- Cathy Angelo
- Suzanne Asman
- Heidi Ayers
- Sean Bennett
- Ellie Bloemhof
- Michelle Bondurant
- Laura Brautigam
- Todd Brown
- Cristi Chang
- Karin Deaver
- Alyssa DenHartog
- Marshall Dinkins
- Melanie Efird
- Jose ElaGarza
- Brittany Farinelli
- Bekah Faust
- Jacquie Fernandez
- Katie Ferreira
- Coleen Friesen
- Leeann Friesen
- Dan Goetz
- Karen Goetz
- Jason Gossenberger
- Tisharra Gunlund
- Amber Gutierrez
- Jacob Henderson
- Melissa Hillner
- Corey Hoover
- Brenda Horton
- Cheyenne Huerta
- Joseph Ibanez
- Pamela James
- Justina Johnson
- Don Knaak
- Kaila Kodman
- Janet Laemmlen
- Loren LeBeau
- Jeff March
- Yvonne Martens
- Josh Merritt
- Becky Neal
- Maari Nesper
- Connor Nolen
- Shane Pinkard
- Erin Ramming
- Stella Regier
- Linda Reimer
- Amanda Renney
- Emily Roberts
- Kimberly Rogers
- Teri Schletewitz
- Clayton Sheehan
- Elisa Sonksen
- Cole Sorensen
- Emily Sorensen
- Andrea Suttles
- Luke Thomas
- Lauren Tienken
- Ashlee Turner
- Deniele Van Leeuwen
- Anthony Villarreal
Meet Mrs. Angelo:
I am so blessed to be a part of the teaching staff at Immanuel Schools. I began teaching at Immanuel in 2010, and before moving into 2nd grade, I taught 3rd, 6th, and Technology to students from Kindergarten to 6th grade. I am excited to see what God will do in the lives of this group of second graders. Every year I look forward to learning new things and getting to know the students I see each day. I love teaching and I am thrilled that God chose me for his place! Over the years I have been blessed to work with students of all ages. Prior to teaching at Immanuel, I taught 5th and 3rd grade for 19 years at another Christian school.
I have been married to my husband, Bruce, since 1970. We have two grown children and I love being Grandma to four adorable grandchildren, three of which live in the Seattle area. I miss them terribly, but am able to connect via social media, texts, e-mail, and our trips to the Pacific Northwest.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Meet Mrs. Asman:
Hello, My name is Suzanne Asman and I would like to welcome you to first grade!
I am delighted that God has led me to Immanuel Elementary School. My journey to Immanuel began in Visalia, where I was born and raised. My husband and I moved to Reedley in 2004 after we were married. We have been happily married for seventeen years. In that time, God has blessed us with three little ones.
My teaching career began after I graduated from St. Mary’s College of California in 2001. I decided to continue my education at Fresno Pacific University and earned my multiple subject teaching credential along with a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts. I have had the opportunity to teach kindergarten and first grade during my twenty years in the classroom.
My passion is to teach young readers the fundamentals of the reading process and watching them grow into confident readers. I am thrilled to be part of the Immanuel First Grade team and truly enjoy the energy that our first grade students bring to school every day.
I am inspired by the words in Matthew 19:14. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Meet Mrs. Ayers:
Being a part of the Immanuel community as a teacher and parent has brought me full circle. I am a proud Immanuel graduate and an alumni of Fresno Pacific University’s undergraduate and teacher credential programs. I taught 3rd grade before staying home with our four children. When a part time English position opened at Immanuel, it was clear that it was the right time to return to teaching. I had always wanted to teach English, and I have absolutely loved being a part of the Immanuel English department. Reading and writing are my academic passions, and I am excited to share that love with students. When Jesus shared the truths of the gospel, He did it through stories. I enjoy digging into texts with students, and holding them up against what the Bible calls us to as Christians.
Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Meet Mr. Bennett:
Hello, my name is Sean Bennett. I grew up on the East Coast and moved to the Central Coast of California my senior year of high school. It was there that I met and married my beautiful wife as well as graduated from Cuesta College. I then transferred and completed my studies at San Francisco State with the goal of becoming a physical education teacher. After obtaining my Bachelor’s I moved to Clovis and did my student teaching in Clovis while getting my teaching credential.
My desire to become a P.E teacher flows from the love for sports and the valuable lessons about life that God can teach us through sports and fitness. I participated in football for two years in high school, as well as track and field in high school and college. My passion and belief about physical education is that it is incredibly important in developing the skills and knowledge needed to build and maintain a healthy and active life at any age. I also believe physical education provides a wonderful opportunity to build respect, responsibility, and a excellent work ethic. I am so excited to be teaching at Immanuel Elementary School, and I feel so blessed that the Lord has given me the opportunity to be a light to so many children’s minds and hearts.
My wife, Savanah, and I currently live in Clovis but are hoping to relocate closer to Reedley. The Lord has gifted us with a wonderfully energetic and joyful boy named Parker. My favorite sports and activities are exercising and just about any sport or physical game. Our family enjoys spending time in with family and friends whether that is out in nature or in the city.
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Meet Ms. Bloemhof:
I grew up on a farm in Shafter California. My Dad is an almond farmer/ beekeeper and my mom is a TK teacher at Maple Elementary school, which is where I went as well K-8. At Wasco High School I was active playing volleyball in the fall and swimming the rest of the year. I was proud to be a part of a valley medaling team. I also took AP History and English classes during my years there.
My family and I are active at Grace Community Church in Wasco and still are though I have moved to Clovis Church of Christ as I am living in Clovis now. I moved there to do my student teaching at Clovis North High School after graduating from Biola University with a Bachelors in History and a minor in Bible.
God has blessed me with the ability to gain my first teaching job at such a special place. I look forward to being a part of the Immanuel community.
Favorite verse: “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
Meet Mrs. Bondurant:
Hello my name is Michelle (Fernandez) Bondurant. I was born and raised in Reedley, and grew up attending Reedley First Baptist Church. My childhood was filled with music, and art. My father (Steve) worked for a printing company, and my mother (Connie) was an Art and Computer Design teacher for Reedley High School. Growing up, my sister and I enjoyed listening to my father play piano for our church on Sunday mornings.
I attended Reedley schools: Great Western Elementary, Grant Middle School, and Reedley High School. I continued my education through Reedley College, and Fresno State; where I graduated with a BA in liberal studies. After college, I accepted a job at Chapter One Preschool as a Preschool Teacher. Throughout my time at Chapter One, I worked with many students with exceptional needs, and became passionate about working with exceptional children. During that time, I received my Masters in Special Education.
God has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of the SOAR team for Immanuel Elementary School. I will be working as the teacher aid for the SOAR Program. God has brought together an amazing group of teachers to reach every child's learning needs on the Immanuel campus. I am truly blessed to be a part of the IES staff.
I currently live in Reedley with my husband Drew. We have two dogs Kuiper and Minnie. I enjoy a good cup of coffee, a Disney movie, and snuggling with my dogs. I love spending time with my husband at the beach and Disneyland.
"Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10
Hello, I'm Laura Brautigam and I thank the Lord each day for the opportunity I have to be on campus at Immanuel. I'm a Central Valley girl, growing up in Fresno/Clovis and now living in Hanford. I attended Clovis West High School then Fresno State where I received my B.A. in Communication. I started my journey in Education in 2004 when I became a substitute teacher in Fresno & Kings counties. I've worked in Fowler, Hanford, & Lemoore during the past 15 years subbing & working in Preschool through High School levels and various subjects.
I felt that God was calling me here more than just as an active parent, so I began subbing at Immanuel on all 3 campuses. I am excited to be teaching ASL in HS this year. I studied CSD & ASL in college, in addition to growing up signing the basics. My husband and I have two daughters, Mackenzie & Aspen, who both attend Immanuel. My cup is full and I feel so blessed to be part of the Immanuel family. Go Eagles!
