Summit Christian Academy

2780 Clays Mill Road

Lexington, KY 40503

(859) 277-0503

©2019 Summit Christian Academy. All Rights Reserved

Faculty and Staff


Office Staff



Mrs. Rooney is in her 16th year as an educator.  She grew up in Trujillo, Peru, and moved to the U.S. when she was 14 years old.  She, along with her husband and two children, moved to Kentucky in 2018 and love it!  They feel this is where God has placed them.  She graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.  Throughout the years she has obtained certifications in different subject areas including:  Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Early Education, History, and Spanish.  Before having children, she worked as a social worker for her local school system.  She is currently working on obtaining a master's degree in theology.  Last year she had the privilege to be on both sides of education--as a teacher and an administrator.  And she looks forward to serving the students, staff, and God with excellence.  

Guidance Counselor and Art Teacher

Mrs. Holtzclaw has been married to Brad Holtzclaw for over 35 years and has 3 daughters and 2 sons-in-law. Her faith journey began when she was only 5 years old and heard the message of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because of His great love. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and has a degree in Psychology with a Developmental Psychology emphasis. She worked for the state of Kentucky doing children’s social work for 8 years. The value of Christian Education became a passion for her when she and her husband felt burdened to enter their children into a Christian school. She has served Summit Christian Academy for more than 20 years in many capacities, including as a teacher, guidance counselor, and assistant principal.

“I enjoy my students and consider it to be a wonderful blessing and privilege to instill not only a love for Art into them, but to also teach them to love God. He is our creative inspiration and designed us to be creative; we should seek to honor Him through our creativity,” 

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Karen Holtzclaw

Administrative Assistant/Business Manager

Anna Carnevale

Secretary/Athletic Coordinator


Robin Hall

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Preschool Director

Mrs. Sheryl Stice is Preschool Director at Summit Christian Academy. She first began working with young children in the fall of 1998 as a teacher assistant. She fell in love with the children and recognized how important positive early childhood experiences can have in the life and future of a child. It was then she made the decision to further her education in the field of Early Childhood Development. Nearly 20 years later she is still happily engaged in the profession she loves. "It is my privilege to serve our families and mentor our wonderful, committed preschool staff. I am thankful for SCA and blessed to be a part of what the Lord is accomplishing in the lives of children and families here at Summit."

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Sheryl Stice

Preschool Assistant Director and Teacher

Mrs. Kelley Murphy Wheeler is the transitional kindergarten teacher and the SCA Preschool Assistant Director. Mrs. Wheeler was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She has worked in the area of Social Work for many years prior to coming to Summit in March 2011. She believes all children are a gift from God and each one has special gifts and talents. Her love for children and her desire to serve the Lord led her to the teaching profession. "There is no other place on earth like Summit Christian Academy. I feel truly blessed to be part of such an amazing Christian-based school".

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Kelley Wheeler

Pre-K 4's Teacher

Ms. Teresa Drinkard is the Pre-K, 4 year-old teacher. She has been on staff at Summit Christian Academy for 7 years. Her love for working with young children began when she was in high school. She went on to earn her Early Childhood Education degree and has worked as a lead Pre-K teacher for 19 years. Teresa says, " I feel called to be a teacher, to influence and guide children both academically and spiritually. It is my privilege to work at a school where we can teach the little ones to pray and speak from their hearts." Teresa is the mother of two boys and loves to craft, camp and hike. Teresa hopes her students will remember her as a kind and compassionate teacher who loves to get on their level. And she hopes they will all take with them a love for reading the Bible and praying.


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Teresa Drinkard

Pre-K 4's Teacher

Maggie Schroeder

Preschool 3's Teacher

Crystal Ball is one of the preschool teachers at Summit Christian Academy. She has spent many years teaching and coaching young children. This adventure started back in 2001 as an assistant teacher at a local art museum in Huntington, West Virginia. After college, she moved to Lexington, Kentucky, in 2006 and began a career in Graphic Design. She then came back to teaching in 2011 as a lead preschool teacher. She realized her love for children and the desire to see them excel in every aspect of their lives. Recently, she went back to school and completed her early childhood training. " I do not take what I do every day lightly. I believe that every day here at Summit Christian Academy we are impacting young lives in a positive way. As those young lives grow and mature they can go out and be world changers for Christ."

