Faculty & Staff

FACULTY & STAFF

Petra’s faculty and staff are chosen for their passion to teach in a classical and Christian school and to inspire joy in rigorous learning. We seek educators who love God, who love children, and who are both enthusiastic and diligent about teaching. A bachelor’s degree (preferably in the subject or area of study to be taught) is required, but exceptions are considered when experience and personal scholarship compensate. Experience in classical education, as a student or teacher, is preferable but not prerequisite; however, we only hire teachers who are favorably disposed to the classical model and are willing to be active learners of classical education. All Petra employees are expected to participate in church regularly.

Available Positions

  • 1st Grade Teacher (8 a.m.-4 p.m., 5 days/wk)
  • 1st-12th Grade ART Teacher (part-time; every afternoon for a total of 13 hours/week)

Apply here.

ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP

 

TOSHA BOS
BUSINESS MANAGER

Mrs. Bos grew up just down the road in Manhattan and attended college both at Montana State University and Capernwray Bible School.

Since marrying Kent in 1997, Mrs. Bos has kept books for the family’s dairy business and trucking company, as well running an office fragrancing company they own. She is thrilled to live “in the country” where she has room to let her garden sprawl and can practice trial-and-error landscaping. She also loves finding the next great camping spot and reading brilliant literature.

The Boses have three children, all of whom attend Petra.

KAREN DEGROOT
OFFICE MANAGER

Mrs. DeGroot has been helping Petra Academy keep its office in order since 2007, working full-time at Petra in 2011 after being a homeschool mom for 12 years and very involved in the local Christian homeschool sports program.

Mrs. DeGroot is involved with several church activities including leadership with the GEMS Girls Clubs. Her other work experiences include work as a travel agent, an office assistant in the Human Resource Development Council, and as a church office secretary from 1990-2011.

Mrs. DeGroot was born and raised in the Gallatin Valley and enjoys doing various handcrafts, gardening, and camping. She and her husband, Tad, have three daughters, all of whom are graduates of Petra Academy.

CRAIG DUNHAM
HEADMASTER, SECONDARY PRINCIPAL, OT & NT

Mr. Dunham grew up on a farm in west central Illinois before earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Following graduation, he spent 12 years on staff with The Navigators in Colorado Springs before moving to St. Louis, where Mr. Dunham taught at Heritage Classical Christian Academy and Westminster Christian Academy while earning Master’s degrees in Theological Studies and Educational Ministries from Covenant Theological Seminary. During this time, he also served as teaching assistant to resident scholar Jerram Barrs at the seminary’s Francis Schaeffer Institute.

From St. Louis, the Dunhams moved to Oklahoma City, where Mr. Dunham led the successful merger of two classical Christian schools to form The Academy of Classical Christian Studies. While there, they provided foster care for 14 different children, and helped plant City Presbyterian Church (PCA) in downtown Oklahoma City. The Dunhams moved to Bozeman to join the Petra community at the beginning of the school’s 20th year in 2015.

An author, Mr. Dunham co-wrote TwentySomeone: Finding Yourself in a Decade of Transition, as well as Learning Education: Essays and Ideas from My First Three Years of Teaching. He has published articles in Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, and ByFaith, as well as collaborated with Christian teacher and musician, Michael Card, directing Card’s Biblical Imagination Series conferences for five years.

Mr. Dunham and his wife, Megan, have four daughters, the oldest of which graduated from Petra Academy, while the younger three all attend Petra.

BETH STOHLMANN
ACADEMIC ADVISOR, CIVICS, ECONOMICS

Mrs. Beth Stohlmann began teaching at Petra Academy in 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Area Studies from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Troy State University. She served as an Air Force Intelligence officer for five years and spent three of those years living and working in Germany.

Mrs. Stohlmann serves as Petra’s Academic Advisor and teaches 12th grade Economics and Civics. She and her husband, Andy, are the proprietors of the Bunkhouse Brewery in Bozeman and have three children at Petra.

