Creation School Staff
Jennifer Hook has been involved in the educational field for 35 years, working with toddlers up through teaching college level classes. Being able to share Jesus with children and adults at Creation School is one of her greatest joys. She also enjoys thinking with children (instructional support), thinking about thinking (metacognition), and working with chickens (therapy). She and her husband have 4 children and 2 grandchildren, all living in the Central Time Zone.
Jennifer Hook, Director, Pre-K Team
Lacey Elisea is currently the kindergarten/first grade teacher. She is a Vail native and proud to be able to serve the community that has always been a large part of her life. She has a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Arizona in Communications with a minor in Spanish. She is currently enrolled at Rio Salado College and will be completing her post baccalaureate program in 2020. During her time at Creation, she has taught Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Kinder/1st grade. Her goal is to create an environment where all children feel safe and loved. She sees herself as a life-long learner and love instilling a love for learning in the children she teaches. When she is not teaching, she enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, and spending time with her family.
Meghann Kjolsrud, 1st-3rd Grade
Meghann Kjolsrud spent her childhood in South Dakota where she developed a love for nature and everything outdoors. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Theology in 2002, and worked as a Director of Faith Formation before moving to Vail. She has been living in Vail with her husband and four children for ten years. Since moving here, she has taught preschool, kindergarten and second grade. In 2016, she obtained a M.Ed. with a specialization in Early Childhood. She is passionate about communicating God’s love to her students, and inspiring them to become the best version of themselves.
Samantha Zedric, Kindergarten
I will be a Teacher Aide in the 1st-3rd grade classroom helping Mrs. Kjolsrud. Even though this is my first year at Creation School, I have taught 1st and 2nd grade both in Phoenix and Tucson for 5 years. My husband and I have lived in Tucson since 2015 and enjoy the peacefulness of Corona de Tucson. Our son was born in 2018 and keeps us both busy. He’ll be joining the Early Learners this year! Outside of school, I enjoy doing arts-and-crafts with my son and on my own, swimming, cooking, and hanging out with my family and friends.
Celena Janton, PRE-K 2
Celena Janton is very energetic and loves learning through play. She grew up in Michigan and served in the Air Force which brought her to Arizona where she met her husband, started a family, and homeschooled her four children through elementary school. Celena has a Bachelors of Arts from Northern Arizona University in Early Childhood Education and has written a series of children's books. Her goal in teaching is to instill in her students a love for learning, for God, and for His Creation. When she isn't teaching, Celena enjoys writing historical fiction, watching I Love Lucy, and spending time with family and friends.
Kelsey Nowacki, PRE-K 2
Hi, my name is Kelsey! I am a local girl. I grew up in Sahuarita and have lived in Vail since 2009. Always having a passion for animals I was active in 4H in my childhood and started working in the veterinary field in 2002. However I have taken the last few years to fulfill my dream of becoming a devoted mother. I am blessed to live with my husband, son, 3 dogs, 2 cats and a coop full of chickens. As a family we enjoy exploring the outdoors and gardening. My husband and son love to race RC cars and build complex Lego structures. While I enjoy a good book or hike. I am excited to be a part of the Creation family and expand on this new chapter in my life.
Abbey Unes, PRE-K
Abbey Unes has a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and a Masters in Nursing Administration. She has worked as a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse and a College Professor in the Midwest. She has taught both Undergraduate nursing clinicals and online Graduate level nursing classes. She and her husband have been married for 10 years and have 4 wonderful kiddos, one son and three girls, ages 8 to 2! They relocated from the Midwest to Vail in 2018 and absolutely love it!! Abbey loves exploring the outdoors with her family, chasing her kids around, laughing, baking, and crafting. She is extremely excited to be part of the Creation School team!
Natalie Dowson, Preschool
I am so excited to be one of the preschool teachers at Creation; it truly is a blessing. Watching my students learn and grow is what I enjoy most! Here is a little bit about me: My husband and I have three amazing children, one boy and two girls, ages 2-7, and all have attended or will be attending Creation! I have lived in Tucson all my life and I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Mathematics with an emphasis in Secondary Education in 2011. I taught high school math at Palo Verde High School, here in Tucson, for 5 years before making the transition to stay home with my children. During that time, I owned a small in-home daycare for a few years. Currently, I am enjoying spending more time with my family while I work on courses for my Master's degree in Nursing.
Vanessa Hoang, Early Learners
Vanessa is an Arizona native who loves the desert life. She grew up in Sierra Vista and moved to Tucson in 2002, where she attended the University of Arizona. Vanessa has a B.S. in Retail & Consumer Sciences and a Masters of Management. After getting married in 2011, she and her husband moved to Vail. Prior to having kids, Vanessa worked in retail management for six years. They have two sons and dog. This will be Vanessa's third year teaching the Early Learners Class.
Vanessa Ruiz, Early Learners
Vanessa Ruiz, is an Arizona native who moved to Vail, AZ in 2012. She began her Creation School journey as a parent in 2014. This year will be Vanessa’s fourth year as a Creation School educator. “Creation School has made me a better mother and disciple of Jesus. I love my job and the values and philosophies we are able to share with our community and it’s children.” Vanessa has a B.S. in Environmental Biology. She is a Support Team member of CLV MOPS and finds joy in supporting other moms through that ministry. She lives with her husband and two sons, and enjoys reading, movies, and exploring with her family.
Cassi Sutherland, Specials
Cassi Sutherland is teaching Physical Education and Art for Kindergarten through Third Grade. She grew up in the Midwest riding horses, attending art class, playing volleyball, cheer-leading, and running track. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she earned an Industrial Engineering degree. After graduating college, she moved to Tucson to work for Raytheon Missile Systems for eight years. This is Cassi's second year as a teacher for Creation School. Cassi lives in Vail with her husband and 3 young daughters. For fun, she enjoys playing soccer in the TWSL, league volleyball, archery league, hunting, backpacking, sewing, gardening, and painting.
Prisca Martens, Ph.D, Specials
Prisca Martens taught elementary school for 17 years (pre-k to third grades) before pursuing her Ph.D. in literacy at the University of Arizona. After teaching at Indiana University and Towson University (Maryland), she retired in Arizona. Her research and writing interests focus on children’s reading/writing and supporting children’s literacy development through Storying Studio.
Ray Martens, Ed.D, Specials
Ray Martens was the art teacher for kindergarten to eighth grade students in Phoenix for eight years while getting his Ed.D. in art education at Arizona State University. After being a fine artist for many years, he taught art education courses at Herron Art School (Indiana University) and Towson University (Maryland). He is now retired and living in Arizona. His interests are painting/drawing and using Storying Studio with children to support their literacy development.