Meet Our Faculty
Dr. Chitwood is in his 25th year of Christian school leadership and in his 3rd year leading Mingo Valley Christian. He has an Ed.D. in Professional Development from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from UALR, and an M.Div. in Theology from Vanderbilt University. He also has a B.S. in Physics from Rhodes College. Dr. Chitwood has served in leadership for growth in excellence in Christian schools from enrollments of 300 to 1200 in Arkansas, Florida and Connecticut before coming to Oklahoma.
“As with parenting our children for their good and God’s glory, Christian education is a hard and high calling. It also is such an incredible privilege that our Lord calls us to join His work in the lives of these children. They need the hope and the truth of a Christ-centered worldview to navigate a challenging culture, and they need His grace ministered through our loving relationships with them to grow strong in the certainty of Christ’s love for them.”
Mrs. Padgett is Mingo Valley Christian’s admissions director and office manager. She has served our school for ten years, and she’s the parent of three MVC students. She’s often the first interaction new families have with MVC, and her warmth and professionalism helpfully guide those seeking information about the school.
“It is very rewarding to walk parents through the admissions process from their first tour to ultimately helping them feel settled in their new school home. In my role, I’m able to observe faculty interactions with students and families’ interactions with other families, and I am blessed every day by the way our school family loves and support each other. I love telling new families about this community and helping them find their own place here.
Mrs. Chatham has been our school nurse for three years, and she also teaches a high school nutrition class. She has a B.S. in Nursing from West Texas A&M University, and she has taught pediatric nursing at the college level. She is well equipped to handle everything from scrapes and bumps to significant chronic medical conditions.
“I feel like I have over 200 children! I love that God has trusted me enough to be a stand-in mom for these kids during the school day. I love my relationships with them, and that they come to me with spiritual or medical problems. When a kid comes to me and they’re sick or scared, I’m able to get down on their level and provide comfort. For kids with serious medical issues, I feel blessed to be on their healthcare team and help their parents feel safer about their child’s school day.”
Mrs. Hayes has been a preschool teacher for 25 years. She went to Baylor and the University of Texas.
“I love teaching little ones because everything is fresh and new to them. My class is usually a child’s first experience with school. I want them to have a base concept of school as being a loving and fun place and an overall great experience. I feel like this will affect how they feel about school in the future. My biggest compliment was from a girl I had many years ago. She told her mom: ‘Oh, we never do work in Mrs. Hayes’ class, we just play and do fun things all day!’ I love that she had been learning all day and didn’t even know it!”
Miss Brown has taught for 21 years, and she has a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Tyler.
“When my students leave my class I want them to take with them a love for learning. I want them to be excited to read, write, and discover things on their own. Most importantly, I want them to know more about who God is and how much he loves them. I want them to have a desire to know God personally.”
Mrs. Madden holds the record as the longest-serving faculty member at Mingo Valley Christian: 31 years! She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Tulsa.
“I love teaching all subjects in first grade, but I specifically love to teach reading. The students come into first grade reading but by the end of the year they plead with me to have even more reading time and love the fact that they are reading "chapter books". I love their enthusiasm about reading independently. I want my students to have confidence in who they are, created and designed by a loving Creator who wants a relationship with them. I want them to reflect on first grade with special memories of good times learning and growing.”
Mrs. McKnight graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, with a degree in Early Childhood Education, and she has been a teacher for 14 years. She taught in public schools in Texas and Oklahoma before joining the MVC faculty.
“I hope my students take away from my class a sense of being loved. I want them to know that in my classroom it is a safe place to learn. I want them to know and believe that God loves them, has created them with special gifts, and desires to walk with them through each day. I also hope to spark a life-long love for learning!”
Mrs. Auxer is in her first year of teaching at Mingo Valley Christian. She graduated from Northeastern State University with a degree in Elementary Education.
“I believe this is the task God has called me to, and I am able to fulfill that calling here at Mingo Valley Christian. My hope is that as my students leave my class they will take with them a confidence of being a life-long learner. I hope they will continue to grow and develop new ideas and interests and pursue them with a goal of using their passions to further the kingdom of Christ.”
Mrs. Watson has been a teacher for 21 years, 14 of those years at Mingo Valley Christian, and all three of her children graduated from MVC. She has a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a B.S.E. in Elementary Education from John Brown University.
