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.”
Danette Gano, 1st Grade Teacher
My name is Dannette Gano and I am honored to be teaching at Joshua Christian Academy.
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 teenage 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!
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.
Allonna Stovall, 3rd Grade Teacher
My name is Allonna Stovall and I am so excited to be teaching 3rd 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!
Marjorie Shade, 4th Grade Teacher
Marjorie Louise (Green) Shade graduated from North High School in Des Moines in 1964. In June of 1964 she started working with the State of Iowa as a Personal Secretary for Manpower Development and Training. On July 31, 1965, she married her spouse, George W. Shade, Jr.
She retired from State of Iowa in June 2010. Since 1998, Mrs. Shade has been co-pastoring with her husband, Rev. George Shade, Jr., founding Pastor of Amazing Grace Ministries and Outreach Church.
In November 2018, Mrs.Shade started teaching the fourth grade teacher at Joshua Christian Academy. She has so much education and experience backing up her teaching and ministry.
“I am grateful that the Lord saw fit for me to teach at JCA…I call it “A Dream Deferred””, Mrs, Shade smiles.
Kalonni Porter, 5th Grade Teacher
Kalonni grew up on a farm in NE Missouri in a town of 39 people. She accepted Christ as her Savior when she was only 7 years old and has been on an ongoing adventure with Jesus ever since then.
She attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she felt called to become a secondary math teacher.
Kalonni has lived in the North Pole, New Orleans and VanMeter, working with youth and children- BOTH in school and in church settings. She home schooled her and her husband’s three sons and has also taught high school math part time for 20 years.
She loves watching the St. Louis Cardinals baseball, reading, going to the beach, and taking in the sunset. She wants to convey how absolutely thrilled she is to be at JCA teaching fifth grade this year.
Regina Starkenburg, 6th Grade Teacher
My name is Regina Starkenburg and I am so excited to be teaching 6th grade at JCA.
I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was five years old, but I truly made a commitment to have a personal relationship with Jesus when I was in high school and was baptized shortly after. After high school, I attended Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA. I graduated in 2015 with a degree in Elementary Education as well as a middle school endorsement. After teaching for three and a half years at a Christian school, I started subbing at JCA and felt called to be at JCA full time.
Outside of school, I am involved in children’s ministry at my church and work at Wildwood Hills Ranch. I believe God has laid on my heart a passion to work with young people and to show them the potential they have through Christ. I am so thankful God has provided me many opportunities to do that, including being at JCA.
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.
Clint Luscombe, Secondary Math Teacher
Mr. Luscombe is a two-time graduate of Iowa State University. He has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master of School Mathematics.
Mr. Luscombe began his career in teaching by teaching both American History and World History. He then added Mathematics to his certifications and enjoyed it tremendously! He also teaches part-time at MATHNASIUM in West Des Moines.
At Joshua Christian Academy, we are privileged to add Mr. Luscombe as part of our teaching staff. We are proud to add him this year as our secondary math teacher. ☺ Over Mr. Luscombe’s career, he has also had the opportunity of coaching numerous high school sports teams which he has really enjoyed. Mr Luscombe adds, “I thank the Lord for the opportunity to teach at JCA. It is indeed a BLESSING to be here.”
Lois Edwards, Secondary Social Studies Teacher
Bio and photo to come!
Gale Juhl, Bible & Theology
Gale Juhl graduated from Drake University with a BA in education. He then taught social studies at Bondurant-Farrar Community Schools. Gale then went to Drake Law School and graduated with a doctorate in jurisprudence. Gale also received a Master’s Degree in theology from Lincoln Christian Seminary. Gale practiced law for over thirty years. He has also served as pastor in churches in Osceola, Runnells, Pleasantville, Waterloo, and Carroll.
Gale and his wife, Denise, live in Pleasant Hill. They have four grown children and eight grandchildren around the country. He comes from a family of teachers, including a brother, 2 daughters, and a daughter-in-law.
Gale and his wife taught Discipleship Group in their home for 25 years for students in 6th -12th grade going through scriptures. “I am blessed that so many of these students now serve as pastors, professors, teachers, and missionaries,” Mr. Juhl added.
Gale looks forward to studying the scriptures and the One who the scriptures are written about. He feels blessed to be here at Joshua Christian Academy. Mr. Juhl prays that through his time together with his students that God is honored.
Cory Aamodt, Secondary English Teacher
Being an educator at JCA, I am excited to incorporate elements of my Christian faith within the classroom. Meanwhile, my aim is to help JCA become known throughout the world for producing graduates of godly character and outstanding achievement.
I grew up in Lake Mills, Iowa with my dad, mom, and two brothers. It was during my time in this household that I was saved by God, recognizing that only Jesus could be my hope in life and in death. Since then, the Lord has lovingly walked beside me and patiently taught me through thick and thin.
I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with my degree to teach secondary-level English in 2015 and am currently pursuing another degree in theological studies.
My wife and I have been married since 2018 and love calling Des Moines home. My hobbies involve playing the piano, reading, hiking, and playing basketball.
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.
Cara Whipple, Volleyball Coach
My name is Cara Whipple and I live in Ankeny with my husband Brad and our 4 kids who will be in 7, 8, 9 and 10th grades this school year. While I have a full time job, my greatest joy is youth and I have enjoyed, over the years, working with kids at our church as the children’s ministry director, teaching swim lessons and coaching volleyball! I have been a coach at Centennial Volleyball Academy in Ankeny for 4 years now for a variety of recreational and competitive level teams 13U and under. Volleyball is such a wonderful sport because it is such a team effort and done well, this can really build a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and fun while skills are taught. I always strive for my teams to have fun, work hard, grow their love for the game, and build each other up. I look forward to getting to know your daughters this fall!=
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.
Dave Bouchard, Band Instructor
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.