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10
Meet Mr. Brown:
I was born and raised in Modesto, CA as the youngest in a family of four. My dad was a junior high math/PE teacher and was a big reason why I went into teaching. In high school I attended Modesto Christian High School and played basketball there. I was able to continue my basketball career at Fresno Pacific University from 2006-2010. It was there that I earned my B.A. in Kinesiology and met my wife!
I married my wife, Tarin Brown (Tartaglia- IHS c.o. 2005), in 2010 and the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to travel around the country as I played more basketball with Athletes and Action, and overseas to play professionally in Australia. In 2012 we moved here to Kingsburg and I began to teach and we both began to coach at Kingsburg High School, where I’ve been the past 10 years. My wife has operated a Christian apparel company, River Raised, while staying at home and raising our four children: Ford, Poppy, Boone and Honor.
It is very clear to see how the Lord has taken care of us and has led us throughout our life and we know, without a doubt, that He prepared and brought us here to Immanuel in His perfect timing.
“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” - Titus 2:6-8
Meet Mrs. Change:
Hi, my name is Cristi Chang, and I’m so excited to teach at Immanuel! I grew up in Clovis with my parents and older sister. We were and still are a very close-knit family. I attended Clovis schools and graduated from Buchanan High School. I had a couple amazing English teachers during that time who inspired me to become an English teacher myself. After receiving my BA in English and Teaching Credential through Fresno State, I taught English at Sanger High School for three years. During that time, I met my wonderful husband who also happens to be a high school English teacher. We got married and moved to his hometown of Visalia, and I taught at Exeter High School for three years. During that time we had our sweet daughter, Maya. We decided to move back to Clovis where I became a stay-at-home mom, and 2 years ago Maya was blessed with the baby sister she had been praying for, little Gweny.
Now here I am, ready to jump back into teaching! We are newcomers to Immanuel, but we already feel like we are part of the Immanuel family. Maya began attending Immanuel last year as a 4th grader, and she absolutely loves it! I’ve always had a heart for high schoolers and feel strongly about the importance of mentorship during those critical years of spiritual growth as they are trying to figure out who they are. I am so humbled and honored to be able to play a role in the lives of the kids here at Immanuel. I have been trusting God's lead and feel very blessed that He has opened the doors for me to be part of such a God-centered community.
We still live in Clovis where we attend Loma Vista Community Church. My husband teaches English at Clovis East High School. We love going to the beach, watching SF Giants games, going on bike rides, and just spending time together as a family. The Lord has blessed us abundantly and I am excited for this new chapter in our lives.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
Meet Mrs. Deaver:
Hi my name is Karin Deaver. When my husband and I decided that Immanuel was a good fit for our family, God orchestrated the steps and I found myself teaching high school math while my children attended. I felt the call to teaching in 1985 when I was invited to a Christian Teacher’s Conference at Hartland. I never looked back. I graduated from Fresno Pacific in 1989 with a major in Mathematics and a minor in English. From there I entered the Fresno Pacific internship program and I began my teaching career at Dinuba High School where I taught Pre Algebra and Algebra. I also coached and was a class advisor. In 2000, I took a position at Kingsburg High where I taught for three year until we decided I should take time off from teaching to care for our growing family. After 8 years of homeschooling our five children, our family transitioned to public school and then to Immanuel. I enjoy teaching the students in my class and find that teaching here at Immanuel is very rewarding.
Meet Ms. DenHartog:
My name is Alyssa DenHartog, but just about everybody calls me Bissie (a nickname that my mom made up). I am teaching high school math, specifically Algebra 1, Advanced Math and Calculus. I am also the Director of Sport for Girls Indoor Volleyball.
I grew up and live in Clovis, and I taught in Clovis for the last 5 years after graduating from Fresno Pacific University. This year, the Lord led me to Immanuel. I just finished my MA in Math Education, along with two of my sisters and my mother, who are also math teachers. I have 3 sisters in total, a legendary brother-in-law (Mr. Certain), and the cutest nephew in the world. My dad is the only immediate family member who is not in education, but we still love him anyway. We all live in Clovis and regularly take family walks together. I attend Peoples Church in Fresno where I love volunteering with the youth group. I like Dutch better than Starbucks, tv shows better than movies, and Cheez-It's better than goldfish.
Verse: Philippians 4:6-7 "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Meet Mr. Dinkins:
Greetings students and parents! It is with great joy that I introduce myself as the Junior High Mathematics teacher. My journey with Mathematics and teaching began at Fresno Pacific University, where I received my Bachelor’s in Mathematics. It was there that I developed a deep appreciation for the beauty, simplicity, and captivating nature of math to the human mind. I soon discovered that I enjoyed explaining mathematical concepts to others just as much as I loved studying them for myself. Thus began my pursuit of teaching, which has brought me here to Immanuel. It is my goal to provide every student I teach with an unforgettable (in a good way) year of exploring, creating, and thinking as a Mathematician.
On a more personal level, here are a few fun facts about me. I am the youngest of four children and the third in my family to study mathematics. Every day before school I eat a bowl of Grape Nuts to fuel my teaching. I am passionate about global mission and learning from the Church in other cultures.
Students, I believe in you. Parents, I believe in your children. Each student is a capable mathematician and it is my job to bring that to the surface. May God bless us with an incredible year ahead as we journey in education!
Meet Mrs. Efird:
Hello, my name is Melanie (Stanley) Efird. My husband, Adam, and I moved to Kingsburg about 11 years ago. We have three children, Addison (13), Camdyn (11), Luke (8) and they all transferred to Immanuel last year. As we had our tour of the school we felt a sense of peace and home instantly and are so blessed to be here. I grew up in Caruthers and I am the middle of three girls. I grew up attending Calvary Christian Fellowship in Caruthers. After we moved to Kingsburg we started attending Kingsburg First Baptist Church where we have been members now for the past nine years.
I attended California State University, Fresno where I earned my BA in Communicative Disorders with an option in Deaf Education. I continued at Fresno State to pursue my multiple subject teaching credential with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. My first teaching job was in Riverdale at Fipps Primary School where I taught Kindergarten. I continued teaching Kindergarten for seven years, until I decided to stay at home with our young children. Three years ago I started working part-time at Kings River Elementary as a Reading Intervention Teacher for 1st-5th graders who struggle with reading. At Kings River, I shared a classroom and worked alongside Katie Ferreira who is now my job-share teaching partner in the 4th grade at Immanuel. We have attended church together and have been friends for the past 10 years and are very excited to be teaching together at Immanuel.
In my free time, I love to watch my children play sports, relax at Shaver Lake, bake, and spend time with our extended family.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9
Meet Mr. ElaGarza:
My name is José M. ElaGarza, and I teach kindergarten through second grade music here at Immanuel. I am on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I grew up in a small farm town near Monterey, called Salinas. Growing up I could always find joy in music. I gravitated towards music very young, and in the fifth grade I took up the saxophone. Music came somewhat naturally to me and in high school I discovered I can pick up most instruments and quickly learn them. I have an A.A. in Music, and a B.A. in Media Production from Fresno State.
I married my gorgeous wife, Alexandra in 2011 and have 3 amazing children. Graham(10), Calvin(8), and Miles(5). We have one lovable goldendoodle, Cocoa(2). We live near the Clovis area and have a nice community of friends and family nearby.
I work professionally as a Production Manager for the Fresno State Music Department. I’ve been there for a little over 12 years. I work with professors, students, and award winning guest artists from all over the world. I also record various ensembles, instruments, and concerts throughout the academic year. The eclecticness of different cultures and music has brought me even more appreciation of God’s amazing gift of music. It’s a very enjoyable job, but God has been stirring in me the desire to teach music since my wife and I started having kids.
