Hear from the Head
A Message from our Head of School
Thank you for exploring what God is doing through Flushing Christian School. Since 1950, He has used this small lighthouse to pour into the rising generations with Gospel truth, strengthening faith and forming minds to last a lifetime. Please let me or my staff know how we as Christian educators can best serve you.
Faculty and Staff
- Chantal Nelson
- Angelica Jean-Pierre
- Jessica Marrero Fiore
- Maggie Oselmo
- Elisa Zou
- Shaunette Pitman
- Melissa Combs
- Lucy Calma
- Judy Lee
- Debbie Boodram
- Katelynn Martinez
- Lynn Emerson
- Vladimir Vallejo
- Dustin Penland
- Maryann Feld
- Lorena Salas
- Rebecca Sager
- Rosemarie Rodriguez
- Janet Garcia
- Roberta Peña
- Sarah Han
- Andrew Snavely
- Mary Lok
- Nimisha Baball
- Sandra Payne
Ms. Nelson joined the FCS faculty in 2012 as a middle school science and 5th grade classroom teacher. She then transitioned to a position as Assistant Head of School in 2020 before assuming responsibilities as the Head of School in 2021. For her, the best part of school is undoubtedly spending time with the children. She also loves spending time with her four zany older siblings as much as possible.
Mrs. Jean-Pierre (affectionally called “Mrs. JP”) has served as our Spanish and Technology teacher from 2014 to spring 2021. Already a master teacher, she naturally transitioned into a support role as the Assistant Head of School in fall 2021. When not serving at school or with New Life Fellowship's youth ministry, she is likely playing cutthroat dominoes with her husband and two kids for keeps.
Mrs. Jessica Fiore joined the school in fall of 2020 with both a recently earned master's degree and also 6 years experience as a teacher's assistant. Whether helping children explore God's creation with hands-on activities or pushing them to overcome challenges, Mrs. Fiore clearly lives out her calling. She was married just this past November - congratulations!
Since fall 2021, Mrs. Elisa Zou has led the first grade classroom. Originally from Washington State, she enjoys sightseeing with Jiuen, her husband and welcomed daughter Jada in the fall of 2022. Prior to joining FCS, Mrs. Zou had four years' experience educating young children. She actively serves with Blueprint Ministries.
Ms. Melissa Combs comes with several years’ experience working with young children. She has already interacted with our school when they visited McGoldrick Library, her former employer. Ms. Combs will be assisting the first grade. If she is not hiking with her family, she is likely playing ultimate frisbee barefoot!
Ms. Debbie Boodram joined the FCS faculty in the fall of 2020 and has lived in the classroom in Trinidad and here in Queens for over 20 years. She is actively involved with her family in a local church ministry. Since she loves rearranging her house, her students should be prepared for interior design changes in their classrooms!
Mrs. Katelynn Martinez and her family moved to Queens in the fall of 2021 with a burden for the rising generation. While her husband Juan pours himself into the minstry of NextGenNow, their new ministry, she pours herself into the 5th grade class and her own children. We are grateful for the experience she brings to our school and for the excellence she models for her students.
Beginning in the fall of 2021, Mrs. Lynn Emerson hails from Northern Ireland (though she doesn’t like potatoes), bringing a lovely accent and a wealth of knowledge about English. She leads the 6th grade homeroom and teaches middle school ELA, offering fresh perspectives from her culture. She finds her greatest joys in seeing students grow more successful.
Arriving in fall 2022, Mr. Vallejo brings a variety of talents to our school. Besides serving as 7th grade homeroom and middle school social studies teacher, he also teaches our music electives and leads chapel worship. His relaxed personality and high expectations make him a perfect fit for the middle school classroom.
"My best job title is ‘Mr. Fill-in-the-blank’,” says Mr. Penland. Having fourteen years of teaching, he knows both kids and science. Beyond that, his servant's heart and willingness to help prompt him to fill in wherever needed. After time with his wife and helping with his kids' extracurricular activities (Jiu-jitsu, football), what else does he enjoy? "I count… ceiling tiles, floor tiles, almost anything." We are blessed to count on Mr. Penland (“Mr. Fill-in-the-Blank”) here at FCS since fall of 2019.
As memorable as her math lessons are, Mrs. Feld is probably best known for modeling the gentleness of God. She has been teaching at FCS for decades, sandwiched around a hiatus of a few years. God has used her gracious wisdom to pour into students as our middle school math teacher. "But I don't teach math," she says. "I teach children using the tools of math." She certainly teaches more than math.
Mrs. Salas joined the FCS team in the fall of 2021 after teaching in the public school classroom for 14 years. As a deep thinker and avid blogger, she is thrilled to finally teach in a Christian environment. She grew up in Ecuador, and she brings her rich cultural background into the Spanish classroom.
Mrs. Sager leads our music and art classes and spearheads our seasonal concerts. Beginning in 2007, she has served as both a kindergarten teacher and our music/art teacher. She and her husband (the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Franklin Square) have been blessed with four children and a growing number of grandchildren. If she is not actively involved in church, school, or family activities, she can be found relaxing along the south shore of Long Island.
