As we begin the new school year our theme verse of belonging got me thinking about how we can use our talents for the Lord. There are so many opportunities at Calvary for our students to become a part of something that will impact them for years to come. I am amazed when a child realizes that he can sing, act, draw, or learn to play an instrument! These skills will stay with them for a lifetime and give them an opportunity to share their faith and be a blessing to others.
I would like to introduce you to the fine arts department staff. Please consider getting your child involved as the fine arts is a great place to BELONG!
Gretchen Stelzer has been performing professionally as an actor/singer/dancer around the country for 22 years. She, her husband Bill, and 4 children have loved making Savannah and the historic Savannah Theatre home for the last 16 years. Mrs. Stelzer has been in numerous professional theatre productions including Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, Grease, and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, just to name a few. She has also made numerous appearances with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. Her focus is 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." Gretchen and her family are members of Compassion Christian East Campus where Gretchen occasionally sings with the worship team. She loves spending time at the beach with family and friends. Gretchen is so grateful for this opportunity to serve at Calvary Day School teaching Sound and Stage and Calvary Singers.
Ronda Evens is starting her 2nd year at Calvary and has taken on the responsibility of coordinating all the fine arts events; something she has done for over 25 years. She also teaches music in the Lower School. This year she and Bryce Bielec are starting the Cavalier Chorus which includes all 4th and 5th grade students. Ronda and her husband, Dwight, are members of Bible Baptist Church of Savannah, where Dwight is the Children and Family Pastor. Her passion is to see young people grow in their walk with the Lord and learn to appreciate the importance of good music in their lives. Ronda claims Col. 3:17: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” She loves playing the piano and spending time with her four beautiful grandchildren.
Bryce Bielec is starting his 7th year at Calvary. In addition to working with the 4th graders and their recorders, he teaches beginning band to 5th graders and is the director of both the middle school and high school bands. He also teaches Bible to his high school band class. Bryce and his wife Laura, who teaches Spanish at Calvary, are expecting their first child in November! It’s a girl!! Bryce loves throwing frisbee and playing in the snow. He’s from Minnesota! His heart is set on teaching his students the power of the Word of God in their lives. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” II Tim. 3:16 Bryce and his wife attend Coastal Bible Fellowship in Rincon where he leads worship.
Susan Barfield has been creating and teaching all areas of visual art at Calvary where she’s starting her 17th year. She loves to watch as her students discover their God-given talents. Even when she’s not teaching, you can find Susan painting or drawing just for her own enjoyment. Susan and her husband, Dennis, have four children and eight grandchildren. They are excitedly awaiting the arrival of number nine! They attend Islands Christian Church and Susan claims Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”.
Taylor Veale is beginning her first year teaching Lower School art at Calvary. Her journey here at Calvary began when she was 18 months old and continued through her high school graduation in 2013. Calvary has made such an impact on her life that she could not help but begin her professional career here! She is a graduate of Young Harris College located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia where she studied visual art, art history, and psychology. Her husband, Jeremy, is a fireman for the City of Savannah. Taylor and her husband attend Compassion Christian East Campus, and one of her favorite verses is Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Her goal for this year is to make a lasting bond with your children and encourage them to embrace their creativity, learn about major artists, study key time periods, and learn how to use different media to create many types of art.
Johnathan Saxon is also new to Calvary as a teacher. And, like Taylor, he attended Calvary, graduating in 2008. He loves being able to return and teach at the school that taught him so much. Johnathan teaches 9th and 10th grade English and he coaches the Literary One Act Team. He has a degree in English literature with a minor in theater. Johnathan has been in a few productions while at Armstrong State University. He has played roles in the production of Arthur Miller’s work All My Sons, Almost Maine, and participated in the One Act Festival in two One Act plays. He is looking forward to coaching the wonderfully talented students this year and seeing them win! Johnathan attends Compassion Christian Church and claims Jeremiah 29:11-13 as his life verse: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
Feel free to contact any of us if you have questions. Keep encouraging your children to use what God has given them because the arts are a gift!