Board & Staff

Little Blessings

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Isabella Andrade

First Grade Paraprofessional

Emily Uskudarli

Director, Little Blessings Childcare

Mrs. Uskudarli was born in Danbury, grew up in Newtown, and attended Newtown Schools. Mrs. Uskudarli knew from an early age that she wanted to work with children. Certified as a Head Teacher, Mrs. Uskudarli’s credentials include 12 years experience working with children and CPR and First Aid Certification. She has worked at Christian Life Academy since 2007 and is currently working toward her degree in education. She and her husband Ethan have 2 children. Mrs. Uskudarli’s family involvement with CLA runs 2 generations deep.  Her daughter is a student at CLA, her son attends Little Blessings, and her mother, Carina Stefanko, is CLA’s Kindergarten Assistant. In her free time, Mrs. Uskudarli enjoys spending time with her family and 3 dogs, taking weekend vacations to Vermont, watching movies, and crocheting. Her family attends Shoreline Community Church in Branford, where she volunteers with the children’s ministry. She loves being part of a child’s learning process, and watching children grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

PreSchool

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Denise Kessman

Preschool (K3) Teacher

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Meagan Larsen

Preschool (K3) Teacher

Mrs. Kim Lindemann

Preschool (K4) Teacher

Mrs. Lindemann grew up in the Litchfield Hills of CT and graduated from New Milford High School.  She attended Mattatuck (now Naugatuck) Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT, with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education and Community Bible Institute in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she completed her Biblical Studies Program.  She also holds a Dental Assistant Certificate.  

In addition to her many years of experience in the field of Special Education, Mrs. Lindemann has 20 (+) years of service in Children’s Ministry, Music Ministry and Church Leadership.  She counts it a blessing to be part of the CLA Family and enjoys working with young children.

She resides in New Preston, CT, with her husband, Lou, daughter, Avery, and dog, Sugar.  

Kathy Re

Kathy Re

Preschool (K4) Paraprofessional

Mrs. Re grew up in New Fairfield and graduated from Danbury High School. She has over 20 years experience working with children, and joined Christian Life Academy in 1993.  In her free time, Mrs. Re enjoys walking, swimming, crafting, shopping, playing tennis, and spending time with her family. Mrs. Re has been married to her husband Carlo for 38 years. They have 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren. They are long time members of Brookfield First Assembly of God. Mrs. Re enjoys working with young children, especially in a Christian environment!

Elementary

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Isabella Andrade

First Grade Paraprofessional

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Chelsea Duncan

First Grade Teacher

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Kristine Benton

Second Grade Teacher

Kristy Pfeiffer

Kristy Pfeiffer

Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Pfeiffer grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She attended both Colorado State University and Fayetteville State University where she received a B.S. in early childhood education and her teacher certification. She believes that education never ends and has over 40 credits of graduate work and continuing education classes. She joined the Christian Life Academy family in 2012. Married for 30 years, Mrs. Pfeiffer and her husband have two children, a cat, and a dog. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking her dog, playing tennis, brain games, and spending time with her family and friends. She worships at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, where she teaches Sunday School, co-leads a community group, and has been involved in missions for many years. Mrs. Pfeiffer says that, at CLA, “God’s love can be seen and heard and felt within the halls and walls of this special place.”

Carina Stefanko

Carina Stefanko

Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Mrs. Stefanko grew up in Danbury and has attended Brookfield First Assembly of God since she was a child.  She has been married to her husband for 39 years and has 3 grown children, Christopher, Emily , and Elizabeth—who have blessed her with 7 wonderful grandchildren! Mrs. Stefanko was a stay-at-home mother for 17 years before she began working at CLA in 2002. She has worked in K4, 1st Grade, 3rd Grade, and now Kindergarten for the past 6 years. She loves working with children and encouraging their own creativity. She has volunteered at First Assembly with the Missionettes girls’ ministries, the youth group, Vacation Bible School, and Children’s Church.  Mrs. Stefanko says she loves “the opportunity to pour God’s love into our students,” and considers CLA to be a mission field for the community.

Cynthia Henke

Third Grade Teacher

Mrs. Henke grew up in northern Colorado and moved to New York during High School.  She attended Mercy College for her Bachelor’s degree and Long Island University for her Graduate program. Mrs. Henke has been married to her husband for 22 years.  They have four children, all of whom are attending Brookfield High School.  She loves spending time with her near adult children, cherishing their last years at home before college.  She loves to read and makes it a discipline to write something every day.  She enjoys being out in nature and hiking.

