Fernando Garcia

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Fernando Garcia

Fernando Garcia

High School Art Teacher

Fernando Garcia

High School Art Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: BA - Visual Communications, FIT NYC

Bio:

Fernando is married to Claudia Garcia for 20 years. They have two children, Victoria and Samantha, who are enrolled at EC.

He started his passion for fine arts and visual communications at an early age. He studied Advertising Design at the H.S. of Art and Design and F.I.T. State University in NYC. He is a 5x Emmy Award-winning television director/producer with 20+ years of experience in broadcasting productions, event activations, and advertising design. He has substantial experience in the development of live newscast production, talk shows, musical stage performances, special TV programs, & TV/Web commercials.

Fernando previously served at Transformation Life Church in Wood-ridge, NJ for 6 years and is now a member at Bethany Church in Washington Twp. He has always been committed to serving the community and advancing God’s calling.

David Riley

David Riley

IT Support Technician, Boys' JV Basketball Coach

David RileyEC Graduate 2002

IT Support Technician, Boys' JV Basketball Coach

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A - Video Production & Film, Five Towns College

Bio:

David Riley is excited about being back at EC. He is a 2002 graduate of Eastern Christian School and hopes to put back into the community what he got out of it 20 years ago. David has a beautiful & loving wife Cursha, along with three children he adores, one boy Ja’zai, and two girls Janiya, and Jaiya. David is also an ordained Minister of 13 years, his love for Christ and making him known is part of his life’s mission. He is also an educator, a filmmaker, & songwriter. While juggling all these passions you can find him on the basketball court where he plans to help grow the EC basketball team as a coach. For David, coming back to EC is God ordained.

Kelsi Bailey

Kelsi Bailey

STEAM & Horizons Teacher, Girls JV Volleyball Coach

Kelsi Bailey

STEAM & Horizons Teacher, Girls JV Volleyball Coach

EC Start Date: 2021

Bio:

I grew up in Florida, where I discovered my lifelong interests of playing volleyball, reading, writing, and working with kids. I moved to New York for college and found new exciting things to add to my interests, like hiking in the mountains, playing intricate board games, and going on adventure trips with my husband and my friends. I now live in New York with my husband and our kitten, Goose, where we spend our days working, volunteering at our church, reading, playing games, learning how to make new recipes, and finding coffee shops to sit in.

I went to Nyack College to study Education with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and graduated with my degree. I knew that God was leading me to teach, but I had no idea about all the different contexts of teaching that God would bring me through! I taught first grade for two years in a private Christian school, while also co-leading the children’s ministry and youth ministry at our church. I then spent six months at the YMCA, assisting students in their online schooling and leading programs in how to use virtual learning platforms. I then heard about the available position here at EC, and having heard from my husband – Stephen Bailey, the Bible teacher at ECHS – about the type of culture and working environment that was kept at EC, I felt led by God to pursue this position!

At Eastern Christian, I have heard and seen firsthand the level of care and intentionality that permeates the culture and environment – starting at the top with the school leadership that is directed towards the teachers, who are then able to pass it on to their students. To work and serve in a place that treats each person as reflecting the image of our holy God is a concept that I know will help each student learn their own worth and value as ascribed to them by God, and that is something I am extremely passionate about.

Meredith Kohlbrenner

Meredith Kohlbrenner

Curriculum and Technology Integration Coordinator

Meredith KohlbrennerEC Graduate 2003

Curriculum and Technology Integration Coordinator

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.A. - English & Secondary Education, Grove City College

Bio:

Meredith is an EC alumna who is thrilled to rejoin the school community, this time as both a teacher and parent. She and her husband, Ken, have two daughters, Vienna and Hope. As a family, they enjoy rock-climbing, swimming, art, and serving at their church, Grace Redeemer in Glen Rock. In 2018, Meredith began teaching elementary school Horizons, which has a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) focus. Meredith is passionate about hands-on STEAM learning, especially creating, coding, and problem-solving. Before coming to EC, she had five years of teaching experience in the Connecticut public school system, where she enjoyed integrating technology into her classroom. She feels honored to contribute to EC’s mission of engaging students’ minds and preparing Christian leaders to serve the world.

Ben Spoelstra

Ben Spoelstra

Director of Technology and Curriculum

Ben SpoelstraEC Graduate 2007

Director of Technology and Curriculum

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.A. - History, William Paterson University
M.I. - Library & Information Science, Rutgers University

Tim Steen

Tim Steen

High School Technology Teacher, Varsity Track Assistant Coach

Tim Steen

High School Technology Teacher, Varsity Track Assistant Coach

EC Start Date: 2001

Education: B.A. - Telecommunications, Calvin College
M.A. - Telecommunications, University of Georgia

Bio:

Tim has been teaching technology and writing classes at EC since 2001. He and his family (wife Stephanie and kids Emily, Josh, and Charlotte) took a two year hiatus from EC to live and teach at an international school in Tanzania. Since returning in 2015, Tim has been passionate about treating New Jersey as a mission field, and to opening the eyes of EC high school students to a larger world and larger vision of God’s redemptive love for them and the whole world. Along with that, he’s excited to explore God’s creation through technology, especially the EC Robotics program. Recently Tim has been involved in leading Spring Break mission trips, a tech director of the drama program, and a STEAM mentor, and being a father of two high school and one middle school student. The Steen family attends Emergence Church.

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