Matthew Heckel has been teaching at Heritage since 2001. Dr. Heckel enjoys the opportunity to equip students’ minds and hearts with the knowledge of God and His word. He enjoys the classical approach to education because it encourages deep reading of texts that open God’s word to us. In fact, his greatest satisfaction comes from seeing his own children and students serve the Lord. In addition to teaching at Heritage for nearly two decades, Dr. Heckel has been teaching at Missouri Baptist University since 2006. Dr. Heckel earned his bachelor's degree in christian ministries from Southwest Baptist University, master’s of divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. in historical theology from Concordia Seminary. When not teaching, you might find him reading, fishing, golfing, shooting hoops, or listening to Christian rock music. Fun fact: in his younger days, Dr. Heckel was a radio DJ for a Saturday night Christian rock show.
Larry Birchler started teaching at Heritage in 2016, but has been teaching since 1965. In that time he has taught in three different Christian schools and also taught college courses. Mr. Birchler earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in Bible from Covenant College, and a master’s degree in education from Whitworth University. Mr. Birchler is also an accomplished cartoonist -- he earned a certificate in cartooning and has published two Christian comic books. When not in the classroom, he enjoys collecting memorabilia from old western, superhero, and science fiction television programs. Fun fact: Mr. Birchler has taught high school and adult Sunday school classes for over 50 years.
Lauren Garber started teaching at Heritage in 2018, but she brings 14 years of prior teaching experience. Mrs. Garber has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in environmental engineering, both from University of Missouri - Columbia. Mrs. Garber enjoys “helping students understand subjects that they might have found challenging and then seeing them grab hold of a principle and develop interests, understanding, and a passion for the world around them.” She enjoys the classical education model because it takes an inquisitive approach to learning. Fun fact: Mrs. Garber has two golden doodles named Zeus and Iris -- how classical is that? When not teaching she enjoys, backpacking, pottery, and music.
James taught Latin and history for two years at Jonathan Edwards Classical Academy in Nashville, TN. Before that he graduated from Franklin Classical School and then went on to graduate from New College Franklin in the honors program. He is currently a counseling student at Covenant Theological Seminary. James brings a wealth of experience in classical Christian education to Heritage.
Liz Hobbs has been at Heritage since 2000. She enjoys the classical approach to education because it acknowledges critical stages in a student’s life that make learning more effective. Mrs. Hobbs sees a love of learning as essential to effective teaching and enjoys the challenge of developing curriculum: figuring out fresh and creative ways to teach a concept. In fact, as a Heritage teacher, she feels she is doing what she was created for. Mrs. Hobbs earned a bachelor's degree in speech pathology and audiology and a master’s degree in audiology both from Ball State University and a master’s degree in vocal music pedagogy from Lindenwood University. She finds her strength in the Word of God, and enjoys spending time studying the scriptures in her sunroom. Her other interests include biking, traveling, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Bethany Hockenbury first started teaching at Heritage in 2004. On any given day, Mrs. Hockenbury can be found teaching literature, writing, and history classes or setting up some fantastical theater adventure for the school to enjoy during our annual Shakespeare In A Week. Mrs. Hockenbury directs and produces this school-wide theater project where students build all the sets, produce the costumes, apply the make-up, and learn all the lines necessary to do William Shakespeare justice on stage -- in one week! She is fascinated by “The Great Conversation,” which is the process of listening and learning from our predecessors and then joining them in adding truth and beauty to the world around us. At Heritage, the Great Conversation is a daily pursuit, as we study our way from creation to the present. Mrs. Hockenbury holds a Masters in English Literature from the University of Missouri. She also taught English and writing classes for Missouri Baptist University. While she adores spending time talking about great books with her students, there are also days that Mrs. Hockenbury dreams of being a hot air balloon pilot in Australia.
Carmen Kramer has been teaching at Heritage since 2015. While she is relatively new at Heritage, she has plenty of teaching experience – she taught in Children’s ministry for 14 years and she homeschooled her own children for eight years while also teaching in a homeschool co-op. She loves interacting with the students and introducing them to new ideas and skills. Mrs. Kramer earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology. When not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, and her very large dog Willy. Fun fact: Mrs. Kramer is an eighth generation Missourian, her family settled in Missouri in the early 1820's!
Lizzy Schott has been at Heritage since 2007. She brings a wealth of practical experience to the classroom by drawing from her previous work experience as a registered nurse, instructor, and motivational speaker. Lizzy enjoys classical Christian education because it gives students the tools they need to critically think about a topic and see how it fits with the Christian worldview. She enjoys teaching science, specifically, because it enables students to see evidence of God in what He has created. She gets excited when students have an "AH-HA" moment. Mrs. Schott earned her associates degree in nursing (ADN) from Maryville University, and a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Concordia University. Fun fact: Mrs. Schott lived in Saudi Arabia for three years, and has enjoyed doing missions work in Haiti and Alaska. When not teaching, she enjoys helping people and spending time with her family and her dog Oreo.
Dr. Schulten is an accomplished professor on the college level, an author with many published works, has international teaching and missions experience, and is a grandfather. He began his career at a Christian high school much like Heritage and went on to teach at Missouri Baptist University, Fontbonne University, and Handong Global University. He is passionate to spread God's truth through teaching and living the gospel before students. He will be teaching Western Civilization II, Old Testament, New Testament, and an elective we are so thrilled to offer on politics and Christianity.
Dr. Spuhl is a native Spanish speaker and taught Spanish for twenty-five years at the high school level. She served as chair of the Foreign Language Department at Parkway South Junior for eleven years. Dr. Spuhl loves to travel and has sponsored student travel programs to Mexico and Spain. She is an avid reader and loves teaching students.
Ms. Watson is passionate about Jesus, students, education, and families. She loves to incorporate sports into the lives of kids to encourage the development of their minds, bodies and spirits. She believes sports and teams give students the opportunities to grow and challenge themselves in new ways as teachers and coaches lead them to press on to their Higher calling in Christ Jesus.
She has a teaching background (32 years at Hazelwood West High School teaching Social Studies) and coaching background, coaching cheer as head coach for Hazelwood West (18 years) and Parkway West (10 years) while teaching. She loves building into the lives of students and is energized by them.
Kathy has been a parent at Heritage since 2012 and the Office Manager for two years. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Wheaton College and spent six years teaching sixth graders before staying home with her children. She has lead Bible studies, and been a school librarian. She has lived all over the country, coast to coast, but loves life in St. Louis. She has two college aged kids and a senior at Heritage this year. She loves sitting by the fire with the dog and spending time with family. She considers it a privilege to share Heritage with new families and and to share her experiences here as a parent.