Faculty and Staff

/Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff 2018-02-25T06:58:53+00:00

Covenant Love Community School’s staff and faculty are the heart of our school.  Each teacher has a passion for teaching, encouraging, and mentoring students.  Thanks to our low student-teacher ratio, our teachers can develop meaningful relationships with their students.  They engage every student by accommodating different learning styles and encouraging cross-disciplinary learning.  Through the example set by our faculty and staff, students learn how to integrate their Christian faith into all areas of life.

Pam Bateman
Pam BatemanPrincipal
Pam came to CLCS as a student teacher in 1978, and the school became a life-long calling. In her 30+ years at the school, Pam has served in all areas: teacher training, classroom instruction, tutoring, administration, and curriculum & policy development. She entered the role of assistant principal in 1996 and later became principal in 1999. Pam loves working with the extremely committed group of people at CLCS. She is a visionary with a passion for children, families, and education. Pam and her husband have three adult children, all of whom attended CLCS. She is an avid reader and as such, is passionate about building a dynamic and engaging school library filled with exciting resources.
Dorene Sorensen
Dorene SorensenScience 5th & 6th grade, Administrative Assistant
Dorene has been our 5th and 6th grade science teacher since 2013, and has begun working in the office as well. Dorene attended SUNY Cortland where she obtained her degree in Elementary Education. She has been married for over 25 years and has three sons, one of whom currently attends CLCS and another who is an alumnae. Dorene and her husband have been foster / adoptive parents since 2000. Their family is also very involved in Scouting, where Dorene has served as a Scout leader since 2009, and been a science instructor for the Cub Scout Day Camp since 2010. She joined our staff after seeing the wonderful work God is doing through CLCS to help children like her sons learn and grow. Dorene enjoys reading mysteries and English literature, crafting with any type of paper or fiber, and gardening.
Larry Cleek
Larry Cleek7th & 8th grade Homeroom, Pastor
Larry is the head pastor of Covenant Love Community Church as well as the 7/8 homeroom teacher. He currently teaches Bible, U.S. history, life and physical science, and health. As a teacher with over 25 years of experience at all age levels, he enjoys the freedom to teach from a Biblical worldview and to share the life of God in every subject area. Larry received his B.S. from Creighton College in Memphis, TN prior to attending Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. Larry and his wife have four adult children, all graduates of CLCS, and one granddaughter. In his spare time Larry enjoys calligraphy, reading, woodworking, and camping.
Cora Hunter
Cora HunterOffice Manager, Staff Support, School Event Coordinator
Alumni, Cora Hunter, joined the CLCS staff in 2015. She co-manages the office, takes care of attendance, and works as the School Event Coordinator. In addition, she offers support to teachers and staff throughout the school and teaches the “Wonder of Me” class for 6th – 8th graders, leading discussions on topics such as the students’ identity in Christ, self-esteem, and peer relations. Before working at CLCS, Cora taught kindergarten for two years at a preparatory school in California, as well as doing inner city ministry. Cora’s heart and passion is to serve others, especially youth, and she has an extensive history of working with at-risk youth and families. She and her husband have three amazing children and are raising her niece; her oldest is currently attending CLCS and is in the seventh grade.
Jeannie Chisman
Jeannie ChismanOffice Manager, Staff Support, Librarian
Jeannie joined the staff at CLCS in 2010. In 2014, she and her family moved overseas, where she taught ESL classes. Upon returning to the States during the summer of 2017, Jeannie was excited to return to CLCS full time for the 2017/2018 school year. Jeannie currently works in the office, supports staff as needed, and teaches weekly Library classes. She graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a Bachelor’s in Rehabilitation Science, and a minor in Psychology. Her background is with Social Work; in Child Protective Services, and with the elderly in Adult Care Services. Jeannie loves being at CLCS because the teachers and staff are authentic in their desire to know and follow God. She and her husband have two lovely daughters; one currently at the school, and the other in high school. Outside of school, she enjoys photography, reading, music, dancing, and spending time with her family.
Hildy Epp
Hildy EppLibrarian and School Nurse
Hildy joined our staff in 2014 after being an enthusiastic parent volunteer for several years. She serves as our office manager, librarian, and school nurse. Hildy is grateful for the Christ-centered, loving atmosphere of spiritual and academic growth that characterizes CLCS. Her educational background includes a B.S.N. in nursing at the University of Colorado and an M.S.N. as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of Texas. Hildy has two children, one who is a graduate of CLCS and another who is currently enrolled. She enjoys ministry with her husband, who pastors the First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church, and being with her children and dogs.
