MRS. DARLA BLUE
Elementary School Principal
From the Elementary School Principal
I am honored to be able to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself. My name is Darla Blue and I have the privilege of being the elementary principal at Evangelical Christian Academy. I have been in the field of education for the last 25+ years, and an administrator for the last five of those years. Prior to taking this position I filled the position of substitute teacher in a variety of grades and became the 3rd grade teacher here at ECA for 10 consecutive years. I am blessed to be in this role at this time.
As an elementary principal, It is my greatest desire for your children, along with our students to grow spiritually first and foremost, and then intellectually, physically, social and emotionally. I realize the education of children is a difficult job, and cannot be accomplished without the assistance and partnership of parents, church, and the surrounding community. I encourage parents to be active participants in the education of our students and engaged in building strong community within our families. The easiest way is to pray fervently and maintain effective lines of communication and support of one another.
In closing, we will continue to work diligently to provide an excellent Classical Christian educational experience for the students at Evangelical Christian Academy.
Blessed to be on this Journey,
Christian Schools International: K-5 The curriculum was written and is taught so that God’s people might know Him as He is revealed in His inspired and infallible Word.
|Grades K-3||Walking with God and His People|
|Grade 4||Walking with God and His People|
|Grade 5||Witnesses to the Gospel|
|Open Court (plus teacher supplements): Grades K-3||Accelerated Reader (novel based reading): Grades 3-5|
Reading develops a student’s thinking, reading, and writing abilities using a core of authentic literature. These studies increase the student’s ability to read with comprehension. Comprehension skills and reading fluency are developed for fiction and nonfiction material as children use workbooks, study questions, and participate in class discussions. Comprehension skills are tested in 4th – 5th grades by means of computerized tests.
|Open Court: Grades K-2||Houghton Mifflin: Grades 3-5|
Language educates students in traditional grammar, standard usage and mechanics. It also trains students to be comfortable with correct grammar, pronunciation and usage in conversations and other forms of speech. Language teaches essential research skills, and refines and teaches listening and study skills. Grammar, punctuation, and usage skills are developed as students edit their own writing. Language is supplemented with a phonics curriculum, creative writing, and handwriting exercises. Research skills are taught for report writing and formal oral reports.
|Zaner Bloser: Grade K||ACSI: Grades 1-5|
Spelling includes individually prepared teaching units at the appropriate grade levels. The focus is on the most commonly used words in written work.
|Veritas Bede’s History of the U.S: Kindergarten||BJU Heritage Studies: Grades 1-5|
|*Supplement – Studies Weekly: Grades K-5|
Social Studies teaches how man has carried out God’s command to rule over creation and how man has developed cultures. It reveals the Christian’s responsibility to his neighbor, his community, his country and the world. It emphasizes God’s plan throughout history.
Saxon: Grades K-5 Math is taught in a way that reinforces the understanding of God’s order in creation and develops an ability to function effectively, mathematically, in the world. Concepts are introduced incrementally, continuously reviewed, and provide a strong foundation for conceptualizing and solving problems.
|McMillan Interactive Big Books: Grade K||Bob Jones University: Grades 1-5|
Science is taught to give students a solid foundation, anchored firmly in Biblical truth. Special attention is given to interesting scientific facts that reveal God as the Master Designer of the universe and confirm the accuracy of the Bible. The curriculum promotes an excitement for the acquisition of critical learning skills.
Grades PreK-5th: Specially designed units of instruction presented twice weekly, emphasize motor fitness skills, appreciation for the wonder of our God-created bodies and Christian conduct in sports.
McMillan Music and You (Grades PreK-5th): A comprehensive unit approach to music appreciation and skill development is presented twice weekly. Students learn a hymn of the month that is sung in chapel each week. In addition, students work on two all-school programs during the year. Fifth grade students may choose either band or general music.
