Dr. Derrik Graham
Administrator – dgraham@IAMmca.org
“This is the day the LORD has made, and I will rejoice in it. I love my opportunity to invest in the students, families, and staff of MCA. What an amazing group of talented, kind, and fun people.
My family and I have served in non-profit ministries including pregnancy help centers, and food ministries. I have had the privilege to teacher for 10 years and to be an administrator for 8 years. The Lord has gifted me with a great education including a: B.S. in Chemistry and Biology, M.Div in Pastoral Care, M.Theo. Theology, Ed.S. Educational Leadership, and EdD. In Educational Leadership.
My wife and I love to travel, eat and make great food, and have lots of fun. I have been skydiving, extreme bike riding, deep water diving, and many other exciting things.
I look forward to our time together as we strive to partner together well and see the absolute best for your young scholars at MCA. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance or encouragement to your family.
God bless you, Dr. Derrik Graham”
Mrs. Chris Rubado
Office Manager – crabado@IAMmca.org
Mrs. Rubado continues to welcome families to MCA with her kind smile and generous hugs. Not only has God gifted her with organizational abilities to keep a school running smoothly, He also has given her a heart that expands each year as she learns and loves each and every student.
No one will ever quite know all that Mrs. Rubado accomplishes each year as the list seems never ending, but we do know that she goes the extra mile to make sure the needs of MCA are met. Are the programs and cookies in place for the Christmas program? Is the photographer scheduled for Grandparent’s Day? What’s our next Spirit Day? Have parents been notified about the Awards Assembly? Do we have everything in place for the Math Olympics? How about cupcakes for the Carnival? Yep, she’s got it all under control. And she still saves time for her husband and their two sons – one attending McMinnville High School and one attending Moody Bible College.
Mrs. Janel Buller
Office Assistant – jbuller@IAMmca.org
I am MCA because… I love being a part of an amazing school that is building a foundation for these children. I love putting a smile on their face when they don’t feel good, and just loving on them! My favorite part of my job is having an impact on the families and children at MCA.
I worked in the Financial Industry for 23 years before joining MCA. I was a Business Performance Auditor conducting External and Internal business audits along with managing the Attorney Network.
My husband, Shawn, and I have been married for more than 10 years. He is a Veteran and National Sumo Wrestler! We have been blessed with two boys, Jackson and Sutton, who are very involved in karate. As a family, we enjoy our kayaks, water sports, and traveling to our property in Alaska.
Miss Charity, Pre-School
I am MCA because… I have absolutely fallen in love with teaching Pre-School! It is so much more than a job. The joy and eagerness to learn in each of my students is so contagious and constantly keeps me amazed. Their quirky, unique, and honest personalities keep me laughing. My favorite thing is the way that they love so very purely, without any expectation except to be loved in return. This reminds my heart of the way Jesus so purely loves us. It is an honor to be able to sow into little lives and teach them to grow, discover, and adventure for themselves in an atmosphere that puts Christ as the foundation of our learning.
My journey to further my own education through Liberty University’s online School of Education is just beginning. I feel so blessed by this opportunity to challenge myself to grow into the best educator that I can possibly be with the outstanding Christ-centered teaching that Liberty offers.
When I am not in the classroom or on the playground, I enjoy hiking and running in beautiful Oregon. My favorite seasonal hobbies include listening to Christmas music non-stop starting in October, and viewing as many Christmas light shows as possible.
Mrs. VanDyke, Pre-School
I am MCA because… I love that “Ah ha!” moment when a child is just figuring something out for the first time or has just discovered something new. The excitement and joy that they feel is something so rewarding to watch. From as far back as I can remember, my passion has always been working with children. I truly feel the Lord has called me to do just that. I plan to use this gift and passion to continue serving the families of Yamhill County at MCA and through children’s ministry at my church.
I also love to help people. I am the coordinator of two amazing programs of Hope on the Hill: The Pink Ribbon Event and The Tree of Hope. The Pink Ribbon Event is a breast cancer fundraiser that is near and dear to my heart. The Tree of Hope allows me to celebrate all I love about the Christmas season: the music, the lights, time with family, celebrating the birth of Jesus and truly blessing families!
My husband, Ben, and I have been married for 8 years and have two amazing children. Our son, Bryce, is 6 years old and our daughter, Zoey, is 4 years old.
