High School Director - English & Study Skills
Jen DeMeis received her Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. Jen grew up locally in Mission Viejo and was a valedictorian at Capo Valley High School in 2003. During college, she traveled the world with a debate team and received national recognition for public speaking. At 16, Jen began instructing at The Tutoring Center. She continued her passion for teaching with a private tutoring business for the past 14 years. Jen currently attends Calvary Chapel Pacific Hills where she is involved in a small group and missions team. Jen has a passion for traveling and experiencing new cultures, singing praise, and inspiring children to enjoy education. She encourages her students to develop a strong relationship with Christ as they begin to discover God's amazing plan for their life. She looks forward to witnessing God's work at Heritage and finding new ways to serve Him at the school.
Deborah graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art. She has been the Fine Arts teacher at Spirit Christian Academy in Tustin for 15 years for grades K-12. She is currently teaching jr. high chalk and oil pastel drawing and high school watercolor at Spirit. Deborah lives in Mission Viejo with her husband, Robert, and their two children, Sarah, a student at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, and Joshua, a senior in high school. She and her family have attended Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo for over 15 years. Deborah believes that God has blessed every child with the ability to learn art. It is her passion to bring out this ability and create a love for God and all the art He has created for us to enjoy.
Bible & History
Mr. Gertsen has worked in education for over 24 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history at Azusa Pacific University. He also holds a California teaching credential and attended Regent University School of Law for his Juris Doctor, where he was also a member of the James Kent American Inn of Court. Mr. Gertsen most recently spent 17 years working as a history teacher, junior high school director, student council advisor, and athletics coach at Calvary Christian School. Prior to that, Mr. Gertsen, taught history and coached athletics at Arcadia High School and Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School. Mr. Gertsen is director of the Richard Gertsen History Center, a non-profit dedicated to developing young historians, glorifying Christ, and sharing our students' love of history with the Orange County area. Mr. Gertsen, Amy, his wife of 25 years, and their two children attend Emmaus Church in Downtown Santa Ana. He has many years experience teaching Sunday school and youth Bible studies. Mr. Gertsen enjoys exploring the downtowns of Santa Ana and Los Angeles with his family. He collects mid-century Polynesian pop art and memorabilia. Mr. Gertsen is grateful for the blessing of serving the children and families of Heritage Christian School. It is his prayer that our students, and entire community, would truly experience the love of Jesus and be empowered to achieve excellence in His name.
Betsy received her B.A. in Christian Education from Biola University. She loves people of all ages and has devoted a great part of her life to raising five children as a stay at home mom. One of her greatest loves is reading and books. She has a passion for helping children develop a love of reading and to find books that fuel their desire to read. She finds great joy in bringing books to life by reading aloud to children of all ages. Her life verse is John 17:3, which speaks of having a personal experiential relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
English & Health
Wendy Luttinen has had 25 years teaching experience in both public and private education. She earned her B.A. in English from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. She graduated from the University of Washington with her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Writer’s Workshop. She is ACSI certified with a lifetime membership. Wendy has taught under Mr. Gay’s leadership since moving from Washington State to California in 2001. She has wanted to teach since she was a first grader and is living her dream. Her passion for writing is contagious as she is able to inspire all students, from the most reluctant to those who are gifted in writing.
Math & Science
I have been happily married for 27 years to my husband, John. We have three children, with our youngest child still in high school. For the past two years, we have enjoyed fellowshipping at Voyagers Bible Church in Irvine where my daughter and I serve in the children’s ministry. In addition to a ladies summer Bible study, I attend Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) throughout the school year. I see education and teaching as both a ministry and a vocation as I have chosen to teach at schools who embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.As a teacher, I have had the pleasure of being in the education field for the last 12 years. I taught 6th and 7th grade Math at St. John's Lutheran School in Orange, where I also enjoyed coaching 5th grade girls’ volleyball. At St. John’s we explored the nefarious world of Professor Sneizzelweitzel, waged war on integers and developed the best “secret” formula for orange fizz, as well as created our very own robot. Previously to teaching at St. John’s, I was the Director of Education at Mathnasium Learning Center of Rancho Santa Margarita where I worked with students from 2nd grade through high school. I also have nine years of teaching experience at Spirit Christian Academy where I taught various levels of mathematics (3rd grade through 6th grade Mathematics, PreAlgebra, Algebra 1, Geometry and PreCalculus) as well as Bible. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Azusa Pacific University and am currently completing my Single Subject Credential in Mathematics/Masters of Education program.
Bible & Leadership
Terri Stoop has been teaching elementary and junior high school for sixteen years. Prior to that she worked as a resource teacher and as a preschool teacher. Terri has a Bachelors Degree in Child Development and a California Clear Credential from California State University, Fullerton. She also has a credential from ACSI. Terri and her family attend Coast Hills Church in Aliso Viejo. When not in the classroom, she loves to read, spend time with her family and friends, and travel. Terri believes that each student is a unique gift from God and she looks forward to the privilege of having your student in her classroom. One of her favorite verses from Scripture is “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.” Colossians 3:23
Emily has been a teacher at the jr. high level for the last thirteen years. She has taught World History, United States History, Spanish, and has coached three Tri-Way League Championship Volleyball Teams. She has always dedicated herself to education. Emily received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at Hope International University and is credentialed by ACSI. Emily attends Compass Bible Church with her husband and family. In her free time she enjoys coaching volleyball and spending time with her family. Emily has been with Heritage Christian School since its inception. She believes in the work God is doing here. Her goal for all of her students is to learn how to love God wholeheartedly and love others unconditionally.
Becky grew up in the Philippines; attending a Christian school for missionary kids. She earned her K-12 Physical Education teaching credential at Biola University. Becky and Dave, married 27 years, have a son, Steven, 2nd Lt. in the Air Force pilot training program; and a daughter, Traci, attending Cal State Fullerton. Becky loves the Lord and serves Him through children’s ministry as commander of the Awana Program at Mission Hills Church. Becky desires to teach and encourage kids to give their best and to make physical activity fun so it becomes a life-long goal. "Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3