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Our Team

Enriching Education, Expanding Horizons

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Faculty & Staff

At Covenant Academy, our faculty and staff are the heart and soul of our community. Each member brings a unique blend of
expertise, dedication, and passion for classical Christian education. Our team is committed to creating a nurturing and stimulating environment where every child is known, challenged, and loved. We invite you to get to know the inspiring individuals who make Covenant Academy a place of academic excellence and spiritual growth.


Head of School

Leslie Collins

MA in Biblical Counseling at The Master’s University; BS in Special Education at University of Maryland; 20+ years of experience working in classical Christian schools

I was first drawn to Covenant’s vision to train the heart of each student to be servant leaders through a great books curriculum. The school’s mission is directed at the right goal: the heart. C.S. Lewis says in The Abolition of Man, “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.” Teaching is the art of loving our subject and students so well that they are increasingly drawn towards what is true, good and beautiful. I love working with such an amazing team of educators as we learn more and more how to teach like The Master Teacher, Jesus Christ.

I’ve been happily married to my best friend for 35 years. We are the proud parents of Daniel, a brave firefighter and Laura, a loving mother and teacher. Both graduated from homeschool and are now thriving in their respective callings. Our youngest two are Covenant Alumni. Lydia, Class of 2016, graduated from Grove City College in 2019. Jonathan, Class of 2019, is also a graduate of Covenant. We have three precious grandchildren and life is full of celebrations and family gatherings! I also enjoy reading, walking, cooking, and gardening. When I am at school I enjoy every moment because I really love what I do.

Grammar School Principal

Lynn White

BS in Education with a major in Speech and Hearing Sciences and a minor in Educational Psychology at Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Texas

I’ve been in education in some way, shape or form since I graduated from college in 1984. I first taught public school speech therapy, special education and third grade. I then home-schooled my two oldest sons from 4th and 5th grades until they graduated. I came to Covenant when it opened in 2003 and have spent the last 20 years in the Grammar school classroom.

Prior to coming to Covenant, I was burned out and disillusioned with the direction our public schools were going. I brought my own two children home and began to teach them academics while training them to love God and walk in His ways. It was a very nurturing relationship that bore sweet fruit in my own life as well as in theirs. Teaching at Covenant allows me to have that same nurturing relationship with families and to support and encourage parents as they train their children to love and follow God. I feel blessed to be a part of Covenant’s mission to raise leaders that will change the world.

My husband Chris and I have five children. Our oldest boys are married with children of their own, giving us six grandchildren. Our oldest daughter graduated from Houston Baptist University. She is also married and works as a nurse. We have another son that graduated from Covenant and then from the University of Alabama. He now lives in Alabama and works as an engineer. Our youngest daughter graduated from from the University of Texas and is currently in law school.

Upper School Principal

Tiffni Blake

MA of Liberal Arts at Houston Baptist University; BS in Academic Studies with a minor in Mathematics at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

I am a lifelong lover of teaching and have taught students in the preschool, grammar, logic, and rhetoric years in a mixture of public, private, and home settings over the last 30+ years. I discovered the classical model while researching curriculum and fell in love with its methodology and integrated approach to teach the whole child and spark a love of learning. I first joined the family of Covenant as a parent when my husband and I began looking for a school that shared a passion for classical Christian education and instilling a pursuit of wisdom and virtue ultimately found in pursuing the Lord.  I am now in my 15th year at Covenant Academy and am still reminded daily of the wonderful gift it is to be a part of this amazing community.

My husband, Matthew, and I have been married for 30 years and have three children.  Jonathan, our oldest, was part of the first graduating class at Covenant, now works as an electrical engineer in Huntsville, Alabama where he and our dauther-in-love, Emily, are expecting their first child.  Kaitlyn, also a Covenant alumni, is a graduate of Belhaven University where she graduated with a BFA. She currently dances professionally and coming back to substitute at Covenant. Rebecca, our youngest, is a lover of books and is pursuing her passions for English and working at the library at Abilene Christian University.

Assistant to the Head of School and Director of Admissions

Melissa den Dulk

Studied Business (Purchasing & Materials Management) at the University of Houston-Downtown

After seven years of homeschooling my two sons (1st-7th grades), God called us to step out in faith and our adventures at Covenant began. In 2014, we became part of the Covenant family and I enjoyed many volunteer roles at the school including Covenant Community Life (CCL) Events Coordinator.  In 2016, I joined the staff at Covenant as Student Support Assistant helping students gain independence, confidence and mastery in the classroom. The next year I transitioned to the Administrative Team as Admissions Director. I enjoy meeting prospective new families and discussing the benefits of a classical Christian education.  As part of the faculty, I help coordinate and plan our internal and external community events as well as support our Head of School.

The richness of our school culture, depth of teaching and relational faculty has been a blessing to both my sons’ journeys throughout high school. I’m so thankful to be part of a community that values and actively seeks that which is true, good, and beautiful.

My husband Rudi and I have been married for over 20 years. Our oldest son (a 2019 Covenant alumni) is currently attending The University of Texas in Austin, and our youngest son is at Texas A&M-College Station. Our house is blessed with several animals, from feline to the most adorable dog named Moose. In my spare time, I love to travel, listen to classical music while cooking, read, watch a good action flick, and visit with our extended families.

Director of Human Resources and School Registrar

Shari Archer

BS in Speech at University of Texas at Austin

I have worked in Christian teaching and administration for many years including overseas service as an ESL missionary in Kazakhstan and as an administrator in the children’s ministry at my church. My connection with Covenant began before my son Daniel started school. I was attracted to Covenant’s mission to train students by way of Scripture and the classical liberal arts to love what is true, good and beautiful. I love that Covenant, using the classical Christian model, is developing the character, hearts and minds of the students.

