Elle Straley & Family
Mrs. Elle Straley is a beloved Wilmington Christian School high school teacher who now, even in her “retirement” from teaching, is a familiar presence on campus as she eagerly steps in to substitute teach. Her passion for helping students who learn differently succeed academically led to her helping create the WCS Learning Support Program in 1998—a program which has helped countless students over the past few decades enjoy academic success both at WCS and at the university level.
Mrs. Straley affirms “I really like teenagers and I love so many things about WCS! As a parent of a former WCS student, I loved that my own child was personally known and loved by her teachers. I loved the support I received from the administration and the freedom to create new programs and courses over the years. I loved getting to know my students and their families.” An English teacher, Mrs. Straley shares that is passionate about being able to teach all genres of literature from a Christian worldview as she helps students develop strong communication skills.
What would she tell families who are considering Wilmington Christian School? “As a WCS student, you will experience being part of a big family. The Headmaster, Principals, and your teachers will be friendly, welcoming you into their offices to ask questions or voice concerns. The classes will be taught by highly trained professionals in academics, athletics, and the arts. You will have many opportunities to explore new things and take part in many electives. As a WCS student, you can develop close friendships that will last a lifetime. You can expect to be respected and valued by everyone there. You can expect that you will be prepared to be successful for the next chapter of your life. As an alumnus, you can expect to be welcomed back to WCS anytime!”
Wilmington Christian School is proud of teachers like Elle Straley who pour into the lives of their students every day, and who, even in retirement, step in to assist wherever needed.
The Ingram Family
Mike and Annie Ingram have a rich history with Wilmington Christian School. Annie is a WCS alumna; her mother Jami Stephens taught social studies at WCS for many years; Mike is a current faculty member and Director of Operations; and their two daughters are elementary students.
Mike and Annie enthuse that “every staff member at WCS is committed to helping our girls thrive. They receive positive reinforcement and guidance in how to learn and grow into the godly young women that they are and will be. It is the greatest blessing a school could give a Christian parent.” Their enthusiastic advice for families who may be considering applying to Wilmington Christian School is simple and to the point, “DO IT!!! You will never regret it!”
The Francis Family
Jude and Merina Francis, parents of two elementary students, share that they had been looking for a school that not only would help their children excel academically, but that would also carefully nurture the atmosphere of faith inherent in their home. "At Wilmington Christian School we found the perfect place for us!"
Merina enthuses that "the atmosphere at WCS is genuinely filled with love, prayer, and encouragement. All of the faculty and staff are truly dedicated to seeing children grow up into their God-given destinies." She states that based upon her family's experiences, the curriculum followed by WCS is second to none, and adds, "Christ-likeness demonstrated by teachers and staff is a huge example for my kids to follow." When asked if she had any advice for other families who may be considering Wilmington Christian School, Merina affirmed that when it comes to tuition, "God will provide;" she encourages Christian families to take the first step and "go for it."
The Aulick Family
Brad and Lesley Aulick chose Wilmington Christian School when they moved to Delaware and began looking for a faith-centered education for their sons. They affirm that WCS has been the perfect environment for the boys to thrive academically while having ample opportunities for individualized interaction with faculty through small class sizes. "Our experience has been that teachers come alongside students in a way that helps them grow in all facets--including academically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially--by being examples themselves of showing grace and speaking truth in love."
"If faith-based education is a priority to you like it is to us, then you should absolutely check out WCS. We feel like we have a partner in WCS based on what is important to our family; our school is right there!"
Celinda Conteh, English teacher
“It has been clear that God wants me here.” The eyes of Celinda Conteh sparkle as she enthuses “It was through the Lord’s guidance that the doors opened for me to teach at WCS.” Upper School English teacher since 2008, Mrs. Conteh loves helping students hone their communication through writing, but she is even more passionate about speaking and writing life into people through the use of God's word.
“I have been blessed professionally and spiritually at Wilmington Christian School. Although we are not perfect, I love that it is evident that Christ is here.” She affirms that WCS students are able to become well-rounded, immersed in a biblical worldview while having opportunities to grow their faith and influence others. She has seen first-hand the impact that a WCS can have in the lives of its students as she and her husband are the parents of two WCS graduates.
Kelly (Kornack '79) Marcus, WCS alumna
In high school biology labs at Wilmington Christian School, Kelly (Kornack ’79) Marcus dreamed of becoming a registered nurse. Now as a wife, mother of two adult children, and grandmother to four, Kelly reflects on the influence of WCS on her life.
“The small class sizes promoted rich interaction and investment in our lives by faculty. This definitely gave me a good sense of self.” She continues that WCS instilled a confidence in her that as long as she maintains a close relationship with God, “everything else will fall into place.” Kelly fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming an RN, and has worked as a nurse continuously for more than three decades (except for a 3-month COVID furlough).
Kelly and her husband Marty are active in their church, working together in the areas of premarital counseling, parenting, and young adult ministries. Kelly also continues to be involved in hospitality and worship music. The heritage of Christian education is strong; Kelly’s mother, Wilma Kornack, taught elementary school at WCS for many years, and her three siblings all attended WCS, too. Together with her husband she has a passion for rehabbing houses, today living in the rehabbed home in which she grew up.
WCS is proud of graduates like Kelly who are Godly influencers, having a positive and restorative impact on the culture. Her Christ-like character and vocational proficiency have allowed her to develop meaningful relationships with others as she continues to impact the culture for Christ.
Martha Barrier, visual arts teacher
New Wilmington Christian School faculty member Martha Barrier says, "I've been most impressed with the sweet school spirit at WCS. I love working in a Christian environment where students, parents, and co-workers understand the grace of God!"
Martha shared that she was reminded of a scene from "Beauty and the Beast" where the Beast takes Belle into his library and she twirls around amazed at all the books available for her to read. "I had the same feeling when I walked into the Art Café for the first time--grinning from ear to ear about all the wonderful projects that are laying on the shelves yet to be discovered. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be creative with the students and to dream of projects that we can make together. I love it when students try something new that they think is impossible to do and see that it wasn't too difficult after all."
Martha is involved in women's ministry at Grace Church in Newark, where her husband Greg is the pastor. Their youngest daughter is a junior at WCS.
The Kibler Family
When Dave and Brenda Kibler toured Wilmington Christian School last summer they knew right away that WCS offered something different. Now one month into the school year, Brenda enthuses, “Our kids look forward to going to school! They are learning Bible verses, worship songs, and hearing stories about Jesus--which in turn is making them ask more questions about God at home. They have made friends that believe the same things they do and have learned that respecting and loving their friends pleases God.”
We asked Dave and Brenda what their children receive at Wilmington Christian School that they would not get somewhere else. “Our kids are fully-immersed in the truths of the Bible in all their subjects and throughout their day. Not only do the teachers care about our children's education, but most importantly they care about their spiritual growth as well.”
The Kiblers share advice with families who are considering Wilmington Christian School. “Don't hesitate, just do it! This was the best decision we ever made. We realized that by making sacrifices and prioritizing our children's spiritual growth in their education, this will impact who they become in the future.”