Meet The APL Staff
Introductions to some of our dedicated staff
The complete APL Staff Directory is located on the Contact page.


Mercedes Brady
Years in Education: 40 plus years
Curriculum Areas: K-5 Language Arts
Favorite Book: Pride & Prejudice
Favorite Candy: Gummy worms
Favorite Quote:   "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Hobbies: Traveling, golfing, baking, going to movies, trying new restaurants, and recipes
Noah Bullock
Years in Education: 10 years
Subject Areas: History, Political Science, Health, Career Planning
Favorite Book: Animal Farm
Favorite Candy: Heath Bar
Favorite Quote: "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing" Edmund Burke
Hobbies: Traveling, Road trips, railroad enthusiast, genealogy research.
Vanessa Burger
Years in Education: 16 years
Curriculum Areas: Multiple Subjects
Favorite Book: I have many favorites
Favorite Candy: See's Candy, all of it!
Favorite Quote: “Everyone is a genius but, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~ Einstein
Hobbies: Boating, Running, Surfing, Gardening, Spending Time with Family & Friends
Becky Call
Years in Education:  36 years
Curriculum Areas:  Multiple Subjects
Favorite Book:  The Bible
Favorite Foods:  Watermelon, green salads, or Organic dark chocolate
Favorite Quote:  Use your smile, your compliment to breathe new life into people’s spirits.  To you it may be no big deal, but to that other person, it’s what keeps them moving forward.
Hobbies:  Spending time with my family, traveling, listening to quartet music

Sherry Cocking-Keener
Years in Education:  17 years
Curriculum Areas:  I’ve taught most subject areas at one time or another for a wide range of classroom curriculum from K-7th Grade.
Favorite Book: I don’t have a favorite genre of reading material.   I enjoy reading Shel Silverstein Poetry, The Giving Tree is one of my favorites as well as James Patterson mysteries.  
Favorite Candy: M&M’s
Favorite Quote: Several over the years, but the following has always been one of my favorites: Life is not a journey to the grave with the intent of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – WOW- What A Ride! - author unknown
Hobbies: Golf, walking, reading, watching football, specifically “The Denver Broncos” and if you consider being with family a hobby, I’m with them every chance I get even though we are spread out throughout the country!

Kimberly Coughren
Years in Education:  16 years
Curriculum Areas: Currently teach 6th grade Language Arts, History, Math and Science. You will also see me in the library, since I am also the school librarian.
Favorite Book: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Favorite Candy or Food: Twizzlers and licorice, but will also go for dark chocolate any day of the week.
Favorite Quote: “In the Book of Life, the answers aren’t in the back.” ~ Charles M. Schulz
Hobbies: Refinishing furniture, running, reading, going to my children’s sport events, and adventuring with my kids

Helen Hazel
Years in Education: 26 years
Curriculum Areas: Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction. Multiple subject credential and single subject credential in English. Currently I teach beginning reading.
Favorite Book: Anne of Green Gables
Favorite Candy: See’s chocolate
Hobbies: swimming, cooking

Cassie McEachen
Years in Education: 8 Years
Curriculum Areas: English and Theatre
Favorite Book: Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Favorite Candy: Milk Chocolate Coconut Cream Truffle from Sees or Lindt Truffles
Favorite Quote: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t-you’re right.”   ~ Henry Ford
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Directing and Performing, Ballet, Hiking, Cooking, Gaming with Friends

Matthew Miller
Years in Education: 7 years
Curriculum Areas: 3rd grade and Legos
Favorite Book: Bible
Favorite Candy: Snickers
Favorite Quote:   Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. ~ Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
Hobbies:  Fly Fishing, Family Time, Camping, College Football, Baseball
Arlen Nason
Years in education: 37 years
Curriculum areas: Mathematics
Favorite book: Pilgrims Progress
Favorite candy: Almond Rocha
Favorite quote: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Hobbies: The outdoors ~ hiking, camping, fishing....

Bijan (BJ) Nowain
Years in Education:  8 years

Curriculum Areas:  English
Favorite Book:  Ready Player One
Favorite Foods:  Fish, crab, steak, peanut butter and chocolate ice cream
Favorite Quote:  Do or do not, there is no try
Hobbies:  Traveling, reading, writing, snow-skiing
Jeanna Parks
Years in Education: 15 years
Curriculum Areas:  Received my degrees in secondary (HS) History and English, but am K-12 certified
Favorite Book:  Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
Favorite Candy:  Twix caramel bars
Favorite Quote: “Human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty—it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it.”  from Adam Bede by George Eliot
Hobbies: Scrapbooking; cross-stitching; cooking; singing 

Lauren Pfahlert
Years in Education: This is my first year!
Curriculum Areas: I have BA in Liberal Studies and multiple subject credential from Simpson University. I am completing my Masters of Arts in Education through Simpson. I currently teach K-3 and 4-6 Spanish
Favorite Book: The Harry Potter series
Favorite Candy: Take 5
Favorite Quote: “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”  1 John 4:12
Hobbies: Traveling, theology, fitness, photography, and drinking iced coffee

Chris Rothrock
Years in Education:  10 years
Curriculum Areas:  Mathematics
Favorite Book:  The Bible
Favorite Foods:  Lasagna
Favorite Quote:  If at first you don’t succeed, then try again.
Hobbies:  Bike riding, hiking, kayaking, wood work
Kathy Stainbrook
Years in Education: 15 years
Curriculum Areas: Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, Science
Favorite Book: The Bible
Favorite Candy: Snickers
Favorite Quote:  Sing like no one is listening, Dance like no one is watching, Love like you’ve never been hurt before. 
Hobbies: Music, crafts, exercise and gluten free baking
Christine Swanson

Years in Education: Eight years in formal education, 7 years teaching piano and homeschooling my own children.
Curriculum Areas: Spanish
Favorite Book: The Bible
Favorite Candy: Anything with Chocolate and Nuts, especially See's Candy!
Favorite Quote:  Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.--Billy Graham 
Hobbies: Writing and composing music, playing piano, playing word games, and spending time with my husband and three children.
Lynn Weidenkeller
Years in Education: 29 years
Curriculum Areas: Ceramics
Favorite Book: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale
Favorite Candy: Anything chocolate
Favorite Quote: "It takes a village to raise a child." ~ African proverb
Hobbies: Arts and crafts, reading, walking, working on the land
Cheryl Woodman
Years in Education: 34 years
Curriculum Areas: Speech and Language/Communication
Favorite Book: Love Without Conditions
Favorite Candy: Fruit.  I don’t eat candy.
Favorite Quote: “All is well, all is well, All manner of Thing is well.”  Julian Norwich
Hobbies: Pottery/Clay