Faculty & Staff

Faculty Staff

Faculty – Eukarya Christian Academy

Faculty

Dan Donnelly

Eukarya Christian Academy Founder and Headmaster
President of the Eukarya Family Center Board of Directors

Mr. Donnelly was raised on the campus of a boarding, preparatory school in the Cleveland area. He is the son of an English teacher and a Librarian, each of whom provided crucial assistance in the founding of Eukarya. Dan has been married to Donna for 20 years and is the father of Nolan and Owen; who are both ECA alum. He earned a B.A. from Oberlin College majoring in History and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Dan has worked with children and adolescents since he was a teenager, first as a day camp counselor then later as a child psychiatric specialist at Children’s National Medical Center in DC. After earning his Master’s degree, he served as a child and family therapist at the National Family Resiliency Center in Columbia, MD. He and Donna moved to Winchester in order to open a Sylvan Learning Center franchise in 2000 where he served as a director for nearly eight years. He and a small group of parents and staff members started Eukarya in the spring of 2010. The school started with 8 students in the fall of that year. He has been involved in local churches serving mostly in children’s ministry, as a small groups co-director with Donna and more recently as a licensed pastor in the Brethren Church (Ashland, OH).

Joanie Hughes

Principal

Joanie grew up in MD, in the suburbs of Washington, DC. She learned about God’s love for her at the age of 12 and her world has never been the same. She has over 25 years of experience working in both children’s and youth ministries, as well as in the field of education. She attended Rhema Bible College in Tulsa, OK, where she majored in Biblical Education and Teaching. After graduating from college, she moved to Botswana, Africa, where she continued her studies in the field of education by correspondence, worked in a local Christian school, and taught discipleship classes to American college aged students. She and her husband Paul have five amazing children. Their family has lived in the Winchester area since 2001. Prior to joining the Lower School faculty of ECA in the fall of 2015, Joanie served as a tutor and program director in the Classical Conversations community of Winchester. In her spare time, Joanie likes to bake, decorate, explore new terrain, spend time with friends and family, and read (especially if a warm blanket and a cup of coffee are involved!). She accepted the role as Principal in June 2017 and is excited about all that God is doing at Eukarya. 

 

Juanita Adams

Substitute Instructor

I live in Frederick County, I was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, my family moved to Winchester, Virginia when I was 10 years old . I met my husband Gary in high school (James Wood) we have been married 52 years. When we married he was in the Army and we were stationed in Asmara, Ethiopia for 2 years our daughter was born there. After we came home, I started working in the Frederick county school system and was a teacher and office aid for 6 years. Our daughter is married and has 4 children, They live in Richmond, Virginia. My husband and I have owned two businesses and sold those, after, I sold residential real estate for Caldwell Bankers (4 yearsI. I work now with Eukarya Christian (I am so happy and blessed to be working here) I am an Art teacher, a Tutor, and have recess and lunch. My hobbies are horseback riding, golf, and swimming. God Bless!

 

Robert Anderson

Upper School Christian Studies & Math; Baseball Coach

Robert Anderson was born in the Army hospital in Seattle, Washington where his dad was stationed in the Navy. The family moved to Southern California. which is where he grew up. After graduating from high school, Robert attended Biola College (now University) for 4 years but didn’t graduate. After 3 years in the Army, including a year in Korea, Robert finished his college education at Cal State University, Fullerton (CSUF), graduating with a teaching credential and a B.A. in History. He taught in a few places in Southern California for the next 10 years, getting an M.S. in Education at CSUF in the process. 

After participating in 2 Civil War teacher workshops, Robert decided to move to Winchester, Virginia in the summer of 1994. His first job in Winchester was as a docent at George Washington’s Office Museum. Over the past 25 years, Robert has been a substitute teacher, reference librarian, charter bus driver, tutor at Sylvan Learning Center, became a licensed Washington, DC tour guide, and for the last 8 years an instructor at Eukarya Christian Academy. He and his wife Terri have a 22-year-old daughter.

