2019 – 2020 Faculty


MA in Educational Administration from Cal State San Bernardino and National Board Certification: Married to my best friend for 28 years and blessed with our 2 miracles Emily and Ty (it’s a great story). After teaching in public schools for over 20 years, it is exciting to follow God’s calling to join the LCS family. Kinder has always been my favorite grade because there is so much growth in such a small period of time. It is a fun and playful atmosphere and is always rewarding to see things through the eyes of a 5-year-old. I look forward to sharing Jesus with them and seeing Jesus in and through them. I enjoy cooking, cake decorating, camping and walking on the beach with my family and our English Bulldog, Drax.

BA in Liberal Studies/ Education with emphasis in Psychology and Reading Instruction from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego:  I was born and raised in Gig Harbor, WA and in 2003 I married my husband John.  We have four children and all of them are students at Lighthouse.  I love playing sports, being creative and spending time with family and friends.  I feel so honored to join the Lighthouse faculty this year and look forward to making lasting memories with my students and their families.  I have loved Jesus most of my life due to faithful parents and teachers who poured truth into my life.  I am humbled to be a small part of the faith and educational journeys of my Kindergarten class this year.  One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Matthew 19:14.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”  The little children are so important to Jesus and I just love being able to spend my days watching them discover and grow into who God creates them to be.

BA in German and Psychology and a Professional Diploma in Education from University College Cork, Ireland: Born and raised on the southern coast of Ireland. I moved to Germany fresh out of college, where I taught mainly troubled youths and refugees in the public schools. In the summer of 2016, I was invited to visit friends in Port Orchard. Soon after, I met my now husband while attending a Bible study. We married in Ireland last June and shortly after I had the privilege of moving to this beautiful state to be with my best friend. I am excited for this new adventure and have no doubt that this will be a wonderful year. I am passionate about teaching and believe that it is my greatest calling in life. I agree with W. B. Yeats when he said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

BA in Early Childhood and Family Studies from the University of Washington, and currently studying through WGU for Masters Degree in Elementary Education:  Born and raised in Port Orchard, WA, I married my high school sweetheart.  We have three adult children and a son in high school. I am excited to utilize my experience and education to provide high-quality, research-based instruction and strategies in purposeful play, equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to become “Big Thinkers” who are on the road to academic success and a lifelong love of learning. My role here at LCS is as a humble servant who has been entrusted with the responsibility of sharing the Good News of Christ’s salvation with the next generation of leaders. My hope is they will lean on God’s Word and believe, “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.”

First Grade

BS in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University: My husband Kelly and I recently celebrated 10 years of marriage. We live less than a mile from my husband’s childhood home and are so blessed to be raising our 3 children in this community. My teaching experience started in preschool and while I love all ages, lower elementary is where my heart lies. It is a privilege to be a part LCS creating a foundation for lifelong learners who are eager and curious about God’s world. In my free time, I enjoy reading, knitting and road trips with the kids.

B.A. from Oakland University and Michigan State, M.A. from Cal. State: I began teaching in inner city Los Angeles then to went on to Shantou University in China. I have been with Peninsula School District since moving to WA with my husband and children. Our family has been deeply blessed and enriched by having our kids attend at Lighthouse and I am thrilled to be part of this amazing community. I love sharing the wonders of God’s world with kids in fun ways and helping them grow in the potential He has given them. My husband and I enjoy reading about history, swimming, and traveling.

BA and Teaching Certificate from the University of Washington, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction/Arts Integration from Lesley University, and Principal/School Administrator Certification from Seattle Pacific University: My career in education began in 2002. After teaching at the elementary level in the Sumner and Steilacoom school districts, I was called into school administration. I have served in a variety of administrative roles: National Board Cohort Facilitator through PLU, Highly Capable Program Coordinator, Title I Coordinator. Most recently, I served for 5 years as an Assistant Principal in the Clover Park School District in a high needs school where I was blessed to work alongside and support families living in high poverty situations. I am now beyond thrilled to follow God’s calling to return to teaching and give back to the LCS community, that has blessed my own family over the past 6 years. My son, Brayden, and daughter, Jillian, both have attended Lighthouse since kindergarten. Outside of LCS, our family loves to travel, have family game nights, and you can always catch us on the soccer field!

Second Grade

BA in Elementary Education from Luther College in Decorah, IA & Fifth Year from the University of Washington: Teaching has been my lifelong passion. I love the energy the children exude. They are a constant reminder of the greatness of God! My husband (of 41 yrs.) and I have two grown sons, who are practicing Chiropractors in the area, and one daughter-in-law. I enjoy walks, gardening, getting together with family and friends, and the quiet solitude of my home “in the woods.

