- Trish Anderton
- Cathy Angelo
- Suzanne Asman
- Heidi Ayers
- Matt Ayers
- Lauren Belt
- Sean Bennett
- Ashley Bese
- Ben Certain
- Karin Deaver
- Ben Dillon
- Marshall Dinkins
- Scott Drake
- Melanie Efird
- Brittany Farinelli
- Jacquie Fernandez
- Katie Ferreira
- Coleen Friesen
- Leeann Friesen
- Dan Goetz
- Hannah Goetz
- Karen Goetz
- Tisharra Gunlund
- Amber Gutierrez
- Melissa Hillner
- Corey Hoover
- Brenda Horton
- Cheyenne Huerta
- Joseph Ibanez
- Pamela James
- Justina Johnson
- Adrian Jump
- Don Knaak
- Janet Laemmlen
- Jeff March
- Yvonne Martens
- Sarah Martinez
- Josh Merritt
- Becky Neal
- Maari Nesper
- Shane Pinkard
- Stella Regier
- Linda Reimer
- Amanda Renney
- Jerolyn Robbins
- Emily Roberts
- Kimberly Rogers
- Kenna Sandberg
- Allison Schellenberg
- Ericka Solorio
- Cole Sorensen
- Emily Sorensen
- Luke Thomas
- Ashlee Turner
- Deniele Vanleeuwen
Meet Mrs. Anderton:
I have lived in the San Joaquin Valley all of my life. I was born and raised in Tulare, California and am the youngest of five children. I have lived in Fresno for the last twelve years. I am married and have two daughters, a step-daughter, and a step-son, who are all amazing individuals! They have blessed us with three grandsons and one granddaughter who bring us much joy.
Teaching is my second career. Before I became a teacher, I worked at Fresno Pacific University helping others plan their paths to becoming educators in general and special education. After witnessing their excitement about becoming teachers, I finally decided to step-out in faith and do the same. It has been a great adventure!! Although my path to teaching has taken longer than most, I know God has provided me experiences and guidance along the way that brought me to this point. I am so thankful for it all!! Prior to coming to Immanuel, I taught in a special day class at Wawona Middle School for Fresno Unified, then most recently as an RSP teacher at Granite Ridge Intermediate in Clovis Unified.
I hold a B.A. degree in liberal arts, an M.A. degree in leadership and organizational studies, and a special education credential, all from Fresno Pacific University.
When I am not teaching, I love to work in my garden, bake bread, read, and spend time hiking in the mountains or walking on the beach with my husband. I love tacos, old-fashioned popcorn, dark chocolate, and a good cup of coffee.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” - Psalm 32:8
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. 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.
Our calling to Immanuel didn’t end with me. My husband, Matt, is also a teacher here, and we have children who are a part of the Immanuel family. When we aren’t teaching or watching Eagles’ sporting events, we are working to fix up an old house nearby, and we enjoy going to the beach as a family.
Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Meet Mr. Ayers:
My name is Matthew Ayers and I teach because God has called me to do so. I enjoy getting to know students, learning about their future goals and plans, and hopefully, teach them a little about the Bible or mathematics along the way. I have spent the majority of my teaching career in the public school setting. God called me to Immanuel after spending most of my career in Dinuba with short stops in Hanford and Visalia.
I have a wife (Heidi) who also teaches at Immanuel High school and 4 children. They are the people I enjoy spending the most time with. However, I have been known to frequent many athletic events, musical presentations, and drama productions to support my students.
I don't always know what God's plan is for my life, but I trust that God does.
He says, "I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
Meet Ms. Belt:
Hello! My name is Lauren Belt 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. This is my first year of teaching and I can’t wait to get started! I feel so blessed to be able to teach in such a wonderful, Christ-centered community.
I am engaged to my high school sweetheart, and we’ll be getting married in May! For most of the year I’ll be Miss Belt, but the last week of school I’ll be Mrs. Tienken! In my free time, I enjoy going to antique shops with my fiance. 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 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 Mrs. Bese:
Hello! I’m Ashley Bese, and I'm thrilled to be teaching sixth grade at Immanuel Elementary School. My educational experiences have solidified my calling to become a teacher, and I thank you advance for letting me share the joy of learning with your students. When I'm not in the classroom, I am most often reading, sketching, exploring, or eating ice cream.
