FACULTY & 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 16 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."
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."
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.
Courtney Thompson, Secondary English
Ms. Thompson's previous teaching experience includes teaching a remedial English course (EN 099) for freshman beginning their college career at Pensacola Christian College and also tutoring students in English for a year at PCC.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in English Education from Pensacola Christian College in 2019 and received her Masters from the same college in May of 2021. This is her first year teaching English at SRCS. Ms. Thompson's theme verse for this year is Psalm 121:2, “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
Melissa Koch, Secondary Mathematics
Miss Koch teaches Secondary Mathematics at SRCS. She has one and half years of teaching experience. She graduated from Pensacola Christian College in 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Math Education and History Education. Miss Koch's life verse is Psalm 121:1-2, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth."
Noah Edmondson, Secondary History
This is Mr. Edmondson's first year teaching at SRCS. He received a Bachelor's Degree in History Education with a minor in Physical Education from Pensacola Christian College and graduated in 2021 with a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. He teaches Middle and High School history classes at SRCS as well as middle school P.E. One of Mr. Edmonson's favorite Bible verses is 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."
Cynthia Cook, Secondary Teacher
Mrs. Cook homeschooled her five children for 12 years through the Abeka curriculum. She began teaching at SRCS in 2017 and has taught different classes ranging from elementary through high school. She graduated from Pensacola Christian College with an Associates Degree in Legal Office Administration. Mrs. Cook's life verse is Luke 1:37, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Karen Barnes, Spanish & Middle School English
Mrs. Barnes has 31 years of experience in education. She has a degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in Agriculture with an emphasis in animal science and Horticulture. She served in the military for ten years. She enjoys teaching Spanish and has taught it for 20 years. She has also taught English, Social Studies, Science, and Reading. Mrs. Barnes loves teaching and truly believes it is a calling from God. Her favorite Bible verses come from Psalms 91 and Ecclesiastics 3:1.
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.
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.
David Dare, Third Grade
Mr. Dare graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Pensacola Christian College. He first began teaching as a sixth grade teaching assistant in a deaf school in Lima, Peru in 2015. He also taught sixth grade for a semester Pensacola Christian Academy. This is his second year at Santa Rosa Christian School in which he moved from middle school Science, Math and Bible classes to teaching one of our third grades. Mr. Dare's favorite verses are found in Psalm 1, verses one through six: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."
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. After teaching 6th grade for 7 years at Santa Rosa Christian School, Mrs. Bates moved to 3rd grade this year. 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."
Kyleen Evans, Second Grade
Mrs. Evans is a second year teacher at SRCS. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with cum laude honors and a Master of Science degree in Education Administration summa cum laude honors from Indiana Baptist College. She has taught various grades and age levels, and 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."
Victoria Steadham, First Grade
This is Mrs. Steadham's first year teaching at Santa Rosa Christian School. She previously taught a Kindergarten Language class while in Texas with her military spouse and had a successful experience with the ELL curriculum. Mrs. Steadham is in the final stages of completing her degree in Elementary Education from Liberty University. John 1:16 is one of her favorite Bible verses, " And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace" which reminds us that God's love for us is grace.
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."
Denise Hafner, Kindergarten
Mrs. Hafner has 26 years of homeschool and Christian school teaching experience. She taught and substituted for two years in North Carolina before moving with her family to Florida. She was a K3 lead teacher at the Santa Rosa Christian Learning Center in 2020 and teaches one of the Kindergarten classes at SRCS. She loves learning and teaching and hopes to pass that love on to her students. Two of Mrs. Hafner's favorite Scripture passages are Philippians 4:8 and Psalm 91:1, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
Chandler Peacher, Kindergarten
Ms. Peacher has three years of teaching experience. This is her first year teaching Kindergarten at Santa Rosa Christian School. Previously, she was a paraprofessional, at Central School and then a teacher assistant for a K4 class at Lead Academy in Pace. The following year she taught a K3 class. Ms. Peacher has an Associates in Arts degree in early childhood education from Pensacola State College. She also holds a Bachelors in Arts degree in interdisciplinary science with informal teaching and learning from University Of West Florida. Her life verse is Philippians 4:13, which states “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me” and helps her each day to remember that strength comes from God.
Debra Smith, Technology & Librarian
Mrs. Debra Smith attended Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri for two years before moving to Florida with her husband. She had the privilege of staying home to raise their two sons who attended Santa Rosa Christian School. Mrs. Smith loved volunteering in the library so much that she began teaching library skills and Elementary Technology. She is also a valuable teachers' assistant. She has been with SRCS for three years. Her favorite scripture verses are Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and 7, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."