MRS. JAN WELLS, MEd
12 years at ACA
MEd - Reading Specialist - Bloomsburg University
BS - Elementary Education, Music - Bloomsburg State College
Coursework in English and Music - Wilkes University
Having dedicated her life to Christian education, Mrs. Wells strives to bring excitement, rigor, and Christ-centeredness to learning at the academy. Her hard work, leadership, and depth of training and experience have helped to make ACA an institution of enduring high quality. Most notably, she encourages teachers to bring their whole selves into the classroom and to create learning environments that are both serious and engaging. In addition, Mrs. Wells goes above and beyond to nurture both teachers and students, consistently providing personal encouragement and recognition of effort and achievement. One of the school's favorite traditions is the spring high school play, which Mrs. Wells directs. Prior to heading the academy, Mrs. Wells taught at Bloomsburg Christian School, Northeastern Christian School, The Geneva School, and her own homeschool. She's also been a literacy mentor, a homeschool evaluator, a vocal ensemble director, and an assistant director of the Lackawanna Trail Marching Lions. She currently serves on staff at Keystone College as Director of Individualized Instruction for The Bands at Keystone, where she gives flute lessons and leads sectionals. Mrs. Wells is a fan of old television shows, movies, and music--especially Star Trek IV, The Monkees, America, and The Carpenters. She also enjoys reading, sewing, counted cross-stitch, travel, concerts, and nostalgia conventions (MANC). Her favorite things about Abington Christian Academy are the students and the ability to bring Scriptural truth to bear on every subject, thought, and motive. Her goals include becoming a better flautist, teaching at the college level, and taking a piano lesson with Monkees pianist, Peter Tork. Mrs. Wells lives in Dalton with her husband, Kevin. She has two adult daughters.
MRS. CHERYL HOSTERMAN, MA
PreK3 and PreK4
First year at ACA
MA - Early Childhood Education - Clarks Summit University
BS - Elementary Education - Clarks Summit University
Mrs. Hosterman spent 13 years teaching first grade in two different Christian schools before she took a 16-year break to work with her husband, John, at Clarks Summit University's kitchen and dining hall. (Mrs. Hosterman was Mrs. Bingaman's first-grade teacher!) While at the university, she was amused to watch many of her former first-graders go through college. She loves being back in the classroom and appreciates how each member of the ACA staff "bends over backward" to help one another. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and playing piano. Mrs. Hosterman is especially encouraged by two Psalms. Psalm 139 is a reminder that we're wonderfully formed and understood by God, and Psalm 20 talks about the Almighty God of Jacob being our protector. Each of these chapters hold special significance to Mrs. Hosterman because of particular life events. This appreciation of each person's unique importance informs and infuses her interaction with ACA's tenderest population: PreK students. Mrs. Hosterman's intelligence and gentle manner create a safe learning atmosphere in which children are free to enjoy learning. She and her husband share their home with Sophie, a pomeranian-chihuahua.
MRS. DOROTHY LEACH
8 years at ACA
BS - Elementary and Early Childhood Education - Marywood University
"I love to teach and to study the Bible! I especially love to teach reading," says Mrs. Leach. Originally from Chinchilla, she loves to cook, go to the beach, swim, entertain, and play games, especially Pictionary. She homeschooled her children for many years before coming to teach at the academy. Mrs. Leach brings her natural curiosity and her many years of experience to bear on her task of instructing students during the critical Kindergarten year, when so many important facts and behaviors are being learned. She also shares her love of nature and enjoys teaching students about flowers and birds. Mrs. Leach lives in Lenoxville with her husband, Bruce, and one son, Isaiah.
MRS. JILL MAY
Grades 1 & 2
2 years at ACA
BA - Elementary Education - Taylor University
Mrs. May likes to wake up first thing in the morning while it’s still quiet to read her Bible, pray, and dedicate her day to God. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds her to trust that God is guiding her steps. In her classroom, she gains contentment knowing that she's impacting lives for Christ. She receives encouragement from seeing that each staff member at ACA loves what he or she does. Mrs. May is known for her happy disposition and calm, easy-going manner, which help create a constructive classroom environment. Originally from Indiana, Mrs. May has traveled to many different countries--including Israel, Australia, Mexico, and Ecuador. She’s previously homeschooled her three children, taught at Summit Christian Academy, and worked as an admissions counselor at Baptist Bible Seminary. She enjoys travel, reading, hiking, biking, and spending time with family. Mrs. May lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Jamie, and daughter, Hannah. The Mays' two sons, James and Isaiah, live out of state while they're in college.