While working for Fresno State I have had endless resources through professors and have sat in many music education classes, tutorials, and have taken workshops on elementary school teaching. I am fascinated by how kids learn through movement and music. I am constantly learning new ways to teach elementary music in this approach. I have recently been captivated by the Orff-Schulwerk teaching techniques and am using them in our classrooms today.
I am beyond blessed that I’ve been given this opportunity to teach and happy to be a part of the Immanuel campus. My hope is to instill your children with God’s truths through music, using lyrics or scriptures, and of course having fun.
In my free time, I enjoy watching, coaching, and playing sports with my family. We dabble with a little bit of everything, such as, hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer, football, and pickleball. Our family enjoys the Shaver Lake and Dinkey Creek area. We are very hopeful to one day catch a fish.
Favorite Verse: Matthew 6:26 - “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Meet Mrs. Farinelli:
Hi, my name is Brittany Farinelli and I am so excited to be a part of Immanuel Schools! I was born in Fresno and have lived in the Central Valley my entire life. As a student, I attended Clovis schools and was very involved in athletics. In 2004, I graduated high school and began my college journey as a Fresno Pacific Sunbird. I was blessed to attend Fresno Pacific on a Cross Country and Track Scholarship for all four years and enter into the Multiple Subjects Credential program in 2008. In 2009, I took my first teaching position in 8th grade in Selma Unified and then in 2012 was able to return back to my hometown of Clovis. I spent 6 years teaching 7th/8th Grade Academic Block at Granite Ridge Intermediate, which is located within the Clovis North Educational Center. During my time in Clovis, I decided to further my education and returned to Fresno Pacific as a student in the Master in Arts of Teaching program.
I met my wonderful husband, Dominic Farinelli, at Fresno Pacific and we have been married since 2009. We have two beautiful girls: Giuliana and Capri. We moved to the Sanger area in 2015, and love living out in the country. We had been praying for guidance as to where the Lord wanted us to send our girls to school, and the Lord put Immanuel on our hearts. Immanuel is such a special place and we knew that this is where we wanted to connect as a family. We are so excited to join the Immanuel Family and we feel so blessed to be a part of this community.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“ Jeremiah 29:11
Meet Mrs. Faust:
Hello! My name is Rebekah (Bekah) Faust and I am so excited to start a new adventure along with my kiddos here at Immanuel! My husband Darren and I have been married for over 15 years and have 3 kids. Oldest son, Noah, 13 yr old 8th grader, middle son, Greyson, 11yr old 6th grader, and daughter, Olivia, 9 yr old 4th grader, will all be joining me at Immanuel and are super excited as well. We love to travel and raise orphaned and injured wildlife with Fresno Wildlife Rehabilitation Service.
I have a BS Degree in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology from the University of California at Davis and a Biology Teaching Credential from CSU Fresno. Before going into teaching I was a land animal trainer for Six Flags Marine World (now Discovery Kingdom) in Vallejo. But my passion for teaching kids about animals, along with the cost of living in the bay area, led me back home to Clovis to pursue a career in teaching science.
I taught science for 13 years at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Selma, then for the past 5 years I have taught science online for California Connections Academy. I love the fact that I get to finally teach science with an emphasis on God, our amazing creator and using this to point students back to Him.
Favorite verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Meet Mrs. Fernandez:
Hi, my name is Jacquie Fernandez. I was raised in Kingsburg in a family of four, I have two older brothers and an older sister. I attended Windsor Christian Academy for elementary school. When I was in 6th grade, Windsor became Immanuel and I continued my education at Immanuel, graduating in 2011. After graduating from Immanuel I attended Fresno Pacific University and graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a minor in Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I continued this dream of mine and completed the FPU credential program. I spent two years teaching kindergarten in Orosi and three years teaching first grade in Clovis. In 2019 I married my husband, Nick, who is also a teacher. We have been blessed with a sweet and loving little boy, Maverick.
I was so excited to hear about Immanuel’s expansion and even more excited to be hired to start in the fall of 2021. I can’t express how blessed and thrilled I am to become part of the Immanuel staff. Immanuel has always been a second home for me. The staff at Immanuel did so much for me as a student and I can’t wait to offer that same experience to my students.
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3
Meet Mrs. Ferreira:
Hello, my name is Katie Ferreira. My husband, Rob, and I have lived in the Kingsburg area for 17 years. We have 2 boys, Cole (11) and Carson (8), and they both transferred to Immanuel last year. We fell in love with this school and we are so excited to be here. I grew up in San Luis Obispo and I am the oldest of 7 in my family. I attended Grace SLO Church from birth until I left for college when I was 20. I became a Christian in my grandmother's Good News Club at the age of 4 and thank the Lord for my godly grandparents and my mom who loved me like Jesus would and modeled how to live a life serving the Lord.
I earned a BA in Liberal Studies at CSU Fullerton and returned to school 2 years later to pursue a teaching credential at CSU Fresno. My first teaching job was in Hanford at Lincoln Elementary School where I taught 2nd grade. I taught for three years before deciding to stay home and raise my boys. Eight years later, I started working part-time at Kings River Elementary as a Reading Intervention Teacher for 1st-5th graders who struggle in their reading. At Kings River, I shared a classroom and worked alongside Melanie Efird who is now my job-share teaching partner in this 4th grade position at Immanuel. We have been friends for years and we are excited about this opportunity to teach together.
Our family currently attends First Baptist Kingburg where I have volunteered for many years in Sunday School, AWANA and Mom's Time Out. The local church has been such a blessing in my life over the years and has helped me grow as a follower of Jesus. I look forward to the opportunities that Immanuel will provide for me to continue growing as an educator and as a Christian. I look forward to meeting many Immanuel families this year and trust that God has amazing things planned for our school and our students!
"Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying." - Romans 12:12
Meet Mrs. Friesen:
My name is Coleen Friesen, and I grew up in Fresno, California. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree and teaching credential from Fresno Pacific University. At FPU, I met my husband David, an Immanuel alumnus, and after college we married and settled in Reedley. We have been blessed with seven children who have graduated from or are currently attending Immanuel Schools. Some of my hobbies are camping at the beach or in the mountains, watching our kids play sports, and singing.
I began my career as a kindergarten teacher and then taught K-8th grade students at a charter school. I also spent many years --14!-- homeschooling my own children. All of these experiences, as well as my time as a real estate agent and property manager, prepared me in amazing ways for the job I hold today. I was thrilled when the Lord opened the door for me to work at Immanuel.
One of my favorite hymns says “Oh love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong...” What a privilege it is to share the immeasurable love of God with students every day!
Meet Mrs. Friesen:
Hi, my name is Leeann (Pauls) Friesen. I was born into a family of six with one younger sister and two older brothers. My father is a farmer and so naturally my family spent a lot of time working with him on the farm in the Reedley area. I grew up attending Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church and going to Reedley Schools (Washington & Riverview). For high school, I had the privilege of attending Immanuel. During this time, I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. After graduating high school, I continued my education at Reedley College and then Fresno Pacific University. I received my B.A. in liberal studies from FPU. I completed one more year of graduate studies and received my credentialing through FPU. Following my completion of the credential program, I was hired at Lincoln Elementary School in Reedley. I taught there for 11 years. Most of my experience is in Kindergarten and I love it! God opened a door for me to teach kindergarten at Immanuel Elementary. Step by step I followed his lead and I was hired to teach here in the fall of 2016. I feel so blessed to be a part of the IES staff. Immanuel is truly a special place. It is not just a school. It is a family, a strong community bound together by our faith in Jesus Christ.
My husband, Scott, and I reside in Reedley. We have been blessed with two spirited boys, Peyton and Carson. I enjoy physical actives such as biking, swimming, and running. I also like drinking coffee and reading a good book. My family enjoys taking trips to Shaver Lake and camping in our travel trailer.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Meet Mr. Goetz:
Howdy... I am Daniel Goetz and I teach Interior Design as well as Drafting and Architecture. I teach just these two courses this year and am not really new to Immanuel. From 2002-03 to 2010-11 both Interior Design and Drafting / Architecture as well as Bible and eventually the Campus Pastor. I love everything about this school and am humbled to be able to be a teacher and invest in these extraordinary young people's lives. Design to me is everywhere and I find it is art and craftsmanship all in one... these classes are therapy to me.
