Faculty & Staff
Carla came to Legacy in 1996 with a double major in Bible and Elementary Education from Northwestern University. She continued her education at St. Mary’s University where she earned her Master’s in Teaching and Learning. In 2014 Carla was named the recipient of an LPA “Grant for Teachers Needs” to install a wireless weather station for her 5th grade science curriculum that can be accessed here! Each October she accompanies Legacy 5th graders on a 3 day trip to Deep Portage Conservation Center for on hands learning experiences.
Carla enjoys spending time with her husband Dan and their two children biking, hiking, and spending time on her parent’s ranch in South Dakota.
“I believe God called me into education. My prayer is that each student in my class understands the love of God and grows in their walk with Him, as we learn together throughout the year.”
Janelle’s degrees in Organizational Communication and Business Administration from UWEC and Bethel University served her well within Human Resource roles at Connexus Energy, Rockwell Automation, and United Health Group before joining the Business Office staff at LCA in 2015. They also come in handy when she meets famous people like Aaron Rodgers (huge Packers fan), Taylor Swift, and David Spade … just to name a few!
Mom to LCA students Drew, Derek, and Avery, Janelle and her husband Jeremiah feel they are truly creating a Legacy in their children by enrolling them at LCA and especially love LCA’s family environment. Janelle says her purpose is to “do my best work for the Lord every day.”
Mr. Andy Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science in Visual Art Education K-12 with a Bible Major from University of Northwestern-St. Paul and a Masters in Education from College of St. Catherine. Mr. Anderson has spent the last 11 years sharing his art passion with high school and college students as a teacher and adjunct professor in Nevada. His work there earned him ‘Teacher of the Year’ recognition from Humboldt County School District, Winnemucca, NV in 2014.
Mr. Anderson shares that one of his favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” “I love this passage because it reminds me that God is creative – and in that creativity, made us. We are His handiwork’ or craft. As an artist, this is a powerful thought that is easy to relate to. And to consider God crafted us with a plan to do His good work through us, even long before we were born – well, that is really an incredible design. I certainly hope I live each day to do those ‘good works’ He has prepared for me to do.”
“LCA is special to me because, from its core, this school desires to stand on God’s word and that flows out into all that happens here. It is special to me because I have the privilege to teach the subjects I love while inspiring and investing in my students in a way that deepens their walk with God. It is special to me because my entire family is here with me, my wife teaching PreK and my three boys in their classrooms.”
Mrs. Kendra Anderson joined the Legacy staff in 2016 alongside her husband, Andy Anderson. The Anderson’s relocated from Nevada with their 3 boys to accept teaching positions at LCA. Kendra shares that Proverbs 16:1-9 have been impactful verses during their journey.
“These verses have been foundational as my family and I have trusted the Lord in guiding our every step, our various moves, and each transition. He led us to Nevada in 2005 and in April of 2016, His calling us back to Minnesota, to teach at Legacy Christian Academy, was abundantly clear. There were numerous tests and many faith steps but His faithfulness proved greater than each one of those tests and we are blessed beyond measure in following His calling for our family! Being at Legacy, I now have a ‘double privilege’ as I am a daily part of my boys’ life at school, but also have the awesome responsibility and Joy in teaching PreK! I love the eagerness and simple delight my students display as they grow and learn new things in all areas–academically, emotionally, and spiritually,”
Mrs. Anderson holds a Bachelors of Science in Christian Education from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul and spent three years teaching pre-school at Berean Baptist Education Center along with various substitute teaching positions while raising her boys.
Darla Behrens is no stranger to Legacy Christian Academy. She taught math and science from 1989-2011 in our classrooms. With a BS in Chemical Engineering/Education from the University of Minnesota, Darla is well equipped to continue that teaching here after following God’s call away for the past 7 years. Darla says being back feels like coming home and she is looking forward to getting to know a new generation of students, parents, and even a few staff.
“I believe that God has uniquely gifted me to teach. I get such a sense of personal satisfaction when I see students’ “light bulbs” go on and see their entire demeanor change to delight when they experience success. I can only credit the Spirit for the inspirations that have popped in my mind over the years to find one more way, after many attempts, to explain a topic/phenomenon that brings a student over that wall of understanding.”
Darla has two grown daughters and became a grandma for the first time in 2018!
After teaching 4th grade for 5 years in the Mounds View School District, Nathan felt called to Athletic Administration. That seed was planted and pruned out of his experience as the Director of Crossfire Boys Basketball, a position he held for 4 years, as well as his 3 years on the coaching staff of University of Northwestern Women’s Basketball team. Nathan is excited to use his role as Athletic Director as a discipleship opportunity to reveal the God-given talents in our student-athletes.
Nathan’s purpose statement, his WHY, is summed up in these words, “I lead to help students develop a passion for pursuing their best selves, committing to character and providing a sense of belonging in a Christ-centered environment. I am committed to helping students and coaches to become better leaders for their families, communities, and churches.”
Nathan and his wife Krista have been married for 4 years and they have two young children. Their family lives in Blaine and attends Horizon’s Church in Ham Lake.
Twyla started teaching at Legacy in 1978, just two years after it was founded. She has a BA in Elementary Education from Bethel University and a Master’s in Teaching and Learning from St. Mary’s University. Most recently Twyla was recognized for her outstanding work in the classroom by Minnesota Independent School Forum as an Honor Teacher Finalist for 2015.
Twyla’s family includes her husband, Dan, two daughters, Emma and Hannah, her son, Seth, son-in-law, Jedidiah and daughter-in-law, Cassie. She loves spending time with her grand-daughter, Phoebe. Her backyard gardens bloom beautifully all summer long giving her the perfect backdrop to indulge her passions for reading and having coffee with friends.
“Jesus is my Savior and true treasure. I love HIm and desire to make Him look good. I have been seized by great affection for Jesus and seek to honor Him in all I do and say. I have been saved by and walk in grace.”
