We are delighted to introduce CHA’s new Faculty and Staff, as well as announce internal role changes for 2022-23. God is good and faithful to the CHA community and we love to see who He brings through the doors!

NEW ROLES:

Mr. Joseph TorgersonHead of School
Rev. Stephen Farish – Interim Middle and Upper School Principal
Mrs. Lisa Wickell – Fourth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Julie Shaffer – Middle School Teacher (English), Upper School Writing Support
Mrs. Eileen Swanson – Middle School Teacher (Social Studies, Mosaics)
Mrs. Jaemie Lao – Accounting Assistant
Mrs. Young Mi Kaneshiro – Learning Resource Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor
Mrs. Lisa Neumeyer – Lower School Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor

RETURNING FACULTY/STAFF:

Mrs. Luz Valenzuela Upper School Spanish Teacher
Mrs. Tina Barron – Interim Upper School Counselor

NEW FACULTY & STAFF:

Ms. Keilah Arzet
Upper School Guidance Counselor, Middle School Bible Teacher

Ms. Arzet earned a Discipleship Training School certificate from Youth With a Mission, a B.A. in English with a minor in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University, a graduate certificate in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute, and dual M.A. degrees in Professional Counseling and School Counseling from Olivet Nazarene University. She has taught a variety of age levels in both the U.S. and abroad. During her free time, Ms. Arzet enjoys playing worship music on the guitar, spending quality time with family and friends, engaging in outdoor adventures, participating in athletics, reading, solving brain teasers, and playing chess. Ms. Arzet is thrilled to come to CHA and serve as a guidance counselor and Bible teacher due to the life-long and eternal impact this work has on students and their families.

Mrs. Lindsay Bucciferro
Fifth Grade Teacher

Mrs. Bucciferro graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University Chicago with a B.A. in Elementary Education and endorsements in language arts and special education. This will be her eighth year teaching, including both lower elementary and middle school levels. As a Christian school educator, she feels God’s call to show His love to her students and their families. Mrs. Bucciferro and her husband, Dominic, have two children including a daughter, Raegan, and a son, Lincoln. They attend St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Park Ridge. In her free time, she loves running, Crossfit, and spending time with her family. Mrs. Bucciferro is thrilled to join the CHA family!

Mrs. Alli Burcham
Teacher Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor

Mrs. Burcham was born and raised in Taiwan. She graduated from Prairie Bible College in Alberta, Canada, with a major in Christian education. She then came to the United States to receive further training at Columbia International University in South Carolina, and completed an M.A. in Teaching, Kindergarten-Grade 8. She and her husband, Bob, served in East Asia as missionaries for ten years, and have two grown children. Mrs. Burcham loves to worship Jesus through reading and meditating on the word of God, listening to and singing worship songs, praying, listening to Bible messages, and running. She also enjoys taking trips with family, hiking, cooking, and baking. She attends The Orchard Evangelical Free Church. Mrs. Burcham is very grateful to have this special blessing to work with young children at CHA.

Mrs. Kay (Chih-Hua) Chang
Teacher Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor 

Born and raised in Taiwan, Mrs. Chang came to the United States for an M.A. in Marketing in 2005. She is married to Murray Mu and they have two sons at CHA. Mrs. Chang started teaching Mandarin in 2015 to children ages 2-13. She continues working on her educational certifications and licensing, including bilingual teaching, substitute teaching, and paraprofessional work. Mrs. Chang actively participates in discipleship for the next generation, serving as a Bible teacher and children’s leader at The Moody Church, and participates in Bible Study Fellowship. In her free time, she likes to travel, visit national parks, and walk. It is exciting for her to join CHA’s Early Education Team.

 

Ms. Arien Fritts
Third Grade Teacher

Ms. Fritts graduated summa cum laude from North Central University (MN) with a B.S. in Elementary Education and an endorsement in middle school social studies. She recently student-taught at both a private Christian bilingual school in the country of Honduras and in a public middle school in Minnesota. In her free time, Ms. Fritts enjoys a spectrum of activities, but being active outside and spending time with friends are her favorites. She attends Center Church in Libertyville. Miss Fritts is passionate about building relationships with her students and encouraging and guiding them to better understand themselves, others, the world, and God. Her prayer and ambition is that the Holy Spirit might use her as an instrument to disciple students at CHA this year.

Mr. Jacob Gabrail
Upper School Science Teacher

Mr. Gabrail earned a B.S. in Biology from Northeastern Illinois University, and has been teaching science for twelve years. He joins the CHA team to teach upper school science (biology, chemistry, and anatomy/physiology). Mr. Gabrail appreciates how the Lord’s wonders and attributes can be seen in the design of the universe on both large and small scales. It is his hope to instill this in the next generation while preparing them for higher learning later in their lives. Mr. Gabrail’s passions outside of school are personal training and tennis, and he desires to encourage students to live healthy and active lives. He has also taught youth group Bible studies at the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East for about ten years. Mr. Gabrail looks forward to a wonderful year of fun and exploration with our students.

Miss Faith Koenig
Second Grade Teacher

Miss Koenig graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a B.S. in Elementary Education. This is her first year teaching; however, she recently served as the director of a Christian summer day camp. Miss Koenig is passionate about the Lord; she also loves swimming and theatre. She attends Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Palatine where her father serves as Pastor of Discipleship. Miss Koenig loves working with children and looks forward to all that God has to offer through serving at Christian Heritage Academy.