My husband, Jim, and I have been married for over 20 years. Our son Daniel, a Covenant alumni (Class of 2021), is currently attending Howard Payne University and Oreo, our lovable dog, rounds out our family. I love puzzles, reading, and games of all sorts with family and friends, as well as cheering on our Covenant Patriot teams… including our awesome chess team!


Denise Kutcher

MBA in Business with a Minor in Marketing at City University of New York at Baruch College; BA in Psychology, Sociology with a Minor in Business at State University of New York at Stony Brook

The hearts and spirits of the faculty and staff at Covenant Academy are beyond amazing and a pleasure and honor to work with.  Being a small school makes everyone a crucial part of how wonderful Covenant is for our students and it’s been remarkable to see how much we’ve grown over the past decade.

My husband Jeff and I grew up in New York and have been married over 30 years.  We have 3 daughters, all born in Texas, a son-in-law, 1 grandchild, and Daisy, our ageless puppy.  I enjoy spending time with family and friends, volunteering, and gardening.

Director of Operations

Kit Burchfield

I have been working in an administrative capacity in Christian ministry for most of my adult life.  I truly enjoy using the gifts and passions that God has given me to serve in a support role helping others to do what they do best.  I began volunteering here at Covenant when my grandson, Asher, entered Kindergarten in 2017.  Now my granddaughter, Nico, is enrolled as well.

I truly love and appreciate how everyone on staff pours their heart into loving our students so well and shaping their character and showing them what is means to love to learn.  It is a joy for me to be here on staff and help our school to grow and flourish for many years to come.

Our home is full of activity and love with our beautiful daughter, Michelle and our two grandchildren on two acres of land.  We love to ride bikes, take walks, garden, and explore all the many creatures that God has created on our property.  I love to cook and relax in the pool, watch Asher play baseball, or help Nico collect bugs, and spend time with my amazing husband, Dale.  I also have a stepson, Alex, who is creating his adult life in Arkansas. God has richly blessed me with a wonderful family and place to work and serve.

Director of Facilities & Operation

Dave Collins

General Studies at Towson University, Maryland

I grew up in a hardworking family in a small town near Baltimore, Maryland. My mom was a school secretary and my dad owned a hardware store that had been passed down for three generations. I learned from an early age how to solve problems and get the job done, regardless of the work involved. Helping people is what I love to do. Whether it’s solving a scheduling issue, working out logistics, managing resources or making sure that every inch of our amazing facility is stewarded well, I love what I do. Though I’ve worked in several schools over the past 25 years, the blessings that God has bestowed on Covenant amaze me every day.

My wife Leslie and I love working together, but more than anything we love spending time with our children and grandchildren- bocce ball, antiquing, and corn hole are family favorites.

Faculty Directory

Director of Facilities & Operation

Laura Ah Mow

I had the privilege of being classically educated since kindergarten. Growing up in a family of educators, I knew what I wanted to do with my life from an early age. I began teaching fourteen years ago and am grateful for every moment I have to teach the next generation.

Teaching Latin is a great source of joy for me. It is a beautiful combination of history and language. I sometimes feel like an archaeologist as I dig into the etymology of words and symbols alike. For example, Did you know that Roman writers used the word “io” to express their joy? As the years went by, this expression turned into the exclamation mark (!). Similarly, an ampersand (&) came from the Latin word “et” which means “and”. If you look closely at an italicized ampersand you can make out the letters “E” and “T”. I love when my students see these connections and become more intrigued by the history of the world we live in.

I love reading children’s literature and a good cup of tea. My husband and I share a love for Jesus, history, and cultures around the world. We are grateful for our energetic toddler. Deus est bonus – God is good!

Athletic Director, Upper School Mathematics

Janet Angst

BA in Business at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

My teaching experience began in the public school system having taught for eight years at the high school level. In 2005, I became part of the Covenant Academy family and during these years I have served in many ways, including room mom, volunteer, substitute teacher, and board member. I am now the Athletic Director and continue with the Upper School Math department and I absolutely love it. Math has always been my passion, and what I always knew I wanted to teach. It is a joy for me to share that passion with the students at Covenant Academy.

My husband Stewart and I have been married for 23 years, and we have three children, all who attended Covenant Academy since kindergarten. We are an active family. I have been a runner since college, and recently completed the BCS and Houston half-marathons. It had long been a dream of mine, and I was beyond excited to accomplish these goals. I am fortunate to be able to share my love of running as track coach each season.

4th through 6th Grade Math & Science Teacher

Ginger Allen

Bachelor of Science in Education from Baylor University in Waco, Texas

I am so very excited to join Covenant Academy this year!  My absolute favorite part of being an educator is the relationships I get to build with students and their families. It’s a joy and a privilege to watch students learn and grow, allowing them to accomplish their goals while deepening their love of Christ. I find the way each person sees the world differently to be so intriguing and such a blessing.  Finding the best approach for each child is definitely a fun adventure, and each individual is a unique asset to our classroom.

The majority of my time teaching over the past 18 years has been within math and science classrooms. I genuinely enjoy the experiences we get to have with science investigations as well as our understanding and exposure to so many foundational math skills. It’s so easy to find the beauty and art of God’s plans within these two areas of study.

My husband, Ben, and I love being with our families and staying connected with them, daily.  We adore our four nieces and great-nephew and try to spend as much time with them, their parents, and grandparents as often as possible!  I also really enjoy playing my oboe in our church orchestra and being a part of “Christmas Spectacular” each year in the orchestra pit.  During our down time, Ben and I enjoy studying world history, watching or listening to musicals, organizing our home, watching foreign television shows, and reading an assortment of books, all while enjoying the company of our sweet elderly cat, Sophia.

