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! 

Her 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
Lead Teacher East Court Campus, 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 ECE diploma in Belgium, where she grew up. 

In her free time Mrs. Zijlstra 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. 

Miss Vanderlaan’s favourite Bible Verse is 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10.  

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 the 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 5-6 Teacher

Linda has taught at Colchester Christian Academy since 1987 and is currently the teacher for grades 5 and 6.

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. 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. 

She 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
Lead Teacher Coupar Campus, 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. Ben Grosvenor
High School Electives Teacher

Ben is the high school electives teacher. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Crandall University (2011), and an MDiv from Acadia Divinity College (2014). He enjoys opportunities to challenge his students to grow deeper in faith, and knowledge in a safe environment where no question or discussion topic is off limits. 

Mr. Grosvenor enjoys being active, especially in the summertime where he enjoys running, cycling, golfing, and hiking. 

His favourite verse is Micah 6:8 "He has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you:to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."


Mrs. Deanna Campbell
Resource Teacher

Deanna is our resource teacher 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. 

 She 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 who 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 Mrs. Campbell experiences in her relationship with Jesus.

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.

She 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.

Mrs. Tasha Stokdijk

Until Tasha became a staff member at CCA, she had no idea how much our children are truly loved. She often gets emotional when talking about the 'behind the scenes' view of the school. I can honestly say, our kids are in the best hands and valued beyond words! CCA offers a superior education, sound biblical teaching and hearts overflowing!

One of her favourite bible verses that comes to mind when she thinks of CCA is Matthew 5:14 because CCA is a light that cannot be hidden!