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.

Samantha Bowles, Middle School Math & Science

Mrs. Bowles is a graduate of Liberty University where she earned both her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, concentrating in English and History. She has several years of teaching experience in a variety of grade levels and subjects in both private Christian school and public school settings. She feels especially called to teach and mentor young students, encouraging them to discover the unique gifts, talents, and purposes that God has given each of them to use for His glory. Aside from teaching, Mrs. Bowles enjoys creative writing, reading, art, traveling, and spending time with family. She is also a published author who loves to write faith-based fiction. Mrs. Bowles and her husband, Andrew, both have a heart for ministering to middle and high school students, and together, they serve as youth leaders at their church, Poplar Springs Baptist.

Sarah Brightwell, High School English

Mrs. Brightwell graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. For 16 years she has enjoyed being at home with her children and has served as a foster parent for the past 10 years. Mrs. Brightwell and her husband, along with their 4 teenagers, reside in Hanover County and attend Mechanicsville Christian Center. She enjoys watching her kids participate in sports and relaxing at the beach. 

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. 

Julie Burch, Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Burch is a graduate of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College with a degree in Administrative Support Technology. She served the Mechanicsville area as a business owner for 10 years. She also worked as an administrative coordinator for Dominion Power for four years. She has served in Christian leadership in a variety of youth and children's programs, including CBS, teaching Sunday school, church nursery, and AHG leadership throughout the years. Most importantly, she has a passion for Jesus and a desire to serve Him and influence others to do the same. Her favorite verse is Jeremiah 33:3 "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."

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, Accountant
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
Mrs. 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. She has a heart for working with students and families as they navigate adolescence and seek to find their identity in Him. Mrs. Estes 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. Mrs. Estes 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.

Rachel Gooding, Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Gooding graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Education with a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Health Education. She began her career as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at The Virginia Home and later transitioned to the County of Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks as a Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator where she planned and implemented programs for children and adults with disabilities. For 16 years she has enjoyed being home with her children, supporting her husband in his Marine Corps career, homeschooling, and being an active member of their church, Harvest Christian Fellowship. She joins the family at GCS with excitement to grow together in the knowledge and worship of King Jesus!

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, this will be Mrs. Hogue's seventh year teaching at Grace. She will continue to teach her favorite subject, history, to both middle school and high school students. Mrs. Hogue and her husband, Robert, and their two sons attend Hanover Evangelical Friends Church.

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 19 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. She has served in various children's ministry for over 30 years. Mrs. Martin and her family attend Compass Christian Church.

Teresa Mullins, Middle School Math and Science
Mrs. Mullins is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a degree in Psychology with a Master's in Teaching. As an educator, Mrs. Mullins taught K-5 reading for 3 years in King William County. In this role she administered testing and provided remediation. Mrs. Mullins has 12 years of experience homeschooling. Mrs. Mullins and her husband, along with their 4 children, attend Mechanicsville Christian Center. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, and friends, traveling, fitness, and listening to Christian music.

Cameron Olson, Middle School Language Arts
Mrs. Olson is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Film Theory. After working in the video production industry for several years, she and her husband served with the International Mission Board in Peru for 11 years. Upon returning to the USA in 2020, she completed the EducateVA Career Switcher Program to obtain her teaching license. She and her husband David have two sons, Peter and Michael, and reside in Goochland County. They are members at Grace Community Baptist Church. Mrs. Olson enjoys gardening, reading, playing games, watching movies, and going to the beach.

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. She earned her state teaching certificate from Virginia Union. Senora Toro has over 20 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 members of Winfree Memorial Baptist Church and supporters of In Touch Ministries.

Nicole Tucker, Mathematics and Dual Enrollment
Mrs. Tucker is a graduate of Radford University where she earned her Master of Science Degree with a Specialization in Mathematics Education. Prior, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked in the public school system for more than 7 years teaching middle, high school, and Dual Enrollment mathematics courses. Mrs. Tucker has a passion for helping students not only succeed in math courses but helping grow in their daily life as well. She currently attends Gethsemane Church of Christ with her husband and son where she has been a pianist and youth worker. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family outdoors on adventures, running, and riding bikes.

Karen Woodward, Middle and High School History
Mrs. Woodward is a graduate of Liberty University where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for several years in public and private schools, she decided to stay home with her children. She and her husband John were missionaries to Romania for ten years. It was there that she began homeschooling her three children and developed a passion for history. Mrs. Woodward and her family are active members of Truth Baptist Church in Mechanicsville where she has been involved in ladies' ministries, music ministries, and teaching Sunday School and VBS.

Higher Learning. Higher Purpose.