MARK CHRISTOFFERSON
ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL, ADMISSIONS

Mr. Christofferson joined the teaching staff at Petra Academy in 2008, though his teaching career began in 1992 and includes twelve years at Heritage Christian School in Bozeman, two years at a Christian school in Taiwan, two years at a public high school, and five years in the classroom at Petra. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in English Teaching with a minor in History from Montana State University, where he graduated with honors.

Mr. Christofferson’s interests include music (singing, guitar, and trumpet), hunting, bird-dog training, biking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter, and storytelling. His favorite literary character is Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. He and his wife, Tammy, have two children.

ELI DENISON
HOUSEMASTER, EVENTS, DRAMA, SPEECH & DEBATE, YEARBOOK

Mr. Denison began studying theatre while in high school in Fairbanks, AK, and continues to exercise that passion at Petra. He joined the staff in 2012, directing the extra-curricular drama program, and has since developed a curriculum that focuses on basic and advanced acting techniques, history, and appreciation of the art, as well as an introductory technical theatre class.

Prior to moving to Bozeman, Mr. Denison spent a year as an intern with French Camp Academy and several years as a student and staff member of Montana Wilderness School of the Bible. Both positions resulted in a passion for seeing young people flourish academically, spiritually, and personally, as well as learning valuable skills by being involved in direction of summer camp programs, leading bible studies, and organizing student activities.

Mr. Denison is married to Melissa, with whom he shares a long and romantic love story worthy of the cinema. They have one child, a son named Asher. Outside of school his other interests include woodworking, getting outdoors, and reading.

SAM KOENEN
ACADEMIC DEAN, HUMANITIES, COMPUTER SCIENCE

Mr. Koenen serves as Petra Academy’s Academic Dean, reviewing curriculum and working closely with teachers to develop Petra’s academic program and conducting weekly teacher training. A veteran teacher at Petra, Mr. Koenen began teaching here in 2000 while earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature at Montana State University.

Mr. Koenen has lectured as part of the annual Association of Classical and Christian Schools conferences, speaking about how fairy tales awaken children’s moral imaginations. In addition to teaching at Petra Academy, Mr. Koenen serves as an elder at Trinity Church.

Having fallen in love with literature while reading Dostoevsky, it is no surprise that Mr. Koenen’s favorite literary character is Alyosha from The Brothers Karamazov. His favorite work of music is Arvo Pärt’s Tintinnabuli, and he reads almost every day from one of his favorite poets: George Herbert, Seamus Heaney, and Richard Wilbur.

He and his wife, Catherine, have four children. The Koenens enjoy flyfishing, birding, hiking, camping, messing with computers, and eating dinner together.

DAVID STOREBO
OPERATIONS MANAGER

Bringing a wealth of operations management experience in the transportation, mill, and energy fields, Mr. Storebo is an Army veteran who has his associate’s degree in law enforcement. A member of Trinity Church (which meets on Sundays at Petra), Mr. Storebo developed and leads their 13-member security team. Most importantly, David loves people, has a servant’s heart and an eye for detail, and has been a supportive parent of the school, as he and his wife, Sarah, have two secondary students at Petra.

ELEMENTARY FACULTY

 

TYLER ASHLEY
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY HEALTH ENHANCEMENT, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, COACH

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Ashley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health Enhancement with a minor in Coaching from Montana State University. Mr. Ashley has coached football and club soccer for a number of years. Tyler is married to Kari Ashley, a Bozeman native, and they have been blessed with two young boys, Everett and Isaac and a daughter, Erin.

One of Mr. Ashley’s unique claims to fame is that he once made the regional team in Olympic Development Soccer. His favorite literary character is the Prodigal Son, and his favorite sports hero is Curtis Martin. Mr. Ashley enjoys playing with his children, snowboarding, playing soccer and basketball, and playing music as a drummer for Evangelical Free Church.

LUCY DRESSER
4TH GRADE

Miss Dresser came to Petra by way of Hamilton Christian Academy in the Bitterroot Valley, where she taught a combined grade class for five years. She grew up in the Bitterroot Valley, but has lived in Bozeman before, as she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Montana Bible College in 2011.