I am number 5 of 6 children and we moved from the Bay Area to Dinuba when I was 7 years old. This was our families first experience with the Mennonite Community and so appreciated the Lord's leading us to this area. I attended Immanuel half way through my Sophomore year and then we moved to South Central Los Angeles where I attended Belmont High School and then finished up my High School years in the San Fernando Valley at James Monroe High School. I received my Architecture Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University and am very proud to be a "Fightin Texas Aggie Class of 1984."
My wife Karen teaches at Immanuel Elementary and my daughter Hannah teaches at Immanuel Jr. High. My son Stephen and his wife Melanie are in Southern California where he is working on his Master Degree in Organizational Management and she is a Marriage and Family therapist. My son Jon works as a Medical Scribe for Saint Agnes Hospital and is working toward a future in the medical profession. Our family passionately loves Jesus... personally I love the Bible and find it is a continual discovery of our Lord. The rest of my working time is spent at Teen Challenge where I am helping with the transition of the men into their future employment and lives both practically and spiritually.
Meet Mrs. Goetz:
The best part about my classroom is whom I share it with!
Greetings! I’m Karen Goetz and am so blessed to be a part of the wonderful Immanuel Schools family.
I am married to Daniel Goetz and we have 3 grown children: Stephen (with his dear wife, Melanie), Jonathan and Hannah. All three of our children attended Immanuel Schools.
I have taught fabulous First Graders for 16 years with Kings Canyon here in Reedley and another four years in Texas. I began teaching at Immanuel Schools in 2017 and I absolutely LOVE it! The students, the supportive and caring families, our phenomenal staff, AND being able to share and apply our Lord’s wonderful life and person into academics is so rewarding and refreshing. Together, and with the Lord’s shepherding, I pray this will be an eternally rewarding year for all of us. Thank you for entrusting your child to my care.
My classroom is a caring-laughing, exploring-discovering, brain-stretching, independence-building, Jesus honoring and loving kind of place where everyone matters!
“But Jesus said, allow the little children and do not prevent them from coming to Me, for of such is the kingdom of the heavens.” Matthew 19:14
Meet Mr. Gossenberger:
Hello everyone! My name is Jason Gossenberger and although I was born in Vallejo, California I grew up in Clovis. My father was (and is still) a pastor and my mom was a stay-at-home mother. Yes, it is true what they say about Pastor's kids, but I can safely say I was not one of them. It would be an understatement to say I grew up in the church, and that it was basically a second home for me.
I graduated from Buchanan High School in 2007 with a class of 1,000+ students, so it is safe to say there will be a little bit of an adjustment for me at Immanuel. I knew God was calling me to serve Him after high school by being someone who could offer guidance, support, and Biblical understanding to the youth of the next generation.
I married my incredible wife, Maribeth, and graduated from Fresno Pacific University. I have spent the last 9 years of my professional career as a Youth and Associate Pastor, but there was always a tug on my heart to enter into education. So, less than a year ago, God opened a door that I had to step through and here I am today getting ready to guide, support, and provide Biblical understanding for each student that walks through my classroom doors. I am thankful, blessed, and pumped to be a teacher at Immanuel Schools and I look forward to all that God will do.
Favorite Verse: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Meet Mrs. Gunlund:
My name is Tisharra Gunlund, and I am thrilled to be teaching 6th grade here at Immanuel. I was born in Superior, Wisconsin and spent my early childhood there. I moved to Kingsburg, California when I was 8 and have lived there ever since. I am married to my husband Lance and together we have 8 children combined and two sweet grandsons.
I graduated from Kingsburg High in 1990. I completed my BA in Child Development from Fresno Pacific University in 2011 and went on to obtain my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2014 from Fresno State.
I have worked with and loved on children of varying ages over the span of my lifetime in both the educational and spiritual settings. I started in a daycare setting where I taught for 10 years. I taught preschool age children about the unconditional love of Jesus and His teachings in my home church of New Life Ministries for 15 years. I have 9 years combined experience with elementary age children in both a Special Day Class and the regular classroom. I've also assisted in an Adult Transitional Program for 3 years. The development of children has always been my passion and teaching has always been the avenue by which I connect with young people.
God opened the door that led me to Immanuel Elementary School in the summer of 2021. It is a great joy for me to be here and play a role in developing the minds and souls of my students and the fellow students on campus. I am excited to build a classroom community with students and parents alike. I thank the Lord for entrusting me with each student. I am looking forward to threading our educational curriculum with the Word of God and equipping students with the tools to thrive academically and Spiritually. I am looking forward to teaching, exploring, investigating, and asking questions about our world through the eyes of Jesus. I am humbled and honored to be apart of the Immanuel family and I am looking forward to seeing what God is going to do. He is good, always.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9
Meet Mrs. Gutierrez:
Hello! My name is Amber Gutierrez and I am so blessed to be a part of the Immanuel family!
My teaching career started in 2005, right after graduating from CSU Fresno. I taught 1st grade for ten years in Fowler before taking time off to stay home with my own children. During that time off I worked as a substitute teacher in K-6 for the Kingsburg Charter School District. I was an Awana leader and also taught Sunday School at our church. In 2019 I began teaching 2nd grade here at Immanuel.
My husband Adam and I live in Kingsburg with our three children, Gavin, Olivia, and Colette. We are so thankful that I have this opportunity to do what I love, which is teaching, and still be near our own kids every day.
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” - Psalm 91:4
Meet Mr. Henderson:
Hello, my name is Jacob Henderson. I was raised in Fontana, California where my Father is the Pastor of a small church and my mother worked for the school district. I am the youngest of five children. I grew up mainly spending time at church activities with the family or playing and watching sports. I attended Aquinas High School in San Bernardino where my brother Josh was the head football coach.
I graduated in 2010 and was able to earn a scholarship to play football at Azusa Pacific University. While playing at APU, I studied physical education and further developed an interest in strength & conditioning. After graduation I immediately began working as a PE teacher and Football & Strength Coach at Grace Brethren in Simi Valley, CA. My wife Megan and I were married in 2015 and in 2017 we returned to the San Bernardino area where I taught PE, Strength & Conditioning and Anatomy at my alma mater. Our
first son Wyatt was born in 2019 and Jack followed in 2021. After moving on from Aquinas, I spent last year teaching and coaching at Yucaipa High School.
We believe God has called us here to serve and grow with the Immanuel community and we are very excited to get started. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Christ-centered organization. In my free time I love lifting weights and camping with Megan and the boys.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
Meet Mrs. Hillner:
As a literature enthusiast and writer, it is my joy to bring hidden writing abilities to the surface, to welcome children into the depths reading, and engage with their minds in the freshly abstract ways that sixth graders are capable of for the first time in their development. Students quickly realize that my favorite question is why, and we bring this level of intellectual tenacity to our exciting look at ancient cultures, to our fascination with the ways in which God has made our planet, to the elegant patterns in number systems, and even to our relationship with the Lord. It is a privilege, an honor, and a blessing for me to share my Jesus with students in Bible class; not only is devotions my favorite part of the day, but it is usually the most meaningful for students and myself. Our God calls us into depth and into a thousand whys; it is my prayer that, by the end of the year, every student finds Jehovah, the I AM, as the unique answer to every question and the source of his/her identity.
I grew up and studied in Boston, where my husband and I got married after meeting in Bible school in Southern California in 2014; God called us to Reedley and Immanuel in the summer of 2017. I taught at Christian schools in the Greater Boston Area for three years before moving to Immanuel, and I enjoy integrating my Expeditionary Learning training into my work here, as well as continuing to learn more about EL Education. In our spare time my husband and I enjoy reading a wide range of literature, working on various writing projects, and exploring the mountains.