The Immanuel family is a community of believers who hold each other up through all circumstances, and in my classroom, we learn to emulate that sense of community as we grow to be a family. I firmly believe that every new day is a chance for a fresh start, and that some of the most important lessons your children will learn at school have nothing to do with textbooks and worksheets. I plan to provide a challenging, exciting, and achievable academic year for your kids, and I am excited to partner with you as we step out in faith and place the year in the Lord’s hands. Feel free to contact me as the need arises, and know that I will do my best to stay in frequent communication with you throughout the school year.
“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. Certain:
Hello! My name is Benjamin Certain and I’m excited to share music with elementary students at Immanuel Schools. I attended University High School where I developed a passion for music theory, accompanying, and choir, and later graduated from Fresno Pacific University with a degree in music where I triple emphasized in performance, composition, and education.
After graduating from college, I spent the last eight years accompanying, arranging, and often vocal coaching for elementary, middle, and high school choirs in a variety of school districts including Central, Selma, and Fresno Unified. I worked the last five of those years at Fresno Christian Schools where I enjoyed a rich musical environment in which everyone could openly sing praises to God.
Through my accompanying experiences, choral directors, adjudicators, and school administrators encouraged me to pursue a teaching credential. I did so through Fresno Pacific and am happy to be working with students at Immanuel Schools.
My passions include: helping students discover their inner musician, composing new music, playing piano, and collaborating with other musicians.
My beautiful wife Deanna teaches AP Calculus and Math 3 Honors at Buchanan High School. She is also musically talented as a flautist, and we enjoy putting together a duo whenever possible. When we are not lesson planning or working on home projects we enjoy frisbee golfing, traveling, and playing with our cat Shrek.
“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.” - Colossians 3:16
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 Mr. Dillon:
Hi, my name is Ben Dillon. I was born in Exeter California and attended Exeter Union High School. I've always been really close to my family and have tried to model myself after them in a lot of ways. Both of my parents were teachers for 20 plus years in the elementary classroom and my father was head baseball coach at Exeter High School for a short time. I also have a sister who is married and who just had my first nephew which is really exciting. He's about the cutest kid I've ever seen. My family has always been a strong family of faith which has benefited me greatly throughout my lifetime. We grew up going to First Missionary Baptist Church in Exeter California. I was saved around the age of ten and was baptized soon after as a public profession of my faith in Christ Jesus.
After graduating high school I attended CSU Fresno where I majored in English. I then studied English at the University of London thinking I wanted to be a writer, but God called me to other things. I started coaching high school football for my former Head Coach Robert Dougherty which made me realize I wanted to give back to kids for a living in the realm of teaching and coaching. I then transferred my units to Brandman University where I graduated with my bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies and then passed my Single Subject CSET's for Physical Education to be able to teach PE at any grade level. I taught PE for 2 years at Valley Life Charter school as the lone PE teacher for 1st-8th grade students. I truly believe God has opened the door for me to have the blessing of teaching at Immanuel Schools. It is a family atmosphere with the most supportive staff, administration and community that I've ever been a part of. All these things are only possible because Christ is at the head of this school.
I currently reside in Exeter with my brother/sister English Black Labs Homer and Mia. I enjoy biking in the foothills, golfing, weight lifting, and coaching a number of sports. I love spending time at the Coast and at the golf course with family and friends. God Bless.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." - Philippians 4:6
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever" - Psalm 118:1
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 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. 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 Ms. Goetz:
Hi, my name is Hannah Goetz and I currently teach Junior High English. I grew up in the Immanuel community and am so thankful to be able to teach and invest in the place that played a major role in shaping who I am today. After watching the impact Immanuel had on myself and so many of my friends, I knew I wanted to become a teacher myself.
I received my degree in English and History from Texas A&M University. I taught High School English and worked in children's safe homes in Texas before returning to the Reedley area. Since moving back, I have had the opportunity to teach upper Elementary, High School, and Jr. High at Immanuel while being involved in similar ministries to the one I worked at in Texas. I am so passionate about the age group of kids that I get to work with everyday. I love watching students learn, grow, and think for themselves. I love that I get to be a part of helping them learn to analyze literature, think for themselves, and develop their ability to communicate their thoughts and opinions. It is a privilege to partner with their families in helping them grow academically, as individuals, and believers.