Student Support

Alexis Baddoo

BA in Communications with a Concentration in Advertising and Marketing; minor, African American Studies from University of Houston. Teacher Certification in General Education, Special Education and ESL

I am proudly joining the Covenant staff. I bring over 15 years of experience in Behavior Management, English Language Learners, General Education, and Special Education. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Communications focusing on Advertising and Marketing from the University of Houston and shortly after, received my teacher certification. I embrace lifelong learning and enrich my knowledge and training with workshops, continuing education and reading.

A proud Covenant Academy family, my husband, Isaac, and I share two children who are grammar school students. Together we enjoy hiking, spontaneous road trips to the Hill Country, playing in the park, and exploring other cultures through food, art and travel. In my spare time I enjoy aesthetics, literature and crafting.

Academic Dean

Mark Baker

PhD in Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina 

I started my journey in classical Christian education in 2011, teaching in the humanities at Paideia Academy in Tennessee. I taught there for nine years, eventually also joining the administration as Dean of Upper School Faculty. In 2020, my family and I discerned a call to help bring classical Christian education to prisoners in the Darrington Unit in Houston. Whether I am teaching teenagers or prisoners, I believe that education in the liberal arts tradition greatly helps us pursue the truth, goodness, and beauty that is grounded in God and in his Word.

I am husband to Ashley and father to Elias, Owen, Eleanor, Alister, and Atticus. When I am not teaching, I enjoy coffee dates with Ashley, wrestling on the floor with my kids (they always win), and kayaking.

BASC Instructor

Charis Bray

I’m so grateful to my mom who homeschooled me with such patience my entire academic journey. I recently graduated and have previously worked in retail and child care as a before-school leader.

No matter where I am or work, I do it all for the glory of the Lord. I have been blessed to have been a pastor’s daughter at North Houston Baptist church my whole life and I love seeing how the Lord can grow a church to be closer to each other and Himself.

I’m enjoying a gap year before pursuing a Certified Nurse Assistant certificate. I love coffee and reading. I have two cats named Winnifred and Hunter who only get along 50% of the time. I’m honored to join the team of Covenant Academy.

Fine Arts and Practical Arts

Debi Buckles

Studied at Tulsa Community College and the College of Biblical Studies; 20+ years teaching art in both the private school and the home school arenas

My journey with Covenant began in 2003, the year it opened. I have been a substitute teacher, office assistant, art teacher, science teacher, Bible teacher, Yearbook Co-teacher, and Practical Arts (Home Economics) teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching while my daughter was a student at Covenant. I also taught art for the former Encourager Homeschool Enrichment Program before returning to Covenant in 2015. I am beyond thrilled to be the art teacher focused on Covenant’s classical Christian philosophy of truth, goodness, and beauty.  I am blessed to teach in such a godly environment with other believers.

While teaching art is one of my passions, I also have a passion for missions. I have been blessed to combine two of my passions on more than 11 different mission trips where I was able to lead art camps for the children.  The Lord has blessed my husband Steve and I with four wonderful (now adult) children, two amazing daughters-in-law, and the two precious grandsons with another on the way. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my family, cook, love on my grand babies, and play games. I enjoy several creative hobbies and keep adding more to my bucket list. But my very favorite thing to do is sit on the beach, listen to the sounds of the surf, and paint.

College Advisor, Upper School Math & Science

Roben Card

BA in Math with a minor in Business at the University of Nevada, Reno

Covenant Academy is my home, and its people are my family. I’m a transplant from Nevada by way of Washington (state). I began teaching after graduation; the last 20+ years have been in a classical Christian school.

I love science and the innumerable ways all creation shouts of our amazing God. The anatomy of a starfish, the chemical reactions in the lab, the properties of electricity, and the mysteries throughout science are just a few of my favorite things. I believe the best way to get a grasp of the world around us is to explore and experiment. I’m also a math geek who thinks it’s as much fun as a ride on a zip line (which I’m known to adore.) I strongly encouraged all of my students to come in and get help when they are struggling with a concept. I love the light bulb moment of watching a face brighten as understanding occurs.

I am passionate about God! My favorite pastime is playing with my four grandchildren.  Other hobbies include hiking, traveling, reading, technology (even attending math and calculator conferences!), music, dance, and horses. Really, I just love learning and people!

Third Grade

Tracy Carr

BA in Elementary Education at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas

From second through eighth grade I was educated at Covenant Academy, and it was during that time I fell in love with both learning and teaching. Growing up in such a positive learning environment at Covenant, I grew to appreciate and recognize things of beauty such as good books, good community, and good teachers. Around seventh grade I told my favorite teacher, my mom, that one day I too wanted to become a teacher and make learning fun and engaging for all.

Even after attending public high school, I continued to pursue my teaching degree at DBU and was further impacted by fellow Christian educators. After teaching for two years at an international charter school, I knew I needed a chance to use my gifts and passion for education in a different setting. Last year I had the opportunity to teach at a classical charter school which helped reawaken my love for classical education, and ultimately led me back to Covenant.

I am so excited to be teaching at Covenant this year, it is truly a dream to be back at the very place that shaped so much of my character, faith, and love for learning. I am excited to inspire your students to enjoy their education, while reminding them that their time at Covenant matters, and can shape their future the way it shaped mine.

I had the joy of meeting my husband, Jake, in high school serving families with JH Outback. We have now been married for three years and continue to serve twice a year with the same ministry. In our free time we enjoy camping, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors in any way possible. Additionally, we both love to cook for friends and family in our home, accompanied by our golden retriever named Texas.

