Faculty & Staff

FACULTY & STAFF

Petra’s faculty and staff are chosen for their passion to teach in a classical and Christian school and to inspire joy in rigorous learning. We seek educators who love God, who love children, and who are both enthusiastic and diligent about teaching. A bachelor’s degree (preferably in the subject or area of study to be taught) is required, but exceptions are considered when experience and personal scholarship compensate. Experience in classical education, as a student or teacher, is preferable but not prerequisite; however, we only hire teachers who are favorably disposed to the classical model and are willing to be active learners of classical education. All Petra employees are expected to participate in church regularly.

Available Positions
As of January 1, 2017, Petra Academy is receiving applications from applicants interested in the following teaching positions for the 2017-18 school year:

  • 1st Grade
  • 4th Grade
  • 5th Grade
  • 10th & 11th Grade Spanish

ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP

 

TOSHA BOS
BUSINESS MANAGER

Bos, Tosha (low res) Mrs. Bos grew up just down the road in Manhattan and attended college both at Montana State University and Capernwray Bible School.

Since marrying Kent in 1997, Mrs. Bos has kept books for the family’s dairy business and trucking company, as well running an office fragrancing company they own. She is thrilled to live “in the country” where she has room to let her garden sprawl and can practice trial-and-error landscaping. She also loves finding the next great camping spot and reading brilliant literature.

The Boses have three children, all of whom attend Petra.

KAREN DEGROOT
OFFICE MANAGER

degrootkaren-low-resMrs. DeGroot has been helping Petra Academy keep its office in order since 2007, working full-time at Petra in 2011 after being a homeschool mom for 12 years and very involved in the local Christian homeschool sports program.

Mrs. DeGroot is involved with several church activities including leadership with the GEMS Girls Clubs. Her other work experiences include work as a travel agent, an office assistant in the Human Resource Development Council, and as a church office secretary from 1990-2011.

Mrs. DeGroot was born and raised in the Gallatin Valley and enjoys doing various handcrafts, gardening, and camping. She and her husband, Tad, have three daughters, all of whom are graduates of Petra Academy.

CRAIG DUNHAM
HEADMASTER, SECONDARY PRINCIPAL, LOGIC

dunhamcraig-low-resMr. Dunham grew up on a farm in west central Illinois before earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Following graduation, he spent 12 years on staff with The Navigators in Colorado Springs before moving to St. Louis, where Mr. Dunham taught at Heritage Classical Christian Academy and Westminster Christian Academy while earning Master’s degrees in Theological Studies and Educational Ministries from Covenant Theological Seminary. During this time, he also served as teaching assistant to resident scholar Jerram Barrs at the seminary’s Francis Schaeffer Institute.

From St. Louis, the Dunhams moved to Oklahoma City, where Mr. Dunham led the successful merger of two classical Christian schools to form The Academy of Classical Christian Studies. While there, they provided foster care for 14 different children, and helped plant City Presbyterian Church (PCA) in downtown Oklahoma City. The Dunhams moved to Bozeman to join the Petra community at the beginning of the school’s 20th year in 2015.

An author, Mr. Dunham co-wrote TwentySomeone: Finding Yourself in a Decade of Transition, as well as Learning Education: Essays and Ideas from My First Three Years of Teaching. He has published articles in Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, and ByFaith, as well as collaborated with Christian teacher and musician, Michael Card, directing Card’s Biblical Imagination Series conferences for five years.

Mr. Dunham and his wife, Megan, have four daughters, all of whom attend Petra Academy.

BETH STOHLMANN
ACADEMIC ADVISOR, ECONOMICS, U.S. & COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENTS

stohlmannbeth-low-resMrs. Stohlmann began teaching at Petra Academy in 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Area Studies from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Troy State University. Mrs. Stohlmann served as an Air Force Intelligence officer for five years and spent three of those years living and working in Germany.

Mrs. Stohlmann wears many hats at Petra, including Community Coordinator, Academic Advisor, and teaching Economics and Government to seniors. Her favorite literary character is Shasta from The Horse and His Boy, and her favorite historical figure is Margaret Thatcher. Mrs. Stohlmann and her husband, Andy, have three children at Petra, and she enjoys camping, kayaking and skiing with her family.

