Meet our Teachers


At Providence Christian Academy, our teachers:

  • equip students with a Christian world and life view.

  • are committed to being an extension of the Christian home.

  • help children develop a healthy personality and form Christian values, preparing them for a life of service in the Kingdom of God.

Mrs. Melodie McKenzie


Mrs. Melodie McKenzie serves as the Principal of Providence Christian Academy. She also teaches fifth and sixth grade Math. She holds B.A. degrees in Bible and Elementary Education from Appalachian Bible College and an M.A. in Teaching from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. Prior to coming to Providence, Mrs. McKenzie was a principal at a Christian school in Illinois. Mrs. McKenzie and her husband, Rob, attend Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Valerie Knoll


Mrs. Valerie Knoll teaches Kindergarten, as well as third grade Composition and fifth grade Spelling. Mrs. Knoll was a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled her children through high school prior to teaching at Providence. She had her husband, Rick, have four adult children and attend Faith United Reformed Church.

Mrs. Ashley Noffsinger

1st - 2nd Grade

Mrs. Ashley Noffsinger teaches first and second grades, as well as Kindergarten Science. Mrs. Noffsinger earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Baylor University. Before coming to teach at Providence, she was an outdoor science educator at a Christian camp in Texas. Mrs. Noffsinger and her husband, Jarred, attend Community United Reformed Church.

Mrs. Doris Trester

3rd - 4th Grade

Mrs. Doris Trester teaches third and fourth grades, as well as fifth grade Bible and Science. She holds B.A. degrees in Education and History with a Minor in English from Trinity Christian College. Mrs. Trester worked in Chicago prior to teaching at Providence. She and her husband, Scott, have adult children and attend Oak Glen United Reformed Church.

Mrs. Louise Wright

5th - 6th Grade

Mrs. Louise Wright teaches fifth and sixth grades, as well as seventh and eighth grade Latin. She earned an M.A. in Modern and Medieval Languages from Cambridge University. Mrs. Wright previously homeschooled her children and taught Latin at a classical Christian school in Illinois. She and her husband, Iain, have five children, including one current PCA student. The Wright family attends Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Elizabeth Porte

7th - 8th Grade

Mrs. Elizabeth Porte teaches seventh and eighth grades. She holds a B.S. in Education from Nortern Illinois University. Before coming to teach at Providence, Mrs. Porte served as the Principal at Unity Christian School in Momence, IL. She and her husband, Tony, have six adult children and attend Faith United Reformed Church.

Mrs. Marjorie Colvin

5th - 8th Choir

Mrs. Marjorie Colvin teaches fifth through eighth grade Choir. She holds a B.A. in Music Education from North Park College. Prior to teaching at Providence, she taught junior high music and choir at a Christian school in Illinois and taught (still teaches) piano lessons. Mrs. Colvin and her husband, Fred, have four adult children and attend Oak Glen United Reformed Church.

Mrs. Kim Darling


Mrs. Kim Darling teaches seventh and eighth grade Drama. She earned B.A. degrees in English Education and Theater from Dordt College. Mrs. Darling previously taught high school drama, literature, and writing at a Christian school in Illinois. She and her husband, Luke, have three children, all of whom attend Providence. The Darlings attend Redeemer United Reformed Church.

Shari Spoolstra


Shari teaches first through fifth grade art and has a B.F.A. focusing on interior architecture and design from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. She worked in various capacities within the building and design industry for over 10 years and is now excited to share her love of art with the students at Providence Christian Academy. Shari and her husband have 3 children, 2 of whom attend Providence. The Spoolstras attend Redeemer United Reformed Church.


Mrs. Karese Gephart


Mrs. Karese Gephart teaches first through eighth grade P.E. She holds a CPT through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Mrs. Gephart coached dance/cheer and was a Personal and Group Fitness Trainer prior to teaching at PCA. She and her husband, Cary, have four children, three of whom attend Providence Christian Academy. The Gephart family attends Cottage Grove Christian Reformed Church where Cary is the pastor.

Ms. Leann Lange

K-4th Music

Ms. Leann Lange teaches Kindergarten through fourth grade Music. Ms. Lange holds B.A. degrees in Music and Physical Education from Dordt College and a Masters degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music. Ms. Lange previously taught Music, P.E., 3rd grade, and Language Arts in the public school system. She attends Oak Glen United Reformed Church.

Mr. Ed Vander Woude


Mr. Ed Vander Woude teaches eighth grade Logic.  He has B.A. degrees in History and Education from Trinity Christian College, an M.A.L.S. from Valparaiso University, as well as postgraduate work at Purdue University. Mr. Vander Woude taught History, Civics, and World Area Studies for 33 years in a public school prior to coming to Providence. He and his wife, Linda, have five adult children and attend Lynwood United Reformed Church.

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