Get to Know Your Teachers
Read the biography of your child’s teacher. Visit each teacher’s classroom page and get the articles, assignments and activity sheets you need to help your child in their studies.
Rebekah Shaffer is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. Mrs. Shaffer taught school for four years before deciding to stay home with her two children, Grace and Luke. After her children enrolled in Covenant School, she began serving here as a substitute teacher, art teacher, and full time first grade aide at Covenant School. Mrs. Shaffer is now in her third year teaching the kindergarten class. Rebekah’s husband, Jeremy, is the executive pastor at Lewis Memorial Baptist Church and teaches theology at Covenant. Rebekah also serves as our Grammar Principal. Email Mrs. Shaffer.
Although Deide McComas is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, as a young girl her family moved to Barboursville. In 1992, the year after she married her husband, Kevin McComas, they moved to Columbus, Ohio. After their twins, Jake and Maddie, enrolled in Brice Christian Academy, she began working as an aide there—preparing her for her current position. In 2005, the McComases returned to West Virginia, where she homeschooled Jake and Maddie until their graduation in 2016. Mrs. McComas is also co-director of the children’s ministry at Lewis Memorial Baptist Church. Email Mrs. McComas.
Mindy Stanley has been teaching school for 43 years, the past 22 at Covenant. She loves working with young children and showing them how much fun learning can be. Mrs. Stanley’s goals for her classroom include instilling a love of learning, shepherding children’s hearts, and infusing a love for—and awareness of—Christ in all areas of life. She is regularly amazed at the progress and maturity demonstrated by six- and seven-year-old children. Mrs. Stanley is convinced that educating these students is “educating for eternity.” Email Mrs. Stanley.
Mrs. Helmstetler stepped in to the first-grade aide position at the beginning of January. Her heart’s desire is to serve and love God’s people with a grace-filled and humble spirit. She believes deeply in the important grounding through scripture that every child receives at Covenant. Nichole has been married for 10 years to Jason who is our middle school boys basketball coach. Together they have three children, Kamren, Lily, and Lyla. Nichole is currently pursuing a degree in social work at Liberty University. She attends City Church in Huntington and volunteers with a local nonprofit, Rebuild.
Lori Magnusson grew up near Portland, Maine but moved here 25 years ago when her husband, Andy, received the call to pastor Baptist Temple in Huntington. Mrs. Magnusson is a graduate of Gordon College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. She has been at Covenant for 20 of her 25 years in the classroom. “I love teaching at Covenant,” she says. “Teaching at Covenant School has been a great joy and privilege. Our mission at Covenant is to partner with parents to immerse our children in a Biblically-centered curriculum and encourage them to develop a Scriptural worldview, and I am honored to participate in that process daily.” She has three grown children and five granddaughters, one of which is a first-grader at Covenant. Email Mrs. Magnusson.
Kelly Dangelo is a graduate of Marshall University, with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Education, from Eastern Kentucky University. Kelly worked as a Speech Therapist in a skilled nursing setting for 11 years. Kelly and her husband, John, have been married for 14 years and are blessed with two daughters who attend Covenant, Sarah (seventh grade) and Ella (fifth grade). She has served Covenant School for several years through volunteering and part-time teaching. Kelly values the individuality of each student and the opportunity to nurture them for success in life with God, prayer, and His Word.
Susan Jimison is a 1992 graduate of Marshall University, with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education. She taught for one year in Cabell County Schools before starting at Covenant. She helped develop the kindergarten program and was the original kindergarten teacher. Although a veteran of many years in the classroom, Mrs. Jimison is still amazed by both the academic and creative abilities of her students. She considers it a privilege to come alongside parents and guide young minds, from both a classical Christian education approach and a biblical perspective. Email Mrs. Jimison.
Leigh Bucklad graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. Over the last 17 years she has taught a variety of grades, including pre-kindergarten, first, second and fifth grades. She “absolutely” loves teaching and creatively engaging students with the curriculum and seeing them grow during the school year. Leigh’s husband, Brad, has been the area and college director for Young Life in Huntington since 2013. They have three children; two of which are current Covenant students and the youngest one a future student. Email Mrs. Bucklad.
Beth Butcher is a graduate of Marshall University, with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in early childhood special education. For the past 14 years she was a teacher in the Rock Hill (Ohio) School District. Kyle, her husband of 14 years, is a radiologic technologist at Cabell Huntington Hospital. The Butcher family is active at First Baptist Church of Kenova, where Kyle is a deacon. Mrs. Butcher helps with FBC’s AWANA program and American Heritage Girls, and is on the praise team. They have four children; the three school-age kids attend Covenant. Email Mrs. Butcher.