Miss Dresser enjoys doing many things with family and friends, including (but not limited to) taking road trips, hiking and walking, playing pretty much any sport or game, going to baseball games, huckleberry hunting, cooking new recipes, kayaking, skiing, and swimming. She likes the literary character of Judah ben Hur, because of how his life was changed by the grace of Jesus.

KATE GANNON
5TH GRADE

Miss Gannon grew up on a ranch in Larkspur, Colorado, barrel racing, playing soccer and softball, and hiking. Miss Gannon moved to Bozeman to attend Montana State University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education. Since graduating, Miss Gannon worked in several elementary schools in Bozeman as a paraprofessional before coming to Petra.

When she isn’t teaching, Miss Gannon can be found rock climbing at Spire or running. An avid runner, she loves running half marathons and competing in different trail races. She also enjoys reading, and is particularly fond of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

HEIDI HORNUNG
CHOIR

Born in Spokane, Mrs. Hornung grew up in northern California and Billings, MT. She earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance from Pacific Lutheran University and, as the pianist at Christ the King Lutheran Church, has a background in classical and sacred music, working 10 years as a staff accompanist for music majors and choirs at Montana State University and currently enjoying teaching piano to kids of all ages.

Mrs. Hornung’s favorite literary characters are Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird and Charlie from Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. One of her claims to fame is that, when she was a child, Michael Jackson once cut in front of her while at Disneyland. She and her husband, Stuart, have three daughters.

SARAH MCCLAFLIN
6th GRADE

A veteran teacher at Petra, Mrs. McClaflin joined our teaching staff in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin-Wallace University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Sarah also has teaching experience in homeschool, homeschool-cooperative, and teaching music in private and public settings.

Mrs. McClaflin and her husband, Shane, have four children who are at Petra and own an outfitting business, Sunrise Pack Station, that specializes in outdoor education, fly fishing, and multi-day-horseback trips into the back country of Yellowstone National Park.

While exploring literature and history with her students, Mrs. McClaflin continues to be inspired by the perseverance of Christian from A Pilgrim’s Progress, the love of Jesus and others fervently displayed in the midst of hardship by Betsie Ten Boom, and the steadfastness of William Tyndale.

SABRINA MOODY
3RD GRADE

Ms. Moody began her teaching career in 1990, serving a combined twelve years at private schools and four years at public schools. Her experience spans preschool to high school, and includes homeschooling through the 4th grade. She is the proud parent of one graduate from and two students at Petra, where she began teaching in 2012.

Ms. Moody holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biology and English/American Literature from the University of California at San Diego, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1990. Her favorite literary characters are Odysseus and Penelope from The Odyssey, and Fern from Charlotte’s Web, and her favorite historical figures are St. Augustine and St. Francis.

ELIZABETH WICKLAND
LATIN

Mrs. Wickland graduated Summa Cum Laude from LeTourneau University in her hometown of Longview, TX, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English, with minors in Bible and Cross Cultural Studies. She discovered her love for classical education while teaching Latin at Petra from 2003 until 2006, when she left to stay home with her new-born daughter, and returned 7 years later to teach Elementary Latin, beginning in 2013. She has long been a lover of words, languages, and other cultures, and has traveled to 22 countries on 5 continents.

Mrs. Wickland loves to read, sing, and spend time with her family. She can think of few things better than curling up with a book in a hammock next to a lake on a nice summer day (or next to a fire the rest of the year). Some of her favorite authors include Francois Fenelon and C.S. Lewis. She is also inspired by the faithfulness of many of the hymn writers, including Horatio G. Spafford, who penned It Is Well with My Soul. Mrs. Wickland and her husband, Leif, have one child, who attends Petra. 

ANNE BENTZ
KINDERGARTEN & 1st GRADE AIDE

Mrs. Bentz grew up in a logging camp in southeast Alaska, where she graduated high school from a one-room school. She went on to Montana State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-8). She’s been a Petra parent for the last 11 years and has 4 children who all attend.

