Mrs. Leonie brings to Napa Christian 25 years of experience in education, specifically child development and curriculum from several countries. She has taught every grade, served as an administrator for three schools in California, and trained teachers and principals in Marketing the Modern Parochial School. Although her job requires her to wear several hats, it is the time spent with her students in the art classroom, on the stage, in her office, or on the road which she values most. It is her belief that children learn best, and are at their happiest, when the school's hidden curriculum is one of unconditional positive regard for all.
Mrs. Leonie authored the CONQUESTS program in response to our mandated responsibility to meet our students' evolving learning needs. "Our world is constantly and frenetically changing, and it is imperative that we ensure that our students are being prepared to meet these unpredictable challenges with confidence."
When she's not molding young minds, Mrs. Leonie enjoys reading - finishing about a book a week, watching British comedy, and spending time with her family.
Position: Vice-Principal; High School History and English Teacher; Athletic Director; Safety Coordinator
Mr. Smith, or "Smith " as his students affectionately call him, has been at Napa Christian for 24 years; joining the Napa Christian staff directly after graduating from Pacific Union College, where he received a B.S. in Social Studies with a minor in Political Science, English, as well as his Secondary Teaching Credentials, both CA State and SDA Endorsed. Mr. Smith has coached the girls basketball and boys soccer teams for longer than anyone can remember; he coaches with love, kindness, and compassion that inspires all his students to grow.
In his free time, Mr. Smith enjoys baseball, and any board sport on water or snow. Mr. Smith brings a passion and dedication to his students inside the classroom and out.
Position: CONQUESTS K-8 Lead Teacher
Mrs. VanHook has more than 10 years of experience teaching in all grades Kindergarten through 8th grade with experience teaching in both the public and private school systems. With a background in teaching in single grade classrooms as well as multi-grade classrooms she has had a wide range of teaching experiences. She also spent several years as a school administrator. In addition, Mrs. VanHook has been instrumental in helping schools implement new programs to enhance their curriculum. She has training in differentiated instruction, advanced instructional strategies, various assessment tools, and kindergarten readiness assessments.
One of her greatest passions is creating a safe, enriching, and engaging environment that will provide students with experiences to encourage and enhance their learning and academic achievement. She believes that every child can reach their full potential.
Position: Business Manager; Human Resources
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Susie moved to the Napa Valley in 2002 to attend Pacific Union College where she completed a Bachelor of Social Work in 2006. She earned a Master of Science in Taxation in 2012 and a CPA license in 2013. Prior to joining the team at Napa Christian in 2019, Susie worked in the non-profit sector for 12 years, including 8 years in financial administration.
When she's not working, Susie enjoys spending time with her husband and playing with her two daughters.
Position: Office Manager; Heath Crisis Mitigation
Miss Heather joined our team in January 2017 and brings with her over twenty years of customer service experience and office management skills. Hers is the smiling face you meet in the office each morning and the chipper voice you hear on the phone. She excels in organization, communication, making connections with our families, and keeping the staff and school community up to date with the latest and most important information happening on campus. If you need anything, let Heather know and she’ll get you the information or direct you where to find it.
When she's not in the office, Miss Heather enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, five fur babies and extended, live-in, family. She enjoys rainy days and curling up in front of the fire with a good book or movie and snuggling with all her babies.
Position: Music Director; Registrar; Technology Admin; International Student Coordinator; CONQUESTS Portable Curriculum
Mr. Reid brings a wealth of music education experience to Napa Christian displaying not only his depth of knowledge, but an amazing ability to present musical concepts in a fun and engaging way for all age group; first hooking students with a love of music, and then developing their technical knowledge and skills. He excels at working with students of all skill levels, as can be seen at our amazing musical productions during Christmas and Springtime, where he personally chooses and arranges each song so that all of the students shine.
Mr. Reid has fulfilled nearly every musical role as a musical jack-of-all-trades. As a musician he has toured internationally not only as a clarinetist and French horn player, but also as a vocal soloist and choir member. He currently plays in the North Bay Wind Ensemble and the Napa Valley College Orchestra, as well as coaches for and plays in the Napa Valley Youth Symphony.
