Faculty & Staff

Susan Kobes, Ph.D.  
3rd & 4th Grade Teacher

Jesus saved me when I was 8 years old, and even at that young age, I understood my monumental and immediate need for a Savior. About that same time, He called me to teach, in which I have been involved all of my life. Even while a Lieutenant in the Army, I taught soldiers about finance during deployment and children in the Post Chapel Sunday School. After having 4 sons, I returned to teaching full time in both private and public classrooms at the elementary, junior high, high school, and college levels. I have a FaceTime ministry to my nieces and nephews in Oregon who are trying to navigate the fog of Common Core mathematics.

Because I love to learn as much as teaching, I have earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree; a Master’s Degree in Education/Counseling; a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education/Technology. My passion now is Classical education and the application of current research to the art and science of teaching.


I felt called to start a Christian school in Bonney Lake, not knowing all that might entail. Dr. Martin Luther King has said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Serving God in this way has been more rewarding and challenging than I could have ever hoped for.


My husband and I have lived in the Bonney Lake area for 36 years where we raised our four sons. My husband, Ken, who works for the Corps of Engineers, and I have been married for 44 years, and enjoy traveling, antiquing, and anything family.

"I became a Christian over six years ago--two days after my husband passed away. I had come to believe there was no God. I heard the gospel at my next door neighbor’s Bible study. I was convicted of my sin against a Holy and just God. I went home and told Jesus to take my life and do what he wanted with it, as I knew I deserved death and hell. I woke up the next morning a new creation. I knew the truth that God and Jesus were real. I never knew such joy could exist in my life. 

Three months after my conversion I started attending BSF. In my second year of BSF I had asked God if He could use me in teaching children and to open that door if this was His will. I don’t even know why I asked, as my experience with children was very limited. God thought otherwise. Shortly after, I was approached by my BSF group leader to pray about being a BSF Children’s Leader. I was a CL for three years, then a few years ago I started teaching in kid’s ministry at my church in Tacoma. God graciously opened the door to help teach at Veritas Classical Christian school last year. It was a wonderful experience for me to learn and grow. Ever since I said yes to God’s calling on my life in teaching children, it has been such a joy and challenging with God equipping me every step of the way. God has completely turned my life around as I have done things I would never have done prior to knowing Christ. 
I have been to Lebanon Syrian refugee camps teaching children the gospel. I have been to Turkey and spread the gospel to Syrian refugees there. It has been an amazing journey. I am excited about the coming year at Veritas and looking forward to loving, caring, teaching and nurturing the children. Most of all I love teaching them about who God is and His love for them."

Marlana McKibben
Karren Warren 
First  & Second Grade Teacher

My relationship with the Lord has led me to serve in Christian Schools for the last 17 years,  I am passionate about sharing Christ with students and seeing them grow in their relationship with Him so they can impact their world for Christ.  Integrating a Biblical World View into all aspects of a students' learning process is a beautiful thing to behold.  When I am not teaching I work with my church youth group, participate in a women's bible study and I read, read, read!  I also love to scrapbook, where I can be creative with family memories.  I am also continuing to learn through classes and lectures from Classical Academic Press.  I have been married to my husband Steve for 30 years.  Our son Douglas, is 24 and living in Cannon Beach, Oregon and our Daughter Laura and her husband Micah are preparing to serve as missionaries in a trial setting with Ethnos 360 within the next few years.  They have one beautiful daughter, Adalia (Addy) who is my first, precious granddaughter.

Cheri Terry
5th - 10th Grade Teacher
Jenifer DeMarre
Art & Music Teacher

Growing up in church is where I found the Lord. At a very young age, I knew that God sent His one and only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins. At age four, I asked Jesus into my heart to live forever. I was baptized publicly at age 11. I have lived in Lake Tapps Washington since I was 11 years old. In school I excelled in art and music. I was in select choir at Sumner High School. In high school, to pay for my ballet tuition, I taught ballet and tap at a private studio.


I have been married to my husband for 19 years. We have four children, a dog, a cat, three fish and two bearded dragons. After I had my second child, the Lord provided the means for me to quit my job of six years at Pacific Underwriters as a Risk Manager/Claims Investigator. When I worked at Pacific Underwriters, I would often visit utilities in Washington State and teach employees about risk management procedures. Getting up and speaking in front of adults was enjoyable. I would also investigate accidents, meet with attorneys and go to mediation to represent our company. I became a CPR Certified Instructor to help certify our employees at the job sites. I still currently certify people in CPR, First Aid and AED. Leaving my job at Pacific Underwriters was very difficult, but at that time, my children needed me. I am grateful for the experience and skills I learned in my short six years of working for them.


