry

Bio coming soon.
3rd Grade

Christin Karkiainen

”Ms. K” has a Bachelor of Science degree from William Penn University. She worked in customer service research for 15 years. The flexibility of her position allowed her to homeschool her daughter, work with Ballet Des Moines, and as a teacher leader with Bible Study Fellowship.

“I am so honored that God has brought me to JCA as a teacher. I feel blessed and can’t wait to how God works in our students’ lives.”

4th Grade

Marjorie Shade

Ms. Shade graduated from North High School. She had a long career with a number of distinguished organizations including the State of Iowa, NW Bell Telphone, DMACC, and Drake University before retiring in June of 2010. She holds an Associate's Degree from DMACC, a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Drake, and a Master's in Theology from Kingsway Seminary. Since 1998, she has co-pastored Amazing Grace Ministries and Outreach Church with her husband and founder, Rev. George Shade, Jr. She started teaching at JCA in 2018.
“I am grateful that the Lord saw fit for me to teach at JCA. I call it “A Dream Deferred.”
5th Grade

Breck Appell

Breck grew up in Upstate New York in the village of Ames, which is mentioned in the E.B. White's Stuart Little. He received his B.A. in history and M.S. in eduation at Pensacola Christian. Breck moved to the Midwest in 1994 to teach at Mission Oaks Baptist School in Kansas City, Kansas. He then moved to Iowa where he worked at Faith Baptist as a Financial Aid Director and Assistant Registrar.

"JCA is where my heart is!"

6th & 7th Grade

Kalonni Porter

I graduated from Central College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I began my teaching career at Stowe Elementary in East Des Moines. Next, I became a full-time mother to five and returned to teaching in 1982.

God called me to full-time ministry at Des Moines Christian School where I served as Director of Early Education for over 25 years. Upon retirement, I was drawn to the planning table for Joshua Christian Academy, where I have served in many capacities since the beginning.

“I am a child of God, a disciple of Christ, a mother of many, a grandmother to more, and a faithful servant in ministry. “

6th & 7th

Matthew May

Matthew grew up in rural Southwest Iowa, a middle child in a large family of nine children. He graduated from Lewis Central High School in 1984.

He attended Nebraska Christian College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministries. and a Bachelor of Theology in Youth Ministry, with a Missions minor. He returned to school in 2009 to complete work on a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne College in Secondary Education, Social Sciences.

Matthew and his wife served for a time in ministries in Nebraska and in southeast Iowa. He taught 6th through 9th at Iowa Christian Academy, West Des Moines. Following Iowa Christian’s closure, he served as a substitute teacher in several local schools –including Madrid Public, Ames Christian School, and Joshua Christian Academy. From August 2019 through May 2022, he served as the 5th/6th Grade teacher at Ames Christian School, in Ames, Iowa.

My wife, Alice, is a staff member at McFarland Clinic-Ames, practicing medicine at the Mary Greeley Medical Center, in Ames, Iowa. We have four grown sons –three of which are married, and we have three wonderful daughters-in-law and six energetically active grandchildren.

“While serving God at Iowa Christian, I had worked with two of our current or past JCA staff members. When God opened the window of opportunity for me to serve Him here at JCA, He used them to extend His calling to me during the summer while I was literally standing in the middle of a bean field. God (and Mrs. Porter) called me to come and serve as a co-laborer here at JCA for this next generation of students. And whether you are on your knees in your bedroom or standing in a sweltering soybean field, when God calls you come.”

Teacher Associate

Toni Jenkins-Harris

Minister Jenkins-Harris has been with Joshua Christian Academy for thirteen years. She has been an associate for the Des Moines Public Schools where she worked with special needs children at Smouse, King, Moore, and Logan. She retired in 2007. Minister Jenkins-Harris received her Associate’s 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 in July 2001.

Phyllis Ousley-Voss

Ms. Ousley Voss received her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Drake University. Her 30-year teaching career includes being employed by Des Moines Public Schools as a special education teacher, 1st and 2nd-grade classroom teacher, ELL teacher, and a tutor for Sylvan Learning Center. Ms. Ousley Voss is a Resource Teacher at JCA. She is a member of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. She and her husband Brad have two adult sons.

“I have a desire to teach in a Christian school where I could share the love of Jesus with the children every day.”

Science & Social Studies

Alice Boyd

Ms. Boyd is the Science and Social Studies Coordinator at JCA. After graduating from East High, she received a Bachelors of Science and Education Degree from Drake University. She retired after teaching for 38 years in the Des Moines Public Schools. Ms. Boyd is very involved in the community and has received numerous awards for her commitment and service; including the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, Martin Luther King State of Iowa Service Award, and the Church Women United Human Rights Award 2008. Mrs. Boyd is a lifetime member of Faith Missionary Baptist Church where she is involved in music ministry.

Kim Richman

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 her early childhood endorsement from Northwestern College in Orange City.

Mrs. Richman has always enjoyed writing and has written for The Mailbox Magazine, and other teaching trade magazines. A few years ago, she published her first children’s book. The book, entitled, “Bedlam in Grandma Green’s Garden” is available at Amazon and at the JCA Library!

“I am excited about teaching at JCA, where I can utilize my biblical worldview in teaching students in a natural way.”
God called me to full-time ministry at Des Moines Christian School where I served as Director of Early Education for over 25 years. Upon retirement, I was drawn to the planning table for Joshua Christian Academy, where I have served in many capacities since the beginning.

“I am a child of God, a disciple of Christ, a mother of many, a grandmother to more, and a faithful servant in ministry. “


Nan Dunlap


Chris Barry

Chris Barry lived with her Grandparents for the majority of her life. The security of those deep roots allowed her adventurous spirit to flourish. She graduated from Grandview University with a B.A. in K-12 Art Education. She worked for the United States Postal Service as well as Des Moines Christian School as their elementary art teacher.

"I believe the beauty in nature, in relationships and in the arts is God's invitation to us. This connection allows us to go beyond the physical and experience His truth through the beautiful. God has laid on my heart the desire to introduce JCA students to this understanding which has taken a lifetime to acquire."

Teacher Associate

Maria Lara

Bio coming soon.