Becki holds degrees in Business Management and Marketing from Anoka Ramsey Community College, as well as Pastoral Care and Biblical Counseling from LIFE School of Ministry. She became part of the Legacy teaching faculty in 2014 and shares the same passion for discipleship within academic excellence as LCA. Becki will also be tapping into her years as an MS Director at New Song Christian Academy in Nashville by taking on the role of Assistant to the Elementary Principal. Becki is thrilled with the new balance of 50% teaching and 50% administration.
Becki chuckles at the irony of earning a basketball scholarship from “Spalding” despite her three and half foot frame! In Becki’s words,“I am a diastrophic dwarf, or simply, a “little person.” I love being my size and I firmly believe God doesn’t make mistakes. I work with kids because I want them to know that whatever mountain they’re facing in life, they are fully able to conquer that mountain with Christ by their side.”
Jaclynn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.
Prior to coming to Legacy in 2016, Jaci taught fifth grade as well as served as a missionary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Missions continue to be a big aspect of Jaci’s life, as she frequently takes trips to Haiti to serve in the schools and community. Currently, Jaci teaches 6th grade and specializes in 5th and 6th-grade math. This year Jaci is looking forward to continuing to teach students how to love math by developing projects, technology assignments, and activities that encourage students to problem solve and grow in their understanding.
Originally from Brainerd, Minnesota, Jaci loves spending her days outdoors. Being on the lake, golfing, and spending time with family and friends are her favorite pastimes.
“Teaching is not merely a profession, a job, or a career. Teaching is about making a difference and making an impact on the lives of the students who walk through the classroom door every day. I love my job because of my students and the Legacy community!”
Patti is a graduate of Mid-America Nazarene University with a BA in Education followed by an MA in Biblical Counseling from Bible and Trinity Theological Seminary. From 1993 to the Spring of 2018, she had been teaching Bible and History to LCA 5th and 6th grade students. Patti accepted the 4th grade teaching position for the 218-19 school year.
Patti says she is has always been energized by student’s eagerness to learn and explore new skills and experiences at the middle school level. She sees that same energy in the older elementary students. They must be energized by her as well as Patti has been honored twice by receiving the National Teacher’s Who’s Who Award.
“Here at LCA students have the opportunity to see the value of education through the perspective of what it means to honor God as they develop academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We work on providing a community of family that walk alongside each other extending God’s grace as we grow in God’s truth and in times when we need to be held accountable.”
“The more I look around, the more apparent it becomes how extremely vital it is to the Kingdom of God to have a school like Legacy in our community teaching the next generations how to be the light of Christ in this world. And seeing firsthand with our three children the impact that a Legacy education is having on our own family is a blessing beyond our hopes. So, when I was asked to be on the leadership team at Legacy to support our amazing administrators, teachers, and staff, it was an easy honor to accept to try and do my part in helping Legacy not only survive, but thrive.”
Fall 2018 – Present
Amy earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. She has a double major in Elementary Education and Biblical Studies and a double minor in Communication Arts & Literature and Psychology. She completed her Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. In 2008 she was hired at LCA and has had the opportunity to tap into all of those focus areas to reach kids beyond the classroom.
Amy is married to Class of ’98 Alumnae Dan Bruneau and is known as “Mom” to Claire, Carson, and a mischievous beagle named Toby. She is an avid scrapbooker who dreams of having a dedicated scrapbooking room and aspires to write a young adult fiction novel someday.
“I teach because I love to learn. I teach because there is so much the next generation needs to be prepared to handle, both spiritually and academically. I teach to empower my students to be the next generation of motivated leaders.”
Jayme joined our staff in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from Bethel University. She has a passion for teaching art to children in adventurous and new ways! She enjoys the opportunity to use her spiritual gifts in teaching the children about art and technology. In the art classroom, she loves to get the students critically thinking about what it means to be a Christian Artist and how can we be Christian Artists with each project we make.
Along with teaching, her other passions include her personal studio art practice, various science fiction genres, coaching the middle school girls fastpitch softball team and drinking coffee.
“Legacy Christian Academy is special to me because I get to openly teach students about our creative and awesome God. It allows my relationships with the students to grow to a more spiritual level by being able to answer questions about their faith and encourage them in their walk with Jesus Christ. It is also special because of the amazing relationships I get to have with my colleagues by incorporating prayer and support for each other as a community.“
Cyd attended the University of Northwestern St. Paul. She has been a part of the Meadow Creek Christian School/Legacy Christian Academy community since 1981 as a volunteer and parent, and joined the staff full time in 2000.
Cyd has 3 children that all attended MCCS/LCA from PreK-12th grade. Amy, Nathan, and Jason often talk about the impact their teachers still have on their lives today, from the things they taught to the way they lived. She also has 5 grandchildren.
“It is such a joy to watch students learn and grow in all areas of their lives. I am thankful to be a part of a school that is committed not only to teach the students academically, but also to encourage them in their walk with the Lord, and to challenge them to live in a way that makes a difference in the lives of people they come in contact with.”
A proud Iowa native, Sharon earned a BA in Business Management before earning her MA in Clinical Psychology from St. Mary’s University, where she also did post-graduate work in Family and Marriage Therapy.
With 22 years of experience counseling children, adolescents and their families, five years as an adjunct professor teaching psychology at the University of Northwestern, and seven years experience in school counseling, Sharon was tasked with creating the Counseling Department at Legacy In 2014.
Sharon and her husband Scott enjoy the company of an X-K9 German Shepard named Tazer and love seeing their friends, family, and their 29 year-old son, Josh. Besides making music (drums and piano), creating design (interior and fashion), her other passion is gardening. In the summer you will frequently find her composting and covered in dirt!
“LCA not only lets me practice my profession (which I love) but it allows my profession to be an unfettered ministry as well (which I love even more)!”