“I love words. I love learning and using and teaching new words. I love to get kids excited about words. Yes, it can be done!”
Mrs. Gabbert has taught at Mingo Valley Christian for 11 years, and she was a homeschooling mom for ten years before that. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Oklahoma Baptist University.
“I want the children to know the Bible and understand God’s unconditional love for them. I want my students to leave with a deeper relationship to God and a desire to know Him better and to serve Him.”
Mrs. Terry grew up as a missionary kid in Vietnam and Thailand. She graduated from Liberty University with a double degree in Elementary and Special Education, with a middle school math concentration. She’s in her second year of teaching at Mingo Valley Christian.
“I love seeing the ‘a-ha’ moments when something clicks. I love when real life meets academia, and students understand the reason behind school. I love when a student gets excited about a project, and I see them take charge of their own learning. My students tease me because every day I tell them that we are about to study my ‘favorite’ thing. I hope that a little bit of my enthusiasm rubs off!”
Mr. Wesel has taught for 28 years, and he has both a B.A. and an M.A. in Theology and Education.
“It is always my goal to help students and to encourage them to grow in their faith in Christ. I love to hear it when students share of how God is helping and showing them His love and grace. I also thoroughly enjoy seeing God use each class to bless and demonstrate his goodness to others as we serve as servant leaders in sixth grade.”
Mr. Dunn teaches P.E. to grades K4 through 6th grade, drawing on many years of experience as a youth sports coach and children’s Sunday school teacher. Retired from the insurance business, he has a B.S. in economics from Hendrix College, and he’s the grandfather of four MVC students.
“I love these kids and their families, and I take much personal satisfaction in using my time with them to point them to the Lord even in small ways. We make a lot of noise and have plenty of fun together in P.E., but we also learn a lot about teamwork, following rules, and staying fit. I enjoy focusing on helping our students go as far as they can in the Presidential Fitness Challenge, and we’ve had some great results with that.”
Mrs. Land is in her 15th year in education, and she’s MVC’s librarian, which, she says, “is the best job in the school!” She has two bachelor’s degrees from Baylor University, one in English and another in elementary education.
“On any given day, the teaching profession is full of opportunities to influence young minds and lives with a bit of knowledge, some humor, and a great attitude towards the entire learning process. I feel as though I’m living the dream teaching in a Christian school and imparting the love of reading and books to students and adults of all ages.”
Mrs. Weaver serves as Mingo Valley Christian’s elementary computer teacher. This is her first year on our faculty. She has a B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from Oklahoma State University.
“I have always wanted to make a real difference in the lives of others through my work. Teaching gives me the opportunity to help others and contribute to God's plan of reaching people for Him in a tangible way. My goal is for my students to come away with skills that they otherwise would not have--skills that will serve as an advantage as they move forward in their education, both at MVC as well as in college and beyond. “
Mrs. Jeffers has a passion for helping students who need extra help in the learning process. She has a degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from the University of Tulsa, and all seven of her children have attended Mingo Valley Christian—she has had at least one child here since 1990! She meets on a daily or weekly basis with elementary students who need additional support in any or all subjects.
“I want to not only help my students learn, but teach them how to learn. My goal is for them to experience success in school and become independent in their learning. I seek for them to have that ‘a-ha moment’ when the light goes on and they get it! I want each student to learn how to trust God and lean on Him not just for their educational needs, but for their whole life.”
Mr. Reisner has a B.S. in Cell Biology (University of Tulsa), and an M.S. in Biology (St. Louis University). While in a Ph.D. Biology program he felt God calling him into secondary education, so he then completed an Education Specialist Degree in Secondary Administration from the University of Missouri. He’s currently pursuing his Ed.D. at Oral Roberts University.
“My favorite part of my job is the relationship with the kids. That’s why I’m here. I’m drawn to the challenges and gifts of this particular age of student. It’s a gentle art to become part of a kid’s life, particularly to make an impact with the Gospel.”
Mr. Averitt is the pastor of Mingo Valley Bible Fellowship. He’s been teaching the Bible full time since 1999, and he teaches the 10th grade Old Testament Survey course for Mingo Valley Christian. He also serves as the head coach for our girls’ basketball team. He has a B.A. in History from the University of North Texas and a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.
