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Staff

Our teachers and staff prayerfully and joyfully invest in the lives of our students. In addition to their love for Christ and for all people, many have:

  • Over 20-40 years of experience
  • Obtained advanced educational degrees
  • Taught across multiple grades using a variety of teaching styles, including traditional classrooms, individualized education, tutoring, home school, online and resource rooms
  • Developed unique teaching styles that incorporate the best parts of each of these approaches
  • Been trained in conflict resolution management, which contributes to the peaceful learning environment of the school
  • Pursued ongoing professional development
  • Served in the missionary field and all are active in their church communities

Our Family

Cynthia H. Kern

Administrator
Bio

I was born and raised in Shillington, PA and had the privilege of living right beside my grandparents for most of my early life. I came to know Jesus as my savior at the young age of six and when I was twelve I was baptized as a sign of my commitment to the Lord. I am the oldest of my family and, unfortunately or fortunately for my siblings, I insisted on them sitting as students in my pretend classroom with me as their teacher ever since I can remember. I graduated from Millersville University and received a B.S. in both elementary and special education and later an M.S. in elementary education. I have been in the education field for over 45 years. Over those years I have taught in grades 1 through grade 8 and developed the program for and taught in a resource room for 8 years. As you can see, I am passionate about teaching and have taught hundreds of students throughout my career. I am now privileged to be the principal of HCA, where I work together with an amazing staff of teachers and administrators. My heart’s desire is to see the lives of students impacted and changed not only academically but emotionally and spiritually as they discover the message of the Bible and turn to Jesus as their lord and savior. As for hobbies, I love to read and spend time with my family, friends, and my dog and pet chickens. Some favorite verses of mine are found in Ephesians 3:20, 21 which say: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” I have seen God do amazing things and I look forward to all that He has planned for His school, Hershey Christian Academy.

Chris Miller

Academic Coordinator
Bio

Chris accepted Jesus as his savior at the age of five and has been growing in his faith ever since! His hobbies include disc golf, fishing, collecting coins and traveling. Three of his favorite travel destinations are Florence, Italy, Machu Picchu, Peru, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Several of his favorite things include author, J.R.R. Tolkien, movies Braveheart and Out of Africa, Bible characters King David and John the disciple, steak, and pepperoni pizza (convinced they will both be in Heaven!) and sports involving Philadelphia, Penn State, and Liberty University. Chris has had several interesting interns as a veterinary assistant and as a flavor chemist for Hershey Foods Corp. as well as having lived a year in Argentina, South America as a pastoral intern and missionary. “I love studying, and research. My favorite topics are biblical history, creationism, discipleship, biblical hermeneutics, and cross-cultural biblical contextualization. I love speaking and teaching Spanish. I also love to spiritually develop and mentor students. I believe in letting God drive all areas of my life. The greatest way to impact this world is to live openly with Him, for the world to see, and to live with integrity and humility.” Favorite Bible passage: “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.” Psalm 119:33-35

Cathy Snyder

Pre-K Teacher
Bio

I have been working in the Early Childhood Education field for almost 25 years. I have spent the majority of this time teaching Preschool and also in administration of an Early Childhood Center. I absolutely LOVE that God is an integral part of who we are at HCA! What a blessing to see the children grow, academically, socially, AND in their walk with the Lord! A meaningful Bible verse of mine is Matthew 17:20, He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Karen Shillington

Kindergarten Teacher
Bio

I was born in Kingston, Ontario Canada and raised in Michigan! I went to undergrad at Hobe Sound Bible College and earned my Bachelor's in Elementary Education and Minor in Music, along with completing my certification in Education. I have 25 years of teaching experience from K-8th grade. The majority of those years have been teaching Primary K-3 grades and also Language Arts and Music K-8th. I have taught Kindergarten for 4 years, and I am thrilled to be teaching at Hershey Christian Academy! I enjoy my church, taking camping trips in our camper with my husband and two dogs, farmers markets, decorating homes, and traveling to quaint and small towns to find antique shops. I am thrilled to spend each day with my AMAZING Kindergarten students! I look forward to a fun year, helping and encouraging my students to grow in love with school, especially at HCA!

