Mr. Brian Turner (Headmaster)
Brian Turner came to Geneva Academy in Autumn 2009 as a substitute teacher and Director. The short term assignment lasted the school year. Family matters called him out of state for a year. In 2011, Mr. Turner rejoined the Academy as Headmaster.
After earning a B.S. in Economics at Lehigh University, Mr. Turner worked at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. He later earned a Masters in American History from Boston University. In Oregon, he worked at Roseburg Forest Products and Umpqua Bank before taking over a Director’s position at Umpqua Community College. As a Dean at UCC, Mr. Turner oversaw a complex division that served students in many communities and prepared thousands of students for college level work. His innovative programs, dedication to integrity, and managerial excellence resulted in a Leader of the Year award from the Oregon Council of Adult Basic Skills Directors and other State honors.
After years of teaching and managing at the community college, Mr. Turner is “delighted, blessed, and excited” to once again serve where “the foundation of learning is the Word of God.” He and his wife live in Sutherlin with their five children (ages 15 to 22).
Mrs. Kori Shellard (Office Manager/Registrar)
Mrs. Shellard was born in Roseburg, Oregon and raised Douglas County. After spending a few years in the US Army, she lived in various locations and then returned to Roseburg in 2005. That same year she met her late husband and also started attending classes at Umpqua Community College. In 2007 she had her first child and also started working for Douglas County, where she worked until 2013. Mrs. Shellard initially had her son in public school, but through her search for an education that put God at the center of all learning, God led her family to Geneva Academy in 2013. After a year of praying that suitable employment would become available at Geneva, Mrs. Shellard was hired as office manager during the summer of 2014. Both of her children now attend Geneva Academy. Mrs. Shellard is a passionate advocate of classical Christian education and her love for Geneva is evident through the many volunteer positions she occupies at the school. Mrs. Shellard likes to point out that she isn’t part of the school because she works there, but rather, she is part of Geneva because she loves the school.
Miss Michelle Holcomb (Kindergarten)
Michelle Holcomb was born and raised in Douglas County as the fourth generation on her family’s farm. She was homeschooled, attended Umpqua Community College and Oregon State University, and earned a degree in Agricultural Sciences with a minor in writing. She enjoys homemaking, reading, playing piano and guitar, singing, doing many outdoor activities, and serving in her church.
Michelle has had a special passion and love for children since her own youth. In church, community, and college settings, she has taught children at music and drama camps, Sunday School, and nature school programs. She loves the seeing the wonder in young eyes as they discover new things or gain confidence. Michelle is excited to be at Geneva Academy and train the next generation to follow Christ by learning to use their heart, soul, mind, and strength for His glory.
Mrs. Kellie Fusco (Kindergarten)
Mrs. Kellie Fusco moved to Roseburg at a young age and graduated from Roseburg High School in 1998. She earned an Associate Degree in Elementary Education from Umpqua Community College in 2002. The Lord directed her paths, leading her to various experiences in teaching children even as young as infants. After college she worked at the Roseburg High School Childcare Center where she earned the title of Assistant Director. She later taught preschool at St. Paul Lutheran School for three years. Along with her other jobs, Mrs. Fusco taught young children at the YMCA for almost 15 years and, prior to this year, homeschooled her children. She oversees the nursery at Roseburg Christian Fellowship where she and her family have attended church for many years.
Mrs. Fusco feels God has been leading her and her family to Geneva, and she is delighted to be a part of what He is doing. She is married to Jeff and they have 5 children, ages 4 to 17. She is blessed to become a part of the Geneva family and teach the youngest students. More than anything, she wants to bless her kindergarteners and show them Jesus’ love.
Mrs. Carol Lester (Kindergarten teaching assistant)
Mrs. Lester was born in Ft. Hamilton, Ohio. When she was a young child her family moved to Northern California where she was raised. She started attending church at a young age and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior in the second grade. She loved going to church and learning all she could about God. Mrs. Lester graduated from Anderson Union High School in June of 1977. She planned to enter the military but life took an unexpected turn when she met and married her best friend and the love of her life. They were soon blessed with three beautiful daughters. While raising her children she taught and helped with Sunday school, Awana, vacation Bible school, and youth group. She taught her children at home through a Christian academy school so that they could be taught about God in a loving home environment. In 2010 God had a new plan for her family and placed them in Roseburg. Mrs. Lester believes wholeheartedly that God moved her family to Roseburg so they could be part of Geneva Academy. She felt the presence of Christ in the school from the very first day. Mrs. Lester loves the wonderful privilege of being part of the Geneva family and helping teach, tutor, and assist all the amazing children God has brought to the school. Mrs. Lester’s deepest desire is to continue to learn and grow with the Geneva Academy family. Exodus 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Miss Cheyanne Tucker (1st Grade)
Miss Tucker was raised in the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington and Idaho. After graduating high school, she studied Theology at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Southern California. While in college, she served in youth ministry and began teaching children. Her growing Christian faith coincided with a growing love of teaching children. From California she accepted a nanny position that brought her to Oregon, and to a family with daughters at Geneva Academy! Her ability to work with young children, her enthusiasm to teach, and her eagerness to learn classical Christian methodology paved the way for her to join the faculty as the first grade teacher. Training at Logos School and locally for Spell to Write and Read has inspired her for her first year at Geneva. She says, “I enjoy exploring God’s creation, traveling and reading. I desire to tell children about the love and greatness of God.”