MRS. KAITLYN HICKS
Grades 3 & 4
2 years at ACA
BS - Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education - Kutztown University
Mrs. Hicks loves to be creative! She especially likes to paint, sew, craft, and read. Her classroom is a pleasant hive of learning that's both orderly and interesting because Mrs. Hicks always looks for ways to bring excitement and joy to serious study. She appreciates that her ACA coworkers are invested in her life and in her classroom and are always available to help her. A native of Moscow, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Hicks has been a preschool teacher at the Dunmore YMCA and previously taught in a Montessori preschool classroom. Her favorite Scripture is Isaiah 41:10, which reminds Christians that God will always take care of them. Mrs. Hicks is married to Caleb, who works for Youth for Christ.
MRS. KELSEY BINGAMAN
Grades 5 & 6
First Year at ACA
BS - Education - Eastern University
Hailing from Factoryville, Mrs. Bingaman has previously taught in North Carolina and Philadelphia. She has a strong commitment to motivating students through positive reinforcement, promoting cooperative learning among students, and communicating regularly with parents. Mrs. Bingaman finds encouragement from Isaiah 40:31: "But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." In her spare time, she enjoys baking, cooking, traveling, and going out to eat. Mrs. Bingaman lives in Factoryville with her husband, Paul.
MR. MATTHEW BENJAMIN, MA
Grades 7 & 8
First year at ACA
MA - Worldview Studies - Clarks Summit University
BA - Bible - Clarks Summit University
Mr. Benjamin is a renaissance man with interests and accomplishments in microcomputers, tennis, bass guitar, landscaping, science, politics, writing, and philosophy. He founded and maintains 60secondphilosophy.com, a YouTube channel devoted to answering the laypersons’ questions about philosophy. Mr. Benjamin’s favorite author is Plato because, he says, “Next to what’s written in Scripture, Plato got the closest to Truth about the nature of the universe.” He believes that the classics are “a near-endless source of knowledge and growth." John 3:1-3 is one of Mr. Benjamin's favorite Scriptures because “that’s where we’re told that we’re children of God.” Mr. Benjamin loves teaching and is grateful for the opportunity to teach junior high students at ACA. One of his foundational goals is to keep students from logical, moral, and aesthetic pitfalls that can obscure truth and obstruct the learning process. His methods for preventing error include a subtle guiding hand, a genuine enthusiasm about content, and a solemn respect for the souls under his care in the classroom. Mr. Benjamin lives in Clarks Summit with his wife, Crystal, his daughter, Eve . . . and the family has another baby on the way!
MRS. LILY BYNON, MEd
High School Program Coordinator
8 years at ACA
MEd - Education and Administration - Temple University
BS - Elementary Education, Spanish - Millersville University
(plus additional credits beyond earned degrees)
A veteran educator with over 40 years of experience in both public and private schools and at Wilkes University, Mrs. Bynon has actively dedicated her life to Christian ministry. She has been employed as the principal or assistant principal of several Christian schools. She’s glad to be part of ACA, where she enjoys the compassionate, friendly, Christ-centered environment. At various churches throughout her lifetime, Mrs. Bynon has served as lay minister, church treasurer, church secretary, Sunday school teacher, summer camp teacher, and missions director. She's a much-cherished and always-willing faculty member at the academy who's known for her love of God's word and her commitment to service. It would be impossible to measure the positive impact that Mrs. Bynon has had on generations of students. A resident of Clarks Summit, Mrs. Bynon’s hobbies include reading Christian literature and the Bible. Her husband was the late John E. Bynon.
MS. RACHEL MERCURI, MEd, MA
Grades 9-11 Humanities
First year at ACA
MEd - Secondary Education/English - East Stroudsburg University
MA - English - Clemson University
BA - English/Political Science - Messiah College
ESL Endorsement Certification - Moravian College
In addition to teaching at Abington Christian Academy, Ms. Mercuri runs Rachel’s Recreation. She has rich and varied educational and teaching experiences that make her outstandingly qualified to teach the high school humanities course--which encompasses history, theology, and literature. She’s taught ESL at Scranton High School and South Mountain Middle School in Allentown. In addition, she taught English and served as a tutor and academic advisor at Penn State Worthington Scranton Campus and at Marywood University. A scholar with degrees and certifications from four different institutions, Ms. Mercuri has presented papers at numerous professional conferences and published them in several academic publications.
