We are so thankful for the highly skilled and Christ-centered teachers who choose to work with us each day.  We invite you to review their credentials and to glimpse at their hearts for students.

Name:  Ms. Christine McConnell


  First & Second Grade Teacher

                  Assistant Principal


·        State University of New York at Oswego, Master of Science in Education, 2008

·        State University of New York at Oswego, Bachelor of Science in Education, 2006



·        New York State Literary Specialist, Childhood Education Birth – 6th

·        New York State Public School Teacher, Childhood Education, 1-6th


·        Adams Free Library in Adams, NY, Head Librarian

·        Watertown City School District in Watertown, NY; Grade 6 classroom teacher and Literary Specialist

·        Practicum/Student Teaching, Grades 3rd, 4th, 5th grades

In her own words:

From a very early age I have been a Bible-believing Christian, and I was raised and homeschooled by parents who had strong convictions regarding the importance of Christian education.  As an adult, I have committed my life to the Lord and His purpose for me. I am now raising my own child and over the years she has attended public school, been homeschooled, and is now in her third year with New Hope Christian Academy.  The Lord brought us to NHCA when we relocated to this area to be involved in our church, House of Freedom Worship Center in Cave in Rock, Illinois. 

As the school was physically moved in 2013, so I also was spiritually moved to become involved as a teacher.  This year I am full time in the classroom and it is by far the most fulfilling experience I have had in my years as an educator.  I know as a licensed professional I could work in other schools and have a financially rewarding career.  However, there is no place I would rather be than at New Hope Christian Academy because it is here I am fulfilling God's calling on my life, working with fellow believers equally dedicated to the Lord and training up a generation of young people with faith firmly rooted in the Word of God.

Name:  Miss Heather Sanders



Third Grade Teacher

Junior High Science Teacher


·        Greenville College, Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education

·        Southeastern Illinois College, Associates in Elementary Education

Certification:  Illinois Teaching License K-9

Endorsements:  Language Arts and Social Sciences


·        High School Math Tutor, Fall 2012

·        Tutor for Jr High Language Arts

·        Elementary Teacher, 2011 – present; Grades 3rd – 6th

·        Substitute Teacher (Gallatin Country, Hardin County, ECCS)

More about Miss Sanders:

·        Very involved in fundraising efforts for NHCA

·        Leamington Community Church, Primary Sunday School, Bible School Teacher, Camp Counselor, Drama Team, and Media  Coordinator Substitute

In her own words:

I started my career in Christian education at Equality Christian Center School. I personally went to public school. So, I was a bit skeptical about Christian education when I started subbing at ECCS. You know the story: you hear the rumors, you believe the rumors, and you make assumptions. However, it didn't take but one day to figure out that all of those rumors were simply untrue. It was truly a blessing that I didn't know I would get. 

When the school was moving from ECCS to become NHCA, I decided it was my time to start looking for a job as a public school educator again. I was determined to become a substitute teacher again and “get my foot in the door” of the public school system once again. That's just it though, it was my decision. My heart and God's will was still for me to be a part of the NHCA family.

I came to the open house as extra help to a friend and left in tears because I was the one that had removed myself from the place and people that I loved so much. The principal approached me to substitute for NHCA to fill a temporary need. I agreed to come on as long as she knew I was just a substitute. A week went by and I knew I couldn't leave. I was never more excited than when I was asked me to be a part of the school in a more permanent fashion.

About a week and a half into NHCA's first year I became the 3rd through 6th grade teacher. It was a lot of planning and a lot of work, but I loved it and I knew that I was back in God's will. It was through those few short weeks that God really showed me how true it is that He really has a plan for us.

Since that time, God has renewed my heart for Christian education in this area over and over again. I know now that when we're in His will for us it all just kind of fits and I am so glad that my “fit” is NHCA.

Name:  Mr. Fred Stacy


Position:  High School Mathematics


·        University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 1970, Bachelor of Science in Education w/ Minor in Geology

·        Attended consecutive summer sessions in specific science curricula via National Science Foundation grant


·        2012- Present   Math Teacher - New Hope Christian Academy

·        2011-2012    Assistant Principal / Math Teacher  - ECCS

·        1987-2011    Principal / Math/Science Teacher PRN  - ECCS

·        1984-1987   Science/Math Teacher Equality Christian Center School

·        1984 to Present   Return to Education (Christian Education)

·        1984 -  WTCT-TV  Station Manager of new Christian TV station

·        1975 - 1984  WSIL-TV  - I did everything except clean toilets

·        1971 Nebraska Wesleyan University - IPS curriculum

·        1974 - 1984   Broadcasting Industry

·        1973-74  - Science Instructor - West Aurora High School

·        1970-1973 - Science Instructor - Franklin Jr. High School   

·        1970 - 1974 Aurora West School District - Aurora, Illinois 

·        1972 Penn State University - PS2 curriculum

More about Mr. Stacy:

·        He is committed to Christian Education, serving as a catalyst for New Hope Christian Academy’s founding.

