Administration

Dr. Monica Cole-Jackson

Principal

Dr. Monica Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts of Public Administration Winona State University, a Master’s in Public Service Management from DePaul University, a Master’s in Educational Administration from California State University, and and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from California State University. She holds teaching certifications for both California and Illinois, and has taught at all levels of education from Kindergarten through college. Dr. Jackson is also a published researcher with articles on Character and Ethics, as well as teacher training and the Benefits of Civility Education. Alongside serving at Deer Creek, Monica serves as the Director of Education for Civility Development, Inc., an educational consulting and training firm she launched in 2016 to teach and promote Civility Education.  Contact Dr. Jackson:  mcolejackson@deercreek.org

Dr. Monica Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts of Public Administration Winona State University, a Master’s in Public Service Management from DePaul University, a Master’s in Educational Administration from California State University, and and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from California State University. She holds teaching certifications for both California and Illinois, and has taught at all levels of education from Kindergarten through college. Dr. Jackson is also a published researcher with articles on Character and Ethics, as well as teacher training and the Benefits of Civility Education. Alongside serving at Deer Creek, Monica serves as the Director of Education for Civility Development, Inc., an educational consulting and training firm she launched in 2016 to teach and promote Civility Education.

Contact Dr. Jackson: mcolejackson@deercreek.org

Kasey Esparza-Saxton

Administrative Assistant

Kasey Esparza-Saxton (also known as “Mrs. Kasey”) has been working at Deer Creek since 2014. She has worked as a Pre-School Aid, Director of Extended Care, and now as Administrative Assistant. She says that “being a part of Deer Creek is God’s doing. He put me exactly where he wants me - in a Christian environment.” She and her husband, Ken, live in Schererville, IN and have three children. She is a member of Living Creek Christian Church in Richton Park, IL.  Contact Mrs. Kasey:  kesparza@deercreek.org

Kasey Esparza-Saxton (also known as “Mrs. Kasey”) has been working at Deer Creek since 2014. She has worked as a Pre-School Aid, Director of Extended Care, and now as Administrative Assistant. She says that “being a part of Deer Creek is God’s doing. He put me exactly where he wants me - in a Christian environment.” She and her husband, Ken, live in Schererville, IN and have three children. She is a member of Living Creek Christian Church in Richton Park, IL.

Contact Mrs. Kasey: kesparza@deercreek.org

Kim Mosel

Director of Finance

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Contact Mrs. Mosel: kmosel@deercreek.org

Early Childhood

Latrece Thomas

Director of Pre-K Learning

Lead Pre-K Teacher

Mrs. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Community Service from Ashford University and a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration from Ashford University. She is a licensed childcare provider in the State of Illinois for over 25 years. Mrs. Thomas loves Deer Creek because it she is able to partner with families and colleagues for the holistic development of children. She and her husband, Stanley, live in Park Forest, IL.  Contact Mrs. Thomas:  lthomas@deercreek.org

Mrs. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Community Service from Ashford University and a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration from Ashford University. She is a licensed childcare provider in the State of Illinois for over 25 years. Mrs. Thomas loves Deer Creek because it she is able to partner with families and colleagues for the holistic development of children. She and her husband, Stanley, live in Park Forest, IL.

Contact Mrs. Thomas: lthomas@deercreek.org

Latoya Ricks

Pre-K Support Teacher

Mrs. Ricks earned a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing from Wright College. For the past 3 years, she has taught dance to children ages 4-17 years old. She’s decided to move in education because she loves getting the chance to validate a child's uniqueness and allowing them to discover their own talents and abilities is one of the most rewarding things in this world. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, shopping and reading. She and her husband live in Chicago and have five daughters.  Contact Mrs. Ricks:  lricks@deercreek.org

Mrs. Ricks earned a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing from Wright College. For the past 3 years, she has taught dance to children ages 4-17 years old. She’s decided to move in education because she loves getting the chance to validate a child's uniqueness and allowing them to discover their own talents and abilities is one of the most rewarding things in this world. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, shopping and reading. She and her husband live in Chicago and have five daughters.

Contact Mrs. Ricks: lricks@deercreek.org

Elementary

Charise Friesen

Lead Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Friesen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. She loves the diversity of staff and students at Deer Creek. Prior to Deer Creek, she and her family served as missionaries in Bolivia for several years. Ms. Friesen loves to teach, travel, and spend time with family and friends.  Contact Ms. Friesen:  cfriesen@deercreek.org

Ms. Friesen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. She loves the diversity of staff and students at Deer Creek. Prior to Deer Creek, she and her family served as missionaries in Bolivia for several years. Ms. Friesen loves to teach, travel, and spend time with family and friends.