Her favorite literary character is Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and she enjoys hiking, running, reading, music, and road trips.

MEGAN DUNHAM
1ST GRADE

Mrs. Dunham completed her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Oklahoma State University. She then joined her husband as Navigator staff in Colorado Springs, had four daughters, and began their homeschool journey, which led them on a path towards classical education and launching a Classical Conversations program in St. Louis, where she earned a Graduate Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary, wrote on the topics of parenting and homeschooling for WORLD Magazine blog, and served as a staff writer for God’s World News.

Mrs. Dunham moved to Bozeman with her family in 2015. Her favorite literary character is Anne of Green Gables‘ Anne Shirley. She is a wife, mom, professional stacker, occasional crafter, and Mary Poppins wannabe.

SARAH HALE
PRE-K & AFTERNOON ENRICHMENT

Mrs. Hale’s love for God, sacred music, and eventual teaching vocation began in her upbringing in a close family and church community in the Lolo Valley. After attending Valley Christian School in Missoula, she studied education and music at Moody Bible Institute, where she met and married her husband, Kevin.

Since graduating from Moody, Mrs. Hale has been immersed in children’s ministries – for two years at a “Shabbat School” in Chicago; “God’s Children Sing” for five years at College Church in Wheaton; and teaching beginning and intermediate flute for six years in Bedford, New Hampshire where she also taught “The Lamb’s Workshop.” Mrs. Hale’s favorite literary character is Sammy in Edward Lewis Wallant’s The Children at the Gate, and she tries to read The Writer’s Almanac every day. She and Kevin have three children.

JOAN KEMPF
PRE-K

Originally from a small town in Minnesota, Mrs. Kempf  joined Petra’s staff in 2014. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education from the University of North Dakota, where she would go on to teach and consult in early childhood education.

Mrs. Kempf and her husband, Mark, have three children, with their youngest enrolled at Petra in secondary classes. Her favorite literary character is Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia and her favorite historical figure is Esther. Her claim to fame is meeting Jeff Bridges on the streets of Bozeman and not realizing who he was until a few days later when he won the Academy Award for best actor.

BOBBI MILLER
KINDERGARTEN

Mrs. Miller studied Christian Education and Children’s Ministry at the University of Valley Forge, and has worked in early childhood education for 15 years. Mrs. Miller started at Petra in 2010 and was a workshop leader at the Association of Classical and Christian Schools national conference in 2014.

Mrs. Miller and her husband, Craig, have two children attending Petra. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, camping, and cooking. Her favorite literary character is Pinocchio, and one of her favorite pastimes is hula-hooping.

RACHAEL WEBER
2ND GRADE

A native Californian, Mrs. Weber has enjoyed an exciting teaching career in 6 different states over the past 12 years, thanks to her husband’s career in the agricultural industry. Prior to moving to Bozeman, Mrs. Weber taught in a classical school in Raleigh, NC. She and Ryan have three children, all of whom attend Petra.

Mrs. Weber earned her B.A. in biblical studies and M.A. in curriculum and instruction from Azusa Pacific University, and her favorite literary character is Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. When she’s not teaching, you’ll usually find Mrs. Weber in one of three places: in the stands cheering on one of her three athletic children, running on the trails with a friend, or fly fishing alongside her husband.

SECONDARY FACULTY

 

THOMAS BANKS
HUMANITIES & LATIN

A native of Moscow, Idaho, where he attended Logos School, Mr. Banks began teaching at Petra in 2010. With degrees in English literature and Classical Studies from the University of Idaho, he is a student and scholar of languages (preferably “dead”) and a collector of books (preferably rare).

Mr. Banks’ favorite literary character is Penelope from The Odyssey, and his favorite historical figures are St. Joan of Arc, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and St. Thomas More.

JEFF KNAPP
MATH & SCIENCE

Mr. Knapp graduated from Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska, from which he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with majors in Biology and Health. Mr. Knapp began his teaching career in 1995 and has taught at Lutheran schools in Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah, before coming to Petra in 2008.

