Mrs. Stapleton is excited to begin her sixth year at Charis Classical Academy as the kindergarten teacher. She has been married for twelve years to her husband, Michael, and they have one son, Ciaran, a student at Charis. Previous to Charis, Mrs. Stapleton taught kindergarten in the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District. She has an elementary education degree from UW-Madison is eager to be back at Charis. She attends Blackhawk Church and is looking forward to see how God will work in the hearts and minds of her students this year.
PE / K-2nd Teacher's Aide
Mrs. Jozwiak is excited to teach gym class for the Kindergarten and 1st Grade students! She graduated from UW-Green Bay in 2003 with a degree in Human Biology and with an emphasis in Exercise Science. Tia enjoys reading, running, and long, family walks with her husband,Aaron, and three children, Madison, Avery, and Elijah, who are all students at Charis. She is involved at Red Village Church where Aaron serves as one of the pastors. Tia is looking forward to teaching the students to appreciate the healthy bodies that God gave them and to glorify God through their physical activity.
K Joyful Discovery
Mrs. Meinema is excited to teach at Charis again this year! She has the pleasure of teaching Kindergarten Joyful Discovery. She is so delighted to be teaching in a gospel-focused school where students, parents, and teachers can grow together in Christ, in knowledge, and in wisdom. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics. She moved to Madison from Florida in 2013 with her husband, Jonathon. She enjoys reading a good book, playing music, and playing sports, especially soccer and racquetball!
1st Grade Assistant/French Teacher
Valerie Gorski is looking forward to joining the first grade class as a teacher's aide this coming year. She obtained her master's degree in Psychology from the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France. Valérie strives to enjoy every gift God has poured in her life—fellowship with Jesus Christ, her loving husband Mike, and their two children Noah and Hannah. She enjoys meeting people from all over the world here in Madison, learning to see and appreciate the worth and beauty that can be found in their diverse experiences and cultural backgrounds. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, eating good food, reading depressing French novels, watching detective shows, and talking about the beauty of Jesus with others. She is praying for a fruitful year in the first grade class! Valerie also teachers French in the high school.
1st Grade Joyful Discovery
Sarah Dominguez is excited to teach joyful discovery for 2-4th graders this year. She feels there is so much to be learned that can be used on a regular basis. She has been in the childcare/elementary setting for 14 years now and loves when a child finds something they are excited about and she can help them dive deeper into exploring that subject. She and her husband are blessed with 4 children; 3 of whom have had the pleasure of attending Charis for the past few years. They have also been able to assist the school with props and costumes for the plays during that time. They enjoy working with their hands and seeing a project transform. Sarah can't wait to help your children find something new and fun to create.
Mrs. Moore is thankful to return to teach our 2nd graders this fall! Abbey graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education, and taught in elementary classrooms until God blessed them with 4 babies in 5 years! She has been married for 17 years to her husband, Chris who is a Sergeant for the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office. They live in DeForest with their 4 children: Cael, Tessa, Dane, and Livia. The Moores attend Christ Fellowship Church in Sun Prairie, and love leading worship teams & small groups within their church family. Abbey enjoys family time, volunteering, and reading a great book – with a strong cup of coffee! The Moores were excited to learn about Charis – its mission as a school matched their goals as a family: to be gospel-driven and committed to quality education. Their family has thoroughly enjoyed having all 4 children learn & grow at CCA.
2nd Grade Assistant
Mrs. Jennings is excited to be the 2nd grade assistant this year at CCA. A Texas native, Mrs. Jennings moved to Madison in 2017 to help her husband, Sid, pursue a PhD from UW in Math Education. She received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Mrs. Jennings taught for 4 years before staying at home with her four children: Lily (7), Eli (6), Lottie (2), and Ollie (1). She attends Red Village Church and serves in the children's ministry. Rochelle loves spending time with her family, running, living in community and Walt Disney World. She is looking forward to getting back into the classroom and all that God is going to do.
Amanda Hobert is thankful to return as the 3rd grade teacher this year. Amanda and her husband, Nate, moved to Madison to plant the Vine Church and have also planted Redeemer City Church. They have three children: Grace, Sam and Elise. Amanda received her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Northern Iowa. She received her Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. She has also worked with Navigators in college ministry. She has been a co-teacher with her own children through Charis, has taught Joyful Discovery classes, has taught Math and Language Arts for second grade, has served in administration roles, and now is teaching third grade. She enjoys reading, going on walks and having coffee with friends. She loves being involved with Charis because the school points to the Gospel and partners with parents in providing a classical approach to education.
