Middle School Staff
Enroll HereGive Here

Mary Pesacreta

Administrative Assistant – Middle School

Mary loves working with middle schoolers because they are so much fun to be around. She enjoys the opportunity to laugh, encourage, bond, and best of all, pray with these precious people. Her love of Cornerstone extends beyond being an employee, both of her children graduated from CCA.

Rondy Thurlow

International Student Program Director

Rondy has been involved with Christian Education for the last 20 years. She grew up in Yacolt, WA and knew from a young age that God had called her to minister to children. She has enjoyed teaching preschool, tutoring students and her administrative assistant duties at the middle school. For the last four years, Rondy has worked with our International Student Program as the host family coordinator and in 2017 took over the position as the program director. She is excited that the program is growing at Cornerstone. “The International Student Program has become such a vital part of Cornerstone’s growth both culturally, physically, and most of all, spiritually and I’m blessed to be a part of it!” Rondy would love to talk with you about the program or the blessing of hosting an international student full or part time. Feel free to call or email her for more information.

Ajai Brown

Middle School English Language Arts

Degrees and Certifications: B.A. – Psychology from Bennett College for Women, M.A – Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University

I’m Ajai Brown and I am proud to call Cornerstone Christian Academy my new home. This is my first year teaching, and I am excited to go on this new journey with all of you. I received my B.A in psychology from Bennett College for Women, and now have a M.A in elementary education from Grand Canyon University. Teaching is definitely a passion of mine. I have always loved helping others learn and grow. This year, my goal is that all my students become lovers of reading, stronger writers, and have a deeper relationship with God. When I am not teaching, I enjoy helping out in our community. I volunteer with children in the foster care system on the weekends, and I am also one of the youth ministry leaders at the church that my father pastors. During my free time, my son Ashton and I love to read, paint, and play Power Rangers.

Darcy Jacquet

Middle School Science and Humanities Teacher

Degrees and Certifications: B.A. – Education; M.A. – Human Services Counseling; M.A. – Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate

Mrs. Jacquet has been working at Cornerstone for 25 years. She loves interacting with students and helping to move them forward in what they love. She sees Middle School students as an adventure. They are at a pivotal time in their life, she finds being a part of that is exciting. She thrives seeing student’s potential and the end result as students come back and share how God is moving in their adult life. Darcy also counsels through A New Life Christian Counseling. This experience enables her to be a more effective teacher. When not at work, she enjoys her husband Dave, son Jonathan, and pug Toby.

April Mehrer

Middle School Social Studies Teacher

I’m excited to join the amazing staff of CCA this year! This will be my sixth year teaching the humanities to 7th and 8th grade students, as well as a leadership elective, and I absolutely love it! Prior to teaching, I served as a youth ministries director to 6th-12th grade students in San Jose, California. At the same time, I also served as the Community Relations & Events Coordinator for 4others, a nonprofit ministry (that was started by 11-17 year olds!) dedicated to collaborating with others in the fight against local and global poverty. So, I hold high standards for my students. Why? Because they are capable of doing amazing things! My primary goals in the classroom are

  1. Students will develop a global mindset, engaging with different perspectives, cultures, and sources, so that they will be effective ambassadors for Christ.
  2. Students will strengthen their written and verbal skills so that they can use their voices to effect positive change in our world.
  3. Students will become leaders among this generation, learning when and how to make a difference.
  4. Finally, I aim for my students to believe that learning is FUN, and feel empowered to discover, create, and share with the world around them.

Random Five:

  1. I have 7 younger sisters (including three amazing foster sisters).
  2. My husband and I moved to Portland, OR two years ago so he could pursue his dream in becoming an architect.
  3. I love trying out extreme sports, which has included rock climbing, spelunking, bungee jumping, and skydiving… but, I’m afraid of Ferris wheels.
  4. Some of my favorites are: turquoise, coffee, used book stores, Oreos, and summer!
  5. Instagram: @april4others


Shaun Palakiko

Middle School Math Teacher

Degrees and Certifications: B.A. – Psychology (Oregon State)

Aloha!  My name is Shaun Palakiko and I am blessed to be joining the amazing team at Cornerstone Christian Academy.  This is truly an answer to prayer. Where is home for me?  This is both a fun and complicated question.  I was born and raised in Hawaii and specifically on the island of Oahu.  There I enjoyed the performing arts such as Marching Band, Concert Glee as well as Hawaiian/Polynesian Dance.  I then went to Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) where I completed my B.A. in Psychology. After that, I began a career in hotel management at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown Washington, D.C.  This is also where I met my beautiful wife of now seven years. After that, we transferred to work at the Hilton Vancouver Washington which became our home for three years. Then we uprooted ourselves to Amman, Jordan for five years where we both served at an international school.  Here is where I discovered my passion for teaching. I taught math for both elementary and middle school aged students. I also have experience teaching English, Science, Social Studies, Bible and even ESL. Teaching has become a calling for me and I am thankful to God for this ministry.  So for me, home is not merely a physical place but rather found in community with God’s people and especially discipling the next generation of Believers. Now that I am back in the Northwest, I am looking forward to enjoying the outdoors by going hiking and playing frisbee golf.  Furthermore, I am hoping to attend live sporting events such as football and basketball. I enjoy studying theology and education.


