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Administration

Monte Knetter: Headmaster ➝

Mr. Knetter is honored and excited to serve at Charis! Mr. Knetter grew up in the Madison area where he attended a Christian school. After graduating high school he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he majored in History and Political Science. After working for a year in state government, Mr. Knetter went on to attend the University of Wisconsin Law School. Mr. Knetter practiced law for a couple of years before transitioning into education. He taught History and Literature in Madison before moving to Baldwin, Wisconsin where he served as Headmaster and taught Omnibus and Latin at a classical Christian school. Mr. Knetter and his wife have five children, all named after great literary or historical figures. Mr. Knetter believes that education is a life-long endeavor, so when he isn’t teaching he enjoys learning new things. Additionally, he likes being outdoors and active with his family, traveling, and reading.

Kim Nielsen: Director of Curriculum & Teacher Development ➝

Mrs. Nielsen served as the founding headmaster of Charis Classical Academy and is currently the Curriculum/Teacher Development Coach. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Northern Iowa and her Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies at University of Iowa. She practiced for a number of years before accepting faculty positions at two different PA programs, where she realized her true love of teaching. After being introduced to classical education and the university model, she and her husband helped found Oak Grove Classical Academy in Albuquerque, NM. In 2010, they moved to Madison with their four children to plant The Vine Church. Kim’s passion for education, for seeing the gospel displayed in every aspect of life, and for her own family came together once again in the birth of CCA. She loves spending time with her husband and four kids, investing in their church community, reading, gardening, and re-purposing furniture (nothing better than seeing something old revitalized!).

Katie Tuck: Co-Teacher Coach ➝

As founding board members, the Tucks have been involved in the life of the school since the beginning. Katie is married to Jay, and they have three kids, Trey, Phoebe, and Junia. Katie supervises Charis events and programs ensuring an aesthetic experience across all marketing materials. The Czar of Cash, she also balances the books, monitors the money, and finances the funds. In her free time, she enjoys living dangerously and can be found sky diving, alligator wrestling, or designing dress code standards.

Maren Katsihtis: Logistics Coordinator ➝

Mrs. Katsihtis loves all of the miscellaneous creative and organizational tasks involved in her job as Logistics Coordinator, from assisting with day to day flow of classes and scheduling, to organizing school field trips, subs, and volunteers, and helping with special events. She is married to Jimmy and they have two daughters, Ruby and Tula.  The Katsihtis family worships at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, where Jimmy serves as Parish Council President.  In her free time Maren enjoys cooking, reading, singing and playing music, watching movies, and spending time outdoors with her family.

Tiffany Betz: Office Administrator ➝

Tiffany Betz is the school office administrator. She will be the main contact for office calls, bandaids, and cough drops. Tiffany is married to Dr. Adam Betz, and has two children: Bella and Eli.

Todd Henreckson: Director of Development ➝

Todd is grateful for the opportunity to support Charis’ mission of providing families in Dane County the opportunity to choose a classical Christian education for their children.

Todd and his wife Janice feel strongly about Christian parents taking responsibility for the raising and education of their children – for them that meant homeschooling their 5 children while living in rural Wisconsin. They further value the importance of educational institutions keeping free of government entanglements and are grateful for the opportunity for several of their children to have graduated from Hillsdale College, a school that like Charis refuses to accept government funding to maintain its independence.

Todd has enjoyed a 30+ year career in sales and marketing, both in the corporate sector and over the last 20 years as a business owner. He loves Christ’s church, including Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Madison where he is a member and where several families are thrilled to have their children enrolled at Charis. He also is grateful to serve on the board of Classically Christian 89.5FM, a radio station located in Baraboo, WI.

Board

Michelle Culley ➝

Michelle and her husband, John, moved to Sun Prairie in 2010. They are Kansas natives, having met at Kansas State University in 2002. Their three children attend Charis- Shannon, Peter, and Erin. Michelle has a passion for Christ centered classical education and what is good, true, and beautiful. She and her family are so grateful for the Charis community!

Michelle and John actively serve in their church (Providence OPC) where John is an Elder and Michelle leads women’s ministries. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, decorating cookies, going for walks, and drinking chai tea lattes.

David Gennrich ➝

Dave graduated from UW-Madison and currently works as a Mechanical Engineer and project manager for Delve, a product design consulting firm.  He has designed over 30 products ranging from medical equipment, to motorcycle wheels.  

