MEET OUR STAFF
Rev. Tod Brainard, Pastor and President
Pastor Tod Brainard came back to Santa Rosa Christian School in 1987 as teacher after attending and graduating from SRCS in 1982. He has 33 years of teaching and administrative experience in Christian Education, including Music, Bible and History Classes on the elementary and secondary levels. He currently holds an AACS Professional Teaching Certificate in Bible and Music Instruction. In addition to his duties at SRCS, Pastor Brainard serves as President of the Sunshine State Association of Christian Schools, Inc. of Florida and serves on the National Board of Directors of the American Association of Christian Schools, Inc. Pastor Brainard attended Santa Rosa Christian College for two years and then graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Sacred Music with a Bible minor. He also holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. He enjoys his pastoral ministry at Grace Bible Church, working in his yard, fishing, reading, and spending time with his family. His favorite verse of Scripture is Philippians 3:10: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”
Dr. Watt serves as Administrator of SRCS and Assistant Pastor of Grace Bible Church. He has 15 years of teaching experience, and has taught a variety of secondary courses including Bible, the Sciences, History, English/Literature, higher Maths, and Spanish. Dr. Watt also leads the accreditation process at Santa Rosa Christian and has served on several accreditation teams for the American Association of Christian Schools. His degrees include Bachelor of Theology from Foundations Theological Seminary, Master of Theological Studies from Louisiana Theological Seminary, Education Specialist in Education Leadership from Pensacola Christian College and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Pensacola Christian College. He holds a Lifetime Teaching Certificate in Bible and Administration. Dr. Watt enjoys spending time with his four boys, playing basketball, and participating in mission work when possible. His favorite verse is Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Mrs. Peppard came to SRCS as a fourth grade student in 1962 and was a member of the first graduating class in 1971. She has 43 years of teaching and administrative experience. After graduating from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (1975), Mrs. Peppard earned a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from Pensacola Christian College in 2007. She also holds an AACS Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education. In addition to serving as the school registrar, Mrs. Peppard also teaches a variety of Academy classes. She has three children and six grandchildren. Her favorite verse of Scripture is Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Mrs. Devin Brainard, Secondary Social Studies
Mrs. Brainard teaches Secondary History at SRCS. She has four years of teaching experience and received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of West Florida with a Minor in Professional Education. She holds an AACS Teaching Certificate in History. As an alumni of Santa Rosa Christian, Devin has enjoyed returning to teach in the Academy. Her favorite verse of Scripture is Psalm 68:19: "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation."
Mrs. Denise Jernigan, Middle School & High School
Mrs. Jernigan has eight years teaching experience. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in English at Liberty University. She has four children and one granddaughter. She is teaching 7th and 8th grade Math, 6th grade Bible and Language Arts, and 10th grade Intensive Writing. Her favorite Scripture verse is Psalm 143:8, "Cause me to hear thy lovingkindess in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Miss Melissa Koch
Ms. Ashley Ditmore, Fifth Grade
After homeschooling her own children for several years, Ms. Ditmore is a third year teacher at SRCS. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Elementary Education. She is involved in her local church and enjoys helping in the ladies' Sunday School class as well as children's class. Two of her favorite Bible verses are Exodus 14:14 and Jeremiah 29:11.
Mrs. Victoria Bennett, Fourth Grade and Music
Mrs. Bennett received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Pensacola Christian College with a minor in vocal performance. She completed a half-year internship at Pensacola Christian Academy and holds an AACS Professional Certification in Elementary Education. Mrs. Bennett teaches Fourth Grade at SRCS and has three years of teaching experience. Her favorite verse is I Corinthians 9:19: "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." Her goal is to put aside selfishness and serve others while demonstrating Christ through her life.
Mrs. Melinda Bates, Third Grade
Mrs. Bates has been an elementary teacher for over 24 years with experience in many states due to being member of a military family. This will be her seventh year teaching 6th Grade at Santa Rosa Christian School. She graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Southeastern University with Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (Magna Cum Laude). Two of her favorite verses of Scripture are Philippians 3:13-14 and Isaiah 40:31. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Mrs. Kyleen Evans, Second Grade
Mrs. Evans is a second year teacher at SRCS. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Science degree in Education Administration. She has taught various grades and age levels, and has homeschooled her children for five years in Connecticut and Indiana. Her favorite verse is I Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you."
Mrs. Jennifer Gordon, First Grade
Mrs. Gordon began teaching kindergarten in 1999 in South Dakota. She has teaching experience in many states due to being a military spouse. Mrs. Gordon has taught in public, private and home-school settings. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Black Hills State University, Suma Cum Laude and current teaching certificates in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Florida. She was a missionary in both Africa and Australia and grew up serving Christ with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Her favorite verses are Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.
Mrs. Denise Hafner, K5
Mrs. Melissa Ellis, Substitute teacher
Mrs. Ellis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. She taught Kindergarten and second grade for eight years in New Mexico then second grade at Canon Christian Academy before homeschooling her own children. She has a heart for Christian education and her favorite verse is Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."