Lisa has an Associate degree in Sign Language Interpreting and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She is also a writer and editor. Lisa loves introducing potential new families to Mission Hills Christian School and considers it a privilege to be a part of the MHCS team. Lisa has been married to Chip since 1983, and they have four kids.
Following pastorates in Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel, Pastor Mike became Mission Hills’ pastor of congregational care in July of 2008. Mike’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and graduate degrees in Biblical Counseling. Mike is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor with the International Board of Christian Counselors as well as a Licensed Professional Pastoral Counselor with the American Association of Christian Therapists.
Dayna Graveline is the mother of two girls who attend Mission Hills. She has a B.A in Communications from Vanguard University and has used her skills as a publicist and marketing professional for local agencies and freelance. Dayna, her husband Scott, and two girls attend The Bridge Church, RSM and she volunteers on the women’s ministry leadership team. She loves being on campus serving our parents and students.
Linda Faulkner has been working extensively with children for more than 37 years. She holds a Clear Multiple Teaching Credential from Concordia University Irvine and has taught Art in grades K-8 and 2nd grade. She enjoys sharing her love of Jesus with the children that she teaches and has a big heart for missions. She has traveled to Mozambique, India, and Nepal sharing His love to the children in those countries. When she isn’t teaching or on a mission trip she enjoys making jewelry, stained glass, and reading.
Joni Carruthers attended San Diego State University and majored in Child Development. She has over 30 years experience working with young children and considers it a priveldge to introduce children to Jesus. Joni has been married 32 years to her husband Paul and has two grown children, Karly and Kyle. She enjoyes taking her Border Collie, Sydney, for fast walks. Her favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Paola graduated in 2001 from Cerritos College. She majored in administration of justice with a minor in psychology. She currently is attending Saddleback College to receive her ECE units. She’s been married to her husband Mike since 2004, and they have two elementary age sons, Seth and Kyle. Paola has been serving in children’s ministries at The Bridge and the C&R program at MHCS for the past five years. She enjoys extreme sports and spending time with her three boys.
Gail Quickle started her career in early education in 1986. She attended Fullerton College and loves teaching the young child. She has been a part of the Mission Hills family for the past eight years. Gail and her husband Jim have four children −Andrew, Carly, Jeff, and Chloe − all of whom have attended or are still attending Mission Hills Christian School. Gail loves being able to share the excitement of God’s Word with her students each and every day! She feels blessed to be able to partner with great families as they nurture and direct their children to the Kingdom of God.
Mary Jane Merritt has been married since 1973 and has five adult children, all of whom attended MHCS, and four grandsons. Mrs. Merritt has taught at Mission Hills since 1989, teaching kindergarten since 1991. She enjoys teaching Bible stories and encouraging the students to have a closer walk with Jesus, as well as teaching reading and math and planning fun activities for the children.
Sharon was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1990 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Elementary Education and received her Master’s Degree in 1995 from Webster University-St. Louis in Multidisciplinary Studies. Sharon taught for 25 years in Missouri before recently moving to California. She has taught fifth grade and first grade. Sharon has been married to Devin since 1990 and they have two adult children- Katie and Jacob. She enjoys traveling, going to the beach and hiking trails. Sharon and her husband attend Saddleback Church.
Born and raised in Southern California, Mrs. Gulino graduated from UC Irvine with a B.A. in Social Ecology, an early childhood education specialization, and an elementary education teaching credential. Shortly after beginning her teaching career, Carrie married her high school sweetheart, Steve. Their children, Eric and Jessica, are both MHCS alums. Prior to becoming principal of MHCS, Carrie taught JK, kindergarten, and 2nd grade, and served as community relations representative as well as assistant to the principal.
Jenny received her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from UCLA. She then received her teaching credential and Masters of Education, also from UCLA. During her freshman year of college, she met her husband, Matt, and they married six years later. They have two adult children, Ryan and Kristen. Jenny has taught for over twenty years, both in public and Christian schools. She has taught first, second, third, and fifth grade. She lives in Irvine, where she attends Irvine Presbyterian Church. She loves hosting meals for her kids and their friends, hanging out with her family, and sharing Jesus with kids of all ages.
