Elementary Faculty & Assistants
Brenda Duntsch teaches a combined 3- and 4-year-old PreK class in carefully designed learning centers. She previously served in the Memphis First Assembly Mother's Day Out Program and has also served Wells Fargo as a representative for the Banking at School program. She is currently majoring in elementary education in a night program and has completed specialized training in classroom behavior techniques at the University of Memphis.
Beth Allison began teaching junior kindergarten at FACS in 2000. She previously served as an educational assistant for seven years in the Shelby County Schools and has several years’ experience teaching mother’s day out. “I’m very grateful to be given the chance to do what I love best—to love and care for children and to teach them that learning can be fun.”
Lisa Ward joined FACS as a co-teacher for junior kindergarten in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Journalism from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She previously served as a substitute teacher at FACS. She also has substitute taught in the Shelby County Schools, has experience in preschool teaching and childcare, and worked in administration and development at another school.
Lauren Griffin joined FACS as a lead teacher in Senior Kindergarten in 2014 after doing her student teaching here. She graduated from a Christian high school and holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Tennessee-Martin. “I love the innocence and joy that children possess,” Mrs. Griffin says, “and I hope that their happy spirits teach me as much about God's love as I teach them in class.” She also shares a quote from Christian author Shauna Niequist: "I want my every day to make God belly laugh, glad that He gave life to someone who loves the gift."
Lisa Taylor joined the FACS staff in the fall of 2007 with a prior 11 years' experience as a kindergarten teacher with the Memphis City Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Memphis. “My philosophy of Christian education comes from Proverbs 22:6,” she says."‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ As an educator, it is my responsibility that my students achieve academically and grow spiritually.”
Ellen Faulk earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Memphis. Prior to coming to FACS as a senior kindergarten teacher in 2001, she taught for two years at Graceland Elementary, a Memphis City School. She began teaching first grade at FACS in 2005.
Rebecca Copeland joined the faculty in 2016. Mrs. Copeland holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Maranatha Baptist University. She previously taught at two Memphis-area private schools and at an inner city Memphis charter school.
Rebecca Reynolds holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Memphis. She joined the FACS staff in 2006. She previously student taught third grade at Riverdale Elementary and fourth grade at Brookemead Elementary. She also served as a substitute teacher at FACS.
Christy Cleek joined the FACS faculty in 2009 after substitute teaching for us the previous year. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Union University in Jackson, TN,. Of teaching, she said, "it is not only my job, it is my calling." In addition to teaching at FACS, Ms. Cleek teaches Sunday School at Ellendale Baptist Church and has taught voice lessons in her home.
Jessica Geabhart started teaching third grade at FACS in 2014. She previously served at FACS as an elementary music teacher. Mrs. Geabhart holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of South Alabama. Her favorite scripture is Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." As a teacher, she says, "I hope to speak life and encouragement into the minds and hearts of my students. I want to help them uncover God-given talents and abilities through their education."
Natalie Puerto joined the FACS staff in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Elementary Education and Elementary Education (PreK-grade 6) from Union University. Mrs. Puerto previously taught Kindergarten for three years at Toone Elementary School in Hardeman County.
Donna Henderson holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with endorsements in elementary education and home economics from the University of Memphis. She has taught at FACS since 1992. She also serves in Sunday school and children’s ministry positions with her church. “It is a blessing to work in a Christian school where I can teach not only the academics but also about the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of all knowledge.”
Lezlie shelton joined the FACS staff in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Hanover College. After completing that degree, she worked in hotel marketing. She subsequently received certification in special education as well as an education endorsement for middle school from Lambuth University. She worked at Macon Hall Elementary from 2008-2016. While there, she and a colleague piloted successful new techniques to help students with ADD/ADHD.
Carolyn Tidwell has taught elementary school at FACS since the school was founded in 1972. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Memphis. In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as elementary coordinator and SACS facilitator. Mrs. Tidwell has been listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers every year since 1990. She also received the FACS Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994.
Jennifer Mills has been working at FACS since 2005 and began teaching fifth grade in 2015. She previously taught sixth grade for two years; prior to that, ahe served FACS as an educational assistant for several years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Memphis.
Sarah Bills joined the FACS staff in 1999 and has taught second, third and sixth grades for the school. She currently teaches math and Bible in the sixth grade. Previously, she taught for 10 years at Briarcrest Christian Schools and for four years in the Shelby County Schools. Mrs. Bills received her Master of Science in education from the University of Memphis.
Terri Downing began her service to FACS in 2001, and specializes in English, spelling and social studies. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Crichton College.
Laura Farien joined the FACS staff in 2016. She specializes in reading, spelling, and science. Mrs. Farien holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Master of Arts in Education from Union University. Her experience includes nine and a half years teaching fifth and sixth grades at Christian schools in the Memphis area.
