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PreK - 5th Grade

Heartland Christian is an innovative school, incorporating the best from both traditional school and home study. It is an affordable, school alternative combining two or three days of actual school attendance with home schooling. Heartland's mission is to offer quality education-including individual instruction, spiritual guidance, and parent training- to families, in order to assist in raising up well-equipped citizens of character.

Amy Ramirez - Pre-Kindergarten

Experience:  Amy Ramirez has been a teacher for 3 years. She was also a teachers aid for 5 years prior. Amy received her child development certification from Grossmont College.

Interests: Amy has been married to her amazing husband for 10 years, and has 2 beautiful children. They also have a fur baby names Darby. They spend most of their free time camping in their awesome camper. Her children are active and play many sports, so most weekends you can find them on a ball field.

Personal comment:  “I feel blessed to be able to help mold the minds of our youth and to help them in their journey in their walk with the Lord.”

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Noreen Ottalagano - Pre-Kindergarten - Kindergarten

Experience:  Noreen Ottalagano has been working with preschoolers for the past 30+ years. Having earned her Associate’s Degree from Grossmont College, she has blessed the community at Faith Chapel Preschool, churches. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten have been her love at Heartland Christian Homeschool Center. Noreen has focused on Child Development enjoying the total growth of each child. All of Noreen’s talents are evident in her classroom – music, art, reading, writing, phonics, and the reality of God’s Word. She is a gem!
Interests:  Noreen married her 2nd grade sweetheart and now have 3 daughters. She enjoys being with her family, especially her grandchildren! Quiet time and Beth Moore's Bible studies are important to her. Being the wife of a pastor, she enjoys writing curriculum both for school and church. overseeing the children's ministry.

Personal comments:  I'm blessed that God has allowed me to work with children and families. I can't imagine doing anything else!

Jennifer Wortman - 1st and 2nd Grades

Experience:  Jennifer attended Heartland from 8th - 12th grade and knows our system inside and out.  She has had the advantage of training under master teachers. Working as a monitor at Heartland she has trained under the very best to teach our young students. Jennifer loves to teach History, Science and Vocabulary to our 1st and 2nd graders.    Her love for these subject has fascinates her students; they even know about our Presidents. She passes on her love for the classics and their vocabulary to her eager learners.

Interests: Jennifer is a fabulous writer, is kind and honest, and cares so much about the children. She also loves gardening and Jewish traditions.

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Michaela Kazules - 1st and 2nd Grades

Experience: Growing up, Michaela attended several different types of schools, but discovered the best success for her education was enabled at a Homeschool, and from the building up of her faith from her parents at home. She graduated Highschool at 16 then moved on to study Theatre Arts and Dance at Grossmont College. She has enjoyed working with children for the past 10+ years: nannying, giving guitar and ukulele lessons, tutoring, helping with Sunday School at church, and being a camp counselor for UCSD REC's Camp Knockaround. She and her husband Alex organized a small remote summer camp for local families, while their favorite camps where shut down during Covid in 2020. The Kazules' have been hosting a "Young Professionals'" Fellowship and Bible Study group for the past two years. 

Michaela is excited to help her 1st & 2nd graders learn the ACE program, to share the Gospel with them, and guide them to grow in their love for learning and for Jesus.

Interests: Singing/songwriting/guitar, creative & performing arts, organizing homes, being outdoors, playing board games, and participating in small group Bible discussions are just a few of her favorite things. She loves leading worship at church alongside Alex and participating in small group Bible studies with friends.

​Personal comment: "I am so glad and grateful to have joined Heartland's family, and feel extremely blessed to be surrounded by staff and families who live for the Gospel, and love to serve Jesus!"

Jacquelyne Mendham - 2nd and 3rd Grades

Experience: Jacquelyne Mendham has been a wonderful addition to our supervising team at Heartland, successfully investing in a second and third grade classroom. Jacquelyne has homeschooled her two daughters at Heartland. Now in junior high and high school, they still love their school and have been thriving since kindergarten.  Over the years, Jacquelyne has worked in various classrooms and grades including two years full-time with Mrs. Ottalagano in kindergarten. She has completed her ACE training program with high grades.  Jacquelyne has worked as a camp counselor and works for Indian Hills Camp during the summer.

