Faculty & Staff

Our caring and dedicated faculty invests significant time in developing our students. They go the extra mile to prepare dynamic interactive lessons, build relationships with students, and provide spiritual guidance in an academic environment.

Educationally Diverse Faculty

Our faculty & staff members have degrees from more than a dozen different institutions of higher learning.

Advanced Degrees

Approximately forty percent of our educational team members have a master’s degree.


Pastor Lee Atkinson, Administrator

Graduate of Practical Theology, B.S. Biology Education, M.S. Secondary Science Education, Ed.D. Education Administration, M.A. Church Ministry (in progress)

Pastor Lee’s life goal is to magnify and exalt the name of the Lord (Psalm 34:3). He is also an adjunct professor at Pensacola Christian College in Florida.

Interests: He is a father of four who enjoys soccer, landscaping, splitting firewood, collecting Pez dispensers, and peanut butter & pickle sandwiches!

Mr. Bender, High School Principal

B.S. Business Management, M.S. Educational Leadership

Mr. Bender is our 4th-12th principal. He loves the picture of teamwork painted by Scripture in Philippians 1:27 & Proverbs 27:17 which demonstrates that believers should work together and be more like Christ because of their partnership.

Interests: Mr. Bender enjoys prowling Home Depot for his next home improvement project, aquariums, wrestling his two children, and date nights with his wife at Panera.

Mrs. Lerand, Elementary Principal

B.S. Elementary Education, M.S. Educational Leadership

Mrs. Lerand loves Jesus’ invitation to children in Mark 10:14. It’s a joy for her to help young children learn to read, so that they can read the Bible for themselves.

Interests: She is a mother of two who enjoys reading, listening to audio books, playing music, gardening, baking, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bath & Body Works, & would LOVE to drive a Polaris Slingshot someday!

Office Staff

Miss Jody, North Building Secretary

In 1995 Miss Jody left her 21-year McDonald’s career to become the secretary of Dyer Baptist Church. God has used the experience she gained managing a local restaurant to prepare her to run our school efficiently. She loves Proverbs 3:5-6 which has kept her steady in times of trial, including a battle with cancer.

Interests: She enjoys making cards, writing, sewing, and all kinds of other crafts (which she is quite good at). Payday candy bars and gooseberry pie are some of her favorites too (as well as her beloved McDonalds).

Miss Candice, South Building Secretary

Miss Candice joined the secretarial team when the south building was opened in 2016. Philippians 1:20 is her life verse, “so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

Interests: She likes dutch apple pie, ice skating, Starbucks chai lattes, chocolate cookies, and Culver’s cheese curds. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and her four children.


Mrs. Atkinson, English & Spanish

B.S. English Education, M.A. Biblical Counseling

Romans 8:32 assures her that if God would give the very best in giving His Son, He will take care of everything else in her life.

Interests: She is a mother of four who enjoys camping, gardening, reading, cooking, coffee, tea, music, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and jewelry.

Mrs. Baggech, Kindergarten

B.S. Elementary Education

Mrs. Baggech loves the peace of knowing God will guide her (Proverbs 3:5-6). She has been teaching for over 20 years. Her goal is to make learning fun and encourage her students to do their best.

Interests: She is a mother of four who enjoys collecting items of cobalt blue glass, camping, reading, gardening (flowers), shopping, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and frozen custard at Culvers.

Mrs. Bevell, Preschool

Mrs. Bevell is a loving mother and wife, and a loyal supporter of our school. She has lived in the region her whole life. She loves the Gospel of John and the book of Proverbs best.

Interests: She enjoys Mexican food, and her favorite snacks are chocolate, popcorn, and coffee. She enjoys spending time with friends, going to fairs with her family, crafting, and cooking.

Mrs. Bird, Preschool

Has over 50 years experience teaching 2-5 year olds

Mrs. Bird, one of our founding teachers, loves Psalm 119:165 for its promise of peace for those who love God and His Word.