Miss Alyssa Cannon (1st Grade)
Miss Cannon was born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon. She received her high school diploma in 2012 and graduated from West Coast Baptist College in 2016 with her Bachelor’s degree. Throughout her life her love for children has been evident. She has a desire to see them know God for themselves and has been involved in a variety of children’s ministries in her church since she was a teenager. From the age of six she has been singing and playing her violin throughout the community as well as performing with the Umpqua Valley Youth Orchestra. She has since started and is the conductor of a group of stringed instrument players at her church. She enjoys working at Geneva Academy and seeing a love for God cultivated in the lives of the students and a heart that reflects self-control, humility, strength, and respect. Miss Cannon is excited to be a part of Geneva Academy and the positive impact it is having throughout the community.
Mrs. Aleanna Sorensen (2nd Grade)
Aleanna Sorensen is Geneva Academy’s second grade teacher. She was born in Roseburg, Oregon but moved frequently growing up. She studied Elementary Education at the College of Southern Maryland, earning an associates degree. Mrs. Sorensen received classical Christian education training at Geneva Academy upon arriving from Mountain Home, Idaho. Prior to joining our school, she was active on the board of a military women’s faith group called Protestant Women of the Chapel. Her past experience includes work as an Assistant Director of a daycare, and various duties for a Native American Law Firm near Washington D.C. Mrs. Sorensen is a dedicated wife to Perry Sorensen and a mother of two. Mrs. Sorensen loves being in the classroom teaching children about the love and glory of our heavenly Father. She is compassionate, enthusiastic, and eager to instruct the children in the fundamentals of reading, math, science, and history from a Biblical worldview.
Mrs. Summer Ryan (3rd Grade)
Mrs. Summer Ryan is Geneva Academy’s third grade teacher. During the 2015/16 school year she assisted in Geneva’s fourth grade where her outstanding performance led the administration to hire her as a full time teacher in September of 2016. Mrs. Ryan was raised in Oregon and graduated from Umpqua Valley Christian School’s home school program. She also graduated from Generational Leadership, completed several courses with Christian Life School of Theology, attended classical education training at Logos School, and local Spell to Write and Read training. Mrs. Ryan’s experience with children includes helping her parents with their home day care, overseeing the preschool group at a day care facility in Washington, and a position as the Interim Children’s Ministry Director at her church. Her experience and training have led her to feel inspired and equipped for her position at Geneva. Mrs. Ryan’s husband fully supports her teaching ministry and he has even been caught helping her grade papers late at night. She has three children who are thriving students at Geneva. She feels the hearts of her children’s teachers go beyond teaching to love and train her children through both easy and difficult times. Mrs. Ryan’s feels honored to be part of a teaching ministry that touches the lives of children in so many ways.
Mrs. Rebecca Taylor (4th Grade)
Mrs. Rebecca Taylor teaches 4th Grade (and 5th grade Latin) at Geneva Academy. Rebecca is a native Oregonian; she was born and raised in Portland and earned her BA from Linfield College in McMinnville with a dual major in Business and Spanish. She later attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she earned a bachelors degree in Accounting Science.
Her husband, Chip, attended medical school on a Navy scholarship; following his graduation they embarked on a 22-year career in the US Navy which took them to Bremerton, Washington; Jacksonville, Florida; La Maddalena, Sardegna (Italy); Washington, D.C.; Newport, Rhode Island; and Sigonella, Sicily. Along the way Rebecca worked as a CPA, taught Sunday school, was a Brownie leader, taught English as a Second Language, and volunteered as a journalist for the military base newspaper. While stationed in Rhode Island, Rebecca taught at Aquidneck Island Christian Academy, a classical Christian school in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. She taught 5th/6th grade and also Primer II Latin, 7th/8th Grade English and 9th/10th Grade English. She loves teaching and cannot imagine a better way to spend one’s time and energy than in nurturing children and helping them to grow into all that God intends them to be. She is also convinced of the wisdom and effectiveness of the classical Christian model of education in accomplishing this goal. She is delighted to have the opportunity to teach at a classical Christian school again.