MARK CHRISTOFFERSON
ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL, ADMISSIONS

christoffersonmark-low-resMr. Christofferson joined the teaching staff at Petra Academy in 2008, though his teaching career began in 1992 and includes twelve years at Heritage Christian School in Bozeman, two years at a Christian school in Taiwan, two years at a public high school, and five years in the classroom at Petra. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in English Teaching with a minor in History from Montana State University, where he graduated with honors.

Mr. Christofferson’s interests include music (singing, guitar, and trumpet), hunting, bird-dog training, biking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter, and storytelling. His favorite literary character is Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. He and his wife, Tammy, have two children.

ELI DENISON
HOUSEMASTER, EVENTS, DRAMA I, II, III & IV, SPEECH & DEBATE, YEARBOOK

denisoneli-low-resMr. Denison began studying theatre while in high school in Fairbanks, AK, and continues to exercise that passion at Petra. He joined the staff in 2012, directing the extra-curricular drama program, and has since developed a curriculum that focuses on basic and advanced acting techniques, history, and appreciation of the art, as well as an introductory technical theatre class.

Prior to moving to Bozeman, Mr. Denison spent a year as an intern with French Camp Academy and several years as a student and staff member of Montana Wilderness School of the Bible. Both positions resulted in a passion for seeing young people flourish academically, spiritually, and personally, as well as learning valuable skills by being involved in direction of summer camp programs, leading bible studies, and organizing student activities.

Mr. Denison is married to Melissa, with whom he shares a long and romantic love story worthy of the cinema. His other interests involve travel (Kenya holds a special place in his heart), being outdoors, reading, and attempting to learn musical instruments (a feat at which he fails miserably). In his spare time he also participates in community theatre around Bozeman, and his favorite literary character to see on stage, screen, or in print is Jean Valjean of Les Miserables.

SAM KOENEN
ACADEMIC DEAN, HUMANITIES, COMPUTER SCIENCE

koenensam-low-resMr. Koenen serves as Petra Academy’s Academic Dean, reviewing curriculum and working closely with teachers to develop Petra’s academic program and conducting weekly teacher training. A veteran teacher at Petra, Mr. Koenen began teaching here in 2000 while earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature at Montana State University.

Mr. Koenen has lectured as part of the annual Association of Classical and Christian Schools conferences, speaking about how fairy tales awaken children’s moral imaginations. He also writes and speaks about classical education and literature on his website. In addition to teaching at Petra Academy, Mr. Koenen serves as an elder at Trinity Church.

Having fallen in love with literature while reading Dostoevsky, it is no surprise that Mr. Koenen’s favorite literary character is Alyosha from The Brothers Karamazov. His favorite work of music is Zbigniew Preisner’s Requiem for My Friend (even the quirky bits), and he reads every day from one of his favorite poets: George Herbert, Seamus Heaney, and Richard Wilbur.

He and his wife, Catherine, have four children. The Koenens enjoy flyfishing, birding, hiking, camping, messing with computers, and eating dinner together.

DAVID STOREBO
OPERATIONS MANAGER

storebodavid-low-resBringing a wealth of operations management experience in the transportation, mill, and energy fields, Mr. Storebo is an Army veteran who has his associate’s degree in law enforcement and is licensed as an armed guard in the state of Montana. A member of Trinity Church (which meets on Sundays at Petra), Mr. Storebo developed and leads their 11-member security team. Most importantly, David loves people, has a servant’s heart and an eye for detail, and has been a supportive parent of the school, as he and his wife, Sarah, have two secondary students at Petra.

ELEMENTARY FACULTY

 

TYLER ASHLEY
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY P.E., COACH

ashleytyler-low-resA native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Ashley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health Enhancement with a minor in Coaching from Montana State University. Mr. Ashley has coached football and club soccer for a number of years. Tyler is married to Kari Ashley, a Bozeman native, and they have been blessed with two young boys, Everett and Isaac and a daughter, Erin.

One of Mr. Ashley’s unique claims to fame is that he once made the regional team in Olympic Development Soccer. His favorite literary character is the Prodigal Son, and his favorite sports hero is Curtis Martin. Mr. Ashley enjoys playing with his children, snowboarding, playing soccer and basketball, and playing music as a drummer for Evangelical Free Church.

