Connie Beddard, High School Chemistry

Mrs. Beddard graduated from West Virginia University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry as well as a Masters in Business Administration. She spent 12 years in the pharmaceutical industry working in various capacities in the laboratory, regulatory affairs, and quality control and compliance. She enjoys being outside and spending time with her family. She and her husband and two daughters live in Glen Allen and are active in the Area 10 Faith Community church in Richmond city.

Ben Berumez, Chapel Band Director

Ben Berumez is a performing musician and instructor. Offering instruction in a wide variety of instruments and genres, Ben enjoys sharing his love of music with students of all ages. With over a decade of teaching experience, his teaching methodology centers around tailoring information to each student’s needs and goals. As a performer, he has worked as a solo act and as the front man for the indie rock band Saint Square. Ben has also been involved with multiple church bands, working in support and leadership roles. Whether teaching, performing, or leading in worship, it is Ben’s goal to provide a quality musical experience. Ben, his wife Chelsea, and their two daughters live in Aylett, VA, and attend Freedom Fellowship Church in Mechanicsville, VA..

Amy Bleach, Bible and Technology Teacher

Mrs. Bleach is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned both her undergraduate in English and Master's in Teaching. She spent 15 years in the Chesterfield County Public School System. Mrs. Bleach was a member of the iTech and Anti-Bullying focus teams at her previous school. Hailing from Louisa County, Mrs. Bleach loves a long walk in the country, reading a good book, and relaxing at the beach. She is a member of the praise team at the Bonnie Brae Church of Christ where she and her husband, Justin, and two sons, Ethan and Elliot, are members.

David Brown, High School History

Coming from Honolulu, Hawaii, Chaplain David Brown, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret). Mr. Brown received an undergraduate degree in Art from Virginia State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union School of Theology, and a Masters Degree in Education from Hawaii Pacific University. Following his retirement, Mr. Brown joined the teaching staff of Christian Academy of Honolulu, teaching Art and High School History for four years. Mr. Brown, his wife Rayna, and children, Jonathan and Joanna are excited to return to the Richmond area and begin looking for a new church home. 

Darenda Davis, Middle and High School Science

Mrs. Davis received her undergraduate degree from Atlantic Baptist Bible College, VA in Education and Missions. She later earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instructions from Piedmont International University. Mrs. Davis is currently dual certified for secondary teaching and principal with ACSI. Mrs. Davis is entering her twenty third year teaching, mostly at the middle and high school levels. Mrs. Davis, her husband Ashley, and their two boys attend church at Truth Baptist Church in Mechanicsville.

Lisa Eckler, Teacher Assistant
Mrs. Ecker is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. For the past 15 years, she has been employed as an accountant and the Human Resources Coordinator for Professional Rehabilitation Associates in Madison County, Kentucky. In July 2019, Mrs. Eckler and her family moved to Mechanicsville as her husband accepted a position with Robinson's Towing and Recovery. Mrs. Eckler continues to do distant-accounting work from home for Professional Rehabilitation Associates in addition to working as a classroom assistant at Grace Christian School. Lisa, her husband Bill, and their daughter Sophie actively attend Richmond Free Will Baptist Church.

Heather Estes, High School English
Heather Estes is a graduate of The College of William and Mary with a degree in Education and History. Upon graduating, Mrs. Estes taught at Veritas School before staying at home with her three daughters. While at home, she continued her love of teaching and passion for writing by developing and teaching writing classes to homeschool students. Before coming to Grace, Mrs. Estes served as the Directress at a local Montessori preschool. Heather has a heart for working with students and families as they navigate adolescence and seek to find their identity in Him. Heather lives in Hanover County with her husband and three daughters. They are active member of Grace Community Presbyterian Church and enjoy working with the youth. Heather loves running and fitness, gardening, reading, cooking new things, and spending time outside with her family.