Contact Ms. Friesen: cfriesen@deercreek.org

Carol Dooley

Kindergarten Support Teacher

Mrs. Dooley has worked at Deer Creek for over 20 years as a pre-school aid, pre-k aid, and kindergarten assistant teacher. She loves Kindergarten children - their smiles, love for learning, and enthusiasm. She enjoys those "light bulb" moments kids experience when they learn something new. Her favorite saying is "Everyday is a good day in Kindergarten!" When Mrs. Dooley isn't at Deer Creek, she loves gardening, reading Christian inspirational books, and spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite Bible verse is "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths” - Proverbs 3:5-6.  Contact Mrs. Dooley:  cdooley@deercreek.org

Mrs. Dooley has worked at Deer Creek for over 20 years as a pre-school aid, pre-k aid, and kindergarten assistant teacher. She loves Kindergarten children - their smiles, love for learning, and enthusiasm. She enjoys those "light bulb" moments kids experience when they learn something new. Her favorite saying is "Everyday is a good day in Kindergarten!" When Mrs. Dooley isn't at Deer Creek, she loves gardening, reading Christian inspirational books, and spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite Bible verse is "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths” - Proverbs 3:5-6.

Contact Mrs. Dooley: cdooley@deercreek.org

Laura Warner

Lead 1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Warner earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. She is excited about Deer Creek’s commitment to students’ academic growth as well as spiritual formation. Growing up in Vienna, Austria and in the western suburbs of Chicago, she loves cities, traveling, books, and tea.  Contact Mrs. Warner:  lwarner@deercreek.org

Ms. Warner earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. She is excited about Deer Creek’s commitment to students’ academic growth as well as spiritual formation. Growing up in Vienna, Austria and in the western suburbs of Chicago, she loves cities, traveling, books, and tea.

Contact Mrs. Warner: lwarner@deercreek.org

Robin VonThaden

1st Grade Consult Teacher

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Dominique Harness

2nd grade Teacher

Contact Mrs. Harness:  dharness@deercreek.org

Contact Mrs. Harness: dharness@deercreek.org

Chloe Harrison

3rd Grade Teacher

MAP Testing Coordinator

Mrs. Harrison is originally from Fort Wayne, IN. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. She loves Deer Creek because she believes in kingdom education — a diverse educational experience where students are treated equally, unified in learning, taught with excellence, motivated to do their best, and develop a love for learning. She and her husband, Steven, live in the south suburbs of Chicago.  Contact Mrs. Harrison:  charrison@deercreek.org

Mrs. Harrison is originally from Fort Wayne, IN. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. She loves Deer Creek because she believes in kingdom education — a diverse educational experience where students are treated equally, unified in learning, taught with excellence, motivated to do their best, and develop a love for learning. She and her husband, Steven, live in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Contact Mrs. Harrison: charrison@deercreek.org

Latonya Lewis

4th Grade Teacher

Latonya Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chicago State University. She has worked in social services for 15 years. She is married and the mother of three children. She believes in Christian education and thinks Deer Creek is a nurturing place that educates minds and stimulates growth and development.  Contact Mrs. Lewis:  llewis@deercreek.org

Latonya Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chicago State University. She has worked in social services for 15 years. She is married and the mother of three children. She believes in Christian education and thinks Deer Creek is a nurturing place that educates minds and stimulates growth and development.

Contact Mrs. Lewis: llewis@deercreek.org

Middle School

Pat Bradley

5th Grade Teacher

Ms. Bradley is originally from Fairmont, West Virginia. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in History. In addition to teaching, Ms. Bradley is a professional historian, historical consultant, and historical archaeologist. She has over 15 years of classroom experience.  Ms. Bradley loves Deer Creek because “the moment I stepped through the door, I felt the presence of God here.” Ms. Bradley has also served as a missionary, college campus ministry director, and staff member at churches in West Virginia, Alabama, Idaho, and Utah. Her hobbies include reading, visiting anything historical or prehistorical, hanging out with friends, drawing, walking, traveling, learning different languages, and studying different cultures.  Contact Ms. Bradley:  pbradley@deercreek.org

Ms. Bradley is originally from Fairmont, West Virginia. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in History. In addition to teaching, Ms. Bradley is a professional historian, historical consultant, and historical archaeologist. She has over 15 years of classroom experience.

Ms. Bradley loves Deer Creek because “the moment I stepped through the door, I felt the presence of God here.” Ms. Bradley has also served as a missionary, college campus ministry director, and staff member at churches in West Virginia, Alabama, Idaho, and Utah. Her hobbies include reading, visiting anything historical or prehistorical, hanging out with friends, drawing, walking, traveling, learning different languages, and studying different cultures.