Gwen Copeland, Resource/Enrichment
Gwen Copeland works with academically talented elementary students as well as with those who need additional time to acquire key skills. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with a special education endorsement. She has taught for 26 years. “FACS is a wonderful role model for other schools to follow because the teachers truly care about the academic achievement and spiritual well-being of all types of students,” she said.
Lisa Carter, Resource/Enrichment
Lisa Carter moved to the enrichment/resource area in 2007, after teaching third grade at FACS since 2001. She holds both a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in early childhood education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and a Master of Teaching and Learning from NOVA Southeastern, Florida. She previously taught for eight years at Grahamwood Elementary, a Memphis City School.
Cristen Hall, SPARK Program
Cristen Hall began teaching the SPARK program for first- and second-grade reading and third-grade math in 2016. The program focuses on early intervention and concentrated instruction for recommended students. Mrs. Hall holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christian School Teaching from Central Bible College. She previously taught preschool and Kindergarten at FACS and third grade at a school in St. Louis.
Lori Cook, Visual Arts
Lori Cook began providing art lessons weekly for students in grades one through six in 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine art from the University of Memphis. Previously, she taught art in camp and group lessons at Germantown Baptist Church. “I’m having a great time working with many talented young artists,” she said.
Christine Bradberry, Music
Christine Bradberry teaches elementary music. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Mrs. Bradberry previously served as an educational assistant at FACS. She taught elementary music at FACS from 1994 to 1998 and again from 2004 to 2006. She has also worked with Memphis First Assembly Mother's Day Out. "God opened the door for me to work in a wonderful environment," she said of FACS. "My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11: 'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Tiffany Tidswell, Physical Education
Tiffany Tidswell joined FACS in 2006. She began teaching physical education in 2009, having previously served as an educational assistant in senior kindergarten. She also utilizes her collegiate soccer experience to coach varsity girls' soccer at FACS. Mrs. Tidswell majored in Christian education with a minor in physical education at Central Bible College. She served for six years as a co-pastor to youth at a church in Melbourne, Florida. "I love children. I love sports. But first and foremost, I love Jesus,” she said.
Monny Baker, iPad Technology Instruction
Monny Baker joined us in 2010 and coordinates our iPad instructional program for elementary students students. A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Mrs. Baker received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management with a minor in Informational Systems from Oral Roberts University . She previously taught first grade at a charter school in San Antonio, TX, and Spanish at FACS. "I am a Christian first, but I am also a teacher,” she said. “I deeply value education and I have seen first-hand the difference FACS has made in the lives of my children."
Libby Bizzle joined FACS in 2007. She serves as educational assistant in Lisa Taylor's Senior Kindergarten class. She attended the University of Memphis and graduated from the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing. She has served as a registered nurse for 22 years, the last 13 at East Memphis Surgery Center. "I am blessed and thrilled to be working with the great teachers and students here at FACS," she said.
Kathy Cooper joined the FACS staff in 2008 and serves our fourth-grade teachers. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education and a Master of Educational Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Memphis. She previously taught first and second grades and reading enrichment at Briarcrest Christian School and first grade at FACS. "I feel so blessed to be part of the First Assembly Christian School family," she said.
Angie Crenshaw serves as an educational assistant in fifth grade. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Memphis. She has been active in children’s ministry at Bartlett Baptist Church, teaches Sunday school, and is an Awana leader.
Maureen Dean serves as an assistant to our sixth-grade teachers. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Louisiana State University. Previous teaching experience includes Sunday school and vacation Bible school assignments. “FACS has become an extended part of my family,” Mrs. Dean said. “I love being able to spend my days with such wonderful and caring people. It is an absolute joy to work here."
Paula Frey joined FACS in 2013 as a SrK educational assistant for Mrs. Griffen. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Western Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She has 12 years’ prior teaching experience in grades two and three and seven years’ experience as a preschool teacher assistant. She also has taught Sunday School, Junior Bible Quiz Team and Missionettes Girls’ Club.
Holly Estes joined the FACS staff in 2007 and serves as an educational assistant to our second-grade teachers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communications from the University of Memphis. She previously worked for the FOX affiliate in Eugene, Oregon, for AT&T Wireless Communications in Eugene, and for a real estate appraisal firm in Memphis.
Susan Frogue joined the staff in 2009. She serves as an educational assistant to our third-grade teachers. Mrs. Frogue had served as a substitute teacher at FACS for two years, and previously worked in the business sector as a benefits administrator. “I have been very blessed with becoming part of this school,” she said, “and am very happy to be working in a place that I truly love.”
Trisha Smith joined FACS in 2015 as an educational assistant to first-grade teachers. Mrs. Smith began serving on the FACS Parent Teacher Fellowship Board of Directors in 2010. She substitute taught at FACS for several years before becoming a staff member. Previous work was in the baking industry. Mrs. Smith is active in children’s ministry at Hope Presbyterian Church. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11. She says of our school, “I’m so thankful to be part of the FACS family.”