Dave and his wife Lindsey were married in 2007, and now live in Fitchburg.  They enjoy camping, softball, biking, gardening and spending time with their extended family.  Their 3 daughters attend Charis Classical Academy.  Their oldest daughter Lily is now in 7th grade, Sophie is in 4th grade, and Abby will be entering kindergarten this year. They were initially attracted to the Classical approach and the way that learning points to Christ.

The network of inspirational people at Charis, and the excellent teachers have been a blessing to them as a family.   Dave is excited to be a part of the Christian classical education movement.

Katie & Jay Tuck ➝

Jay and Katie met in their hometown of Rockford, IL when they both became involved with a college/career ministry inspired by Passion conferences. Katie had recently returned from Biola University and Jay graduated from Vanderbilt University. After a whirlwind romance they were married and headed off to Chicago where Jay began medical school.

Almost 15 years, 4 cities, 3 kids, and 2 dogs later, the Tucks have settled in the Madison area where Jay works as a Pulmonologist & Intensivist at Mercy Hospital in Janesville. Jay and Katie are members at Red Village Church where Jay has served as an elder. Jay also enjoys reading, jogging, biking and nature hikes with his family. Katie enjoys spending time outside with her family, discipleship, reading, running, and the arts.

The Tucks became interested in classical education before they even had children when they read Dorothy Sayers’ essay, “The Lost Tools of Learning.” They are excited about being a part of Charis Classical Academy.

Todd Henreckson ➝

Todd is grateful for the opportunity to support Charis’ mission of providing families in Dane County the opportunity to choose a classical Christian education for their children.

Todd and his wife Janice feel strongly about Christian parents taking responsibility for the raising and education of their children – for them that meant homeschooling their 5 children while living in rural Wisconsin. They further value the importance of educational institutions keeping free of government entanglements and are grateful for the opportunity for several of their children to have graduated from Hillsdale College, a school that like Charis refuses to accept government funding to maintain its independence.

Todd has enjoyed a 30+ year career in sales and marketing, both in the corporate sector and over the last 20 years as a business owner. He loves Christ’s church, including Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Madison where he is a member and where several families are thrilled to have their children enrolled at Charis. He also is grateful to serve on the board of Classically Christian 89.5FM, a radio station located in Baraboo, WI.

Staff
Grammar School

Maggie Boyd: 
Kindergarten ➝

Bio Coming Soon!

Patricia Espedal: 
Kindergarten TA ➝

Mrs. Espedal is excited to join the CCA staff this year as the Kindergarten aid. This year will be the 6th year she has been part of Charis as a co-teacher to her three girls Jolene, Lucia, and Ira. Her and her husband, Jordan, just celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary this year (August 8th). She has been a wedding and family photographer for the past twelve years. She is also an avid gardener with a 40×40 garden space in a community garden where she grows as many vegetables and flowers as she can fit within the space, her favorites being Carmen peppers and dahlias.

Brenda Boese:
1st Grade ➝

Bio Coming Soon!

Grace Hobert: 
1st Grade TA ➝

Bio Coming Soon!

Abbey Moore: 
2nd Grade ➝

Mrs. Moore is thankful to return to 2nd grade this fall. Abbey graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education, and taught in elementary classrooms until God blessed them with 4 babies in 5 years! She has been married for 19 years to her husband, Chris, who is a Lieutenant for the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office. They live in DeForest with their 4 children: Cael, Tessa, Dane, and Livia. The Moores attend Christ Fellowship Church in Sun Prairie, and enjoy leading worship with their church family. Abbey enjoys family time, volunteering, and a strong cup of coffee! The Moores were excited to learn about Charis in its earliest days – its mission as a school matched their goals as a family: to be gospel-driven and committed to quality education. Their family has thoroughly enjoyed having their children learn & grow at CCA.

Jessie Sadler:
2nd Grade TA ➝

Mrs. Sadler is grateful for the opportunity to join the CCA staff this year as the 2nd grade aid. This is her 6th year as a co-teacher to her two daughters. She is married to Tim who is Lead Pastor of RChurch in Madison.

Jessie has previously worked at a preschool in Madison, where she taught 4K for 10 years.

The Sadler family enjoys playing softball, hiking, music, trying new restaurants, local events, and spending time with friends and family.

Katherine Borkovec: 
3rd Grade ➝

Katherine Borkovec will be teaching 3rd grade this year. She has taught at Charis in various capacities including 2/3rd Grammar School teacher, Joyful Discovery, P.E. and substituting. Mrs. Borkovec graduated from UW Madison in 2005 with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Unsure of what was next after graduation, she worked in California at an outdoor science school teaching Outdoor Ed. Realizing that teaching was a passion, Katherine then returned to Wisconsin to earn her teaching certification through Concordia University. Mrs. Borkovec is also a mom to three daughters: Mari, Olivia, and Jo Jo and wife to Brian. When she isn’t co-teaching or teaching, she loves to check out children’s books at the library, camping with family and friends, and cooking.

