Academic excellence. Nurturing environment. Authentic faith.

Secondary Faculty

Dawn Cuckler – Mathematics

Dawn Cuckler teaches Pre-Algebra (7th Grade) at HCA.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Pensacola Christian College, with a minor in math.  Mrs. Cuckler taught second grade at Choice City Christian School and secondary English at Fort Collins Christian Academy.  She has also been a math tutor for sixteen years, served as HCA’s math consultant for the 2011-2012 school year.

Michael Cuckler – Bible

Michael Cuckler is HCA’s Head Administrator. He also teaches two Bible classes, Senior’s Worldview & Philosophy and Christian Doctrines (year I). Mr. Cuckler holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Bible Exposition from Pensacola Christian College. He has twenty years of teaching experience at Heritage, and before that Choice City Christian School and Fort Collins Christian Academy. 

Jacki Ellerbe – Spanish

Jacki Ellerbe is the secondary Spanish teacher at Heritage. She received her bachelors degree in Education from Toccoa Falls College. Mrs. Ellerbe has previous taught elementary Spanish and worked as a transitional tutor at Ridgeview Classical, and taught English at Frontier Alternative High School. 

Patricia Hahn – History, Logic & Rhetoric

Patricia Hahn has been teaching at Heritage for an impressive thirty-eight years. She currently teaches Rhetoric, Logic, and AP U.S. Literature. Mrs. Hahn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Chadron State College, double majoring in history and English. Prior to teaching at Heritage, Patricia taught high school English for two years in Manderson, Wyoming. During her time at Heritage, Mrs. Hahn has taught both junior high and high school level English and history. 

Christine Hansen – Art

Christine Hansen is currently in her seventeenth year as HCA’s pre-K through senior high art teacher.  Ms. Hansen has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Individual Development from Kansas State University, and a BFA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphics from Colorado State University.  Prior to teaching at Heritage, Ms. Hansen spent three years teaching at Spring Creek Country Day School and eight years teaching at Children’s Workshop. 

Brittany Hoblit – History


Brittany Hobbit teachers history to grades 7, 8, & 10, as well as Government & Econ. She is a Heritage alum, and holds a degree in English & Social Studies Education from Colorado State University. Mrs. Hoblit has been very involved in the community by doing previous work with Partners Mentoring Youth. 

Christine Humphrey – Biology, Chemistry

Christine Humphrey is currently in her sixth year of teaching at HCA.  She teaches 10th grade biology, 11th grade chemistry, AP Biology, and Personal Finance.  Mrs. Humphrey holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Messiah University, and a Master of Education from Arcadia University.  Prior to teaching at HCA, she has eight years of teaching experience in both public and private schools in California.  

Dr. Stacy Loyd – Literature

Dr. Stacy Loyd teaches many of our secondary literature courses. Dr. Loyd’s academic accomplishments include a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Rocky Mountain Baptist College, a Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction from Colorado Christian University, and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Studies: Reading from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Loyd’s twenty-one years of teaching span all grade levels, and she has taught at HCA, Choice City Christian Academy, the University of Northern Colorado, and Colorado Christian University.  

Curt Martin – Bible

Curt Martin is an HCA institution in and of himself.  He currently teaches Bible to the juniors and seniors.  Mr. Martin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible from Biola University, a Master of Arts in Apologetics from Tyndale Seminary, and an education degree from San Diego University.  Mr. Martin has spent twenty-eight years teaching.  Prior to his teaching career, Mr. Martin worked as an Assistant Pastor for Westview Bible Church.  Curt’s hobbies include reading, biking, sleeping, and basketball.

Lori Merkley – Science, Speech

Lori Merkley teaches physical science, earth science, health and speech at HCA, as well as overseeing Student Council.  Mrs. Merkley earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Middle School Education (double major) from the University of Northern Colorado.  Before teaching at Heritage, Mrs. Merkley taught fifth grade for one year in Texas and worked as an aide at Moore Elementary in Fort Collins for four years.  

Noah Myers – Bible


Noah Myers joins HCA’s Bible department to teach grades 7, 8, & 9. Mr. Myers holds a Philosophy with Religion Emphasis degree from Colorado State University, and is currently working on his MA in Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary. Along with teaching at HCA, Mr. Myers is the chapter director of Ratio Christi at Colorado State University. 

Amber Ornter – Academic Support

Amber Ortner is in her second year as the Academic Support specialist at HCA. Mrs. Ortner holds a BA in Liberal Studies along with a Masters in Classroom Instruction from Biola University. Along with teaching and tutoring, Mrs. Ortner has coached volleyball for the past 20 years. 

Dr. Darcie Palmer – Science, Mathematics

Dr. Darcie Palmer is in her tenth year of teaching at HCA. She currently teaches Anatomy & Physiology, ARC Responding to Emergencies, and geometry.  Dr. Palmer holds three degrees from Texas A&M University: Bachelor of Science in Wildlife & Fisheries Science (with teaching option certified to teach secondary science), Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Science, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  Before teaching at Heritage, Dr. Palmer spent 14 years practicing as a veterinarian.  

Heather Smith – Literature, Drama

Heather Smith teaches Intro to Literature and works with the drama students at HCA. Mrs. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from George Fox University, and a Master of Education from Montana State University – Billings. Mrs. Smith also works as the Communications Manager at HCA.  


Joleen Steffen – Mathematics

Joleen Steffen teaches College Algebra, along with Algebra 1 and 2 at HCA. Mrs. Steffen holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with minors in Secondary Education and Bible from Biola University. Mrs. Steffen has spent a number of years teaching in both the public and private school sectors, and has previously taught at Heritage.  She has also spent eighteen years as an individual math instructor.  

Valorie Towne – Director of International Students, Literature

Valorie Towne is currently in her eighth year of teaching at Heritage.  Mrs. Towne is the Director of International students, and teaches seventh grade English, as well as yearbook.  Mrs. Towne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.  Prior to teaching at Heritage, she taught grades 5 and 6 in the Thompson R2-J schools, at the Center for Theraputic Learning K-8.

Candace Whitner – History, Drama


Candace Whitner is joining HCA’s staff this year to teach 10th grade history and assist with drama. Ms. Whitner holds a BA in Music and a BA in History from King University. She has spent three years tutoring students in writing, and has spent a summer teaching English in Mongolia and leading a team of teachers in China.

Stephanie Wickham – Drama

Stephanie Wickham is the head of Secondary Drama at HCA. She is a graduate of HCA and holds a bachelors degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Speech Pathology & Audiology, with a minor in Theatre. Along with teaching, she currently serves in the youth group at Discovery Fellowship.