Administrator & Principal
Kaitlyn Ashbrook received her BA in Education from Otterbein College in 1996 and MAE in 2009. She taught in the public schools for more than 14 years and has been at CCCA since 2012. She began here as a first grade teacher, then served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction until becoming the Principal in March of 2015.
Ashbrook has a long history with the Central College Presbyterian Church. She attended the preschool in the mid 70s and was married here in 2001. She loves the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible ministry at Central College. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, playing board games, watching movies or going to Star Lanes for a little bowling.
Linda White holds a BS in Elementary Education K-8. She has experience as a lifeguard, Girl Scout leader, Pre-K, 1st and 4th grade teacher, and is currently the Administrative Assistant here at CCCA.
White enjoys swimming, reading John Grisham novels, and spending time with family.
Miki Whitehair attended Georgetown College. She has been at CCCA for six years, starting in the Library, with a short stint as Lunch Lady. She is now the Receptionist and office assistant.
Whitehair enjoys reading, and she can be found on any given day at the library or the closest bookstore.
Dan Shade received his B.A. in Broadcast Communications from Ashland University in 2012. He currently oversees IT & Technology for CCCA and directs the daily news. He has freelanced in Live Event Productions for TNT, TBS, Fox Sports Ohio, Lyon Video, S&S Productions & Dynamic Audio Productions and is currently the RF Camera Operator for Fox Sports Ohio's coverage of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also spent over ten years working with The Salvation Army in diverse areas of work and is the owner of Shaded Productions.
Shade enjoys crafting with his wife Becky and playing drums.
Intervention Case Manager / Intervention Specialist
Becky Shade received her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Intervention Specialist from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 2012. In 2013, she joined the staff at CCCA as an Intervention Specialist and later Case Manager in 2015. She has worked with a variety of adults and children with special needs in both clinical and camp settings. She enjoys working with her students who require extra assistance and wants nothing more than to help her students see that they are perfectly and wonderfully made just the way they are.
Shade grew up in Jerome, PA and enjoys creating projects she finds on Pinterest, going to the movies and spending as much time as she can with her friends, family and husband.
Heather Thorward graduated from Malone University in 2007. She began at CCCA in 2015. She has her state license in Early Childhood Education, and Special education with a reading endorsement. Prior to working at CCCA, she taught a combined classroom of first and second graders at Worthington Adventist Academy. She has also been an Orton-Gillingham Tutor at Marburn Academy. She is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Reading Science from the University of Mount St. Joseph.
Thorward enjoys a good book, hanging out with friends, and the color purple.
Mired LaFountain holds a BS in Childhood Education, Special Education, and Health Science. She has three years experience as a preschool teacher, two years experience as a Kindergarten teacher, and is currently an Intervention Specialist with CCCA.
She grew up in upstate New York but now has an obsession with all things OHIO.
Penny Ellsworth received her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Mathematics and teaching certificates for grades 1 - 12 from Muskingum College, and then her Master of Education with an emphasis in Gifted from Ashland University. She enjoys challenging students through the Enrichment Program and sharing her love of math through the many competitions, Math Pentathlon, and Mathcounts Programs.
Central College Presbyterian Church has been Ellsworth's church since she was in second grade and she has enjoyed leading their Handbell Choirs for the past 43 years.
Terri Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University, and both a PreK-Grade 3 Teaching License and an MFA of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Otterbein University. She began at CCCA in 2000 in the kindergarten classroom.
She lives in Westerville with her husband and two children. She is from Michigan and loves dogs.
Mary Townley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Reading from The Ohio State University. After a brief stint as a substitute teacher, she taught third grade for twelve years in the Dublin City Schools, her alma mater. She then taught a pre-kindergarten class for Central College Preschool for five years before graduating to kindergarten when Central College Christian Academy moved into its current building in 2003.
Townley loves God, her wonderful husband, her two talented sons, all of her amazing students, her two dogs, her four llamas, the color teal and pie.
Alice Roberts holds a B.S in Elementary Education from Indiana University and a Master of Elementary Education from Eastern New Mexico University. She has experience teaching second through sixth grades, math for grades 2 - 5, and has served as a literacy tutor for grades K-3. She also has 15 years experience tutoring for Sylvan Learning Center.
Roberts enjoys spending time with family and traveling to the mountains in North Carolina.
Wendy Martin holds her B.A. in English Literature from DePauw University. She was a lead Pre-K teacher for 4 years in the Atlanta metro area, lead pre-K teacher at Little Lambs Preschool in Westerville for 4 years as well as a Lead 3s Teacher at CCP for 1 year before beginning as a kindergarten aide at CCCA in 2014.
Although Martin would rather NOT be on stage, she is an active volunteer and Board member in the Westerville Central Theatre department.
1st Grade Teacher
Michelle Hickok holds her B.A. from Taylor University and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University Chicago. She is currently in the Reading Endorsement program at Otterbein University. Previously, she taught First Grade and Kindergarten in the Chicago suburbs. She has also served as a Reading Tutor with AmeriCorps.
Hickok resides in Westerville with her husband, Clif, two daughters, son, and golden retriever. She enjoys spending time with family and drinking coffee as well as traveling and reading great books.
1st Grade Teacher
Jennifer Kovach holds a B. S. in Early Childhood Education from Ohio University and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan. She has worked as a third grade teacher, preschool teacher, and most recently as a private kindergarten teacher in New Albany. She values community involvement and looks forward to building leaders for the future at CCCA.
She lives in Westerville with her husband, John, and daughters, Madison and Ava. During her free time she enjoys playing outdoors with her family, especially hiking the local parks or kayaking on the Hoover Reservoir.