Ksenia Sokor: 
3rd Grade TA ➝

Mrs. Sokor is excited to begin her first year at Charis as a Teaching Assistant (3rd grade). Her husband, Peter, and three daughters Yeva (7th grade), Maria (6th grade) and Sara (3nd grade) have recently moved to Wisconsin from Ukraine.

She and her daughters were homeschoolers for 4 years and for 1 year they joined New Generation Christian School back in Kyiv. Ksenia had been teaching Ukrainian history with the middle schoolers and technology with the primary school. As a family, they are adjusting to new life and are thankful for being a part of Charis.

Jen Pohl: 
4th Grade ➝

Mrs. Pohl is thankful to be leading the 4th grade classroom this fall! She lives in a small community north of Madison with her husband, Travis, and their two children: Mac and Maisey. Mrs. Pohl received her undergraduate degree in Archaeology (it hasn’t yet come in super handy!). She began her teaching career as a Teach For America corps member teaching in Charlotte, NC and has been engaged in the field of education for nearly twenty years. She is eager to join the vibrant Charis community and to partner with parents to build each student’s capacity to know God and his supreme creation by exploring, wondering, and pursuing all that is good and true. The Pohl’s are members of Grace Presbyterian Church, and Mrs. Pohl enjoys reading (and collecting!) great and living books, nature jaunting, bird watching, camping and playing any and all games!

Alli Zempel:
4th Grade TA ➝

Alli Zempel is a recent graduate from Charis and is excited about the opportunity to work as a teacher’s aide this year. She loves to read, sew, crochet, and cuddle with her cats.

Donette Zempel: 
5th Grade ➝

Mrs. Zempel is excited to return as the 5th grade teacher! She is married to Dan and mom to Elijah and Allison. She earned her degree in secondary speech education and was privileged to homeschool both of her children through 8th grade. She founded and directed a Classical Conversations homeschool community in Lake Mills for 6 years, which is where her passion for classical education was born. She attends First Baptist Church in Watertown where she serves in Sunday school, youth group, and worship team. In her free time, she enjoys drinking tea, savoring dark chocolate, reading, hosting friends and family, and taking part in various seasonal activities that Wisconsin offers.

Logic/Rhetoric School

Aaron Decker ➝

Mr. Decker will be teaching mathematics, Latin, Leadership, and sundry other courses during the ’23-’24 school year. He holds degrees in Software Engineering and Mathematics from UW-Platteville and worked as a Product Lead at Epic for five years before starting his own software company, Strong Anchor Tech. He serves as a deacon at Red Village Church.

Kara Luckton ➝

Mrs. Luckton is so excited to begin her first full year of teaching at Charis. Until last spring, she was convinced that neither the B.A. in Literature she earned in 2015 from the University of Nevada, nor her three years of studying Latin in high school, would ever come in handy. She is so grateful to God (and amazed at his providence) that she now gets to teach these subjects, along with other subjects she loves, such as the Old Testament! Mrs. Luckton has served in her local church’s youth group for the past four years and in children’s ministry for about five, and has worked with all ages from 0-18. She even had the pleasure of directing a movie made by her church’s children’s ministry called The Greatest Story Ever Told in 2018, which tells the whole story of the Bible in song. She lives in Madison with her husband Bradley. The two of them enjoy playing board games that have a lot of pieces and take many hours to play, watching goofy cartoons together, and discussing the Bible, history, and Bible-history! Mrs. Luckton loves working at Charis so far, and is thankful for this caring, gospel-centered community.

Kim Nielsen:
Science ➝

Mrs. Nielsen served as the founding headmaster of Charis Classical Academy and is currently the Curriculum/Teacher Development Coach. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Northern Iowa and her Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies at University of Iowa. She practiced for a number of years before accepting faculty positions at two different PA programs, where she realized her true love of teaching. After being introduced to classical education and the university model, she and her husband helped found Oak Grove Classical Academy in Albuquerque, NM. In 2010, they moved to Madison with their four children to plant The Vine Church. Kim’s passion for education, for seeing the gospel displayed in every aspect of life, and for her own family came together once again in the birth of CCA. She loves spending time with her husband and four kids, investing in their church community, reading, gardening, and re-purposing furniture (nothing better than seeing something old revitalized!).

