Presenter Biographies

photo of Dr. A. Shane Blanton

Dr. A. Shane Blanton

Dr. A. Shane Blanton is the Executive Director of the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS). The MAIS has 130 schools in three states serving more than 50,000 students. Shane’s background has uniquely prepared him for service as Executive Director of an organization that accredits, trains, and manages all aspects of the educational journey of independent school students. He has served as Head of School at both boarding and day schools in the region and as an intelligence officer in the U. S. Army. He holds an undergraduate degree in political science, a master’s degree in public policy and administration, a specialist in educational leadership, and a doctorate in educational leadership and research. He serves on numerous educational and professional boards, is an adjunct professor in educational research, and publishes Educational Today, a biweekly digest of articles, current events, and research that challenge independent school leaders. Shane and his wife, Dawn, have four sons, Shane Jr., Seth, Samuel, and Stone, and they live in Jackson, Mississippi.

photo of Bryan Smith

Dr. Bryan Smith

Bryan has worked in Christian education for over 30 years. He has been a classroom teacher as well as a textbook author. Currently, he serves BJU Press as Assistant Director of Educational Content, and he is accountable for the Biblical Worldview Shaping department. Bryan holds a PhD in Old Testament interpretation.

photo of Doug Abels

Doug Abels

Doug and Karen Abels were married in June of 1996 and immediately moved to Guam to serve at Harvest Christian Academy. After twenty years of administration and classroom experience, Doug and Karen obeyed the Lord's calling to them both which launched them on a rewarding journey through Head of School roles in Christian ministries in Atlanta and now Greenville, South Carolina. Doug serves as the Head of School for Bob Jones Academy since 2021. Most recently, God has been opening doors for training of nationals in Africa and the Middle East, and they are excited to be used to build God's kingdom both in the US and overseas.

photo of Kirsten Alexander

Kirsten Alexander

Kirsten Alexander loves to make all things history come alive. Imagining herself in each historical context created the pursuit of degree in social studies education and a master’s degree in history. Having taught for over 20 years, she now enjoys writing texts for the subjects she loves so much.

photo of Michael Arnold

Michael Arnold

Michael Arnold considers himself a product of Christian education and an advocate for it. After attending a church school and Bible college, he began teaching middle school at Christian schools in Ohio and Michigan. He has also served as the curriculum director for an online Christian school. Currently, Michael provides support and training for Curriculum Trak schools. He enjoys assisting school leaders in launching their Curriculum Trak efforts and encouraging teachers in their efforts. Ultimately, Michael desires to help Christian educators ensure a high-quality education for their students. He currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife, Ruth Ann, and his two daughters, Meara and Ruby.

photo of Dr. Brad Batdorf

Dr. Brad Batdorf

Brad is the Director of Assessment for the School of Education and Human Services and Associate Professor in the Division of Teacher Education at Bob Jones University. He is also the Program Coordinator for the Science Education program and teaches methods courses. Prior to his appointment as a full-time faculty member in 2016, he served for 13 years in curriculum development for BJU Press, both as a writer and a manager. His wife Cheryl is also an educator, and they have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

photo of Marnie Batterman

Marnie Batterman

Marnie holds a BS in elementary education and an MEd in special education. She holds SC certification for K4–Grade 8 as well as SCACS and AACS professional certification. She has taught for more than 25 years at Bob Jones Academy and has written material for BJU Press elementary Bible, English, reading, and heritage studies. She has trained teachers in China using BJU Press materials and has worked with BJU Press Distance Learning Online building test banks for online courses and PowerPoints for Teacher Tools Online.

photo of Dr. Scott Buhr

Dr. Scott Buhr

Dr. Scott Buhr serves as the Chair of the Division of Teacher Education in the Bob Jones University School of Education & Human Services. His session topics are informed by the excellent Christian education he received, his nearly ten years of public high school science teaching experience, and doctoral work from the University of South Carolina. Scott has made educational contributions as an AP Physics Reader, instructional designer with ZF Transmissions, adjudicator for the Toshiba ExploraVision competition, and textbook consultant with BJU Press. He has been recognized for his skill in teaching by his students, colleagues, administrators, and district personnel. He is excited about Christian education and thrilled to participate in the Exchange Conference.