Meredith received her BS in Mathematics & Secondary Education from Calvin College, then received her Masters from Central Michigan while raising three children! In 2008 she was hired at LCA and feels that our small community allows all of us to build close and lasting relationships not only with students, but also with their families.
Family is important to Meredith and she is blessed by her husband Brad’s constant support of her passion for teaching. Their three children, Elaine, Evan, and Alex are the light of her life and best accomplishment to date!
“Teaching is not only what I do, but an important part of who I am. No matter the situation, I find myself wanting to help others be better at what they’re doing.”
Josh joined the staff at Legacy in 2017 teaching chemistry, physics and theology. His undergraduate degree from Bethel University in 5-12 science education and his Master of Theology degree from Northwestern University in St. Paul support this unique teaching combination. Josh’s goal is to educate in such a way that students are passionate about learning and are challenged by difficult questions. He encourages an experiential learning approach with meaningful projects, hands-on activities, and deep discussions.
Josh and his wife Hanna are passionate about small group ministries and their influential role in Christian life. They are also licensed foster parents, and regularly do respite foster care on the weekends. They live in Anoka with their two young daughters and attend Connections church.
Josh made the choice to move from Charter School teaching to Christian School teaching at Legacy saying, “I appreciate the focus on Christ in all that is done here. I feel that this drives the education to be excellent, but also prepares students to live out their faith outside of this building.”
Jill began her teaching career in the Robbinsdale School District before being hired to teach kindergarten at Legacy in 2010. She is a University of St. Catherine’s graduate where she had a heavy focus in “Science and Mathematics in Education.” Jill has applied for, and received, two grants from the Legacy Parent Association. One was to create “Dynamic Reading Stations” and the other for “Engineering Toys and Problem Solving Materials” in her kindergarten classroom.
Jill enjoys spending time with her husband Kyle and daughters Sydney and Elena hiking, biking, horse-back riding, and traveling. She is also an avid reader.
“Teaching kindergarten is something I am very passionate about – I love the eager students and getting them off to an exciting start in school. We learn A LOT in kindergarten – reading, writing, math, science … but ESPECIALLY how to get along with our friends at school, and to act as Jesus would want us to! I love teaching at Legacy because I can teach my students through a biblical worldview – in all areas: social, emotional, and academic.”
With Chris’ hire in 2014, LCA gained a highly valued international perspective on faith and relationships. Chris and his wife Becky lived and ministered in Bangkok, Thailand for over four years before returning to the U.S. This experience forever changed his views on faith, life, and ministry. At Legacy, Chris is able to put both his BS in English and his MA in Theological Studies/Pastoral Care to good use serving in his three areas of calling and greatest passion: ministry, students, and education.
“With more than twelve years of combined ministry and teaching experience, I am committed to long-term investment in the lives of students. Establishing trust and being about “conversations, not judgment; grace, not condemnation” together have led to some very powerful and life-changing conversations. It is a true privilege to be an eyewitness to God’s work in the lives of His people!”
Lynda’s roots at Legacy are deeply rooted and the families that meet her through PreK and the admissions process immediately feel her passion for what happens within our walls. First as a student herself, then a parent, then an employee in 2005, Lynda has experiences that speak to almost every situation.
Under Lynda’s leadership the PreK program at Legacy has been voted “Best Preschool in Anoka County” for four out of the last five years. In 2014, Lynda and her colleague Kristin Zelin, were awarded a Grant for Teachers Needs from the Legacy Parent Association which allowed the PreK classroom to get an amazing new playhouse built in large part by Lynda’s husband Mark, also an MCCS/LCA graduate! In 2016, the Grant for Teachers Needs Program also awarded Lynda a “Buddy Bench” for the playground so all students have a chance to feel loved and included. This year, having the same passion to keep each PreK classroom with a cap of 10 students, the program has grown to almost 80 students. It is obvious God has been blessing the school as well. With an enrollment of 534 students, Lynda is excited to see what God has in store for each of them. After all, no student is here by mistake. It is our prayer to have God bring the students to Legacy that He wants here.
“I work at Legacy because I love God and I love people. As a teacher, I knew my students would not remember everything I taught them, but I wanted them to remember how I made them feel – loved! As PreK Director, I still feel that way. I always tell the families of my students that once they are a part of my program, they are always a part of my heart. As an Admissions Director, I want people to see that Legacy is different, that we are a family who truly love each other and want to honor God in all that we do. I want to invest time building relationships with people as we build the Legacy community – and God’s kingdom.
A graduate of Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern-St. Paul) with a double major in Marriage and Family Psychology and Biblical & Theological Studies, Felicia has always loved working with children. She worked at a Child Development Center all through college and decided to pursue a career in Early Childhood shortly after graduation. Prior to joining the LCA PreK staff in 2015, Felicia spent eight years working as the Executive Project Manager at an Early Education Child Development Center in Plymouth, MN. In 2018, Felicia received her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University.
“I have experienced LCA as a parent and am just so passionate about what Legacy has to offer.”
Felicia and her husband Jon currently reside in Ramsey with their two children, Rilee and Merrick. She enjoys thrifting and crafting. Her family attends Constance Free Church where she is involved in small group and prayer partner ministries.
Jolene’s undergraduate and graduate degrees from Augsburg and Northern State University, coupled with several years of teaching and coaching at a Christian school in Florida, then most recently leading story-time for preschoolers at Lifeway Christian Bookstore, are what prepared Jolene for a position in PreK education here at Legacy for the 2018 school year.
“My life purpose is to know God and make him known. I do this by having a growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ and by doing my best through the power of the Holy Spirit to share the truth of God’s Word through word and deed at home, work, and throughout my everyday life.”
Jolene and her husband Kole look forward to many years within the Legacy community and pray for children of their own that can someday experience the Christ-centered approach to education that is foundational to Legacy Christian Academy in teaching students the truth of God’s Word.
Cheryl earned a double major in Elementary Education and K-6 Physical Education from Bethel University where she met her husband, Mike. They were married in 1984 and she began teaching at Legacy, then MCCS, shortly after their honeymoon. Cheryl continued her education, earning a Master’s in Education from St.Mary’s University.
