Mr. Aaron Laenger
Head of School
Mr. Aaron Laenger is passionate about classical Christian education, and brings a range of gifts and talents to our growing school. He has a strong commitment to leadership development, discipleship, and ministering to families through our university-style approach.
Mr. Aaron Laenger
Head of School
Aaron is an honors graduate of East Texas Baptist University where he was named the Outstanding Graduating Student in the Department of Religion. He also holds a Master of Divinity with honors from Denver Seminary where he specialized in the study of Philosophy of Religion under Dr. Douglas Groothius, author of the seminal reference work, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Between ETBU and Denver, Mr. Laenger studied a classical language (Greek) for four years at the university level. He is currently pursuing a Master Degree in Education through Liberty University.
Before coming to Veritas for the 2014-15 school year, Mr. Laenger served as Chair of the Bible Department at Brazosport Christian School, implementing classical education concepts in the BCS Bible curriculum, and has taught theology, worldviews, apologetics, history, and government at the secondary level. He also coordinated the Secondary Chapel Program and served as Assistant Secondary Principal, contributing to the accreditation process at BCS. An ordained teaching elder in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church since 2010, Mr. Laenger is a commissioned military officer, serving as a Chaplain (Captain) in the United States Army Reserve for the 348th Transportation Battalion in Houston, Texas. His professional credentials include certification as an Association of Christian Schools International Bible Specialist and training as an adjunct professor with the University of Northwestern St. Paul; he also has been an ACSI regional conference seminar presenter. Mr. Laenger has extensive international experience, including personal, vocational, and missions-related travel to China, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, and Canada. Mr. Laenger is a native of Lufkin, Texas, a graduate of Lufkin High School and came to faith in a Southern Baptist church. He and his wife, Misty Bellow Laenger of Lumberton, have been married since 2002. Mr. and Mrs. Laenger reside in south Lumberton.
Listed Alphabetically (Note: Grade level assignments may change between academic years; this list reflects 2017-8 assignments. In many cases, our faculty share teaching responsibilities across several grades according to their respective specialties.)
Christy Bean attended Lamar University and was a summa cum laude honors graduate for the Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 2002. Afterwards, Mrs. Bean taught high school science for four years before staying home with her first child. She earned a Master of Science degree in chemistry in 2007 from Lamar University, where she has worked as an adjunct instructor since 2009. She is excited to work with students as they study God's creation. Mrs. Bean and her family attend Westgate Memorial Baptist Church, where she volunteers in the AWANA program.
Judy graduated from Lamar University with a BS in Home Economics Education, along with certifications for elementary education and computer literacy. A 30-year veteran of local classrooms, Judy taught primarily math at both the middle school and high school levels, and participated for many years with Region V Educational Service Center's Math Mentors program. Mrs. Bean has been honored with the Masonic Outstanding Teacher award and the Reaud Excellence in Education Award. Judy is excited to be working with a school that allows students and teachers the privilege to recognize God and his importance in all things.
Casey Blanchard is a recent graduate of Lamar University where she studied English literature and writing. During her time at Lamar, Casey tutored students at the writing center and was a resident assistant in the dorms. Casey also worked with college students in a Mythology course, both teaching lessons and assisting with assignments. Casey is dedicated to the teaching of writing, both creative and rhetorical, as well as the development of a liberal arts education. Casey recently attended the West Chester Poetry Conference where she attended workshops on formal and free verse poetry. She has had her own poetry published in Lamar University's literary magazine, as well as an interpretive essay on T.S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
Kathleen Bruza graduated from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, and has previous classroom experience in 4th grade and pre-K. Kathleen loves working with children at church leading music for VBS for 19 years and administrating a M.O.P.S. organization. In addition, she and her husband lead a small group and serve in the music ministry. Kathleen is excited to be part of the Veritas faculty, utilizing her talents to minister to families and provide a nurturing learning environment for the students.
A lifelong resident of Beaumont, Whitney lives here with her husband and two year old daughter. Whitney excels in organizational skills and is excited to serve the staff and students at Veritas. Her love for children comes from nannying for over four years, working as a teacher at an Early Childhood Center and serving in the children's department at her church.