Contact Ms. Bradley: pbradley@deercreek.org

Lannaea Alexander

6-8 Language Arts Teacher

Director of curriculum, Special Events, & Hot Lunch

Mrs. Alexander earned a Bachelor of Arts in Writing (with technical emphasis) from Oral Roberts University. She has worked in education for over 13 years as a Pre-School, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, History, and Spanish teacher; as well as Assistant Principal and Principal of Homewood Christian Academy for 3 years. Mrs. Alexander holds an ASCI Early Childhood and Elementary Education certification, as well as a Principal/Administrator certification. She is currently earning a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.  Mrs. Alexander is married to her husband of 15 years, Pastor Keith Alexander. Together, they have 3 children: Keith Antoine (6th grader at Deer Creek), Kai Noelle (5th grader at Deer Creek) and Kamden John (Pre-K4 at Deer Creek). In addition to her work as an educator, Mrs. Alexander is honored to serve with her husband as Director of Student Ministries at Freedom Church in Homewood, IL. for more than 15 years.  Contact Mrs. Alexander:  lalexander@deercreek.org

Mrs. Alexander earned a Bachelor of Arts in Writing (with technical emphasis) from Oral Roberts University. She has worked in education for over 13 years as a Pre-School, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, History, and Spanish teacher; as well as Assistant Principal and Principal of Homewood Christian Academy for 3 years. Mrs. Alexander holds an ASCI Early Childhood and Elementary Education certification, as well as a Principal/Administrator certification. She is currently earning a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.

Mrs. Alexander is married to her husband of 15 years, Pastor Keith Alexander. Together, they have 3 children: Keith Antoine (6th grader at Deer Creek), Kai Noelle (5th grader at Deer Creek) and Kamden John (Pre-K4 at Deer Creek). In addition to her work as an educator, Mrs. Alexander is honored to serve with her husband as Director of Student Ministries at Freedom Church in Homewood, IL. for more than 15 years.

Contact Mrs. Alexander: lalexander@deercreek.org

Gerald Blackmon

Science and Technology Teacher

Mr. Blackmon earned a Bachelor of Science with specialization in Middle School Language Arts from Alabama State University, a Master of Arts in Administration from Alabama State University, and a Master of Arts in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. He has worked in education, as a teacher and as an administrator, for over two decades.  Mr. Blackmon has also served in church ministry for over 25 years as a Youth Pastor, Bible Teacher, Minister of Music, and Senior Pastor. He lives in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife and three children.  Contact Mr. Blackmon:  gblackmon@deercreek.org

Mr. Blackmon earned a Bachelor of Science with specialization in Middle School Language Arts from Alabama State University, a Master of Arts in Administration from Alabama State University, and a Master of Arts in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. He has worked in education, as a teacher and as an administrator, for over two decades.

Mr. Blackmon has also served in church ministry for over 25 years as a Youth Pastor, Bible Teacher, Minister of Music, and Senior Pastor. He lives in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife and three children.

Contact Mr. Blackmon: gblackmon@deercreek.org

Steven Harrison

bible Teacher

Director of Development

Mr. Harrison earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Exposition, with an interdisciplinary in Theology, from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. Mr. Harrison teaches 5-8 Bible four days a week, K-4 Bible once a week for each grade-level, and leads weekly chapels for the elementary and middle school. In his Development role, he is responsible for marketing and donor relations. A licensed minister, he is actively involved in his local church, The Word Worship Center, in Park Forest, IL. Mr. Harrison is also a proud graduate of Deer Creek. He and his wife, Chloe, live in the south suburbs of Chicago.  Contact Mr. Harrison:  sharrison@deercreek.org

Mr. Harrison earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Exposition, with an interdisciplinary in Theology, from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. Mr. Harrison teaches 5-8 Bible four days a week, K-4 Bible once a week for each grade-level, and leads weekly chapels for the elementary and middle school. In his Development role, he is responsible for marketing and donor relations. A licensed minister, he is actively involved in his local church, The Word Worship Center, in Park Forest, IL. Mr. Harrison is also a proud graduate of Deer Creek. He and his wife, Chloe, live in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Contact Mr. Harrison: sharrison@deercreek.org

Patricia Matthews

6-8 Math teacher

k-8 Spanish Teacher

Mrs. Mathews was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from North Park University. She holds an ACSI teacher certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.  Mrs. Matthews has been working with children for over three decades as a Kindergarten Teacher, 1st Grade Math Teacher, Pre-K Teacher, Teacher’s Aid, Dance Instructor, Church Youth Leader, Girl Scouts Troop Leader, and Activity Director for Royal Family Kid’s Camp. She and her husband have four children and they reside in Northwest Indiana.  Contact Mrs. Patricia Mathews:  pmathews@deercreek.org

Mrs. Mathews was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from North Park University. She holds an ACSI teacher certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.

