Administration & Office Staff
With more than 35 years’ experience as a classroom teacher and administrator, Lori Jensen is the consummate educator. Her ministry has included teaching Kindergarten through 4th grade, Assistant Principal and Principal. Mrs. Jensen has also been an active participant of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) for almost 15 years, serving on visiting committees as both a committee member and chairperson. She has also been Chairperson for her former school’s WASC process.
Mrs. Jensen is responsible for the day-to-day school operations and programs. Her wholehearted goal is to provide our Elementary and Junior High students with the best experience possible. As such, she is constantly evaluating new programs and curriculum, adding innovative teaching methodologies, and pursuing collaborative efforts.
“Being surrounded by children who are excited to be at school is a blessing — every day,” said Mrs. Jensen. “I get to witness students accomplish great things academically, grow in their relationship with Jesus, and explore what God’s purpose is for their lives. This is why we become Christian school educators.”
Mrs. Jensen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, a Multiple Subject Credential, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Married to husband Bill for 36 years, the Jensens have two daughters — both of whom are Christian school alumni. She treasures her time with family and friends and loves to travel, read, and watch old movies (with a Dr. Pepper and Nacho Doritos in hand). In addition to her ministry in education, Mrs. Jensen has been active in her women’s Bible study program at her church.
Mike Margy has been in Christian education for 20 years, the first 17 as a 5th/6th grade teacher, then two as an Athletic Director/P.E. teacher, before becoming the Vice Principal at RSM Christian. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and was a sportswriter for 13 years before going back to school to earn his multiple-subject teaching credential. He received his Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University in September 2019. Two of Mr. Margy’s greatest passions in education are teaching students about God’s Word and teaching them how to become better writers.
Mr. Margy has been married to his wife, Stacey for 24 years, and they have two sons, Justice, 22, and Noah, 20. A few things to know about Mr. Margy are that he loves sports, especially the Dodgers and USC, he doesn’t drink coffee, and he absolutely loves anything chocolate. He also loves driving on cross-country trips with his family and has driven to Florida, New York, Canada (twice), and he has been to 34 different states and 12 different countries.
Lisa Espinoza began serving as admissions director at Mission Hills Christian School in 2011. She is the mother of three boys and one girl and has been married to Chip since 1983. She holds an Associate of Science degree in sign language interpreting, a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, and a Bachelor of Science in communicative disorders. She also is a licensed speech-language pathology assistant.
Mrs. Espinoza loves to hike, read, embark on new adventures, and spend time with family and friends. Her favorite part of being at RSM Christian School is being able to meet all the new families that come visit our campus.
Born and raised in Southern California, Carrie Gulino earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine along with an elementary teaching credential and specialization in Early Childhood Education. She asked Jesus into her life at age 16 while attending a Young Life retreat at Forest Home Camp. She married her high school sweetheart, Steve, and their grown children, Eric and Jessica, are blessed to be Mission Hills Christian School alums.
Mrs. Gulino’s educational experience is very diverse. She has taught all elementary grades from pre-school to 6th grade, excluding 1st. In addition to classroom experience, she has also served in several office and administrative roles, including Community Relations, Assistant to the Principal, Grade Level Coordinator, and Principal. Working directly with students and sharing God’s amazing plan for their lives is where Mrs. Gulino finds complete joy. If you visit her classroom, you will find happy, engaged, and productive learners in her classroom.
In her free time, Mrs. Gulino especially loves any time spent in the mountains, reading, and being with her family.
Joe Chebat has specialized in business development, marketing, and fundraising for Christian ministries for the past 15 years. He began working with Mission Hills Christian School while his son was a student from 2011-2018. Mr. Chebat is responsible for major fundraising events, including our RSMCS Concert Series. He is passionate about missions work in Africa and Central America and has traveled there many times to drill clean water wells and share the gospel in remote villages.
Dara Gould is originally from Huntington Beach, and she graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration before earning her Master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Policy from Cal State Dominguez Hills. She has worked for public high schools, in educational marketing, and in finance. She currently lives in Trabuco Canyon with her husband, Chris, and their two children, Christopher and Harlow. During her free time, Mrs. Gould loves to bake sourdough bread and travel with her family. Her husband is a college soccer coach, so you will regularly find her on a soccer field.
Dayna Graveline wears many hats at Rancho Santa Margarita Christian School and loves serving the school community. She earned her degree in Communications from Vanguard University and, prior to RSM Christian School, served as a senior publicist at a public relations agency.
