Hi, my name is Katherine Spicer. I’m an Arizona native and earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at the University of Arizona. I have over twenty years of teaching experience including private tutoring, children’s ministry, and classroom settings. My journey with WVCS began over eight years ago as a parent volunteer. For four years I observed God’s Word and His Worldview being taught to the children at WVCS. Then, when I was blessed with the opportunity to take the position of Art Teacher I eagerly agreed and stepped into my new role as an official member of the WVCS staff. Now, God has brought together my love for Art and my love for teaching His Word in a way I could have never anticipated. In my class, we focus on the beauty of God’s creation and creating works of art that honor Him. I love helping the children discover how to create art that is Christ-centered. Every day, I look forward to serving God and my students at WVCS.
Hi! My name is Michele Francken, and I was born and raised in Arizona. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies from The University of Arizona, and I have been the librarian at West Valley Christian School since 2014. I have worked in Children’s Ministry for over 20+ years in a variety of capacities. I have a lifetime love of literature, especially children’s books, and I am privileged to be the caretaker of our library here at West Valley. My greatest joy is fitting children and the right books together.
My name is Kelsey Gross, and I was raised in South Dakota where I earned my undergraduate degree in music at South Dakota State University. My husband and I moved to Arizona so that I could earn my Master of Music in Voice Performance at Arizona State University where I am currently working on a doctoral degree. I began teaching at West Valley in 2016 and am grateful to serve in a place that seeks to honor Christ. My favorite thing about teaching is helping my students learn through games and dancing. I love to focus on developing cooperative skills in my students through small and large group activities, and I look forward to sharing my love of music with your child!
P.E. – 4th and 5th Grade
My name is Christopher Ratliff. I was born at Luke Air Force Base but grew up mostly in the state of Georgia. I have a B.A. in English Literature and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education, both from Grand Canyon University. I have been teaching at West Valley for seven years. I became a teacher because I love knowledge and learning, especially as they relate to the great truths of the Christian tradition. As a teacher, it is vital for me that students recognize the hand of God in history and learn to use math, English, or any other subject to serve God. I love teaching at WVCS because we get to make that emphasis.
P.E. – Kindergarten – 3rd Grade
My name is Shelley Smith. I am so excited to be a part of the WVCS team. I earned my degree in Elementary Education from Pacific Christian College and have had the privilege of being a Children’s Minister, Elementary School Teacher, and Substitute Teacher for many different grades. My biggest privilege was raising my three amazing daughters who are now all in college. My passion is living for Christ and making an impact in the world by loving people and making Christ real to them. I love teaching Kindergarten-3rd grader PE. I want them to have fun, make physical activity part of their everyday life, and honor Christ with their bodies.
Spanish Teacher – Kindergarten
Hello! I’m Ruth Arriaga. I was born and raised here in Arizona after my family came from Guatemala many years ago to start a church. I have a huge love for traveling, a fascination with languages, and a deep passion for Jesus and ministry. I graduated from ASU with a BA in English, 2 minors – applied computing; public relations and strategic communications, and a writing certificate in publishing and editing. God has carved a path for me to be at WVCS. From aftercare, to preschool aide/substitute teacher, and now teaching middle school math and literature and kinder Spanish. I know this is where God wants me to be! My wide range of students and subjects keeps me on my toes. Learning from my colleagues and the students themselves has been life changing. I can’t wait to see what more God has planned for this school, my students, and me!
Spanish Teacher – 1st Grade – 5th Grade
My name is Cari Legere. I recognize that your child’s education is a journey and I’m excited about being a part of it. My journey began in Guatemala City where I was born, raised and eventually earned a Bachelor degree in Business Administration. I moved to Arizona in 2005 and joined West Valley’s teaching staff in 2014. I genuinely enjoy sharing my culture with my students. I also enjoy introducing them to the Spanish language, which is so rich and vital since we live in a city where there are so many opportunities to use it every day. Most importantly, I embrace West Valley’s commitment to develop a firm Christian worldview in each of our students and to empower them to realize their God-given potential in the life He’s given them.
My name is Kim Ploeser. I’ve been privileged to be a part of West Valley’s teaching staff since 2015. I earned my Bachelor degree from Arizona State University in Elementary and Special Education. I look forward to the opportunity to partner with you in helping your child learn to use technology in responsible and productive ways. I became a teacher because I love the process of pouring into students. I love helping each one learn to persevere as they grapple with new concepts and push through the frustration that sometimes accompanies this process. One of my favorite moments in teaching is when one of my students “gets it,” and experiences that “ah ha” moment that advances their learning in a significant way. But the best part of the investment I make in my students here at West Valley is helping them grow closer to Jesus. I look forward to partnering with you and helping your children see Jesus in our digital age.