“My hope and prayer for the sophomore class is that they have a fresh and renewed interest in knowing and loving God. The most important thing they will ever think are the thoughts they have when they are thinking about God. Getting a proper understanding of God, as revealed in the Bible, is the most important subject any human soul could ever hope to attain. One's worldview will determine their destiny.”
Mrs. Bartlett has been a teacher for 21 years, the last 12 of which have been at Mingo Valley Christian. She has a B.F.A. from the University of Oklahoma.
“I enjoy working with children of all ages, teaching them concepts and skills that will help them to become all that God created them to be and to do the work He will call them to do. Although I have taught many subjects throughout my teaching career, I especially enjoy teaching art; not only is art what I am trained to teach, it is an activity and skill that most students enjoy, especially when they discover that they can do more than they thought they were capable of doing.”
A third-year teacher, Mrs. Drew has a B.A. in English and Music from the University of Tulsa, where she spent a year of her undergraduate time studying English and performing with the symphony orchestra at the University of Manchester in England. She also an M.Ed. and is pursuing an M.A. in English, also from TU.
“What I love most about English is the teaching opportunity of every class. Human beings are naturally story-oriented; God's Word to us is essentially His story of how He redeemed and saved us from our own broken and rebellious history. We make sense of life and relate to one another through stories. Literature -- whether fiction, prose, poetry, biblical, secular, or non-fiction -- allows us to study the story of human existence from diverse perspectives that let students have discussions and projects that broaden their scope of understanding and challenge them to defend and deepen their Christian worldview when they encounter ideas that contradict their beliefs. Students can gain profound meaning and lessons out of works of literature that they will carry with them the rest of their lives.”
Mr. Fulmer serves as the athletic director and boys’ basketball coach. He has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Christian School Administration. He is currently serving in his 37th year in education. He has coached basketball from the elementary through college level for 31 seasons.
“I commit to serve my team by mentoring each player and coach towards Christ-like character and Christian manhood. I will model and teach godly humility, personal integrity, servant leadership, affirmation of others, and a correct and healthy view of competition.”
Mrs. Hermes is the teacher and facilitator for Citadel, our high school leadership program. She has a B.A. from Oklahoma Baptist University and an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before teaching, she served for ten years as a hospital chaplain.
“God has shown me that He is at work at MVCS and that I am to join Him in His work. My great desire is that each graduating class will follow Christ with all they have. I pray that they will find their places in His church and continue to serve others as they grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ throughout their lives. I want them to follow hard after Him and lead others to do the same.”
Mrs. Funkhouser is in her sixth year as yearbook advisor, and is an experienced photographer with graphic design experience. She’s also the parent of four Mingo Valley Christian graduates.
“I have a passion for preserving history and sharing the importance of a ‘stamp in time’ with our students. I love to help my students look beyond the photo and find the story. My desire is for them to see the importance of their own relationship with our Lord, by looking for Him in His written word.”
Mrs. Jones has taught Earth Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics at Mingo Valley Christian for seven years. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Tulsa and a M.Ed in Secondary Education from Southwest Assembly of God University.
“I LOVE science. A LOT. From the vast reaches of the universe down to the sub-atomic particles that make up everything we touch, all of it was created by God. As we learn more about the world around us and how it operates we can know our Creator better. He is so big and infinite, He has created an immense universe yet He also created the tiniest of sub-atomic particles and has His hand in those minute details. If He is so powerful and all-knowing, I can trust Him with both the big issues and the tiny details in my life.”
Mrs. Keathley has a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish Education from Oklahoma State University, and she’s been a teacher for 35 years (16 of them at MVC).
“I definitely felt God calling me to be more than just a foreign language teacher when He called me to MVC; He called me to assist in developing hearts for the peoples of the world in my students. As a result, I use a devotional about the persecuted Church as a springboard for discussion and prayer for countries and their leaders, as well as for missionaries and ministries. I pray that my students will make missions a part of their daily lives while understanding that evangelism is not just the work of missionaries, and that there are countless ways to support spreading the Gospel, both throughout the world and closer to home.”
A former Mingo Valley Christian student himself, Mr. Madden now serves as secondary Bible teacher and high school theatre director. His Bible courses include Life of Christ, Worldviews (two years), Acts and the Pauline Epistles, and Systematic Theology. He has a B.A. in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Christian Education from The Master’s College.