Mrs. Graveline and her husband, Scott, have two daughters, both of whom currently attend Rancho Santa Margarita Christian School.
Sarah Olin was born and raised in Mission Viejo and has spent most of her life in Southern California. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Psychology and now lives in Rancho Santa Margarita with her husband, Jeff, and two kids, Aubrey and Cameron.
During her free time, she likes to go to the beach or hang out with her family. She is a kids’ small group leader and is part of a women’s Bible study, and she loves all kinds of food. On weekends, you can find Mrs. Olin watching Chiefs football on TV.
Early Education Teachers
Julie de Viso
April Roche graduated from Salem State College with a Bachelor of Science in Education and started her teaching career in 1989. She was then blessed to be able to take time off to raise her children. During that time, she was a substitute teacher at Mission Hills Christian School (now RSM Christian School) and is now in her sixth year on staff at the school.
Mrs. Roche loves children and especially loves to be able to teach them about Jesus. She has been married to her husband, Dave, for 20 years, and they have three wonderful children, one who currently attends RSM Christian and two who are Mission Hills Christian School alums.
Stephany Bauman has been working with children for 16 years as a nanny and teacher. She attended Mira Costa College and received her Associate’s Degree in Child Development. She considers herself blessed to be able to teach and mentor students daily at RSMCS.
Mrs. Bauman is married to her best friend, Josh, and they have three children: 4-year-old twins Carson and Peyton, and 3-year-old Jaxon. In her free time, Mrs. Bauman enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with her family outdoors.
Joni Carruthers attended San Diego State University and majored in Child Development where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. Ms. Carruthers has more than 30 years’ experience working with young children and considers it a privilege to introduce children to Jesus. Ms. Carruthers has two grown children, Karly and Kyle, and a son-in-law. She became a grandmother in summer 2020 to a beautiful baby girl, Madeline.
Ms. Carruthers enjoys taking her Border collie, Sydney, for long walks around Rancho Santa Margarita Lake. 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 acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”
Gail Quickle started her career in early education in 1986. She attended Fullerton College and loves teaching the young child. Mrs. Quickle loves being able to share the excitement of God’s Word with her students each and every day. She feels blessed to partner with great families as they nurture and direct their children to the Kingdom of God.
Mrs. Quickle and her husband, Jim, have four children: Andrew, Carly, Jeff and Chloe. All four of their children were a part of Christian Education. Gail enjoys spending time with her family, camping, or swimming in their pool. You may find her at the dog park with her two dogs, Cooper, a Bassett Hound, and Lacey, a cattle dog.
Gail Newton received her calling to be a teacher when she was just 12 years old. This year marks her 47th year teaching Kindergarten in a Christian school; as such, she has used the gifts the Lord has given her to help shape hundreds of young minds, nurturing them as they grow in Jesus. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from California Baptist University, has done graduate work at UC Irvine and Cal Baptist, and she holds a California Life Credential K-9, and an ACSI Credential.
Madison Jennings majored in Elementary Education at Biola University and has always had a heart for children. This is her second year teaching at RSM Christian, and she loves the joy and many laughs the children bring to her life.
In her free time, Mrs. Jennings loves being outdoors, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.
Mary Jane Merritt
What brings Mary Jane Merritt joy? Being a Christian, a wife and mother, and being a teacher. Mrs. Merritt has been a Christian for more than 50 years, and she says that Jesus is her best friend and she depends on Him for everything. She has been celebrating her wedding anniversary since Dec. 15, 1973. Mrs. Merritt has five grown children, each of whom graduated after attending Mission Hills Christian School (now RSM Christian School). Mrs. Merritt also has five grandchildren.
Mrs. Merritt began teaching in 1969 and joined Mission Hills Christian School in 1989. She has been teaching kindergarten since 1991 and loves coming to work. She claims that the teachers and staff are her close friends, her students are always the “best class in the world,” and the parents are very dear to her. She enjoys teaching the Bible and helping the children have a closer walk with Jesus, teaching reading and math, and planning fun activities for the children.
The choice to work at a Christian school was an easy one for Mrs. Pierce because Christian schools value each student as a child of God and encourage each one to use his/her God-given talents in reaching their highest potential. A graduate of Biola University, Mrs. Pierce has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Certificate in Special Education.
Sharon Ploesser 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 her Master’s degree in 1995 from Webster University in St. Louis. She has been a teacher for 30 years.
