Elementary

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.

Carolyn Faurote

Carolyn Faurote

First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Faurote was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Central New Jersey and Chappaqua, New York. She has a B.A. in Psychology with a Child Development focus from Susquehanna University, a minor in Computer Science, and many continuing education credits in education. Before becoming a teacher, Mrs. Faurote worked as a Systems Analyst. She has taught at Christian Life Academy since 2002, and all of her children graduated from CLA. She has 4 children, 2 grandchildren, a dog, and a horse. In her free time, Mrs. Faurote enjoys horse care and riding, hiking, biking, and water sports. She loves to share her love of animals and the outdoors with people, and often uses her horse, Zip, as a ministry. She worships at First Assembly of God Church in Brookfield.

Dotsy Torres

Second Grade Teacher

Mrs. Torres grew up in Scarsdale, New York and Virginia before moving to Connecticut. She is married with 4 children. She has a B.S. in Child Studies and a CT Head Teacher Certificate. Prior to discovering her gift for teaching children, she worked in a law firm for 10 years. She has taught at Christian Life Academy since 2004. Mrs. Torres worships at First Assembly of God Church in Brookfield, where she coordinated the  Children’s Ministries program. She is also involved with the Young Lives Program in Danbury, and participates in mission trips.  Mrs. Torres has sent all of her children to CLA and loves that CLA trains children both academically and spiritually.

Amy Santoro

Third Grade Teacher

Mrs. Santoro was born in Danbury, CT and has lived in the area all of her life. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and Fairfield University with a Master of Arts in Psychology. She has been married to her husband Dominick for 24 years. She, her husband Dominick, and their sons live in Danbury. Both of their sons attend CLA. In her free time she enjoys reading (especially non-fiction), baking, and hiking. She and her family worship at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel.

Mrs. Santoro’s experience includes managing group homes for adults with developmental disabilities, and Human Resources. She has also worked as an elementary and nursery school substitute teacher. She joined the CLA teaching staff in 2014. Mrs. Santoro says, “This school has been so good for my boys. I love that they have excellent Christian role models and caring, compassionate teachers.”

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.

Dee Phillips

Dee Phillips

Fifth Grade Teacher

Mrs. Phillips grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in History from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, and an M.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport. Mrs. Phillips joined Christian Life Academy in 2014, after teaching 13 years at other parochial and public schools. She has been married to her husband Kevin for 33 years. She has three grown children: Lauren and Jill, who live in North Carolina, and Randy and his wife Nellie, who live in South Carolina. Mrs. Phillips recently became a first-time grandmother.  In her free time she enjoys traveling, quilting, and cooking. She worships at Community Chapel in Southbury, CT, and spends summers running the kitchen at Camp Marion, a Christian camp. She is also TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certified and volunteers with Literacy Volunteers in Waterbury.