Faculty and staff

Dr. Monica Cole-Jackson


Dr. Jackson is a highly accomplished and credentialed educator. She earned her Bachelor’s of Public Administration (BPA) degree from Winona State University, a Master’s in Public Service Management from DePaul University, a Master’s in Educational Administration from California State University, and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from California State University.

She holds teaching certifications for both California and Illinois, and has taught at all levels of education from Kindergarten through the collegiate level. Monica is also a published researcher with articles on Character and Ethics, as well as teacher training and the Benefits of Civility Education. Alongside her teaching, Monica serves as the Director of
Education for Civility Development, Inc., an educational consulting and training firm she launched in 2016
to teach and promote Civility Education.

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Lannaea Alexander
• Middle School Teacher
• Project Administrator

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Mrs. Alexander joins the Deer Creek team with a wealth of experience in private Christian education. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Writing from Oral Roberts University, she returned to Homewood Christian Academy (her alma mater) and spent more than 10 years as a teacher, office administrator, assistant principal, and principal. In addition, Mrs. Alexander serves with her husband—Pastor Keith Alexander—as Director of Student Ministries at Freedom Church in Homewood, Illinois. The Alexanders have three children: Keith Antoine (5th grade), Kai Noelle (4th grade) and Kamden John (Pre-K3). Mrs. Alexander is excited to bring her passion for Christian education to Deer Creek, and she looks forward to building relationships with the Deer Creek family.


Mariah Cole
• Athletic Director
• K–8 PE Teacher

Mr. Gerald Blackmon, Science/Math/Tech Teacher

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Mr. Blackmon brings to Deer Creek a variety of teaching experience, Educational Consultant certification, Professional Development training, Administrative experience, and Academic Advisory skills. He has a B.S. with a specialization in Middle School Language Arts and two Masters—in Administration (University of Alabama) and in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (Walden University). His passion for lifelong learning serves as a model for students and fellow teachers alike. Mr. Blackmon has been in church ministry for 24 years, serving as a Youth Pastor, Bible Teacher, Pastor, Minister of Music, and more. He lives in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife and three children.


Pat Bradley
• Fifth-Grade Teacher

Carol Dooley, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

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Mrs. Dooley loves young children, and she has a warm, caring interaction with them. Her experience in Early Childhood Education enables her to create a positive learning environment where students flourish. And her no-nonsense approach helps promote higher-level thinking skills in children starting at a very early age.

Kasey Esparza-Saxon
Administrative Assistant

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In addition to managing the administrative details that keep Deer Creek running and growing, Mrs. Esparza-Saxon is involved in the Extended Care program at Deer Creek. The Extended Care program is for students who need to arrive at school before classes start, and/or wait at school after classes have ended. Mrs. Esparza-Saxon turns this time into an opportunity to create a safe, nurturing environment where kids can make progress on their homework or simply spend time socializing after the school day.

Dominique Harness, Second-Grade Teacher

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Dominique Harness brings 14 years of varied teaching experience to Deer Creek, and we are excited to welcome her to the Deer Creek family. She has taught first, second, and third grades at Homewood Christian Academy, and she served in a variety of capacities at Beacon Hill Academy. In addition, she has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Technology from DeVry University, so she is well equipped to equip our kids with the wisdom they need in a technology-saturated society. Mrs. Harness has developed a strong passion for lifelong learning, and she considers it her mission to instill the same in her students.

Chloe Harrison, Third-Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Harrison was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2018 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. She is passionate about what she calls “kingdom education”—a diverse educational experience where students are: treated equally, unified in learning, taught with excellence, motivated to do their best, and developing a love for learning. She believes the classroom should be a place of community, collaboration, and genuine discipleship. Mrs. Harrison is excited about Deer Creek because the mission and values of the school align with her heart for education.

Steven Harrison
• Middle School Bible Teacher
• Director of Discipleship

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Mr. Harrison was raised in Monee, Illinois, and is a proud Deer Creek graduate. In 2018 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he majored in Biblical Exposition and minored in Theology. He is a member of The Word Worship Center in Park Forest, Illinois, where he serves as a licensed minister and youth pastor. Mr. Harrison chose teaching because he believes the classroom experience is holistically formative. “Also,” he says, “there is good news to share.” The good news is that students can experience a life-giving, joy-filled union with Jesus Christ now and for eternity. Mr. Harrison wants to mobilize students to participate in the local church and advance the kingdom of God in their living and service. Deer Creek was foundational for him, and he is honored to serve a new group of students.

Patricia Mathews, Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher

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Mrs. Mathews is a veteran teacher who loves God, learning, and children. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she graduated from North Park University with a BA in Organizational Management. Pat began teaching and later obtained her ACSI Teaching License; she has an active plan to obtain her MA in Early Childhood Education. Her teaching experience includes 13 years at Homewood Christian Academy, in Preschool and Kindergarten programs, and as Summer Camp Director and Preschool Director. Pat also serves in church ministry, in school chapel services, and in Musical Theater as a Liturgical Dance Director and Choreographer. She is eager to share her gifts with the Deer Creek community.


Kim-Mosel_320Kim Mosel
Director of Finance

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Mrs. Mosel has a long history with Deer Creek in a variety of roles, including parent of two alumni and treasurer of the Parent Teacher Fellowship. She joined the staff in 2010.


Latonya Lewis, Fourth-Grade Teacher

Laura Warner, First-Grade Teacher


LaTrece Thomas, Director of Pre-Kindergarten

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Mrs. Thomas has been serving in early child development for over 20 years, most of that time as a licensed childcare provider in her own home in Park Forest. While homeschooling her three children, Mrs. Thomas earned her BA in Early Childhood Administration, minoring in Entrepreneurship. She went on to earn a Masters in Education with a focus in Family and Community Services, and teaching as a profession naturally fell into place.

Amber Trethewey, Director of Support Services

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Mrs. Trethewey’s 10 years of teaching experience and her passion for helping kids meet their God-given potential have equipped her for Support Services at Deer Creek. In this new role, Amber will connect with each student, parent, and staff member this year, helping to develop our budding Support Services program. Mrs. Trethewey and her husband Rick live in Homewood, Illinois.


Charise Friesen
Kindergarten Lead Teacher



Julie Wroughton, History and Math Teacher

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Mrs. Wroughton first came to Deer Creek as our part-time librarian in 1995. In 2005, she added teaching middle school math to her responsibilities. From 2010–2014, she served as our principal. Today, she works Deer Creek’s Middle School History Teacher. She has enjoyed being part of the Deer Creek family for many years as a parent as well, and her two sons are Deer Creek alumni.