Masters Degree in Education from Bethany University: My husband, Ben, and I were born and raised in California. We moved to Washington to be part of a church plant. We have loved exploring the immense beauty of the Pacific Northwest! We have two young boys, Noah and Theo. I truly feel blessed to work at a school and job that I love!

BA in Education from Central Washington University: I began my teaching career at Bonney Lake Elementary. I then stayed home to raise 3 lovely daughters who have now all graduated from college: twins Anni and Josie from WSU, and the youngest Ellie from Texas Christian University. Last year our family grew when Josie married Ian, a wonderful man she met at her church while at WSU. I fell in love with Lighthouse when our twins began 1st grade with Mrs. Newton.  Ellie soon followed starting Kindergarten with Mrs. Otis (all graduating 8th grade from LCS). I began teaching Kindergarten soon after, and am currently teaching 2nd grade – I have taught here for 18 years!  My husband Gene and I have been married 32 years.  We love to vacation as a family and spend time together. Children are our most important resource – and so very special to Jesus!  Matthew 19:13-14 “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Third Grade

EdD in Education with emphases in Educational Administration and Global Education (Seattle Pacific University), MA in Education with teaching certification (Pacific Lutheran University), BA in Christian Education, BA in Youth and Family Ministry, AA in Biblical Studies (Trinity Lutheran College):  My passion for teaching is directly linked with my passion for learning!  I was born and raised in Washington State and have had the privilege to teach in a variety of interesting settings.  I spent four years teaching at a secondary school for girls from the Maasai tribe in Tanzania, East Africa; I taught at the most remote school in the lower 48 states; and, I taught in a maximum security youth prison.  I am thrilled to be teaching at Lighthouse, a school where I can weave my faith into my teaching and daily interactions with students, families, and colleagues.

BA in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Literacy from Eastern Washington University: I’m overjoyed to be back at the school where I attended K-8th grade, but this time as a teacher! I’m passionate about teaching my students the love of Jesus and the skills they need to be successful in academics and life. I enjoy hiking, running, freelance writing, blogging, swimming, and adventuring in the beautiful outdoors with my husband/best friend.

BA and Teaching Certificate from Seattle Pacific University and a Masters in Reading and Literacy from City University: During my time as a teacher I have enjoyed teaching Kindergarten, First Grade, Third Grade, and being a Reading Teacher. Before coming to LCS, I worked for the public school system. I am so excited to be teaching at Lighthouse. I love being able to share my faith and love for learning with my students. Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and four kids!

Fourth Grade

Masters Degree of Education from University of Washington – Tacoma: I’ve spent time working in public schools, a charter school, and other private schools, on the East Coast, the jungles of Central America, and in the Gig Harbor area, and with that said, teaching at Lighthouse Christian is the best. Apart from school, I enjoy family time, involvement in our church, reading, running, and biking. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Bachelor’s from Wheaton College in Illinois: After graduating from college, I eagerly left the cold and snowy midwest to return to Washington, and made my way to Bremerton to teach fourth grade in the Bremerton school district. I am so excited to make the switch to a Christian school and be able to combine my two passions: teaching and my faith. I’m also excited that I get to stay in fourth grade-the best grade ever! Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading, spending time outside, and drinking coffee, preferably all at the same time.

Bachelor’s from Pacific Lutheran University and post-graduate teaching certification from The University of Washington, Tacoma: This is my 16th year teaching, and I love it more each year. I’ve had the opportunity to teach in several schools in the US and Britain and can certainly say that Lighthouse is the best place to teach and learn! Fourth grade is a pivotal year in the life of a student; one in which he/she will develop independence as a learner, make deeper friendships and continue to grow in his/her faith. Apart from school, I love spending time with my wife and two daughters, church, travel just about anywhere, reading, home improvement, and working out.

Fifth Grade

BA in Education from Washington State University and a Masters in Education from City University. I am so fortunate to be a part of Lighthouse. I love having the opportunity to not only challenge my students academically but also the opportunity to build relationships and encourage them in their faith. I love spending time with my incredible family – my husband of 26 years, our son, Matthew, who is a sophomore at George Fox University and our daughter, Allison, who is a junior at Gig Harbor High. I enjoy traveling, hiking, reading and spending time outside.

Master of Education Degree, University of Washington: This is my 24th year teaching. My experience includes public and private school settings and levels of instruction range from preschool to grade five. I love sharing learning, fun, and Jesus with my students. “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” – John 1:16

Middle School

Athletic Director
BS Degree in Accounting, Central Washington University & BS Degree Business Administration with a Marketing Emphasis from Weber State University:  I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Lighthouse family since 2014. My husband and I enjoy having both our children as part of the Lighthouse student body. In my free time, I enjoy coaching a variety of sports and spending time with family.