Rebecca and her husband moved to Roseburg in 2013. They are members of First Presbyterian Church of Roseburg where Rebecca actively serves. They have two grown children, Alex (25) and Audrey (23).
Mrs. Shalena Stratton (5th Grade)
Shalena Stratton is Geneva Academy’s 5th grade teacher. Born and raised in Roseburg, she graduated from Oregon State University with a major in Anthropology and minors in US History and Natural Resources. She began her teaching at a local home school co-op, where she discovered how much she loved seeing the children learn and grow in life and in Christ. She loves that students at Geneva love God, are excited about learning, receive a strong education in all subjects, and have dedicated parents who support the school and staff. Shalena is married to Jim and mother of two boys.
Mrs. Deborah Lanterman (6th Grade)
Deborah Lanterman earned her teaching credentials in California at Sonoma State University in 2010 and is a double major: History and Spanish. Her Seminar History paper was accepted for publication by In Retrospect, a prize winning scholarly publication of the Sonoma State University Department of History. She also has her Oregon Teaching License and has taken additional classes to increase her abilities in teaching English and Language Arts. Mrs. Lanterman’s favorite aspects of teaching are the interaction and discussions she has with her students and “seeing their faces light up when they recognize that they are able to understand difficult concepts”. She is thrilled to be teaching at a classical school and particularly enjoys Geneva Academy because the students are kind to each other and respectful to the teachers. Mrs. Lanterman has been married for 31 years and has two grown boys and two grandchildren.
Pastor Dan Sieker (Latin, Rhetoric IV, Senior Thesis, Music)
Pastor Dan Sieker received a B.A. in Music Education and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Arizona State University. After graduation he married Cheryl Collins and was musician for the U.S. Army Field Band. He traveled all over the world playing his clarinet. He returned to Arizona, teaching instrumental music and ministering to young married couples. Later he earned a Master’s of Divinity from Talbot Theological Seminary. He worked as a church planter and pastor in California and Washington before coming to Roseburg. He pastored the North Roseburg Evangelical Free Church for 26 ½ years and retired in February of 2015.
Pastor Sieker and his late wife, Cheryl, are founding members of Geneva Academy. Pastor Sieker has served for many years on the Geneva Board, two years as the Board Chair. He started Geneva’s Latin program and taught the grammar level classes for many years. After a break from teaching to care for his wife, he is again teaching Latin to grammar and upper grade students. Pastor Sieker oversees Geneva’s music program and is planning the future expansion of musical instruction and events. Additionally, he will teach Rhetoric IV to seniors and help guide them through their capstone projects. Pastor Sieker states “Classical education connects all subject matter together so that a large picture of life is built into the students. When every subject is a part of the whole, God is shown to be the creator of all truth, whether it is church history or math. As a student is biblically educated, he can view the creation to be, as Calvin said, the gallery of God’s creative mind, and He gets all the glory”.
Mr. Daniel Ritchey (Omnibus and Economics)
Daniel Ritchey grew up in Douglas County before enlisting in the Air Force, where he worked on the electronic instrument systems of fighter aircraft. After his service he worked as the Center Standards Officer at the Wolf Creek Job Corps before pursuing a career in federal law enforcement. For the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Mr. Ritchey investigated allegations of misconduct for cases of interest to the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s office, briefing officials, handling a diverse case load, and preparing cases for trial. An avid reader and naturally gifted instructor, Mr. Ritchey honed his teaching talents on attorneys, investigators, and various agency officials. Now retired from labor management relations, he delights in sharpening the Geneva Omnibus students with Socratic exchanges and real world, worldview experiences. To relax, Mr. Ritchey runs marathons and climbs mountains… often instructing and guiding small groups of both novice and experienced climbers. He is married, has three grown children (one of whom, Mrs. Sorensen, teaches 2nd grade) and a growing group of grandchildren.
Mrs. Olinda Sherman (Spanish)
Mrs. Sherman moved to Roseburg over 20 years ago. She has a bachelor of arts in Spanish from the Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico and an associates degree from Kwatlen College in Canada. Her additional training includes certificates of Spanish proficiency and Language International from the Bridge Institute in Denver, CO as well as a certificate of educator from ACSI in Colorado Springs, CO. Mrs. Sherman has more than 25 years of experience as a foreign language instructor. She taught at Umpqua Valley Christian School for sixteen years and Emerald Academy for two years. Currently Mrs. Sherman is an adult instructor at Umpqua Community College. This is her first year teaching at Geneva Academy.
