Michael Chivalette, PhD. – Administrator
During his career, Dr. Chivalette has served as Head of School or Superintendent while serving in both private and Christian-based institutions. His background includes classroom instruction, history department chair, athletic director, basketball/cross country coach, principal, and director of drama productions. He has served on ACSI Regional accreditation teams and has been recognized as teacher-of-the year numerous times. His experience as a coach has won him recognition at the state level for both basketball and cross country.
Dr. Chivalette holds a doctorate and two master’s degrees in education and administration. He completed his undergraduate work at Cairn University (formerly Philadelphia Biblical University) and St. Joseph’s University with majors in Christian Education, Secondary Education and Secondary Education Social Sciences (focus on History and Psychology). His doctoral dissertation completed in 1997 explored the value of Christian education: “The Truth in Christian Education, the Values that Define our Children.”
(photo coming soon)
Ron Krestan, M.Ed. – Dean of Students, Secondary Faculty
Mr. Krestan has shared his talents and commitment to teaching for the last seven years at Veritas Christian School and enjoys the respect of all who know him including parents, students, fellow faculty, and community members. Krestan also brings an expert level of understanding philosophies of education, Christian Education, Classical Education, and how those work together to maximize student development.
Christie Stegall – Business Administrator
Mrs. Stegall has a BS in science education from Geneva College and a Certificate in Missions from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She has taught science, Bible, and other subjects to students for more than 25 years, both in Christian and public schools. In 1977 Kathy and her husband Ron were among the founding families of Veritas, then known as Douglas County Christian School. Kathy and Ron have five children – all graduates of Veritas. In the past Kathy has served on the Veritas school board, as publicity and PR chairman, janitor, teacher and administrator. “I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to again serve Veritas !”
Linda Walton – School Secretary
Mrs. Walton is a graduate of Mount Saint Scholastica Academy in Atchison, KS. Since that time she has worked in various administrative/secretarial positions, including: Benedictine College Financial Aid Office, American Lung Association of Wyoming, and Grandview Assembly of God Church. She began her career as a stay-at-home mom in 1988, and home-schooled their children for seven years. In January, 2001, Mrs. Walton became the Administrative Assistant at Veritas. She and her husband are active in their church where she helps with the Worship Team, Women’s Ministries, and Children’s Church.
Shannon Biggerstaff – Kindergarten & KQuest
Stephanie Vaughn – Elementary Music, KQuest
Sandie Fischer – First Grade
Mrs. Fischer began teaching at Veritas in 2013. She teaches First Grade in her Jungle-themed classroom. She graduated with a BS in Education from MLC in 1981. Mrs. Fischer has her ACSI Educator Certificate. She has taught in Christian Schools in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California and Kansas for many years. She also home-schooled her four children for six years. Her favorite programs in her classroom are celebrating children’s books author’s birthdays and “Book Buddies” where every student gets to take a different stuffed animal and matching books home every weekend. She also believes that God has blessed us with a big, beautiful world to enjoy and explore, so they go on a Field Trip almost every month. Mrs. Fischer is married to Professor Ken Fischer, a Bio-medical, and Mechanical Engineer working at KU. They have three daughters, and one son. Two of their daughters have graduated, Kesandra and Miranda. And their daughter Leandra is a Senior and Jeremiah is a Freshman.
Annette Tiegreen – Second Grade
Mrs. Tiegreen received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. Prior to coming to Veritas, she home-schooled her three children for thirteen years. Mrs. Tiegreen has also served her local church in many capacities including worship leading and singing, intercessory prayer, and leading women’s and children’s ministries. She’s grateful that God has given her the calling and opportunity to serve at Veritas as it is her heart’s desire to glorify God by teaching and ministering to children.
Cindy Jensen – Third Grade
Mrs. Jensen earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with a double major in Elementary Education and Human Development and the Family from the University of Nebraska. She is currently certified with the State of Kansas and is working towards her ACSI certification. Before coming to teach at Veritas in 1995, she had invested nearly 15 years in educating children through teaching preschool, Sunday School, substitute teaching and homeschooling. Mrs. Jensen is active in her church by staffing the nursery.
Kimberly DeFazio – Fourth Grade
Mrs. DeFazio was a 1991 honors graduate of the State University of New York at Brockport, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. She has been teaching 4th grade at Veritas since 2001. For the past 7 years, she has led a women’s small group at her church. She has recently started leading a couple’s small group with her husband as well.
Carol Chivalette – Fifth Grade
(photo and bio coming soon)
Melanie Bartlow – 6th Grade
Mrs. Bartlow received a degree in education from Emporia State University. She taught four years at Central Heights High School in Richmond, Kansas, before moving to Lawrence. She and her husband, Mike, have three children that have all graduated from Veritas. In her free time Mrs. Bartlow enjoys church activities at GEPC, gardening, and spending time with her family, including her four grandchildren.
Dina Dudinyak- Elementary Facilitator
Mrs. Dudinyak grew up in Upstate New York, and completed her education in California, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Cal-State Bay Area and Elementary Teaching Certificate from Bethany College, in Santa Cruz. She has taught first and second grades, and a fourth/ fifth combination class while in California, along with teaching at Sylvan learning center here in Lawrence, for 10 years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, and doing home projects and spending time with family.
