Justine 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."
Position: Vice-Principal, High School History and English Teacher
Darren Smith has been at Napa Christian for 24 years. Mr. Smith joined 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 here can remember, and coaches with love, kindness, 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: K-12 Math Coordinator; 7-12 Math Teacher; High School Religion
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.
Position: High School Science and Computers 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: CONQUESTS K-6 Lead Teacher
Dana VanHook has had more than 10 years of experience teaching in all grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. She has taught both in the public and private school systems. With a background in teaching in single grade classrooms as well as teaching in multi-grade classrooms she has had a wide range of teaching experiences. She also has several years of experience as a school administrator. In addition to this she has been instrumental in helping schools implement new programs to enhance their curriculum. Mrs. VanHook has training in differentiated instruction, advanced instructional strategies, various assessment tools, and kindergarten readiness assessments. One of her 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: CONQUESTS K-6 Teacher
Napa Christian has been blessed to have Mrs. Gibson as part of our amazing group of teachers. With more than 15 years of experience in education, from homeschooling her own children for a number of years, to teaching students across all levels of K-12, she brings a wealth of talent and expertise to our community.
Her passion for reading led her to earn her M.A. in Education with an emphasis in reading. Beyond her fervor for reading, Mrs. Gibson is an exceptional talent as an educator. Her kind and generous heart and unparalleled love of Jesus, make her an ideal fit for the Napa Christian community.
Position: CONQUESTS K-6 Instructional Aide
Because education has always been a family affair in the Leonie household, Lenny has been working for and around children all his life. Besides his love for teaching, his experience includes:
4 years as a teacher's aide at Foothill Elementary school with a focus on PE, coaching, public speaking, tutoring, and art.
6 years as an English tutor and PE instructor for Tian Tian Chinese school in San Jose.
Work at the St. Helena Boy's and Girl's Club of America.
Lenny has recently graduated from Pacific Union College with both a Film degree and a Teaching Degree. He is currently working on obtaining his full teacher certification. As a part of the CONQUESTS program, Lenny will be teaching full-time under the supervision of Mrs. VanHook and Mrs. Gibson.
Position: Music Director, STREAM Coordinator and Instructor, Technology Admin
Martin Reid brings a wealth of music education experience. He 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 is the principal bassoonist in the Napa Valley Youth Symphony and a touring member of local act, Jealous Zelig.
At Napa Christian, Mr. Reid displays not only his depth of knowledge, but an amazing ability to present musical concepts in a fun and engaging way for all age groups, 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.
Position: 7-8 Homeroom Teacher, High School Religion
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.
Position: Registrar, International Student Coordinator, Yearbook Advisor, Athletic Director
Elizabeth Carr began her career at Napa Christian as a Kindergartner. In 2011 she graduated high school here after 13 great years. In 2016 she graduated from Goddard College with a BA focusing on International Education after spending many months in India, Turkey, and Brazil during her undergrad.
At Napa Christian, "Ms. Liz" does a little bit of everything - teaching electives, managing schedules, scheduling sports, communicating with families, substitute teaching and much more.
Position: Office Manager, Safety Coordinator, Facility Rentals Coordinator
Heather Rogers joined the Napa Christian team in the Spring of 2017.
Position: Maintenance, Construction, Farm Manager
If it needs fixing or building, Johnny Leonie is our go to guy. You'll find him around campus taking great care of our buildings, garden, and the animals of our farm. A licensed contractor by trade, Johnny keeps us up and running no matter what.