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Teacher Bios

Chester Weaver

Chester was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but moved to Texas in 1987, and has spent 37 years as a full-time teacher at five separate schools, usually teaching the upper level grades. One of those schools involved an eight-year stint in Indiana, where he was privileged to interact with both the Old Order Amish community as well as historians related to the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen. He has spent almost his entire life in education by teaching, preaching, and writing. He has specialized in history, especially Anabaptist history and theology. In 2020 he published The Things Which Become Sound Doctrine, a biography of Aaron Shank, who was instrumental in his move to Texas. Three of his eight children live in California, two in Texas, two in Virginia, and one in Ireland, while he and his wife Barbara live south of Ft. Worth in the village of Itasca. He eagerly welcomes the opportunity to “pay his debt” to the oncoming generations.

Deana Swanson

Deana holds a Bachelor in Communication from the University of Texas at Arlington and completed an additional two-year secondary English education certification program at Valdosta State University. She has been a teacher in Christian schools for twelve years and homeschooled her own children for eleven years before returning to the classroom once again. She also instructed high school music programs for twenty-five years, is a former member of the Oasis Chorale, teaches at Shenandoah Christian Music Camps, and is on the planning committee of the Anabaptist Orchestra. She lives in Terre Hill, Pennsylvania, with her husband Jeff and four of her children, writes about education-related topics, enjoys playing board games, and takes walks with her family and four of her five cats. Deana offers a preview of the art course content for those who contact her. Contact Deana.

Calvin Martin

Calvin always dreamed of being a teacher and soon after graduating from high school, he began teaching full time. He has taught a total of seven years, about half the time teaching middle grades and the other half upper grades. He has also always enjoyed designing, putting it to use in his classroom as well as his current job as a graphic designer. After growing up in Pennsylvania, he moved to Michigan where he now lives with his wife and two children. Calvin is passionate about knowing what he believes and living each day intentionally.

Gary Yoder

Gary Yoder is a Mennonite creative from southern Virginia. He is passionate about great art that can disarm us with truth, goodness, and beauty—and that can remind us of our purpose and the One who made us. Gary is married to Luann, and they have three wonderful young children who keep them busy, and sometimes sleep-deprived. He enjoys reading his children stories, composing music, painting, and writing poetry. Gary works as a bookkeeper as well.