Mrs. Pohl is thankful to be leading the 4th grade classroom beginning this fall! She lives in a small community north of Madison with her husband, Travis, and their two children: Mac and Maisey. Mrs. Pohl received her undergraduate degree in Archaeology (it hasn't yet come in super handy!). She began her teaching career as a Teach For America corps member teaching in Charlotte, NC and has been engaged in the field of education for nearly twenty years. She is eager to join the vibrant Charis community and to partner with parents to build each student's capacity to know God and his supreme creation by exploring, wondering, and pursuing all that is good and true. The Pohl's are members of Grace Presbyterian Church, and Mrs. Pohl enjoys reading (and collecting!) great and living books, nature jaunting, bird watching, camping and playing any and all games!
Donette is married to Dan and mom to Eli and Alli. She earned her degree in secondary speech education and has been privileged to homeschool for the past 10 years. She founded and directed a Classical Conversations homeschool community in Lake Mills for 6 years. In her free time she enjoys drinking tea and discussing theology with friends, quilting, being on the water in the summer, and taking part in the various seasonal activities that Wisconsin affords.
Logic/Rhetoric Language Arts
Mrs. Leick is excited to begin her fourth year teaching at Charis Classical Academy. In 2015, she graduated with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Classical Christian Education from Grove City College. She teaches a smattering of grammar, writing, history, and literature courses for the upper grammar/logic stage. Despite always loving grammar, she never expected to find as much joy in diagramming as she does now; and she frequently finds herself highlighting sentences in her books to diagram later. At home, Mrs. Leick enjoys reading, making strange noises to entertain her young son, and running a small woodburning shop online. Her goal for the year is to go above and beyond in her lesson planning in order to help students see God’s truth, goodness, and beauty in their subject materials. In Cruce Glorior.
Austin Hoffman serves as a teacher in the logic and rhetoric schools. He teaches logic, rhetoric, Latin, and great books courses. Austin also holds responsibilities as the assistant headmaster and Friday administrator. He received his undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies from Maranatha Baptist University (2012) and his Master of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary (2016). Austin and his wife, Meg, were married in June of 2013, and have recently celebrated the birth of their first son, Judah (May 2016). A New England native, he has been living in Wisconsin since 2008. When not reading a book, he may be found woodworking, playing guitar, enjoying some coffee, or writing with a fountain pen. Also, Mr. Hoffman can usually be coaxed into playing (almost) any sport.
Logic/Rhetoric Math and Science
This will be Mrs. Paplow’s second year with Charis as the 5th-9th math/science teacher. She received her undergraduate degree in math education at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and taught in the public school system for four years. She is excited to join the staff, students, and parents at Charis this fall. When not teaching, Mrs. Paplow is spending her time with her husband, Casey, and two-year-old son, Oliver (Olly). They like to run, hike, play sports, and pretty much anything outside when weather permits.
Logic school math/science
Mrs. Cox will be teaching math and science to the older students this year. This is her family’s third year at Charis Classical Academy. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education and in 2006 with a master’s degree in the same area. Emily has taught in the public school setting, overseas (China and Japan), homeschooled, and led the children’s ministry at her church. Emily and her husband Andy have three children, Julianna aged 10, Judah aged 8, and Caleb aged 6. Emily is passionate about helping students discover who God created them to be and fulfill those unique potentials. She believes literature and the arts provide a great window through which we can see ourselves and life more clearly. Emily’s family is very involved at Life Center Madison in a variety of ministries and love getting to know new people from different cultures and lands. Emily enjoys writing, traveling, and playing with her two year old, beautiful, and naughty Labrador Retriever. She is excited to meet and work with many new families this year!
Logic/Rhetoric MATH AND SCIENCE
Mrs. Koeninger is excited to begin her second year teaching at Charis Classical Academy. She received bachelor's degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Miami University, where she worked part time as a tutor and discovered a love of teaching. After graduating, she and her husband moved to Madison, and she worked at Epic for several years. She and her husband Adam have two children, Piper aged 6 and Elodie aged 2. When not teaching, Mrs. Koeninger enjoys spending time with her family and friends, serving at the Vine Church, playing board games, reading books, and playing piano.
Mr. Pointner has been privileged to study under many fabulous teachers over the years and is honored to teach his own students for the first time. After graduating from Wheaton College in 2018 with a degree in Art History (elective studies in Geology) and a minor in Theater, he moved to Wisconsin to join Christ Church Madison, and has spent the last year as a substitute teacher at Charis—teaching almost every grade—and served as assistant director for the spring play. Mr. Pointner is also a coach at Boulders Climbing Gym and in his spare time loves making puppets, collecting rocks, and researching the history of science.