·        He enjoys interacting with young people.  

·        Fred and his wife moved this past fall to Florida, yet he continues to teach high school mathematics and interact with these students via distance learning.    

Name:  Mrs. Darla Partridge


Positions:  Jr High/HS English, History, Government, Economics, and Bible Teacher


·        Teacher at Equality Christian Center School and New Hope Christian Academy

o   Combined total of 25 years as a volunteer teacher

o   Planned and taken students on trips to Springfield and Washington D.C.

More about Mrs. Partridge:

·        Married to Dr.  Elliott Partridge of Eldorado (our founding School Board President). They have 7 children and numerous grandchildren

·        Worships at Eldorado First Baptist Church

In her own words:

Twenty five years ago, it seemed apparent to me and my husband that the public school curricula had begun to exclude the overwhelming evidence that our nation’s history was predominately Christian.  We sought other educational avenues which led us to Equality Christian Center School.  The school depended upon volunteers.  That started my relationship with the school and church.  When it was necessary to re-locate the school, I did, too.  I believe strongly in Christ-centered education.  Three of our seven children and four of our grandchildren have benefited from that decision.  The Lord always provides.

Name:  Mrs. Charlotte Barton

Position:  K3 Teacher


·        Southeastern Illinois College

·        University of Southern Indiana

·        University of Phoenix

Certification:  K-5 Elementary


·        K-12 Reading

·        Exceptional Children with Mild to Moderate  Disabilities

Experience:  15 years of teaching experience in all grades Pre K-8

·        Teacher Assistant in Pre-K, mild to moderate self-contained classroom K-2, Title 1 Reading and Math K-8

·        Junior High classroom teacher, Grades 7-8 (combined/self-contained)

·        Junior High, Grade 6 math teacher

·        Grades 2/3 combined classroom teacher

·        Elementary teacher 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade

·        Grade 5 math and science teacher

More About Mrs. Barton:

·        Born and raised in Southern Illinois in a family that raised her to put God first in her life

·        Married to Scott and together they have Hannah and Drew (Hannah is a student at NHCA)

·        Involved in ministry as the founder and pastor of Praise & Victory Worship Center in Norris City

·        Involved in other local ministries

In her own words:

God has placed me at NHCA to teach Pre-K students the needed academic skills necessary to have a successful start in their education. God has also placed me at NHCA to instill within them a love for God and to help give them a strong foundation in Biblical principles in order to live a life pleasing to God.  I also commit myself to be obedient to God in being an encouragement in any way possible to the staff of NHCA. 


Of all the teaching experiences I have had, teaching at New Hope Christian Academy as a PreK teacher is by far the most wonderful experience.  The staff and school board are very supportive, and the school as a whole is like a close family.  I am thankful for the opportunity to teach at this school, and would not want to teach anywhere else.


Name:  Mrs. Amelia (Klope) Schwartz

Position:  K4 and K5 Teacher


·        Southeastern Illinois College of Harrisburg, Associate in Arts, 2010

·        Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, Bachelor of Science



Illinois Teaching License K-9

Concentration in Social Science

Middle School endorsement in Social Science


·        4th grade maternity leave at Harrisburg, Illinois

·        4th grade medical leave at Harrisburg, Illinois

·        3rd grade medical leave at Harrisburg, Illinois

·        3rd grade maturity leave at Harrisburg, Illinois

·        Student teaching in 2nd grade Marion, Illinois

In her own words:

I started my Christian education when I was a sophomore in high school. I graduated from Equality Christian Center in 2007. I am thankful for my Christian education. I've known since second grade that God called me to be a teacher. When I graduated college, I was hired at Harrisburg to do a maternity leave in third grade. I loved every challenge and success that my time at Harrisburg brought me.

Through my education journey, I was hired at New Hope, as a Kindergarten teacher. I was nervous, scared, and excited all at the same time. I had never been in a Kindergarten classroom. I had a lot of help and encouragement from my friends and family. I could feel their prayers, and I quickly became confident in God and myself. I have loved every minute of being a Kindergarten teacher. I love the fact that I have found a family at NHCA.