Cheryl’s husband Mike and two daughters, Casey and Courtney are also in education and together they stay active running and playing. Cheryl has future aspirations to travel and see more of the world upon retirement.
“With God’s help, each day I desire to instruct and inspire students to find their identity in Christ first and foremost … and then discover their abilities and how those talents can give them purpose and opportunities here at Legacy. It is thrilling to see students excel and find their place in this community.”
Tirzah has been sharing her love of music with LCA students since 1988! She holds a BS in Vocal & Classroom Music Education from the University of Northwestern St. Paul and has a passion to serve God through the musical talents He has gifted her with.
“At LCA, I desire to create an environment that encourages students to understand, appreciate, create, and perform music as an expression of worship to God.”
Tirzah, a self proclaimed “Packer” fan and puppy lover, and her husband Joseph adopted two beautiful children, Daniel and Aduko, from Ghana, West Africa in 2011 to complete their family. They feel so blessed to have their kids be a part of the LCA family. (Aduko Class of 2025 & Daniel Class of 2021). Tirzah and her husband love spending time riding motorcycle and watching their kids play soccer.
Sue received her undergraduate degree from UW Stout and went on to attain a Master’s in Education from St. Mary’s.
Since her hire in 1997 Sue has worn multiple hats: teaching, supporting, and now advancing the mission of our school. As both a parent and an employee, Sue has the unique ability to see our school and it’s mission from multiple perspectives.
Sue and her husband Mike have four children, (three of which are MCCS/LCA graduates), and three grandchildren.
“I believe in the mission of this school with all of my being and the absolute need for it in our society today. I am so grateful God has blessed me with this job … the opportunity to share my passion for LCA with others, and help build a connected community here.”
With an undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a graduate degree from Bethel University, Sara has spent many years in education in both Texas and Minnesota. Her many roles have included teaching and administration. She joined the staff at Legacy in 2018 first as a long-term sub and now as an elementary teacher. Her decision to continue to teach within the Legacy community has been due in part to her positive experience as a sub with our students, parents, and staff.
“I’ve been in the field of education for a while and have seen a massive, detrimental infusion of secularism over the years that has pushed God out of our schools. We are called to be salt and light to the world and an education that is void of the presence of God can’t do that. I want our kids to know and understand that God is their center and to know Him and His presence in everything they do, big or small, so they can influence their culture.”
Sara loves the book of Luke and how he sets forth a factual record from eye-witness accounts that show both the humanity and the deity of Jesus. She shared that Dr. Luke is on her list of folks she’d like to meet someday!
Toni studied Human Resources at the University of Minnesota and since her hire at LCA in 2000, she has worn many administrative support hats. In her current position as School Office Manager, Toni takes great pride in seeing that all 3,800 visitors that sign in at the front window throughout an average school year feel welcome and cared for.
Toni and her husband David have two children, Luke and Jillian, who both attended Legacy PreK-12th grade. As their youngest started college in Fall 2015, they are looking to enjoy more free time in their “empty nester” years!
“I love being a part of this school because we are all on the same mission – to further God’s kingdom and honor him in all that we do!”
“Legacy is second to none as a place that impacts the next generation educationally, socially, and spiritually. Each day the amazing staff/faculty at Legacy pour into students of all ages. God is transforming the next generation – one story at a time. As a board member, it is a great privilege to get to be a small piece to that effort!”
Jim Johnson holds undergraduate degrees in Bible & History from University of Northwestern-St. Paul and a Master’s in Theology from Bethel University.
Fall 2014 – Present
Tom holds a degree in History and Social Studies Education from Bethel University where he also played collegiate football. Hired at LCA in 2014, Tom finds that it’s the relationships, specifically, the student relationships, that make LCA special.
“My purpose in life and at Legacy is to know God and make Him known. Whether it is through interactions with the students, teaching history, or conducting government conversations, in my daily conduct and conversations my heart’s desire is to make God known.”
Sarah obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Health from St. Cloud State University and studied Counseling and Student Personnel at Minnesota State University Mankato before finding a home in education-based athletics.
Prior to joining the Lion Pride, Sarah embraced being a Washington Wildcat, Faribault Falcon, St. Cloud Husky and a Blake Bear! Being a part of each of those team identities has built a foundation for being both a team player and a team leader. Sarah believes strongly that involvement in activities outside the classroom enrich and balance the student experience.
Sarah is an active member at the YMCA enjoying time in the pool, on the bike, and around the track; completing her first SuperSprint Triathlon with the YWCA in August 2015. She shares her love of an active lifestyle with her husband Kyle, an avid hockey, broomball, tennis, and volleyball player. Their two young children are enrolled at Legacy and look forward to contributing to Legacy Lions teams in the future.
“My purpose is to teach others that they are gifted just as they were meant to be and that embracing their true self gives them the opportunity to be a strong leader. I hope to instill a sense of family and community on my teams by teaching that we all have unique perspectives on any given situation and that by striving to be empathetic with our teammates we build a strong sense of cohesiveness. Romans 12: 6 “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them …” Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
A native of Arizona, Jennifer received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona. She spent 7.5 years teaching at Casas Christian School in Tucson where she was widely involved teaching elementary and middle school along with co-directing summer school before being called to start a family with her husband Paul and stay home with their 3 children.
Jennifer shared that God placed a clear calling on her life to become an educator while she was in college. Her passion for the ministry of Christian education has only grown over the years. In 2016 they made the move to Minnesota and God began to plant the seeds for her to return to the classroom.
“It is a joy to see how God works through the classroom experience and the relationships developed to leave an eternal impact on the students and families that I am blessed to work with!”
Jennifer’s life verse, Ephesians 3:20-21, has been a touchstone through many seasons of her life and she can see God proving Himself faithful in more ways than imaginable as He brought their family to LCA at the start of the 2018-19 school year.