Annette Gaston

PE Specialist

Degrees and Certifications: A.A. – Skagit Valley Community College; BA – Western Washington University, Master’s – Education (Washington State)

Mrs. Gaston she enjoys watching the students thrive, spiritually, mentally, and physically in any Physical Education and Bible Activity they participate in. She reports that the students are the highlight of her day, and really appreciates the privilege of working in a school where she can use the name of JESUS and share him with all the students she comes in contact with. Outside of work, she enjoys working out, and spending time with her husband and sons, and coaching volleyball, basketball, and track and field. Mrs. Gaston believes that God has truly blessed her to be a part of a school and community where the mission is to partner with parents to teach the truth and love of God’s Word and to inspire students to pursue excellence spiritually, personally, academically, relationally, and physically, while equipping them for spending a lifetime of service to Jesus Christ.

Terri Harder

Resource Teacher

Degrees and Certifications: B.S. – Elementary/Middle Level Education (1-8), B.S. – Cognitive Disabilities (PK-12), 316 Reading Teacher (PK – 12); M.S. – General Education (1-8); B.A. – Theology, ECCU

Mrs. Harder is a retired teacher from Wisconsin, where she was a Reading Specialist for 13 years and a Fourth Grade Teacher for 15 years. She loves teaching children, and enjoys working together with staff, families, and her students, to ensure success and the highest quality education for each of her students. Her goal is to make life-long learners out of each child, through imparting a love of reading.

Mrs. Harder and her husband, Jeff, are empty-nesters, who are a part of a wonderful church family at Faith Center Church. They enjoy serving in any way needed, and have a heart for the recovery community. Mrs. Harder loves people, and her passion is to see people of all ages reach their full potential in Christ. She looks forward to being a part of Cornerstone Christian Academy, and your children’s lives.

Heather Jeans

Art Teacher

Degrees and Certifications: Certificate of Training in Equine-Based Ministries from Canyonview Equestrian College

As far back as Mrs. Jeans can remember, she has loved three things: Jesus, kids and horses. Because she loved horses so much, she began to draw them all the time. Eventually she grew in her creative gifting and began drawing all kinds of things. As she got older, she wanted to capture the amazing beauty of the people she saw around her. Now people are her favorite thing to draw! God used Mrs. Jean’s love for art and horses and especially kids to draw her into ministry at summer camp where she served as program director for several years. Working with children and young adults was her calling so she eventually went to school to use horses as a ministry tool. Mrs. Jeans met and married her husband at this school, and they have a wonderful son. She is proud and excited to bring her gifts to teach at Cornerstone!

Karen Juarez

Music Teacher

Blessed to have been born into a Christian home in Kansas, Mrs. Juarez was raised in Albuquerque, NM, and has lived in Nebraska and Texas. She has sung and played instruments since childhood. She and Jerry, married 41 years, raised 3 boys and followed their 6 grandkids up here last year. A retired music teacher, she’s certified and experienced with preschoolers to adults in several curricular areas. While teaching music on the NM/Mexico border, she organized musical events and developed appreciation for Mexican music (including mariachi and ballet folklorico). Speaks Spanish. She not only helps her church band but sings with Bravo! Vancouver and has begun conducting choirs with Blueprint Arts Ensembles in Portland. She’s looking forward to working with the CCA family.

David Kauffman

7th / 8th Grade Bible Teacher

Darius Movafagian

Technology Instructor / Director of IT

Degrees and Certifications: B.A.- Art/Multimedia California State University Hayward; M.A. – Teaching City University

Mr. Mo has been with Cornerstone since 2003 teaching at all grade levels. He enjoys using his experience and expertise in technology, to engage students and make learning fun. His favorite thing about teaching is helping students find their voice, gifts and the path that God has for them.

Leah Hoff


We promise to provide a safe, nurturing, Christ-centered environment with highly qualified, born-again instructors who will stimulate and inspire the spiritual, academic, and physical development of all our children.

Upcoming Events