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Our Team.

At Hope Christian School, we believe the foundation of exceptional education lies in the dedication of our staff. Our team of experienced and certified educators is the heart of our program, continually going above and beyond to create a nurturing and stimulating learning environment. Each teacher brings unique skills and a personal commitment to ensure every child is well-prepared for their educational journey. From shaping young minds to fostering the spirit of curiosity, our staff is committed to instilling Christian values and academic excellence, making Hope Christian not just an educational institution but a home away from home for your child.

Meet Our Staff


Judy Canfield


I am proud to be the Director of Hope Christian School. I have been in the Early Childhood field as teacher and director in New Jersey for over 35 years. I have my Bachelor of Arts degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I have my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and my New Jersey State School Supervisory Certificate. It is an honor to be part of this family of wonderful teachers and staff and in a school with a 57 year tradition of excellence in offering quality educational programs to the children of the community!


Judy Canfield

Assistant Director

I have been in the Early Childhood Education Field for over 20 years as a Teacher, as well as an Assistant Director.  I have my Teaching Certification through Rasmussen College.  I believe that all children deserve to have a happy and safe Educational Environment in which they can learn and thrive! I am very happy to be a part of Hope Christian School! When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 4 children.


Cheryl Hurd

Office Administrator

Cheryl started Hope in 2017 and has years of customer service experience along with extensive office and administrative skills. She lives in Freehold with her 15 year-old daughter, Adalyn, her cat, two ferrets, Mike and Sully, and two rabbits. Outside of work, Cheryl spends her time volunteering weekly for a non-profit cat rescue, assists with Outreach Meals with her daughter's Girl Scout troop, loves word games and puzzles, and looking for new and exciting places to travel for vacation. Cheryl plans to be around here for a long time, so stop by and say hi if you haven't already!


Ed Kropa

Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church

Pastor Edward Kropa (Pastor Ed) is the Leader of Hope Lutheran Church. Pastor was raised here in Freehold Township before moving out of state. The pastor has fond memories of Hope Christian School as his mother, Gloria Kropa, was the first-ever teacher of Hope Christian School! During his 32 years of pastoral leadership, Pastor Ed and his wife Jeanette have served 6 churches and raised 3 daughters. He is excited to be back in Freehold and to be helping keep Hope Christian school anchored in Faith!

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Eileen Flohr


I teach 3 year olds and 4 year olds at Hope Christian School. I graduated from Seton Hall University with a BS in Education. I am a NJ Certified Teacher with certification in Early Childhood (Pre-K) as well as Elementary Education (K-8).  I am a certified Catechist and have been teaching CCD for over 30 years.  

I am happily married with 3 children.  I have taught primary grades in addition to teaching for over 20 years at HCS.  My favorite color is RED and my favorite book is the Giving Tree.  I love collecting sea glass at the beach and listening to Christian music.  During the summer months, you can catch me reading, gardening and cuddling with my dog, Buttercup.   Thank you, God for allowing me to joyfully teach children at Hope Christian School. 


Kelly Stefanacci


I teach 3 year olds and 4 year olds at Hope Christian School. I graduated from St.Peter's University with a BA in Elementary Education and a concentration in English Literature. I am a NJ certified teacher. I have previously taught 3rd grade, Pre-K, and more recently 1st grade at St. Jerome School in West Long Branch. I hope to instill a love of learning that will last through your child's years of schooling. I want to provide an atmosphere that enables every child to grow closer to Jesus and to live the Gospel values. I enjoy reading. I love to travel to Ireland to visit with my family. I reside in Freehold Township with my husband, our two children, and our dog Tara.


Melissa Tempest


Mrs. Tempest teaches the 3 year olds at Hope Christian School. She has a Bachelor's Degree from the College of Staten Island in Psychology and her Master's Degree in Education. Mrs. Tempest and her husband have two daughters and a son. Mrs. Tempest has been with Hope Christian School as a parent since her daughter's Mommy & Me days over 10 years ago.  Her classroom is full of her boundless energy and creativity!!


Rachel Colbert


I am happy to be teaching at Hope Christian School. Prior to coming here, I taught Pre-K for the past 20 years and was also a tutorial Phonics Teacher. I have my teaching certification from Rasmussen College.

When not at school, I enjoy spending family time at home with my husband and 5 children.


Shannon Imregi


I come to Hope Christian with a Master's of Arts in Teaching from Simmons University in Boston and almost 15 years of teaching experience specifically in early childhood and literacy development. I've served as a classroom and resource teacher, an adjunct professor, and most recently a literacy coach, working with teachers to implement Best Practices in K-3 classrooms. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, and spending time with my ten year old son, husband and very energetic dog, Maggie!


Leia McConville


This is my fifth year here at Hope Christian School and I’m so excited to start each new school year here at Hope with all these  wonderful children and teachers.  I graduated from the College of Staten Island and earned my degree in Elementary Education. I continued my education studying Early Childhood and Special Education. I’ve been teaching Early Childhood for many years now and have four children of my own, all daughters of varying ages.


Leslie Rifenburg


Mrs. Rifenburg is a staple in the Hope Christian School Toddler 2's Class. She started as an assistant teacher and now is leading the FUN! She also works in the Before Care program, Summer Camp, VBS and was a Pre-K Sunday school teacher at Hope Lutheran Church for many years. Mrs. Rifenburg is married to her husband Rich for over 30 years and has three adult boys, all whom attended Hope Christian School! Mrs. Rifenburg treats her Toddlers as if they were her own, creating a warm, nurturing experience where our 2 year olds can learn and grow!


Patty Luke


Mrs. Luke is currently teaching 4-year-olds at Hope Christian School. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Stevens Institute of Technology. Mrs. Luke and her husband have 3 sons, all of whom attended Hope Christian School. She is a catechist at her church, and very active in the local Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop. Mrs. Luke creates a fun, loving, safe classroom environment for every child. She enjoys exploring, laughing, and getting messy with her students!


Justine Denino


I am excited to be part of Hope Christian School teaching 3 year olds.  I am a certified teacher with a degree in both Early Childhood Education B-2 and Childhood Education 1-6. I have also continued my education in Students with Disabilities. I taught for several years within the NYC Department of Education before taking a few years off to start a family. I have three beautiful girls, one who previously attended pre-kindergarten and one who is currently enrolled. My main goals as a teacher is to help your children develop a love for learning and to create a classroom environment they look forward to coming to each day.


Jessica Forte


It is with great excitement that I am part of the Hope Christian School staff as a teacher for the 2 year old program.  This school holds a special place in my heart, as I attended Hope as a child myself and my daughter did as well! I have a degree from Monmouth University and am currently obtaining my Master Degree in School Counseling.  I believe that these first school experiences are the most important ones and should be full of exciting, positive days!

Meet Our Amazing Assistants!


MacKenzie Carmichael


Kim Dato


Jade Goswick


Karen Mannuzza


Dana Tabone


Lindsay Markert

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Christina Labrit

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Zama Soto-Valdes

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