Black Hills Christian Academy

Faculty & Staff

Joy Arseneau
BHCA Administrator
Brittany Damberg
Brittany Damberg
Supervisor of Middle/High School

Mrs. Damberg joined the staff at BHCA in 2018. Previous to that time she was the administrator and teacher at Spearfish Classical Christian School (SCCS) since 2008. In 2018, SCCS partnered with BHCA to create a "one vision, 2 campuses" in our community. Mrs. Damberg graduated from Samford University with her BS in Education. She has 15 years' experience in the classroom teaching in both the elementary and high school levels along with five years' experience in administration. At the MS/HS campus, Mrs. Damberg believes critical thinking and personal ownership are essential concepts in skills for a lifetime of success. We can only accomplish this through God's nourishment: "But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

Jody Merchen
Jody Merchen
Office Manager/Bookkeeper @ PS/Elementary Campus

Mrs. Merchen joined the team at BHCA in 2011.  She has a love for serving children and their families.  Her previous fifteen year experience in children's ministry as a volunteer and children's director, along with her business background, will benefit her in her role as office manager.  She looks forward to the new opportunities God has for her as she comes alongside the dedicated staff, the wonderful families, and the amazing children.  She counts it a privilege and joy to be part of the BHCA family!  Col. 3:23, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."

Christina Nauta
Christina Nauta
Ofice Manager @ MS/HS Campus

Mrs. Nauta joined the BHCA office team in the fall of 2018. She graduated from Black Hllls State University with a degree in Accounting. For the past two years Mrs. Nauta was a team teacher for the 2nd and 3rd grades at SCCS. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and serving in the church nursery. She is excited to serve the faculty, students, and families of BHCA. "Whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through HIm." Colossians 3:17

Molly Mailloux
Molly Mailloux
Office Assistant @ PS/Elementary Campus

Mrs. Mailloux started working at BHCA in 2014 as an office aide on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Mrs. Mailloux feels so blessed to be part of BHCA.  "This school has been a huge blessing to our entire family and I'm excited to be working in a positive Christian environment."  "Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

Brenda Karp
Brenda Karp
Preschool Teacher

Mrs. Karp joined the BHCA team in the fall of 2017. She has a degree in Christian Education from OK Wesleyan University. For the past 20 years she and her husband have served in pastoral ministry. Mrs. Karp has been the director of Children's Ministry/music at a local church in Pierre and also worked in the public school system there. "I am very excited to be at BHCA and to work in a place that I can help kids learn and grow into the people God wants them to be." A favorite verse of hers is Philippians 4:6-7a, "Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand..."

Lisa Blanchett
Lisa Blanchett
Preschool Aide

Mrs. Blanchett joined BHCA in 2014.  She has over 20 years of experience as a children's church teacher and has served as Children's Pastor at Dakota Life Center in Newell.  Mrs. Blanchett is very happy to be part of BHCA as an aide, and feels it is a blessing to work with the preschoolers.  "It is wonderful to come to work and be greeted so warmly by the students!  They are so excited to show Mrs. Karp and myself what they are wearing, and tell us all about what they did the night before.  I love to listen to them as they learn their letter sounds, and watch them begin the first steps to reading.  It is awesome to be part of a school that is Christ centered and teaches the Word of God every day!"  Surely, goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  Psalm 23:6

Corin Humbracht
Corin Humbracht
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Humbracht started teaching at BHCA in 2011.  After years of teaching in daycare centers, children's ministry at church, and currently raising her 3 boys and daughter;  she enjoys being a part of the BHCA family.  She loves teaching both academics and Biblical principles to the pre-kindergartners.  A favorite Scripture is "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."  Mark 10:14b

Dixie Varns
Dixie Varns
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Varns joined BHCA in 2018. Prior to that she had taught at SCCS for 2 years, in the public school for 2 years, and in a daycare for a total of 14 years of preschool experience. Mrs. Varns truely believes that her experience has lead her for these last few years of placement in the Christian school. She loves seeing the look on a child's face when they realize they have learned and remembered something new. Mrs. Varns also loves to see the amazing children whom God has placed in her care grow in their faith in God. One of her favoriate Scriptures is from Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."

Beth Kozel
Beth Kozel
Pre-Kindergarten Aide

Mrs. Kozel came to BHCA in 2011.  She studied Elementary Education at Boise State University.  She feels that her job at BHCA is a direct answer to several years of prayer.  "It has been a long wait, but in His timing God provided the perfect place for me to work.  As a mom of two very active kids, I feel very blessed to have a part-time job that works with my family's busy schedule, is in a healthy Christian environment, and also allows me to work with children and a team of quality individuals like the staff at BHCA."