Mrs. Matthews has been working with children for over three decades as a Kindergarten Teacher, 1st Grade Math Teacher, Pre-K Teacher, Teacher’s Aid, Dance Instructor, Church Youth Leader, Girl Scouts Troop Leader, and Activity Director for Royal Family Kid’s Camp. She and her husband have four children and they reside in Northwest Indiana.

Contact Mrs. Patricia Mathews: pmathews@deercreek.org

Julie Wroughton

6-8 Social Studies teacher

Honors Math Teacher

Director of Discipline

Mrs. Wroughton first came to Deer Creek as a part-time librarian in 1995. Since then, she has served as Middle School Math and History Teacher, as well as Athletic Director, and Principal from 2010-2014. Mrs. Wroughton is married to her husband, Jon. They have two adult sons and live in Northwest Indiana.  Contact Mrs. Wroughton:  jwroughton@deercreek.org

Mrs. Wroughton first came to Deer Creek as a part-time librarian in 1995. Since then, she has served as Middle School Math and History Teacher, as well as Athletic Director, and Principal from 2010-2014. Mrs. Wroughton is married to her husband, Jon. They have two adult sons and live in Northwest Indiana.

Contact Mrs. Wroughton: jwroughton@deercreek.org

Specials

Mariah Cole

PE Teacher

Athletic Director

Ms. Cole earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Monmouth College and is currently earning a Master of Arts. Ms. Cole believes that children should have an opportunity to become educated in academics as well as in the powerful word of the living God. Born and raised in the south suburbs, Ms. Cole understands the unique demographics of Deer Creek. Prior to Deer Creek, she worked with AmeriCorps. She is a member of New Philadelphia Baptist Church, where she sings in the choir.  Contact Ms. Cole:  mariahcole@deercreek.org

Ms. Cole earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Monmouth College and is currently earning a Master of Arts. Ms. Cole believes that children should have an opportunity to become educated in academics as well as in the powerful word of the living God. Born and raised in the south suburbs, Ms. Cole understands the unique demographics of Deer Creek. Prior to Deer Creek, she worked with AmeriCorps. She is a member of New Philadelphia Baptist Church, where she sings in the choir.

Contact Ms. Cole: mariahcole@deercreek.org

Melanie Lyke

Art Teacher

Ms. Lyke is from Homewood, IL. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Merchandising from Howard University in Washington D.C. She also holds a Secondary Education license in Family & Consumer Sciences from Eastern Illinois University. With over 12 years of experience in education, Ms. Lyke has taught Jewelry Making, Ceramics, Sewing, Culinary Arts, and Digital Art. She also taught English and Creative Arts to students while living abroad in Shenzhen, China. Her love for the arts and for fostering creativity, diligence, and innovativeness in children has led her to Deer Creek. Her goal is to help students excel to their greatness by using their creative problem-solving skills and industry across curriculum.  Contact Ms. Lyke:  mlyke@deercreek.org

Ms. Lyke is from Homewood, IL. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Merchandising from Howard University in Washington D.C. She also holds a Secondary Education license in Family & Consumer Sciences from Eastern Illinois University. With over 12 years of experience in education, Ms. Lyke has taught Jewelry Making, Ceramics, Sewing, Culinary Arts, and Digital Art. She also taught English and Creative Arts to students while living abroad in Shenzhen, China. Her love for the arts and for fostering creativity, diligence, and innovativeness in children has led her to Deer Creek. Her goal is to help students excel to their greatness by using their creative problem-solving skills and industry across curriculum.

Contact Ms. Lyke: mlyke@deercreek.org

Support Staff

Crystal Arceneaux

Director of extended care

Contact Mrs. Arceneaux:  carceneaux@deercreek.org

Contact Mrs. Arceneaux: carceneaux@deercreek.org

Myles Beckam

Chef

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Amanda Elder

Support Services Specialist

Mrs. Elder earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL and studied Special Education at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. She finds great joy is coming along side students to help them recognize their strengths and gifts while helping them find the right tools to make progress in areas that are more challenging. She lives in Tinley Park with her husband, Jamison, their son, Jude, and mini dachshund, Harry. She enjoys time with Jesus, strong coffee and long runs.  Contact Mrs. Elder:  aelder@deercreek.org

Mrs. Elder earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL and studied Special Education at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. She finds great joy is coming along side students to help them recognize their strengths and gifts while helping them find the right tools to make progress in areas that are more challenging. She lives in Tinley Park with her husband, Jamison, their son, Jude, and mini dachshund, Harry. She enjoys time with Jesus, strong coffee and long runs.

Contact Mrs. Elder: aelder@deercreek.org

Michael Harris

Extended Care Aid

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