Chelsea de Araujo
2nd Grade Teacher
De Aroujo holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Bethel College. She has taught high school and junior high art and combined 5th and 6th grade reading and math. However, she has a heart for teaching in the lower elementary. She has taught second grade for five years. This is her third year here at CCCA.
De Aroujo grew up in a suburb outside Chicago. She enjoys art, music, travel, and spending time with her husband and son.
2nd Grade Teacher
Misty Shepherd holds a B.A. in elementary education in 2005 from Ottawa University in Phoenix, Arizona. She is in her first year of teaching at Central College Christian Academy. She is currently working towards a K-12 reading endorsement at the University of Cincinnati, which will be completed in August 2016. She has been a substitute teacher, pre-kindergarten teacher, and a fifth grade teacher and has also been a nanny for the last five years, while staying at home with her two beautiful children and working on completing graduate courses.
Shepherd enjoys playing with her two boys outside and exploring nature by hiking, fishing, biking, boating, and bird watching. She also has two large fur babies, a German shepherd mix and a cattle dog mix, who love going for walks outside. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading books independently and with her children.
3rd Grade Teacher
Polly Barnhardt holds a BA in Art Education and BS in Elementary Education K-8 from The Ohio State University. She began at CCCA in 2013. Previously she had taught at Central Ohio Christian School for 11 years, and then at Tree of Life Christian Schools for 15 years.
She and her husband have three grown children and an incredibly loving dog. In her spare time she enjoys painting walls and interior design.
3rd Grade Teacher
Christine Jajack holds a Bachelors of Education in PK-3 from the University of Toledo and Masters in Reading and a reading endorsement at Otterbein University. She began teaching at CCCA in 2007. Her favorite moments in teaching are watching as students grasp a new concept for the first time.
Jajack lives in Westerville with her husband and three young children. She thinks it's pretty cool to hear, "There's Mrs. Jajack!" when she runs into students while out running errands.
4th Grade Teacher
Emily Gates received a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Theology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Concordia University Chicago in 2010. She has taught fourth grade for six years, with four of those at CCCA. Her goal as a teacher is to empower students to tackle challenges with confidence and a positive attitude.
Gates grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where she attended Christian schools K-12. She loves traveling with her husband Brett, and they are both big fans of all the Cleveland and Columbus sports teams. She also enjoys reading, running in local 5K/10K races, attending concerts and plays, and exploring every corner of Columbus.
5th Grade Teacher
Dana Brooks holds a B.A. in Organizational Management and Education. She has nine years of elementary education experience.
Brooks has a knack for all things crafty.
MS Science and Math Teacher
Khadine Byers holds a BA in Elementary Education, Grades 1-8, from Ohio Northern University. She is in her 20th year teaching and 8th year at CCCA.
Byers enjoys spending time with family, working on her house, reading anything she can get her hands on, playing games, hosting game nights, and playing competitive softball, tennis, and volleyball.
MS Social Studies Teacher
Jack Eifert holds a a Master's of Education for Middle Childhood with Social Studies and Math from The Ohio State University. He is in in his second year of teaching Social Studies at CCCA. He previously was a substitute in Newark City Schools, where he had 6 long-term substitute assignments since graduating in 2012.
Eifert enjoys sports, especially coaching basketball, and he also played 4 years of college golf.
MS Advanced Math Teacher / Track and Field Coach
Ned Kerstetter holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Teaching from Otterbein University. He worked for 20 years for ODOT, prior to working for 10 years in the Westerville City Schools.
Kerstetter enjoys biking, running, softball, golf, and coaching our track and field team in his spare time. He volunteers to do taxes from February through April.
K-8 Art Teacher
Ellen Hefner-Phillips holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from O.S.U. She has happily been "playing" art with the students of CCCA for 15 years. When she is not slopping paint in the art room, she can often be found inspiring young preschool minds.
Hefner-Phillips' favorite companion is a little guy who steals her heart and calls her "Gramzy".
P.E. Teacher / Athletics Director
Tim Barker holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Cntral Florida and a Masters Degree from Azusa Pacific University. He has taught physical education both in public and Christian schools. He values competing, graciousness, and a heart to honor God. His goal is to keep students active and share their gifts.
Barker enjoys sports, values young people and the ability to share God’s Word. He grew up in New Jersey with baseball and acting as a positive and guiding force, until, by God’s grace and forgiveness, he became a Christian when he was 20 years old. He is learning continually of His faithfulness. Isaiah 49:16. He also loves muffins and coffee.
Marcy Ward holds a B.A. in Spanish and Political Science and a minor in Latin American Studies from Miami University. She holds her teaching license for Preschool through 12th grade Spanish. She served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic where she trained local women in health education. She is also the owner of Ward Benefits working as an insurance consultant, is a certified children’s fitness and nutrition specialist, and has worked with FAN Club for Kids. She has teaching experience with Montessori schools in Spanish.
Ward enjoys traveling to the Caribbean and Central America on mission and for pleasure. She ikes trying unusual foods from other cultures as well as Ohio State sports and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mandarin Chinese Teacher
Mengzi Wu received her teaching license from The Ohio State United States University from the Chinese licensure program. She has education in China and the US, with a background in law and computer science. Before becoming a teacher, she worked as a news reporter, government worker, and systems engineer in both countries. Since then, she has taught Chinese language and culture to K-12 graders in several public and private schools in the Columbus area.
In Wu's classroom, students will learn and practice various topics in authentic ways through conversation, role playing, singing, and gaming. They will learn together, sing together, play together, laugh together, and have fun together.