Mrs. Pamela Warren (Math and Logic)
Pamela grew up in the quaint town of Silverton, Oregon, where she attended a small Christian school with her four siblings. In high school, her family moved to Roseburg, and despite the initial shock of transitioning from a school of 65 to a school of nearly 2400, she graduated in 2006. Over the course of the next several years, the merciful hand of God worked mightily in her life, giving her a son (Eli, now in first grade at Geneva), sustaining her through her studies at Corban University (B. A. mathematics), and eventually leading her here to land her dream job at Geneva Academy. She is now happily married to the best husband ever, Charles, and has two wonderful stepchildren, Faith (2nd grade at Geneva) and Hayden (1st grade at Geneva). Her mission in life is to expose the lies that are so pervasive in our culture, and to shine the light of God’s truth in to the lives of young people.
Mr. Isaac Hallgrimson (English and Omnibus)
Mr. Hallgrimson studied Jewish History, Biblical Hebrew, and Philosophy at the University of Oregon with aims at teaching Christian Apologetics. Over the course of his academic career, God opened his eyes to the reality of the power of God’s Word in and of itself. This convinced him that no matter how many logically sound arguments are presented to the unbelieving, it takes nothing short of a miraculous change of the heart in order to savor the goodness of God. Upon reaching this conclusion, Mr. Hallgrimson spent the remainder of the latter half of his college career as an Assistant Pastor and Sunday school teacher at a small church in Eugene, Oregon. In God’s gracious and merciful providence, He brought Mr. Hallgrimson and his family back to his home community of Douglas County, to display the glory and majesty of Christ in teaching Omnibus, Rhetoric, and English at Geneva Academy.
Mr. Kevin Figueroa (Science and Math)
Kevin Figueroa spent most of his formative years attending Saint Cyril and Methodius Catholic School in Brooklyn, NY. After his family relocated to California, he met and married his childhood sweetheart Tammy (married 31 years). He acquired his first degree from Palomar College, in Electronics Technology, in 1982. He worked for Sony Corporation and then The Computerized Cobbler in Escondido, where he expanded his skills to become the head shoe repairman in charge of training and the weekend manager. In 1991 he and his wife moved their family to Oregon, where his desire for higher education intensified. While attending Umpqua Community College, he was Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa and President of the Vocational Club of America. He was honored by being published in The National Dean’s List in 1996 and the only one in his class to receive the Automotive Service Excellence Master Mechanic classification. He earned an AAS in Auto Technology and an AAS in General Studies in 1998 from UCC.
Mr. Figueroa’s drive for knowledge did not diminish, and when his daughter and son were attending Umpqua Community College, he, too, decided to return part time. As a student he also worked for UCC as a tutor, assisting others in all levels of mathematics. He worked with his advisor and the instructors to develop ways of presenting different mathematical approaches. He also earned an Associate of Arts and an Associate of General Studies in 2011 from UCC. He then became a student at the University of Oregon, where he is nearing the completion of a Bachelor of Arts in both Mathematics and Sociology. He finds working for Geneva Academy a blessing. Surrounded by others with a deep desire to teach with a guiding approach, he is both inspired and challenged. He believes that teaching is more than instructing, “It is the awakening of a student’s mind thru the Lord, history and the wondrous beauty of mathematics.”
Mrs. Amanda Kirkman (Art)
Mrs. Amanda Kirkman was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Being the daughter of an art teacher, her love for creating art was fostered from the very beginning, and she always knew that she wanted to be an artist. After graduating high school in Minnesota, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout, earning two Bachelor’s degrees in Art Education and Studio Art. After marrying her husband Darin, they moved to Chicago where Darin began his seminary studies. Meanwhile, Mrs. Kirkman taught middle school art in a urban school district of Wisconsin for 3 years. After her husband’s graduation they answered the call to pastoral ministry and moved to Oregon to serve at New Hope Evangelical Free Church (in Green) where her husband is the senior pastor and also serves as a chaplain in the Army Reserve at Camp Withycombe (Portland area). Mrs. Kirkman is passionate about the visual arts and the important role they play in communicating truth, beauty, and goodness to reflect our Creator God. Mrs. Kirkman says “there is nothing more rewarding than watching student enthusiasm as they engage with a challenging project or new art medium and beam with pride when they look upon their artwork with satisfaction.” In her spare time you will find Mrs. Kirkman painting, drawing, trail running or hiking.