Interests: She is a mother of six who enjoys camping, visiting historical places, reading, crafts, black licorice, turtle ice cream, the color purple, and scarves!

Miss Boucher, Math & English

B.S. English Education, M.S. Curriculum & Instruction (Secondary Education)

The first Bible verse that Miss Boucher ever memorized was Proverbs 3:5-6, and it has been her life’s verse ever since.

Interests: She enjoys road trips, reading, and adventure, anything with dark chocolate and sea salt, Oreos, and goldfish. She also likes Chipotle, Dunkin Donuts, the color teal, and fall!

Mr. Dang, Secondary Bible

B.E. Thermal and Power Engineering, M.E. Thermal Energy, M.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.A. Biblical Studies

Mr. Dang grew up in China, and has three children. Serving on the church staff gives him many opportunities to minister

Interests: He enjoys reading, history, and biblical languages. Since coming to the United States he has learned to appreciate various aspects of American culture, and is always eager to try or taste something new.

Miss Forslund, 5th Grade

Bachelor of Ministry

She is a native Cheesehead and enjoys kayaking and crochet. She finds peace in finding and doing God’s will for her life.

Interests: She enjoys the outdoors, including mowing grass. Her favorite foods are sushi and Chipotle. She likes decorating and DIY crafts as well as coffee, traveling to foreign countries, and hanging out with friends.

Mrs. Gray, Preschool

Three years college training in general education

1 Samuel 12:16 has become Mrs. Gray’s favorite verse as she is constantly struck with awe at what God is doing in her life.

Interests: She enjoys water color and acrylic painting, saving money, playing with her kids, and spending time in the outdoors with her husband. You have a pretty good chance at seeing her at Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops.

Mrs. Harned, Kindergarten

Has over 30 years experience teaching children

Mrs. Harned is a lifelong resident of NW Indiana and was a substitute teacher for our school for several years before joining us full time in the preschool.

Interests: Mrs. Harned is an expert at finding good deals and loves spending her free time garage-sale-ing with friends. A loving mother of four, she often can be seen spending time with nephews and extended family!

Mr. Hornish, Secondary Bible & Science

B.A. Pastoral Ministries, M.S. Educational Administration

In Ephesians 6:18, he likes to see the often overlooked leg guards of the armor of God as a reminder that prayer is one of our most powerful tools in combating the enemy.

Interests: Board games, studying languages (he spent two years in Honduras), coffee, and potato chips. He is allergic to peanuts.

Mrs. Hornish – Second Grade

B.S. Elementary Education in Early Childhood Development

Mrs. Hornish grew up in Ukraine as a missionary, but her grandparents live here in NWI. After working her way through college and joining us on the faculty here, she fell in love and married Mr. Hornish!

Interests: She loves being around children and arousing their imaginations to make learning fun. Kids naturally are attracted to her warm and kind personality. You can usually find her with a mug of coffee!

Mrs. Kerr, Aftercare & Substitute

B.S. Christian Education and Bible

Mrs. Kerr has been teaching for several decades, and has filled just about every role in the classroom and school management. She currently has several grandchildren in the Academy.

Interests: She is passionate about education, enjoys spending time with her many grandchildren, sewing, and reading.

Pastor Peter, Secondary Bible & Technology

A.A.S. Computer Information Systems, Bachelor of Religious Education (Pastoral Theology), M.A. Bible (in progress)

Just as Hebrews 11:5 tells us that Enoch pleased God, Mr. Knezevich’s goal in life is to have God smile at what he does, because God is pleased with his thoughts and actions.

Interests: He enjoys playing Legos with his kids, making children’s videos, leading the youth group, studying the Bible, and spending time with his wife. Culver’s is his favorite local restaurant!