After graduating from both Crown College and Asbury University with BA’s in Elementary Education and from Azusa Pacific University with an MA in Education and Social Psychology, Merry began her teaching career in Ohio, then moved on to teach in Ecuador for three years at the boarding school her husband, Bruce, attended as a child of a missionary.
Merry has been teaching math and Bible at LCA since 1981. She says that one of the best aspects of teaching at Legacy is the PreK-12th grade experience and finds that because of this, Legacy is a true “family experience.” A family experience that her own family has been a part of as both her daughters Rachel ‘07 and Rebekah ‘09 are LCA grads.
“Teaching is my joy; not my job. I do this because the Lord has given me the gifts and abilities I need. I want to honor Him in all I say and do.”
Mrs. Kubiszewski’s Class Site
Mrs. Joleen Kubiszewski calls her students ‘scholars’ and seeks to inspire them to be lifelong learners. Joleen holds a BA in Education from Concordia University and an MA in Teaching & Learning from St. Mary’s University. She has specialized in teaching Integrated Language Arts to 5th and 6th grade students at LCA since 1998. In 2015, she was honored to receive the Fox 9 Top Teacher of the Year Award. An exciting highlight each spring is the School-to-Work Connection for 6th graders with Pizza Ranch in Andover.
Joleen and her husband, Bob, have three adult children and their spouses, along with five grandchildren in Chicago, Denver, and Andover.
“My goal each year is to encourage students to grow closer to the Lord Jesus and trust Him with all their hearts, soul, mind, and strength. It brings me great joy if they gain a heightened interest in reading and writing.”
Tiffany joined the Legacy staff for the 2018 school year after several years at Heritage Christian Academy and a short stint in public education in Wayzata Public Schools. She found her heart to be best suited for Christian education stating the following:
“I believe Christian educators have the unique privilege and responsibility of teaching the gospel and Christian character to young people while challenging them to learn academics with excellence. I am so thankful that God led me to Legacy where I can share the love of Jesus with my students!”
Tiffany is a diehard Minnesota Lynx fan and loves Maya Moore! She also loves spending time with family and friends, reading for fun, and meeting with her small group. Professionally, she aspires to enhance her Elementary Education and Christian Studies undergraduate degree from Crown College by attaining her Masters in Curriculum & Instruction.
Steve Larson was Legacy’s Interim President during the 2012-13 school year and is a Financial Consultant with Thrivent Financial, and has been for the past 22 years.
“I love Legacy Christian Academy and I am so thankful for the impact LCA has had in the lives of our two children and our family as a whole. The need to teach students critical thinking skills within the context of a biblical worldview is one of the most important reasons for the existence of Legacy Christian Academy. The culture is advancing a worldview that is in direct conflict with the truth of God’s word. At Legacy, we strive to teach our students to know how to fully stand on the truth of God’s word, but to do so in a way that is filled with grace. Standing on the God’s truth cannot diminish God’s grace; and God’s grace cannot diminish God’s truth. We are called to teach students to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ who was full of grace and truth. It is for these reasons I believe Legacy needs to grow and thrive and why I am grateful to serve on the Board.”
Steve’s avocation for many years has been as hockey coach at many levels. Steve coached at Bethel University from 1982-1991. He was the boy’s coach at Blaine High School from 1995-2000 and he was the Assistant Coach with the Blaine girls team for four years after that. Steve was the founding Head Coach for the Lions Hockey program in 2007 and stepped down after 10 years leading that program in 2017.
Fall 2009 – Present
Since 2012, Paul has been blessing the hallways, classrooms, and workspaces with his genuineness and leadership. A Pastor educated at Bethany Global University, Paul’s mission in life is to build up every person he meets by helping them reach their goals in achieving a well rounded life.
Paul and his wife Juanita, are blessed to be parents to three grown children and grandparents to four grandchildren.
“Being a part of a community of people who are growing in their faith and walk with God makes LCA special to me. It is inspiring to see the growth in people and challenges me to pursue Him as well.”
Dr. Shawn Lohse
Dr. Lohse joined the LCA Administrative staff in 2016 after a stretch of time outside the United States as the K-12 Principal at the Inter American School in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Her multiple degrees include a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, Masters in International Business, and a Doctorate in Education.
Dr. Lohse was drawn to Legacy as she recognized that LCA offers students the opportunity to be engaged and challenged with rigor, consistently building knowledge and skills in their core subjects, approached from a biblical worldview. She joins the staff at Legacy in their deep commitment to developing the whole student by fostering strong relationships while refining the creativity, critical thinking, research, and problem-solving skills students will need to find success.
“I believe that an education is the most powerful tool we can give children. This begins by teaching students how to learn and providing them with opportunities to explore and fall in love with the learning process. Educational leaders carry a heavy responsibility when it comes to leading staff and students. The Bible speaks of training up a child in the way they should go; to me, in Christian education, it looks like providing students with a biblical worldview, strong Christian character, and the tools they need to offer their God-given passions and talents to the world.”
A recent transplant to Minnesota from Illinois, Sherry has been teaching for over 22 years. With her move to Minnesota in January of 2016, her desire was to bring her skill set to a Christian school with an intentional element of discipleship to share with the students in her charge. She and her husband Jeff have been married for 41 years and have 5 married children with 13 grandchildren! Two of her 13 grandchildren attend Legacy which is quite a perk of the job!
“I purpose each day in the classroom to provide an atmosphere of encouragement, safety, and community. My desire is that each child work to his/her potential and within our loving classroom community, celebrate each and every child’s success!”
Rebecca holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of MN Duluth. She has been called by God to help students and has been doing so as a Guidance Counselor at LCA since 2005, helping students and families with post-secondary planning.
Rebecca and her husband Mike have two children, Levi and Naomi and currently reside in Coon Rapids. One day Rebecca aspires to “support families and children more directly. This might include doing some in-home work with them or by providing foster care or maybe working in an orphanage.”