Mark Stupke
Mark StupkePhysical Education 3rd & 4th grade, Business and Property Manager
Mark teaches Physical Education to 3rd & 4th grade. He is the school’s financial overseer as well as the church’s business and property manager. He joined the church staff in 1988, with eight years of prior experience in accounting. He loves the interaction between staff and volunteers, who are working together to help parents educate their children. Mark and his wife have three grown children who are CLCS alumni and eight grandchildren, three of whom attend CLCS. He enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, and spending time with his family.
Tonika Jones
Tonika JonesSpanish PreK - 8th grade , 7th & 8th grade support
Tonika teaches Spanish to our students at all grade levels. Known for her enthusiastic and energetic teaching style, she has helped instill a deep love and appreciation of foreign language and culture into our students. She also provides support in the 7th & 8th grade classrooms. Tonika graduated from SUNY Cortland with a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish Language. She served at SUNY Cortland as a residence hall director and as the interim coordinator of multicultural affairs for three years. She also assisted adults with developmental disabilities at the Franziska Racker Center and was an ESL tutor. Tonika greatly appreciates how life at CLCS centers around Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. In addition to teaching, Tonika enjoys crafting, worshiping, singing, and spending time with people who are precious to her.
Gail Felker
Gail FelkerEnglish Language Arts 7th & 8th grade, Math 7th grade, Music Primary A & B
Gail is our 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts and 7th grade math teacher. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from Grove City College in Pennsylvania and a MA in Christian Counseling from Liberty University in Virginia. A pastor’s wife and mother of four adult children, Gail comes to us this year with extensive experience in Christ-centered education and ministry. Gail home educated her own children from Kindergarten through grade twelve, published a Vacation Bible School curriculum and was a regular contributor for Homeschooling Today magazine. We are excited to have her join our teaching staff! Gail absolutely loves teaching at CLCS. Gail and her husband reside in Ithaca where her husband pastors Christ Chapel. In her leisure time Gail enjoys sewing and gardening.
Mary Johnson
Mary JohnsonMath 6th & 8th grade, School Bookkeeper
Mary currently teaches math for grades 6 and 8 as well as serving as the school’s bookkeeper. She was a volunteer math teacher for many years and had a prior stint as the school bookkeeper. Mary graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. Mary and her husband have four children, all of whom attended CLCS. Mary’s pastimes include hiking, bicycling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Andrea Phelps
Andrea Phelps5th & 6th grade Homeroom,Technology
Andrea is our homeroom teacher for the 5th and 6th Grade classroom and our school’s Technology teacher for grades 3 through 6. Andrea has been an active parent volunteer in multiple capacities at CLCS since 2008, officially joining our full-time staff in 2012. She is an alumni of CLC School (class of 1998). She received her M.S. in Educational Technology from SUNY Cortland and is certified in Childhood Education grades 1-6. Both of her daughters currently attend CLCS. In her leisure time Andrea enjoys reading, camping, and spending time with her daughters.
Anita Wasson
Anita Wasson3rd & 4th grade
Anita is our classroom teacher for grades 3 and 4. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from SUNY Cortland and an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. In addition, she holds a NYS permanent teaching certificate, and is an active member of the Dryden Teachers Center. Anita loves the school’s family atmosphere, in which she has the freedom to pray, worship, and talk about the Lord with her students and colleagues. Anita is married and resides in Endwell, NY. She has two adult children. She also has one grandchild who is currently attending CLCS. Anita is passionate about international folk dancing, and she also enjoys bicycling, swimming, running, walking, and reading.
Carol Becker
Carol Becker Primary B (1st & 2nd grade)
Carol is our Primary B classroom teacher. She joined our staff in 2008. Prior to working at CLCS, she educated her five children at home for 17 years and served as the Christian Education coordinator for her church. Carol is a graduate of Cornell University. She loves spending time with children and is grateful to see the Lord at work in the students’ lives. Carol and her husband have five adult children. When she is not teaching, Carol enjoys quilting, reading, bicycling, and walking outdoors.
Andréa Lamb
Andréa LambPrimary A (PreK & Kindergarten)
Andréa is our Primary A classroom teacher. She joined us part-time as 5th & 6th grade science teacher in 2006, and began teaching PreK and Kindergarten students full-time in 2009. She loves working with young children and encouraging their sense of wonder as they explore God’s marvelous creation. Andréa graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Cortland with a B.S. in Education. When her children were young, before teaching at CLCS, she spent six-years running a lively home day care. Andréa and her husband have been married for 20 years and have three children; two graduated from CLCS and one is currently a student. Outside of the classroom Andréa gives flute lessons, plays in a local flute choir and enjoys reading and gardening.