Mrs. Ploesser is married and has two grown children. She enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and hiking. She feels very blessed to be able to teach the love of Jesus every day to her students.
Armed with God’s Spirit, Word, calling, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Cal State Northridge, and an ACSI Educator’s certificate, Mrs. Diane Escobar has been teaching in Christian education for more than four decades. She chose to work in Christian education because of her firm conviction that Christ-centered education ministers to and develops the whole student — mind, body, soul, and spirit — just as God intended.
Mrs. Escobar has two grown daughters – Pamela and Stephanie – and one granddaughter named Ayelen. Mrs. Escobar’s husband, Juan Ramon, is originally from Chile in South America. Mrs. Escobar now considers Chile her home away from home.
Jenny Vande Wydeven
Jenny Vande Wydeven received her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. 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.
Mrs. Vande has taught for more than 20 years in both public and Christian schools. She has taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades. She currently lives in Irvine and attends Grace Fellowship Church in Costa Mesa. She loves hosting meals for her kids and their friends, hanging out with her family, and sharing Jesus with kids of all ages.
Michele Forster considers it an honor to show her students how unique they are. She knows that God has amazing plans for their lives because He loves all of us so much. As a Christian educator, Ms. Forster has taught various grade levels over the years and capitalizes on each and every opportunity to integrate Jesus into the academic landscape of her classroom. She has an ASCI Credential and is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton, where she earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree.
In her spare time, Ms. Forster enjoys hiking, reading, kayaking, and being outdoors. She has been blessed with a wonderful son, Joshua, who is a sophomore in high school. Early mornings, you will find her sitting in a comfy chair enjoying coffee, her dog Ollie’s cuddles, and daily devotions.
Amal Andraos began her higher education graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey. After having three children, she was drawn toward the teaching profession where she was able to support and guide children in their most vulnerable years. She returned to higher education at Biola University where she received her teaching credentials and Master’s of Arts in Teaching. She walked the stage as the Master’s Graduate Class Speaker.
Ms. Andraos worked as a second-grade teacher at St. Mark’s Lutheran School for 16 years. At St. Marks, she coached the Math Olympiad group, served as a junior high mentor, and served on the leadership committee. She currently mentors newly graduated teachers through the Biola Mentoring Program.
In her free time, Ms. Andraos enjoys Bible study, hiking, being outside, baking, and spending time with her family. Her personal mission is to foster the growing relationships between her students and God. She hopes for each of her students to walk in their faith with dependence on the Lord and understand that He has a plan for each of their lives.
Julia Bernier followed the Lord and His gifting into teaching for more than 20 years. Her heart’s desire is to reach children and adults for Christ. She serves as a Master Teacher at Saddleback Church for Class 401 in Missions. Mrs. Bernier is a missionary, having been sent to the far reaches of the world to evangelize and plant churches. She continues to follow the Lord into her new position at RSM Christian School. Her hope is to influence students and parents to receive all that Jesus has given them through His death and resurrection.
Mrs. Bernier has been married for more than 30 years to her wonderful husband, Peter, and together they share two beautiful adult children, Tyler and Madison.
Elizabeth Canales is grateful for the opportunity to teach in a setting where she can be Gospel-minded and demonstrate the gracious love of Christ through all she does in the classroom. The desire of her heart is to see the name of Jesus shown through all subjects. Miss Canales graduated from Biola University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education (emphasis in Special Education) and a minor in Biblical Studies. She also obtained her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Biola University.
Prior to teaching 6th grade at RSM Christian School, Miss Canales worked as a long-term substitute teacher and a 6th-grade teacher at Saddleback Valley Christian School as well as a preschool teacher at a Montessori school. She also taught 1st grade overseas at a private Christian school in Indonesia.
Junior High Teachers
Jodi Dale 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. Mrs. Dale loves spending time at the beach and traveling with her husband. They have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter born in 2019. Mrs. Dale’s greatest passion here at RSMCS is seeing young adolescents thrive spiritually, academically, and relationally.
Kara Haverkamp received her Multiple Subject Credential from Concordia University in 2014 and cleared her credential through CalStateTEACH in 2019. She began teaching in 2015 and spent the first five years of her Christian school career in 6th grade. After a few years in 6th grade, Mrs. Haverkamp knew God was preparing her to teach junior high students. On top of her teaching experience, she has personally organized and helped at many junior high retreats, was heavily involved in Young Life, and led an ongoing Bible study for junior high girls. Although she could have taught at any number of schools, Mrs. Haverkamp chose RSM Christian School because of the heart behind the school: the relationships with the students are built with the great love of Christ as the foundation, which binds us together with the purpose of learning how to love the Lord and others every single day.