John 21:17: “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep".
Meet Mr. Hoover:
My name is Corey Hoover, and I am extremely pleased to be part of the Immanuel family. I am a graduate of Fresno Pacific University and am currently completing my Master’s of Arts in Teaching. I live in Hanford with my wife Elaine and our youngest son Gavin. Our oldest son Christopher lives in San Diego, and attends Point Loma Nazarene University.
I was guided to Immanuel by The Lord after working three years in alternative education. While I was blessed to be a part of that mission field, I longed to share the Gospel openly with my students. I am thankful to The Lord for providing me an opportunity to do so, and I am mindful not to take this blessing for granted.
I am passionate about raising up a godly generation, who can stand firm in the Truth. Teaching through a Biblical perspective is important to me, as it helps our students understand the depth and scope of our God’s sovereignty, power, and faithfulness. It is my hope that each student under my care will grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, and realize the awesome potential their Creator has endowed them with.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” - Romans 8:28
Meet Mrs. Horton:
Hi my name is Brenda (Pauls) Horton and I am so grateful to be part of the Immanuel family. I grew up in Dinuba and attended Dinuba Mennonite Brethren Church and graduated from Immanuel High School. I completed my teaching credential at Fresno Pacific and have worked in various ways in education; as a Kindergarten teacher, tutor, and research analyst at an educational research company. During that time I also pursued a degree in Theology at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary. God has given me a passion to know Him more through his Word and I’m excited to share that passion with the children I work with. I’m also excited to help students know their value in the Lord, and help them find joy and confidence in learning.
My husband, Brian, and I live in Clovis and have a beautiful girl named Abby. As a family we love to camp and hang out at the beach. Our favorite week of the year is spent up at Hume Lake Christian Camp during the summer, enjoying all that Hume is.
It is because of (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Meet Mrs. Huerta:
Hello families and friends! My name is Cheyenne Huerta and I am excited to be part of Immanuel Schools to share my love and passion for health and wellness in a God centered environment. I grew up in the Madera Ranchos attending middle school and high school in the mountains. Throughout my educational experience grew my desire to teach and make sure others are blessed with a positive educational experience as well.
I was a three sport athlete playing volleyball, soccer and softball all four years. I also played softball in college so needless to say I’m competitive. I have a background in Broadcasting (radio, television, newspaper) as well as Criminology and Recreation. I began my teaching profession in 2014 where I’ve taught elementary through high school both in classroom and as a physical education teacher. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to coach volleyball, soccer, softball and wrestling. I love coaching as it gives me an opportunity to really pour into my athletes and love them and guide them just as God guides us daily.
I am proud to say that I have served in the United States Army and it was through my military service that I met my husband. We are blessed with an incredible son, and two fur-babies. I love being physically active and am up for most challenges or adventures. My family and I love sports whether it’s playing or watching. We are huge baseball fans as we are on a quest to go to every MLB field...we are well on our way to accomplishing that dream...Go Giants!
My family stands on Faith, Family, Freedom where we believe that God is first and foremost, Family is second to God followed by love for country with the freedoms and blessings God has provided. We accompany this with Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Favorite Verse: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. - Philippians 4:13
Meet Mr. Ibanez:
Mr. Joseph Ibanez is a lifelong resident of Reedley. He was educated at St. La Salle School and Reedley High School. Upon graduation from Reedley High, Mr. Ibanez was honored as a Pirate Pillar. He attended Reedley College and Fresno State University with a focus on Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Art. He, also, has a degree in Culinary Arts and is an accomplished Chef.
Mr. Ibanez has been in the fabrication trade for over 45 years and continues to own his own fabrication company. Hobbies include athletic officiating and ride his Harley Davidson.
From a young age, he has followed Jesus and as an adult, he proclaims that Jesus is his Lord and Savior.
Meet Mrs. James:
My name is Pamela James. I am thrilled to be at Immanuel Schools as a teacher and as a parent. I was born and raised in New Jersey. I attended Nyack College in New York where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.
For the first 11 years of my teaching career, I taught in public schools in New Jersey and New York. In 2001, God called my family into full-time ministry in Buffalo, New York. Following this move, I home schooled my children for 11 years. God then opened the door for me to teach in a private Christian school for 2 years.
In August of 2014, my husband had a job opportunity in Fresno, and we made the big move to California! I have been teaching at Immanuel since 2015, and I am so thankful for this school and its warm community. I love educating young minds and sharing the love of Jesus with them! My husband, Joel, and I have three awesome children: Eden, Hannah, and Josiah.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
Meet Mrs. Johnson:
Hi, my name is Justina Johnson. I am excited to be a part the Immanuel community as a High School science teacher. I was raised in Dinuba, but moved away after graduating from high school. I attended California Baptist University where I received my BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. My husband and I moved to Arizona where I obtained a BS in Nursing from Grand Canyon University. I worked as a cardiac progressive care nurse in Phoenix before feeling called to stay home with our children. We recently moved back to the valley after 10 years in Mesa, AZ. My husband, Matthew and I have five amazing children; our oldest three are currently attending Immanuel Elementary.
My path to becoming an educator has been unconventional, but I have confidence that I am exactly where God wants me to be- to teach, serve, and grow here at Immanuel. I am a 3rd generation educator and passionate about impacting the lives of young people in our community. I feel privileged to teach at a school where science and God are not in opposition to one another. I want students to see the majesty of God’s creation and be drawn into closer relationship with Him. Besides pointing students to Christ through our studies of life science, my goal is to make science fun, engaging and applicable to student’s lives.
Meet Mr Knaak:
Immanuel schools has a long standing tradition in my family. First, both my parents went to Immanuel Bible School after they had finished high school. Then, all three of their children, my two sisters and myself attended Immanuel Academy. All seven of my parent's grandchildren went to Immanuel High School. Next year, six of my parent's great-grandchildren will be attending Immanuel Schools. My dad was on the board, my sister taught here for a short time and now I am in my 51st year of teaching here. So what am I trying to say? Immanuel is deeply woven into the fabric of my life. (You should see my closet! There are many blue and white shirts and jackets)
My very biased opinion is that Immanuel is a very special place. I'm not talking about the buildings, though they are top notch. Many things have changed over the years, but the most important things have not. First and foremost this place was and still is founded upon the rock-Jesus Christ. God's Word is taught and studied. And we have a wonderful staff who love God and our students.
I have the wonderful privilege of teaching the Bible. God has graced me with a love for His Word. My greatest goal is to instill into my students a love for His Word also. God said "Study to show yourself approved under God. A workman that need not be ashamed. Rightly a dividing the word of truth." This command of God that must be taken seriously.
My wife Nancy and I have been married for almost 52 years. We have three children and 10 grandchildren. I tell people I have "the greatest job in the world" because #1, I teach Bible and #2, now that I'm "older", I teach half time.
I run into former students and their families practically everywhere I go. For me part of the "abundant life" is to be a part of the Immanuel family.
Meet Mrs. Kodman:
Hello Eagles and Families! My name is Kaila Kodman and I teach 8th grade English and Journalism. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a minor in communications from the University of Phoenix. I am so looking forward to my first year teaching at Immanuel. Prior to teaching at Immanuel, I had the wonderful opportunity to get to know many of our students while being on staff as the Student Ministries Support at Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church!
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Kyle, and our four children (our oldest two attend Immanuel), reading and journaling, and baking sourdough bread. My goals this school year are to facilitate strong relationships with students and their families, create opportunities for students to grow in their relationship with Christ, and to create a comfortable, yet constructive and effective learning environment where students will feel supported, motivated, and connected. I am prayer and excited for all the Lord has planned for all of us here at Immanuel this year!