"She is the hardest worker you'll ever meet," says a good friend. And since she joined the FCS family in 2019, Mrs. Peña definitely lives up to her reputation. She not only wears several hats at FCS but also serves with her husband as a children's pastor and can teach Zumba Kids. With an eye for excellence in design and classical training in professional voice, Mrs. Peña efficiently fills her multiple roles. We have the coolest Hawaiian teacher in New York!
Since 2018, Mrs. Han has offered counseling services to students and delights in helping to raise the next generation of kingdom warriors. She also serves as our school's business manager. When not actively working for school, she finds joy painting, cheering for the Mets and (most importantly) squeezing the joy out of life with her husband and children.
Mr. Snavely had been responsible for teaching middle school English beginning in 2014. Recently, he shifted toward a new role as development coordinator, spearheading the school's communication and networking efforts. He also serves as the assistant pastor at Grace Baptist Church of Forest Hills. He and his wife have four children, three rascally boys and one joy-inducing daughter.
Board of Trustees
Alfredo Thomas Fredericks is a born and bred New Yorker. He is the product of
private Christian elementary and high schools. He has both Bachelor of Science
and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from The City College School of
Architecture, and he is licensed to practice Architecture in the State of New York.
He retired from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2014.
Alfredo has completed the Bible and Theology curriculum at the New York School
of the Bible. He is a member of First Baptist Church of Flushing. Alfredo is married
and has three adult daughters.
Pastor Michael was born in London, England of Barbadian and Trinidadian parents and is a citizen of three countries (Barbados, England and USA). Personally, he is committed to equipping Christians to live out their faith vibrantly in contemporary cross cultural church communities (Ephesians 2:10,14-18).
He became the lead English pastor of Chinese Evangel Mission Church of Queens in March 2018 after serving for 10 years as pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Cambria Heights. More importantly, he attended and served with FBCF for seven years and continues to maintain close ties with FBCF members and leadership including living with his cousin. He is also the former Dean of New York School of the Bible, former New York Center Director for Bethel Seminary of the East and is currently the Vice President of the Trustee board of Flushing hristian School in Queens.
Pastor Mike graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 1990 with a BBA in Accounting and Bethel University & Seminary of the East in 2007 with a Master of Divinity. He began orking on his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership in 2016 at Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona but is on leave from studies at this time.
He has been happily married to Mirna Sambula- Herbert, LMSW since 2016 and is the proud father of Rebecca Herbert, 29 and Jeremy Herbert, 23. Pastor Mike and Mirna are expecting God’s gift of their first child together in November 2022.
Anli grew up in a Christian home in Kyoto Japan to Taiwanese parents. Her family immigrated to NY when she was 8.5 years old. She grew up attending public schools. She earned her B.A., and an M. A. in Linguistics and Social Sciences and Education specializing in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
Throughout her life, she has attended several churches and First Baptist Church of Flushing is current home church where she met her husband who is an ordained pastor.
She came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior in a gradual process. She has learned to serve in different capacities, such as leading Bible studies, teaching Sunday school, discipling nd mentoring others.
The majority of her teaching career was spent in a middle school in Queens, as an ESL teacher/coordinator. She has also taught at Grace Christian Academy for a couple of years, and tutors personally.
In terms of ministry, she is currently involved in co-directing the Summer Day Camp, coordinator/advisor of yearbook, co-facilitator of GriefShare Ministry, volunteering for Pastoral Counseling Center, and a Board member at Flushing Christian School, serving as a secretary. She continues to disciple and mentor younger women as well.
Alexandra Potes (Sasha) was born into a working Christian family of four in the former Soviet Union. She was baptized at a young age, attended a local church and became part of the professional choir, which travelled locally and abroad in Europe singing Christian chorales. God blessed her with a talent of learning different languages (English, German, Italian, and French) and she continued developing her gift through State University education earning double major - one in Translation and one in Economics. It is then when for the first time she attended a non-denominational Christian service in the basement of an apartment building, where a fellow musician from the school band invited her to pray and hear the Word. It was full of friendly young people and pastor was not afraid to be funny and discuss the Word of God with them not only as a wisdom from God, but also as an actionable life instruction manual.
In 2005 she participated in an international exchange program, which for the first time brought her to MA, USA on J1 visa. The Spirit of the Lord protected her as she was exposed to different people and experiences being away from home. Upon graduating with the Masters (with honors), she secured her first internship at GE in Shelton, CT, which turned into a longer term assignment and so she moved to the US. After a couple of years of acclimation, learning, volunteering and looking for church home, she became a part of a small non-denominational Christian church in Bridgeport, CT, where she soon was ordained as a minister and became a worship leader.
God moved again in her life when she received a job offer from Citibank in Manhattan, NY, where she just celebrated 11 years of service as Senior Business Risk Manager and Vice President. Sasha is a certified compliance specialist. She is happily married to Rafael Alejandro Potes since 2016 with two beautiful daughters - Valentina (4) and Natalia (1). Since 2019, the Potes family has returned to the First Baptist Church of Flushing (FBCF) membership again - after having served there since early 90’s till approximately 2005. Sasha serves at FBCF in both English and Spanish congregations as a teacher and as a worship leader.
Though there are no immediate openings, we will gladly keep your resume on file. Kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org.