Board & Staff
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.
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.
Mrs. Oliveto grew up in Connecticut and attended New Fairfield Schools. She attended both Elim Bible Institute and Liberty Bible College. She previously worked in the Health Care field, working with the elderly and the developmentally disabled. She then realized her passion for teaching young children and made a career change. Her experience includes 16 years in the classroom and 28 years in children’s ministry. She has taught at Christian Life Academy since 2005. In her free time, Mrs. Oliveto enjoys bird watching, gardening, and walking and hiking with Dominic, her husband of 28 years. She and Dominic also volunteer together in the Royal Rangers children’s program at First Assembly of God Church in Brookfield, where they also worship. Mrs. Oliveto loves that Jesus comes first at CLA and is thankful for the children she teaches and their families.
Miss Karolczuk grew up in Connecticut and attended Newtown Schools. She currently lives with her mom, brother, and two cats, and loves having other family members close by as well. She studied at both Western Connecticut State University and Naugatuck Valley Community College, earning her Head Teaching Certification in Early Education. She is also working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. Though Miss Karolczuk has only been teaching at Christian Life Academy since 2013, she has 12 years experience working with children. In her free time, she loves dancing, playing tennis, mini golf, taking walks, and painting. She also loves to sing and is active in the music ministry at Walnut Hill Community Church, where she worships. Miss Karolczuk loves the strong curriculum at CLA, and enjoys watching the children grow and learn to care for one another.
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!
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Mrs. March was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and attended Holy Rosary School. Her education at St. Catharine Academy gave her a strong foundation for life. She earned her B.S. in Behavioral Science from Iona College, and has also completed graduate credits in education from Mercy College and Fordham University. She has 19 years teaching experience; 6 of them at Christian Life Academy. She and her husband William have two sons, the younger of whom attends CLA. Mrs. March is passionate about singing and loves to use her talent to glorify the Lord. She also enjoys acting, cooking, fishing, and camping. The March family worships at Grace Family Church in Newtown. Before moving to Connecticut Mrs. March was actively involved at the Mission Church in Holmes, New York, where she served on the worship team, choir, missions trips, and volunteered with children’s ministry programs like Vacation Bible School. Mrs. March feels God has blessed her with the gift of teaching and called her to the profession, which she loves.
Using the gift that God has provided, Mrs. March has joined Jericho Partnership in Danbury, CT serving as Associate Director for the Spring St. Summer Learning Program. She has been blessed to be a witness for Christ sharing the Good News to inner city children.
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.
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.
Austin Green, originally from Texas, and grew up outside of Dallas. After moving at 10, he attended Midwestern State University. He and his wife Tara have been married over 6 years now and recently had their first child, Isabella, born in September! Also they have a lovable little pug, Linus. They attend First Assembly of God, Brookfield where they lead the Young Adult’s small group..
Austin loves to play basketball in his spare time. He and Tara hike and explore God’s creation anytime possible. He has recently began reading more and more; it is a real passion.
He believes God has instilled in him a servant’s heart. He loves helping others and leading by example, not just with words.
Austin has Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, with a specialty in Human Resources, and Business Development. He worked with Young Life, which is a Christian outreach to adolescents in middle school through college and was ordained through that ministry.
Quotes from Austin about CLA and Christian Education:
- I love that our students get a hands on learning experience from our wonderful group of teachers. What sets us apart is that Christ is taught and involved in every level/subject.
- Growing a solid foundation from elementary to middle school is imperative, and I believe that christian education is paramount to that foundation.
Mrs. Vigue grew up in Woodbury, Connecticut and graduated from Nonnewaug High School. As a child, she was involved in Girl Scouts. As a Senior Scout she had the opportunity to travel to the Girl Scout Chalet in Switzerland. She graduated from Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island, with an Associate’s Degree in Executive Secretarial Science. Mrs. Vigue is married with 3 children and has a dog named Katie. After working as an executive secretary for 14 years, she became a home school mom. She loves to work with children and loves CLA because she has the freedom to pray with children and to share God’s Word with them. In her spare time, Mrs. Vigue enjoys walking, reading, making homemade crafts, and she loves to visit Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.
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.”
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.
Ms. Summerlin was born and raised in Alabama. She attended Auburn University and Samford University, earning her Associate Degree in Nursing. Mrs. Summerlin brings a wealth of experience to Christian Life Academy. She has spent 36 years in nursing in the area of pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. In addition to her part-time role at CLA, Mrs. Summerlin also currently works in an assisted living community. She worships at First Assembly of God Church in Brookfield, where she has also had the opportunity to teach children’s church. In her free time, Mrs. Summerlin enjoys gardening, cooking, artwork, and antiquing. Her daughter, a recent college graduate, attended CLA.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.