Position: CONQUESTS Kindergarten Teacher
Mr. Lenny has earned a Bachelor's in Film and is currently working on his teaching credentials. He has worked with children and in schools for over ten years. He brings to the CONQUEST Team creativity, a love of children that is contagious and draws the students to him, and an artistic mind that helps us bring to life the “Dream Big” projects that Mrs. Leonie brings to the table.
Mr. Lenny is a skilled film maker, and has helped our students create movies to showcase their learning in years past. His talents in writing, the arts, being flexible, and his fun personality are all an invaluable part of what makes the Napa Christian magic. We are thrilled to have Mr. Lenny as a teacher in the K-2 program working with Ms. VanHook this school year.
In his free time, Mr. Lenny enjoys drawing, writing, movies, filmmaking, reading, and underwater basket weaving.
Position: CONQUESTS 3-4 Teacher; Drama Teacher; Choir Director
Jonathen Blue is a masterful teacher who brings the best out of his students. With over a decade of teaching under his belt, there is no instructional detail that he overlooks. As well as being a fantastic classroom teacher, he holds a professional conservatory certificate from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Our choir and drama classes have never been so well-led. Each year they perform in up to three major programs with choreography and dance.
When he's not in the classroom, Mr. Blue enjoys working on theatrical/musical productions with the Napa Valley College, participating in productions such as Charlie Brown, The Adams Family and A Chorus Line.
Position: CONQUESTS 5-6 Teacher; Yearbook Advisor
Ms. Odell’s flair for creativity and thinking outside the box has made her an exceptional educator, and we’re so blessed to have her teaching here at Napa Christian. Ms. Odell received her B.A. in Liberal Studies and earned her Professional Teaching Credential through Pacific Union College; having more than 10 years of experience in teaching across the spectrum, from Kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.
Some of her greatest qualities include her passion for writing and creating incredible imagery with her words, her energy and enthusiasm, and “big ideas” as a facilitator of creativity and exploration. She believes in giving power to her students by giving them the freedom to make choices within a stable structure. Her passion for Christ is evident in all that she does.
In her free time Ms Odell enjoys adventuring across the globe (or as far as her teachers salary will take her), destroying her enemies with her creative writing, taking pictures, yoga, running, DIY projects, and raising her two girls, four cats, and one chicken.
Position: CONQUESTS 7-8 Teacher
Mr. Wilkinson, affectionately known around here as "New Guy" or "Gary", was born and raised in Eastern Washington. His passion for teaching took him to Guangzhou, China where he spent 6 years teaching at an International School. After moving back to the states, Mr. Wilkinson married his beautiful wife, Elise, with whom he spent two years in Southern California, teaching at Mesa Grande Academy as their international teacher. In 2018, he went on to earn his Masters of Arts of Teaching from the University of Cumberlands in Kentucky. Mr. Wilkinson is excited about living in the Napa Valley; he is very energetic and takes a genuine interest in his students.
Mr. Wilkinson enjoys all avenues of fitness and is an advocate for healthy living. He loves Face timing with his family and taking Elise out on dates.
Position: CONQUESTS Teacher's Aide
Born and raised in Napa, California, Maddie is an alumnus of Napa Christian. After graduating in 2017, she went on to study Set Design in Theater Arts and Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State University. After working many of her breaks in the office, she officially joined our CONQUESTS Teaching Team in January 2021. Maddie spends most of her time working in Mr. Blue’s classroom, assisting as she is needed, as well as teaching art to grades 3-6. Her penchant for design and creativity along with her innate ability to connect with her students has made Maddie an excellent addition to our team.
When she's not working with the kids, Maddie enjoys spending time with her family, painting and hanging out with her "personal shadow" Leela (her dog).
Position: CONQUESTS Teacher's Aide
Miss Allie is a recent graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she studied Child Development and Psychology, and is a Napa Christian alumna. For the year and a half prior to joining the Napa Christian team, Miss Allie worked one-on-one with children who struggle with a disability or developmental delay. She has experience working with children of all ages, from preschoolers to high schoolers, and she is especially passionate about working with younger children. Miss Allie loves being able to help build a solid foundation in each student’s life so that they can go on to be successful in everything they do. Eventually, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, focusing on early development and working in a school setting.
