Brenda Hill, Westside Christian Administrator

My name is Brenda Hill. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of Westside Christian School. My experience working in education started at Hawthorne Elementary, followed by the Challenge Center before principalships in Sioux Falls– at Hawthorne Elementary and Rosa Parks Elementary. I love being a part of Westside Christian, because I know firsthand that Jesus makes all the difference. We get to talk to Him and about Him each and every day at school! There’s nothing more important for this generation than that. We can pray for one another, enjoy learning about Him, and worshiping Him together while we learn to read, learn math skills, and about the world He created. What a gift to be able to give children.

I’m married to Donn, the love of my life. We are blessed with two incredible sons, two amazing daughter in-laws, and three of the sweetest grandchildren ever!  When I am not working, I treasure time with family and friends! My quiet time with Jesus is my favorite part of the day. Once in a great while I get to play around on the piano and lift up a song of praise. I love writing, walking, biking, playing Scrabble, Quordle, any game with grandkids, putting together puzzles, and most of all watching beautiful sunrises and sunsets!

Amanda Oines, Office Assistant

Hello!  My name is Amanda Oines and I’m the office assistant here at Westside. I am a certified elementary teacher and I took time off from teaching when my 2 sons were little.   I am so excited to have the opportunity to work at this school and be back in the education world!  My role here at Westside encompasses everything from assisting in the office, helping with lunch and recess, and working with kids in the classroom.  It brings me joy to support the amazing work that the teachers are doing here and build relationships with the students I see everyday.  

On a personal note, I love spending time with my husband, Andrew and our two boys, who also attend Westside.  We love to go on walks and bike rides, spend time at parks, and play backyard baseball.  I have a passion for music and also lead worship at my home church in Sioux Falls.  

God’s faithfulness and provision has connected my family to Westside, and I’m excited to be a part of the work that He does in the coming years!

Mary Person, Kindergarten Teacher

Hello, my name is Mary Person.  For the majority of my 37 year teaching career you would have found me teaching first, second and third grades during my tenure at West Lyon Community School.  I also had the privilege of teaching for one year in Chicago’s southwest side at Howland School of Arts for a year. I love where I am now– at Westside Christian, where I have the privilege of fostering a deeper love for learning and Jesus at the same time ! 

I grew up on a farm southwest of George, lowa, and attended the University of Northern lowa where I obtained a BA degree in Elementary Education. In 2006, I earned a M Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of Sioux Falls and several years later finished course work for a M Ed degree in Reading. 

My husband Larry and I have two sons Zachary (wife Courtney) and Christopher.  We have a dog named Zion.  In my spare time, I enjoy baking, reading, and traveling– especially to see our family. I am so grateful that God brought me to Westside Christian.  It has quickly become my beloved school family.  

LaVae Tschetter, Early Elem Classroom Teacher

Hello! My name is LaVae Tschetter and I am excited to be joining Westside Christian School’s learning family-  teaching 1st and 2nd grades this year. My teaching experience has been in public schools.  I find joy every morning in the smiles and energy children bring with them. I have taught multi-grade English learner classrooms and a variety of grade levels. My own children attended Christian school and I anticipate with excitement being part of that experience. Walking alongside children has been my life passion as I love observing them experience and grow in who God has created them to be. Being part of that process in a Christian school where we pray together and see God at work daily will be a blessing, as we creatively explore how they learn best and provide learning opportunities to watch that happen. 

Our family has lived in Nebraska, Colorado, and Missouri before returning to Huron, South Dakota, my home, several years ago.  I eagerly look forward to my move to Sioux Falls. My daughter and her family live in Harrisburg and it will be so nice living closer to them. My son and his family are in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I love traveling to spend time.  Things I enjoy are flowers, plants, reading, baking, walks, coffee, outdoors, Bible study, learning new things through taking classes.

Miriam Stake, Middle Elem Classroom Teacher

Hello! My name is Miriam Stake. I was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD. I graduated from South Dakota State University. Much of my teaching experience comes from public education, but I am so incredibly blessed for this opportunity to work in a place that allows me to share Jesus and teach about Him at school.