Rochelle Celeste attended Lamar University and was a magna cum laude honors graduate earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, levels 1 through 8, with English Language Arts and Math specializations. She continued her educational pursuits at Lamar University graduating summa cum laude earning a Master of Reading degree. She has recently retired celebrating a 32 year career of teaching all subjects to 2nd through 5th grade gifted and talented students in the Beaumont Independent School District! During her career with BISD, Rochelle also wrote district science, technology, and language arts curriculum along with assisting in staff professional development. She and her husband, John, have raised 5 children, 4 sons and 1 daughter, who all have experienced a Christian education in Beaumont and gone on to fulfilling careers as a chef, CPA accountant, FBI agent and legal counsel to the FBI, teacher, and lawyer. Rochelle loves new adventures and enjoys her 7 grandchildren, outdoor activities, and sewing. As a lifelong learner, she is passionate about education and comes to Veritas Classical Academy eager to experience collaborative learning in a Christian environment!
A United States Army Reserve Commander, Mr. Crow earned a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University, and is pursuing a Masters in Research and Methods for History from the University of Houston. Mr. Crow developed the curriculum for the Leadership Development Corps Program and served as its instructor for Creekside ISD. In the private sector, Mr. Crow worked for United Space Alliance where he coordinated the testing and certification of flight controls used on the International Space Station. Mr. Crow and his wife have attended churches in Hull and Batson, where he has served youth and now young adults.
Lindsay is a veteran Veritas mom of 6 children. She grew up playing the piano for her local church, starting at the age of 11. She studied Music Education at Lamar University for two year before starting her family. Lindsay plays multiple instruments, including piano, French Horn, flute, and is learning the oboe along with her daughter. She is passionate about teaching children to love music, to love reading, and to love God!
Mrs. Edgar is beginning her 22nd year of teaching. She holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree and is a State of Texas certified elementary grades 1-8 teacher. Mrs. Edgar's teaching experience includes 3rd grade at Cathedral Christian School and 1st and 2nd grade for Lumberton ISD, where she also wrote 2nd grade math and K-12 technology curriculum. She is the author of several children’s books, including books featured in the Gross Jobs series, One World, Many Countries series and the Our Great States series. She currently teaches 3rd grade and Theater Arts at Veritas and has been with Veritas since its beginning. Mrs. Edgar says her years at Veritas have been the most wonderful years of her career.
Josh graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from East Texas Baptist University. Shortly thereafter, he went on to receive a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Tyler. He then attained his licensure in professional counseling and has worked with people across different ages and backgrounds to overcome problems in their lives. He also later enrolled at Luther Rice University in Lithonia, Georgia and completed a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics in order to better defend the Christian faith and be an ambassador for Christ. He is currently working to complete a Master of Divinity at Luther Rice University. Josh has served as associate pastor at Trout Creek Baptist Church in Kirbyville for over a decade. His career has focused on teaching people God’s word and how to apply it to their lives in a practical way. He is passionate about teaching and defending the word of God. In his spare time, you will find Josh spending time with his wife, kids, and two dogs. You might also find him with his nose in a book or spending time outdoors.
Cindy Gault holds a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from McNeese State University and a Bachelors Degree in Applied Arts and Sciences from Lamar University. Ms. Gault has taught at Hardin-Jefferson for the past 28 years, teaching students and teachers in the integration process of bringing technology into the classroom. A big part of her career has also been teaching GED classes in the evenings and encouraging students that it is never too late to receive their education. Cindy has taught piano and is extremely passionate about children, as she is the mother to twins and also has four grandchildren. She is excited about the opportunity to share her faith in a Christian school environment.
Danette graduated from Lamar University with a degree in Elementary Education and a specialization in Reading and Early Childhood Development. She has taught over 25 years in the public school and the past two years at Veritas. She has taught second and third grades in the Dallas area and in Paris, Texas. She taught PreK in Vidor for eight years, Kindergarten in West Hardin for eleven years, and the past two years at Veritas. She has a passion for teaching five year olds how to read and loves to mold young minds. Kindergarten is by far her favorite grade! She knew at a young age that God would have her be a teacher and feels that it truly is a calling! Danette and her husband live in Lumberton and they have a son and a daughter. She and her husband are very involved in their church and she teaches middle school girls in the youth group and plays in the handbell choir. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, shopping, bike riding, yoga, and spending time with her family.