Mrs. Mayberry has been a teacher for 11 years, five of which have been at Mingo Valley Christian. She has a B.S. in Math Education from Northeastern State University.
“It is truly a blessing when a student shares with me that they understand a concept with which they have previously struggled. Teachers throughout their academic career have created strong foundations, but I am the teacher that gets to see that moment when all of that learning comes together. That experience parallels our sharing of the gospel with others and is one of the reasons that I love teaching!”
For nine years, Mrs. Pewthers has taught 7th, 8th, and 9th grade English at Mingo Valley Christian. She has a B.A. in English from Oklahoma State University.
“To be an effective teacher, I myself must be a lifelong learner. In this career God has stretched and grown me through my interaction with the students and sometimes I feel I have learned as much from them as they learn from me! I absolutely see my work in Christian education as a ministry. Each day I pray that God will help me to appreciate the unique gifting He has given each of my students and that He will give me the wisdom to challenge them to do their best to help them become all that He created them to be.”
Mrs. Selby fills many musical roles at Mingo Valley Christian, teaching elementary music, directing the middle through high school instrumental ensembles, directing our high school choir, and serving as the musical director for our theatre productions. She has taught music for 12 years, and she has a Bachelor of Music Education from Pittsburg State University. Her two children both attended MVC from K4 through 12th grade.
“My ministry as a music instructor is three-fold: I love the Lord Jesus, I love students and I love music. My desire is to combine these affections to create a music department that is honoring to the Lord, inspiring to the students and academically sound to any observer. I want to build in them a bank of knowledge, skills, and great memories of participating in musical performances that celebrate life and honor the Lord.”
Mrs. Shoop has been a teacher for ten years, and she graduated from Northeastern State University with a B.A. in Social Studies Education. At Mingo Valley Christian, she teaches middle school world history and a high school elective called Heroes and Villains. This course analyzes key people in world history who have shaped the culture of their time in significant ways, both positively and negatively.
“There is a quote on the wall in the front of my classroom that states ‘ We study the past so that we may understand the present and change the future’ and it sums up my mission in the classroom. I want to teach the past in such a passionate way that my students are inspired to see the value in history and make connections between past and present. The insight and understanding I hope to generate in them will lead them to a wider understanding of God, the world, history, and their individual roles. This understanding will not only help them to become citizens who are passionate lifelong learners of history, but positive world changers with a Biblical worldview.”
Mrs. Thompson teaches a wide variety of math courses from pre-algebra to AP calculus. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and she has been a teacher for nine years.
“I want my students to learn a lot more than how to reduce fractions or take the derivative of a function. I want to give them an appreciation for God’s designed order as described by mathematics. We work on developing an ability to think logically and to defend their answers. I hope they discover the connection between math and science, but they ultimately need to apply math to daily decision-making and an understanding of Creation.”
Mr. Thompson teaches U.S. History, World History, American Government, and Oklahoma History. A teacher for six years, he has a bachelor’s degree in History from Hillsdale College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in American History and Government at Ashland University. In 2016, he was selected as the James Madison Fellow for the state of Oklahoma.
“History contributes to our own ability as Christians to promote human dignity and flourishing within society and culture. Examining how other people in other times and culture have answered the big questions (Who is man? Who is God? How do we as humans find meaning?) enables students to recognize the “spirit of the age” and bring light to the cultural blind spots. Better understanding the past allows students to better understand our time and live counter culturally, as representatives of Christ’s kingdom on earth.”
With both a B.A. and an M.A. from Oral Roberts University, Mrs. Troutman has been a teacher for over 30 years, including some time teaching at Chungdu University in People's Republic of China.
“Teaching is important because it touches eternity, both in the near future and the far. Learning about science is learning about God, His order in systems and His beauty in nature. Students are naturally able to see and know about Him every day.”
Mrs. Wassall has been in Christian education for 18 years and has been an academic advisor for the last nine. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada and an MBA from ORU.
“I love working with the students and building relationships with them. I especially love pushing students to perform at a level beyond what they think they are capable of achieving. The whole college application process can be quite confusing and intimidating. I enjoy helping students and families understand the steps and walking the path toward college with them. It is most rewarding to watch the students as they walk the platform at graduation and head off to pursue their dream knowing that I had some small part in getting them there.”