MELISSA DENISON
4th GRADE

dennisonmelissa-low-resGrowing up all over the country as a military (Army) kid, Mrs. Denison graduated from Houghton College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Inclusive Childhood Education. She worked from 2008-2011 as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher at a small missionary school in a closed Central Asian country, and in 2011, substituted at various grade levels within the Brunswick School System in Brunswick, Maine, before coming to Petra in 2012.

Mrs. Denison is married to Eli, and she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, theater, singing and playing card games. Her favorite literary character is Jean Valjean from Les Miserables and her favorite historical figure is Corrie Ten Boom.

SARAH HALE
K4 & AFTERNOON ENRICHMENT

halesarah-low-resMrs. Hale’s love for God, sacred music, and eventual teaching vocation began in her upbringing in a close family and church community in the Lolo Valley. After attending Valley Christian School in Missoula, she studied education and music at Moody Bible Institute, where she met and married her husband, Kevin.

Since graduating from Moody, Mrs. Hale has been immersed in children’s ministries – for two years at a “Shabbat School” in Chicago; “God’s Children Sing” for five years at College Church in Wheaton; and teaching beginning and intermediate flute for six years in Bedford, New Hampshire where she also taught “The Lamb’s Workshop.” Mrs. Hale’s favorite literary character is Sammy in Edward Lewis Wallant’s The Children at the Gate, and she tries to read The Writer’s Almanac every day. She and Kevin have three children.

JOAN KEMPF
K4

kempfjoan2-low-resOriginally from a small town in Minnesota, Mrs. Kempf  joined Petra’s staff in 2014. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education from the University of North Dakota, where she would on to teach and consult in early childhood education classes (including teaching children with learning disabilities) for twelve years.

Mrs. Kempf and her husband, Mark, have three children, with their youngest enrolled at Petra in secondary classes. Her favorite literary character is the Red Hen from The Little Red Hen and her favorite historical figure is Esther. Her claim to fame is being captured in photos in Bozeman’s Discovery Maps and Bridger Bowl publications.

BOBBI MILLER
KINDERGARTEN & AFTERNOON ENRICHMENT

millerbobbi-low-resMrs. Miller’s studied Christian Education and Children’s Ministry at the University of Valley Forge, and has worked in early childhood education for 15 years. Mrs. Miller started at Petra in 2010 and was a workshop leader at the Association of Classical and Christian Schools national conference in 2014.

Mrs. Miller and her husband, Craig, have two children attending Petra. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, camping, and cooking. Her favorite literary character is Pinocchio, and one of her favorite pastimes is hula-hooping.

RACHEL SCHANER
3rd GRADE

schanerrachel-low-resBorn in Lake Charles, LA, Miss Schaner grew up in Billings and was Petra’s first-ever student-teacher in 2012 and is now one of our full-time elementary teachers. As a high school student, Miss Schaner encountered classical education from her mother who homeschooled her K-12 and from several co-operative classes before attending Montana State and Montana State-Billings. She graduated with a double major in Elementary Education and K-12 Teaching Reading, as well as over 20 Fine Arts credits.

Teaching is her dream job, but in her free time, Miss Schaner enjoys reading, swing dancing, hiking and rock climbing, and playing the accordion. Her favorite literary characters are Elinor Dashwood from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and Gabriel Oak from Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, and her favorite historical figure is Theodore Roosevelt.

JEAN SNYDER
1ST GRADE

snyderjean-low-resBorn in McCook, Nebraska, Mrs. Snyder holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Montana State University. An experienced homeschool mom (having taught her own children through 8th grade), Mrs. Snyder is one of our veteran teachers, having started teaching at Petra in 2006.

Once a member of an equestrian drill team, Mrs. Snyder enjoys horseback riding, camping, gardening, hiking, and reading. Her favorite literary character is Puddleglum in The Silver Chair, and her favorite historical figure is Paul Revere. She and her husband, Bob, have three adult children.

ELIZABETH WICKLAND
ELEMENTARY LATIN

wicklandelizabeth-low-resMrs. Wickland first taught Latin at Petra from 2003-2006, returning in 2013 after a 7-year hiatus, most of which was spent as a stay-at-home mom. She has visited 19 foreign countries on five different continents, but loves life in Bozeman the most.

Mrs. Wickland earned her degree in English, graduating Summa Cum Laude from LeTourneau University in Texas and has minors in Bible and Cross-Cultural Studies. Her favorite historical figures are Horatio G. Spafford, who penned the hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul,” and Francois Fenelon, spiritual advisor to King Louis XIV and members of his court. Mrs. Wickland and her husband, Leif, have a daughter who attends Petra.