Alix Domino will be teaching 4th grade. Alix has a BA and MA in Education from Biola University, Multiple Subject Teacher Credential, and comes with high recommendation from her past schools (local private school and charter school). Alix is committed to her calling to be a teacher and recently shared that she is passionate about helping students through self-discovery, freedom of expression, and creativity.
Jodi and her husband Arlo, have two beautiful girls. Mrs. Svoboda has a passion for teaching, a good sense of humor and believes "education encompasses all aspects of life." Jodi comes with a BA in Psychology and a California teaching credential. She has a broad background in education teaching grades K-8. We are so blessed to have Mrs. Svoboda joining our faculty this year!
Danielle Power teaches Junior High Math. Danielle has a BS in Education from Oral Roberts University, Multiple Subject Teacher Credential, nine years teaching experience in charter school, private school and Christian school. In her interview, Danielle shared, "I have wanted to be a teacher since the first grade!"
Ms. Audrey Almeda will be our 7th/8th grade English/Language Arts teacher. Audrey comes to MHCS with wide range of gifts, talents and experience. She is first and foremost a committed believer in Jesus, a mom of five children and a lover of learning. Audrey has a BA in Liberal Studies, a California teaching credential and a Crosscultural Language and Academic Certificate. Ms. Almeda has taught all grades K-8, has been a Learning Coach, Math Tutor, and Educational Therapist. She is also an accomplished vocalist. It is a delight to welcome Ms. Almeda to our Jr Hi team this year.
Jodi was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated in 1986 from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and earned her teaching credential from CSUF in 1987. She has been married to Steve Dale since 1992. Jodi loves spending time and travel with her husband and their two grown sons, Bryce and Trent. They attend Saddleback Church. Jodi has been a regular classroom teacher at MHCS since 2011.
Kari has been in education since 1985. She graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and finished her education with a multiple-subject teaching credential. Kari taught in the public school system for 10 years as a science and math teacher in sixth grade and as a K-8 administrative staff developer in math and science. Kari’s passion is teaching junior high students and helping those students to realize the God given talents that they possess. Kari has been married to her husband Mark since 1989 and they have three children, Kiersi, Maddi, and Mason.
Yvonne was born and raised in Guatemala, Central America, and Spanish is her native language; however, being born to German parents and having attended international schools, she is fluent in Spanish, German and English. Yvonne, her husband Stephan, and her three sons Chris, Tim, and Michael, moved to California in 1996. Yvonne serves at MHCS as an instructional assistant in grades K-6 and as a Spanish teacher for grades K-8. It is her joy and passion to teach Spanish, and she prays that with the Lord’s help her students will gain a greater appreciation for the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
Jason Carson served in youth ministry for over 13 years and is currently Senior Pastor at Encounter Mission Viejo Church. He loves his family more than anything on the planet! He and his wife were married in 1998 and have four children- Halley, Lucy, Janie and Shane.
Jason is passionate about God, worship, family, seeing young people on fire for Jesus, friends, USC football, the Lakers, Frisbee golf, and Mountain Dew Baja Blast- available only at Taco Bell.
Mrs. Heatherdawn Wadleigh will serve as our Technology teacher this year. Heather and her husband Christopher came to Mission Hills last year when they enrolled their son, William, in Jr. Kindergarten. Heather's desire is to serve God, her family, and others. She is excited to teach students technology. Mrs. Wadleigh has a BS in Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, and Interactive Web Development.
Tracey Desmond, Musicals / JH Drama / Singing Saints
Tracey Desmond is a proud mom of Mission Hills alumni and has been serving at Mission Hills for several years in our Theater Arts department. Tracey is director of our school musicals, leads our students in Singing Saints, and is our Drama teacher.
Dawnell Viole graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1995 and has been in education since 2006. Since graduating from college, she has been in the physical fitness field and built her own personal training business as well as teaching physical education in a Christian school. In addition, she worked for the city of Mission of Viejo teaching various youth fitness programs to elementary and junior high students. Dawnell is an avid runner and enjoys mountain biking and water sports with her family. Outside of fitness, she enjoys reading, playing games with her family and going to LA Galaxy soccer games. She has been married to Tony since 1995 and has two boys, Nicholas and Christopher. Her favorite Bible verse is Romans 15:1-2 and she feels blessed to be able combine her love of sports and fitness with her faith in Christ.