Mrs. Henke shares that  “I love being part of CLA because of the great foundation which is being laid in the lives of our students. With my own children in the public high school, I see the hurdles that young people face in terms of walking out their faith.  I know that that the education and spiritual growth the students receive at CLA will be a great asset as they move forward into high school.”

Nicole Mitchell

Fourth Grade Teacher

Ms. Mitchell is new to CLA and Connecticut this year. She moved from New York to Danbury, with her three boys, who also attend CLA. She loves the positive impact CLA is having in her boys’ lives! Teaching is definitely something that runs in Ms. Mitchell’s family. All of her aunts, as well as her mother are teachers. Her mother founded and ran the Corona Christian Academy in Queens, NY for over twenty years. Ms. Mitchell has taught everything from Preschool to High School, and enjoys working with children and helping them find the joy in learning. She is our current fourth grade teacher, and is excited to share her love for Christ and learning with her students. When she isn’t in the classroom, Ms. Mitchell and her boys like to travel.

Cheryl Mitchell

Fifth Grade Teacher

Mrs. Cheryl Mitchell recently moved from New York to Danbury. She is wife to Pastor Monte Mitchell, founder and senior pastor of the Corona Baptist Church. They have been married for forty six years and have four grown children and five grandchildren. Mrs. Mitchell was educated in her country of origin, Trinidad. She has been an educator for over thirty years, and was also the founder and administrator of the Corona Christian Academy in Queens, New York.

Mrs. Mitchell has a natural love of working with young people. She has taught every age group up to high school. She has tried several times to retire, but her love of teaching always bring her back to the classroom. She is looking forward to her new experience at CLA teaching fifth grade.

Middle School

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Silvia Picon

Middle School Mathematics Teacher

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Craig O’Neil

Middle School Science Teacher

Victoria Carvalho

Middle School Language Arts Teacher

Mrs. Carvalho was born and raised in the New Milford, CT, and attended Western Connecticut State University where she earned her B.A. in English Literature. In May 2018, she will receive her M.F.A (terminal) Graduate Degree from Western.

This is her first-year teaching at Christian Life Academy. She and her husband Sandro have three daughters of whom attends CLA. Mrs. Carvalho loves writing, going to the beach, reading, and hanging out with family. The Carvalho family worships at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, CT.

 

Mary Duncan

6th Grade & Middle School History Teacher

Extracurricular

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Alan Freeman

Physical Education Teacher

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Joshua Coles

Art Teacher

Vivian Sakis

Vivian Sakis

Music Teacher

Mrs. Sakis grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia where she was involved in church activities since high school. She and her husband, Chris, relocated from Virginia to New Milford in 1990. They have three children, Kara-Leigh, Amber, and Joshua. Mrs. Sakis graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in vocal/piano. She was also trained to teach Yamaha Music School. Mrs. Sakis previously taught 12 years in parochial schools and has been teaching private piano for more than 37 years.  She is the worship leader and pianist at Christian Life Fellowship in New Milford, where her husband is Pastor. She has been the director of numerous musicals with church youth and adult choirs. She has experience as accompanist for numerous choirs and soloists. She admits that music has been her interest and favorite pastime her whole life, but she also enjoys bike riding, learning about history, reading biographies, baking, and cooking.

Maria Rago

Spanish Teacher

Senora Rago was born in Argentina. She moved to the United States in 1987 with her husband Ricardo and young son. She lives in Bethel with her husband and dog Marly. Senora Rago is the mother of three adult children, Constantino, Micaela, and Sophia. She has 34 years of experience in the classroom, having taught in Argentina, and Rogers Park Middle School, Immaculate High School, and Immanuel Lutheran School in Danbury. She has taught biology, bilingual programs, and Spanish from Pre-K through 12th Grade. Senora Rago hold a bachelors degree in science and Spanish and a masters degree in education.