Sixth Grade

Melanie Castro

MA in Bilingual Education at Houston Baptist University; BA in Spanish and English as a Second Language at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa

After finishing my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, Spanish, and Bilingual Education, I became increasingly interested in teaching from a Christian worldview with a classical approach. Through many years of varied teaching experiences, I came to embrace a classical Christian educational model that focussed on the acquisition of knowledge, wisdom, and virtue using the vehicle of the liberal arts. To that end, I have homeschooled my own four children using this classical methodology and have now begun a new chapter of my teaching career here at Covenant Academy.

I am married to my best friend, Javier, and the Lord has blessed us with four children who are busy pursuing their own callings. Our eldest child, Gabriella, and her husband plan to enter the mission field in approximately one year as teachers in a Christian school overseas. Our second, Camilo, is a high school English teacher here in Houston while Christian, our third-born, is pursuing a degree in the Classical Liberal Arts at Patrick Henry College in Virginia. Our daughter Charis is entering the eighth grade this year at Covenant and is a vibrant part of her school community. Whenever I have the opportunity, I spend a lot of time connecting with our adult children and my grandson, Lawrence. I also am active in discipleship ministries of several women and am a Sunday School teacher at my church. I enjoy walking, reading, Bible study, and spending time with my friends.

First Grade

Leah Deegan

BS in Early Childhood through 4th Grade at Baylor University, Waco, Texas

I grew up in Houston and graduated from Second Baptist School. I attended Baylor University where I received my degree in Early Childhood through Fourth Grade in 2009. I moved back to Houston after graduating and taught at Second Baptist in 2nd grade for 5 years. I stayed home with my kids for 2 years before returning to the classroom as the 2nd grade teacher at a classical school for 3 more years. In 2019, we had our fourth child which kept me home for a couple more years. I waited on the Lord’s timing and returned to the classroom as a kindergarten teacher at Covenant in 2021.

I am so excited to be teaching 1st grade this year. I’m looking forward to a year of learning and growth. My prayer is that these children have a relationship with God that I can help shape and foster into trust and obedience. I hope our classroom can be a place to connect these children to the heart of God. I have always been passionate about Christian education, and I love that we get to center everything we learn in school around the Lord and his amazing creation. (And, these “Firsties” will get extra attention to God’s creation in Texas!)

My husband and I have four children who all attend Covenant. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family. Since my husband is a full-time musician, we sing a lot in our house, which makes my heart very happy. We also enjoy baking desserts, going on walks, cheering on sport teams, and eating lots of Mexican food!

PreK Teaching Assistant

Kelli Dieguez

BS in Nursing from Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN

I attended Christian school as a child and can still quote all the Bible verses and passages that we hid in our hearts. It was a blessing to hear the same things at home, church and school, giving me a firm foundation of faith.

Upon graduating from nursing school, I knew my passion was caring for and teaching children, because of their zest for life and all the fruit a lifetime yielded to Christ can bring.  My work experience has always been with little ones– pediatric inpatient, a public health clinic for refugees, and NICU.

While serving as a missionary and English teacher with a church plant/Christian school in a remote Amazonian rainforest town in Bolivia, I met my (native) husband.  He is now a naturalized American citizen, and we are raising our four blessings (all of whom attend Covenant) as best we can to love and serve the Lord.  The classical education they are receiving is so special that I wanted to be a part of it, more than just volunteering here and there. I am so excited to pour a solid foundation of faith into many little lives, as we nurture the whole child– body, mind and soul.

As a family, we love camping, hiking, swimming, biking and eating tacos and ice cream!  We are active at our Spanish church where I teach Sunday school.

Fourth Grade

Rebecca Eilers

BA in Business Administration, Emphasis in Finance at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky

I began my career after college at State Farm Insurance and later transitioned into the pharmaceutical sales industry at Eli Lilly & Company.  After nearly 11 years in corporate America, my husband and I began to feel God calling us to simplify our lives so that I could leave the workforce and be at home full time with our children.  We discovered classical Christian education once our first child was getting ready to start Kindergarten in Louisville, Kentucky.  The culture was so different from anything we had ever experienced in our lives, and we knew immediately that we wanted it for our children.

When my husband’s job moved us to Nashville, we once again found an amazing classical Christian school for our kids.  Upon finding out that we were being moved to Houston in the winter of 2018, we sought out classical schools in the area.  God directed our path and provided a way for us to be here at Covenant.  I am passionate about teaching 4th grade and I hope to inspire my class to grow in their love for the Lord and all that is true, good and beautiful!

My husband, Kevin, and I have been married for 19 years, and we have five children, four of whom attend Covenant Academy.  We’re an active family who enjoys sports and outdoor activities of all kinds. When I’m not at school or cleaning my house, I enjoy reading, exercising and thrifting.  We’re thankful for all that God has done and is doing in our lives… we love Texas, and we are so grateful to be here at Covenant Academy!

Kindergarten Teacher

Rianna England

BA in Elementary Education and Special Education at Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas 

I am excited to be a part of the Covenant team as a Kindergarten teacher this year! I learned about this wonderful school through my younger siblings that attend here. A brother who just graduated in May of 2023 and two sisters– one in 3rd grade and another in 7th grade. It will be fun to see them each day.

Growing up in a big family of 11 kids, I have always been around children. As I studied education at Benedictine College, I became fascinated with the differences in the developmental stages of children as they learn about the world around them. I am also looking forward to incorporating my faith values while serving in education. I hope to help foster a love for the gift of education and a deeper knowledge of who they are in God’s eyes.

In my free time, I love playing sports and going on adventures. I enjoy listening to music such as country folk and anything John Mayer. I also enjoy taking pictures of sunsets and sharing meals with close friends. I cannot wait to dive into this wonderful community at Covenant Academy!