Mrs. Haverkamp got married in 2019 to her husband, Peter, and they adopted a rescue puppy named Ellie in early 2020. In her free time, Mrs. Haverkamp loves reading, cooking at home, going on weekly hikes with Ellie, and spending time with family.
Jodi Svoboda 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.” Mrs. Svoboda has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and her California teaching credential. She has a broad background in education teaching grades K-8.
Tracey Desmond is a proud mom of three Mission Hills Christian School alumni and has been serving at the school for several years. She is the director of school musicals and runs the drama department and classes. Mrs. Desmond has been involved with different aspects of theater for more than 16 years. She has directed, designed hair and make-up, and costumed more than 80 shows. Her desire is to help each student achieve success as a performer and instill strong work ethics, integrity, and a love and respect for the craft.
Yvonne Erkelens was born and raised in Guatemala, and Spanish is her first language. She was born to German parents and attended international schools, making her fluent in German and English as well. In 1996, she moved to California with her husband, Stephan, and her three sons, Chris, Tim, and Michael.
Mrs. Erkelens has served 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 are able to gain a greater appreciation for the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
When not helping her students, Mrs. Erkelens enjoys relaxing with her family and making memories with her three grandchildren.
Lindy Lyles was born and raised in Michigan in a strong Christian home. Having attended Christian schools from junior high through college, she knew that she wanted to be a Christian school teacher at an early age. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in Early Education and Elementary Reading, from Grace College in 1990. She also has completed extensive training in many strategies to ensure every student is successful. Mrs. Lyles’ previous experience includes teaching 2-year-olds through 2nd grade in a traditional classroom, and she has served all elementary grades as a resource specialist.
Outside of school, Mrs. Lyles enjoys spending time, traveling, and searching for the best pizza and unique tasty treats with her husband Myke. She also loves to shop, read, lay by the pool, and hang out with her friends.
Ana Qubain has been teaching art at Rancho Santa Margarita Christian School since 2017. She has a Bachelor’s degree in
Architecture from Brazil and she has an incredible love for all forms of art. Mrs. Qubain has four children, two of whom graduated from Mission Hills Christian School, and two others who are currently enrolled at RSM Christian School.
She and her family have traveled throughout Africa, South America, the Middle East, and across the United States. Those times of travel, due to her husband’s job, were challenging journeys where they faced many difficulties but also a lot of personal and spiritual growth. It was throughout that challenging journey that Mrs. Qubain accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.
Marisol Sicro earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Georgia Tech, and she is currently working toward a Child Development degree at Saddleback College. She has been married to her husband, Rick, for 23 years, and they have five daughters and seven grandchildren.
Mrs. Sicro has worked on the school’s yearbook for the past five years. Her passion is for photography, Photoshop, and digital design. In her free time, she likes going on long runs with her Yorkie, King Triton.
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 Viejo teaching various youth fitness programs to elementary and junior high students.
Mrs. Viole is an avid runner and enjoys hiking and water sports with her family. Outside of fitness, she enjoys reading and going to L.A. Galaxy soccer games with her family. She has been married to her husband, 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 to combine her love of sports and fitness with her faith in Christ.
Heatherdawn Wadleigh has been working in the technology field for over 20 years and enjoys teaching others how to get the most from technology in their daily lives. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration / Computer Information Systems with an emphasis in Interactive Web Development.
Mrs. Wadleigh and her husband, Christopher, came to Mission Hills in 2019 when they enrolled their son, William, in Jr. Kindergarten. She regularly volunteers at her church, leading children in forming relationships with each other and with God.
Ellie Ward wanted to be a teacher since she was 3 years old. The police found her sweeping the sidewalk of the school her brother was attending when he was in kindergarten. She was helping the school! She has been an educator since 1956, starting her teaching career in New Jersey. Mrs. Ward graduated from Newark State Teachers College, now known as Kean University, with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in special education. She holds a California lifetime credential. Mrs. Ward has taught 1st through 6th grades, with the exception of 2nd grade. Since 1978, she has served in Christian Education as a classroom teacher, in administrative roles, and, most recently, as librarian and keeper of student records.