Amanda Allen

1st Grade Teacher
Bio

I have a passion for seeing students grow in their knowledge of content and of Christ! Both passions are intertwined teaching here at Hershey Christian Academy! I have pursued my degree in Early Childhood Education at Lancaster Bible College. In college I had the privilege to grow in my relationship with the Lord and learn how to bring that into the classroom! Working at Hershey Christian Academy has been refreshing being surrounded with other teachers who love God and share that love with our students. I believe that each student has dignity and worth in Christ and should be loved how God has first loved me! When I am not teaching, I enjoy being outside, biking, running and reading a good book on the beach! One of my favorite Bible verses can be found in Romans. Romans 12:12 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Jennifer Erickson

2nd Grade Teacher
Bio

Mrs. Erikson is our new 2nd grade teacher! She has an incredible love for children, and is committed to praying for each one of the students in her class. She loves to go on walks, read, listen to piano, cooking, and hosting Bible study groups. She also loves a good cup of coffee. She has been marveling at the Bible verse John 21:25 that says, "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Nicole Feinour

3rd Grade Teacher
Bio

I have a passion for both teaching and ministry. It’s exciting to see God work in the lives of my students and seeing their faith grow. I have been teaching elementary age children for 24 years. I have experience teaching Kindergarten thru 5th grade, spending most of my time at the third and fourth grade level. I love helping students develop their gifts and talents and helping them discover the gifts God has blessed them with. When I am not teaching I enjoy reading, traveling to new places, and anything outdoors such as hiking and biking. I am so thankful that God brought me to HCA. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Patrick Hamill

4th Grade Teacher
Bio

Mr. Hamill has applied his enthusiasm for teaching and working in elementary schools for over ten years now. He especially appreciates teaching students at HCA because of the school's God-first focus and student-centered approaches. When he is not teaching, Mr. Hamill likes being with his wife and daughter, spending time outside, and following many different sports teams. Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Sarah Harvey

5th Grade Teacher
Bio

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I have a passion for teaching children God’s love! I am a lifetime learner and love to teach my students to be lifetime learners as well. I love serving the Lord in whatever way he calls me to do so. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. One of my favorite God-given purposes is being a mother and my hobbies include reading and traveling. I enjoy short term mission trips and have participated in them for over a decade. I love speaking and teaching about the Bible, spiritual warfare, and helping God’s word to come alive. I also love to spiritually develop and mentor students. I believe in letting God lead all areas of my life. One of my favorite Bible passages is from Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Vicki Jacobi

6th Grade Teacher
Bio

A native of Pennsylvania, Miss Jacobi is passionate about learning. She has been teaching for close to thirty years. She believes learning should be a life-long experience. Building a solid foundation in all subject areas is also vital to fulfilling students’ potential and calling for their lives. Miss Jacobi became a follower of Jesus when she was sixteen. She wanted to learn more about what the Bible had to say, so she went to Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible, with a minor in Church Music. An accomplished pianist, she also has a Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. In addition, she graduated from the University of South Carolina’s School of Education with a Master of Music degree in Language and Literacy. She believes teaching is a sacred trust and is committed to growing student scholars in creative ways to achieve the very best knowledge base in a Christian world view.

Lisa Bonfanti

Secondary English & Middle School History Teacher
Bio

What a blessing and privilege it is to explore and share in the wonder of God’s world with the next generation - and that is what I have been fortunate to do for the past 35+ years! Through the course of my career, I have taught English and French primarily to grades 7 through 12 in public school, homeschools, and private schools. I am passionate about teaching the whole student, and doing so from a Christian worldview. My interests include family, reading, and gardening. One favorite verse is Isaiah 58:11 which reads, “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

Adele Cole

Secondary Science, High School History & Makerspace Teacher
Bio

Adele has a background as a registered critical care nurse, holistic nurse coach, and homeschool mom to 4 kiddos. Her passion for education has been a common thread in every area of her life since a young age, and God very much brought her to this role as an educator at HCA to expand her classroom teaching experience and allow her to bring her love of science, STEM, and world history to the students at HCA. To Adele, science and history are topics that so very clearly point us back to the Lord as author and creator of all, and give us a sense of purpose and meaning in this world. For fun, Adele loves to read, garden, concoct mostly edible delights in the kitchen, go on outdoor adventures, and train Brazilian JiuJitsu with her whole family. She likes to research for fun and cannot live without coffee or cheese. Isaiah 54:10 has been a key verse for her this year as she learns more about peace in the Lord.