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18
Meet Mrs. Laemmlen:
I am excited to be back teaching at Immanuel after a few years away! It is a joy to share my passion for Christ as well as baking, cooking, and sewing with students again.
I started sewing when I was 4 or 5, following the patterns by the pictures before I could read, and have enjoyed baking, sewing, embroidery and quilting all my life. I attended Immanuel after we moved to Reedley from Kansas, and then went to Fresno State. Early in college Mark and I got married, and I started working with the family fruit corporations as a bookkeeper. After our boys, Dustin, Nate and Jordan were born I was able to stay home with them, until I started teaching Home Ec and Foods here in 2002. In 2013 I felt the Lord leading me to work at MCC, first in the cafe, then in the quilt shop. During those years we welcomed 3 precious daughter-in-laws, Michelle, Tayler, and Amy. God has been so good!
My life verse would be Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...and be thankful.”
Meet Loren LeBeau:
I grew up in Fresno, and played college basketball at Fresno City College and Fresno Pacific University. I received my Bachelors from Fresno Pacific, my teaching credential from National University, and my Master's degree from Fresno State University. Upon graduation I began my coaching career, including time coaching high school level basketball at Edison, Clovis West, and Central High Schools. I also coached at the college level at Fresno State, Fresno City, and Pepperdine University. As a Head Coach, I led Central High with 3 T.R.A.C. Championships, two Valley Championship runner-ups, and three coach of the Year awards.
My resume and my references will tell you of my passionate work ethic, my ability to reach and inspire all types of people with diverse backgrounds, and my ability “win.” What neither one will tell you is that my life, in many ways, has been shaped through tragedy. My father committed suicide when I was twelve. At the age of 44, I was involved in a vehicular accident that took a life. As a result, I spent 79 months is state prison. And just recently, my brother’s oldest son took his own life. Ultimately however, it's not what I have been through that defines who I am, it's how I got through it that defines who I am today.
The “how” was a Father's love. I learned, in prison, that our Heavenly Father's love is the only love that can't change or be lost (Rm. 8:35). His love is the only thing like that. It was this revelation, this "good news" that has molded me into the man I am today. A man who was gracefully broken but rebuilt by the truth of the gospel. I never sought suffering. But it taught me to completely trust in God (Pr.3:5), and because I did that, I discovered a priceless joy, strength of character, and a power that can come in no other way. This kind of fight has led to a deeper desire to share the good news!
Sometimes when you're in a dark place and you think you've been buried, you've actually been planted. To be a leader and proclaimer of the gospel is my God-given duty. This is the responsibility God has laid at the doorstep of everyone who carries the title Christian. One day Paul was killing Christians, the next day he was a Christian. One day Peter was a fisherman, the next day he was a fisher of men. We shouldn't judge someone based on the "one day." If God can create the world in 6 days, He can surely create a new heart in one.
Life verse: Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end."
Meet Mr. March:
I live in Reedley with my wife, Eleni. We have four children: Dimitri, Alexis, Zoe, and Sophia, all alumni of Immanuel. I am a native of the Central Valley, born and raised in Kingsburg, graduating from Kingsburg High School and went off to graduate from Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., Canada with a B.A. degree in Biblical Studies. I completed my Masters Degree in Christian Ministries from Grand Canyon Theological Seminary. I came to Immanuel after spending some time in the military and serving as an Area Director of Young Life in Selma. I have taught at both the High School and the Junior High, currently the 7th and 8th Grade Bible teacher.
Meet Mrs. Martens:
There is definitely something special about this campus and community! Having lived in Reedley most of my life, I am accustomed to small town living, but there is nothing like the warm and comforting feeling you get from being a part of the Immanuel family. As an Immanuel Alumni, I am excited to teach here and also to have my two children attending the school. Go Eagles!!
I earned my BA and teaching credential at Fresno State. Throughout my career in education I have been fortunate enough to experience teaching many different grade levels. Each grade and age has its special characteristics. They are all unique and exciting in their own way.
As a young student, I really struggled with reading, but I excelled in mathematics, so I was able to keep afloat through my school years. As I ventured through my liberal studies courses, my eyes were opened as I learned all these fantastic phonics rules that I had, somehow, never been taught. It was a late bloom… but I blossomed into a reading fanatic! Because of my own experience, I have developed a passion for teaching young students to read and decode. We work hard everyday, striving to become confident readers, cultivating a love and desire for knowledge through the power of reading. And!! We get to do that with the Lord’s help. We get to talk and discuss and learn how our God is a part of everything we do, from learning sounds, to interacting with our classmates, to discussing His plan for our lives. We have the privilege to walk with Jesus together as we learn and grow!
Special verse: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Meet Mr. Merritt:
Hello my name is Josh Merritt, and I am the Choral and Performing Arts Director. I teach all High School Choirs, Drama, and Worship Funds. I also teach Jr. High Choir and Drama. I am an Alumni of Immanuel, and have my BA in Vocal Performance with an emphasis in Education from Fresno Pacific University. The Lord has blessed me by allowing my passion for serving Him and my love of music to flow together in everything I have done.
Along with my teaching experience, I have had the privilege of starting my own non-profit organization called Kingsburg Vocal Academy. I have also been blessed by becoming the Worship Pastor for Kingsburg First Baptist Church. Through everything the Lord has brought me through, His promises remain true, and it is evident to me that music can be such a powerful tool to bring glory to God. This is something I hope every student that I come into contact with will learn and understand before their time ends here at IHS.
My wife Chelsea (also an Immanuel Alumni), and I have 2 boys, Hudson and Dawson, and our baby girl will be here in October 2021. I love to sing and play guitar and piano in my spare time. I also have a deep love and passion for sports. Basketball and Football are sports I will play and/or watch anytime!
“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” - Proverbs 18:12
“Come, let’s shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation! Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving; let’s shout triumphantly to him in song.” - Psalm 95:1-2
Meet Mrs. Neal:
Welcome to kindergarten at Immanuel Elementary! I have been teaching kindergarten for many years and feel blessed
to have joined the Immanuel family in 2011. My husband and I live in Visalia where he teaches high school math. We
have three adult children and two sons-in-law. We love to spend time together as a family. We love sports, musicals,
museums, movies, reading, and spending time at the beach.
Your children are a precious gift and it brings me great joy to be their teacher!
In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven
belongs to such as these.”
Meet Mrs. Nesper:
Hi, my name is Maari (Gould) Nesper and I am so excited to be a part of Immanuel Schools! I was born in Shakopee, Minnesota, but have lived all over California for most of my life. I was born into a pastor’s family, so from the time I was five days old, I spent a lot of time at church, enjoying faith-based activities with my extended church family. During my junior high years, my father was led to lead a congregation in Tollhouse, a small mountain community. I attended Sierra High School and graduated in 1992. After high school, I began my college career at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. After graduating from CLU in 1996 with my bachelor’s degree in Theater and a music minor, I worked in youth ministry, serving junior high and high school students.
After 6 years, I felt the Lord calling me into education. I enrolled at Fresno Pacific University and received my Multiple Subject Credential in 2003. That summer, I was hired to teach at James Garfield Elementary School in Selma. I have spent 18 years at the same school; four years teaching 6th grade, one year in fifth grade, three years in kindergarten and intervention and nine years in first grade and the last two years in second grade. I found my true passion for education is teaching emergent readers, so in 2016, I decided to further my education and returned to Fresno Pacific as a student in the Master of Arts in Reading and Language Arts program. I received my reading specialist certificate in 2017 and my master’s degree in reading and language arts in 2018.