Heather Ferguson, Director of Student Ministries
Heather Ferguson is the Director of Student Ministry at Compass Christian Church.  She has a passion for teen ministry, and considers it an honor and privilege to stand beside students as they navigate those tricky transitional years.   She enjoys wake-boarding, snowboarding, competing in OCR (obstacle course races) and living for Christ!  She is married to her high school sweetheart, Brandon and together they are raising their beautiful daughter, Zoey.  She is looking forward to motivating our Kings to dig deeper, trust God more fervently and push harder to pursue God’s will in their lives.

Tanya Gathercole, Financial Administrative Assistant

Tanya Gathercole is a graduate of Liberty Christian High School, Hanover County's first Christian secondary school. She was a member of their first graduating class in 1993. In 2006, Mrs. Gathercole returned to Liberty Christian where she served as the school's administrative assistant until 2016. Born and raised in King William County, Mrs. Gathercole enjoys spending her free time outside working in her garden and writing poetry. Mrs. Gathercole and her two sons, Cody and Cooper, have been lifelong members of Bruington Baptist Church in King and Queen County.

Amy Harrison, Middle School Language Arts

Mrs. Harrison is a graduate of Longwood College. She has over 20 years teaching experience, 13 of which were in Henrico County. In her years as an educator, she has served as the grade level chairperson, leadership team member, and the collaborative teacher for her grade level. She, her husband and two sons live in Mechanicsville where they are active members of Cool Spring Baptist Church. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, camping, reading, shopping, and organizing.

Dwight Hedges, Bible and PE Teacher

Rev. Dwight Hedges has lived in the Mechanicsville area for twenty years, serving in church ministry for over thirty years in a wide array of ministry settings.  He grew up in a family of bi-vocational Baptist church planters in Parker, Colorado and has always had a passion for the local church.  He received his undergraduate degree from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri and his Masters in Religious Education from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.   He has served on staff in churches in Missouri, Nebraska, and Virginia.  He has a passion for youth ministry and college aged students and a love for Jesus, discipleship, worship and missions.  He has been able to mobilize and lead more than thirty international mission trips and is excited to see how the Lord will continue to move in Mechanicsville as we follow the Great Commission.   Dwight has also worked with an international program at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has served as Associate Pastor at Mechanicsville Baptist for the past four years.  He is married to Gretchen Hedges who teaches Veterinary Sciences at Hermitage High School.  They have four children: Matthew (23), Bryson (18), Ethan (14), and Catherine (13).  

Brandy Hogue, Middle School History
Mrs. Hogue is a graduate of Liberty University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences and her Virginia Teacher Licensure. Hanover raised and educated, Mrs. Hogue is excited to be teaching her favorite subject, history, to middle school students at GCS. Mrs. Hogue and her husband, Robert, and their son are active members at Hanover Evangelical Friends Church.

Ginger Jamara, High School and Dual Enrollment Mathematics

Mrs. Jamara received her undergraduate degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY in Secondary Math Education.  She later earned her Master’s degree in Special Education from Boise State University in Boise, ID.  Mrs. Jamara has her Virginia certification in Secondary Mathematics, grades 6-12 and received the Praxis Recognition of Excellence.  She served as Math Department Chair during her employment with Richmond City Public Schools. This will be Mrs. Jarmara’s tenth year of teaching high school math. Mrs. Jamara, her husband Tom, and their children are active members of Hanover Evangelical Friends church.  

Paul Jenks, Middle and High School PE

Mr. Jenks is a graduate of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee where he earned undergraduate degrees in Accounting and in Physical Education.  After working in the business field for over 20 years, he followed his heart and became a teacher.  He has 12 years of teaching experience with students both in the Elementary and Secondary levels and has taught in both public and private schools. Mr. Jenks and his wife Connie are members of Mechanicsville Church of Christ. Mr. Jenks is passionate about prison ministry, Virginia Tech football and St. Louis Cardinals baseball.  His favorite bible verse is Matthew 25:40.