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 First Grade for 19 years, 15 with Kings Canyon here in Reedley and the other four years in Texas. This is my second year teaching at Immanuel Schools 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 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 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 grateful to be a part of the Immanuel family! I grew up in Fowler and taught 1st grade there for ten years. After that, I decided to stay home with my own children.
My husband Adam and I now live in Kingsburg with our three children, Gavin, Olivia, and Colette. I spent the last three years as a substitute teacher for the Kingsburg Charter School District. I was also an AWANA leader and I teach Sunday School at our church, First Baptist, in Kingsburg.
It is a huge blessing not only for our kids to attend school at Immanuel, but for me to be able to teach here as well.
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” Psalm 91:4
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 48th 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. This years school theme is "be transformed". Being transformed into the image of God will not happen unless we spend serious time "rightly dividing the Word of truth."
My wife Nancy and I have been married for almost 48 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. 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 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:
Hello, I am Yvonne Martens, and I am so happy to be here at Immanuel. There is definitely something special about this campus and community! As an Immanuel Alumni, I am excited to teach here and also to have my child attending the school. Go Eagles!!
I was born and raised in Reedley. My husband and I have been married fourteen years, and we have been blessed with two little ones. They are precious and keep us on our toes.
I have had the opportunity of teaching many different grade levels throughout my career in education. Each grade and age has its special characteristics; they are all unique and exciting in their own way. As a young student, I struggled with reading. It did not become something I loved until college. Because of my own experience, I have developed a passion for teaching young students to read and decode, so that they can become confident readers, as well as cultivate a love and desire for knowledge through the power of reading. I am excited to be a part of the first grade team, and look forward to getting to know these little first grade sweeties!
1 Peter 3:8, "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."
My prayer for myself and my students, is to be vessels that reflect the Glory of Our God, that we might overflow with sympathy, compassion, humility, and love. It is a beautiful thing to watch this unfold in the lives of six and seven year olds. I know it will be an absolute blessing for me to experience!
Meet Ms. Martinez:
My name is Sarah Martinez and I have a passion for furthering students' knowledge and skills in the science and sports medicine industry through hands-on learning and experiences. I was born and raised in Fresno, CA where I attended Clovis North High School. While there, I was actively involved in water polo, swimming and sports medicine. I developed a passion for teaching and educating others about athletic training. Upon graduating from high school, I attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona where I received my Bachelors of Science Degree in Athletic Training.
I have been at Immanuel since the 2019-2020 school year. From the time I started at Immanuel, I knew this was right where God intended for me to be. I enjoy the family atmosphere and working with others who are also passionate about educating young minds. When I am not teaching or doing athletic training, I enjoy drinking coffee, crafting, working out, and spending time with my family.
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! My name is Becky Neal and I have been teaching kindergarten for many years. My husband and I live in Visalia where we raised our three children. We love to spend time together as a family. We love sports, musicals, traveling, and spending time at the beach.
I feel truly blessed to be a part of the Immanuel family. 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 have one older sister, a younger brother and a younger sister. 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 my most recent year with 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 Literacy 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 excited to join the Immanuel family and we feel 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. 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. 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. Robbins:
Hello, my name is Jerolyn Robbins. I am a local girl, originally from Kingsburg, and I graduated from Immanuel High School. After graduating from Immanuel, I continued my education at Fresno Pacific College where I received my degree in English Single Subject Teaching. Several years later, I continued my education at Fresno Pacific and earned a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to take a long-term sub position at Immanuel in the spring of 2007, and over the summer of that same year, I was then offered a job teaching English at Immanuel Jr. High. I have taught English in grades 7-12 over the course of my time at Immanuel. I am currently teaching Sophomore English, American Literature, Senior English, and AP Language and Composition.
Author and educator Nancie Atwell said, “…freedom to choose and time to read in school are not luxuries. They are the wellspring of student literacy and literary appreciation.” I began teaching because I wanted to share my love of reading with students. Not only am I able to share my love of reading with my students, but I also get to share my love of Jesus. It is a wonderful experience to teach while having the freedom to incorporate God’s word into the lesson at any time. It is truly a blessing to be a part of the Immanuel teaching staff.