Jeff and his wife, Anneli, have two sons. His favorite historical figures are Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

RHONDA MEYER
MATH

Mrs. Meyer holds a BA in Mathematics from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, an MA in Pure Mathematics from the University of California at Davis, and a Preliminary Teaching Credential from National University. She taught at Petra in 1999, but was only able to teach one year due to beginning her family. She and her husband have five children. Two children attend Wyoming Catholic College and three children are enrolled at Petra. Rhonda began teaching at Petra again in 2016. They are members at St. John Vianney in Belgrade.

GIULIANA RODRIGUEZ
SPANISH

Newly married and moved to Montana in 2016, Mrs. Rodriguez, a native from Peru, holds a bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpretation and a minor in Linguistics from Ricardo Palma University in Lima. She enjoys traveling, working on puzzles, reading Christian novels, hiking with her husband and dog, and cooking Peruvian meals.

Mrs. Rodriquez is the owner of My Spanish Villa, a Spanish tutoring service providing language help for toddlers and adult travelers, but has worked with all ages and especially enjoys high schoolers. Mrs. Rodriguez and her husband are members of Connect Church in Bozeman.

GREGG VALERIANO
HUMANITIES, LOGIC

Originally from Memphis, TN, Mr. Valeriano earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature from Northeastern Bible College, a Master of Arts in Theology from Wheaton College Graduate School, and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

After a two-year stint teaching at L’Abri Fellowship in Huémoz, Switzerland, “Mr. V.” (as he is affectionately known) moved to Montana and eventually began teaching humanities and logic at Petra in 2003. He and his wife, Anya, have two daughters and a son, and his favorite literary/historical figures are Abdiel from Paradise Lost and Edmund Burke.

ELAINE KELLY
ART

Miss Kelly graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art at the University of Montana, where she spent four years studying studio art, art history, and art criticism. Her studio art studies included drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture and performance art. In between semesters, she participated in art residencies in New York City and Castel del Piano, Italy.

When Miss Kelly isn’t making art with Petra students, she is making her own, writing, playing her fiddle, or spending time with people.

LIBBY KUENEKE
HUMANITIES

Growing up in St. Louis (and in the house her great-grandfater designed), Mrs. Kueneke began teaching at Petra in 2013. Mrs. Kueneke graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia Honors Program with a major in English and a minor in religious studies. She then earned her Master’s degree in Education at Colorado State University and taught secondary English for two years at a classical, core-knowledge charter school in Fort Collins.

Mrs. Kueneke loves classical literature, bluegrass music, gardening, yoga, and walks downtown for coffee with her husband, Greg. Her favorite literary character is Les Miserables‘ Jean Val Jean, and her favorite historical figure is William Wilberforce.

GINNY OWENS
HUMANITIES, RHETORIC, ORCHESTRA, VIOLIN

Originally from Detroit, Miss Owens earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Violin Performance from Bob Jones University, as well as a Master’s in English Literature from Wayne State University, after which she was employed as an adjunct professor in the English Department of University of Detroit Mercy where she taught rhetoric and composition. She began teaching at Petra in 2013.

Miss Owens has played violin and piano since she was a young girl, and even played the oboe at one point. She loves to read, especially anything by C.S. Lewis and British literature in general, as well as apologetics. She likes art museums, symphonies, opera, photography, hiking, theater, cats, cooking, and drinking tea and coffee. Her favorite literary characters are Portia from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and Dr. Edwin Ransom from C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra.

KRISTIN TE SLAA
PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, MATH

Originally from Western Michigan, Mrs. Te Slaa holds a BS from Calvin College’s Secondary Education Program, where she majored in Physics and minored in Mathematics, and an MA in Science Education from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City.

Before coming to Petra in 2016, Mrs. Te Slaa taught mathematics and science in Christian high schools in Visalia, California, and Muskegon, Michigan. She and her husband, Nate, attend Manhattan Christian Reformed Church in Churchill.