Kim King, School Counsler

Mrs. Kim King has been in the education field for a little over 20 years. Her responsibilities include high school, college and career counseling, academic planning, and social-personal counseling. She comes to Grace with a diverse professional background serving as a School Counselor for the public schools in both Middle and High schools, as well as being a testing coordinator in both Middle and High schools.  Mrs. King has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services Counseling from Old Dominion University. She also holds a Master of Education degree in Counselor Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before joining Grace, Mrs. King worked for both Henrico and Hanover County Public schools. Outside of school, she serves as the Nursery director at her church, Mechanicsville Christian Center and manages a household with her husband, Dale, and the lives of a 4 year old and a 15 year old.

Nicole Lohmeyer, Spanish

Mrs. Lohmeyer moved to Virginia about two years ago after returning from the mission field in the Dominican Republic. She and her family lived there for almost four years; she is thankful for the opportunity in which she served children in the mission schools, immersed herself in the Latin American culture, and was able to share the love of Jesus with those around her. Mrs. Lohmeyer holds a Bachelor’s in Secondary English education from Penn State University and has taught students ranging from elementary to high school in both public and private schools, as well as homeschooling her two daughters. She enjoys traveling, gardening, performing arts, literature, and photography and is grateful that God has led her to Grace Christian!

Amy Martin, Middle and High School Science
Mrs. Martin is a graduate of James Madison University where she earned her degree in Psychology with a minor in Special Education.  As a licensed Virginia educator, Mrs. Martin has more than 15 years of teaching experience with students of differing ages and abilities in both public and private schools. Mrs. Martin is a lifetime resident of Mechanicsville.  With her husband and four children, she actively attends Harvest Christian Fellowship where she has served in the children's ministry for over 20 years.

David Olson, Middle School Science and History
Mr. Olson received his Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and History from Baylor University and a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. For the past 11 years, he and his wife, Cameron, have served as missionaries in Peru. Mr. Olson has returned to the states to pursue his next calling as a classroom teacher. Mr. Olson enjoys doing outdoor activities along with his wife and two boys.  They are live in Goochland County and  are members of Grace Community Baptist Church. 

Betsy Rountree, NILD Academic Coach
Mrs. Rountree graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Living Sciences with a minor in History. She later earned her Masters in Teaching from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mrs. Rountree is an educational therapist offering help and hope to students needing additional academic or organizational support. She has more than 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher in public, private, and home school settings. Trained and licensed by the National Institute of Learning Development (NILD), Mrs. Rountree believes no student is beyond help. She and her husband and two daughters reside in Mechanisville and are members of Mattaponi Baptist Church where her husband is the pastor.

Annie Swinson, Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Swinson is a graduate of Varina High School, where she was a  member of Peer Helpers and the National Art Honor Society, and a graduate of Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa. She has worked in the business field of banking and contract administration, and also  owned her own businesses for the last ten years. Mrs. Swinson is passionate about camp ministry and gospel outreach, and serves yearly at various youth camps throughout Virginia and North Carolina. She is a published Christian Historical Fiction author, an avid foodie, and a music lover. She and her husband, Josh, and their son Preston, attend Carlisle Avenue Gospel Chapel. 

Maria Toro, Spanish
Senora Toro is a graduate of Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador - Quito where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and Georgetown University, where she earned her master’s degree and her Virginia teaching license.   Senora Toro has over 18 years experience as a classroom Spanish teacher and has been recognized for numerous awards:  Laspau, Fulbright Scholarship and Medal of Excellence in teaching, J.B Fisher Elementary School.  Senora Toro and her husband Federico Puma, are active members of Winfree Memorial Baptist Church in Chesterfield County.

Erica Woods, Teaching and Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Woods graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design. A life long resident of Mechanicsville, she spent the first 15 years of her professional career working for her family’s construction business, EJ Wade Construction. During that time, she also homeschooled her children. Her love for the Lord, education and administration brought her to Grace Christian School. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Thomas, and they have three children. Their eldest is adopted from Niger, Africa. They are active members of their church, Mechanicsville Christian Center.  Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing games, watching movies, listening to music, being around the water and exercising.  

Higher Learning. Higher Purpose.