We are so thankful for the highly skilled, professional, 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.
Mrs. Darla Partridge

Position: Junior High and High School English, History, and Bible Teacher

Teacher at Equality Christian Center School and New Hope Christian Academy
  • Combined total of more than 25 years as a volunteer teacher
  • Planned and taken students on trips to Springfield and Washington D.C.

More about Mrs. Partridge

  • Married to Dr. Elliot Partridge of Eldorado (our founding School Board President). They have 7 children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
  • Worships at Eldorado First Baptist Church

In her own words:

More than 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.

Ms. Heather Sanders

Position: 3rd through 6th Grade Teacher
               Junior High Science Teacher

  • Illinois Teaching License K-9 


  • Language Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Greenville College, 2010
    • Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education
  • Southeastern Illinois College, 2009
    • Associates of Arts in Elementary Education


  • 2012- Present Middle Grades Teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 2012-2016 Elementary Reading and Math Tutor 
  • 2012 High School Math Tutor
  • 2011-2012 Elementary Teacher at Equality Christian Center School 
  • 2010-2012 Junior High Language Arts Tutor
  • 2010 Substitute Teacher at Gallatin County, Hardin County, and Equality Christian Center School
  • 2010 Practicum/Student Teaching 2nd Grade Sorento Elementary School, Sorento, Illinois

More about Ms. Sanders:

  • Scholastic Book Fair Chairperson
  • Very involved in the fundraising efforts for NHCA
  • Worships at Leamington Community Church
    • Primary Sunday School Teacher
    • Bible School Teacher
    • Camp Counselor
    • Media Coordinator Substitute 
  • Ms. Sanders offers after school care at NHCA

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 time to start looking for a job as a public school educator again. I was determined to become a substitute again and "get my foot in the door" of the public school system. That's just it though, it was my decision. I had left God out of the decision making process. My heart and God's will was still for me to be a part of the NHCA family.

I came to the first 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 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 at NHCA.

Mrs. Amelia Schwartz
K4 and K5 Teacher

  • Illinois Teaching License K-9


  • Social Science


  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 2011
    • Bachelors of Science in Education
  • Southeastern Illinois College, 2010
    • Associates of Arts


  • 2016-present K4 and K5 teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 2014-2016 K5 teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 4th grade maternity leave at Harrisburg, Illinois
  • 4th grade medical leave at Harrisburg, Illinois
  • 3rd grade medical leave at Harrisburg, Illinois
  • 3rd grade maternity leave at Harrisburg, Illinois
  • Practicum/Student Teaching 2nd Grade Marion, Illinois

More about Mrs. Schwartz:

  • Worships at Equality Christian Center Church
    • Teaches Sunday School Class
  • Mrs. Schwartz is married to Nick Schwartz of Harrisburg and they have two children.

In her own words:

I started my Christian education when I was a sophomore in high school. I graduated from Equality Christian Center School 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 friend 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.

Mr. Fred Stacy
Junior High and High School Mathematics

  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 1970
    • Bachelor of Science in Education
      • Minor in Geology
  • Attended consecutive summer sessions in specific science curricula via National Science Foundation grant


  • 2012-present Math Teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 2011-2012 Assistant Principal/Math Teacher at Equality Christian Center School
  • 1987-2011 Principal and Math Teacher at Equality Christian Center School
  • 1984-1987 Science and Math Teacher at Equality Christian Center School
  • 1984 WTCT-TV Station Manager of new Christian TV station
  • 1975-1984 WSIL-TV 
  • 1974-1984 Broadcasting Industry 
  • 1973-1974 Science Instructor at West Aurora High School
  • 1972 Penn State University PS2 curriculum
  • 1971 Nebraska Wesleyan University IPS curriculum 
  • 1970-1973 Science Instructor at Franklin Junior High School
  • 1970-1974 Aurora West School District Aurora, Illinois

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, Sandra, moved in the fall of 2013 to Florida, yet he continues to teach high school mathematics and interact with these students through distance learning.

Ms. Christine McConnell

Position: 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher

               Assistant Principal


  • New York State Literary Specialist, Childhood Education Birth- 6th
  • New York State Public School Teacher, 1st-6th
  • Association of Christian Schools International, Reading Teacher K-12


  • State University of New York at Oswego, 2008
    • Masters of Science in Education
  • State University of New York at Oswego, 2006
    • Bachelors of Science in Education


  • Adams Free Library in Adams, NY, Head Librarian
  • Watertown City School District in Watertown, NY; Grade 6 classroom teacher
  • Watertown City School District in Watertown, NY; Literary Specialist
  • Practicum/Student Teaching, Grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th
  • 2012 High School Science Teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 2013-present 1st and 2nd grade teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 2016-present SAT essay assessment

More about Ms. McConnell:

  • Worships at Southern Illinois Worship Center 
  • Teaches piano lessons 
  • Ms. McConnell's daughter has benefited from education at NHCA

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 sixth year of private school. 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 2012, 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 believer equally dedicated to the Lord and training up a generation of young people with faith firmly rooted in the Word of God.

Mrs. Charlotte Barton

Position: K3 Teacher


  • North Carolina Elementary Teacher K-5


  • K-12 Reading
  • Exceptional Children with Mild to Moderate Disabilities


  • University of Phoenix
    • K-12 Reading Endorsement
    • Exceptional Children with Mild to Moderate Disabilities Endorsement
  • University of Southern Indiana
    • Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education
  • Southeastern Illinois College
    • Associates of Arts


  • 19 years of teaching experience in all grades K3-8th
  • 2016-Present K3 Teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 2015-2016 K3 and K4 Teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 2012-2015 K4 Teacher at New Hope Christian Academy
  • 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
  • Junior High, Grade 6 Math Teacher
  • 2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Elementary Teacher 1st, 3rd, and 4th Grades
  • 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 an Drew.
  • Involved in ministry as the founder and pastor of Praise & Victory Worship Center in Norris City, Illinois
  • Involved in other local ministries
  • Mrs. Barton has illustrated a children's book, Mimi's Lullaby and authored a couple books of her own.

In her own words:

God has placed me at NHCA to teach K3 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 K3 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.