UMEI CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL Staff
UMEI Christian High School’s teachers have university degrees along with their Bachelor of Education degrees. All teachers are members of the College of Teachers and are in goood standing. Outside class hours, our teachers can be found running clubs, coaching winning teams, designing sets for drama productions, leading ensembles and choirs, and enriching student experiences in countless ways.
UMEI’s teachers are passionate about their subjects, gifted at teaching, and generous with their time and energy as they work together to create a matchless educational experience for our students. Nothing makes them prouder than our students’ successes.
Darcy Bults, OCT, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both History and Physical Education from Calvin College and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Windsor. He has an strong interest in all sports and believes physical activity is of utmost importance. Darcy is always looking for ways to push UMEI students to become more physically active in a variety of different ways. He loves working at UMEI because of the incredibly strong sense of community that facilitates an excellent learning environment for all UMEI students. This year, Darcy was one of the coaches for the UMEI boys’ basketball team, as well as one of the coaches for the UMEI track and field team. He hopes to help build strong UMEI sports teams in the future. Outside of UMEI, Darcy is an active member of the Essex Christian Reformed Church.
Sonya Bedal, OCT, holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph and her Bachelor of Education in English from Nippissing University. Sonya has enjoyed her years at UMEI where she is able to get to know students both inside and outside of the classroom. Sonya currently acts as Guidance Counsellor and coaches the girls’ softball team. Leading a dynamic and passionate staff also makes working at UMEI a joy. It is a great pleasure to interact with supportive families, Board members and school supporters from the greater church community. Sonya, her husband and two children are active members of Leamington United Mennonite Church.
Ruth Harnadek, OCT, holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. She also has a Bachelor of Religious Education from Tyndale College and Seminary. Ruth teaches Drama, English, Mathematics, and Religious Studies and loves the variety. Teaching at UMEI is Ruth’s dream because she is free to incorporate Christian truths in all of her subjects and to gather with the students daily in the Chapel. Currently, Ruth co-ordinates the Chapels, and helps with drama for church visits, with organizing grad party, by being a teacher rep for some sports teams, and with the Faith in Action club. When not at school, Ruth is busy in the parish of St. Stephen’s Church of the Redeemer Anglican churches.
John Fittler has been teaching on staff as science teacher at UMEI for the past 22 years. His interest in science started at Ridgetown College graduating with a Diploma in Field and Horticultural Crops. He obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph in Crop Science and his Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. John teaches Biology, Chemistry and Physics but he claims chemistry is still his favourite, with the occasional “explosion” as a great motivational tool. His passion for hands-on activities and projects continues to make science alive at UMEI. Currently, John coaches the Girls’ Basketball team and the Badminton team. John also recently founded the Agricultural Club at UMEI for those students interested in agriculture and the environment. John and his family are active members of Leamington United Mennonite Church.
Chani Wiens, OCT, holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and her Bachelor of Education in Mathematics from University of Windsor. She also studied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo and was a very active student at Conrad Grebel University College. Chani is always looking for ways to make math fun and relevant for students and enjoys watching students become confident in math. She loves working at UMEI because it allows her to build a strong relationship with students, and the one-on-one attention is crucial to students’ success, specifically in math. Chani, founded the school’s Faith in Action club, and assists in promotional activities. Outside of UMEI, Chani is an active member of Windsor Mennonite Fellowship.
Mallory Schwengsbier, OCT, holds a Concurrent Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Windsor with teachables in Biology and Chemistry. She also holds her Primary Division qualification. A former graduate of UMEI, Mallory encourages students to make the most out of their education both inside the classroom and by participating in school activities. She is dedicated to the academic growth of all students as well as their emotional well-being and enjoys the opportunities to develop positive relationships with students. Her enthusiasm for the UMEI Lightning sports teams is unending and she strives to bring that enthusiasm to the classroom to make learning fun and practical for all students. Mallory is currently the Spectrum Coordinator, organizer for Service Project Days, as well as assistant coach for multiple sports teams. Outside of UMEI, Mallory is an active member of LUMC.
Kristina Tiessen, OCT, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Development Studies and Social Work from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Education from Wilfrid Laurier University. During her time in Waterloo, she resided at Conrad Grebel University College. Before working at UMEI, Kristina spent several years teaching in Waterloo. She loves working at UMEI because of the small classes sizes and the opportunities for one-on-one learning. Kristina is thrilled to work with a dedicated staff at a school that offers a large variety of unique learning opportunities. Kristina is the teacher rep for Student Parliament and Faith in Action club and organizes various events throughout the year such as the Grandparents Tea and the Spin-a-Thon. In her free time, Kristina enjoys yoga, traveling, and cooking. Kristina and her husband attend Leamington United Mennonite Church.
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Grade 11 Religious Studies
An ’08 alumni of UMEI, Wesley Shuttleworth is back after a bachelor of music degree in honours music education from Wilfrid Laurier University, and bachelor of education from the University of Windsor. He has spent his whole life in music groups such as church choirs, church worship bands, recording musician, and other various musical groups. His broad experience in the music world gives him a practical and encompassing approach in the music classroom. Wesley Shuttleworth wants all the students of UMEI to share his love of music and leave everyday knowing the skills and habits learned in the music classroom will help and positively affect all the other areas of their lives- possibly without even knowing it.
Alyssa Epp is a recent graduate of the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Music with a major in Voice and a minor in French Language Studies. Alyssa is passionate about languages and one day hopes to speak fluent German and Italian in addition to English and French. She is an active singer and voice teacher in the community as well as a member of the Soli Deo Gloria singers. Alyssa is a UMEI alumnus and is returning for her first year as a teacher. She is an active member of Leamington United Mennonite Church.
Joel Warkentin, OCT, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English and a Bachelor of Education, both from the University of Manitoba, as well as a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Canadian Mennonite Bible College. After nine year of teaching at UMEI, Joel and his family spent the past two years teaching at the International School of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, West Africa. While his experiences in Burkina Faso were definitely life-altering, Joel is excited to be back with the Lightning. Of all the things Joel missed while teaching overseas, he especially missed the strong Christian atmosphere where students and staff regularly have meaningful discussions and debate on issues while encouraging one another in their faith journey. His extra-curricular duties include assistant coach for both volleyball teams and staff representative on the Board. Outside of school, you can often find Joel happily working in his garden. Joel and his family are active members of Leamington United Mennonite Church.
Kate Wiens – Administrative Assistant
Kate Wiens studied English Literature at the University of Waterloo. A recent grad of UMEI, Kate is excited to be a part of the UMEI family again in her new role as administrative assistant. In her spare time Kate enjoys reading and traveling. Kate and her family attend the Leamington United Mennonite Church.
Gary Warkentin – Custodian, Maintenance