Standard of Excellence, sheet music The elementary band program, offered to 5th grade students, teaches basic music reading fundamentals and techniques for individual instruments, through full band and smaller ensemble rehearsals. Performance opportunities include concerts, chapel presentations, and solo and ensemble festivals.
|Grades K-3||Integrated throughout the curriculum|
|Grades 4-5: Primers A and B||Classical Academic Press: Latin For Children|
|Trains student in grammar, vocabulary, and English derivatives in a lively interactive way, utilizing workbooks, quizzes, songs and chants.|
LIBRARY: Grades K-3
The library provides materials which support and enrich our curriculum. Through storytelling, group discussion, book reviews, and oral reading, our students are encouraged to read and to think critically about what they are reading. Library skills are introduced and reinforced at each grade level in order to prepare students for greater research challenges as they advance from grade to grade.
COMPUTERS: Grades 3-5
In computer lab, our 3rd-5th graders will learn the basics of typing, how to safely search the internet, and how to use various Google and Microsoft programs to complete projects/reports that compliment what they learn in English, Science, Bible or History.
|Grades 1-5||Boys’ Wrestling (after school: spring)|
|Grades 1-5||Boys’ and Girls’ Track (one day meet on weekend: spring)|
|Grades 1-5||Boys’ and Girls’ Running Club (after school: fall)|
|Grade 5||Boys’ Basketball (after school: winter)|
|Grade 5||Girls’ Volleyball and Basketball (after school: fall & winter)|
|Grades 4-5||Choir and Handbells (during school hours)|
Mr. Stephen Sprague
Head of School
Mr. Stephen Sprague served 20 years as a Naval officer before transitioning to a second career in classical Christian education. Since then, he has been the Head of School for two previous classical Christian schools. He holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, a Master of Art in Military Art and Science, and is working on a Master of Divinity from the Reformed Theological Seminary. Stephen is a member of Forestgate Presbyterian Church. He and his wife, Andrea, have two children in the school: Lydia (14) and LeighAnna (17). Stephen grew up in a family of educators, and he has long sought to work in education, but the specific application of classical Christian education both inspires him and touches his heart. He loves to work with students, families, teachers, and administrators to advance the God-glorifying mission of the school.
Mrs. Darla Blue
Elementary School Principal
Education B.S. in Elementary Education, Minor in Music from Chadon State College, Chadron, NE
Mrs. Blue has been a part of ECA since 1988. Both of her daughters attended the elementary and secondary schools, and Mrs. Blue was our 3rd grade teacher until 2016 when she took on the role of Elementary Principal. While she enjoyed teaching, she utilizes her prior classroom experience working with students and parents to strongly impact her leadership of the elementary staff, parents and students in the role of principal.
Over the years Mrs. Blue has embraced the classical model of education. She believes parents have the key and primary responsibility to train and teach their children about Christ and His role in their lives; teachers and staff come alongside parents and their church to integrate Christ as the foundation of everything done in and out of the classroom. Thus, every parent partnership starts with trust, builds on collaboration, and culminates with accountability.
Mrs. Blue ensures time is invested to help students achieve high academic achievement, incorporating rigor, relevance, truth, and beauty into the established curriculum, acknowledging that all students learn and progress differently. Mrs. Blue encourages her teachers and staff to emphasize and acknowledge the importance of character development based solely on the Word of God. It is a privilege for her to work with children, helping them develop as a whole person in order to reach their fullest potential and be an integral part of His kingdom.
Mrs. Shari Hartnett
15 years at ECA
Mrs. Sue Gaines
16 years at ECA
Mrs. Natalie Jagers
Education BM in Church music from Ouachita Baptist University
Mrs. Jagers was an aide at ECA for several years prior to becoming the Pre-K teacher. Previously, she taught music in several D11 schools, was a preschool, music and Bible teacher in LA and has been the Preschool director for the last 4 ½ years for Circle Drive Baptist where her husband currently works as the youth pastor. She is a Colorado Springs native who was lovingly nurtured by her parents, church family and community. She thinks Pre-K kids are especially fun to work with because they are filled with awe and wonder for life! She hopes to partner with parents and churches to fulfill the mission statement of ECA by showing the love of Christ while educating, equipping and empowering these little ones to pursue their purpose in Christ.
Mrs. Justine Atkins
Mrs. Atkins was born and raised in Colorado Springs and is an ECA alumni. She married her high school sweetheart, Luke, and together they are raising their 4 children and running their plumbing company. Justine has been the pre-K aide at ECA for 4 years and is so thankful for the way biblical truth and character building are at the forefront of ECA’s education model. She also enjoys coaching volleyball and hiking and camping with her family.