photo of Dr. Sherard Burns

Dr. Sherard Burns

Dr. Burns has served in Christian education for the past 15 years, teaching high school social studies and Bible classes and serving in administrative leadership. He currently is the Headmaster of Dade Christian School and The Master's Academy in south Florida. Sherard holds a degree in marketing and a master’s in biblical studies. He also holds a doctorate in systematic theology and is working on a second doctorate in educational leadership. He is one of the pastors of The Bridge Fellowship in south Florida and is the author of Christ Above Culture: A Gospel Centered Vision for Racial Harmony. He also founded Christ Above Culture Ministries to help churches, schools, and Christian organizations implement a Christ- and Bible-centered culture of racial unity. He is married to Lisa Burns and is the proud father of six amazing kids.

photo of Brian Carruthers

Dr. Brian Carruthers

Brian holds a BS in science education and an MS in educational administration and supervision from Bob Jones University. He received an EdD in school leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has 19 years of experience as a teacher and administrator of Christian schools in Florida and North Carolina. Brian is the dean of the School of Education and Human Services, and he also oversees the Division of Adult and Graduate Studies at Bob Jones University.

photo of Dr. Brian Collins

Dr. Brian Collins

Brian is the biblical worldview lead specialist at BJU Press. He holds a PhD in theology and has worked at BJU Press for 17 years. His work focuses primarily on Christian-worldview shaping for the Press's social studies and language arts product lines. He was a contributing writer to Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption.

photo of Jenny Copeland

Dr. Jenny Copeland

Jenny holds an MEd in elementary education, an EdS in educational leadership, and an EdD in curriculum and instruction. She has SCACS and AACS professional certification and is a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the International Society for Technology in Education, and the South Carolina Association of Educational Technology. In addition, she is a Certified Educator for Google, Ozobot, Kahoot!, Nearpod, Edpuzzle, and Screencast-o-matic. Jenny has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal and thoroughly enjoys opportunities to interact with educators while serving as an educational speaker and workshop facilitator. Currently, Jenny is an Educational Technology manager at BJU Press and teaches in the online graduate education program at BJU.

photo of Chris Coyle

Chris Coyle

Chris is a native Californian who earned a BS in fisheries science from Cal Poly Humboldt and afterwards worked as a field technician for the California Conservation Corps. He also holds an AA degree in biblical studies. He has eighteen years of classroom experience in Grades 6–12 (mostly in middle grades) in both private and public settings. Since joining BJU Press in 2015, Chris has worked on the biology, life science, physical science, physics, and chemistry product lines, for which he tries to sneak in as many fish examples as possible.

photo of Becky Custer

Becky Custer

Becky has a BS in elementary education and an MEd with the emphasis on teaching and learning. She has spent 35 years in elementary education and early childhood development, working to prepare young children for later learning. She has taught teacher-training classes and currently serves as the Early Learning Consultant for BJU Press.

photo of Cindy Dickinson

Cindy Dickinson

Cindy’s passion for Christian education began over 30 years ago. She has served on three continents teaching a variety of ages and subjects. Her heart lies with the elementary-age student. She spent two years in China as an administrator and teacher trainer helping Chinese nationals use BJU Press materials to teach and shape their students’ worldview. She currently is a National Consultant for BJU Press.

photo of Pam Elbell

Pam Elbell

Pam holds a BS in speech from Tennessee Temple University and an MAT in elementary education from Bob Jones University. She has taught third and fourth grade for 18 years in various school settings. She currently teaches third grade at Bob Jones Academy. She is married and has three boys who attend Bob Jones Academy.

photo of Christine Hand

Christine Hand

Christine holds a BS and an MEd in English education from Bob Jones University. She has both SC state certification for Grades 7–12 and AACS advanced professional certification. She has taught middle school English language arts for over 20 years at Bob Jones Academy. In addition, she maintains the middle school library and has taught various other courses, such as Bible and study skills. She has also been a workshop speaker at various conferences, director of a literacy and communication summer program at BJU, and the author of many articles on teaching and technology. Outside the classroom, Christine enjoys spending time with her husband and three children and serving in her local church.

photo of Katie Klipp

Katie Klipp

Katie holds a BS and an MEd in elementary education from Bob Jones University. She has earned advanced professional certification from both SCACS and AACS. She has over 15 years of experience teaching first grade and currently serves as lead teacher for first grade at Bob Jones Academy. She conducts workshops as well as hands-on technology help sessions for educators and has assisted BJU Press in curriculum revision and professional development projects.