Upper School Humanities & Biblical Greek

Dan Enright

MA in Biblical Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Houston, Texas

The teaching path I followed meandered through several ministries while serving in different capacities in the local church. The ministry position that had the most profound effect on me was that of high school/college pastor, where the impact of teaching during these uniquely transitional years was largely dependent upon the quality of relationships. Teaching in this context was deeply transformative for both myself and my students. It was during these years I became purposeful in carrying this dynamic into a formal academic setting, where relationships and robust dialogue make up the atmosphere in which the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty occurs.

My passion for teaching grew out of the passion I experienced in my teachers under whom I sat. The “aha” moments; the deep reflection on not only what I believed but why I believed what I believed; the building of meaningful relationships are just a few things I will always treasure and desire to share anew with the community at Covenant Academy.

When my nose is not in a book, I love spending time with Jennie, my wife of twenty-six years. Together, we like loving on our dog, Gretchen; traveling to the Holy Land; watching the Astros; spending time with family; and just generally being with one another. I am a music lover and enjoy playing drums, having been a drummer for most of my life. I also grew up playing baseball and will drop pretty much anything I’m doing to go and have a catch with anyone who is willing.

Student Support Assistant

Rachael Fordinal

BA in Psychology from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

I consider it a privilege to join the Student Support team and to serve and walk alongside the children at Covenant Academy. Much of my adult life has been defined by a passion for helping children and young adults identify their emotions and navigate them in a way that increases resiliency, builds emotional intelligence, and encourages curiosity as they learn about the Lord, themselves, and others. As a natural nurturer, I am dedicated to meeting students with compassion, enthusiasm, and encouragement.

After graduation from Texas A&M, I was able to continue deepening my understanding of the intricate web of emotions that weave through a child’s heart and mind. My studies were not just academic; they were a gateway to the profound connection I would build with countless children throughout my life.

I have two precious boys, Keller and Reid, who have attended Covenant Academy since Pre-K. We are so grateful for our Covenant community and for classmates who are dear friends and now feel like family. In my spare time I enjoy exploring Houston’s many hidden culinary and cultural treasures, cooking and staying active.

Director of Music

Jordan Even

MM in Music Performance, Music Theory Cognate at Western Michigan University; BM in Music Performance and Humanities at Valparaiso University, Indiana

For the past eighteen years, I’ve enjoyed teaching music to kids and adults in a variety of casual and academic settings. Similarly, I’ve been involved in leading corporate worship my entire life. I greatly enjoy variety in life, and in music. Learning about new things brings me great joy, and while these avocational interests tend to change, they currently include history, political science, economics, business, missiology, and repairing things around the house or on the cars.

I also enjoy teaching private studio music lessons and am currently serving as Director of Operations for Cypress Chapel as our pastor is deployed as a Chaplain in the Naval Reserves. I also perform professionally throughout the Houston area on variety of instruments and in a variety of styles, both traditional and contemporary. This blend of teaching and making music is perfect for me. When not pursuing music, I enjoy spending time with my wife Stephanie and our children Alexandra, Jonathan, and Sophia, as well as our friends.


Brandi Haynes

BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston

I have worked in early childhood education for the past 15 years. I actually spent my whole adolescence living and breathing medicine until I really started thinking about what I wanted my future to look like. I stumbled upon an assistant teaching position in a private preschool, where I quickly rose to a role as a director. During my time at the preschool I realized what God’s calling was for my life and the talents that he gave me in taking care of and educating young children. After graduating from University of Houston I taught pre-kindergarten for 3 years and first grade for 3 years at a private Christian school.

I have always been a natural nurturer which is what makes prekindergarten a perfect fit for me. I know how exciting, but really scary pre-k can be for a lot of children (and for parents, too) and I love being able to be a teacher that can help make the transition a little easier on everyone. The thing that really drew my family to a classical Christian approach is the importance of community and truly partnering with families on educating their children. I am so excited to be raising my own children and teaching others in a community that really focuses on biblical truth and applying love and grace to all situations.

My husband, Harry, and I have been married for 9 years and have two young sons, Harrison and Henry. My oldest will be starting at Covenant this year and I cannot wait for my youngest to start in pre-k when he is old enough. We love spending time together outdoors, being in the water, and going on hikes. During quarantine my husband and I both picked up long distance running and are hoping to compete in our first half-marathon next year!

Upper School Latin and Logic

Caleb Hood

M.A. of Theology at Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio; B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Classics at Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania  

I was first introduced to classical Christian education in college through meeting a CCE alumna, who is now my wife. Classical schools seemed like what I had always been looking for and I eagerly read and took courses to learn more. I also decided to learn Latin in order to read more of my favorite philosopher and theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas. In the process of learning Latin, I fell in love with languages and was fascinated to learn of Italy’s heritage and discover the connections Latin had with Italian, the language I heard around me growing up in Naples, Italy.

I have been exposed to the Sino-Tibetan, Indo-European, and Semitic language families, having studied Chinese for four years in high school and Latin, French, Greek, and Hebrew in college. All through my courses of study in languages and philosophy my mind has constantly been occupied with applying and expanding the methods of pedagogy I learned from my CCE courses.

When I am not reading books or compiling lists of books to read, I am taking walks and talking about food, espresso, grammar, and story with my lovely wife and my one year old son—though my conversations with him are much shorter.

Second Grade

Amy Kidd

BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Biblical Counseling from Liberty University

I left corporate America over twenty years ago and began teaching music part-time for pre-K through third grade. I homeschooled my children for five years, which is where I discovered the beauty of classical education. I saw a marked difference in the way my children were learning, and I wanted to know more. Shortly after, we were led to Covenant Academy where all four of my children would begin their full-time journey in classical education. I have cherished the rich education and the fruit that has come from it over the past ten years.