Jody has ministered in various churches for 35 years serving children, teens, and women. She is recently retired from Westgate Memorial Baptist Church where she served for seven years as Children’s and Preschool Director. She is married to Ron Lee, a retired pastor, and together they have six daughters, 14 grandchildren and two great grandsons. Jody enjoys hand quilting and the one thing that is her life's passion is Bible Study. She has been involved in Precept studies since 1984 and can't do without it. She describes it as a method that fits her learning style and opens up God's Word to her. She is very thankful for the opportunity to minister to the children and staff of Veritas as Campus Coordinator.
Amber Lewis is a lifetime resident of southeast Texas and graduate of Lamar University. She holds a B.S. in Political Science with a minor in History as well as a teaching certificate. Her prior experience includes Christian education, and she loves being able to teach children in a truth based environment. Mrs. Lewis is excited to be part of the Veritas family and is looking forward to sharing her love of learning with her students. She enjoys spending time with her family which often includes watching her boys play baseball and her daughter dance.
Amy Martin is a 2003 summa cum laude graduate of Lamar University. She holds a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in math. She was a tutor throughout college and taught second grade at Lumberton Primary until the birth of her first daughter. During her years as a stay-at-home mom, she volunteered as a Sunday School teacher in the preschool ministry at Humble Area's First Baptist Church and is now serving in the children's ministry at Calvary Baptist Church. After enjoying several years at home with her children, God brought Veritas into her life. She feels very blessed to be able to teach in a Christ-centered environment and desires to encourage curiosity, a love of learning, and a love of God in each child.
Valerie Moore graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. After moving to Texas with her husband, she was drawn to education as a vocation, and began the journey to obtain her Texas teaching certificate, qualifying for Generalist (4-8), Life Sciences (8-12), and Art (EC-12). Mrs. Moore worked at Kirbyville CISD up until the birth of her twin boys. After enjoying a few years at home, she decided to return to the classroom at Veritas. She is excited to teach in a Christ-centered environment and daily encourages her students to love learning. She and her husband are involved in our local church where she ministers to 3-6th grade girls on Sunday nights and also serves as the director of the women's ministry. In her free time, Mrs. Moore enjoys baking, good books and good company!
Elizabeth graduated from McNeese State University with honors, receiving a Bachelors in Family and Consumer Science. Before deciding to be a stay-at-home mom, she worked as Financial Secretary of a Christian school for four years. For the past year she has worked as a Teachers Aid for Pre-K in a local church preschool. She is the mother of two girls and the wife of the Worship Pastor and Student Minister at Beaumont's First Baptist Church. Elizabeth and her husband have been in full time ministry since 2001. She loves to work with students, lead discipleship groups, and serve on mission trips.
Angela Pickering has a varied music teaching background ranging from elementary to university level. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Lamar University and a Masters of Music in vocal performance from Indiana University. Her experience includes teaching general music and choir for three years at Longfellow Elementary, a fine arts magnet school in Houston. While in Houston, she was also a member of the Houston Chamber Choir. Following her return to the Beaumont area, Mrs. Pickering was an instructor in the music department at Lamar University for nine years, where she taught applied voice, language diction, and music literature. She has presented lectures at the Texas Music Educators Association and the International Choir Festival in Panama. She was also the founder and director of the Southeast Texas Children’s Chorus from 2005-2011. She has been a featured performer in numerous venues nationally and internationally, including the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Houston Camerata, and Opera Beaumont. Currently, Mrs. Pickering serves as music minister at Christian Fellowship Worship Center, where she has been on staff for twelve years.
Mendi Short has spent the past 22 years teaching children in many different areas. She has taught preschool, Sunday School, youth groups and is currently the Children's Pastor at Resurrection Life Church in Vidor, Texas. The classroom is like home for Mendi and where she feels most comfortable. She is passionate about teaching children and instilling a love for God and a love for learning. She has traveled and ministered in Mexico, Malaysia and Australia. She and her husband reside in Beaumont and have been married since 2000. They have two daughters, Nina Grace and Sadie. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Gina Tatom holds a B.S. in Elementary Education with a Minor in Special Education from Lamar University. She received the Outstanding Student Teacher Award from the Lamar University Education Department, and taught in the Texas public school system for 6 years. For the past 17 years, Gina has home schooled her three daughters. Gina has served alongside her husband, Christopher, as a pastor's wife since 1994 and has faithfully taught children's Sunday School for 29 years. Because of her training in dyslexia, she has tutored many children throughout her teaching career, and has also directed a pre-school program, worked at Grace Home School Co-op, and been president of the Hardin County Home School Association.