ANNE BENTZ
KINDERGARTEN AIDE, 2nd GRADE CO-TEACHER

bentzann-low-resMrs. Bentz grew up in a logging camp in southeast Alaska, where she graduated high school from a one-room school. She went on to Montana State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-8). She’s been a Petra parent for the last 11 years and has 4 children who all attend.

Her favorite literary character is Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and she enjoys hiking, running, reading, music, and road trips.

KATIE ELDER
2ND GRADE

elderkatie-low-resMrs. Elder holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, and specializations in Elementary Mathematics and Elementary Education. She also earned a Master’s in Teaching from Liberty University. Her experiences include teaching elementary enrichment, summer school and student teaching at Grace Christian School in Medford, Oregon as well as three years as a math specialist and substitute teacher in the Bozeman Public Schools. She began teaching at Petra Academy in 2012.

Mrs. Elder’s favorite literary character is Toady from Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows. In her spare time, she enjoys puzzle books, camping, and cross-country skiing. She is married to Justin and they have two daughters.

HEIDI HORNUNG
CHOIR

hornungheidi-low-resBorn in Spokane, Mrs. Hornung grew up in northern California and Billings, MT. She earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance from Pacific Lutheran University and, as the pianist at Christ the King Lutheran Church, has a background in classical and sacred music, working 10 years as a staff accompanist for music majors and choirs at Montana State University and currently enjoying teaching piano to kids of all ages.

Mrs. Hornung’s favorite literary characters are Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird and Charlie from Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. One of her claims to fame is that, when she was a child, Michael Jackson once cut in front of her while at Disneyland. She and her husband, Stuart, have three daughters.

SARAH MCCLAFLIN
6th GRADE

mcclaflinsarah-low-resA veteran teacher at Petra, Mrs. McClaflin joined our teaching staff in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin-Wallace University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Sarah also has teaching experience in homeschool, homeschool-cooperative, and teaching music in private and public settings.

Mrs. McClaflin and her husband, Shane, have four children who are at Petra and own an outfitting business, Sunrise Pack Station, that specializes in outdoor education, fly fishing, and multi-day-horseback trips into the back country of Yellowstone National Park.

While exploring literature and history with her students, Mrs. McClaflin continues to be inspired by the perseverance of Christian from A Pilgrim’s Progress, the love of Jesus and others fervently displayed in the midst of hardship by Betsie Ten Boom, and the steadfastness of William Tyndale.

SABRINA MOODY
3RD GRADE

moodysabrina-low-resMs. Moody began her teaching career in 1990, serving a combined seven years at private schools and four years at public schools. Her experience spans preschool to high school, and includes homeschooling through the 4th grade. She is the proud parent of three students at Petra, where she began teaching in 2012.

Ms. Moody holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biology and English/American Literature from the University of California at San Diego, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1990. Her favorite literary characters are Odysseus and Penelope from The Odyssey, and Fern from Charlotte’s Web, and her favorite historical figures are St. Augstine and St. Francis.

JENNIFER SKINNER
5th GRADE

skinnerjen-low-resMrs. Skinner was born in Plentywood, but grew up on a ranch in Augusta, Montana. She earned a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a minor in K-12 Reading and Teaching from Montana State University, of which she is a huge fan as the wife of Anthony, the Bobcat team football manager.

A high school basketball player, Mrs. Skinner was the recipient of the “Scrappiest Player” award. Her favorite literary character is C.S. Lewis’ Aslan and her favorite historical figure is George Muller.

RACHAEL WEBER
2ND GRADE

weberrachel-low-resMrs. Weber holds a Bachelor’s in Christian Ministries and a Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Azusa Pacific University. She brings ten years of teaching experience (including two in another classical Christian school) to Petra. Having served as a long-term substitute during Mrs. Elder’s maternity leave, Mrs. Weber is known to Grammar families and excited to join the community in her own classroom. She will be joined at Petra by her three children (grades 10th, 8th, and 5th).

SECONDARY FACULTY

 

THOMAS BANKS
HUMANITIES & LATIN

banksthomas-low-resA native of Moscow, Idaho, where he attended Logos School, Mr. Banks began teaching at Petra in 2010. With degrees in English literature and Classical Studies from the University of Idaho, he is a student and scholar of languages (preferably “dead”) and a collector of books (preferably rare).