Mrs. Kuipers, Office Assistant

B.A. English Teaching, M.S. Curriculum & Instruction (Elementary), M.A. Biblical Counseling (in progress)

James 1:22 speaks to Mrs. Kuipers of the need to make sure God’s Word is actively changing the way she lives out her life.

Interests: She enjoys crocheting, hiking with her husband and dogs, trying new restaurants, and the Scrambled Diner in south Dyer. She can usually be found at Goodwill on half-price day, and loves scarves!

Mr. Lerand, Fine Arts Director

B.A. Youth Ministries

2 Corinthians 15:10a reminds Mr. Lerand that nothing is accomplished without God’s grace. Dealing with Tourette Syndrome has been a key element in shaping his life. He loves most things that engage creativity and any opportunity to make something more beautiful.  

Interests: He loves being home with Mrs. Lerand and their two children and enjoys pizza, a well-crafted cup of coffee, cinnamon rolls, dark chocolate, Nutter Butters, Wiley Wallaby Red Licorice, the outdoors, exploring, gardening, playing board games, music, photography, Costco, & the Green Bay Packers!

Mr. McCarville, 4th Grade

B.S. Elementary Education

Mr. McCarville has lived around Lake Michigan his whole life, most recently coming to us from Wisconsin. He likes the gospel of Luke best, as Dr. Luke had to research and compile his information, yet it still matches the other gospels.

Interests: He enjoys Mexican food, skiing, disc golf and other outdoor activities. For snacks, he enjoys flavored corn chips and chewy candy.

Mrs. McCarville, 6th Grade

B.S. Music Education

Mrs. McCarville grew up in the beautiful state of Michigan. She met Mr. McCarville there, was married in March of 2022, and joined him here in Indiana. Her favorite book of the Bible is James because it is full of wisdom and truths for the Christian to abide by.

Interests: She enjoys playing the piano, baking, and shopping. For snacks, she enjoys Whoppers, Goldfish, and gum.

Mrs. Rosnik, 1st Grade

B.S. Elementary Education

Mrs. Rosnik moved from Colorado with her family to join our faculty. As a dedicated teacher, she throws herself wholeheartedly into preparation, making the classroom very interesting for her students!

Interests: She likes IHOP, milk chocolate, flowers, almonds, and shopping at Kohls. Her kitchen is decorated in birdhouses!

Miss Stalcup, 3rd Grade

B.A. Church Ministries, M.S. Curriculum & Instruction (Elementary)

Miss Stalcup has been challenged by the book of Deuteronomy. She loves getting to teach the next generation (her 3rd graders) how to find success in life by following God’s way.

Interests: She enjoys board games and group games with friends, visiting historical places, Culver’s, BBQ, and Mexican cuisine. She also enjoys a variety of nuts and sugar free ice cream. 

Miss Terry, Elementary Music, Piano/Flute, & Elementary Bible

B.A. Bible and Music

Psalm 18:1-2,30 is an anchor for Miss Terry when she’s facing difficult and large projects.

Interests: She loves spending time with her family, music, photography, the outdoors, reading books, and taking missions trips around the world! She also enjoys coffee, dark chocolate, Olive Garden, and the Fall and Winter seasons.

Miss Thomas, 2nd Grade

B.S. Elementary Education

Miss Thomas was born and raised in Indiana and attended Indiana Christian Academy from preschool through 12th grade. At the age of six doctors discovered a tumor in her brain. Undergoing radiation at the age of 10 caused the tumor to shrink and stop growing, but the experience has had a definite impact on shaping her life. In addition to her elementary education degree she has also completed several years of nursing school.

Interests: She loves the color light blue, coffee, chocolate, crafts, turtles, and the beach. Her favorite Bible verse is Psalm 56:3-4.

Miss Wright, 1st Grade

B.S. Elementary Education

Miss Wright has a deep love and compassion for children, and genuinely enjoys engaging them in conversations. She pours her heart into teaching each child in her classroom.

Interests: She enjoys volleyball, BBQ, and dark chocolate.