Early Childhood Faculty & Staff

Debbie Symes

Early Childhood Director


Debbie was born and raised in Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Language Arts Education. Following a career as a wife, mother, and teacher, she began her ministry at Crossings Christian School when the decision was made to grow the church preschool to a Kindergarten through 12th grade Christian school in 2000.

Debbie and her husband, Bubba, have four grown children and six grandchildren. In addition to loving her work with families and children at CCS, she enjoys reading, gardening, Bible study, and spending time with her family.

When asked what makes Crossings Christian School a special place to be, she quickly responds that besides being intentional about inviting God into every part of our day, we are blessed with a very special staff and precious families.

Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

Elizabeth Southworth

Administrative Assistant to the Early Childhood Director


Elizabeth has been a part of CCS since 2001. Her college education was in business and music and she served as a pastor’s wife for 25 years. While in the pastorate she worked in administrative positions for several high schools. After leaving the pastorate her husband Jim and she served in administrative positions with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Jim was the Director for the North Central Texas area and State Director in Las Vegas, NV. Elizabeth served as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes 13 years. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Growing up in a parsonage and being a pastor’s wife has given her many opportunities to serve Christ and His people. Her love for adults and children is evidenced as she serves CCS. Her years of experience in administrative positions have been a great benefit to CCS.

She enjoys spending time with her family and loves her grandchildren. She loves all sports, reading, music, cooking, sewing, and crafts.

No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race….

Philippians 3:13-14

Mary Beavers


Mary grew up in Oklahoma and has B.S. in Elementary Education. She taught 5th and 6th grades for 7 years in Putnam City schools and has been at CCS preschool since Crossings began in 2000.

When asked what she loves most about teaching , she says that working with children always keeps her laughing. She adds that working at Crossings has been a total blessing! Mary’s family includes husband Darrell and three sons Bryan, Blake and Craig. Mary’s hobbies are decorating, being with her family and reading magazines.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 119:105

Mary Bowersox


Mary began teaching preschool at Crossings in 2002. She has her B.A. in Special Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. Before coming to Crossings, she taught Special Education and spent many years at home enjoying watching her precious daughter grow up.

Mary wants the children she teaches to truly love learning. She also wants to show the love of the Lord through her life and in her classroom. She deeply desires for the children she teaches to grow both spiritually and intellectually, while having so much fun.

When not teaching, she loves to be with her family; which includes, her husband, daughter, her son-in-law, and of course, her precious grandchildren! She loves cooking, shopping, and best of all, traveling to Houston to be with her grandchildren. They are the love of her life.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.

I Corinthians 2:9

Colleen Bumpas


Colleen joined CCS in 2013. She has a B.A. in Natural Science from San Jose State University and a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from OU. She always wanted to be a teacher but went into dentistry when she met her husband Bryan who is a dentist. After fifteen years of dental hygiene she is super excited to be able to live her dream of working with children.

Colleen has two children at CCS, her son, Colton and daughter, Brennan. Colleen’s hobbies include painting, scrapbooking, and reading. She loves to spend time with her family playing games, being outside, and traveling.

Draw close to me and I will draw close to you.

James 4:8

Blythe Clark


Blythe grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. She taught Kindergarten and first grade for three years for Oklahoma City Public Schools. For the past eight years, she has had the privilege of watching her children and many other sweet, little ones, grow up in her home daycare.

Blythe is very excited to return to teaching, and is especially excited that she will be teaching Preschool. She has always loved this age. She loves their curiosity and desire to learn, their capacity to love their friends and teachers, and the hilarious things they say. She wants their first year of Preschool to be an amazing experience filled with fun, new activities that spark their imagination and love of learning.

Blythe and her husband Kevin have been married since July of 2000. Their three children Jonah, Julia, and Sarah have attended CCS since preschool. They love spending time together as a family outdoors, playing games, and watching movies.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Darcy DeMarino


Darcy grew up in Enid, OK and later moved to Piedmont. She has a BS in Marketing and Merchandising, and has almost completed her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Darcy has been teaching at Crossings for the past six years. She has a bachelors degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. She loves teaching children about loving Christ. Miss Darcy has two children at Crossings. She has been married for over 14 years to her husband, Dominic.

One of the things she loves about teaching children is helping them learn to show Jesus’ kindness to others.

Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

Philippians 4:8

Kristin Fares


Mrs. Kristin Fares grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Spanish. She was a member of Teach for America and then taught pre-school at the Presbyterian School in Houston, Texas.

Kristin joined the staff at Crossings in 2014, after the blessing of being able to stay home with her children for a few years. She loves teaching pre-school children that God loves them, and of course loves all the funny things pre-school children say. One of her favorite things about pre-school is the childrens’ eagerness to learn each day.

Kristin and her husband Erik have three children at Crossings; Madeline, David and Charlotte. They have been at the school since 2010 when Madeline was in Kindergargen. They enjoy spending time together as a family, at church, watching the Thunder and cheering on the Sooners! Her favorite pastimes are hiking, running, cooking and watching her children participate in their activities.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12

Karen Hackett


Karen grew up in Oklahoma City and has a B.S. in Home Ec-Family Relations & Child Development from OSU. In the past, she has worked as a childcare coordinator and trainer of day care home providers. She has been with preschoolers at CCS since 2003.

She enjoys getting to know her students and their families, and loves watching them grow throughout the year. Karen can be counted on to give everyone a happy smile as they enter her room.

God has blessed Karen with a wonderful family. She and her husband, Loren, have one daughter, Kristen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Crystal Hardberger


Crystal has been with Crossings since 2005. She has a B.S. in Business and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from OU.

She really enjoys teaching and says that in preschool every day is different. Her comment about her students is that they are a JOY! Crystal loves to teach writing/reading because at this age the children are very curious about the letters in their world.

The Hardberger family includes husband, Derek, and children, Kate, and Max. Crystal loves spending time with family, traveling, shopping, going to the park, and riding bikes. Her favorite travel destination is Colorado.

For nothing is impossible with God.

Luke 1:37

Cissi Hickerson


Cissi joined CCS in 2011 as a member of the Recess and After Care team. She began her career as an Instructional Assistant in 1986. Before coming to CCS, Cissi was an Instructional Assistant in the Cajon Valley School District State Funded Preschool Program in El Cajon, CA.

Mrs. Hickerson loves being in the classroom assisting students and teachers. She enjoys all age groups, however her heart is always drawn back to Preschool. She believes that Preschool sets the foundation for a student’s educational experience. To Cissi there is no greater joy than seeing the excitement on the face of a child when they grasp a new concept.

Cissi’s greatest joy is to spend time with her husband, their two daughters, son-in laws and especially her three grandchildren. She is a huge baseball and ice hockey fan.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Marla Howeth


Marla has been with CCS since 2005. Her education includes 2 years at the University of Oklahoma majoring in Early Childhood Development/Elementary Education.

One thing Marla enjoys about the classroom/teaching is watching the children be exposed to such wonderful hands on teaching wrapped around the Lord. There’s nothing like seeing the children’s faces when they accomplish a project. She loves being a part of the children’s lives!

When not working, Marla loves to be with her husband and their wonderful blended family. They have 8 children and 3 grandchildren to date. They love to travel, fish, snorkel, sail, swim and golf. They also have a golden retriever who is their biggest baby.

This is the day that the Lord hath made we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Psalm 118:24

Carrie Iverson


Carrie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2010 she and her family moved to Oklahoma and love their new “home” state. While her husband was a pilot in the Navy, they moved every few years and enjoyed living on every coast in the country. She has a BA in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood from California State University East Bay.

For the past few years she has enjoyed subbing and being a teacher’s assistant in first grade here at Crossings. Carrie is very excited to get back in the preschool classroom. She loves this age and their eagerness to learn and loving nature.

Carrie and her husband, Sean, have been married since 1995. They have 4 children, three of whom attend Crossings. Their family enjoys spending time at the kids sporting events, musical recitals and traveling.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Debbie Kalmeyer


Mrs. Kalmeyer joined CCS in 2009. Prior to that she was a stay at home mom for 13 years.

Mrs. Kalmeyer has been married for 15 years to Steve. They have two boys, Jordan and Jared, who both attend Crossings. When not at school Debbie loves watching her boys play sports and play their instruments.

The Kalmeyers love movies and have family movie night every week. When not watching her boys or movies, you will find Debbie in the kitchen trying a new recipe.

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

Monica McCutcheon


Miss Monica was one of the first teachers at CCS. She began assisting in the preschool at the church several years ago and made the transition with us when the school was formed.

