Meet Our Teachers
Dr. 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 five 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 be at WFS another year.
Ms. Brandi, 1st -4th Grade Teacher
Brandi has been with Wichita Friends School for 3 years. Originally from Wichita, she grew up in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, returning to Wichita to earn a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Unified and K-6 Elementary Education at Wichita State University. She looks forward to working on a Masters of Education this year. “I am so excited to be here with my WFS Family! When not in the classroom, I enjoy reading, vacationing to Disney World, listening to music, playing with my animals, and spending time with friends and family.”
Ms. Whitney, Kindergarten Teacher
A native of Mulvane, Ms. Whitney has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Southwestern College in Winfield. She joined WFS last year as our Preschool teacher and looks forward to her transition to the Kindergarten classroom this year. “I am Mom to three wonderful kids, Makenna, Kaden and Ella, who keep me very busy. In my spare time I love watching my kids play their various sports. I also love to cook and bake. 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.”
Ms. Cathy, Pre-K 4-year-old Teacher
Cathy has been our “Junior Kindergarten” (4-year-olds) for the past six years. She is from a very small town in Andover, New York and came to Kansas to attend Christian College in McPherson. She met her husband, David, in 1976 and they celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary this past summer. They have two children and look forward to welcoming their seventh grandchild in March. Cathy has worked with children nearly three decades, and knows it is a true heart passion for her. “The first time I stepped in the front door of WFS, I knew that this was a very special place. I could feel the love. It is an honor to work with our students and families. I look forward to another great year!”
Ms. Kelsey, Preschool 3-year-old Teacher
Ms. Kelsey brings years of experience operating a home day-care to our Wichita Friends School 3-year-old class. Having been employed part-time at WFS, she is happy to be with our children and staff all day. “I fell in love with Wichita Friends School and everything about it and am excited about being in my classroom.” Kelsey has been married for 8 years, has an 8-year-old son, and is expecting twins (a boy and a girl) in November. “I look forward to a year full of joy and love!”
Ms. Jeanne, Library Teacher
Ms. Jeanne has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Wichita State University, and is licensed to teach K-9, Early Childhood, ESL, and K-12 Library Media. She comes to us with 40-plus years teaching in Wichita Public Schools: K-3 Classroom, Special Reading Resource, and Library Media. She is married with 1 daughter, 3 sons, 1 granddaughter, and 5 grandsons. Jeanne and her husband love spending time with their grandchildren. They are history buffs who enjoy historical fiction, documentaries and museums. She loves music, especially The Beatles. She, also, has a deep love for books and reading. The thrill of seeing and hearing children getting excited about reading is her greatest joy.
Ms. Gracie, 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, sixteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Mr. Matt, Marketing and Custodial Management
Mr. Matt joined our WFS administrative staff last Spring, leading our Marketing efforts and social media outreach. This year he is also working as one of our custodians, managing our school environment so it is inviting and safe for our students. A student at Newman University, Matt will graduate in December with a degree in Marketing. “I enjoy being with the varsity soccer team at Newman. In my spare time I like to play soccer and go to coffee shops. A fun fact about me is that I am from England.”
Ms. Connie, Enrichment Volunteer
Ms. Connie joined WFS as a volunteer 10 years ago, leading our weekly Worship time, teaching Godly Play and Faith & Play Bible stories and teaching our music enrichment class. She is a member of Heartland Friends Quaker Meeting and guides our SPICES curriculum that focuses on Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship. Retired from a career in higher education and a secondary liturgical music career as church organist and children’s music minister, 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, and my love of music into one volunteer position at this wonderful school.”
Ms. Lynnette, 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.
Ms. Patrice, 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 in our class time together!