April Giamei
April GiameiTeaching Assistant, Primary A
April joined CLCS this year as a Teaching Assistant in the Primary A classroom. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Houghton College. April has experience working in Pre-kindergarten schools, several private Christian schools, as well as over fifteen years homeschooling her own children. She is the mother of three adult children and has two grand-daughters. April’s hobbies and interests are many and varied. She enjoys walking her dog, reading, cross stitching, crocheting, scrap booking, having coffee with special friends, and spending time with her children and grand-children.
Kathy Mead
Kathy MeadArt PreK-8th grade, Primary B support
Kathy is our art teach for PreK through 8th grade. She has taught art at CLCS since 1995. She loves the school’s joyful family atmosphere, the enthusiastic students and staff, and the chance to work with creative children. Kathy has a degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Mount Holyoke College. She and her husband have three adult children, all of whom are graduates of CLCS. Kathy spends her leisure time painting, gardening, sewing, camping, and reading.
Melody Zimmerman
Melody ZimmermanMusic 3rd - 8th grade
Melody is our music instructor for 3rd through 8th grades. She is a CLCS alumni (class of 2009) and is honored to be back as a staff member. She loves when kids enjoy music and discover new skills. Studying music is a wonderful way to delight in God’s creation and develop good life habits. Melody holds a B.M. in piano performance from Ithaca College and runs her own private piano studio in Ithaca. http://melodyzimmerman.com/ She also works as the campus outreach director for the Ithaca Pregnancy Center, as the digital media manager for the Equal Rights Institute, and sometimes as a pianist-collaborator for other musicians. In her free time, Melody loves to discuss Scripture and theology, play games and sports, and spend time with friends and family.
Barb Phelps
Barb PhelpsHybrid-Homeschool, Assistant Administrator
Barb has been involved with the school since 1978, initially as a parent volunteer in her children’s classrooms and later teaching Art and Science. In 1989 she joined the staff, and has worked ever since in various administrative roles as well as teaching Math courses as needed. She received training as a biblical counselor and utilizes those skills as she serves at CLCS. She has a strong desire to support students, faculty, staff, and parents. She is married and has four adult children, all of whom are CLCS graduates. Three of her eleven grandchildren are enrolled at CLCS. Barb and her husband are active foster parents and currently have four siblings in their care. During her spare time, she is the team leader with Cornell Companions Pet Visitation program at Cayuga Medical Center.
Ian Bateman
Ian BatemanPhysical Education PreK-2nd grade, 5th & 6th grade and Hybrid-Homeschool, and Primary B support
Ian teaches PE to grades PreK-2nd, 5th & 6th, and all Hybrid-Homeschool students. Additionally, he does classroom support for Primary A & B, and teaches Environmental Education to the 2nd & 3rd grade Hybrid-Homeschool students, helps in the school library, and is involved in Afterschool. An alumni of the CLCS class of 2008, Ian holds a B.A. in History from Grove City College. After volunteering at CLCS in the spring of 2016, Ian joined the staff full-time the following fall. In his free time, Ian enjoys music, sports, art, and reading.
Holly Hibbert
Holly HibbertMorning & Lunch Moniter, PK-1st Hybrid-Homeschool Bible
Holly is an alumni of CLCS and is thankful for the good foundation it gave her. She studied Social Work and Art at Gordon College and has a master’s degree in counseling. Now she serves as House Director at Hardesty House, a supportive housing ministry for women at CLC church. Holly also helps people engage the Bible through dance workshops while developing a vision called “Grace Space Studio.” Holly enjoys interacting with the students at the school and watching them grow. She likes to make art, cook, dance and go for walks in nature.
Anjie Brown
Anjie BrownClassroom Aide
Anjanette (Anjie) Alexander-Brown joined the CLCS staff last year, as a Classroom Aide in the Primary A classroom, and as the Afterschool Director. Anjie earned a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Wesleyan College and was pursuing a Master’s degree in Education at the University of Virginia, before relocating to New York. Anjie has taught Kindergarten, first, second and third grade, as well as homeschooling her own three children; Cory Alexander, II (20), Lala Brown (7), and Aiden Brown (5). She enjoys watching her oldest son, who attends Old Dominion University, play baseball (“Go Monarchs!”). Anjie loves to serve the Lord through prayer groups and other church and community events, and is a devoted mom to her children.
Reva Kathan
Reva KathanClassroom Aide
Reva started working at CLCS in 2016, as a Classroom Aide in the Primary A classroom. This year, Reva joins us on Wednesdays, to help with the Hybrid-Homeschool program, and is well-loved by the children.
Laurie Cleek
Laurie CleekAfterschool Aide