I am thrilled to be the second-grade teacher this year at Covenant Academy and I hope to inspire and encourage each of my students to grow in their love of learning and for God. I am passionate about laying a firm foundation and helping each student discover the beauty of Christ in everything we learn. I hope to challenge my students with fun and engaging ways of learning, as well as help them grow their confidence. It is going to be a great year!

My oldest daughter, Ashley, is married and lives in Alabama, my son, Coby, is now married, and Christian and Audrey are juniors at Covenant. In my free time I love spending time with family and friends, serving the body of Christ, reading, cooking, and photography. I am a lover of God, people, coffee, and my favorite place to go is the beach!

Third Grade Assistant Teacher

Norma Leon

BS in Computer Engineering Technology from the University of Houston, Houston, Texas

I began working as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens when I was a junior in high school. I continued working there for one year after graduating college and starting a career at Professional Compounding Centers of America where I spent 7 years serving in various roles as a software support analyst, production planner and demand planner.  I transitioned to Toshiba, then Daikin, working in supply chain and sales analysis. After four years, I felt God calling me in a different direction, I learned to read braille and landed a role as a Braille Specialist at Region 4 leading a team of transcribers who specialized in transcribing high stakes tests from print to braille. Our efforts allowed students with visual impairments the opportunity to test alongside other students.

My husband, Sergio, and I have been married for 19 years, and we have three children who currently attend Covenant Academy. Our hobbies include traveling, trying new ice cream spots, and spending time with family. I enjoy volunteering at my church, serving at and attending spiritual retreats, and learning about the richness of my faith. I am excited to be part of the staff and look forward to seeing how God will guide our steps.

Student Support/Practical Arts at Kingsfield Farms

Julie Miracle

BA English at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusets; Graduate Studies: Advertising at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia

My educational journey has taken me through public, Christian private and homeschool communities. I was fortunate to encounter classical education as a parent through our family’s homeschooling experience. The integration of subjects, the emphasis on learning from original sources rather than synthesized textbooks, the equipping of students to truly learn and love learning all captivated my attention and heart and motivated me to support the classical education movement. Prior to coming to Covenant, I led classes in all subject areas for eighth grade homeschool students, then focused solely on Latin for ninth grade.

My husband, Keith, and I have been married for thirty-three years and are parents to three lovely daughters. Our youngest, Gwynn, is a student at Covenant. We share ten acres in Cypress with Keith’s parents and our flock of American Blackbelly sheep.

Upper School Math & Science

Tori Pace

BS in Biology at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas

I first taught at Covenant Academy in 2005 for several years before homeschooling my four children.  I am so thankful to be back at Covenant  teaching Science and Math.  My desire for my students is that they would wonder and marvel at the beauty and order of the created world, finding delight in what has been made.

My husband, Chris, has served in churches and Christian schools for over twenty years. We have four children, all who attended Covenant Academy.  Joel is a graduate student at Syracuse University, Kylie is studying Education at Dallas Baptist University, Lily is studying at Houston Baptist University and Solomon will graduate from Covenant, Class of 2024.

Grammar PE Teacher

Colette Saucedo

BS in Science, Cum Laude, from The University of Houston

I began my career in the financial industry where I held various managerial and leadership roles. I worked as the Managing Director of Operations and Chief Administrative Office for Morgan Stanley for 21 years. Following that time, I explored other interests and held various positions including teaching physical education at the grammar and middle school levels, started an energy broker company, and most recent prior to joining Covenant Academy I worked for a law firm in a variety of capacities.

My chief enjoyments are time with my family, engaging conversations, culinary arts, and most things outdoors. I enjoy athletics and sports and am blessed to have the opportunity to again work with students at Covenant Academy in cultivating a love and appreciate of physical exercise and to assist them in learning and developing new skills that leads to strong healthy bodies and minds.

Upper School Math & Science

Earl Snyder

BS in Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado

My career as an educator began in 2017 after 25 years in the Oil and Gas industry which included time living and working in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  Now, after five years working at a public school, I am excited to be joining the Covenant Academy family as an Upper School Math and Science teacher.

As an educator in the classical Christian movement, I am honored to be able to teach in a setting that honors God and pursues the truth, goodness and beauty of His creation. I believe that I am called to this work and it’s a blessing to be able to work with students and help them discover the beauty of mathematics and science.

Outside of my time teaching, I enjoy coaching baseball, paddle boarding and hiking.  I also enjoy the quieter activities of learning chess, reading, exploring technology and growing in my faith.

Upper School Humanities

Meredith Stone

MA in History at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas; BA in History and English at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

While my education did not technically bear the moniker of a classical school, I was privileged to experience many of the benefits of classical education as a home school student throughout primary and secondary school. The instruction I received as a child taught me to love learning. As I matured into adulthood, that love of learning transformed into a love of teaching. I spent the first several years of my career teaching World History and Geography in both public and private school settings. When my husband Jeremiah and I welcomed our first child, I was blessed to have the opportunity to shift my focus to raising my daughter. As we added two additional daughters to our family, and my primary role became that of parent, I had the wonderful opportunity to continue using my classroom skills by teaching English as a second language to non-native English speakers in our community.  I loved being able to plant seeds of the gospel while sharing about my culture and learning about the cultures of my students.

When I became a parent, I began looking at different models for education with my own children in mind and I fell in love with the classical Christian approach. The more that I have learned about classical methods, the more I believe that any student would benefit from this approach. As both a parent and teacher, I love that the story of Christ is the lens through which the world is viewed. Covenant Academy is such a blessing to our family as it is both a place where I can utilize the gift of teaching and partner in the cultivation of my children as lifelong learners and followers of the Lord.