I met my wonderful husband, David Nesper on the worship team at the church where we attended in 2002 and we have been married since 2005. We have two beautiful girls: Claire and Ruby, as well as one handsome son; Levi. We moved to Selma in 2016, and love entertaining friends and family, playing music and swimming in our pool! The Lord put Immanuel on our hearts in 2019 and Ruby and Levi were enrolled in 2020. We soon discovered that Immanuel is such a special place that we also enrolled our oldest daughter, Claire. We are so blessed to be a part of what the Lord is doing in this community.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for in the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!” Galatians 6:9
Meet Mr. Nolen:
Hi, my name is Connor Nolen. I come from a family of four with three younger brothers. I grew up in a family of educators and coaches so I spent a lot of time on a school campus and attending sporting events when I was young. I grew up in Clovis, CA and attended Clovis North area schools. I played sports for most of my life. Cross country and track and field were my focus when I started high school. After high school, I was blessed with an opportunity to continue my education and run at the collegiate level at Fresno Pacific University on scholarship. In four years, I received my B.A. in Kinesiology from FPU. I completed one more year of graduate studies and received my teaching credential through FPU.
Following my completion of the credential program, I was hired in Madera Unified. I taught in Madera for three years as a physical education teacher and was a head coach for cross country. God opened a door for me to teach at Immanuel and I am beyond stoked to be a part of the Immanuel community, build a successful cross country program, and show my students the love that God has for them.
I am a proud member of VIA church in Fresno. I enjoy physical activities such as running and hiking. I like a good cup of coffee and listening to podcasts. I also like playing spikeball and taking trips to the beach, mountains and anywhere I can enjoy God’s creation.
Favorite verse: “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Meet Mr. Pinkard:
My name is Shane Pinkard. I was born in Santa Cruz County, California. I attended public schools in Scotts Valley from Kinder - 8th grade. From there, I transferred to Baymonte Christian High School in Scotts Valley, California. After completing my sophomore year, I transferred to Ethel High School in Ethel, Mississippi where my parents retired. I completed High School my Junior year and began attending Holmes Junior College. I completed my A.A. degree and transferred to Mississippi State University. I then completed my B.S. in Zoology with emphasis in Chemistry and Physiology. During this time I took Spanish as a foreign language. During my fourth semester course with the Department Chair of Foreign Languages, I was offered a full assistantship to continue studying Spanish and earn my M.A. Dr. Chatham, the Department Chair, helped me to go to Spain where I studied at the Universidad de Salamanca. I returned and began to teach at the college while completing my M.A. in Spanish. I am also married with two children. My wife is from Venezuela and my two children are involved with agriculture in the Central Valley.
After completing my education, I taught for two years in Philadelphia, Mississippi prior to returning to California. Upon returning to California, I taught Bilingual Education in Madera Unified School District. From there I worked in Fresno Unified School District, Golden Valley Unified School District, and Selma Unified School District. I taught Spanish and Science for about fourteen years in grades 7-12 and King’s River Community College and California State University-Fresno. I then went into administration in the public school system. I worked as a guidance counselor, Vice Principal at Middle School, and Principal at Middle and Elementary schools. I recently retired from the public school system and returned to teach Spanish at Immanuel. I am enjoying teaching at Immanuel and I continue to learn many new programs, procedures, and methods as I get to know my students and community. I am a Christian and I enjoy the climate that Immanuel offers to me and to students, and community. ¡Viva el español!
Meet Mrs. Ramming:
Hi, my name is Erin (Jost) Ramming. I grew up with my family in Dinuba and attended Kingsburg Mennonite Brethren Church. I attended Grand View Elementary in Dinuba and then went on to graduate from Immanuel Junior High and Immanuel High School. I then earned a BA in Mathematics, a single subject teaching credential and a master’s degree in education from Fresno Pacific University.
My husband, Glenn, and I have been married for almost 14 years and we have four kids: Emery, Kinsley, Adelynn, and Landon. Our girls have attended Immanuel Elementary for two years and Landon will join them in another year. I love to read a good book and be in the kitchen with my kids. As a family, we like to play games and take road trips. I have been a math teacher at Selma High School since the 2008-2009 school year and am excited God has led me to become a teacher at Immanuel. I am looking forward to working along fellow believers to help students not only learn math but to grow in their relationship with Christ.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
Meet Mrs. Regier:
Hello my name is Stella Regier. I have the pleasure of teaching Technology at Immanuel Elementary, and it truly is a joy to work here. I feel very blessed to be a part of the lives of our students and staff. Volunteering my time as a parent and having the privilege to substitute teach at Immanuel Elementary, has given me the opportunity to build relationships with students. Teaching kids has always been my heart and this opportunity to teach Technology skills is an honor to me. Being able to share my love for Jesus freely with students is the greatest bonus possible. I LOVE my job!
Teaching technology skills has proven to me that technology is the language of this generation. Instructing students to understand how to use, navigate, and manipulate technology safely is of the upmost importance. My job is to equip them with technology skills that they will carry for a lifetime.
My husband Brian and I have two children that attended Immanuel Elementary since they were in Kindergarten. We are committed to Immanuel Schools and feel blessed to be a part of the incredible community here!
Meet Mrs. Reimer:
My husband, Jay, and I live in the Dinuba countryside with our three dogs. I began working at Immanuel over twenty-five years ago, primarily as an English teacher. Currently, I am blessed to have the opportunity to interact with students as both a school counselor and as a teacher of AP Psychology.
Meet Mrs. Renney:
My name is Amanda Renney. I was born and raised in Orosi, California. As an Immanuel student I was active in the Immanuel Community, sports, and music.
After graduating from Immanuel High School, I attended Fresno Pacific University where I received my BA and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. My first teaching job was at Immanuel Elementary School as the 4th grade teacher. I have experience teaching a variety of grades in both private and public school.
My husband and I live in Reedley with our three girls, Ella, Adeline, and Marjorie. I love being outdoors, working in my rose garden, sports, coffee, and spending time with family. I am so excited that the Lord directed me back to Immanuel in 2020. Being a part of the Immanuel staff and community has been such a blessing to me and to my family.
Philippians 3:14 is a favorite bible verse: "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Meet Mrs. Roberts:
My name is Emily Roberts. I grew up in Reedley and attended local schools. It was when I was in 1st grade that I knew I wanted to become a teacher. After high school I went to Fresno State and earned my Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies and my Multiple Subjects teaching credential. After a few years of teaching I continued my education and received my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and earned my Administrative Services credential.
I taught for 10 years in a local public school and have been teaching at Immanuel since 2018. I am teaching 4th grade again this year and loving it. I am so blessed for the opportunity to teach at Immanuel helping students learn about God’s truth and developing their Biblical Worldview. The Immanuel community is such a special place to be a part of as a teacher and as a parent. It has been a wonderful experience and I am so thankful the Lord made it happen and He deserves all the Glory for it.
When I am not in school, my husband and I along with our kids love traveling to new places seeing God’s wonderful creations.
My favorite verses are from 1 Peter 5: 7 - Cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares for you and from Exodus 14:14 - The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Meet Mrs. Rogers:
My name is Kimberly Rogers and I’m ecstatic to be teaching 7th and 8th grade History this year. I’ve been in education since 2002 after I got my Teaching Credential in Social Studies at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA. My Bachelor's Degree is in History and Political Science and I also have a Master’s Degree in Education. Mostly I’ve taught 11th grade U.S. History and AP U.S. History, however, I started my career teaching Junior High and that has always remained my favorite age group to teach. It’s going to be a fun year getting back to 7th grade World History and 8th grade U.S. History!
I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I love its rich Spanish and Native American culture and great food. When I left for college, I had every intention of returning to Santa Fe, but God had other plans. While at Vanguard, I met my husband John (IHS Alumni) and after living in Orange County for many years we decided to move to the Central Valley to be near his family. It’s been interesting living in a rural agricultural area and I’ve learned a lot about small town living that I’ve really grown to cherish. I’m continually thankful the Lord brought us here to raise our family and for planting us in an awesome church. We love travelling around the U.S. and the world with our three children and showing them all the different people God has made and teaching them about the similarities and differences among His people. In the end, however, I love that we always get to come back to our little small town of Kingsburg.
