Upper Columbia Academy has been blessed with devoted teachers since it opened in 1945. This year, one out of three teachers have dedicated ten or more years to the school. "I can't imagine working anyplace else," says one staff member.
Rounding out this year’s team are some familiar faces. Kelly Santee is returning to campus as the food service director. Santee has served in the UCA cafeteria before, having worked there as a student in the 1980s and later as the assistant director. Now, after running his own business for several years, he’s taking the helm and will be assisted by Donna Katsma.
“I’m excited to be back home, working with the kids and being part of a dynamite staff,” says Santee. “I’m happy to play any part in the bigger picture God is working on here at UCA.”
While Santee and his team focus on feeding the students, Kellie Humbert wants to feed their minds. Having spent the 2006–2007 school year on campus, Humbert is making her return to UCA, teaching Spanish and English. Her husband, Jefre, teaches in the math department. “We’re excited to be back,” says Humbert, “and look forward to a great year.”
Several taskforce workers complete the staffing picture: Shanin (Olsen) Gillen, driver; Nick Gillen, maintenance and Jessy Person, taskforce men’s dean.
"As we welcome our new staff for the 2009–2010 school year, it feels good to know so many of our staff continue to return," says Troy Patzer, UCA principal. "They're dedicated to making UCA the kind of school we're known to be."