Dir. of Student Life, Upper School Humanities, HS Boys Basketball Head Coach

Titus Szymanowski

BA in Religious Studies at Gonzaga University; 2007 Graduate of The Oaks, a Classical Christian School both in Spokane, Washington

My teaching journey began in 2011 when I was hired to teach Upper School at Covenant. Each year since, my passion for teaching and my love for this community continues to grow. I am continually amazed not only at the work God has done in our school culture, but how He has used this school to transform me. I love to tell people that teaching at Covenant Academy makes me a better husband, father, and follower of Christ. What a joy it is to witness God’s renewing and restorative Kingdom work take place on this campus.

I teach because I want to influence students in the same way that my teachers shaped and transformed my life. I love classical Christian education because it teaches students to think for themselves and encourages them to view every aspect of their lives through the lens of a biblical worldview.

When I’m not teaching or coaching basketball, I’m spending time with my beautiful wife, Melissa, and our three children, Eli, Ezra, and Nora.

Upper School Humanities & Latin

Madi Thorpe

MA in Liberal Arts at Houston Christian University; BA in History with a minor in Latin at Houston Christian University

I came to Covenant in 2016 after graduating from Houston Baptist University (now Houston Christian University). I’ve primarily taught Latin, but have also taught history, logic, and literature in Upper School. I’ve so enjoyed building relationships with students over the years and seeing them grow into young adults.

When I’m not grading or writing papers of my own, I love to cook, read, and travel as much as I can. I love to explore Houston’s culture and cuisine and spend time with my friends, family, and my grey cat, Felix!

First Grade Assistant Teacher & Barton Tutor

Pam Walker

BSBA in Accounting with a minor in Computer Science at Concord University, Athens, West Virginia

I have been teaching at Covenant Academy since its inception in 2003. Prior to that, I taught one year at another classical Christian school and homeschooled my own children classically for over seven years. I was drawn towards classical teaching methods early in my homeschooling years. The more I learned about the history and methodology of classical education, the more convinced I became that this was the best educational model for my family. I remember being so glad to discover this “new” method of education, which made so much sense to me and which actually had been used successfully for hundreds of years. I’m so happy to be a part of a school that embodies these same principles.

I am so excited to teach our kindergartners! They have such enthusiasm for learning about the world around them. What fun it will be to foster that natural awe and wonder inside them. I enjoy teaching all the subjects, but even more, I am passionate about shepherding our children’s hearts to grow in love with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to follow Him whole-heartedly.

I am originally from West Virginia and became a transplanted Texan over 30 years ago. I have four adult sons, and in my spare time I can usually be found with a book, tooling around in my herb garden, or working on some home improvement project.

Second Grade Assistant Teacher

Robyn Whipple

BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida

Over the past 25 years, I have had the privilege and joy of teaching both in the classroom and as a homeschooling parent.  After graduating from the University of Central Florida, I taught in both Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms.   As a homeschooling parent, I taught a variety of elementary and middle school classes. I look forward to every opportunity to teach and guide students’ hearts and minds to love God and others. I am passionate about teaching children to see truth, beauty and goodness in every subject.  I love the moments of discipleship that happen naturally throughout the school day.   Whether it is a word of encouragement, word of correction or word of gratitude, is a great joy to lead a child’s heart to the Lord in all the highs and lows of a school day.

My husband and I are Florida natives who have lived in Texas the last ten years. We have been married for 25 years and have four children, two of whom attend Covenant.  Our oldest daughter is a senior at Dallas Baptist University and our second daughter graduated from Covenant Academy this past year and will be attending The University of North Alabama. I enjoy family time, date nights with my husband, gardening and serving at my church, Bayou City Fellowship.  Our family enjoys game nights, sports, random dance parties, and going on road trips.

Fifth Grade Teacher

Steven Whitten

BA in Psychology, Minor in English from the University of Mississippi

Early on, I was blessed to have parents and grand parents who fostered the love and importance of reading great books. Reading and encouraging young people to read has always been a passion of mine.

I started teaching English Language Arts to fifth and sixth grade in our local public schools in 2019. I quickly realized I wanted something different for my children so we began looking into Classical Christian style education. Being a parent at Covenant this past year has been a huge blessing for our family and I’m excited to see the blessings I’m able to contribute as a teacher. Being able to share biblical truths and teach about great authors will hopefully inspire students to continue in their love of reading.

I am a husband to Ragan, a father to Maebry Tate, Eleanor Grace, and we are expecting our third in January 2024.

Running Club Coach

Bo Andrews

Kindergarten Teacher

Clarissa Wells

BS in Education from the University of Houston in Victoria, Texas

When I was a small child, I was inspired to become a teacher as I was blessed to have comforting, caring, and Christ-like teachers. Having also been taught by thought-provoking, passionate educators, I was given more reason to pursue teaching. I taught pre-kindergarten and sixth grade after earning my teaching degree. The gap between the grade levels inspired me to explore teaching even more, as students show growth from the planted and watered seeds in their educational path. More importantly, teaching, and instilling the values of Christ, are the most fulfilling aspects of my vocation.

Currently, I am attending Houston Christian University, earning my master’s in divinity; I am happy to use my knowledge and skills in a classical Christian school, and to sow seeds of Christ in this environment. I am passionate about learning the teachings of Christ, and I am very thankful that I was taught and given a firm foundation in my younger years. For this reason, I am eager to teach your students in an engaging, positive, and fun manner in the classroom!

I have three dogs that keep me very busy and entertained. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, running, and many activities outdoors. I am a Texas native, and I enjoy exploring my state’s hillier parts in the summer.

Board of Trustees

At Covenant Academy, the successful operation and strategic direction of our school begin with the dedicated efforts of our Board of Trustees. Entrusted with setting policies, establishing budgets, and empowering the Head of School to implement these directives, the Board forms the backbone of our governance structure. The Head of School, in collaboration with our skilled Staff and Faculty, upholds these policies, fostering a robust chain of accountability for performance and communication.

