Meet Our Teachers
Shelly Hoffman, Head of School
Dr. Shelly Hoffman brings 30+ years of educational experience to Wichita Friends School. She was a teacher for the Wichita Public Schools for numerous years and has many years of experience working with future educators at the college level. Shelly received her undergraduate degree in education from Wichita State University where she was a member of the varsity softball team. She received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and her doctoral degree in educational leadership with building and district licensure from Southwestern College. Shelly is married with five children and three grandchildren. She is a life-long learner and loves children and activity. She enjoys spending time at the lake camping. Shelly feels she has been “called” to serve the children and families at Wichita Friends School and is excited to meet all our children and families.
Faith Shults, 2nd & 3rd grade
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Faith enjoys being with Wichita Friends School. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in K-8th Elementary Education and an Endorsement in Early Childhood. Faith’s hobbies include spending quality time with her husband, camping, crafting and caring for her dog and cat.
Brandi Nix, Kindergarten - 1st Grade
Brandi is a Wichita State University graduate with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Unified. Having been a substitute teacher in both Wichita and Derby, she enjoys building her own classroom community at WFS. When not in the classroom, Brandi enjoys reading, listening to music, playing with her two cats, and spending time with family. “Discovering fresh ways to increase my teaching effectiveness is important to me. I hold a quote of Ignacio Estrada in my awareness each day: If children can't learn the way we teach, then maybe we need to teach the way they learn.”
Cathy Esposito, Pre-K Teacher
Cathy joined our Wichita Friends School staff in 2017. Originally from New York, Cathy came to Kansas to attend Central Christian College in McPherson. After graduating from CCC she worked at Heartspring here in Wichita with preschool clients and has been working with early childhood education since then. She was director of a child development center and now, thoroughly enjoys being in the classroom with our WFS children.
Whitney Myers, Preschool Teacher
A native of Mulvane, Whitney came to Wichita Friends School from the Haysville school system. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Southwestern College in Winfield. Mom to three kids and two dogs, Whitney’s favorite spare time activities are swimming in her pool and watching her kids play sports. “Educating younger minds and watching them grow and learn is a passion I truly love. I can’t wait to have your child in my classroom.”
Darian Blumdell, Preschool Paraprofessional
Darian Blundell is a Wichita native who attended Goddard Goddard Public Schools and received a degree in secondary education from Wichita State University. Discovering a passion for "little kids" when his younger brother was born, Darian loves working at WFS where he can grow in this passion every day. Darian's hobbies include working out, enjoying time with friends, and simply relaxing at home with a book or watching a movie.
Gracie Rodriguez, Financial Manager
Gracie Rodriguez has been with WFS as our Financial Manager since 2011. Gracie received certification as a Computer Programmer from Electronic Computer Program Institute (ECPI) in Chicago, IL and earned an Associate’s Degree with emphasis in Managerial Accounting from Butler County Community College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources from Avila University. Other certifications include membership of the Society for Human Resource Management and several Leadership Achievement Awards from the National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc. Community involvement includes fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other charities within the community. Family is her greatest joy which includes her husband, four grown children, thirteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren!
Aaron Fowler, Enrichment Teacher
Aaron is a Wichita native, and a graduate of Friends University. His career in education has been broad with 11 years of classroom teaching experience in Wichita Public Schools, 20 years of administrative experience as Executive Director of Hope Street Youth Development, and 10 years as a Nationally-recognized Teacher Artist. Aaron has volunteered in various ways at WFS, serving on our Board of Directors, as Clerk of our Development Committee, as a member of our Finance Committee, as Director of our Capital Campaign that funded the new additions to our building and playgrounds and as Head of School in 2020-21. He is currently sharing his passions with our WFS children, teaching music and leading Monday morning worship. "I felt called to arts education in college, and have had that calling confirmed all my life. I especially love building confidence and stimulating curiosity in children and helping them discover how truly wonderful and awesome they are."
Connie Adams, Enrichment Volunteer
Retired from a career in higher education and a secondary career in liturgical music as church organist and children’s music minister, Connie assists with our WFS Monday morning worship, leads Godly Play Bible stories and Faith & Play Quaker stories, teaches music (singing and rhythm), and assists with our school library. Connie’s educational background includes a B.A. in English Education from Southwestern College; a Master’s in Community Counseling from Appalachian State University, and Faith Formation Certification in children’s ministry from the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina. ”I am so blessed to be able to combine my educational experience, my faith, my music and my love of books into one volunteer position at this wonderful school.”
Lynnette Krieger-Zook, Enrichment Teacher
Lynnette Krieger-Zook recently retired from Hutchinson Public Schools where she taught special education in preschool, Head Start and kindergarten. During Covid she taught kindergarten remotely and discovered children can build community and be a school family through Zoom. Working with children started as a teacher aide at age 16 at Little Friends Preschool and Day Care in Denver Colo. She continues to bring this gift with teaching Art to WFS students and serving on the WFS Education Committee.
Patrice Stephenson, Enrichment Volunteer
I love the bright eyes and wiggly children of WFS. I came to sign language thanks to a son who is deaf. I made my career interpreting in classrooms and training others to do the same. I’m looking forward to seeing your child’s hands do some talking. Ask them to show you a sign that they learned on Tuesdays.