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Crystal Ball

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Elementary School (K-5)


Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Shannon Cox teaches Kindergarten at Summit Christian Academy. She has thoroughly loved teaching in the Christian school environment for 12 years. She graduated from Morehead State University with a Bachelors in Education in 1997. Mrs. Cox is certain a Christian education will prepare students to face issues they may encounter in life as it teaches them to seek God's guidance through His Word. She also believes students will become more successful academically as a result of learning from a Biblical perspective. It is her hope that her students will see the love of Christ in her every day and that they can know Him better as a result. Shannon has been married to her husband, Brad, for 21 years.  They have 3 sons and recently added a daughter-in-law as well.  The family is made complete with their dog named Molly and two turtles, Orlando and Flash. Mrs. Cox says, " One thing I hope my students learn while in my classroom is to know they are loved by me and by our Father in Heaven! I also would like them to learn to live out Colossians 3:23. 'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters'"

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Shannon Cox

First Grade Teacher

Kaitlyn Sipe

Second Grade Teacher

Nora Cardona, second grade teacher, loves working with Summit Christian Academy's elementary students in reading to explore what God wants them to know about Him and who He wants them to be. Nora believes that reading is the gateway to being educated in other subjects and encourages her students to love reading. She began her teaching career in her early 20's as a preschool assistant. She returned to college to earn her teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education to continue in a career in education. Nora earned her B.A. in Physical Education, emphasis Athletic Training, from Whittier College, CA, and her ECE Certificate from Cerritos College, CA. She is currently re-certified in elementary education through ACSI. Nora has been married to her husband, Jehoshaphat, for 22 years and they have two children, Elianna and Elijah. She also has a Pomeranian Chihuahua named Honey. Nora says her favorite part of teaching is witnessing a child's progress in their learning throughout the school year, seeing those "light bulb" moments, but most of all "I have no great joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4 Mrs. Cardona hopes that her students will remember that she loves them in the love of Christ and that she cared deeply about every facet of their education, especially that God should permeate every aspect of their lives and thoughts."


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Nora Cardona

Third Grade Teacher

Stephanie Nickel is a third-grade teacher at Summit Christian Academy. She is in her 19th year of teaching in a Christian School setting, she seeks to present Christ as Savior and Lord of all. Her desire is to impact the world for Christ through the lives she touches in her classroom. Mrs. Nickel received her BA in Elementary Education and her Master of Elementary Education from the University of the Cumberlands. She enjoys gardening and crafts, and her favorite food is Mexican; however she could possibly survive on dark chocolate. She says, "One of the strangest, if not funniest facts about me is that one Christmas I decorated my house with 22 Christmas trees!"  Her immediate family includes her husband of 8 years and 2 meowing fur-babies, Gracie and Cougar.  She hopes her students enjoy learning, grow closer to the Lord, and know that she loves them. “The Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to serve Him as I teach His precious children to see themselves and the world from His perspective. I pray as I love on His children that a ripple effect begins and these same children grow in His wisdom and grace to impact others for His eternal kingdom.”


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Stephanie Nickel

Fourth Grade Teacher

Mrs. Kara Watkins is the fourth grade teacher at Summit Christian Academy. She has been educating hearts and minds in Christian schools for the past nine years. She graduated from Georgetown College in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She also received her Master's degree in 2017 from Georgetown College in Teacher Leadership with an endorsement in literacy. Mrs. Watkins believes teaching in a Christian school prepares the students to be lifelong learners of God's Word and academics. She believes teaching students to search out God's will in their lives is of utmost importance and guides them in this search. Mrs. Watkins is married and has a daughter and baby boy. She loves to cook and really enjoys teaching her preschool aged daughter how to cook.  It's one of their favorite things to do together.  Mrs Watkins says "I pray that upon leaving my classroom the thing they remember the most is that I love them and, even more, I pray they know that God loves them."

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Kara Watkins

Fifth Grade Teacher

Mary Thomas is the fifth grade teacher at Summit.  She attended Asbury University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement. She then continued on to earn her master’s degree from Georgetown in Teacher Leadership with a gifted education endorsement. Mary has worked for The Salvation Army Boy’s and Girl’s Club and in Fayette County Public Schools. Her background also includes teaching music and technology for four years in Georgetown.  Mary is married to Lucas and has three young boys.  She enjoys playing music, traveling, reading, and Bible art journaling.  She is the current World Record holder for the most Bible verses sung in English from memory (using only the reference as a prompt). Her recording of 770 different verses took over 3 hours to complete and surpassed the previous record of 632 form someone in Indonesia!  Her favorite part of teaching is when students smile, laugh and have fun (and don't even realize that they're learning, too!) Mary says, "I hope my students still remember their weekly Bible verses learned in my class when they're adults years from now and that hiding His Word in their hearts would affect how they live their daily lives."

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Mary Thomas

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Middle School (6-8)