I was raised in a Christian home and got baptized in Ethiopia (my mother’s origin) when I was five years old. I was raised in the Ethiopian culture and grew up speaking the language. God gifted me with a voice to lead others in worship and a heart to work with children. I come from a long line of teachers in my family and have always had a passion to teach children the goodness of God and to help them to be competent lifelong learners.

In my free time I love to stay active. I enjoy working out at the gym, slacklining, hammocking, hiking, rock climbing, playing my piano, ukulele, and singing and baking–cake décor being my specialty.

Tim Thomas, Upper Elem Classroom Teacher

Hello! My name is Tim Thomas, and I am excited to be teaching the upper elementary students at Westside.  I am passionate about teaching in ways that help students remember experiences.  I receive my BA and MA in Elementary Education at Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR.  I’ve taught both locally in public schools and also in China.

On a more personal note, I love spending time with my family, reading research studies on topics I am curious about, and building relationships with others.  I look forward to working with you and your children!

Tristen Jackson, GL PlayEVERYTHING Coordinator

My name is Tristen Jackson and am the P.E. teacher here at Westside Christian. I grew up in Le Mars, Iowa– which is the ice cream capital of the world.  Blue Bunny ice cream is our claim to fame! I attended the University of Sioux Falls where I majored in Exercise Science. While in college, I worked for the Kids, Inc. Afterschool Program for 4 years. I met many kids who impacted my life while working in that program. 

From there I knew I wanted to pursue a career that involved fitness and children. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in 2018, I started working full-time for GreatLIFE as their PlayEVERYTHING Coordinator. I like to spend my spare time with the loves of my life– Kelli and our daughter Teagan and son . I have a passion for fitness, children and the community of Sioux Falls.

Kristi Stelter, Music Teacher

My name is Kristi Stelter and I am the music and band teacher at Westside Christian. I grew up in Lake Benton, MN and then attended Augustana University. I taught band and choir in SD and MN for several years before returning back to Sioux Falls to attend Sioux Falls Seminary. 

I live with my two very furry Pomeranian pups, Francie and Graci. 

In addition to teaching at Westside Christian, I am also on staff at West Nidaros Lutheran church in Crooks, SD as director of Worship and Music, and I also teach private piano and instrumental lessons. In my free time, I enjoy eating out with friends, playing cards, reading and having a nice ice cream treat from time to time. I also enjoy traveling to MN to see my extended family…”Auntie Kristi” is one of my most treasured titles and spending time with my many nieces and nephews is always a highlight for me. 

I am so blessed to be a part of the Westside Christian family and easily claim that being at this school is indeed my happy place! 

Georgia Hayes, Art Teacher

Hi, I am Georgia Hayes! I teach art at Westside Christian School.  I grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from Dakota State University with a degree in Elementary Education and the University of California with an Art major. 

I taught in California for 9 years before returning to Sioux Falls in 1985 to teach at Christian Center School until 2016.  I came to Westside Christian School in 2016 and love it as much today as the first day I began! I am blessed beyond measure to share Christ weekly with our students. 

My husband and I have 2 wonderful sons. Our oldest son, Matthew and his wife, Meredith work as Doctors of Radiology at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls.   Our youngest son, David, graduated from the University of Alaska in Anchorage, Alaska and works for the Federal Government in Classified Information. His wife home schools our 2 wonderful grandchildren.

Joan Gadbois, Extended School Day Teacher

My name is Joan Gadbois. When I learned that Westside Christian needed someone to help with the Extended School Day program, I immediately felt this would be a great fit for me. I have always loved working with children. Three of our grandchildren attend Westside, and this was the year I wanted to get more involved with the school!

My husband, John and I have three sons and a daughter who all attended Christian schools through the 8th grade. We are thankful that our children and their spouses are committed Christians raising our ten grandchildren in the ways of the Lord.

I was born and raised in Wisconsin in a family with five brothers and five sisters! During my highschool and college years, I worked in youth summer programs and camps. I graduated from UW- Madison with a degree in Occupational Therapy, specializing in pediatrics. After 35 years working primarily in school settings and the Birth to Three program, I retired to become a full-time grandma to our rapidly growing family.

Children are a blessing, and I am thankful to be part of Westside Christian’s ministry to help children grow physically, socially, emotionally, academically, and especially spiritually in the Lord. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14