Chelsea Peck: Science ➝

Mrs. Peck is looking forward to her first year teaching science at Charis. She and her husband have lived in Madison for seven years and have three children. The Peck family is part of the Vine Church in Madison. Mrs. Peck received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and mathematics and a master’s degree in mathematics from Iowa State University. Before coming to Charis, she homeschooled her daughter for a few years and taught science at a homeschool co-op.

Valerie Gorski: French ➝

Valerie Gorski obtained her master’s degree in Psychology from the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France. Valérie strives to enjoy every gift God has poured in her life—fellowship with Jesus Christ, her loving husband Mike, and their two children Noah and Hannah. She enjoys meeting people from all over the world here in Madison, learning to see and appreciate the worth and beauty that can be found in their diverse experiences and cultural backgrounds. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, eating good food, reading depressing French novels, watching detective shows, and talking about the beauty of Jesus with others.

Amanda Hobert: 
Language Arts & Leadership ➝

Amanda Hobert will be teaching Grammar and Writing for the logic years and Logic this year. Amanda and her husband, Nate, moved to Madison with the Vine Church and have also planted Redeemer City Church. They have three children: Grace, Sam and Elise. Amanda received her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Northern Iowa. She received her Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. She has also worked with Navigators in college ministry. She has been a co-teacher with her own children through Charis, has taught Joyful Discovery classes, has taught Math and Language Arts for second grade, has taught 3rd grade, has served in administration roles, and now is teaching Grammar and Writing. She enjoys reading, going on walks, and having coffee with friends. She loves being involved with Charis because the school points to the Gospel and partners with parents in providing a classical approach to education.

Brittany Paplow: Math ➝

This will be Mrs. Paplow’s sixth year with Charis. She received her undergraduate degree in math education at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and taught in the public school system for four years before coming to Charis. When not teaching, Mrs. Paplow is spending time with her family which includes her husband, Casey, and kids Oliver, Miles, and Elsie Jo.

Edward Coplin ➝

Mr. Coplin was born on a farm in Hicksville, Ohio during the Clinton administration to two very suspicious parents. To their disappointment his promising love of reading at a young age was captured entirely by an addiction to pop fantasy. His life spiraled as he was forced to drop out of homeschool, and his Dad banned him from fiction. Desperate for swords (if not sorcery) Coplin turned to reading history where he discovered a lifelong love. Fueled by his natural aptitude for arguing, Coplin followed this love of history to a bachelors degree in history and political science from Grace College. He then followed a pretty girl to a life as a middle school history teacher. He teaches the Greek classics in Humanities I (that his parents wished he had learned as a child) as well as middle school PE and 6th grade history and literature. He attends Gateway Community Church in Middleton with the aforementioned pretty girl, Mrs. Mary Coplin.

Marion Lin ➝

Mrs. Lin is excited to join Charis as a Humanities instructor. She taught widely across the Humanities in her 9 years with Trinity Schools in the Twin Cities and Northern Virginia, assuming leadership roles and advising on curricular development. She and her husband, along with their two young sons, moved to Madison in 2022. The family splits time between St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Madison and St. Cyril & Methodius Church in Milwaukee. In her free time, Marion enjoys running, cooking, reading, theology, art, music, and the Chicago food scene. She has her BA from Hillsdale College and her MA from the University of Chicago.

Fridays & Fine Arts

Angela Johnson: 
Art Director ➝

Mrs. Johnson is the art director and grammar teacher at CCA. She has her interior design degree from Seminole State College in Florida. In 2013, she and her husband, Casey, moved from Central Florida to Madison to church plant. They have four children: Westyn, Emmet, Clara, and Hazel. They enjoy hiking and exploring new areas and state parks, crafting, and antiquing. She always has a project of some sort going on. It could be anything from a simple sketch to painting, redesigning a room or refinishing furniture.

Laura Berner: 3rd Grade Fridays, Logic Theater ➝

Laura Berner is excited to return to the CCA staff this year as a Friday course teacher. She will be teaching 3rd grade in the mornings and then head over to the other campus for Literature/Drama and Theater. New for her this year will be stepping in as Director for the Logic play. This is her eighth year as a co-teacher at Charis and all four of her children are Charis students, ranging in grade levels from ninth on down to second. She has lived in and around Dane County her whole life and currently resides in McFarland. She and her husband, Scot, celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary this past June. Laura stays busy teaching, being a soccer mom, and fellowshipping with friends and family. She loves a good audiobook and chocolate – even better if they go together!

Hope Reed: Music ➝

Bio Coming!

Hailey Martinson: Physical Education ➝

Bio Coming!