Jamie Groneberg
Jamie Groneberg
Teacher's Aide

Mrs. Groneberg joined BHCA in 2013.  She attended Oklahoma Wesleyan University studying early childhood development.  Mrs. Groneberg worked in a daycare for 3 1/2 years in Buffalo, WY, and later in a Christian Preschool until she had children of her own.  She has two children that attend BHCA and enjoys the convenience of having the same schedule.  Mrs. Groneberg enjoys working in a Christ centered school environment and is excited about being with kindergarten as an aide to the teachers and students.  

Michele Hazledine
Michele Hazledine
1st Grade Teacher

Mrs. Hazledine came to BHCA in the fall of 2018. She graduated in 2017 from BHSU with her BS degree in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Special Education and K-12 Special Education. Previous to BHCA she taught in Early Invervention at Mountain View Elementary in Spearfish. She is also a part of the music ministry at her church for the past 4 years and also teaches Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She has always had a passion for Christ and enjoys working with children. One of her favorite Scripture verses is Psalm 23:1-3, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."

Brittany Robinson
Brittany Robinson
2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Robinson joined BHCA in 2010.  She graduated from Black Hills State University with a degree in Elementary Education and has her South Dakota certification.  Mrs. Robinson also works with elementary children on Sunday mornings at her church.  "I love working and teaching in a Christian school!  This is a place where I can teach on my favorite subjects while keeping Christ at the center.  I am looking forward to blessing each of these children and helping them grow closer to Christ."

Hannah Garza
Hannah Garza
3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Garza started teaching at BHCA in 2016. She graduated from BHSU in May, 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She has always had a heart for working with children and for Christian education. Mrs. Garza feels extremely blessed to be in a Christ-centered school environment and to be able to talk to students about Jesus. One of her favorite verses is Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Gregg Dennison
Gregg Dennison
MS/HS Math Teacher

Mr. Dennison joined BHCA in 2012.  He has a Bachelor's of Science degree from Colorado State University in mathematics.  He has 20 years of experience teaching mathematics at the secondary level as well as 4 years experience teaching English as a second language to adults.  He also holds a Master's of Divinity degree from The Master's Seminary in Los Angeles, California.  "I am so thankful to have the opportunity and privilege of working with students, parents, and staff in a setting such as BHCA that seeks to honor Christ in the pursuit of instilling Christian principles with academic excellence.  May He receive all the glory!"

Linda Johnson
Linda Johnson
MS/HS Science & Language Arts Teacher

Ms. Johnson joined the BHCA team as the middle school science teacher in 2013.  She has been involved with the academy for over 16 years as both her daughters attended from preschool to 8th grade.  Ms. Johnson graduated from BHSU with a BS degree in Education with Middle School emphasis.  She has a teaching certificate in SD and WY & is an ACSI certified teacher.  "I think that the Lord has a purpose for each of us and that we all have a mission to fulfill, sometimes that mission is in our own backyard or home.  My policy in the classroom is, 'My class is a no fail zone'.  I want every child to realize his or her full potential and to help each child realize that they are capable of more than they know.  Children are a gift from God and to teach is a wonderful way to guide a child in the right direction to fulfill that which the Lord has given them.  I am so excited to be at BHCA and be part of His work in their lives."

Laura Odenbach
Laura Odenbach
Art Teacher & S.T.A.R.R. Teacher

Mrs. O. started teaching Art at BHCA in 2015 and S.T.A.R.R. in 2016. She has a BA degree from SD State Univ. She has been teaching art in Spearfish for the last 10 years. She sees God as the first artist and believes that creativity can minister to one's heart. She is excited to teach students the fundamental elements of art, and challenge students through learning traditional drawing and painting techniques. The first five words of the Bible are, "In the beginning God created..." "I feel very blessed to be able to teach creativity through drawing to the students at BHCA. My desire is to equip students with a skill the Lord can use for His glory and to further His kingdom."

Darla Gates
Darla Gates
Extended Care Supervisor

Mrs. Gates started at BHCA in 2018. She was previously the Extended Care Supervisor in Gainsville, TX/

Karen Massey
Karen Massey
Extended Care Helper

Mrs. Massey has been our Extended Care helper since 2014.

Kelsey Sundberg
Kelsey Sundberg
Extended Care Helper

Miss Sundberg joined the BHCA staff as an Extended Care helper in the fall of 2018. She is attending BHSU to earn a degree in Spanish Education. Her hope is to become an elementary school Spanish teacher. Over the past several years, she has gained experience with children through volunteering in her church's nursery, children's church, and vacation Bible school. She loves working with kids and has a desire to point them to God. One of her favorite Bible verses is Psalm 86:11, "Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name."