Mrs. Cindy Morton
Education B.S. in Elementary Education from Geneva College
Mrs. Morton is honored to be a part of the ECA family for another year. She has served the students in many roles over the years as a substitute, fourth grade teacher, fifth grade teacher, coach, and aide. Mrs. Morton has one child who gradauted from ECA and three other children who are current ECA students. She believes that the solid Biblical foundation of classical, Christian education is important in raising children to love the Lord and to serve the community in which they have been called to serve.
Mrs. Michelle Poli
Education Associate of Arts degree St. Leo University – Norfolk, VA
Mrs. Poli has served at ECA for over 10 years in admissions as well as classroom aide in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 6th grades over that time. She is delighted to be back in Pre-K! Her life as a military wife deepened her devotion to our amazing country while also inspiring her to travel and learn about different countries and their cultures. Mrs. Poli is dedicated to the education and development of ECA students and is looking forward to a school year filled with the joy of the Lord.
Mrs. Karen Stephens
Kindergarten Teacher / Assistant Elementary School Principal
Education B.A. in Elementary Education: Dordt College; M.A. in Teaching: Grand Canyon University
Mrs. Stephens came to ECA in 1987 and has been teaching kindergarten since 1993. From kindergarten through twelfth grade, Mrs. Stephens was a student at a Christian school in her hometown; she went on to graduate from a Christian college. Mrs. Stephens still remembers many of her own elementary school teachers and knows that the impact of their love and commitment to the Lord has played a huge part in becoming the person and teacher she is today. Because of that impact, Mrs. Stephens consistently desires to teach with the same love, commitment, and enthusiasm that her teachers gave to her. It is also her prayer that each child who enters her classroom will thoroughly enjoy learning and that they will love serving the Lord in all that they do.
Mrs. Deb Blackman
Bio Coming Soon
Mrs. Pam Gergen
First Grade Teacher
Education B.A. in Education: University of Northern Iowa
The military brought Mrs. Gergen and her family to Colorado Springs in 2006. She started teaching first grade in 2007, and she is honored to be a part of the ECA staff. Mrs. Gergen has had many years of teaching experience, and she consistently desires to be a positive influence on today’s young children and help to build godly character in each one of them.
Mrs. Sandi Moede
First Grade Aide
Education B.S. Nursing from CU School of Nursing in Denver
Mrs. Moede is a native of Colorado Springs, and former ECA parent as all 3 of her boys attended ECA’s elementary school. She also played the piano for the choir during those years. She is delighted to be a part time aide in 1st grade for Mrs. Gergen. To see the kids of her own boys’ classmates coming to ECA is such a joy. And to see the next generation being taught the truth of God’s Word and encouragement in their relationship with Jesus is a great reminder of His unfailing love and grace.
Mrs. Kala Loptien
First & Third Grade Aide
Education B.A. English Literature from Hastings College
Mrs. Loptien joined the ECA family this year. Her former career revolved around marketing, but she earned degrees in English Literature and Higher Education. Mrs. Loptien is passionate about serving alongside teachers to help students grow as strong, compassionate, Christian leaders.
Mr. Dale Hart
Second Grade Teacher
Education B.S. in Elementary Education: Michigan State University M.A. in Education Technology: University of Colorado
Mr. Hart has taught at ECA since 1989. As a teacher, Mr. Hart thinks it is critical to cultivate godly character and to teach the “whole” child: spiritually, mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. He loves to be involved in his students’ lives and strives to minister to children’s hopes, fears, accomplishments, and challenges.
Miss Lindsay Geving
Third Grade Teacher
Education B.A. in Elementary Education from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA
Miss Geving feels extremely blessed to have attended ECA as a student from Kindergarten through 12th grade. In fact, it is due to the love and the impact of her incredible ECA elementary school teachers that she was inspired to become a teacher. Miss Geving’s prayer is to impact the lives of her students for Christ.