Pre-Algebra, Algebra, & Geometry; Grades 6 – 8th
BS & Masters of Arts in Teaching/Administration from Oakland City University (OCU), Pro-Cert from Seattle Pacific University: In June 2013, my wife and I welcomed our eighth child into the Buchanan family. Teaching is rewarding because it is relational, emphasizes truth, involves growth, and impacts lives…for now and eternity. I give thanks for God’s gifts of my wife, my family, my health, my vocation, and most importantly His Son & LIFE eternal!

Athletics Chaplain
Physical Education, Grades K – 8th
Health Teacher,  Grades 7 – 8th
BA in Education & Physical Education & Masters in Religious Education: Travel, Reading, Cycling, Kayaking and Family. I love teaching at Lighthouse because it is significant work.

History, Grade 7 – 8th
BA in Psychology & K-8 Education Certification from Seattle Pacific University: History excites me because it is made up of standout stories that can inspire us to understand God’s larger story. My hope is that in coming alongside students to discover the world around them, they will gain a clearer vision of how to impact culture today and in the future. My husband Ryan and I have three children- one in the adult world, one in college, and one in high school. All three attended Lighthouse! I am thankful to be a part of such a God-honoring, purposeful place that influences the next generation

Math, Science, and Bible; Grade 6
Middle School Fun With Technology; Speech & Debate
BA in Education from Central Washington University: I love spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy fishing and being outside.

Bible, Grades 7 – 8th
BA in education from Seattle Pacific University, Masters in Biblical Studies from Covenant Bible Seminary:  I have seen God’s mighty hand working with Middle and High school students for 11 years in Youth ministry and am thrilled to continue ministry through teaching 7th and 8th grade Bible.  I also have the privilege of teaching electives: Study Skills, Missional Leadership, Drama Workshop, Creation Creativity and Study! My fan club consists of my high school sweet heart, Jonathan, amazing kids Timothy, Ethan, Ashley and running buddy-dog Mortie! Stop by my classroom anytime if you need a treat, a hug, a run, a book recommendation or a joke!

Language Arts, Grades 7 – 8th
BA from Washington State University: I feel called to the ministry of teaching and am honored to play a small role in equipping students for the work God has for them to do. My hope is to inspire the joy of learning, the importance of critical thinking, and the value of becoming active rather than passive members of the culture. My husband and I have two grown children. In my free time, I enjoy being with my family, traveling, exercising, reading, and learning new things. Isaiah 1:17

Science, Grades 7 – 8th
BS of Microbiology and Biology education, with a minor in Chemistry from Washington State University: I am married to my best friend, Mike, and I am a mother to 5 active, precious children. Through them I have learned unconditional love. I am thankful for the opportunity to teach students about science with a Christian worldview. I see the beauty in our creation and appreciate the opportunity to point our students to the Creator. Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Science lab, K – 5th grade
BA, experimental psychology from Covenant College. MS, research psychology emphasis on childhood memory and cognition from University of TN, Chattanooga:  I began my career in pharmaceutical research and shifted to clinical research in both a pediatric hospital setting as well as in academia. My research emphases included childhood eyewitness testimony, pediatric cancer and coping strategies, and early detection of neurodegenerative disease.
I have been a Gig Harbor resident and Lighthouse parent for nearly ten years. I started out volunteering in numerous capacities and fell in love with the school. More recently, I have been a K through 8th grade substitute at the school and the head cross country coach for several years.  Additionally I am a USATF certified Gig Harbor running coach, involved in youth track and field, trail running groups for children and adults, mental training, and private coaching.

History, Language Arts, Bible Teacher; Grade 6. Drama, French, Speech & Debate; Grades 6 – 8th
Master of Arts, Education (SPU), BA in French (UW& Université de Nice) Colson Fellow (Christian Worldview Instructor): I am married to Reverend Dr. Ed Longabaugh, pastor of Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church. I have three children, Drew in the US Coast Guard, married to Bekah, and twins, Claire and Eric, officers in the US Navy I have taught middle school for over two decades because they energize me, and I love getting students about seeing God at work in history, literature, and EVERY discipline! “There is no neutral ground in the universe, every square inch, every split second is claimed by Christ and counter-claimed by Satan.” C.S. Lewis.

