Mrs. Sonya Hughes

Sonya’s passion for Christian education stems from her belief that children are the most precious blessing and we all have a responsibility to raise them to know God. A Christian education helps them defend their faith effectively and unapologetically. She believes that it helps them know and live for God’s glory while developing their God given abilities. Christian education also helps children know the love of God and His Word and grow in the knowledge of Christ as Saviour and Lord. In a world where things are ever changing, a Christian education teaches children that God is steadfast. It teaches them to discern and stand for Truth and make wise choices today and in the future. Christian education is a gift we give our children.

She loves the verses found in Isaiah 43:1-2 KJV: “...Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” What beautiful assurance from the God who owns the universe that we are His beloved, He knows us by name! So, whenever we are afraid or anxious, we are reminded that God is on the throne, He is in control, we can run to Him, we are His and we can trust Him with our life, our children, our marriage, our all.

After God, her greatest joy comes from being with her family and friends! In the summer Sonya loves to entertain with them at their pool, go camping, BBQ, and go to the beach. In winter she loves to work at school and in their health food store, read, and have family movie nights! She thanks God for all her blessings.

Classroom teachers

Mrs. Caitlin Swim
Pre-Primary Teacher

Caitlin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian School Education from Kingswood University. In 2020, after completing her student teaching with us she came back to join our team full-time as our Pre-Primary teacher.

Caitlin is passionate about Christian Education and training up children to walk in the ways of the Lord. It brings her great joy to be able to work at a school where she gets to share Jesus' love with the children and teach them about our hope that can be found in Him. 

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and pup exploring new places and visiting coffee shops! 

Caitlin's favourite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Caitlin says it is a privilege to be able to teach her students about God's word and the plans that God has for each of them.

Mrs. Francien Zijlstra
Primary Teacher

Francien started teaching at CCA in 2019.  She loves teaching our younger students and is passionate about play-based learning. She got her Early Childhood Education diploma in Belgium, where she grew up. 

In her free time, Francien loves to spend time with her family and together they love serving at their church. She loves sharing God’s love with others through teaching and singing. 

Her favourite Bible verse is Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Mrs. Heather Wood
Grade 1 Teacher

Heather has had the privilege of teaching children, not only the academics, but truths from God’s Word for many years. Heather sees the challenges alongside seeing the rewards to see development in her students to be more like Christ. 

Heather’s favourite Bible verses are Proverbs 3:5-6. 

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two granddaughters.

Miss Kassidy Vanderlaan
Grade 2 Teacher

Kassidy attended a Christian School in her elementary years and experienced the impact a nurturing Christian education experience can have. Since pursuing her degree in Christian School Education, she has seen the Lord be faithful in moving not only her own life but in the lives of the students & families of CCA. 

She is thankful for the opportunity that she has been entrusted with to share the love of our Creator with the younger generation of the Church. 

Kassidy's favourite Bible Verse is 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10. It reminds her that God is always in control, and His strength & grace is always sufficient for each of us, especially in our weakness.

She enjoys exploring new cafes, going on walks, and playing board games with friends and family.

Mrs. Heidi Whiteside
Grade 3-4 Teacher

Heidi is our grade 3/4 teacher. She graduated from Faith Way Baptist College of Canada in 1993, with her Bachelor of Religious Education. 

Christian education takes on a greater meaning for her more now than ever before. Our children need to be grounded in the Word of God so that when they head out into the “world” they will be equipped and have a firm foundation built strong and steadfast. 

When she is not busy doing housework you will find her in her craft room sewing or card making. Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is my strength…” has been her life verse.

Miss Linda Dopson
Grade 4-5 Teacher

Linda has taught at Colchester Christian Academy since 1987 and is currently the teacher for grades 4 and 5.

Linda, who attends The People’s Church, finds teaching at CCA to be a blessing beyond description. Linda loves the fact that her life involves the awesome task, and divine gift, of training children. She understands that for young people, growing up in our world today can be a scary prospect. Linda feels her experiences of teaching at CCA gives her the opportunity to help equip her students with life skills – to enable and strengthen them to confront the challenges of life.

Linda enjoys painting and creating, reading and music. Although she can’t play any musical instruments, her voice is her very own instrument which she loves to share!

Linda’s favourite Bible passage is Psalm 139. It reminds her of God’s three “omni’s”: omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. To Linda, Psalm 139 is full of important truths – and loves to bring life to the Word in the classroom.

Mrs. Julie McLean
Grade 6 Teacher

Julie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Faith Bible College International in 2002. She has had the privilege of teaching in three different schools and volunteer in multiple Sunday school programs.

She is very passionate about teaching young people and helping them grow in their knowledge of Jesus. It’s so important for young people to know that God has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of them. Seeing kids flourish academically while growing in their confidence is her desire.

She loves spending time with her three children and her husband. Her favourite hobbies are singing, playing the piano, reading, arts and crafts, and exploring nature.