Our Board of Trustees, a dynamic team of experienced professionals and community leaders, is instrumental in guiding Covenant Academy toward its mission and vision. Their wisdom, commitment, and steadfast support are vital in maintaining our standards of excellence and nurturing a bright future for our students and the entire school community.


Michael Gaines

Currently residing in Cypress, Texas, Michael Gaines is a professional communicator and speaker, with a majority of his experience coming from leading broad domestic and international communications strategies for Fortune 500 energy sector companies.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from LeTourneau University, a Master of Business Administration from Amberton University, and is a graduate of NOV Ventures – a joint Technology Commercialization program between NOV Inc. and the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Michael came to understand his need for a Savior and accepted Christ at the age of 11. He was later baptized at his then-home church Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Michael and his wife, Rachel, were married in 2008 at Second Baptist Church in Houston, where they currently attend the Cypress campus. Michael is an ordained deacon in the church and has directed and taught in bible study classes since joining Second Baptist. They have two daughters, Emily (Class of 2032), and Madison (Class of 2034), who both attend Covenant. Michael is fully aligned with the Covenant Academy mission of serving Christ and His Kingdom by sharing the Gospel and partnering with parents to train students by way of Scripture and the classical liberal arts.


Rob Grooms

Rob grew up in Sherman, Texas and during his freshman year in college, came to know Christ through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.  He graduated from Stephen F. Austin University with a B.B.A. in Accounting in 1994 and has worked in public accounting, performing audits of hospitals and other not-for-profit organizations. Since 2006, Rob has worked for Houston Methodist Hospital in the supply chain management department.

Cathy and Rob have been married since 2003 and have three sons, Witt (Class of 2022), Charlie (Class of 2026), and Sam (Class of 2034). They are members of Houston’s First Baptist Church, where Rob serves as a Deacon, and where Rob and Cathy both teach third grade life Bible study.  They have attended Covenant since 2016 and are beyond grateful to be part of the Covenant community.


Chris Noell

Chris grew up in Dallas and received a classical Christian education from St. Mark’s School of Texas.  He attended Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a History Honors degree and a Master’s in Business Administration.  Chris has spent his career in cybersecurity and software development and is currently serving as the Chief Product Officer at Raptor Technologies.  Raptor provides school safety software for K-12 schools around the U.S.

Chris believes that our nation desperately needs revival, and that Christian classical education will play a prominent role in bringing this about. He celebrates the transformative effect it has had on his children’s hearts and minds.

Chris and his wife Jamie, married for 24 years, have three children, Mackenzie (attending University of Texas), Reilly (Covenant Class of 2021) and Regan (attending Regents School of Austin).  He and his family now live in Austin but remain committed to Covenant Academy and the special community it has fostered.  Chris previously served on the Covenant Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2016.

Member At-Large

Dave Brookes

Dave was born in California and moved to Texas with his family at age eight. Raised in a Christian home, he came to know Christ at an early age and was blessed to attend Christian schools. Dave graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois with a B.S. in Physics in 1992 and from Texas A&M University with a Ph.D. in High Energy Physics in 2000. Since graduation, he’s worked in the field of geophysics for seismic mapping companies in Houston.

Having experienced first-hand the value of Christian education, Dave is eager to extend this precious gift to our children and is grateful for the opportunity to be involved with Covenant Academy.

Dave and his wife Janice have been married 28 years. Their son, Philip (Class of 2022), has attended Covenant since Kindergarten.  Dave previously served on the Covenant Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2019.

Member At-Large

Jackie Marquez

Jackie is a native of Mexico City and has lived in the Cypress area since 2004. Jackie received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology at University of Houston and a Master’s in Human Resources and International Business Management at Colorado State University and is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU) Cox Latino Leadership program. Since 1999, Jackie has been working in different areas of Human Resources from Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Operations, Talent Strategy, HR Business Partner and most recently as Global HR Director. Her diverse cultural background and focus on growing and supporting organizations’ strategy has led her to several global projects and community leadership roles.

Jackie came to know Christ through CyLife Ministry in Cypress and was later baptized. She is excited about the potential opportunity to serve and partner with Covenant Board of Trustees to support the school’s Mission, Vision, and strategic goals.

Jackie and her husband, Nelson, were married in 2004 and have two daughters, Kate (Class of 2026) and Jiselle (Class of 2028), who have both attended Covenant Academy since Kindergarten.

Ex Officio

Dr. Steve Jones

Dr. Steven L. Jones is a long-time friend and advisory board member of Covenant Academy. He currently serves as the Teaching and Training Pastor of Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas. In addition to serving at Kingsland, Steve is a professor of Medical Terminology at Rice University, and has held previous faculty appointments at Houston Baptist University, Trinity University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Baylor University.

Steve holds a BA in Greek and Latin from Baylor University, an MA in Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies from Bryn Mawr College, and a PhD in Classics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Steve and his wife Tamber have six children: Bethany, Rachel, Hannah, Madelyn, Asa and Ezra. When not reading, studying, or teaching, he enjoys taking road-trips with his family, watching baseball or football (whichever is in season), drinking ice-cold Dr. Pepper, eating hamburgers, and showing off his parallel-parking skills.

Discover Covenant

At Covenant Academy, we offer a unique and enriching classical Christian education experience. If you’re curious about
what distinguishes us from other classical schools, we warmly invite you to visit us. Touring is the perfect opportunity to
see our vibrant community in action and have a personal conversation with our dedicated team. Schedule your tour
today and experience first-hand the nurturing and inspiring environment that makes Covenant Academy truly special.

We look forward to meeting you and sharing the Covenant difference!

Schedule a Tour