Faculty and Staff

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.

CLCS Staff

Pam Bateman

Pam is the principal at CLCS. She came to CLCS as a student teacher in 1978, and the school became a life-long calling. In her 20+ years at the school, Pam has served in all areas: teacher training, classroom instruction, tutoring, administration, and curriculum and 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 children, all of whom attended CLCS.  She is an avid reader and has been building the school library for several years.

Barb Phelps

Barb is our assistant administrator. She also teaches Math 7 and 9 and serves as the ski club adviser. She feels called to CLCS and has a strong desire to support students, faculty, staff, and parents. She has received training as a biblical counselor. Barb is married and has four children, all of whom are CLCS graduates. Three of her eleven grandchildren currently attend CLCS. She enjoys reading, camping, sewing, spending time with family, and volunteering with Cornell Companions Pet Therapy program.

Larry Cleek

Larry is our homeroom teacher for Grade 7 and 8. He currently teaches Bible, U.S. History, Life and Physical Science and Health. As a teacher with over 25 years of experience, he enjoys the freedom to teach from a Biblical worldview and to share the life of God in every subject. Larry also serves as a pastor at Covenant Love Community Church. He received his B.S. from Creighton College and attended Westminster Theological Seminary. Larry and his wife have four adult children. In his spare time, Larry enjoys calligraphy, woodworking, and camping.

Jeannie Chisman

Jeannie is our librarian and office manager.  Jeannie joined us as a volunteer in the spring of 2010 and joined our staff in August 2010.  She has a B.A. in Rehabilitation Science from Arkansas Tech University and a broad range of experience in social work. Her children attend CLCS, where she is grateful for the truly Christ-centered atmosphere and the grace and love extended to the students and their families.  Jeannie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, dancing, and listening to Christian music of all genres.

Susan Adams

Susan AdamsSusan is our development coordinator. She joined our staff in 2007 when her oldest son, now a graduate, became a CLCS student. Now that her younger son has also graduated, she is working to promote CLCSchool and to develop a network of support for this wonderful educational community of believers   Susan enjoys camping, horse back riding and knitting as well as playing board games with her family.

Hildy Epp

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Hildy started as a parent-volunteer in 2010, and will be temporary staff for one year in the role of  librarian/office staff.  She is grateful for the Christ-centered, loving atmosphere of spiritual and academic growth for her two children who attend CLCS. Her educational background includes a B.S.N. in nursing (Univ. of Colorado) and M.S.N. as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Univ of Texas).  She enjoys ministry with her husband, a pastor at First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church, and being with children and dogs.

CLCS Faculty

Andrea Lamb

Andrea is our Primary A (younger primary) homeroom teacher. Andrea joined us as a volunteer in 2006 and began teaching full-time in 2009. She loves the freedom to encourage a child’s wonder at God’s marvelous creation. Andrea has a B.S. in education, a background in restaurant management, and a six-year stint running a lively home day care. Andrea and her husband have three children; one graduated from CLCS and two are current students. In her free time, she plays in a local flute choir and enjoys reading and gardening.

Carol Becker

Carol is our Primary B (older primary) homeroom teacher. Carol joined our staff in 2008. Prior to working at CLCS, she educated her children at home for 17 years and served as the Christian Education coordinator for her church. She is a graduate of Cornell University. Carol loves spending time with children, and she is grateful to see the Lord at work in the students’ lives. Carol and her husband have five children. In her spare time, Carol enjoys quilting, reading, bike riding, and walking outdoors.

Anita Wasson

Anita is our homeroom 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. 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. She has two adult children and a grandchild who is attending CLCS. Anita is passionate about international folk dancing, and she also enjoys biking, swimming, running, walking, and reading.

Andrea Phelps

Andrea is our homeroom teacher for the 5th and 6th Grade classroom and technology teacher for Grades 3 through 8.  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 CLCSchool (Class of 1998 ).  She graduated from SUNY Cortland with a masters in Educational Technology  and is certified in Childhood Education grades 1-6. Both of her daughters currently attend CLCSchool.    She enjoys crafting, camping, and playing games wih her daughters on her i-pad.

Tonika Jones

Tonika is our PreK through 8th grade Spanish teacher.  She also provides support in the  Primary and Grades 7/8 classrooms. Tonika graduated from SUNY Cortland with a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish Language. She served 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. Tonika enjoys doing crafts, worshiping  singing, and spending time with people who are precious to her.

Laurie Cleek

Laurie-Cleek Laurie teaches Physical Education to the Primary A and Primary B and 7 & 8 grade classes and is a school aide.  She also coordinates our After-School Program.  Laurie is an alumni of CLCSchool (Class of 2006). She joined our staff in 2012 after spending two years with the Master’s Commission discipleship training program in Oklahoma City.  Laurie enjoys making art, playing soccer & ultimate frisbee and playing games with her family.

Mark Stupke

Mark teaches Physical Education to Grades 3 through 6. 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 four grandchildren, two of whom attend CLCS. He enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, and spending time with his family.

Mary Johnson

Mary currently teaches Math 6, and 8 and is our bookkeeper. She was a volunteer math teacher for many years and previously served as the school bookkeeper for 4 years. 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, biking, cooking, and cross stitching.

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Kati Simonet

Kati is a CLCS Alumni who is back as an integral part of our office staff.

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Dorene Sorensen

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Dorene is our 5th and 6th grade science teacher.  She grew up locally in Candor. Dorene attended SUNY Cortland where she obtained a degree in ElementaryEducation.  She has been married for over 25 years and has three sons, the oldest of whom attends CLCS.  Dorene and her husband have been foster / adoptive parents since 2000.  Their family is also very involved in Scouting. Dorene has been a Scout leader since 2009 and has taught science at Cub Scout Day Camp since 2010.  She became a teacher at CLCS this year after seeing the wonderful work God is doing through the staff to help children like her son learn and grow.  Dorene enjoys reading mysteries and English literature, crafting with any kind of fiber or paper, and gardening.

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Kathy Mead

Kathy is our art teacher 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 graduated from CLCS. Kathy spends her leisure time painting, gardening, sewing, camping, and reading.

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Joe Salzano

Joe-Salzano-2013Joe is our music instructor for PreK through Grade 8; he also offers private lessons to interested students.  As a volunteer with CLCS since 2009, Joe loves how Jesus is the center at the school and His work at the cross is honored. Since 1977, he has worked as a professional musician and music teacher. He currently works in Cornell University’s music department and serves as a local worship leader. In his free time, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife Marilyn, working in his plant nursery, and watching shows like Star Trek.

Quick Facts

During the 2013-14 school year:

  • Student enrollment:
    43 full-time and 3 part-time students
  • Churches represented:
    18 in Tompkins and Cortland counties
  • School districts served:
    Dryden, Groton, Ithaca, Lansing and Whitney Point
  • Instructional class sizes:
    2 – 10 students
  • Financial aid recipients:
    10 Families