High School Staff

Scott Bruce
JH/HS Administration
English and History

Scott Bruce is excited to be a part of the Heritage Christian School family. Scott has been teaching for 16 years in the private sector. Scott was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating from Irvine High School, he attended Orange Coast Community College and San Diego State University where he earned his B.S. Degree in Psychology. Scott continued his education at National University. Along with teaching at HCS, Scott is a coach at Saddleback Valley Volleyball Club. Scott has been married to Kristan for sixteen years and has been blessed with two sets of twins, Lexie and Matthew and Ryan and Jack. In his free time Scott enjoys volleyball, skiing, camping and going to the beach with family and friends.

Deborah Comstock

Deborah graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She taught Art to grades K-High School at Spirit ChristianAcademy in Tustin for 14 years and has currently been the K-High School Art instructor at Heritage for five years. Deborah lives in Mission Viejo with her husband of 27 years, Robert. Her daughter is a recent graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University and works in San Diego at Sharp Memorial Hospital as a Registered Nurse. Her son is an engineering major at Cal Maritime University in Vallejo. She and her family have attended Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo since 2005. 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.

Betsy Holritz
Study Skills

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.

Wendy Luttinen
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.

Dee Goto
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.

Rick Niswonger
Government, Economics, and Current Events/Debate Teacher

Rick Niswonger is a graduate of John Brown University, a small Christian college in Arkansas. He majored in Social Studies and Secondary Education. He then began his teaching career at the Southern California Military Academy in Signal hill. It was a Christian school with K-9th grade where he served as teacher, chaplain and coach. It was here that he met Janet another teacher and now his wife of 41 years. She and Rick had two children, Jeremy and Emily. After ten years at that school the Lord miraculously provided a job in the computer software industry for 15 years. Rick eventually jumped back into Christian education as the head-of-school at Brethren Christian Junior and Senior High School from 2002 to 2017. He and Janet have been in Christian education for a combined 65 years. Raised in a Christian home, Rick began to have doubts about his Christian faith in College. He started to think you could never be certain of the truth. But at JBU, he was confronted with the evidence for the resurrection, the fulfilled prophecies of Jesus, and other historical evidence. It was with great surprise and joy that he realized the Christian faith was actually, verifiably TRUE! Forty years later Rick is still and increasingly, in awe of who God is and how He loves us! Heritage Christian School is a priceless jewel in God’s kingdom. Its Godly leaders navigate against the flow of our decaying culture honoring our treasured nation and lovingly training up our precious children in the nurture and instruction of the Lord. Rick is grateful to God every day for the opportunity to serve the fabulous students of HCS helping them understand the truth of God’s Word in Apologetics class and the blessing our nation has been to the world in “Government” and “Current Events” classes. Rick says, “The best part of each day is walking out of the classroom at the end of the day and saying “Man that was fun and then realizing, Whoa! This is my JOB!” Rick says: “Here the students relate to one another in a family way, and yes, that means even the Junior High boys.” (BTW Rick admits that he, himself, is a recovering Junior High boy.) “The students seem to like, appreciate and encourage each other. I have not heard a mean word spoken yet by anyone!” Final Note: Rick Niswonger graduated from John Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, Emphasis: Social Science. Additional course work: California State University, Biola University, California Baptist University, Talbot Seminary and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He possesses a Single Subject California Credential (Social Science), and an Association of Christian Schools International Certificate (Secondary Principal). Rick spent 15 years in software education and has been a Christian School educator for 25 years.

Emily Updegraff


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.

View Video Interview

Taylor Bedoya
JH/HS Biology, Geometry

Taylor Bedoya is passionate about the ministry of teaching. After graduating from California Baptist University with her Bachelors in Psychology, Taylor began teaching in the context of church ministry as a Children’s Director and now Families Director for Canopy church. Taylor and her husband recently welcomed their first child into the world, and are having an incredible time being parents and watching their son reach each milestone. When it comes to her students, she believes that the process of growth as one trusts in God is just as important as the destination. She desires to support students as they dive into their own journey of growth knowing that God is with them, delights over them, and will empower them to live out their calling, academically and beyond.

Becky Trojan
Physical Education

Becky has had 30 years of teaching experience in both public and private education. She grew up in the Philippines; attending a Christian school for missionary kids. Becky earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and teaching credential K-12 at Biola University. She was an Elementary P.E. Specialist 10 years in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, where she also coached both Jr. High and High School sports (basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball). Becky was also a Swim/ Water Safety Instructor and Jr. Life Guard trainer for many years. Other related hobbies include VBS, camps, coaching and officiating Little League baseball, girls softball, AYSO and club volleyball. She and her husband, Dave, married 29 years, have a son, Steven, 1st Lt. Air Force fighter pilot; and a daughter, Traci, attending Cal State Fullerton. Becky loves the Lord and serves Him as the Awana Ministry Director at Mission Hills Church. Her desire is to teach and encourage kids to give their best and to make physical activity fun so it becomes a life-long goal.