harrisTodd Harris
M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary
Head of Lower School
Latin

Todd Harris has been at Veritas since 2009, when he and his family moved to Oregon from Texas, where he had served for six years as headmaster at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth. Todd is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in Religious Studies. After finishing his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1995, he spent a few years studying and pastoring in Amman, Jordan. He has also worked as a fifth-grade teacher at a classical school in Delaware and as a youth pastor at a Presbyterian church in Pennsylvania. Todd and his wife, Lisa, have four daughters; two are in college and two are still at Veritas.

A message from our Head of Lower School:

Greetings! I am excited about what Christ-centered classical education can do in the life of your child; I love the way our curriculum and our culture helps to promote growth in wisdom, the love of learning, and joy in the gospel of grace. The education we offer is a high calling, and I am continually encouraged as I see students with many different learning styles and strengths thrive here. I’m eager get to know you and your family and explore a partnership!

Todd Harris
Head of Lower School
Veritas School

 

Veritas Staff McNeill KindergartenKami McNeill
M.A., Concordia University; B.S., Southern Oregon University
Kindergarten/Afternoon Enrichment


I have been teaching either kindergarten, first grade, or third grade for over twenty years.  My joy and passion is working with the youngest learners. There is nothing more exciting than to watch a child’s eyes light up when they recognize their first words and can count to 100 by ones, fives, and tens! My husband and I have four children, and we were able to experience many different cultures and see the world while he was in the Army. 
I have taught in both private and public schools in several states and in Germany. Classical Christian education is by far the most complete, well-rounded education I have ever experienced.  My children are all grown and married and we have eight grandchildren.  We discovered Veritas School when our granddaughter started kindergarten.  I was able to substitute for a couple of years, and was blessed beyond measure when I was able to teach Kindergarten and Afternoon Enrichment at Veritas.


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Heather Olander
B.S., George Fox University
First Grade

Loving Jesus and sharing His truths is one of my greatest passions. I am excited and feel incredibly blessed to be back in first grade! I taught three years of first grade in the Beaverton School District after graduating from George Fox University in 1999. I have also walked through first grade with my own three children. I love this age because there is an excitement to learn and kids are filled with a sense of wonder. I love the classical Christian education that Veritas provides. The strong curriculum that we use at Veritas lays a solid, Christ centered, foundation for years of growth and learning ahead. My prayer for our children is to love God deeply, to grow in knowledge and wisdom, and to choose to follow Christ all of their days! When not at school, I am spending time with my husband, watching our children play sports, listening to music, or taking care of our home.

 

teacher at veritas school
Hope Nguyen
B.A. Church Ministries with an Emphasis in Missions
Second Grade

I am an alumni of Northwest Bible College, class of 1997, and held a licensed to preach for two years under the Assemblies of God denomination.  I’ve taught in Christian preschools in Yorba Linda, California, and Portland, Oregon.  I’ve served as a College and Career Director for five years in Juneau, Alaska.  In Seattle, Washington, I served as a Youth Director for two years.  Presently, I’ve served as a Children’s Director for 10 years at Vietnamese Baptist Church in Aloha, Oregon.  I’ve classically home schooled my eldest daughter for one year and am dedicated to this system of education for all four of my children.

 

veritas staff lynch third gradeAnn Lynch
B.A., Linfield College
Third Grade

Being one of the founding board members and the elementary curriculum coordinator from its beginning days, I am grateful to see Veritas School flourish. I knew from my junior high years that I wanted to be a teacher, and third grade has always been my favorite. 

I am thankful to be teaching third grade at Veritas School since 2000. I am blessed to be married to Bryan, headmaster at Veritas, mother to three adult children, Nolan (’05), Erin (’07), and Maureen’s (’12), all Veritas grads and alumni of Wheaton College, and mother-in-law to Nolan’s wife, Emma (’05). I have a BA in elementary and early childhood education from Linfield College, and spend my time not teaching, or thinking about teaching,  cooking, gardening, chicken keeping, traveling, and reading a wide range of literature.

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Joy Strawbridge
B.A., New Saint Andrews College
4th Grade

I am so thankful to be teaching fourth grade at Veritas. I have been part of a classical Christian school since I was in fourth grade, at Veritas Academy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I studied Liberal Arts at New Saint Andrews College. Then, I returned to my home in Lancaster to teach Secondary Humanities at Veritas Academy. From there, the Lord led me to Veritas School’s fourth grade classroom.

I’m so excited to re-experience everything I loved about my fourth grade year with my own students. From reciting our weekly Bible memory verses to sketching insects in our Science Journals, this class and this community embody the heart of learning with Christ at the center! When I’m not in the classroom, I enjoy exploring the area, cooking, and reading.

veritas staff watilo second grade
Brittany Harmon-Watilo
B.S., George Fox University
Masters in Deaf Education, Texas Women’s University
Fifth GradeHigh School Cross Country Assistant Coach

 In 2004, I came to Oregon to attend George Fox University and was introduced to Veritas through the annual Ceili two years later. I started my career at Veritas in 2008, after graduating from George Fox University’s Elementary Education program. Over six years I taught 1st grade, 6th grade and 4th grade. During my time teaching at Veritas I completed my Masters in Deaf Education from Texas Women’s University, graduating in 2014.  I then left Veritas to pursue a position with the Willamette Educational Service District as a Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) specialist. I taught a resource room class of Kindergarten-2nd grade students, worked with the 3rd-5th grade class as literacy support, as well as working in a mainstream class with our DHH students.

