Sarah Northup, the Founder and Academic Administrator of Firm Foundations Academy, received her B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Rhode Island College. She has additional certifications as an Educational Therapist with the National Institute of Learning Development, and The Institute for the Enhancement of Learning Potential. She has teaching experience in both private and independent schools as well as teaching in a co-op setting. She is passionate about classical education and teaching struggling learners. Originally from Rhode Island, Sarah and her husband Jon have lived in Lancaster for 18 years and have raised their four children here. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, gardening, reading, and learning about learning! She has been excited to see Firm Foundations Academy grow and is awed at the work of God’s hand through the process!
Cynthia (Cindy) Schulz received a BS in Computer Science with a Minor in Mathematics from University of Delaware. Cindy will be teaching Science and Mathematics. After serving 5 years as an Army Officer, Cindy began her 20-year career as a home educator. Besides teaching her own children, she has decades of experience teaching children’s Sunday School classes and weekday Ladies’ Bible Studies. Cindy loves Math and enjoys seeing how it testifies to the glory of God. Cindy’s husband, Steve, teaches Chemistry in public school and is a homeschool evaluator. Together they have 3 adult children. Cindy is the part time secretary at Zeltenreich Reformed Church and enjoys knitting, reading and listening to podcasts. Cindy is excited to share her love of Mathematics and the Bible and hopes to see many “Oooh, I get it now”
Christine Hash is grateful for the opportunity to teach Art at Firm Foundations Academy. She has enjoyed playing with color since she was a child and has been teaching children since her teen years. Following graduation from Piedmont Bible College (now Piedmont International University) with a BS inElementary Education, she taught in Christian schools in central PA and in Haiti. Most recently she completed 19 years of volunteering, then assisting and teaching Art at Veritas Academy, as well as costuming students in many Veritas productions. She and her husband Charles are the parents of five mostly grown children. Chris has taken classes in a variety of settings covering historic art forms, such as scherensnitte, fraktur, calligraphy, as well as several styles of European folk painting. She looks forward to being able to pursue private lessons during the summer months to further her experience in techniques she can share with her students. She is thrilled to inspire the students of FFA to honor God in His creation by learning to draw, create, and use color.
Verda Shirk, received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Mennonite University. Her certifications include Elementary and Special Education, Reading Specialist and English as a Second Language Program Specialist. Verda has taught Kindergarten through Fourth grade. She has worked as a Preschool Director and Teacher, an Early Intervention Teacher for IU 13 and a Title I Instructional Aide. Her educational experiences have included public and private schools, charter schools, a homeschool co-op and a micro-hybrid school. Verda is passionate about teaching and enjoys passing her love of learning on to her students. Verda and her husband, Dale, have two grown children Ryan and Michelle. When Verda is not teaching, she enjoys bike riding, hiking, baking, reading, listening to music and traveling. Most of all, she loves spending time with her family. Several of her favorite Bible verses are Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Dean of Academics
Dean of Students
Secondary Prep B
Secondary Prep A
35 New Joy Drive
Ephrata, PA 17522
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