photo of Pam Litzenberger

Pam Litzenberger

With 32 years of experience in the classroom teaching Grades 3–9, Pam has a passion for helping other teachers. After teaching different subjects and grades in both Georgia and Texas, she found teaching middle school math to be her favorite age and subject. After teaching for several years in Texas, she and her family moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where she taught at Bob Jones Academy. Here she headed up the implementation of an iPad lab and began “flipping” some of her classes, resulting in steady positive progress among the slower learners. She had the unique opportunity to teach at Camp Infinity for the inaugural summer of the STEM camp at the Creation Museum. Most recently, she has taught girls’ Bible, digital literacy, and pre-algebra at BJA. She currently serves as a National Consultant for BJU Press, representing the secondary subjects.

photo of Dr. Bruce Meyer

Dr. Bruce Meyer

A Professor of Biblical Studies & Counseling, Dr. Bruce Meyer holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University and M.Div. and D.Min. (Biblical Counseling) degrees from Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been in education since 1993 and in higher education since 2001. He has served as a school administrator, assistant pastor, and pastor. After 19 years at Maranatha Baptist University, he joined the seminary faculty at Bob Jones University in 2021. Bruce’s counseling specialty includes abuse recovery, trauma, and addictions. Married to Kathy since 1987, together they have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

photo of Christina Miller

Christina Miller

Professionally, Christina Miller has been involved in higher education since 2012. She served as the Director of the Academic Success Center at Maranatha Baptist University, where she was involved in academic counseling, tutoring, and coaching of students. After completing her master's work in special education and her graduate certificate in Educational Psychology, she joined the faculty at Maranatha, teaching special education and psychology classes, as well as advising the special education program. Most recently, she has joined the special education faculty at Bob Jones University, where she teaches and also observes student teachers during their field experiences. Christina and her husband, Jeff, have been married for almost a quarter of a century and boast three precious gifts from God: Ethan, Trey, and Lyvia, as well as a sweet daughter-in-law. In her free time, Christina enjoys reading, baking/cooking, watching cooking shows, playing strategy games, and spending time with her family.

photo of Erin Muxlow

Erin Muxlow

Erin is passionate about Christian education. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a secondary math minor. She has had a variety of teaching experience in Christian schools, including K4, combination classes, 4th grade, and high school math. While teaching, Erin actively coached volleyball and basketball for almost 15 years. She has been an educational sales consultant with BJU Press/Precept Marketing for 5 years and loves to support schools pursuing academic excellence through biblical worldview education.

photo of Renton Dr. Rathbun

Dr. Renton Rathbun

Renton has been a classroom teacher for over two decades. His experience has included both secular and Christian colleges and universities. Renton speaks on biblical worldview and apologetics across the country. He holds a BS in English education and an MA in interpretative speech from Bob Jones University. He has also received an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, an MA in philosophy from the University of Toledo, a ThM from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and has a PhD in apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary. Renton serves as the Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Bob Jones University.

photo of JR Remelgado

Joaquim (JR) Remelgado

JR Remelgado holds a BA in English from Thomas Edison State University and an MA in literature from Clarks Summit University. He has had several years of experience using BJU Press products to teach middle and high school English. During that time, he became passionate about using various techniques and strategies to engage even the most reluctant learners and to create excitement for his subject. He currently serves as a middle- and high-school English language arts writer for BJU Press and teaches a freshman English class at a local university.

photo of Rachel Santopietro

Rachel Santopietro

Rachel Santopietro is passionate about helping students find joy in learning as they engage, learn, and create. And she wants this enthusiasm to be contagious. The same sense of wonder that sparked her curiosity in childhood spurred her to pursue a degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in education. She wants to share her passion as she draws from her teaching and writing experience to oversee instructional design for writing teams at BJU Press.

photo of Anita Sedivy

Anita Sedivy

Anita holds a BS in elementary education with a math minor and a MEd in secondary education. She has taught in Christian education for 28 years, teaching a variety of math courses--from 6th grade math to high school algebra--both in the classroom and through distance learning. She also has experience as a childcare director and preschool administrator. When she is away from school she enjoys serving in her local church, reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

photo of Becky Teruel

Becky Teruel

Becky holds a BS and an MEd in elementary education and has been in education for over 20 years teaching various grades and subjects. She has experience as an Early Interventionist working with young children with deficits and has also supervised and mentored student teachers in their clinical practice training. Becky has been a Teacher Consultant and is currently a National Consultant with BJU Press where she loves to motivate teachers to be engaging and encourage higher-level thinking in their classrooms.