As our children, grew I attended BSF in Federal Way. I served as a children’s leader at BSF and really enjoyed teaching children about the Bible. When our children were younger, I also served as a choir director for Christmas and Easter choir performances at our church. My favorite year was 2015 when I wrote the children’s Christmas play. After searching for a play, I wasn’t able to find one that had enough scripture and songs we all love at Christmas. I decided to write my own using Bible verses and old hymns. I wrote the script on an airplane traveling with my husband and within an hour using my Bible, God spoke to my heart. It came together so fast, I knew it was God’s plan that year. The Christmas play was simple and so meaningful because it was straight from the Bible.


I currently help my husband run a construction business called DeMarre Construction. I also run a private barre studio where I teach fitness classes. Fitness is motivating to me and has become a hobby. I enjoy traveling with my family. I love cooking and coming up with creative healthy recipes for my family to eat. I also love to make sugar cookies for special events and holidays.


I am so excited to encourage and support your children in art and music this year. I believe that art and music help to improve creativity, academic performance, motor skills, confidence, visual learning, decision making, perseverance, focus, collaboration and accountability. My prayer for each child this year is that God would bless each of them and reveal to them their unique gifts He has bestowed upon them.

Eric Kliskey
P.E. Coach

Board Members

Jim Terry
Board President
Brett Kobes
Board Member
Heidi Smyth
Board Member

I was born and raised on Lake Tapps by amazing God-fearing parents who were such an example for us growing up!  At the age of eight, I was baptized and continue to be so humbled by God’s grace in my life.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”  Esphesians 2:8. 

After graduating from the University of Puget Sound, I spent several years in sales and recruiting in Corporate America.  After realizing I wanted more out of life, I met my husband, Clint.  After we married, we moved to San Diego where we celebrated our first anniversary coming home from the hospital with our new baby girl.  Two years later, we had our son and moved to Dallas with Clint’s work.  We missed not having all of our loving family around us and felt God leading us back to Lake Tapps after only being in Dallas one year.  It has been such a tremendous blessing!

Since the time the children were born, we have prayed, researched and had countless conversations with people about making the best school choice for our children and family.  Finding a Biblically focused academically excellent school was and is so important to us!  Knowing public school was not an option, we thought NOW WHAT?  We loved the proven academic excellence with many Christian homeschool programs but knew homeschooling would not work due to the balance of roles and responsibilities in our household.  The more we learned about large Christian schools, we realized the financial investment was not worth the quality of education where it was so similar to public schools.  One day, I was researching and found a handbook to a small school in Bonney Lake that looked amazing!  It incorporated an undoubtedly strong commitment to academic excellence equally as committed to the foundation of Biblical principles and foundation.  After speaking with Dr. Kobes, I also learned she has over 25 years of teaching experience, a Ph.D. in Education, four accomplished God-fearing grown sons she raised with her husband Ken, and a desire and passion God has given her for giving of her time and resources to teach children.  What an answer to prayer!  We also started learning more about why Classical Christian Education is growing so quickly.  We have a daughter who continues to learn and has developed such a love of learning and the Lord that it is evident each day that this is the best choice God has provided for our family.  Lord willing, our son will also be starting Kindergarten this next year and can’t wait.

I live with my husband of eight years, Clint, our seven year old daughter and five year old son.  We love spending time with friends and family and attending our church, Redemption Bible Church in Bonney Lake (the pastor of the church married us eight years ago).

Steve Schneider
Board Member

I have served on numerous boards over the past few years to include Bethany Baptist Church, Step by Step, and currently, I serve on our Walsh Construction WA board.

I was a self-employed general contractor soon after college and moved to Walsh Construction in 1995, which I’m currently a principal and general superintendent of operations. I’m also a vice president of the hourly labor staff of our company, RDF. After 25 great years, I plan on retiring from Walsh Construction in December of 2020.

I was raised in Tacoma WA. In a caring and giving household, although I was not brought up in a Christian home, my parents demanded and expected us to respect, give, and help others. I came to know the Lord in 1995 through my wife, Carlene, who quietly opened the door for me to enter. I always knew there was something missing in my life as my direction was driven by materialistic and earthly items. After I accepted the Lord as my Savior, I soon realized he was the answer to life and the material items would come and go, and our Lord was here for eternity.

Carlene, my wife of 42 wonderful years and the rock of our family, Milissa our daughter married Tomas Guertin and from that union came Colton our grandson who is full of life. We look forward to seeing what opportunities we as a family can bring to Veritas. Carlene and I have resided in Puyallup for 35 years.  

Fishing is one of my joys in life and instead of fishing for myself I have found a way to give back to our veterans who have served and made this country what is to date. Each spring and summer we take numerous veterans (in conjunction with “Salmon for Soldiers”) on fishing trips out of Westport, where we dedicate the entire few days to the vets. It is with great honor that we can give back and put a few smiles on these warriors.  

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