Her favourite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Mrs. Angela Wellard
Grades 7-8 Teacher

Angela received her Bachelor of Science in Education and began her teaching career in Ontario. Upon her arrival in Nova Scotia, she became part of the CCA family teaching grades 7/8. 

Her favourite pastime is spending time with her husband and their 2 boys. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, nature, singing, baking, and a good laugh. 

Classroom motto: "Be kind to everyone, because everyone is having a tough time." 

"My desire as a teacher is not only to inspire learning but to remind each student how precious they are to God. There is no greater truth."

Ms. Courtney Erskine
Grades 9-10 Homeroom 

Courtney is the Grade 9/10 homeroom teacher. She also teaches English and History to Grades 9-12, among other social sciences. She has a BA in History and English Literature from Mount Allison University, from which she graduated in 2013. 

Courtney has a passion for the written word, and there is little that brings her more joy than connecting a reader to the perfect book. She loves to read (especially historical fiction), sing, bake, and spend time around horses. 

Her favourite Bible verses are found in Matthew 6: 25-34, which remind her not to worry about tomorrow, and instead to trust God and His plan for her life, even when it’s hard.

Mr. Colin Murphy
Grades 11-12 Homeroom 

Colin is the Grade 11/12 homeroom teacher. He has a BSc and BEd, both from Acadia University. He teaches all the grades 9 - 12 Mathematics and Science courses, and is currently in his 40th year at CCA. In his spare time he enjoys reading, sudokus, and skiing. 

His favourite Biblical character is Nehemiah because of the wisdom, courage, and organizational skills Nehemiah demonstrated in the rebuilding of the walls surrounding Jerusalem.

Colin’s favourite Bible verses are Psalm 8:1, 3-4, “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, You who have set Your glory above the heavens! When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”

Mr. Glenn Erskine
High School Bible & Electives

Glenn's passion has always been to help students develop a personal relationship with Christ. He believes that just because you may grow up with parents who are Christians, doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than being born in a Hospital makes you a doctor!
"It’s a choice, one that only they can make. If I can help students understand God’s great Love for them in terms that they can understand, I can help plant the seed toward lifelong discipleship. Students are part of the church today, not the future, so the investment in discipleship is so important!"

His favourite verses are found in Colossians 2:2-3, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Glenn enjoys sports, especially NFL Football, as well as reading mystery/crime novels.


Mrs. Deanna Campbell
Resource Teacher

Deanna is one of our resource teachers for our Indigenous students at Colchester Christian Academy. She has a BA in English and has a Bed from St. Francis Xavier University, from which she graduated in 2006. 

 Deanna is a mother to three beautiful daughters and loves spending time with family and loved ones. She is passionate about teaching and seeing her students grow and become confident in whom the Lord has created them to be.  She loves travelling, meeting new people, singing, and her favourite place to be is at an ocean beach. 

 Her favourite scriptures are Ephesians 3:14-21 and Psalm 146:8-10. They speak of the unfailing, incredible love of the Lord that Deanna experiences in her relationship with Jesus.

Mrs. Melissa Stone
Resource Teacher

Melissa is one of CCA’s Resource Teachers funded by Jordan’s Principle. She has a Bachelor degree and began at Colchester Christian Academy as a substitute teacher. She enjoys working on the family farm and being involved in teaching programs at church. 

She loves camping and spending quality time with family and friends! 

Mrs. Elsie Fillmore
Resource Teacher

Elsie is one of CCA’s Resource Teachers funded by Jordan’s Principle. She graduated from Cornerstone University with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Elsie believes that sending her kids to CCA is a huge gift knowing her children learn about God’s world and His love. She also realizes what a gift it is to now be a part of the team and community here at CCA where she can now share God’s love with her students.

Elsie’s favorite verse is Romans 8:28 which says, ““And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for ithose who are called according to his purpose.” Things will not always be perfect, according to our plans, but they will be even better because we trust a loving God and His plan is always for our best (good).

Elsie loves being with her family enjoying camping, biking, swimming, hiking, and any other adventures they encounter. She also loves flowers, gardening, and crafting.

Mrs. Charity Miller
Administrative Assistant

Christian education has been a part of Charity's life since a very young age. She is so thankful for the strong foundation it has in her life, and wanted the same for her children. She grew up at this school, and graduated in 2000. Her mom, Sheri Tirrell, taught at CCA for many years.

Charity received her BA in Christian School Education at Kingswood in 2006. Since then life has taken many turns, sometimes very far away from Jesus. When she had her children, her life was changed and she renewed her walk with Him. She has been blessed to have her daughter attending CCA, and hopefully again her son. She has also been blessed to work in many different roles. She LOVES the students, the atmosphere, and her coworkers.
One of her favourite verses is Psalm 91:14-15. The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honour them".

Charity’s interests include her family, an episode of Star Trek, a kombucha, and hanging out with her two cats.