Christine Eifert

Secondary Bible & Digital Skills Teacher
Bio

I consider it a privilege to serve the HCA community as middle school/high school, Bible teacher and digital skills instructor. I have been a student of the Bible for more than half my life and I love the word of God! My formal education is focused on the computing side, but I have earned hundreds of Bible CEUs over the past few decades. I have been in Christian education for 18 years and have a great appreciation for the freedom we have to share the gospel and speak God‘s word into young lives. I have been a youth leader in my church for 20 years as well. My life‘s verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “for I know the plans I have for you“ declares the Lord “plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“ I strive to help students see the hope they have in Jesus and the future he has planned for them. When I’m not reading my Bible or working on a Bible study, you’ll find me walking, lifting, bicycling, kayaking, or playing games. My husband Mac will be joining the Bible classroom often and we usually enjoy the outdoors together, especially as we travel.

James Fairman

Music Teacher and Gym Teacher
Bio

Over the years my primary interests and involvement have been in the area of music and physical education. I have taught music from levels K thru 12 and coached soccer and basketball on both the middle school and high school levels. I presently hold a certification from NASM in the area of personal training and am an avid bicyclist. A scripture verse that has been meaningful to me over the years is I Corinthians 10:31 “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.

Melissa Hurd

Exceptional Education Teacher
Bio

In May of 2020, I graduated from Liberty University with a Master's of Arts in Teaching: Special Education degree; with over ten years of experience across inclusion and substantially separate settings to include experience with ADHD, Autism (mild/moderate/severe and profound), Emotional Impairments (ODD, Anxiety, Depression) and diverse learning disabilities. I also possess a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Gordon College. God has gifted me with experience as an Educational Assistant, as a ABA Tutor (seven years), and as both an Inclusion Specialist and as a Therapeutic Classroom Special Educator. It is a gift and a long answer to prayer for me to teach at Hershey Christian Academy; my foundational belief about education is that God Himself makes each student unique and as He turns no one away; educators are tasked to understand Exodus 4:11 and walk out in support of all learners (and all learning styles and student presentation) day by day. My husband, son, and myself enjoy going outside for hikes, visiting Hershey Park, and spending a huge amount of time supporting our son's longstanding interest in trains! Two of my favorite Bible verses are found in both the Old and New Testaments, first, in 1 Colossians 2:10, "And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all authority and power," and secondly, Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Sherry Longenecker

Art Teacher
Bio

Sherry has been teaching for over 30 years in various capacities. She has experience in homeschooling, tutoring, private music teaching, preschool, elementary classroom, substitute teaching, Awana leadership, and art teaching. Sherry graduated from Millersville University with degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has recently furthered her education by taking art courses to learn new creative techniques to pass on to her students. Sherry's favorite activities include painting, crocheting, baking, hiking, biking, and gardening. She loves to spend time with her husband and family, especially her 2 young granddaughters. Her favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 41:10. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Wendy McMillen

Secondary Math Teacher
Bio

I am happy wife to Steve and blessed mother to Ava (age 21) and Sam (age 18). Our family spent a number of years at Dayspring Christian Academy, but began homeschooling when we bought our RV and decided we loved traveling too much to be tied down to a brick-and-mortar school. My love of learning and passion for Classical Christian education was kindled when I began working for Veritas Press over 20 years ago. Since then, my husband and I worked together to develop self-paced e-learning materials for Christian families, and I’ve continued to teach and volunteer in numerous and various capacities. Most recently I’ve served as the Director of Children’s Education at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Marietta, and currently teach upper-school math classes at the CHESS Homeschool Co-op. I am continuously challenged by the words Da Lifnei mi atah Omed, Hebrew for Know before Whom you stand. These words are traditionally found inscribed on Torah boxes in Jewish synagogues, but they serve as a timely reminder for Christians to be consistently in the Word. One of my favorite verses from Scripture, and my philosophy in the classroom, is Colossians 1:28 – Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ (ESV).