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 BA in Liberal Studies and my Multiple Subjects teaching credential. After a few years of teaching I continued my education and received an MA in Curriculum and Instruction. Currently, I am pursuing my Administrative Services credential.
I am teaching 4th grade again this year and loving it. 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 the last few years and I am so thankful the Lord has brought me here.
The Lord has really been working in me these last few years more than ever and has provided more than I could have imagined by opening and closing opportunities for me to be here. It was the Lord who made this happen and not me and He deserves all the Glory for it. I am so thankful for the Lord's sweet, sweet love He has for me to give me this opportunity to teach and to teach about Him at Immanuel.
When I am not in school my family and I love traveling to new places seeing God’s wonderful creations.
Cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5: 7
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
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 Ms. Sandberg:
My name is Kenna Sandberg and I have a passion for furthering students' knowledge and skills in the agriculture industry through hands-on learning. I was born and raised in Sanger, CA where I attended Sanger High School. There, I was actively involved in the FFA Chapter and developed a passion for teaching others about the agriculture industry. Upon graduating high school, I attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where I received my Bachelors and Masters Degree in Agriculture Education.
I have been at Immanuel since the 2020-2021 school year. From the moment I started here at Immanuel, it has felt like home. I love the family atmosphere and working with individuals who are also passionate about educating young minds. When I am not teaching or advising students in the FFA program, I enjoy hiking, riding horses, visiting coffee shops, and spending time with family.
A favorite verse for students to live by is: Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in wood or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Meet Mrs. Schellenberg:
I am excited to be a part of what God is doing within the Immanuel community! The Lord has been faithful in leading me on this exciting adventure to Immanuel. I am originally from Hutchinson, Kansas, where my parents and younger sister still live. I attended Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in elementary education. After three years of teaching in Kansas, God began to open up doors for me to teach at Immanuel. I felt Him calling me to serve in a place where the gospel is the core of education. I am currently living in Reedley with my husband Kelyn. I enjoy leading Immanuel’s elementary student council, in addition to staying active, spending time with friends, and traveling when I get the chance!
Through teaching fourth grade, my goal is to prepare students for success in their future academic careers. I desire for them to be caring, contributing members of God’s Kingdom. We will use the Common Core Standards as a guideline for our learning and employ technology, collaboration, lecture, discussion and exploration to achieve our goals in all subject areas. There will be opportunities to explore outside the classroom through field trips to the Sierra Endangered Cat Haven, Columbia Gold Rush town, and Moaning Caverns.
I am looking forward to a wonderful year in 4th grade and am continually reminded of 1 Timothy 4:12. It says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
Meet Mrs. Solorio:
I have been working at Immanuel since the 2017-18 school year. I am the JH and HS principals assistant and the Head Cheer Coach (when we have a season), and this year the ASL Teacher.
Before this year started I was heartbroken when I found out that there was no ASL teacher. It was a hidden secret that I knew sign language. I started learning ASL in 6th grade at a private/christian school called Cathedral Christan School . When I got into Junior Highat Immanuel, our bible teacher had us learn a few songs in ASL for different events. So when I got into college I continued to learn ASL. It was pretty amazing because my teacher was actually deaf. Such a great opportunity. I would interpret for church and talk to the deaf community that was involved there. It was so great to be able to be the ”Bridge” between the deaf and hearing world.
I wanted the students here at Immanuel who had already started learning ASL to continue on this path. So I talked with Mr. Goertzen to see if there was a possibility that I could help in this area where there was a need; and because of the position that I already had as his assistant. At first I was a little nervous, hesitant and honestly not 100% sure that I could handle it all. But my GOD never gives me more than I can handle.
I am so honored and blessed that I have been able to teach this year. Praying for each of my students in my classes that the Lord will use them in a mighty way and allow them to become the “BRIDGE” between the deaf and hearing world.
I love the Immanuel community, and enjoy having all 3 of my kids on campus: Jordan (9th grade), Cameron (7th grade) and Aubrey (4th grade).
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 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. 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.”