7th Grade Humanities
After thirteen years of teaching at a Christian classical school in Wheaton, Illinois, Margaret is thrilled to bring her love for Christ and his children to Charis Academy in Madison. She and her husband Charlie moved to Madison in 2019 to serve U.W. students from their “Lighthouse on Langdon” and help birth a new church plant, Christ Church Madison. Margaret spends most of her time writing and is the author of a variety of published works including essays, articles, children books, novels, and poetry. She also curates a religion blog on the Patheos website and her own blog found on her website www.margaretphilbrick.com. She is the mother of three overly dramatic, artistic children and one adorable dog named Snuggles who loves picking up pieces of leftover pizza on Langdon during their morning walks.
Fridays and Fine Arts
Mrs. Johnson is the Art teacher at CCA. She has her interior design degree from Seminole State College in Florida. In 2013, she and her husband, Casey, moved with their three children from Daytona Beach, FL to Madison to plant Redeemer City Church in the Fitchburg/Southwest Madison area. A few things she enjoys are hiking and exploring new areas and state parks, crafting, and antiquing. She always has a project of some sort going on. It could be anything from a simple sketch to painting, redesigning a room or refinishing furniture.
Mr. Decker wants to give our students the best training possible. He'll be teaching Physical Education for the '20-'21 school year. He holds degrees in Software Engineering and Mathematics from UW-Platteville and worked as a Product Lead at Epic for five years before starting his own software company, Strong Anchor Tech. His qualifications for physical education include a brown belt with USA Judo, a three-stripe white belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and a 5-rep squat max of 285 lbs. He serves as a deacon at Red Village Church.
Mrs. Candee is grateful to be a part of a school which inspires growth in not only knowledge and love of learning; but most importantly, growing in love of who God is, teaching from a gospel perspective, and recognizing the beauty God has created in all things, from art to science, to beautiful literature. Mrs. Candee has a degree in Health Promotion from the University of Iowa and is still a loyal Hawkeye fan! Mrs. Candee has a Mr. Candee named Zach. In her spare time she likes to cook, read, take dance classes, camp, hike, and generally find any fun event in Madison. Mrs. Candee will continue to teach Literature and Drama on Fridays and is looking forward to the next round of story-telling, poem writing, and theatrical performance in the coming year.
Jeremy thinks of himself as a testimony of God’s patience, mercy, and grace. He grew up in a Christian home and at an early age had the desire to pastor a church. With this resolve, Jeremy entered Bible college after high school and earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies. His postgraduate work has led to two Master’s degrees (M.A. & M.Div., both in Theological Studies) and a Doctoral degree (D.Ed.Min - Leadership) from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeremy is not originally from Wisconsin but moved here in 2013 to become the Lead Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Verona. Growing up in the Detroit area of Michigan caused him to be an avid fan of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). Jeremy's favorite activity when not working is to spend time with his best friend and wife, Anouk, as well as with their children, Mia and Isaiah.
Mr. Leeson teaches Leadership for 8th through 12th grades. He is married to Emelina and has five children. He studied Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. Over the past twenty years, he has taught and worked in 18 nations. He serves as an elder at Damascus Road Church, and loves building up the body of Christ and teaching young people to follow the ways of Jesus. Mr. Leeson and his family enjoy exploring the wilderness and are always scouting their next adventure.
Ms. Baskinger is eager to share her love of music with the Charis Community. She holds a master’s degree in piano performance and piano pedagogy and has been actively teaching individual and group music classes for the last nineteen years. Ms. Baskinger also serves as a faculty member and program director for Prairie Music & Arts in Sun Prairie. She co-teaches her first-grade son, Chase, and enjoys the outdoors and travel. She cherishes the many references in Scripture about music, her favorite being from Psalm 95:1 - “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Joshua Vaughn graduated with a B.M. in Piano Performance at the University of South Alabama and an M.M. in Instrumental Conducting at Georgia Southern University. Mr. Vaughn began studying piano at age 6 and has since developed an intense passion for music. He has been given the opportunity to work as an accompanist for instrumentalists and vocalists and has even served as a vocal coach. In addition to accompanying, Mr. Vaughn has worked for two professional companies, Mobile Symphony Orchestra and Mobile Opera Company and two semi-professional groups, Mobile Youth Symphony Orchestra and Playhouse in the Park, as a stage manager. He was also involved in the opera productions during his post secondary education and has experience in the production areas of music. He has also served in leadership roles as a musician in church ministries for years, both in choral and instrumental activities. Mr. Vaughn believes it is crucial for young people to be involved in music and relate it to their journey in the faith, as music shapes the mind, body and soul. Mr. Vaughn is excited to be a part of the Charis Classical Academy family and looks forward to helping students journey through the power of music.
Gwen Belcher is the Logic and Rhetoric Art teacher. She studied Studio Art at Wheaton College. Gwen is excited to share her love of creating and appreciation of beauty with the students. She has practiced oil painting, drawing, hand lettering, pottery, and painting with gouache. Gwen lives in Madison with her husband and three sons.