Mrs. Seehawer, Pre-School
I am MCA because… I love helping students explore their creativity and leading their little hands through experiences. It expands their curiosity and you see that wonderment just take over. It reminds you how special it is to have a child’s imagination!
This is my fourth year at MCA as a Pre-School teacher and my first year as the Director of Pre-School. Teaching with a biblical core infused with tons of classroom fun are two key perks that come with being a Christian Pre-School teacher. The family atmosphere at MCA is one I have never experienced before and am truly blessed to be a part of this amazing group.
My husband and I have been married for 14 years and have three children. Both Joseph and Chloe attend MCA. We recently welcomed our third child into family last October. Her name is Ellanor. She is an English bulldog/black lab mix. Ellanor is chunky and full of furry love. As a family we enjoy movie nights, fishing, card games and spending weekends at the beach.
Miss Kim, Pre-School
I am MCA because… I love teaching kids! I love knowing that I have the chance to impact their lives just as much as each and every one of them impacts my own life. I have always had a heart and gift for working with kids and have in some form or another been working with them since I was very young. I have wanted to be a teacher for a very long time so when I was offered the position at MCA, I immediately accepted it!
I first came to MCA towards the end of the 2016-2017 school year working in the After School Care Program. Prior to that, I worked for about a year at a Pre-School and also served as a Sunday School teacher for third graders at Westwood Baptist Church in Olympia, Washington.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy shopping, coloring, and spending time with my friends and family. In the future, I plan to continue my education. I do my best every day to make learning as fun and adventurous as possible for each and every one of my students.
Mrs. Hessel, Pre-Kindergarten
I am MCA because… I love teaching Pre-K! The children are so eager and excited to explore and learn when something is presented to them. The excitement in a child when they have learned to write their name, letter, or number, always makes teaching rewarding. Curiosity, innocence and unpredictably with Pre-Schoolers truly makes each day an adventure. I love what I do and with that, I feel like I bring a rich learning environment through fun, patience, understanding and love for my Pre-School children.
I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University and I have been teaching at McMinnville Christian Academy since 2011.
I married my high school sweetheart and we have four amazing children, ranging in age from 21 years old to 10 years old. I enjoy reading, running and spending time with my family.
Mrs. Bennett, Kindergarten
I am MCA because… I love challenging the students that need the challenge and helping those that might be struggling.
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in middle school. Once I reached high school, the idea of teaching was even clearer to me. I had some teachers that made it hard for me to understand and relate to what they were teaching. I knew at that point that I wanted to be a teacher that would be willing to help those students that struggled. I love working with students in all levels of learning. I challenge myself to come up with different ways to help students. My goal is that all students will leave my classroom with a strong academic foundation. I will be making sure they can read, write, and do arithmetic for their grade level. I want all students to have the confidence they need to be successful.
I have lived in Willamina for 12 years. I have 4 children and many foster children. We have horses, goats, dogs and a cat that has 15 acres to wander! I love spending time with my family. One thing we love to do together is go camping and biking.
Mrs. Peterson, Kindergarten
I am MCA because… it is a joy to serve as a kindergarten teacher and to cultivate growth in young minds! I love goal setting, planning, and the look on the student’s face when those goals are achieved. Self-reflection and goal setting is such an important part of success. In my class we set academic and social goals, create a plan, then rise to achieve them. Students will take ownership of their work, which boosts their self-esteem and thus boosts their drive to learn. With highly engaging lessons, projects, and activities, learning is held in a deeper level while having fun! My student’s growth academically, socially and spiritually is my priority.
Prior to my role at MCA, I was in the Learning Resource Center helping children meet their individual goals that may have fallen behind a bit. I have been blessed in many ways and am thrilled to now teach at McMinnville Christian Academy.
I am a woman of God, a mother of 2 (Ava and Adalynn), and a wife to an amazing firefighter. Together we enjoy camping, going to the beach and gathering with family and friends. It’s a bonus when all three are combined.
Mrs. Massey, 1st Grade
I am MCA because… My passion is showing love to children and teaching them to strive to be the best they can, academically, socially, and spiritually. I want them to know that God will always be with them. I have a passion for building up inquisitive, courageous, faith-driven, creative, and loving kids. MCA allows me the freedom to do just that.
