Administration

 

Dr. Hal Brunson

Headmaster

Hal Brunson has served the Christian community for over four decades as pastor, consultant, and educator. He has taught at the graduate, undergraduate, and college-preparatory levels. The author of twenty books, he writes in the academic fields of theology, aesthetics, and poetry. He resides in Whitefish with his wife Nancy. Hal earned the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, the Master of Divinity, the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Ph.D. in Humanities from The University of Texas at Dallas with a double major in Comparative Literature and the History of Ideas. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Inkling poet Charles Williams. Hal enjoys guitar, tennis, and fishing.

Rachel Erickson

Assistant Head of School

Rachel Erickson has taught at Whitefish Christian Academy since 2010. Currently she teaches second grade and is Assistant Head of School. She earned her B. A. in Elementary Education from Montana State University. She and her husband Shane have lived in the Flathead Valley since 2007 and have two children, Madison and Jase, who attend the academy.

Dr. Matt Paulson

Academic Dean

Matt Paulson was born in Glasgow, Montana, grew up in the Flathead Valley, and graduated from Whitefish High School. Dr. Paulson holds a B.A. from the University of Montana with a double major in Philosophy and Classics, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Theology from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He teaches Latin, Philosophy, Bible, and Logic at the academy. He and his wife, Keziah, have three children, all of whom attend (and love!) the academy.  For fun, Matt enjoys studying theology, translating classical texts, being outdoors with his family—and, teaching at WCA!

Burton Gildersleeve

Director of Athletics and Marketing

Burton led his Chatham, NJ, high school team to a 31-2 season and a state championship and went on to play college ball at Maine's Colby University where he earned the B.A. and received the Walker Grant for excellence in Latin American Studies. He also holds a Certificate in Marketing from Cornell University, expertise he used as Senior Marketing Consultant in domestic and foreign partnerships with brands such as Ralph Lauren and Vera Bradley. More recently, Burton coached basketball at Jackson Hole Classical Academy where he also taught upper-level Spanish, wrote marketing and admission plans, wrote and edited school communications across all media channels, and guided the admissions process. As the Director of Athletics and Marketing, Burton oversees all aspects of those school programs.

Corey Gildersleeve

Department Chair, Science and Mathematics

Corey hails from Colby College where she earned her B.S. with a double major in biology and environmental science. She completed her Masters of Science in Education at Johns Hopkins University with a double concentration in science and mathematics. Corey taught for Miami-Dade Public Schools where she received the highest rating for teaching effectiveness and won the Thomas Easton Prize for Science teaching. She was also nominated for the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching. Prior to that tenure, Corey was Director of Mathnasium in Palmetto Bay, FL, where she directed operations of a math center that enrolled 80-120 students in grades 2-12, oversaw 15 instructors, directed implementation of math curriculum, designed unique learning plans for each student, and provided ongoing training for instructors. As the academy’s Department Chair of Science and Mathematics, Corey will teach all upper-level science classes at the academy, and oversee and evaluate the Math and Science curricula.

 

Faculty

 
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Val Pierson

Preschool

Val Pierson is originally from the Midwest and spent her formative years in Minnesota. She obtained her BA in Communications from the University of Sioux Falls and her BA in Education from the University of Great Falls. She has been involved in Youth With A Mission internationally while living in Hawaii, and has traveled to several nations as a missionary. Val enjoys the outdoor lifestyle Montana has to offer, especially the hiking adventures in Glacier National Park.

Lynda Morrison

Pre-kindergarten

Lynda is a fantastic Pre-K teacher. She’s been involved in Pre-K and children’s ministry for more than thirty years. Her formal childcare training was completed at Diablo Valley College in Concord, CA. Lynda’s passion is to help children and parents make a smooth transition to the school environment while assisting the child to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Lynda’s love for the Lord, her students, and their families is evidenced in her caring and gentle manner in the classroom. As each Pre-K student begins their academic career, Lynda aims to give them and their families a wonderful first step in education.

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Heidi Freeman

Kindergarten Team

Heidi Freeman is a fourth generation native of the Flathead Valley. She graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Montana and is a twenty-year veteran teacher at the academy, having taught Kindergarten, Pre-K, and even P.E.  Heidi and her family are members of Easthaven Baptist Church.

Jenny Boreson

Kindergarten Team

A native Montanan, Jenny was born and raised in Missoula where she attended the University of Montana and received her B.A. in Elementary Education along with a concentration in Music. Jenny has been teaching in various schools throughout the Flathead Valley since 2014, all the while enjoying photography, acrylic painting, piano, traveling, gardening, and recently Highland and Irish Dancing! She has been married to her husband Michael since 2017, and together they enjoy playing disc golf, singing Phantom of the Opera in the kitchen, (it's true!), working on house projects, spending time with their families, and spoiling their dogs Duncan and Abby. Jenny feels very blessed to be part of the Academy community and is excited to learn and grow alongside her students.

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Romina Sprunger

First Grade

Originally from North Carolina, Romina Sprunger moved to Montana in 2014 right after earning a B.A. in Italian with a minor in Music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2015, she met her husband, Stephen, and they have been merrily married for three years. Romina enjoys singing, dancing, reading, cooking, and making jewelry. She has been teaching since 2018 and counts it as one of the most joyful responsibilities with which God has blessed her.