James 1:22 - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Meet Mrs. Schletewitz:
Hi, my name is Teri Schletewitz. I grew up in Reedley and attended Reedley schools. After graduating from Immanuel High School, I attended Fresno State where I earned my teaching credential.
My husband Jeff and I live in Reedley and have 4 children.
Favorite verse: “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Meet Mrs. Sonksen:
Hi my name is Elisa Sonksen. I am blessed to be one of the new Agriculture teachers here at Immanuel. I come from a large family where I am one of five children. I grew up attending Kingsburg Evangelical Free church until high school when my family made the switch to Kingsburg Community church. That has been my church home ever since. I married my husband Trevor in 2009. The Lord has blessed us with three amazing kids. This is their third year here at Immanuel schools, Cameron is in 7th, Brooklyn 6th and Kennady is in 2nd grade.
I grew up in Kingsburg where I attended all Kingsburg schools K-12. During my years at Kingsburg High School I was an active member of the Future Farmers of America. I participated in many events at the local, regional and state level. The positive impact that FFA had on my life led me to pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Education-teacher preparation with a concentration in animal science. I enjoyed helping students find their love and passion for all things agriculture. In 2010 I felt the Lord calling me away from agriculture education in order to raise my family. It was such a blessing to have that opportunity and I enjoyed that precious time.
This school year I decided to get back in the classroom by substitute teaching at Immanuel. Which helped lead me to this position. I am so excited to be back in the classroom and to be able to share my love of Jesus and agriculture education with the students.
Special Verse: Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Meet Mr. Sorensen:
Hello, my name is Cole Sorensen, and I am excited to be teaching at Immanuel! I come from a family who loves Immanuel, and have been blessed with growing up in the Immanuel community. I’m an Immanuel graduate myself, from the class of 2013. I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree at Fresno Pacific University in Social Science Secondary Teaching, with a Political Science minor in 2017.
I student taught at Sanger High School, and completed the Teacher Credential Program through Fresno Pacific. I love what Immanuel represents, and am so grateful that God has called me to serve His kingdom through serving students and families at Immanuel.
Galatians 2:20 has been a verse that I have held closely to remind me of our ultimate purpose and identity in all that we do: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Meet Mrs Sorensen:
My name is Emily Sorensen and I am thrilled to be teaching 5th grade at Immanuel. I grew up in Kingsburg California and got my B.A. in Liberal Studies at Fresno Pacific University. I am married to my husband Cole who teaches at Immanuel High School. A few of my favorite things include chocolate, coffee, fall weather, and camping.
One of my all time favorite Bible verses is Joshua 1:9: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Meet Mrs. Suttles:
Hello! My name is Andrea Suttles and I was born and raised in Dinuba. My mother was an elementary school teacher, my dad was a full-time law enforcement officer and a part-time farmer. Our family was actively involved in the Dinuba First Assembly of God Church, as were my grandparents and great-grandparents. My mother taught at Monson-Sultana School, so my brother and I spent our elementary and middle school years there.
At Dinuba High School I was active in band and choir and volunteered at the local hospital. After high school I attended College of the Sequoias in Visalia and graduated from Fresno State. I soon married my husband, Tom and lived in multiple states during his career with Ford Motor Company. We have two sons, our oldest is employed in Kingsburg, our youngest is working on finishing his degree at the University of Arizona.
My husband has taken an early retirement and we are back in the valley after living and working a number of years in southern California. After many years of substitute teaching, I am thrilled to have my own music classroom in a private, Christian setting. God has been so good to our family and I am thankful for this opportunity to worship Him through music!
Favorite verse: Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2
Meet Mr. Thomas:
Hi my name is Luke Thomas. My personal goal is to teach adolescent students about the bible. Immanuel has been unique opportunity to do that while teaching social science classes from a Christian perspective. I also get to teach two advanced placement classes—Economics and World History. I love to learn and often tell my students that I wish I could go back to school.
I have a family that gets to benefit from the Immanuel Schools system. I have three children who are currently in the elementary school. We have many relatives that get to be a part of this school system and benefit from the Christian education provided.
As any of my students will tell you, I love board games and sports. I could probably teach you a board game if you came by.
Meet Mrs. Tienken:
Hello! My name is Lauren Tienken and I will be teaching third grade this year! I grew up in Easton on a ranch with my parents and two older siblings. All three of us Belt kids began attending Immanuel when I was in third grade, and we are all Immanuel graduates. It was during my high school years that I decided I wanted to pursue a career in education. After Immanuel, I attended Biola University and received my bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Theology. God truly paved the way for me to be at Immanuel again and I am beyond excited. I feel so blessed to be able to teach in such a wonderful, Christ-centered community.
I married my high school sweetheart in May. In our free time, my husband and I enjoy going to antique shops. I also love baking and drinking a good cup of coffee!
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock”. - Isaiah 26:3-4
Meet Mrs. Turner:
Hello, my name is Ashlee Turner. I am so excited to be a part of the Immanuel family. I grew up in Dinuba and attended Dinuba schools. Dinuba is also where I began my teaching career and taught kindergarten, third grade, and fourth grade for a total of 10 ½ years.
I attended Fresno State where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in criminology with an option in victimology. In my last semester of college I began substitute teaching and decided my heart was with children. Upon graduation, I earned my teaching credential through CalStateTEACH Fresno.
My husband Jared and I live in Kingsburg where we are raising our two daughters, Lia and Carly. I am truly grateful that God has blessed me with the opportunity to teach at Immanuel. Over the past year I have really leaned into Him and prayed for guidance, and He led me here. I look forward to an exciting year of new opportunities. May all glory be given to God.
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
Meet Mrs. VanLeeuwen:
Hello! My name is Deniele (Croissant) Vanleeuwen. I grew up in the Dinuba countryside where my father was an auctioneer and farmer while my mother worked alongside him. I spent many weekends working at our family auctions with my younger brother. I grew up attending Kingsburg Mennonite Brethren Church. I was enrolled at Grand View Elementary and Washington Junior High. Both of my parents attended Immanuel High School, so I was excited to also attend Immanuel for high school.
After high school I attended Fresno State University, and majored in Fine Arts. Several months later I purchased a retail store (Coffee & Candy) which I owned for ten years in Reedley, until I got married to my husband Todd Vanleeuwen. I am a mom blessed with three amazing children and honored to be raising two of them. My husband Todd and I reside in Kingsburg along with John and Rebecca, they both love going to Immanuel and are always keeping us on our toes. I love crafting, painting and being creative, which is why I was thrilled when God opened a door for me to teach Art and Yearbook at Immanuel High School. I am blessed to be a part of the supportive and caring Immanuel family. Working at Immanuel brings me much joy, comfort and above all the ability to talk about my love for our Lord and Savior!
Exodus 14:13-14 - “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, … The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Meet Mr. Villarreal:
Hi, my name is Anthony Villarreal. I am the eldest brother of four. My family and I grew up in Reedley. I attended Jefferson, Alta, Navelencia, and Reedley High School. After my freshman year at Reedley High, my family moved to Dinuba. I have always had a strong passion for God, baseball, math, and science. After I graduated from Dinuba High School, I continued my educational journey by attending Reedley College then Fresno Pacific University. While attending FPU, I received my B.A. in Liberal Studies and my teaching credentials in Teacher Education.
Most importantly, I have attended Orange Cove Christian Center since 2012 and shortly after dedicating myself to the Lord. He has given me a calling towards teaching. I am extremely grateful for receiving this opportunity to teach at Immanuel Elementary. I am excited to be in an environment that loves God, family, and community.
My wife, Samantha, and I are blessed with three wonderful children; Serenity, Anthony Jr., and Andre. We enjoy camping with family and friends.
Favorite verse: Isaiah 41:10 - "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."