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s of Education from Linfield College. I have been teaching for more than 30 years in McMinnville schools. I have had the honor to be a part of MCA the past six years. I have been an administrator, the Pre-K teacher, and this year I am teaching first grade. I am extremely happy and feel very blessed to be working at MCA.
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 49 years. We have two children and have been blessed with six grandchildren and one great granddaughter. I love baking, especially with my granddaughters. I also teach a cupcake decorating club for kindergarten through sixth grade each year. Other hobbies I enjoy are shopping, gardening, kayaking, walks on the beach, and taking trips with my husband.
Mrs. Davis, 2nd Grade
I am MCA because…I get to play and have fun with children each day! I have the opportunity to plant seeds of knowledge, give guidance, and nurture positive values. When I see the eyes of my students light up due to new understanding – it makes my day. Teaching is a very rewarding career! My hopes for the future are to continue teaching, and to take time to enjoy life and all of God’s blessings.
My journey of becoming a teacher began when I was ready to change careers from being a legal secretary. I attended Eastern Oregon University and earned my Bachelor of Science in 2008, then moved to the McMinnville area. I worked in various school districts as a substitute while attending Western Oregon University where I earned my MS in Education. I was hired as the second grade teacher at MCA in 2014.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy going for drives, frequenting restaurants, seeing new places, and being creative by building things, drawing, and crafting. I love spending time with my family and I take delight in playing with my pets. I also like to snuggle up with a good read or movie.
Ms. Taylor, 3rd Grade
I am MCA because…I am able to teach the Bible and pray with my students. I enjoy the family atmosphere and have been able to develop close ties with so many of the families here. I appreciate the fact that we strive for excellence in all academic areas at McMinnville Christian Academy.
After graduating from Linfield College, I jumped into teaching and have never looked back. I have been teaching at MCA for 22 years and am blessed to be a part of this amazing school. My favorite subjects to teach are history, math, and creative writing. I also love to incorporate art into our classroom whenever possible.
In my free time, I enjoy trying new recipes, reading mysteries, and taking my energetic dog on long walks.
Mrs. Garlinghouse, 4th Grade
I am MCA because…it is my heart’s desire to help children grow to be more like Christ. It is a privilege to help equip students for their future by teaching them the Bible.
I grew up on an Apache reservation in New Mexico. My parents were Baptist missionaries and they believed strongly in Christian education. They began a Christian school that is still serving kids today! As I look back, I realize what a blessing it is to have been raised with a Biblical worldview and I want to pass that blessing onto others.
I’ve been married to the love of my life for more than 20 years. Together we are raising our six amazing children and serving in ministry. My husband, Dax, is currently pastoring at Baker Creek Community Church. Before God brought our family to MCA, I had been home schooling for about 15 years. I taught our children every grade and every subject. Those years were instrumental in preparing me and giving me a love of teaching. I am so happy and blessed to be a part of what God is doing at MCA.
Mrs. Yates, 4th Grade, P.E. Upper Grades
I am MCA because… God orchestrated me into this position for His will and His glory. I have always had a passion for sharing knowledge. Sharing the love of Jesus is such a blessing, and I get to deliver it in a fun and interactive way. I get really excited when I can share math in a way that kids ‘get it’.
As I look to the future, I am God’s instrument for glory. My plan isn’t always His plan, but I know God will orchestrate my world for me to glorify Him.
My husband and I have been married for 16 years. Our daughter, Keala, is one of our fifth grade students and her sister, Allison, is our Angel watching over us. Our family has had a rough road with health and loss. It is important to me to be a part of the family that is MCA. Health issues is what helped develop my key hobby, Obstacle Course Racing. It is the metaphor for my whole life: encounter obstacle–figure out how to conquer it–proceed to crush it. God wants to stretch and grow us in difficult ways. In obstacle course racing, I don’t always know what I will encounter on the course, so I train for everything. This in turn stretches and grows me to be prepared for anything. I transfer that lesson to daily life.
Mr. Mitchell, 5th/6th Grade
I am MCA because… I get pumped when I get to hang out with awesome students who are full of energy and wonder, which there is definitely no shortage of here at MCA. I also enjoy being able to share the reality of how full a life lived with Jesus can truly be. It’s inspiring to know that when I walk through the doors at MCA, students are going to be engaged and enthusiastic, whether we’re studying the US Constitution, growing fungus, or singing the Pizza Friday Song.