Monica loves to see the joy on the little faces of her students and her favorite time of the day is center time. She says that preschoolers are like sponges and absorb everything that is presented to them.

When not working she likes to spend time with family and shop. She has one son, Marc, two daughters, Elizabeth and Melanie, a grandson, Michael, and a granddaugter, Grace.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Jill Pitzer


Jill has a BA in Law Enforcement Administration and a Masters in Social Work, both from OU. She has been with Crossings since 2003. Jill and her husband, Clint, have 3 daughters, Anna, Caroline, and Sarah Jane. The family also includes a dog, Mack, a dog named JJ, a dog named Penny and a cat named Charlie.

Jill says that the best thing about teaching 4-5 year olds is all the funny things they say, how willing they are to learn, and how much they change during the year. She loves teaching kids about how much God loves them and about Scripture and Bible stories. Her hobbies are painting and drawing, cooking, reading, needlepoint, and traveling.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100:4-5

Jessica Pratt


Jessica grew up in a small town near Kansas City but having lived in Oklahoma for nearly 20 years, she calls Oklahoma “home”. Jessica graduated from University of Central Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.

After serving as substitute teacher at Crossings, Jessica is so excited to be working full-time in the preschool classroom. She loves to see how excited they are to be at school and their eagerness to learn about Jesus.

Jessica and her husband James have 4 children: Haley, Piper, Zoey and Gunner. She loves traveling, reading and spending time with her family.

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.

Jeremiah 29:11

Jeni Ward


Jeni Ward has been a substitute teacher at the Lower School since 2013. She has experience in homeschool and public school teaching, including second and fourth grade classrooms. Jeni holds a BS in elementary education from the University of Southern Mississippi (but her favorite team is Alabama – Roll Tide!).

Jeni has been married for 26 years to Lance, who serves as Congregational Care pastor at Crossings Community Church. They have two sons, Landon and Kyle, and one daughter, Haley. When not working, Jeni loves to read Tolkien, exercise, spend time with friends and family, and hang out at local coffee shops.

God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Erin Yarbrough


Erin grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and has a B.A. in Journalism from OU, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from OSU. She has been at Crossings since 2008 after taking time to stay at home with her two boys. Her prior teaching experience was at Jenks Public Schools where she taught eighth grade. She has experience at many grade levels through tutoring, summer school and substituting.

Mrs. Yarbrough says she loves working with preschool age children. They are excited and curious about everything. Their faces beam with joy when they complete a project. She believes each child is unique and given special gifts and abilities. Her goal is for your child to love coming to school everyday. Mrs. Yarbrough wants to provide a classroom where children know they are loved by their teachers and not afraid to make mistakes. Preschool is an exciting year for children as they explore the learning centers, create wonderful works of art and make new friends.

Erin and her husband Mike have been married since 1997. They have two boys, Robbie and Matthew. Her family loves to attend OU football and basketball games together.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

Specials

Sara Barnett

Computers


Sara joined Crossings in 2012 as the Lower School Computer Technology teacher and Middle School Cross Country Coach. She has a Bachelor of Strategic Communications from The University of Central Oklahoma and a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and Development from Oklahoma Christian University. Her teaching experience ranges from universities, community college, high school and academic workshops. She comes to us from the Putnam City School System.

Mrs. Barnett loves to teach students about the fast paced world of technology, and the importance of safety while exploring the internet. Sara considers it a privilege and a blessing to work at Crossings where she has the opportunity to educate young minds both intellectually and spiritually. As an avid runner and marathoner, Sara loves to challenge her cross country team to train with patience, endurance and persistence.

Sara and her husband are blessed with three amazing children: Samantha, Merick and Mia. They are an active family that can be found usually at sporting events like, OU football, Thunder basketball and their children’s soccer games. During her free time, Sara likes to run, read, travel, play games and spend time with extended family.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Darcy DeMarino

Library Assistant


Darcy grew up in Enid, OK and later moved to Piedmont. She has a BS in Marketing and Merchandising, and has almost completed her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Darcy has been teaching at Crossings for the past six years. She has a bachelors degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. She loves teaching children about loving Christ. Miss Darcy has two children at Crossings. She has been married for over 14 years to her husband, Dominic.

One of the things she loves about teaching children is helping them learn to show Jesus’ kindness to others.

Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

Philippians 4:8

Connie Graves

Preschool and Music
CCS School Chaplain


Connie grew up in Miami, Oklahoma and attended Cincinnati Bible Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has been a children’s pastor for the last twelve years. She has taught music in a Christian school and will be teaching pre-school and kindergarten music this year. She loves to work with children!

Ms. Connie loves people and the Bible…those will last for eternity. She is excited to teach Scripture songs so that children can “hide God’s Word in their heart.” Ms. Connie is married to Bill Graves. She is the mother of seven children and twelve grandchildren. She is blessed beyond measure to have such a fabulous family! Spending time with all of them is a priority. She also loves to read and play the piano.

She became a chaplain at Crossings in the fall of 2012. She is passionate with the ministry opportunity to serve students and staff concerning spiritual and personal issues.

Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us.

Ephesians 3:20

Jenny McKee

Library


Jenny has taught K-5th grade (except 4th) in public and private schools in Oklahoma and Texas. She currently serves as the librarian. She earned a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Oklahoma State University.

Her greatest enjoyment when working in the library is introducing students to different types of literature, encouraging them to challenge themselves, and helping students find titles that match their many interests. She also loves finding books for teachers to use as they teach different subjects and units.

Jenny’s two daughters also attend CCS and have since they were in preschool. She has been married for 16 years and her husband, Scott, keeps her laughing. The McKees love hanging out together-especially at OSU football games. Jenny has recently taken up tennis.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

Ashley Nettleton

Library Assistant


Ashley earned a B.S. of Arts in Communications and a Minor in Health ans Sports Science from the University of Oklahoma. Before deciding to become a stay home mom she was a sales representative for Wiley and Sons Higher Education Publisher, marketing math, science and engineering curriculum to various colleges and universities in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Ashley became a part of the CCS family in 2007, when her son Jack, entered Kindergarten and her daughter Mary Claire the 3 year old program. She joined the CCS staff in 2011. Ashley adores children and is thankful to have an opportunity to be surrounded by co-workers and families daily who strive for the same goal, for each child to reach their God-given potential, while learning the truth of His Word.

Ashley is blessed with a wonderful family which includes, husband Keith, son Jack, daughter Mary Claire and two stepdaughters Morgan and Emma. In her spare time Ashley enjoys watching her children’s sporting events, running, working outside in the yard and traveling with her family.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men.

Colossians 3:23

Becky Stockton

PE


Becky grew up in Shawnee, Oklahoma and has a B.S. in Health/Wellness from Oklahoma State University. She has been with Crossings since the school began.

The best part of teaching PE, according to Becky, is getting to work with all ages of students. She says that it is a blessing to watch their growth throughout the year. Along with the students, Becky adds that she loves working with the incredible staff at CCS.

Becky and her husband, Clint, have been blessed with three children, Connor, Brantly, and Kailey. When not working, Becky loves to read, spend time with family, and watch her kids play soccer.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Ashlyn Winters

Art


Ashlyn joined CCS in 2014. She graduated with a B.S.E. in Art Education (PreK-12) from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2012. Before CCS, Ashlyn taught secondary visual arts, Art I and Ceramics I for Putnam City Schools in Oklahoma City for two years.

Mrs. Winters loves getting to know the hearts of each of her students and teaching them the creative processes of art! She loves seeing God’s creativity in everyday things, especially through young artists’ handiwork. She believes that visual art is about the fun adventures had through the process of creating, and the product is the reward. Her joy in teaching art is helping students appreciate different types of creativity.

Mrs. Winters is the oldest of eleven children! She comes from a large, blended family. They love spending time together, watching movies, having fun outdoor adventures, and loving Jesus through everything! In her free time, Ms. Basinger loves to read, be with friends, and create!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

Carrie Woody

PE


Carrie graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2001 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Following graduation, Carrie joined CCS in 2002 as a preschool assistant and then lead preschool teacher.

Carrie met the man of her dreams in August of 2003, a widower with two kids, one being in her preschool class. They married in the summer of 2004 and Carrie became a stay-at-home mom for her new kids, Zack and Kayli. In 2006 they welcomed their son, Nate. Carrie has loved being a full-time mommy to each of their three children.

Carrie enjoys running marathons, playing tennis and being active, including playing tennis with her husband Grant. They love winning but most importantly, they love being partners on the court and off.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6