Todd holds both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Education, attending Crown College and St. Mary’s University after graduating from Meadow Creek Christian School, LCA’s predecessor. He has been teaching, coaching, and advising students since his hire in 1996, and in 2001 led the boys soccer team to a 4th place state tournament finish!
Beyond the PE classroom and the coaching field, Todd has a love of rock climbing and would love to develop and run an outdoor adventure class or camp. With four children of his own, Todd and his wife Stacey (’91) are always on some kind of adventure! Todd also owns and operates a seal coating business during the summer months.
“The Lord has blessed me with the ability to work with children of all ages. I have a desire for students to be active and have fun doing it! I love the wonderful connections that the elementary students can make with the high school students at LCA.”
A member of our teaching staff since 2011, Lisa holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from St. Cloud State University and a Master’s in Literacy Instruction from St. Mary’s University.
“I love working with children. They make me laugh and enjoy life. I try to make learning fun and meaningful for students. It is important for them to understand why they are learning what they are learning and how everything connects to God’s Word. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love my job!”
Since his hire at LCA in 2008, Ben has been making a big impression on the lives of students teaching Bible, Economics and advising in Student Council.
A lifelong learner and libertarian, Ben hopes to continue his own education beyond his Bachelor’s in Christian Studies from North Greenville and his Master’s in Christian Thought from Bethel Seminary to include degrees in Bioethics and Philosophy of Religion.
At LCA Ben feels “empowered to teach the best way I see fit in order to educate and equip my students to know, believe, explain, and defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Ben is a K-12 alumni graduating in the class of 1992. On the receiving end of a Christian education himself, he is passionate about the biblical worldview that Legacy instills in its students.
“After growing up attending the school myself and now watching my kids experience the same Christian educational environment, it’s been a privilege and honor to serve on the Board and give back to a place that has benefited our family and community so much.”
Ben has been a business owner for the last 20 years in the field of home building. He and his high school sweetheart, Rachel, raise their five children in Andover and attend Constance Free Church. They are thrilled to have their kids at Legacy and to be a part of this great community.
Fall 2016 – Present
Mrs. Emma Morrell comes to Legacy from The University of Northwestern-St. Paul with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Intercultural Studies. She was drawn to teach at Legacy because she desires to “educate students to equip them spiritually and academically for their future and for the glory of God.” Mrs. Morrell indicated that Legacy was “one of the most Christ-centered places I’ve ever encountered.”
Emma grew up on a lake in Spooner, WI with her parents and 2 siblings. Like all good Wisconsin natives, Emma is a die-hard Packer fan.
Jake has walked through the halls of LCA in every pair of shoes possible (student, teacher, coach, chaplain, parent, principal) so when he says that “LCA and its community is special because it is investing personally in each student in a way that helps them know and love God and be prepared to live life and influence culture,” you can trust he knows what he’s talking about.
When Jake graduated from MCCS in 1999 he headed to the University of Northwestern and attained undergraduate degrees in Social Studies Education and Bible before securing a Masters in Theological Studies. He has traveled to over 25 different countries leading mission trips, discipleship trips, or biblical history trips for high school students. In 2014 and 2015 he was honored by receiving Anoka County Shopper Reader’s Choice “Best Principal of the Year.”
“I exist to intentionally and passionately know and love God and help others do the same. I strive to live out and accomplish (what I believe to be) the three “greats” in life: The Greatest Accomplishment: To know and love God. The Greatest Lifestyle: To intentionally and passionately live like Christ. The Greatest Legacy: To live in light of eternity. It is an honor to partner with parents in their journey to educate and disciple their children.”
Dan holds a BA in History and Secondary Education from Bethel University where he also earned his Master’s degree. A teacher of World History at LCA since 1995, Dan indicates that “God gave me a passion for teaching and inspiring students to be what God has created them to be.”
When not in the classroom you’ll most likely see Dan with his wife Ruth and at least one of his four children, whom all attend LCA. The exception is spring time in Minnesota where you’ll find him out on the golf course coaching the three-time state championship Lions Girls Golf team.
“Legacy has provided me with the opportunity to not only challenge my students intellectually, but also spiritually. I enjoy being able to speak the Truth about God’s unconditional love to students during very formative years.”
Prior to joining the Business Office staff at LCA in 2015, Danielle has served as a parent volunteer on the Elementary Yearbook staff and the School Staging Committee of the Legacy Parent Association. She holds an AAS degree in Accounting & Business Administration from MN School of Business and spent 18 years as a credit analyst with Viking Electric, where her husband Jim is currently employed. Together they have one daughter, Hailey, currently enrolled at LCA and enjoy spending time as a family with Jim’s two older children, Ashley and Brandon, camping and vacationing.
Danielle shares that “Psalm 24:21, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all it’s people belong to him.’ is a great reminder to her that who we are, what we do, and what we have all belong to the Lord.”
Carissa accepted her first teaching position out of college at Legacy for the 2018-19 school year. Her undergraduate degree from Bethel University includes concentrations in Elementary Education, Middle School Science, Middle School Social Studies, and STEM. A high school graduate from PACT Charter School in Ramsey, Carissa expected to teach in that environment as well, but is surprisingly pleased that God called her to Legacy through a series of interactions with our administration. Carissa describes the Legacy community as “rich and vibrant.”
“God has made all of His children ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). In addition, He has given me a passion to help youth realize their worth and value to God. I teach because it gives me the opportunity to share truth with a generation that hears many lies from the world around them.“
In her free time Carissa loves being active. Inline skating, running, and cross country skiing are a few of her favorite outdoor pastimes.
Lorie has been teaching young hearts since she graduated from University of Northwestern with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education in 1987. The Lord led her immediately to LCA (Meadow Creek Christian School) where she taught 3rd grade until she moved to Rapid City with her husband John in 1993. She spent a few years in a 4th grade classroom there and then some time at home with her three children before the family moved back to Andover in 2007 and she resumed teaching at LCA, this time as a 4th grade teacher.