Robert loves to travel. He has been to all 50 states. He has seen the graves of 39 of the 40 dead US Presidents. Last year, he and 2 of his life-long friends completed their quest of seeing a baseball game in the home stadium of all 30 MLB teams.

 

Debbie Balcom

2nd Grade; Music & Drama

Ms. Balcom comes to ECA holding two degrees in Opera performance from Nazareth College of Rochester and Northwestern University of Chicago.  Debbie performed with Virginia Opera in Norfolk, as well as Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit for several years.  In 1997, Debbie moved to Winchester to raise a family and begin teaching.  She has taught music and drama for over 10 years and has given private voice and piano lessons as well, including Musical Theatre classes and Master classes in voice at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy.  She has also been featured as a local soloist for many area churches, the Museum of the Shenandoah valley, and historic Belle Grove Plantation.  Debbie has one daughter, Rebecca, who graduated from ECA 2016.

 

Jordan Belton

Upper School Omnibus

Jordan grew up locally in the Shenandoah Valley. She graduated from Lord Fairfax with her Associates in 2008 and her Bachelors in Communication at Cedarville University in 2012. She has recently completed a Master’s Certificate in Christian Studies at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in 2019. She has a heart for Christian Ministry and Worldview training and has spent many summers and seasons speaking and traveling with various ministries including Summit, Axis, and Secret Keeper Girl (now known as True Girl). She is actively involved with the youth at her local church and at Eukarya. Jordan is married to Ryan and a mom to Ronan. 

 

Ray Brosius

Upper School Christian Studies, Math and Science Instructor

Mr. Ray comes to us as a parent, grandparent, and educator.  He and his late wife, Janet, are blessed with three children and five granddaughters.  Ray has studied at God’s Bible College, Penn State University, and Clarion University.  He has taught various academic subjects for over 40 years.  During those years, he has also helped start several Christian schools and served as administrator of Christian schools.  Ray currently teaches math and science in our Upper School at Eukarya.  He enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, and teaching. 
 

Marsha Coffman

5th & 6th Grade

Mrs. Coffman has over 40 years’ experience as a classroom teacher. She has worked in many Christian schools in Virginia as well as founded several private schools – still in operation today. Mrs. Coffman and her late husband Lewis were blessed with 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

 

Brandy Corbin

3rd &amp 4th Grade; PhysEd & Athletic Director

Brandy graduated from James Wood High School in Winchester and then attended both West Virginia and Shenandoah University. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology in 2002. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and has two amazing children. Brandy has been both teaching and coaching since she graduated from college. She keeps busy with her children’s athletic schedules, as well as her own, as she coaches travel and ECA volleyball. She loves teaching at ECA and gets to work with both our Lower and Upper School students. You can often find Mrs. Corbin’s smiling face in our gym or in the classroom. She is a hard worker, who brings energy and fun to every learning experience!  

 

Rae Cromeens

Learning Center Specialist

Rae Cromeens is a veteran Academic Language Therapist who has moved here recently from Dallas, Texas to be with her daughter and two grandchildren.  Rae is also a veteran of marriage having celebrated her 52nd anniversary to her high school sweetheart Gary last May.    She began her journey in education with a BS of Elem. Ed from North Texas State University and then a Masters of Education from Dallas Baptist University.   Over her career, she has served students as a teacher, administrator, and educational therapist in more settings than we can list!  And she has also earned certification in more types of educational therapy than we can list!  As a co-leader in our Eukarya Academy Learning Center, we value her vast professional knowledge and deep passion for helping struggling students to achieve their best!  Most recently, she has completed Level II certification of Equipping Minds cognitive therapy, and is helping the teaching staff to implement the concepts in all the classrooms.  

Rae’s hobbies include working in the yard, knitting and crocheting, reading, taking classes, attending webinars and conferences  that deal with the brain and how students learn.
 