Lauri Bernet– Elementary Music, Jr./Sr. High Band & Choir
Lauri Bernet received attended Southeast Missouri State University, 1989-1994, as a Governor’s scholar, and received a bachelor’s in music, emphasis in voice and percussion, Summa Cum Laude. She continued study at the University of Kansas, and completed all coursework and clinical requirements for Master’s of Music Education/Music Therapy. She has a passion for teaching music to glorify the Lord who created all things for our joyful lives. She has worked with many amazing people, including those with Alzheimer’s type dementia, autism, sensory disorders, speech, cognitive and physical disorders. The favorite parts of her days at Veritas is seeing the joy on the faces of students when something “clicks” for them in their learning, and the growth of musical teams in the process of preparing for group perfomances. Mrs. Bernet met her husband Brad at a Bible study at the University of Kansas, and they have faithfully served in ministry since before their marriage. The have one son, Ethan, who is a freshman this fall, and they will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in June 2017. The Bernet family loves music, cheering for Veritas sports, visiting and traveling to see family & Disneyworld.
Gary Hammer – Elementary & Secondary P.E.
Kristol Kumar – Elementary Art Teacher
Mrs. Kumar, a firm believer in Jesus Christ, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her professional experience includes working at the Colorado History Museum, full time and contract graphic design, and the developing and coordinating of gallery openings and installations for both well known and local artists. Her works have been displayed in various galleries and art shows in the Denver area. Over the past eight years, she has run her own photography business (Kristol Kumar Photography; http://www.kristolkumar.com/) and she is a part owner and the lead photographer of Hello Sun Photography http://www.hellosunphotography.com. Her teaching experience includes substitute assignments in Denver, CO and for Veritas Christian as well as children’s workshop development. Her favorite things to do with her free time are laughing with her husband and sons, painting, and drinking coffee. Her desire is to teach children about art and the artistic processes through the foundation of art principles, exploration of mediums and history, creative thinking, and inspiring a sense of appreciation for the ultimate Creator.
Julie Hammer – Secondary Art
Mrs. Hammer earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the University of Kansas. She has operated an art business out of her home for almost 20 years, in which she sells prints and note cards of her original watercolor paintings at art shows and in gift shops. Her artwork is shown on her web site, www.juliehammer.com. She has taught a home school drawing and painting class for secondary students and adults. Her husband has coached basketball at Veritas for the last eight years, and is the Varisty boys head coach currently.
Jonnie Finger – Jr. High English, Critical Thinking, Typing/Study Skills & Creative Writing, Jr High Drama
Mrs. Finger holds a Bachelor of Science in Language Arts Education from the University of Kansas where she earned numerous awards and distinctions for her academic performance. Prior to her employment at Veritas, Mrs. Finger operated Class Act Tutoring Services. She served as the first chairman of the school Library committee, has taught minicourse in speech and creative writing to homeschooled students, and coordinated materials for a church mission trip to Mexico. Mrs. Finger has been listed three times in Whose Who Among America’s Teachers. She is a wife, the mother of five children, and the grandmother of four.
Rosie Shelton – Jr. High Math
Mrs. Shelton is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Education majoring in both Physical Education and Elementary Classroom. Mrs. Shelton was employed as a substitute teacher for five years before coming to Veritas in 1993. While at Veritas, Mrs. Shelton has served as a physical education instructor and currently as a math instructor. Mrs. Shelton occupies herself as a wife and mother, and as an aerobics teacher.
Debbie Rask – Secondary Faculty
Alice Willems – Jr./Sr. High Math
Mrs. Willems has a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Kansas. Before coming to Veritas in 1995, she homeschooled her five children for 10 years. She served in the ministry with her husband as pastors for thirty-six years. She has served Veritas in primarily in the Math Department, but also in music and the arts.
Spencer Stewart – Secondary Bible and NT Greek
Mr. Stewart joined Veritas in the 2013-14 school year after ten years as an associate pastor in El Dorado, KS. After his well-intentioned attempts to become a basketball star, rock star, and business mogul, the Spirit constrained him to a single joy: teaching the glory of God in the preeminence of Christ for the joy of all peoples. Mr. Stewart also publishes discipleship materials through ProjectOne28.com. He and his wife, Amber, have been blessed with three children.
Kathy Stegall – Secondary Science
Kelley Denham – Biology, Physical Science, Algebra 1, Computer Applications I, Technology Support
Mrs. Denham graduated in 2000 from Mid America Nazarene University with a degree in Sociology. As a stay-at-home mother, she was very active in the children’s ministry at her church directing the AWANA Sparks club, VBS, and starting the school age children’s church. She also assisted her husband with leading the youth group. In 2009, she began working full-time at Linwood Elementary School as the Building Technology Coordinator. In that position, she taught elementary computer classes and provided technology support for the faculty including setting up a computer lab, troubleshooting, and installing projectors and Promethean Boards.
John McFarland – Speech, Government, Leadership, Senior Seminar, College counseling
John also pastors at Christ Covenant R. P. Church in Lawrence (13+ years) with years of church-planting in California before that. He serves in various functions with his denomination, with a special interest in global missions. Educated through Christian schools himself (right up through Geneva College and Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary ~ both in Pennsylvania), John is committed to the ideals of classical Christian education. John is happily married to Lisa, with whom he encourages four grown daughters and five grandchildren. Do you like to chat over coffee? Seeya at Signs!
Alex Krestan – Sr. High English, High School Drama & Counselor
Mrs. Krestan comes to Veritas with a BA from Trent University and a B.Ed. from Queen’s University. She has had extensive teaching experience and was the Dean of Women at Calvary Bible College for six years. She and her husband, Ron, are the parents of two children.
John Scollon – Spanish
Mr. Scollon received a BS in Spanish Education from the University of Kansas in 1966. He taught for 15 years at Lawrence High School, then worked in the International Department of North Supply Company (a subsidiary of Sprint). He returned to the classroom at Shawnee Heights High School in 1987 and taught there for 21 years. He retired in May, 2008. In his retirement he began teaching Spanish part-time at Veritas.