Mrs. Maggie Cupples
Fourth Grade Teacher
Education B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado with minor in Earth Sciences
This is Mrs. Cupples fourteenth year teaching and first year at ECA. Mrs. Cupples has taught a variety of grades and is looking forward to a great year in fourth grade. Her background is in public education and she considers it an honor and blessing to be able to teach God’s truth in the classroom here at ECA. Mrs. Cupples takes ECA’s mission to heart to “educate, equip, and empower students to pursue their purpose in Christ”. It is Mrs. Cupples’ prayer that her classroom be one of academic excellence to the glory of God and a place for students to grow in their relationship with Christ.
Mrs. Tricia Harbach
Fifth Grade Teacher
Education B.A. in Psychology and Business: Hardin Simmons University
Mrs. Harbach has been part of the ECA family since 1990; her four children all graduated from ECA. Mrs. Harbach has been employed by ECA since 2004; she has substituted for various grades and has taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. She is excited to be back in 5th grade and is thankful for the opportunity to invest in the lives of her students. Mrs. Harbach’s prayer is that her heart for children and her love for our Lord will be evident on a daily basis in her classroom.
Mrs. Jami Mark
5th Grade Advanced Math Teacher
Education B.A. in Elementary Education from Colorado Christian University
Mrs. Jami Mark is an ECA eagle through and through. Evangelical Christian Academy has been a part of virtually every period of her life. She attended ECA, from preschool through the middle of her junior year. Not only did she do her student teaching in the 3rd grade at ECA but she taught 4th and then 6th grade before moving to Arizona with her husband. A few years later, they returned to Colorado. She has done other various jobs at ECA including subbing, aiding, writing and directing many chapels and plays, and is excited to be teaching advanced math this year. The full circle of her ECA involvement is now complete as her two boys attend the school that has always meant so much to her; she truly has a deep passion for ECA. She believes Christian schools have a unique role of aiding in student’s lives to develop a knowledge of God and to kindle a flame that needs to be taken out into the world. There is nothing more important than cultivating a student’s heart to seek God and love Him wholly
Mr. Rob Howard
Elementary Music Teacher / Latin Teacher
Education B.S. in Music Ed: Eastern Nazarene College Masters of Music M.M. in Choral Conducting: Butler University
Mr. Howard began teaching general music, choir, and handbells at ECA in 2006. Prior to moving to Colorado, Mr. Howard taught elementary music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Maryland from 1997-2006, where he created a comprehensive music curriculum for his Kindergarten through 8th grade classes. Mr. Howard believes that music permeates the senses, captivates the mind, and opens the door to the soul, and that God’s love, His Word, and the traditions of faith and worship can be brought into the classroom in order to develop a biblical worldview.
Mrs. Jennifer Hoppe
Elementary Band Teacher
Education B.S. in K-12 Music Education from Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Jennifer Hoppe is a Colorado Springs native. She was then hired to teach middle school and start a small band at Faith Christian School in Williams Bay, WI. She got married and became a stay at home mom after 3 years of teaching. She moved back to Colorado and has been working in the music department at the Get Set Preschool program at First Pres downtown for 11 years. She loves teaching music to the preschoolers and is busy supporting her children in their musical and athletic activities. She has 3 in college and 3 in high school. She considers it a blessing to be a part of ECA’s incredible team where we can love, guide, teach, and inspire the youth in the culture we live in.
Mrs. Judy Schaap
Elementary Physical Education Teacher
Education BA from St. Andrews University
Mrs. Schaap grew up in Georgia and has been around ECA for 16 years as a mother of 3 and many years as a coach of multiple sports. Along with her passion for sports, she brings a high level of energy and creativity. It is her desire to foster an environment where students learn and develop skills for lifelong physical activity. When she’s not involved in sports, you can find her laughing with her family, heading into the mountains, or enjoying good music.
Mrs. Laura Wilson
Librarian / Computer Teacher
Education B.S. in Early Childhood Education: University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana, IL.
Laura is a Colorado native. She has been a part of the ECA family since 2011 when her oldest of five children first started attending the school. Previously, she taught preschool in Colorado at Tri-Lakes Community Preschool, at Chapel Hills Church Preschool; and Pre-Kindergarten at Washington Early Childhood Center in Urbana, IL. She loves children and has a great desire to see them grow in their knowledge of their unique gifts from God and in their under-standing of the Lord.