Sixth grade teacher Sheree Yeager is also a licensed professional counselor, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling from Marshall University. Prior to teaching, her work focused on counseling women, children, and families experiencing emotional and physical abuse. God led her to Covenant as a parent and eventually opened the door for her to teach. Prior to her current position, she served as a substitute teacher and assistant teacher. Mrs. Yeager enjoys exploring new concepts and watching students’ critical thinking skills expand. She is married to Matt Yeager. Their children, Emma and Eli both attend Covenant. Email Mrs. Yeager.
Born and raised in Parkersburg, Travis Huffman graduated from Parkersburg High School in 2010 and has lived in the Huntington area since then. He graduated from Marshall University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a minor in chemistry, math and physics. Continuing his education, he earned a Master of Arts in teaching (ages five to adult) in 2016. He is married to his high school sweetheart, McKenzie, and is a member of 26th Street Church of Christ in Huntington. Email Mr. Huffman.
Larry Bryant attended Morehead State University and has bachelor’s degrees in health and physical education and history, and a master’s degree in secondary education. He has 42 years of teaching experience, the last seven at Covenant. Mr. Bryant says that children who understand history are better equipped to become citizens. “Since we live in a representative government, citizens should know what has been successful or failed in the past to make wise choices on promises of candidates today,” he says. Larry and MaDonna have been married for 43 years; they have four children and two grandchildren and attend Expression Church of Huntington. Email Mr. Bryant.
Prior to entering the ministry, Dr. Wayne Harrison owned a medical supplies business in Scott Depot. A graduate of West Virginia State College (now university), he earned his Ph.D. in religion at Covington Theological Seminary in Rossville, Georgia. Since receiving the call to ministry, Dr. Harrison has been a Christian school teacher and director, prison minister, and missionary. He and his wife, Ruby, have been married for 53 years and have three daughters, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. “I truly believe teaching is a calling,” he says. “By working together, we can help shape the next generation into successful, God-honoring adults.” Email Dr. Harrison.
A missionary kid, Melanie Phelps grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. After using her fluency in the corporate world for 10 years, she sensed God calling her to the classroom to share her love of languages. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Marshall University, with her studies preparing her for both corporate work and the classroom. Her desire is to instill an awareness in her students that God created languages to stretch us into dependency on Him. And, to use them to share the gospel to the ends of the earth. Email Mrs. Phelps.
Sarah Lafferty is the band, music, and art instructor at Covenant. A 2009 graduate of Morehead State University, she has a Bachelor of Arts in music education and is licensed to teach pre-kindergarten through grade 12, and vocal music. “Along with our curriculum, I encourage my students to be compassionate, empathetic, and giving through outreach,” she says. Email Mrs. Lafferty.
Dr. Jeremy Shaffer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible from Pensacola Christian College, a Master of Divinity from Pensacola Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Liberty (University) Baptist Theological Seminary. The executive pastor at Lewis Memorial Baptist Church, he has taught Bible classes at Covenant for six years. “My desire is to motivate and encourage students to be active listeners rather than passive ones because education is only one part of the learning process,” he says. “In whatever class I teach, the Scriptures are the sole authority.” He and his wife, Rebekah (kindergarten teacher), have been married for 16 years. Email Dr. Shaffer.
Mrs. Shane Artrip teaches secondary math, science, and grammar Latin. Mrs. Artrip holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Texas State University and a Master’s degree in mathematics from Marshall University. She has taught for 30 years at varying levels from grammar school through university. She and her husband, Jim, attend Rock Branch Independent Church where she serves as the choir director and as an assistant in children’s music ministry. They have three grown children and two grandchildren. Mrs. Artrip served as Covenant’s Headmaster for 5 years and currently serves as Secondary Academic Advisor. Email Mrs. Artrip
Mrs. Sarah Jones is a graduate of Marshall University, with a bachelor’s degree in public communication and a master’s degree in communication. Prior to teaching, she was a disability rights advocate working to remove barriers and create equal access for people with disabilities. While she is still very passionate about disability rights, she felt called to be an educator. God led her to Covenant, where she teaches secondary literature and rhetoric. She and her husband, Madison, have two dogs (one of which will be a service dog for her brother) and live in Huntington.
Rose Mary Burck teaches 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade art. She holds a teaching degree from Grace College and a Masters in teaching from Oregon State University. She has 40 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools.
Erin Stephens is a professional ballerina. She is also an accomplished archer. She has a background in working with children in dance education, and is excited to work with the students at Covenant School in Physical Education.