John and Lorie feel blessed that all three of their children (Anna ‘15, Josh ‘17, and Christina ‘19) are growing up as members of the LCA family, making lifelong friends, all with a biblical worldview.
“I love teaching! It is that simple. I enjoy finding new ways to teach concepts to my kids and I love getting to know each student and how they learn best. I like challenging the kids and seeing the “light bulb” go off when they understand a new concept. I love teaching them about God and watching their faith grow.”
Joel holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from University of Northwestern and a Master’s in Educational Administration from St. Mary’s. Prior to joining the LCA Administration in 2012, he taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade in the White Bear Lake School District for 10 years, earning Teacher of the Year Finalist honors 2009-2011. As the Elementary Principal at LCA, it is Joel’s passion to help students and families experience learning surrounded by the wisdom and love that only comes from Jesus Christ.
Joel’s family of girls, wife Mandy and four daughters, Salomae, Brielle, Elliana and Audrey, receives the honor of selecting from over 250 board games in Joel’s collection on family game night and most likely contributed to his earning the “Most ties worn in a school year” award in 2015. His future aspirations include using the gifts and talents he has been blessed with to be the best husband and loving father to them that he can be while being a humble and servant leader.
“I love LCA because the staff, teachers, students, parents, and grandparents come together as a family. When there is a feeling that you are safe and loved, the learning that can take place is a wonderful experience.”
Kim holds both an undergraduate and graduate degree in Spanish, but also holds a BA in Computer Science. She comes to Legacy in 2017 to teach Spanish after spending time in the tech field for many years. With her love of the Spanish language and culture she hopes to build a solid and enduring Spanish program to provide LCA students the bilingual edge in their future career and personal endeavors.
Kim and Greg, her husband of 35 years, have 3 grown sons (Justin, Kevin, and Jarrett) and a daughter-in- law (Bethany). They are anxiously awaiting becoming grandparents in February 2018. Rounding out their family is Zoey Joy, the puppy and Rosalinda, the cat!
“I trust God and choose daily to depend on Him to meet my needs and to affirm and direct me. I love my family without judgement, in the same way that God sees all my brokenness and still loves me. I am wholly IN at LCA to minister to the students’ spirits and minds and to equip them for their purposes with an understanding of Spanish language and culture. I am here to serve God by serving the LCA community.”
Merry Joy Olson
Merry Joy has been caring for LCA students through the Anoka Hennepin School District since 2012. She holds a BSN from Bethel University, is working on her Masters from Columbia University and also holds an Oncology Certification. She has been the recipient of the Star Award from both the Oncology Nurses Society and Epiphany Catholic School.
Merry Joy and her husband Chad have moved eight times during their marriage, living in four states before settling in Minnesota. All three of their children are currently enrolled at LCA and without any family in the area, the Legacy community has made Minnesota home for them.
“School nursing is very different than my other areas of nursing. I love the students and the energy they bring to my day. I try to provide care to the students through patience and empathy. I also enjoy being able to pray with students when they are not feeling well, are having a tough day, or they want to share a praise. This is a connection like none other that I have experienced in my career.”
In 2008, Teri joined the Business Office staff at Legacy and is often the person you’ll talk to first about tuition payments. She loves working with the families of Legacy and enjoys seeing the kids grow up to make their faith their own. She feels blessed by the leadership at Legacy and says “There is not a day that goes by that I would want to be working anywhere else.”
Lori has been sharing God’s promises and love with MCCS/LCA students since 2007. She enjoys “working with kids of all ages and encouraging them to grow deeper in their faith.” Lori has both the challenge and blessing of supervising LCA students during their down time of lunch and after school as the Adventures 4 Kids Director.
She says that “watching and experiencing God’s work and love through the students, administration, and staff is what makes LCA special” and why she and her husband chose to have both their sons attend LCA from PreK through graduation.
Composing music since the age of 6, Rolly’s been putting his talents to use in furthering God’s kingdom at MCCS/LCA since 1992. He holds a BS in Music Education from Bethel University and is pursuing a Master’s in Music & Worship from Liberty University online.
Rolly and his wife Leah have nine children, of which four have graduated from MCCS/LCA and five are currently attending. A household of volleyball players, Rolly had the unique opportunity to coach alongside his wife and two of his daughters when he was hired as Head Volleyball Coach in the Fall of 2015 (his second time at the helm of the Saints/Lions program).
It’s not by accident that Rolly has invested so deeply at Legacy. He states, “The environment (at LCA) provides a great opportunity for students and faculty alike to grow in their faith, to be challenged, and to be encouraged. Legacy provides an atmosphere that brings awareness to who Jesus is – ever present in our lives.”
Chris is a parent to three MCCS/LCA graduates and feels blessed to be an “in-school mom” for all the students who need comfort throughout the day by binding wounds, taking temps, administering ice packs, and most importantly, giving hugs. Chris is aptly qualified for the role as she holds a Director of Christian Education Certification from Concordia University, is CPR/First Aid certified, and studied Psychology and English at North Central College in Illinois.
Chris has a love of all God’s creatures on land, sea, and air, which her husband of 30 years can attest to!
“LCA is special to me because I have the ability to work in an environment where Christ is LORD, where my co-workers and I can drop everything to pray, I can worship the LORD with and while I work, and where the biblical worldview is the norm.”
An LCA graduate of the Class of 2008, Jon is excited to give back to students as an educator in the very place where he received a Christ-centered education as a junior and senior in high school. He received his Secondary Social Studies degree from Crown College where he also excelled on the soccer field, earning Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a senior in 2012. As he begins his teaching journey at Legacy in 2018, he also has the opportunity to disciple hearts on the soccer field as our Head Boys Soccer Coach.
“I strive to teach social studies in a way that allows every student an opportunity to gain content knowledge that leads to the discovery of who they are created to be.”