Melanie Curry

Bookkeeper

 

Owen Donnelly

Lower School Math; Lower School STEM; Upper School Christian Studies; Upper School Applied Leadership

 

Debbie Ehrhardt

Learning Center Specialist

 

Marty Goldberg

Upper School STEM;  Small Engine Repairs

 

Allison Hargrave

2nd Grade Lit/ History/ Science

Allison was raised in a loving Christian home and grew up loving God with all of her heart! She has two beautiful adult children that she homeschooled throughout the entirety of their education. Allison has taught in various homeschool co-ops as well as Christian schools in the community for over 16 years. She loves music and animals (including her cat, EJ), swimming, and being outdoors. Allison joined the ECA faculty in the fall of 2020. Her joy is contagious and her passionate heart for the Lord and learning is inspiring to all around her!

Carole Hofmann

Upper School Biology;  Upper and Lower School Latin Instructor

Carole is an avid lover of the heart of God, desiring to spread the awareness of His goodness into every sphere of life. Growing up in the rural areas of northern NJ, she acquired a passion for creation, specifically horses.  After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Delaware Valley College, Carole worked for Merck Sharp & Dohme as a Staff Biologist. Carole facilitated studies on osteoporosis compounds, among others. She married fellow graduate Mike Hofmann and together they have five beautiful children. Through the next season in life, Carole homeschooled, became licensed as a Parelli Professional teaching Natural Horsemanship, taught Latin, and prophetic mentoring. Along with helping with their family landscaping business, Stonehouse Outdoor Design, Carole operates Insight Horsemanship in the summer months continuing to teach Natural Horsemanship. Carole teaches Latin, Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology at Eukarya Christian Academy. It is Carole’s life desire to partner with the Lord to have His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Kim Hyland

Upper School Omnibus

Kim is a wife of thirty-three years, mother of six, mother-in-law to four, and “Mina” to eight and counting. She has a B.S. in Child Psychology and is a published author and speaker. Kim enjoys spending time with family, needlework, reading, gardening, and getting cozy with her grandkids. She spends her days at ECA in the Upper School, teaching civics, government, and United States literature. Her peaceful and wise demeanor is a blessing that graces our hallways and classrooms each day. You can learn more about Kim’s ministry and book here: https://winsomeliving.com/about/

Ivette McNutt

5th & 6th Grade; Lower School Spanish

Ivette is originally from Long Island, NY. She moved to VA over 20 years ago with her husband Dennis and five children. She has a passion for children’s worship ministry and is known for her warm welcoming smile and contagious laugh! After teaching in Classical Education for 20 years, she joined the ECA faculty in 2018, teaching in our Lower School. She currently leads worship for our Lower School chapel and teaches Lower School Spanish, in addition to instructing a Lower School homeroom class throughout the day. In her free time, Ivette enjoys catching up with friends and family and drinking her favorite hot beverage: coffee!   

MaryLou Nagel

Primary Instructor

MaryLou has a passion for teaching our youngest students.  She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Education and holds a certification for English as a Second Language (ESL).  Having taught kindergarten for 8 years at Winchester Academy, she was delighted to join ECA in 2015 and continue with this adorable age group.  She also taught 8 years of ESL in Frederick County Schools and had previously spent 11 years overseas teaching various grades at the International Schools in Lisbon, Athens, Dhahran, Rangoon, and Helsinki.  Mrs. Nagel and her husband are blessed with two daughters and 6 grandchildren. 
 

Hannah Pearson

Upper School Art

Hannah is thrilled to be a part of the team at Eukarya!  The last five years have been filled with many transitions for Hannah after moving from Wisconsin to Virginia at the end of high school.  In this time, she has pursued a degree in Apologetics at Liberty University, acquired a beautiful network of friends, found a loving church home, worked at some incredible jobs, and was recently was wed to her best friend Caleb! In addition to teaching at Eukarya this year, Hannah will continue working with the ministry of AbbaCare, traveling to local schools and churches teaching students the biblically-based truths of value, integrity, and purity.  During her short windows of free time, Hannah loves exploring new places, drinking quality coffees, and expressing herself creatively in music, drama, and art – all alongside the people she loves.