MRS. LYNNEA HOLLENDONNER
Grades 9-11 Science
First year at ACA
BS - Forensic Biology/Chemistry - Keystone College
A native of New Milford, Mrs. Hollendonner has always been fascinated by forensics. She conducted her field experience in forensic anthropology at a cemetery in Susquehanna County and completed an internship with Lackawanna County Coroner Tony Conarton. When she's not teaching at ACA, Mrs. Hollendonner is a server and trainer at Applebees. Her hobbies include baking, making cards, watercolors, and spending time with her family. Jeremiah 29:11 and "It is Well with My Soul" encourage Mrs. Hollendonner whenever she's distressed or questioning. Her favorite quote is by Mark Twain: "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." The Hollendonners live in Olyphant.
MRS. CYNTHIA MORRISON
Grades 9-11 Spanish
2 years at ACA
BSEd – Spanish (Math Minor) – Indiana University of Pennsylvania (magna cum laude)
Certificate of Fluency – Spanish – University of Valladolid, Spain
Mrs. Morrison formerly taught high school Spanish for nine years at Abington Heights High School, where she also sponsored student trips to Spain and Mexico. She has also served on the Wyoming and Luzerne Counties Drug and Alcohol Committee for Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Education. She enjoys teaching at Abington Christian Academy because “the staff is wonderful.” She appreciates that their motivations extend beyond salaries to the joy of teaching children and young people, instilling Christian principles in them, and enabling them to develop a relationship with Christ. Psalm 34: 4 & 18 and Psalm 139:7-10 are some of Mrs. Morrison’s favorite Scriptures. They’ve encouraged her through many trials—reminding her that God is with her, that she can trust in Him, and that she needs to wait for Him to answer her prayers in His way and in His timing. Mrs. Morrison and her husband, Dave, have three children—Josh, Jamie, and Collin—and one grandson, Isaac.
MRS. KATRINA NEWMAN
Grades 9-11 Mathematics
Second year at ACA
BS - Sports Medicine/Athletic Training - East Stroudsburg University
BS - Health Education (Certifications in Health, Biology, General Science, Math) - East Stroudsburg University
Mrs. Newman's experience includes teaching math and science at The Geneva School and The Scranton School District. She's also worked as a podiatric assistant and is currently an in-home health aide. ACA high school students appreciate Mrs. Newman's math expertise and her cheerful kindness.
MRS. CRYSTAL BENJAMIN
First Year at ACA
BS - Education (Health and Physical Education) - Clarks Summit University (with highest honor)
Hailing from Mansfield, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Benjamin was previously Head Coach for Clarks Summit University's Cross Country Team. An avid runner, she's completed two half-marathons and one Tough Mudder competition. She's also backpacked 35 miles on the Appalachian Trail! In 2015 Mrs. Benjamin memorized the book of James. Her favorite Scriptures are Lamentations 3:22-24: "The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, / For His compassions never fail. / They are new every morning/ Great is Your faithfulness. / 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, / 'Therefore I have hope in Him.'" Mrs. Benjamin appreciates this passage because it promises fresh mercy from God for each day's appointed pain. "Today's mercies are not designed to carry tomorrow's burdens. The troubles and the mercies are appointed day by day. How great and gracious is our God and greatly to be praised!" A highly organized and encouraging teacher, Mrs. Benjamin enjoys teaching at Abington Christian Academy because the students are "extraordinarily respectful" and the faculty and staff are "pleasantly flexible." She also likes working in the same building as her husband, ACA Dialectic Teacher Matthew Benjamin. Mrs. Benjamin's greatest interests are her husband and the couple's daughter, Eve. The Benjamins are expecting another child this year.