Creative Writing, Life Skills; Grades 6 – 8th
BA in English with a minor in Political Science from University of Maryland-UC: I have worked in the Peninsula School District for the past two years, and I absolutely love working with students of all ages! I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I have a wonderful husband that proudly serves in the U.S. Navy, and two amazing children! In our spare time we love to kayak, and explore the beautiful PNW. I feel incredibly blessed to live on mission with LCS!


Dyslexia Screening and Tutoring Program
I’m honored to join the talented folks on the LCS team. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Political Science/Pre-law emphasis but shifted gears significantly when my first child was born. I’ve spent the last 20 or so years as an author, speaker, and media guest, addressing the needs of the ADHD student and the easily distractible mind. In this capacity, I’ve written four books, been a frequent radio guest, had a semi-regular guest spot with Focus on the Family’s Weekend Magazine, and authored scores of articles. I was actively seeking an opportunity to continue doing what I love while traveling less when my path crossed with Lighthouse and the dyslexia program. My objective with every child is to let them in on the truth that they are not defective and were in fact created by God with a specific and wonderful plan in mind. My job is to help them find and achieve it.

Technology, Grades K – 8th
BS in Social Studies Education from George Fox University: My husband and I have two children who we enjoy spending our time with. It has been a privilege to be able to send our children to Lighthouse. I have taught at Lighthouse since 2000 and have found my second home here. Watching the children grow as the staff invests in them keeps my heart at Lighthouse.

Music, Grades K – 8th
Music Teacher & Violin Instructor
Bachelor’s in Music Education and Master’s in Education from Cedarville University with an endorsement in elementary education from SPU and Level 1 Certification in Kodaly method of music education from SPU: I grew up in the wonderful state of Michigan where I first learned to love music by taking violin lessons at the age of seven. Music has always been a part of my life rather it was in Church, practicing my instruments, singing in choir, playing in pit orchestras, or going to the theater. I moved to Washington in 2007 to begin teaching music at Lighthouse where I can reach children with the gift of music. In my free time, I love being involved in the Gig Harbor Peninsula Civic Orchestra and playing with my string quartet for different events. Being involved in my local Church is also a wonderful place where I can serve the Lord. My other hobbies include hiking, cycling, enjoying time with family, road trips, and jigsaw puzzles.

BA in Elementary Education (K-8) from Western Washington University, Special Education Endorsement: I love working here at Lighthouse! My favorite part of my job is that I get to interact with all the students and encourage the love of reading and their relationship with the Lord. I have a wonderful husband named Tim and two fabulous daughters; Rachel, who just got married in 2018, and Emily who attends Seattle Pacific University. I love to READ, exercise, golf, travel, and spend time with my family.

Art, Grades K – 5th
BA in Elementary Education and Language Arts (K-12th grade) from Seattle Pacific University: What an amazing adventure God has led me on over the fifteen plus years of teaching everything from 1st grade, junior high math, science lab, to Senior High English! I love getting to know my students and using my creativity to make the learning come alive for them. I am passionate about teaching, my relationship with the Lord, and my family which includes a husband of 26 years and two kids, ages 18 and 20. I enjoy art, animals, reading, scrapbooking and skiing.

Spanish K-4th, 6th-8th
World Languages 6th-8th
BA in Elementary Education from Western Governors University: It is a joy to have been a part of LCS for almost 14 years, first as a parent looking for a Christ-centered quality education for my kids and later as the Spanish teacher.  I was born in Cuba, lived in NJ, and have settled in Gig Harbor with my husband Keith and our three teenagers. I love sharing my first language and the culture of the Hispanic world with my students. It is my goal to help them develop an appreciation for the diverse languages and cultures of God’s world, gaining practical knowledge in order to make a positive impact not only locally, but also globally to the glory of Jesus Christ! “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Romans 12:10-12

Concert, Jazz & Worship Band, Grades 5 – 8th
BS in Liberal Arts, with a Focus in Music from Excelsior College: Growing up in a large musical family that loves the Lord, I grew a passion for music and having fun with kids. After high school, I joined the Army Band as a trombone player, where I met my husband, John, also an Army trombonist. Eventually I became the First Sergeant and Commander of an Army Band where I conducted many concerts and ceremonies, both military and civilian. My husband and I have three grown children who attended LCS since kindergarten, and we both still enjoy playing trombone together in local community bands. I am blessed to work at Lighthouse where I can share my love for music while inspiring kids to grow their own passion for music – and for the One who created it!

Digital Art, Grades 6 – 8th
It is a privilege to use my years of experience as a graphic designer and youth ministry leader to inspire middle schoolers to be confidently creative. I look forward to teaching the fundamentals of digital media in an environment of faith and excellence.