Veritas, however, beckoned me back, and I have continued teaching elementary, initially in second grade and now in fifth. I have also had the opportunity to work with the Veritas Cross Country team as one of the high school coaches.

Teaching and Deaf education have been significant portions of my life since I was in middle school. Over the years, the Lord put opportunities in my path to work at my church with the children who were deaf and to continue my own American Sign Language education. Outside of the classroom and cross country practice, I love to dance, read, cook, exercise, and pursue anything related to American Sign Language and the Deaf community.

 

veritas staff mcchesney sixth gradeKen McChesney 
M.A., Western Oregon University; B.A., University of Montana
Sixth Grade, High School Cross Country Head Coach

I love working with sixth grade students at Veritas School. Throughout my career, God has blessed me with a rich variety of experiences, working with all ages from kindergarten to college.  I returned to classroom teaching after serving three years as an assistant professor at George Fox University in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) department.  Each day, I am excited to teach in a Christian environment, preparing wonderful young people to serve in the multitude of ways for which God will them. Additionally, I am the head coach of the varsity high school cross country team. I have been honored with both Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year awards. I enjoy playing, writing, and recording music; and hiking in nature, especially places new to me.

Staff Music Hegeman
Marjorie Hegeman 

Elementary Music & Choir

I’m from the San Francisco Bay area.  I wrote songs and performed them at a young age.  With the encouragement of a Young Life Area Director I recorded four solo albums before I turned 20 and sang for Young Life groups throughout North America.  I even had the privilege of singing my own composition at the Billy Graham Crusade at the Oakland Coliseum. 

After college (Trinity Western JC/Westmont) I was able to live in Amsterdam and London for a year busking and singing in various venues.  In Toronto, Canada, I spent a year in a worldview program at the Institute for Christian Studies.  After a year in Seattle, I moved to Manhattan where I worked at a Broadway advertising agency in Times Square for seven years.  I was also involved with the New York Arts Group, and at one of their meetings, I met my husband, Dave, who grew up on Long Island.   We were blessed with three children before moving to Oregon.  A fourth child was born here and we homeschooled until we discovered Veritas School.  

All of our children have since graduated from Veritas.  There was an opening in the music department and my son, Cornelius, who had recently begun attending Veritas said to me, “Mom, you can do that!”.  In 2004, I began my teaching career at Veritas.  During the summers I’ve been able to complete the Kodaly music certification levels I, II and III at Portland State University.  It is a great honor to serve the Veritas community, passing on the treasure of music to young precious students.

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Jeana Linhart

B.A.  Bible and Theology and Women’s Ministries; Multnomah University
Kindergarten through Fourth Grade Art Teacher

My family moved to Newberg, Oregon, in 2007, when my husband, Geary, became a high school teacher at Veritas School. All three of our sons have attended Veritas from kindergarten.  We have been deeply blessed and encouraged as part of the Veritas community.  I have served as a volunteer in classrooms and also behind the scenes in our drama department as set designer, costumer, and flyer and ticket designer.

In 2015, I joined the Veritas staff as a classroom aide in kindergarten. I fell in love with working at the school and being around dedicated teachers and students all day.  As a child I wanted to be an artist, a mom, and a teacher.  I’m delighted by how God has allowed me to be all three at once and how he’s prepared the way for me to be an art teacher at Veritas.  His goodness is unfathomable!

I am eager to help elementary students experience the wonder of God’s creativity as they learn to appreciate the accomplishments of artists who have gone before them.  I hope to introduce them to a wide variety of materials and techniques so that they will be able to both practice and appreciate art throughout their careers at Veritas and for the rest of their lives.


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April Wassei
Elementary PEMiddle School Cross Country Head Coach

I was born and raised in Southern California and have always enjoyed an active lifestyle and interacting with people of all ages, especially children.  While working as a special education and adaptive PE instructional assistant in the public school, I was introduced to the joys of teaching and serving children in a classroom and wanted to become a teacher myself.

Soon after, I moved to the San Francisco Bay area to attend San Jose State University and specialize in Child Development, where I met my husband, Peter. We had four children under the age of five and decided to homeschool classically.  Teaching my kids to read, write, enjoy learning, and honor and serve the Lord was a privilege for me.  Seven years later, I was asked to join the staff at Tri-Valley Classical Christian School, where I supervised recess, taught PE, and eventually became the office manager.

Another privilege I had was to be a USA Masters swimmer under the training of the Bay Area’s finest coaches. I swam five to six days a week and shared my love of swimming with my children.  We raised our four children in the San Francisco Bay area for 15 years before moving to Newberg in 2014.

At Veritas, I have the pleasure of teaching Elementary PE and sharing God’s love and my passion of fitness with the students. I have also enjoyed working with the middle school cross country team.

 

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Diane Wiser
5th & 6th Grade Art Teacher

I have created a life centered around my passion for Christ and my love of children and art.  Beginning with my upbringing in the artist community of Laguna Beach, California, I absorbed and was inspired by the creative spirit that abounded and was able to take advantage of the many art classes that were offered. My artist grandmother, Mary Canavello, devoted herself to passing down her knowledge and love of painting to me at every opportunity.

I have four grown children, my youngest being a 2017 Veritas graduate, and six grandchildren. My husband Tom and I have resided in Tualatin since 1996.  I’ve spent many years as a homeschool mom and grandmother and am thrilled that three of my grandchildren now attend Veritas. I have devoted much of the last 30 years to art related volunteer work, mural painting, and tutoring students in reading and math in both public and private schools around the state. I taught K-3rd grade art at Veritas from 2009-2012.  Returning in 2017, I am excited to integrate my faith with classical art as a teacher at Veritas.