Jon lives in Coon Rapids with his wife Hannah and son Dominic. If you’d like to surprise him with a treat, Flaming Hot Cheetos with a side of sour cream will make his face light up!
Jody has been teaching science at LCA since 1984 and holds a Bachelor’s in Science Education from Bob Jones University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from St. Cloud State University.
Jody loves that at LCA she is able to teach science from a biblical worldview and help the students see the wonders of God’s creation. Another blessing is being able to work in a faith-based community with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Since graduating from Olivet Nazarene University in 1993, Jason Sharp has devoted his life’s work to the calling placed on his heart at the age of 18, to passionately serve God through the ministry of Christian radio. Jason and his family followed that call in 2007 when they relocated from Tennessee to Minnesota, to be a part of the Northwestern family. Jason currently serves as Station Manager of 98.5 KTIS in the Twin Cities.
“It is a great privilege to serve on the Board at Legacy Christian Academy. I am grateful for a front row seat to watch God work through the faculty, staff, and students of this important ministry.”
Jason and his wife Julie have been married for 18 years and they have two children, Haley and Carson, both students at Legacy Christian Academy. They make their home in Andover and attend Constance Evangelical Free Church.
Fall 2014 – Present
Stacey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Winona State University, but found a home as LCA’s Media Center Director in 2006 and is affectionately known as Mrs. S by the students she reads to.
Stacey credits LCA for teaching her family, husband Eric and daughters Mari and Lindsey, how to see the world through a biblical worldview.
Stacey has a love for the Minnesota State Fair and Anoka County Fair and can claim award winning danish cakes, cookies, and fudge.
Miss Janna Thorsen holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with Middle School Endorsements in Math, Social Studies, and ELA from University of Sioux Falls.
As an avid traveler, visiting 49 states and 15 countries, Miss Thorsen has aspirations to travel to Alaska and Norway. “Being open and willing to follow God’s leading – I don’t know what that looks like, but I know it will continue to be an adventure.”
“In my short time at LCA, I have already come to appreciate the community that exists amongst the staff, with the families, and amongst the students. I have watched students take the lead in praying for others, working hard to meet goals, and greet me each morning with a smile.”
An alumni of MCCS/LCA, Mrs. Sarah Vance came back to LCA to lead as she had been led. Holding an undergraduate degree in Chemisty and Molecular Biology from Bethel University, Sarah states “God has given me a passion for high school students and for science. God has blessed me with the opportunity to work at a place where I can fulfill both passions!”
Beyond the classroom Sarah loves sports, running, hiking, and pretty much any activity in the snow. In the summers she guides backpacking trips in British Columbia, and hopes to one day bring students on some wilderness adventures.
“Legacy has had an incredible impact on my life. While I attended here, it was a place where I was able to build a strong foundation in my faith and truly make it my own. The Bible classes and interactions with the faculty challenged me to ask tough questions and pursue a deeper relationship with Jesus. I am extremely grateful for the many faculty and staff who so clearly imitated Christ for me.”
Mike joined the LCA staff in 2014 after spending 13 years in a similar role at Minnehaha Academy. He loves that LCA is a unique environment that places a priority on Christ-centered relationships.
His educational path includes a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Bethel College, a Master’s in Theology from Bethel Seminary and a Master’s in Information Media/Instructional Technology from St. Cloud State University. Mike states, “I love to work with both students and staff in the area of technology. For many people, there seems to be some anxiety that is always associated with it, and I like to figure out ways to take that away!”
An avid sports fan, Mike’s wife Meredith is understanding of the time spent on the golf course playing and coaching during the short window allowed by Minnesota weather!
Kristin graduated from the University of Northwestern and Crown College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Ministries and Elementary Education with a PreK Emphasis. Growing up in the area, she always hoped to teach at a Christian school like Meadow Creek/Legacy. She was overflowing with joy when she was offered the PreK teaching position in 2012 after student teaching here! This will be her 13th year teaching PreK and it will be her 7th year teaching it at Legacy!
In 2014, she partnered with her colleague, Lynda Domino, and they were awarded a Grant for Teachers Needs from the Legacy Parent Association which allowed the PreK classroom to get an amazing new playhouse for imaginative play! Also, during the years when she was teaching, the PreK program at Legacy was voted “Best Preschool in Anoka County” four years in a row!!
Kristin and her husband Christian, share their love of Christ not only with the young families at LCA, but also with their own young family of four beautiful daughters.
“Legacy truly feels like a second family to us! I pray that your child and your family truly know and experience this unconditional love; and that the students, families and staff will all look to the God who gives this everlasting, never-ending love! May we share together in the truth that Jesus died on the cross to take away all of our sins, that He rose again/came back to life, that He is alive now, and that He is wanting us to live here on earth and in heaven forever with Him!! I always love sharing this gospel truth with the precious little ones in my class, and I never get tired of watching their little faces light up with true joy and hope! It’s great news to know that His grace, His forgiveness and His love is extended to each one of us as we trust Him as our Lord and Savior! SO thankful that we can celebrate and praise our Savior Jesus together freely at Legacy!”
Kim graduated from Crown College with her Elementary Teaching Degree and completed her Masters in Reading and Curriculum Instruction from Concordia College. She has been on staff at LCA since 2008 and having three children of her own, she understands how important children are to their own families and wants to partner with parents so that each student will learn and thrive in her classroom!
“I am confident that God has brought us to this time and this place to work together in the life of your child.”
“Legacy has quickly become “our home away from home”. This school and the community that make up the staff, faculty, leadership, and fellow parents are an answer to many years of prayer. The Lord has truly given us the desires of our heart. We are grateful for the love, dedication, and excellence that is poured into our children each day in their education, character formation, and faith development. As a member of the Board, it is my honor, joy and privilege to serve all those who make up Legacy Christian Academy. May the Lord richly bless you and yours in this place.”
Fall 2018 – Present