Administration

Joan Freeman

Joan Freeman

Principal

Mrs. Freeman was born in South Carolina but spent most of her growing up years in Newtown. She graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Music Education, and recently earned a M.S. in Special Education from the University of Saint Josephs. She and her husband, Alan, have been married since 1976 and are the parents of four adult children.  She is ACSI certified in both Elementary Education and Educational Leadership.  Mrs. Freeman has taught at Christian Life Academy since 2002, and has been the principal since 2012. In her free time, Mrs. Freeman enjoys being outside, and walking in the woods along the river. She enjoys reading, biking, hiking, gardening, and worshiping the Lord. She plays several instruments including the flute, saxophone, guitar, and cello. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman attend church at Christian Life Fellowship in New Milford, where they both serve on the worship team.

Regarding her role at CLA, Mrs. Freeman says “I love being part of the lives of our students. I appreciate that I can share the most important truths with them; the word of God. I enjoy being part of what the Lord is doing at CLA.”

Roxanne Lundberg

Roxanne Lundberg

Admin Asst & Admissions Coordinator

Ms. Lundberg is Christian Life Academy’s Admissions Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. She serves as the friendly voice on the phone and a smiling face in the school office. She has worked at CLA since 1998 and her energy and efficiency keep administrative matters running smoothly. Ms. Lundberg grew up in Danbury. She is the mother of two grown children, both of whom attended CLA. She loves spending time with the Lord, and attends First Assembly of God Church in Brookfield, where she serves on the Nursing Home Ministry.  She enjoys taking her three little Chihuahuas to dog obedience class; whether they listen or not is another story.

Advisory Board

Pastor Morgan

Pastor Morgan

Phil Morgan has pastored churches in both Australia and the United States for the past 23 years. A graduate of Commonwealth Bible College, both his father and grandfather were Assemblies of God ministers, and Phil’s own call to preach came when he was just a teenager.

Phil’s great passion is preaching and teaching God’s Word, and in any spare moment he enjoys reading. During the summer months he can often be found floating around on the lake near their home fishing for Bass.

This year of 2014 is a special one for him and his wife, Alli, as they celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They have 4 children: Ben, Sam, Bethwyn and Ewan.

Currently Phil serves at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, Connecticut, USA, where he has been the Senior Pastor since June of 2003.

Rod Moore

Rod Moore

Mr. Moore graduated from St. Lawrence University with a bachelors degree in Psychology. He is a retired Realtor and loan origination officer.  He has served on the CLA board since 1985. Currently he serves on the deacon board of First Assembly of God Church, and as a commissioner on the Danbury Zoning Board of Appeals.  He has held board of director positions with the Northern Fairfield County Board of Realtors and the Danbury Kiwanis Club. Rod has fallen in love with his first grandchild.  Looking to the future through her eyes, he realizes more than ever how important a solid Christian education is to her and all our children and grandchildren.

Sandi Miller

Sandi Miller

  • A never at home, stay at home mom
  • Married since 1995
  • Mother of 3, all who attended CLA, youngest is still there in 5th grade
  • Member of the CLA Board since 2009
  • Member of Walnut Hill Community Church, Bethel CT
  • PTF (Parent/Teacher Fellowship) Coordinator at CLA
Bill MacLean

Bill MacLean

Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Franklin & Marshall College. He has served on the Christian Life Academy school board since 2007 and has been the head girls varsity basketball coach at CLA for many years. He is Vice President/General Manager at Target Flavors, Inc. in Brookfield, CT, while also serving for many years as Finance Committee Chair & Sunday School Director. He is an active advocate with Compassion International, providing holistic child development for poverty stricken children. He and his wife Khara have 8 children, all of whom attend or have attended CLA since 1998.

Stefanie McArdle

Stefanie McArdle

Sent her two children to CLA from Pre-K through 8th grade. Stefanie previously taught art at CLA. She holds an AAS in Fine Arts and Bachelors Degree in Graphic design from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She was also an interim gym teacher at CLA, and Art teacher at Immaculate High School in Danbury.

A Realtor with Century 21 Home Services in Bethel, she resides in Brookfield. Stefanie has attended First Assembly of God for 20 years, and has served the Missionette and Ranger youth programs, the hospitality team, and church nursery.

Lynn Morse

Joan Freeman

Joan Freeman

Mrs. Freeman has been at Christian Life Academy since 2002 and has been the principal since 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in Special Education from the University of Saint Josephs. She is ACSI certified in elementary education and educational leadership.  Joan and her husband, Alan, have four adult children. They live in New Milford and worship at Christian Life Fellowship, where she is part of the worship team.