Rachel Erickson

Second Grade, Assistant Head of School

Rachel Erickson has taught at Whitefish Christian Academy since 2010. Currently she teaches second grade and is Assistant Head of School. She earned her B. A. in Elementary Education from Montana State University. She and her husband Shane have lived in the Flathead Valley since 2007 and have two children, Madison and Jase, who attend Whitefish Christian Academy.

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Mara Strobel

Second Grade, FLEX Spanish

Mara Strobel is an Idaho native and there attended a classical Christian school through her elementary and middle-school years. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a secondary education degree in social sciences and Spanish.  She taught full-time for seven years at Eagle High School and then transitioned to full-time mom/part-time teacher for ten years until returning to education full-time in 2018 at the academy.  When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with her husband and three children running, hiking, backpacking, skiing, and enjoying God’s amazing creation.

Pennie Parrish

Third Grade

Pennie Parrish grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and her M.Ed. in Curriculum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She taught for fourteen years in the Clark County School District. She moved to Montana with her husband Paul and son Nathan in 2001. She began teaching at the academy in 2003. Mrs. Parrish currently teaches third grade.

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Alexandra Schaefer

Fourth Grade, FLEX German

Alexandra Schaefer graduated from the University of Montana with High Honors and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a teaching certification in Secondary Education. She taught middle school in Trinidad, Colorado, for two years prior to returning to Montana so she could teach at Whitefish Christian Academy. At the academy, Alexandra has taught preschool, first grade, Foreign Language Exploration (FLEX) in German for two years, and fourth grade for four years. She is passionate about teaching and classical education especially since her sons attend WCA and are greatly benefiting from the experience.

James Chertudi

Fifth Grade, Algebra One

James Chertudi graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Japanese.  He then moved to Japan and taught English for three years.  Since returning to the US, he has taught fifth grade at the academy, as well as middle-school math, algebra, and computer programming. Occasionally, he brings percussion to chapel services, being a drum enthusiast in his spare time.

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Holden Sieler

Humanities

Holden Sieler grew up in the Paradise Valley near Livingston, Montana. He graduated from Petra Academy in Bozeman and studied philosophy, literature, and classics at Calvin College (now University) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and graduated from Montana State University with a B.A. in English Literature. A published writer, his interests include patristic theology, fly fishing, and the music of Bob Dylan. Holden and his wife, Anna, worship at St. Herman Orthodox Church in Kalispell.

Dr. Matt Paulson

Philosophy and Theology

Matt Paulson was born in Glasgow, Montana, grew up in the Flathead Valley, and graduated from Whitefish High School. Dr. Paulson holds a B.A. from the University of Montana with a double major in Philosophy and Classics, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Theology from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He teaches Latin, Philosophy, Bible, and Logic at the academy. He and his wife, Keziah, have three children, all of whom attend (and love!) the academy.  For fun, Matt enjoys studying theology, translating classical texts, being outdoors with his family—and, teaching!

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Tana Voeller

Middle School Mathematics

A veteran teacher for eighteen years, Tana Voeller joined the Whitefish Christian Academy faculty in 2009; currently, she teaches upper-elementary and middle-school mathematics. She thoroughly enjoys her students! A native of Montana, Tana graduated from the University of Montana with a B.A. in Elementary Education with an extended Physical Education major. Tana’s two children, Carson and Josie, attended the academy for nine years and continue to be blessed by their great Classical-Christian Education from the academy.

Tiffany Davenport

Art

Tiffany Davenport is enjoying her third year of teaching Elementary Art at Whitefish Christian Academy. She holds a B.A. in Speech Communication from Hope International University in Fullerton, California. Along with her husband and two daughters, Tiffany moved to the Flathead Valley in 2015. She loves being able to share both her passion for art and love for the Lord in her community.

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Staff

 

Darlene Meehan

Secretary

Darlene was born and raised in Whitefish. She was blessed to attend Whitefish Christian Academy as a young girl. The academy has always held a warm place in her heart, and she loves giving back to the place that deeply impacted her life. She is the welcoming face and voice you will often encounter first thing in the morning in our office. She loves working and being involved with the academy and her community!

Caroline Smith

Administrative Assistant

Caroline was born and raised in Columbus, GA. She attended Sewanee, the University of Georgia, and Columbus State University before graduating with a degree in Political Science. She married her husband Kip in 2003. They have two sons, Andrew and T, who attended the academy. After falling in love with this area in 2014, she and her family packed up and moved to Whitefish in the summer of 2015. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, being outdoors, watching her boys play baseball, skiing, cooking, traveling, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs.

Carrie Broughton

Teacher's Aide

Carrie Broughton has been working with children for twenty-five years and is the perfect person to fill the shoes of a teacher’s aide and recess assistant. Carrie is kind, loving, and fair; she is an asset to the academy both on the playground and in the classroom. Carrie loves the Lord and loves serving the families and children at the academy.

Cara Owens

Teacher's Aide

Cara Owens earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts at Colorado State University, and she also holds a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. This is her second year as a teacher’s aide. She previously practiced as a pediatric occupational therapist for ten years, with several years of experience providing therapy for children in the classroom setting. She is an avid writer and frequently ghostwrites for company blogs.

Kevin Moyer

Facilities Manager

Kevin Moyer was born and reared in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He has been a bi-vocational church planter and pastor. He and his wife Ruthie have four children and eight grandchildren. He enjoys serving with local ministries and his home church. Kevin manages the academy facilities and grounds.

 
 

820 Ashar Ave., Whitefish, MT 59937

406.862.5875

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