Mrs. Ward was married to Bill for 47 years before he went home to be with the Lord. She likes to read Christian fiction and non-fiction historical novels and occasionally a Christian mystery, especially if there is a murder involved. She reads several daily devotionals and loves getting into the Word. She likes detail, keeping things orderly, and proof-reading. Another passion is visiting family and friends and sending cards to them on special occasions. Coming home is always a joy for her as she is greeted at the door by Gabe, her kitty cat.
Yani Linnes worked for the past 10 years as a teacher’s aide and a Spanish teacher for children from Kindergarten through 3rd grade at Saddleback Valley Christian School. She is a licensed Cosmetologist and also graduated from Medical Assistant School.
She has been married to her husband, Bob, for the past 24 years, and they have two beautiful daughters. Her true passion and greatest joy are working with children. In her free time, Mrs. Linnes likes going on walks, watching the sunset, listening to music, and drinking coffee.
Richelle Paris and her three siblings, Trent, Shannon, and Nathan, all attended Mission Hills Christian School. Richelle began in 1981 in the 3rd grade, and her youngest brother, Nathan, graduated from 8th grade in 1995. Her mom, Lynda Armstrong, retired after 30 years at MHCS.
Richelle has been married to her husband, Mark, for 29 years, and they have five daughters (Kailyn, Kindyl, Kennedy, Kallihan, and Kapri) and two sons-in-law. All her girls attended MHCS, and her youngest daughter is currently in Junior High at RSMCS.
Richelle was the extended care director at MHCS from 2010-2016 and, before returning in May of 2021, she was the Life Enrichment Director at a senior living community where she also served as the company’s memory care mentor. Richelle is excited to be back at RSMCS and looks forward to serving our families with a robust, nurturing, and creative program. Richelle enjoys going to spin class, relaxing at the beach and in the mountains, cooking, spending time with her family, and coffee shops.
Pastor Ryan has a BA in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific University and is pursuing his MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He has been married for 21 years to his college sweetheart, Johanna. The two have two boys, Caleb and Luke who both are alumni of MHCS/RSMCS, and their family resides here in RSM.
Following Pastorates in Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel, Pastor Mike joined the staff of then-Mission Hills Christian School in late 2007 and has served as both a Bible teacher in the Junior High and as the Campus Pastor. Pastor Foell’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and both a Master’s and Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Counseling. He is a licensed professional pastoral counselor with the American Association of Christian Therapists and a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor with the Board of Christian Professional Counselors. His “day job” is as the Care Pastor at the Bridge Church, and he is a frequent speaker at church retreats, camps, and seminars, particularly in the area of grief recovery, issues of addiction, and gerontology.
Mike shares his life with his wife, Cindee, and is both a proud father and grandfather. His hobbies include gardening, reading, and walking his two pugs, Jackson and Spencer. He is also a huge fan of UCLA football and basketball, the Lakers, and the Angels.
Lorene Preziosi has been a part of Mission Hills/RSM Christian School since 1991, first as a JK aide and then as an outdoor director. She is a mother of three girls and one boy who all attended MHCS from JK through 8th grade. She is married to Joe, who is a chiropractor in the Laguna Hills area.
Mrs. Preziosi’s hobbies include spending time with her family and friends, walks, essential oils, homemaking soaps, and cooking.
Pamela Escobar has cared for, worked with, and mentored students ages pre-kindergarten through Senior High. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton with honors, obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Her artwork can be seen around the RSMCS campus, including the Lion on the handball wall and several classroom doors.
Miss Escobar says she is blessed to work and minister in a Christian school setting. She learned from an early age the importance of growing in her faith, knowledge, grace, and stature of our Lord Jesus Christ. In her spare time, Miss Escobar enjoys reading a good book, baking, playing hide-and-seek, and going on fun adventures with her niece, Ayelen.
Dominic Rodriguez has worked as a welder, a pipe fitter (in Colorado), a project manager for DJ’s construction, and now as the facilities director for The Bridge Church. He began working for the church in 2014 and has been attending The Bridge Church since 2008. He enjoys catching snakes and spiders and fixing what needs to be repaired at RSM Christian School.
Mr. Rodriguez has been married for 20 amazing years to the most fabulous woman on the planet! They have two boys, Matthew, who just turned 18, and Dylan, who is 15. When he is not working, you can find him running Spartan races, hiking, fishing, camping, or traveling. He also enjoys the outdoors and eating good food. He and his family enjoy camping in Mammoth each summer where they have had many exciting bear encounters.