Mr. Banks’ favorite literary character is Penelope from The Odyssey, and his favorite historical figures are St. Joan of Arc, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and St. Thomas More.

JEFF KNAPP
MATH & SCIENCE

knappjeff-low-resMr. Knapp graduated from Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska, from which he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with majors in Biology and Health. Mr. Knapp began his teaching career in 1995 and has taught at Lutheran schools in Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah, before coming to Petra in 2008.

Jeff and his wife, Anneli, have two sons. His favorite historical figures are Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

GINNY OWENS
HUMANITIES, RHETORIC, ORCHESTRA, VIOLIN

owensginny1-low-resOriginally from Detroit, Miss Owens earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Violin Performance from Bob Jones University, as well as a Master’s in English Literature from Wayne State University, after which she was employed as an adjunct professor in the English Department of University of Detroit Mercy where she taught rhetoric and composition. She began teaching at Petra in 2013.

Miss Owens has played violin and piano since she was a young girl, and even played the oboe at one point. She loves to read, especially anything by C.S. Lewis and British literature in general, as well as apologetics. She likes art museums, symphonies, opera, photography, hiking, theater, cats, cooking, and drinking tea and coffee. Her favorite literary characters are Portia from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and Dr. Edwin Ransom from C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra.

KRISTIN TE SLAA
PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, TRIGONOMETRY

teslaakristin-low-resNewly married and new to Montana, Mrs. Te Slaa holds a BS from Calvin College’s Secondary Education Program, where she majored in Physics and minored in Mathematics, and an MA in Science Education from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City. Mrs. Te Slaa has taught mathematics and science at the high school level for ten years. Having recently married and moved from Michigan, Mrs. Te Slaa and her husband attend Manhattan Christian Reformed Church in Churchill.

LIBBY KUENEKE
HUMANITIES

kuenekelibby-low-resGrowing up in St. Louis (and in the house her great-grandfater designed), Mrs. Kueneke began teaching at Petra in 2013. Mrs. Kueneke graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia Honors Program with a major in English and a minor in religious studies. She then earned her Master’s degree in Education at Colorado State University and taught secondary English for two years at a classical, core-knowledge charter school in Fort Collins.

Mrs. Kueneke loves classical literature, bluegrass music, gardening, yoga, and walks downtown for coffee with her husband, Greg. Her favorite literary character is Les Miserables‘ Jean Val Jean, and her favorite historical figure is William Wilberforce.

RHONDA MEYER
ALGEBRA I & II, CALCULUS

meyerrhonda-low-resMrs. Meyer holds a BA in Mathematics from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, an MA in Pure Mathematics from the University of California at Davis, and a Preliminary Teaching Credential from National University. She taught at Petra in 1999, but was only able to teach one year due to beginning her family. She and her husband have enrolled their three children (grades 10th, 9th, and 3rd) at Petra for 2016-17 and are looking forward to being part of the community again. They are members at St. John Vianney in Belgrade.

ASHLEY SCHREIBEIS
SPANISH

schreibeisashley-low-resGrowing up in a suburb of Austin (Georgetown), Mrs. Schreibeis earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies-Human Relations and Business Foundations from the University of Texas and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University. She taught for two years (in Spanish) in the Dominican Republic before coming to Petra in 2014.

Mrs. Schreibeis’ favorite literary character is Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird, and her favorite historical figure is C. S. Lewis. When she’s not dreaming of being a backup dancer on tour, Mrs. Schreibeis and her husband, Joe, are busy raising their young son.

GREGG VALERIANO
HUMANITIES, LOGIC

valerianogregg-low-resOriginally from Memphis, TN, Mr. Valeriano earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature from Northeastern Bible College, a Master of Arts in Theology from Wheaton College Graduate School, and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

After a two-year stint teaching at L’Abri Fellowship in Huémoz, Switzerland, “Mr. V.” (as he is affectionately known) moved to Montana and eventually began teaching humanities and logic at Petra in 2003. In addition to teaching secondary students, he is also an adjunct professor at Montana State University, where he teaches philosophy in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.

Mr. Valeriano and his wife, Anya, have two daughters and a son, and his favorite literary/historical figures are Abdiel from Paradise Lost and Edmund Burke.