Position: K-12 Teacher's Aide
Christy officially joined the Napa Christian team in January 2021, but she’s been well known around here for years. Christy worked for six years in the payroll department at the Northern California Conference Office and was our go-to for all things payroll. She left the Conference to be a Professional Mama for two years, before coming to NCCE. Christy has several years experience in Office Management and graduated from Pacific Union College prior to entering the workforce. She is an integral part of our team, teaching and assisting where she is needed from day to day.
When not at work, Christy enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, cats and dog. She likes baking, crafts, trips to the library, working in the yard and taking her daughter to the park.
Position: K-12 Math Coordinator; High School Math Teacher
Yuliana Pandjaitan has spent seven years educating young minds in math and science. The thesis for her Master's in Education focused on "scaffolding in the classroom", giving every student the opportunity to master their task at hand without being retained by their previous educational shortcomings. Her classroom method revolves around creating an environment of choice-making and relationships to motivate students to a degree of self-efficacy in their own education. She believes students succeed when they take responsibility for their own learning.
"Ms. P" has introduced the “flipped classroom” model to several schools, including Napa Christian, allowing for a more streamlined learning process.
She is excited to initialize her K-12 math curriculum which helps facilitate individualized instruction for students and gives them the tools they need to succeed.
Miss P loves spending time with "her kids" (all the NCCE kids), she enjoys good movies and good food, but she is particularly passionate for music and sings with the music groups and for school as often as she can.
Position: High School Science; PE Teacher
Dan Muhic has been teaching at Napa Christian for 11 years. He is a 1999 graduate of Pacific Union College with a BS in Biology and a secondary school teaching credential. Prior to teaching in Napa, Dan worked at Hawaiian Mission Academy from 2000 to 2004.
His joy in life includes spending time with his wife, Kristi and two boys, Noah and Benjamin. His go-to hobbies always bring him outdoors; running, cycling, surfing, snowboarding and traveling.
Position: High School Religion Teacher
Our wonderful Mr. Bennett is no stranger to education. He has been teaching seemingly all his life; holding teaching and pastoring roles in places like Hawaii, Liberia, and Southern California, finally retiring from Rio Lindo Adventist Academy after more than 22 cumulative years. Refusing to stop teaching, he took on a part time teaching role here at Napa Christian. Mr. Bennett's sense of humor and helpful nature are well loved among students and faculty.
In his free time, Mr. Bennett enjoys spending as much time as he can out of doors, especially enjoying hikes he can take with his lovely wife, Joanna.
Position: Permanent Sub: High School Math
Mr. Larry Bennett joined our team in January 2021, with a background in Mathematics and Computer Technologies, Mr. Bennet 2.0 is an excellent addition to our team. Mr. Bennett has stepped in to cover our High School Mathematics while Miss P is undergoing treatment.
Mr. Bennett splits his time between teaching our High School Math and Assisting in the Kitchen/Maintenance/ and Computer Networking for Napa Valley Adventist Retirement Estates; and has volunteered for us in the past teaching our 7th and 8th graders Python Programming.
In his free time, Mr. Bennett enjoys gardening, fixing fixable computers, spending time with his grandkids and going on dates with his wife Diane.
Position: Plant Services Manager; Construction; Farm Manager
A true "Jack of all Trades", if it needs fixing or building, Mr. Johnny is our go to guy. You'll find him around campus taking great care of our buildings, garden, and the animals of our farm. From building outdoor stages, and Christmas program sets to Bee Keeping and CONQUESTS personal contractor, Johnny, a licensed contractor by trade, keeps us up and running no matter what.
Mr. Johnny enjoys cooking for his family - and is well known at NCCE for his culinary skills, woodworking, gardening, and raising his menagerie of pets.
Position: Volunteer - Grounds
Mr. Allen has been graciously donating his time over the last few years to help us keep our grounds crisp and green. He can be frequently seen riding the big lawn mower, turning on sprinklers, trimming weeds and general grounds beautifying!