Ellie has been an educator since 1956, starting her teaching career in New Jersey. She graduated from Newark State Teachers College, now Kean University, with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in special education. She has taught first through sixth grades with the exception of second grade. Since 1980 Ellie has served at MHCS in the classroom as a teacher, in administrative roles and, most recently, as librarian and keeper of student records. Ellie was married to Bill for 47 years.
Lindy was born and raised in Michigan. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 1990 from Grace College in Elementary Education with minors in Reading and Early Education. She has had extensive training in many strategies to ensure every student is successful. Lindy has taught 2 year olds-2nd grade in the traditional classroom, and has served all elementary grades as a resource teacher. This is her 28th year of teaching overall. When not hanging out with her friends, Lindy enjoys shopping, laying out by the pool and movies.
Sharon Duffy completed her 18th year serving students of Mission Hills Christian School in June 2016. She began as a parent volunteering and then working in C&R. Given her depth of understanding of how each child learns differently, she served as an instructional aide. Sharon began tutoring students in 2002, and has been in demand as a private tutor ever since. One of her gifts is to substitute teach for MHCS in any and all grade levels. Between tutoring, substitute teaching, and her summer program to help sixth grade students bridge to junior high, Sharon is a dynamic part of the MHCS family.
Scarlett Gamino has worked at Mission Hills since 2015. She is currently finishing up her AA at Santiago Canyon College with a Psychology Major. She will be transferring next Fall at University of California Irvine to get her Bachelor in Psychology and Social Behavior and Minor in Sociology. She enjoys hanging out with her dog and going to the movies. She enjoys working at MHCS because every day she is surrounded by friends.
Lucy Jones has worked at Mission Hills since 2005. She has been married to Roger since 1998, and they have two sons who have both attended Mission Hills. Lucy enjoys working at MHCS because every day she is surrounded by friends.
April Roche graduated from Salem State College with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She started her teaching career in 1989. April was blessed to take time off to raise her children. During that time, she has been a substitute teacher for Mission Hills and is excited to be officially on staff! She loves children and especially loves to be able to teach them about Jesus. April has been married to her husband Dave for 15 years and is blessed to have three wonderful children who currently attend Mission Hills.
Dominic is a native Californian who has been overseeing all of the facilities for MHCS and the Bridge Church since 2013. He has been married for 16 years and has two wonderful sons. Dominic loves hiking and camping with his family and friends. You can see his passion for the Lord evidenced through the variety of skills he brings to our school facilities.
Joanne graduated from UCI with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics then went on to receive her multiple subject teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach. She is experienced in teaching both 2nd and 3rd grades at Mission Hills. She is married to Jery, and they have two wonderful children, Jeffrey and Jamie, who both attend Mission Hills.
Stephanie has been married to her high school sweetheart Nick since 1992. They have four children − Nikolas, Jakob, Luke and Mikah Rose − all of whom have attended or are currently attending MHCS. One of Stephanie’s favorite things about being at Mission Hills is that it is more than a job – it’s a ministry. The Lord uses our diverse gifts and talents to bless the students, families and staff.
Lynda Armstrong completed her 25th year at Mission Hills Christian School in June 2013. She has been the JK aide, first grade teacher, administrative assistant, principal’s secretary, and now the office manager. Mrs. Armstrong has been married to her husband, Rick, for over four decades. Their four children all graduated from Mission Hills, as have three of their eleven grandchildren and three currently attend. She loves taking care of the students, parents, and teachers and can’t imagine working anywhere else.
Wendy Northrup was born and raised in Southern California. She has been married to her husband John for 20 years and has 1 child currently attending Mission Hills and 1 MHCS graduate. Her hobbies include reading, graphic design, art, gardening, and many outdoor sports. She has enjoyed working at Mission Hills since 2011, and cherishes the many friendships she has made here.
Frances was born and raised here in Southern California and graduated from CSU San Bernardino with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. She has continued her education with a certification in human resources from UC Irvine, and most recently has attended Saddleback College to earn early childhood education credits. Frances has worked in various capacities on CSU and UC campuses including administrative assistant, student accounts, credential analyst, admissions & records and payroll/HR. Frances has been married to her husband David for 16 years, and they have three children attending MHCS. Some of her favorite things are spending time with her family and friends, reading, enjoying the outdoors, and chocolate.