Elementary Staff

Erin Whitehead
Kindergarten Teacher

Erin graduated from Biola University with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies: Elementary Education. After graduating from Biola, she worked at a Christian school for 4 years teaching computers, kindergarten, and first grade. While working there, Erin attended UCSD Extension program for a Clear Credential and a GATE certificate program. She is currently pursing a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Development at Concordia University. Erin attends Prodigal Church in Irvine. In her free time, Erin likes to read, watch movies, and spend time with family and friends. Erin also loves cooking and trying new recipes. Erin feels so blessed to be at Heritage Christian School. She feels called by God to work with students at a Christian school where she can teach with a Biblical worldview.

Ruth Marinca
First Grade Teacher

Ruth graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She has worked as a substitute teacher and feels blessed to be a part of the teaching team at HCS. She is passionate about teaching and about children and feels that HCS is where she is called to be to unite those passions and serve the Lord. Ruth attends Vision City Church in Irvine and serves in the Children’s Ministry. She enjoys watching movies, going to see musicals, and spending time with her family.

Karen Ottoson
Second Grade Teacher

Karen earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, and her California state teaching credential from the University of Southern California. She has been an educator for over 30 years in both public and private schools, teaching grades K-2. She has a California State Teaching Credential, as well as her ACSI teaching certificate. Karen finished her master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Cal Baptist University in December 2014. Karen has been married to Brad for 35 years and they have two sons. Their older son, Matt, lives in San Luis Obispo working for a planning firm, and was recently married to Katie, who works as a counselor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Josh lives in north San Diego county and teaches high school math at Mission Vista High School. Brad and Karen enjoy serving the Lord together and working with children and adults in their community or anywhere God calls them. Karen enjoys scrapbooking, gardening, praying and caring for missionaries, and reading. Karen feels God has gifted her with the ability to teach children and she serves Him with joy. She feels blessed to be teaching at Heritage Christian School where she can share the love of Jesus.

Rebecca Hayes
Third Grade Teacher

Rebecca Hayes graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology and History. Becki completed her Master’s Degree in Theology and Christian Education in 2007. Rebecca holds a Lifetime Kindergarten-Eighth Grade Teaching Credential and also an ACSI Teaching Credential. Rebecca has taught in grades first through fourth for over 33 years in both public and Christian schools throughout the United States, with the last 19 years in California. She attends Lutheran Church of the Cross, where she is on the Missions’ Board. She enjoys playing with her grandsons, Hayden and Ethan, walking her corgi, and reading. Rebecca is called to the teaching ministry and to Heritage Christian School. She feels that every child is a gift from God and loves involving children in missions work. Her desire is to help each child reach the potential that God has placed within them.

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Sam Edwards
Sixth Grade Teacher

Sam Edwards graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors of Science in Public Recreation Administration. He received his teaching credential from the University of Phoenix, along with his Masters in Education. He then cleared his credential with classes from the University of San Diego. Sam has worked in both public and private schools as a full time teacher and a substitute. He has taught sixth grade at Calvary Christian School in Santa Ana and fifth grade at San Tan Heights Elementary in Arizona. He attends Calvary Chapel East Anaheim. Sam is married and has three adult children and 2 grandchildren. His hobbies include golfing and basketball. Sam believes that God guided him to Heritage Christian School to love and instruct this group of God's children.