Mrs. Teresa Lim
Teacher Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor

Mrs. Lim graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She has spent several years working with children in early childhood and grade school. Most recently she worked in Morton Grove as a Special Education Assistant. Mrs. Lim also has hosted several children through Safe Families. She is married with two children, both of whom attended CHA, and she attends South Park Church in Park Ridge. Mrs. Lim is grateful for Christian education and she looks forward to returning to CHA as a preschool assistant.

Mr. Wesley Mosby
Instrumental Music (4-12) & General Music (K-1) Teacher

Mr. Mosby grew up as a missionary kid in Nairobi, Kenya. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree with an instrumental focus from Wheaton College, receiving his K-12 teaching license at the same time. He majored in saxophone and violin, and is trained in all instrument families. Mr. Mosby attends The Bridge Church in Algonquin where he is involved in the worship team. He has also taught private music lessons and Sunday school. Mr. Mosby is passionate about the arts and pushes students to work hard and fulfill their potential. He believes that through music, students can not only learn the power of self-expression and musicianship, but also develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives, regardless of their career or vocation.

Mr. Jason Patterson
Teaching and Learning Coach

Mr. Patterson received a B.S. in English Education from Huntington University and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Trauma and Resilience in Educational Spaces from Concordia University. Mr. Patterson brings his passion for education (as well as literature, theater, soccer, and other sports) to CHA after serving students and teachers for many years in Chicago, where he lives with his wife, two teenage children, and dog Luigi (Lu). The family attends CityLine Bible Church in Niles. 

Rev. Jason Platt
Upper School Bible Teacher

Pastor Platt earned a B.A. in Pastoral Studies from Moody Bible Institute and an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served as Lead Pastor of Montrose Baptist Church of Chicago since 2002 and has been engaged in ministry at the church and in the surrounding community since 1996. At CHA, Pastor Platt is especially excited to share his love of God’s Word with young people on the cusp of their own incredible adventures in God’s world. The mission of CHA to equip lifelong followers of Jesus Christ is the same goal he and his wife, Tanya, have shared as Christian parents of four children, three of whom have graduated from CHA and one who is currently enrolled at CHA as a senior. In his free time, Pastor Platt cherishes time with his family and is recharged by running and spending time in God’s glorious creation.

Ms. Bianca Pop
Middle and Upper School Math Teacher

Ms. Pop graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Secondary Education Mathematics. She has worked in classrooms ranging from ninth to twelfth grades. Ms. Pop attends Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago. She has been an active member there for over six years, and serves as the piano accompanist for the girls’ and youth choirs, youth leader, and VBS teacher. Ms. Pop believes that God opened the door for her to be at CHA and is thankful for the wonderful opportunity. She looks forward to teaching PreAlgebra, Algebra 2 Honors, and PreCalc. With God’s help, she wants to foster in her students a love for academic and spiritual growth.

Mrs. Lara Tabangay
Teacher Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor

Mrs. Tabangay graduated from the University of Michigan with an A.B. in History, and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Chicago. She worked in digital media for seven years before transitioning to full time motherhood. She subsequently homeschooled her two daughters for 10 years before the eldest switched to formal schooling at the CHA Upper School. Mrs. Tabangay loves to work with young children and is excited to take on the role of teacher’s assistant for the kindergarten class this year. Along with her decade of experience homeschooling, Lara is also eager to draw on her years of volunteering in children’s ministry to help her support CHA’s goal of providing a Christ-centered education with excellence. She attends Lincoln Square Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Mrs. Faith Tang
Teacher Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor 

Mrs. Tang received her B.A. in World Missions from Moody Bible Institute. Prior to CHA, she worked at a number of non-profit organizations such as Rotary International, International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), and Boat People S.O.S., an organization that serves refugees and human trafficking victims. She and her husband, Scott, have one child who will be attending CHA this fall, after being homeschooled for the past 3½ years. Mrs. Tang and her family attend The Moody Church in Chicago. She looks forward to serving the Lord at CHA.

Ms. Elsa Wiese
Choral Music (3-12) and General Music (2-6) Teacher

Ms. Wiese holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Moody Bible Institute, and an M.Ed. in Music Education from Northwestern University. She spent many years working in music ministry at The Moody Church in Chicago, IL, and especially enjoyed her time teaching music to children. Ms. Wiese loves getting to know each student and finding ways to explore music together for the glory of God. In her free time, she volunteers at The Moody Church in Chicago, and enjoys reading, theater, and spending time with family and friends.

Mr. Wayne Williams
Upper School Social Studies Teacher

Mr. Williams was an active-duty Air Force EMT/Paramedic for 10 years, with an additional two years of nursing school before changing course into education. He is now celebrating the start of his 23rd year of teaching a variety of social studies subjects in the U.S. and in England. Mr. Williams earned a B.A. in History with a minor in nursing from Carson Newman College, and is in process of an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. A father of three, Mr. Williams is married to Diana, the Director of Children’s Ministries at Grace Presbyterian Church in Winnetka. Mr. Williams prays that all of his endeavors will serve as a living sacrifice and point others to Jesus!

Mrs. Ramina Warda
Teacher Assistant, Lunchtime Supervisor

Mrs. Warda graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a B.A. in Economics. She previously taught middle school science, math, and social studies in Chicago and Glenview school districts. Mrs. Warda has lived in Chicagoland for her entire life. She and her husband, Clint, have two daughters at CHA, and attend Mar Gewargis Cathedral in Chicago. Mrs. Warda is excited to use her knowledge and gifts to bless the CHA community.

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