About: Faculty

Mike Baker

Head of School & Elementary Principal

Mike Baker is so excited to work with such an amazing staff, students, parents, and community members.  He graduated from Emporia State University with a BSE in Elementary Education.  Mike received his masters degree in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University.  He has spent 24 years in elementary education.

Mike has been married to his wife, Heather, for 24 years and has 4 amazing daughters.  He loves playing guitar and worshiping The Lord.

Linda Walton

Administrative Assistant

Linda is a graduate of Maur Hill-Mount Academy in Atchison, KS. She has been serving at Veritas since 2001. Before joining staff at Veritas, she homeschooled her daughters for seven years. Mrs. Walton has more than 25 years of secretarial experience having worked for Benedictine College, Grandview Assembly of God Church, American Lung Association of WY, and currently at Veritas. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, two daughters, and granddaughter, Isla. When she isn’t at work she can be found looking for treasures at garage/estate sales, walking, and plant-based cooking.

Michelle Derry

Michelle and her husband, Mark, live in Tonganoxie and together they enjoy family time, traveling, and having fun! They have three children, and are soon to be empty nesters! Through God’s leading in her life, she was trained as a bookkeeper as a part of a promotion and has now been in her profession for more than twenty years. Michelle joined staff at Veritas in June of 2017 and keeps so many things at the school running smoothly.

Emily Williams

Secondary Principal

Emily Williams graduated from Lee University with a degree in Middle Grades Education with an emphasis in Math and English and a minor in Biblical Studies. She moved to Lawrence in 2016 with her husband, Justin, for him to pursue a PhD program in Physics. She is extremely passionate for the Lord and education.

Emily loves people and building relationships. Her hobbies include traveling, the beach, reading, painting, and being active.

Timothy Gallagher

Computer Scinece Instructor

Timothy Gallagher has loved bossing computers around since 1986. He is a professional software engineer with decades of experience and is our volunteer secondary computer science instructor. He loves teaching kids how computers work and how to program them. He loves using computer science to teach creative problem-solving skills that are useful for more than just computer programming.

Steve Wilson

Secondary Mathematics

Steve has a BA in mathematics and an MAT in mathematics education, both from the University of Chicago.  Retiring after 26 years at Johnson County Community College, he moved overseas and taught mathematics at the Christian International School of Prague.  He joined the staff at Veritas in 2020.  He and his wife, Ellen, have three adult children.  Steve also enjoys travelling, reading history, and playing the piano.

Teresa Slankard

K Quest

Sarah Naff


Sandie Fischer

First Grade

Sandie has her B.S. in Education from MLC in New Ulm, MN. She is certified in Early Childhood Education and holds an ASCI Educator Certificate. Mrs. Fischer has been teaching for 19 years in Christian schools and homeschooled her children for 6 years. She is blessed by God with her devoted husband, Dr. Ken Fischer, and thankful to God for her four beautiful and talented children who attended Veritas. Mrs. Fischer’s three main goals for her precious first graders are that they learn to love to read, that they learn to love to learn, and that they learn to love Jesus more and more each day! Mrs Fischer makes sure her students all know that in the first grade classroom at Veritas, they work hard, play hard, and pray hard!

Annette Tiegreen

Second Grade

Annette holds a BA in Elementary Education from Ottawa University, a State Teaching Certificate from 1983-1988, and an ASCI Educator Certificate. She has been teaching at Veritas since 2004 and proudly homeschooled her children for 13 years. Mrs. Tiegreen is married to Roger and together they have three amazing children (two of whom are VCS graduates), and ten grandchildren. In addition to loving and serving her family, Mrs. Tiegreen’s joy and passion is to serve and glorify God by teaching children to know and love God, His Word, and the lost. One of her favorite ways to do this is by putting scripture, biblical truths, grammar rules, and historical facts to music to help children memorize them. She is grateful God has called her to teach at Veritas where she has the opportunity to love, mentor, and disciple children toward His Kingdom purposes.

Maddi Markley

Third Grade

Kimberly Defazio

Fourth Grade
Mrs. Defazio was a 1991 honors graduate of the State University of New York at Brockport, earning a Bachelors of Science degree. She grew up in New York but moved to Lawrence as a young adult with her husband and children. She and her husband have two children who attended Veritas. She has been teaching 4th grade at Veritas since 2001 where her students have learned that she leads the classroom with a love of learning and a love of laughter. She enjoys leading a women’s small group at her church and leading a couple’s small group alongside her husband.

Angie Heck

Fifth Grade
Mrs. Heck is a Kansas State graduate with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She and her husband, Brian, have two children who attend Veritas. In 2017, she began teaching at VCS. Her family and her faith are her top priority in life. She spends her free time enjoying the outdoors, reading biographies and historical fiction, traveling, and cooking dinner most nights for her family and any spontaneous guests that join them! Apple pie is her favorite dessert to make and to share.

Charity Harris

Sixth Grade

Melissa Dial

Secondary Math and Science
Melissa graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis on chemistry. She previously spent two years teaching high school science, five years homeschooling her children, and two years teaching middle school science, math, Bible, drama, speech, leadership and literature at Genesis Christian Academy. She and her husband, Paul, have two children, Noah and Mary Kate. Mrs. Dial loves to read, watch movies, and travel.

Denise Sours

EFT, Junior High PE, Critical Thinking, and Microsoft Basic
Denise graduated with her AAS in Veterinary Technology and is a Colby Community College graduate. She has also studied biotechnology, microbiology, chemistry, and math. She taught Clinical Pathology for two years at Colby Community College in the Veterinary Technology Department and she proudly homeschooled her children for 18 years. Recently she taught P.E., Science and Literature at Genesis Christian Academy and is excited for the opportunity to join the teaching staff at Veritas for the 2019-2020 school year. She and her husband, Kirk, live in Tonganoxie where she spends her free time caring for her garden and flower beds.

Spencer Stewart

Secondary Bible, Greek

Spencer holds his B.S. in Christian Ministry from Tabor College and has earned a Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been teaching at VCS since 2013 and previously taught at Victory Christian Academy in El Dorado, KS. Before teaching, Spencer spent ten years as an Associate Pastor at New Life Equipping Ministry in El Dorado. The Holy Spirit has given him great joy in teaching the glory of God in the preeminence of Christ for the joy of all peoples. Spencer and his wife, Amber, have three precious children.

Gary Hammer

Elementary PE and Senior High PE

Kristol Kumar

Elementary and Secondary Art Teacher

Kristol has been teaching visual art at Veritas since 2016. She has a Masters degree in Visual Communication and Design from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She and her husband, John, have two sons who currently attend Veritas. Kristol is thankful to be saved by Jesus and covered by His grace daily. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, kayaking, drinking coffee and abstract painting. Mrs. Kumar is also the owner of Kristol Kumar Photography and a partner at Hello Sun Photography.

Jonnie Finger

Secondary English and History
Mrs. Finger holds a BSE in Language Arts Education from the University of Kansas and she is ACSI certified. She graduated ‘With Highest Distinction’ from KU, with honors, as a Watkins-Berger scholar, Phi Alpha Theta (history honor) and Phi Kappa Phi (scholastics honor). Mrs. Finger has been listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers three times. She has been previously certified by the State of Kansas in both Language Arts and Social Studies Education. Before teaching at Veritas, she ran a home-based tutoring business, Class Act Tutoring Services, for 15 years. She has been a teacher at VCS since 1997. Jonnie was the first person to serve as chairperson of the VCS Library Committee. She and her husband, Mark, have 5 children, all who attended VCS. She enjoys collecting books, drinking coffee, and spending time with her five grandchildren.