I graduated from Linfield College with a funny looking hat on my head and a degree in history and my teaching license in my hand. In the many years since then, I’ve worked almost exclusively in education in some capacity – I’ve served as a high school teacher, a middle school teacher, a youth ministry director and as the director of a college preparatory program.
I spend the majority of my free time in the “running world” in some capacity – as a coach, a runner or a fan. I currently coach cross country and track at Mountainside High School in Beaverton. Although I am now “over the hill,” I also still love to train and race at a competitive level. Outside of running, I spend my free time adventuring with my Wife of the Year candidate wife, Stephanie, and my well above average daughter, Phoebe.
Miss Johnson, Librarian & Music Teacher
I am MCA because… I have the privilege of speaking God’s truth to my students. I can build them up and direct their eyes to our Creator God.
I enjoy using my hobbies of music, art, and drama to write music and plays, and to create artistic opportunities that will enrich my students’ learning experiences. I also love to give sincere and practical encouragement to my students and their families. This goal of encouraging others by teaching about God and His world in a creative way is what I desire to characterize my life now, and in the future!
I grew up in a small town in the Midwest with my two brothers and two sisters. My father is a Pastor, and he and my Mom led our family in loving God, serving others, and enjoying the things God created: the ocean, forests, animals, music, laughter… and each other. After graduating from Multnomah University with my Bachelor’s Degree, I pursued teaching with the same foundations my parents gave me: loving God, serving others, and delighting in God’s creation. I have taught students in church settings, Christian camps, and in schools.
Mrs. Walczyk, Music Teacher
I am MCA because… I have the opportunity to share my love of music with students and to show them how much fun we can have when we play music together! I oversee the instrumental music program and will continue to grow the music offerings at MCA.
My teaching began in 1992 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas. I served as Assistant Director of the Master’s Touch School of Music in Grapevine, Texas, and have operated the Master’s Touch School of Music from my home in McMinnville. Additionally, I have directed a gospel choir, founded a Civil-War era fife and drum corps, performed in orchestras, concert bands, jazz bands, rock bands and all manner of ensembles. I am fluent in multiple instruments, and play piano, flute and bass guitar.
My favorite hobby is watching movies with my family. My husband of 32 years is a Professor of Music at Western Oregon University. Together we travel the world to the premier performances of his music compositions. Our children, Gabriel and Sophia, have or are attending MCA.
Mrs. Anderson, Computers & Spanish
I am MCA because…of the children! How can you not love them? They are full of life and desire to be accepted and loved. So do adults! We aren’t much different (perhaps a little wiser, or at least we should be).
When I was in my teens, I did not want children. Little did I know that God had different plans for my life! Not only did He put that passion within my heart to have one, I am blessed to have four! But before I even knew I was going to have a child, God prompted me to home school. I obeyed and home schooled my children as well as taught in home school settings. I am hooked! I love teaching all ages because most students are like sponges and desire to learn and be productive. If a child does not have that passion, I try to ignite it!
I have a degree from George Fox University. I love exercising, reading, organizing, and hope to continue becoming a stronger teacher as I gain more experience. Of utmost importance to me is glorifying my heavenly Father through all that I do!
Miss Deb, After School Care Supervisor & Teaching Assistant
I am MCA because…God answered my prayers and like a puzzle piece that has found its place; He fit me in the right place at MCA. I arrived at the school two years ago as a grandparent and volunteer. Last year, I was offered a position as a teacher’s assistant. The position has developed into more than a job as my husband and I now belong to a loving church family at Baker Creek Community Church. I find the staff at MCA helpful and supportive as I have begun this new chapter in my life.
I am excited to be back again this year working with Mrs. Hessel and taking on the new challenge of supervising the kids in After School Care. There is nothing I enjoy more than to be able to bless others and to share joy with them. I am eager to learn and to find ways that better support the kids, families, and staff I work with at MCA.
I am happily married to my high school sweetheart. We have two adult children, and six others that choose to call me mom. In my off time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, hiking with my husband and dog, and working on a variety of craft projects.
Mrs. Moore, P.E., lower grades