MRS. ANNETTE BRUSH
Art Teacher, Special Needs Instructor
8 years at ACA
BFA - Graphic Design (Minors: Photography, Art History, Spanish) - Marywood University
"To everything there is a season and a time and purpose under the heavens" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). This is Mrs. Brush's favorite scripture. She came to Abington Christian Academy following a successful15-year career as a graphic artist and artistic manager. She also served for 15 years as Children's Pastor at Green Ridge Assembly of God. Mrs. Brush's great wisdom, willingness, and energy have had an important impact on ACA students and staff members. As a labor of love and a mark of her professionalism, Mrs. Brush spends an enormous amount of time each spring and summer preparing student artwork for entry into the Harford Fair. And each summer students enjoy seeing their work displayed--many, many of them with ribbons attached! A native of Scranton, Mrs. Brush is a graduate of Bishop Hannan High School and Marywood University. Her favorite things are being a mom, pencil drawing, gardening, painting, and reading. She also LOVES Christmas. Mrs. Brush makes her home in New Milford with her husband, David, and two of their four children.
MISS MEGAN HORWATT
3 years at ACA
BA - Music Education (Concentration in Voice) - West Chester University
Known for her lilting voice, her sunny smile, and her energetic personality, Miss Horwatt knows how to engage ACA students in the art of singing. When she's not at ACA, Miss Horwatt is serving as Director of Vocal Music at Keystone College. Originally from Dallas, Pennsylvania, she's been a voice teacher at Belvoir Terrace in Massachusetts and has led the chorus at Lackawanna Trail High School.
MR. NATHAN BRUSH
3 years at ACA
HS Diploma - Blue Ridge High School
Abington Christian Academy is blessed to have Nathan Brush working as an aide. He’ll do just about anything that needs to be done around the school! One of his favorite jobs is cutting out the many Box Tops that the school receives and getting them ready for redemption. He also assists the Kindergarten class with one-on-one reading and other general aiding tasks. Mr. Nathan enjoys reading, writing, and art. Each year he enters artwork into the Harford Fair. His works have been recognized for their originality, interest, and technique. A serious fan of all things Disney, Mr. Nathan really likes the Despicable Me movies and The Little Mermaid. One of his favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 20:6, which informs us how to distinguish between true friends and false friends. It also reminds Mr. Nathan that God is our truest friend when others might disappoint us. “Lose My Soul,” by Toby Mac is one of his favorite songs. Mr. Nathan lives in New Milford with his parents and his brother Sam.
MS. LOUISE CATOR
12 years at ACA
Some coursework completed - Elementary Education, Special Education - Mansfield University
Ms. Cator capably cares for the many business-related details of the academy. She appreciates that at ACA all subjects are taught from the perspective that God has created all things and that education can reveal His handprint in all areas. Ms. Cator has worked a variety of jobs all over the United States. In addition to her position at the academy, Ms. Cator is secretary at Clarks Green Assembly of God. Her hobbies include gardening, reading, Bible study, music, woodworking, travel, and getting to know people. She lives in Uniondale with her sister and Manny the dog. She has a son, a daughter-in-law, a daughter, and a son-in-law. Ms. Cator's favorite Bible character is Jehosophat because he was committed to the Lord. "When he was faced with a problem, he displayed his need for the Lord with prayer and fasting. When he heard from the Lord, he obeyed, calling the people to obey with praise. God won the victory!"
MRS. TOSHIA SOMERVILLE, MBA
3 years at ACA
MBA - Regis University
BS - Fashion/Marketing - Old Dominion University
AA - Foreign Language/Arabic - Monterey Peninsula College
Mrs. Somerville graciously, patiently, and competently greets guests, answers questions, conveys messages, and supports the faculty and staff at ACA. As an ACA board member, she's also given abundantly of her wisdom and time to guide and promote the school. Prior to coming to ACA, Mrs. Somerville impressively served for seven years as an Army Staff Sergeant and Arabic Linguist Intelligence Specialist. She considers Virginia home--though she currently lives in South Abington with her husband, Corei, and her three boys, Corei Jr., Jaelen, and Jeremiah. In her spare time, Mrs. Somerville enjoys baking, cooking, entertaining, organizing, and reading. Her goal is to raise God-fearing, respectable men who are able to function successfully in society. She's grateful that she has the opportunity to be part of how God's Word is introduced into the lives of ACA students. Her favorite Bible verses are Matthew 6:25-34, which remind her not to worry but to seek God first.