Personal Comment: I love being involved with my own children’s activities. Family road trips make family even better.  In the classroom, it is a wonder to see how much the students learn and grow in just a year.  My favorite thing is how children make me laugh.

Principal’s comment:  Jacquelyn Mendham is easy-going, patient, and a joy to be around. If something is hard, it’s just what you do, no big deal.  Life is an adventure and she’d love to do life with you all.

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Jennifer Montalvo - 2nd and 3rd Grades

Experience: Jennifer Montalvo began as a volunteer monitor at Heartland, which led to her selection as a Supervisor of the second and third grade. She has two children that have attended Heartland for four years. Alongside her active duty husband of seventeen years, she has been stationed in Texas, Japan, Bahrain, and San Diego. She and her family have had the opportunities to experience different educational systems, Jennifer has said that Heartland has been by far the best place to continue to raise their children in the core values that serve as a pillar in their household. ​Jennifer has taught Sunday school, worked in church youth ministry, served on a praise and worship team, and co-taught marriage classes with her spouse. 

Interests: Along with attending home Bible studies/fellowship with her family and friends, she usually has a handful of neighborhood kids or Heartland students gathering around her home for what has now become a tradition called "Jishmas". Jennifer's other interests are singing, interior decorating/organizing, relaxing at La Jolla shores, watching her daughter surf or cheering her son on as he plays basketball. 

Personal Comment: Jennifer Montalvo has expressed being forever grateful to serve and be a part of the Heartland family. Finding that it brings the utmost joy to fulfill the Great Commission and the greatest of commandments, "To love God and love people." Matthew 22:37-40

Melanie Deyling - 4th and 5th Grades

Experience: Teacher's aide for five years; teacher for over 15 years; as a pastor's wife she has worked with youth ministries; home schooled her 4 children from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Interests: Traveling, fine arts, family, teaching Bible and creation.

Personal comment: "Watching the strugglers' faces when they finally 'get it' makes all the work worthwhile. I enjoy the daily writing assignments and Bible time, provoking thinking and discussion. Most of all, I love creating a homey atmosphere; my students are like a family."

Principal's comment: "Did someone say, "Children learn when there is no stress?" Melanie's room is the epitome of learning in the comfort of your own living room. Her natural, creative design talents enhance the pleasantry of learning; she makes the process so normal that students are unaware of how consistently on track they are with their academic goals."

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Maggie Hansen - 4th and 5th Grades

Experience: Maggie Hansen has been working at Heartland for 10 years. Trained through college and ACE Ministries she has covered may roles including P.E. coach, lead monitor, and supervisor to many age levels. Her current role is 4th-5th grade supervisor. She enjoys teaching cursive, the preamble, and The Bill of Rights to her students. Maggie has four children of her own that are at Heartland ranging from 4th grade to high school.

Interests: When Maggie is not at Heartland she enjoys trail riding with her husband. She also loves spending time with her children and working around her yard in Jamul. Caring for rabbits, sheep and horses Maggie is a lover of animals big and small.

Personal Comment: I love spending time with these kids watching them grow into who God has called them to be. These students all have different and unique skills that contribute to the class and their class mates. I believe teachings children how God wants us to be lights is one of the most important aspects of my job. Followed by improving their cursive, math and reading skills.

Principal's Comment: Calm and well organized reflects greatly in Maggie Hansen's classroom. Whether doing crafts, a history  lesson, or a carefully chosen book the planned lesson is a smooth success. What comes naturally for Mrs. Maggie Hansen is excellence. All of her students quickly become her favorites, inside and out, and she is delighted to show you their abilities.

Jamie Martin - PE

Experience:  Jamie Martin joined Heartland with a missionary upbringing and a renaissance education. Jamie graduated from Calvary Chapel Bible College with a Theology degree in '99 and a B.A. in art from SDSU in '04. She has homeschooled her own children for 9 years, which has given her insight into teaching children  with processing issues and dyslexia. Jamie will be teaching PE 1st-8th this year. She uses her love of travel and her enthusiasm for music to make a lasting impact on her students as they broaden their view of a world in need of a savior.
Interests: Piano/song writing, photography, diy projects.

Personal comment: "I feel completely humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to be around and teach these awesome kids about God and the world around them. I know that God has called me to this mission and I do not take it lightly! I am so excited to see what God does this year!"

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