 

Barry Pearson

Upper School Christian Studies; Golf & Baseball Coach

I’ve lived in the Winchester area since 1994 with my bride, Suzanne Pearson. We have 4 wonderful children ranging in age from 24 to 15. Suzanne and I grew up in Charlottesville, VA and then both attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg. I received my Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and we moved up to Winchester after graduation. I have worked with High School youth at Fellowship Bible Church for the last 22 years and during that time I have been blessed to lead a small group every year, teach Sunday School classes, and help out on many mission trips. This time working with high-school aged youth has helped me prepare for my time teaching Christian Studies at Eukarya.

My hobbies include all things related to any and all sports. I love the opportunities I’ve had to coach all age groups in baseball and basketball. I have a great love for the outdoors. My newest passion is anything related to Disc Golf and I have participated in many PDGA sanctioned tournaments in 2020.

Looking forward to a great year!

 

Ginny Proffitt

Office Administrator

 

Dawn Rooney

Upper School Omnibus; Logic; Christian Studies

Dawn began her journey in Christian education by homeschooling her daughter for two years, followed by teaching preschool at Fireside Christian School in Warrenton, VA. After moving to the Winchester area, she was a teacher’s assistant at Homespun Schoolhouse from 2009-2013. Dawn began teaching in the 1st-3rd grade classroom at Eukarya in 2013. After two years of teaching full time in the Arrowsmith program, Dawn began teaching in the ECA Upper School in the areas of English, history, christian studies, and logic. Dawn is passionate about sharing a biblical worldview in her classes.
 

Aurelie Schmid

Upper School Spanish

Born and raised in France, Aurélie spent 3 years in Spain when she was 18. This is where she fell in love with the Spanish language and culture.  After graduating high school from the  French High School in Madrid, she studied Landscape Architecture in Madrid and Paris and graduated from ESAJ, School of Landscape Architecture in Paris.  As a homeschooling mother, she taught Spanish and French to homeschoolers for over 20 years and then joined the ECA staff in 2017.  Outside of the classroom, she is a talented potter and avid gardener.

Courtney Sutphin

3rd & 4th Grade

Courtney Sutphin lives in Stephens City and has been married to Mark for 19 years.  She has three children, ages 15, 13, and 4.  She graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Horticulture and a minor in Agricultural Economics.  She has homeschooled for 4 years, worked in the Arrowsmith Program at Eukarya for one year, tutored in Classical Conversations, and has been a substitute in Frederick County for the past two years.  Courtney enjoys working out at Orange Theory, helping with her daugher’s softball team, hanging out with her family, and Chick-Fil-A!

Lorri VanDerLinden

Upper School Math; Sports Admin

Lorri and her husband, Mike, moved to Virginia in 1995, just as they were starting their family of 5 children.   After homeschooling for 18 years and graduating the first three to college and careers, Lorri followed her two youngest daughters to ECA.  She graduated from Grove City College with a dual degree in Christian Ministries for Youth and Sociology.  Prior to teaching at ECA, she served for 12 years as a program director and teacher of various curriculums in the local Classical Conversations communities.  She comes to the Eukarya classrooms with a passion for classical, Christian education — and loves the opportunity to apply those conjoined values to whichever topic she is leading.  When she is not teaching, she handles the administrative “back office” for Eukarya Athletics, coaches people in building healthy habits of nutrition and lifestyle, and runs her girls to their activities!   Most recently, she has added “pastor’s wife” to her resume of roles, as Mike has retired from the FAA and taken a local pastoral position.  

 

Lena Wojcik

Aftercare

Lena grew up in the Winchester area, one of six children. She graduated from ECA in 2020 and stays busy working with our aftercare students, as well as our local ‘Dunkin Donuts’. Lena enjoys working with children and hopes to one day pursue a career in either the area of child or veterinary care. In her spare time, Lena likes to color, hang out with friends, and watch movies.