Lavonda Lofton has been the Principal of Destiny Christian School since September 2007. She previously worked for the Rochester City School District for 15 years as an intermediate teacher for grades 4th-6th. While teaching in the Rochester City School District, Mrs. Lofton held several leadership positions, such as Grade Level Chairperson, Urban Education Leader, Parent Teacher Association Representative, and School Improvement Board Member. Prior to working for RCSD, she worked as a Science teacher for New Covenant Christian School for 3 years. Mrs. Lofton earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Biology in 1988 from Delaware State University College in Dover, Deleware. After graduation, she worked for Eastman Kodak Company as a Chemical & Analytical Technician for 7 years. Mrs. Lofton then obtained her Masters of Education degree from Nazareth College in 2000, as well as her NYS Elementary Education certification. She then obtained a Masters of Education in Administration & Leadership from St. John Fisher College in 2009.
Paula Cox began working at Destiny Christian School in the Fall of 2007. Mrs. Cox has also directed two years of summer camp for Destiny as well as serving as the Cluster Team leader within the school. Mrs. Cox graduated Magna Cum Laude from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts with a BS in Elementary Education and an AA degree in Christian Education. She has continued to hone her skills as a Kindergarten teacher through workshops and conferences and independent study. She has taught Kindergarten in Kansas City, Missouri, Ephrata, Pennsylvania and West Chester, Pennsylvania before relocating to Rochester with her family. On the weekends, you will find Mrs. Cox actively involved in her local church where she leads a women’s Bible study and acts as Children’s Director, teaching in Children’s Church, the midweek kids’ program and directing Vacation Bible School. Mrs. Cox felt the call to teach while in college, studying in a different field of study. She continues to fulfill her calling, teaching, guiding and striving to inspire the youngest learners and their families. Family is a priority to Mrs. Cox and her husband. They have 2 young adult children who they enjoy spending time with. They are also share their home with a dog and three cats.
Nicole Renford joined Destiny Christian School in the fall of 2021 as the second grade teacher. Ms. Renford entered the teaching profession in 2016 as a preschool teaching assistant, and has taught at various levels since. Ms. Renford gained experience as a preschool lead teacher, as a 5th grade ELA teacher and as a 4th grade math teacher. Ms. Renford graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities 1-6 from Roberts Wesleyan College; and is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, Tau Lambda Chapter. Ms. Renford is an active member of her local church and serves in various ministerial capacities. Faith and education were two very important factors in Ms. Renford’s upbringing, and have helped shape who she is today. Ms. Renford feels as though she has been blessed to find these core values merged together as a profession at Destiny Christian School. Ms. Renford is excited to be part of such a
school, which focuses on preparing students for both society and the Kingdom of God.
Hello! My name is Julie Donofrio and I am the new 1st grade teacher. My prior teaching experience includes working in public and private schools, as well as children’s theaters and summer camps. Most recently, I was the Lead Tutor for the Greece School District before joining the staff at Destiny. I graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College with the Highest Honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, and have a NYS teaching certifications in Childhood Education and Special Education (1-6). I’ve also earned my MA in Liberal Studies from Empire State College. I feel so blessed to teach at Destiny, and am looking forward to the new school year! . I am also honored to be the recipient of the Big Pencil Award for Youth Instructor at Writers & Books in 2015.
Hello! My name is Esther Kim and I am a new 3rd grade teacher joining the Destiny School team this 2021 fall! While I am new to the Destiny community, I am very excited to be able to join a school with a vision and mission that, I believe, students in our world today need. Before joining the Destiny team, I had the privilege to work as a 5th grade teacher in Wayne County, taught 3rd grade in Manhattan, and I have also taught English to elementary and middle school students in Japan. I had a BA in English Literature and an MA in Cultural Studies, but found I needed to learn more to be a better teacher. I then received my MEd from Fordham University in both General Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education. Since graduation from Fordham, I have had the privilege to return as a guest speaker for some of the same classes I took over the years. I hope I can continue to learn and grow even more!
It seems teaching and working with communities has always been a part of my life – I participated in youth groups, youth mission trips, helped churches create Sunday School curriculums, served on worship teams, did short-term missions to the Philippines, Germany, and Guam, and also had the opportunity to be a long-term missionary in Japan. I also was able to be a part of an outreach center in Buffalo for teens and families. I do what I do because I treasure the small “ah-ha!” moments I have with students. I love helping students to see that education and creativity is a key to unlocking our mind’s eye to see how wonderful and beautiful the world is, God’s creation is. To be able to be a pair of hands that assists children of God to become the people they were created to be is a great blessing.
My name is Anielka Mather and I am so excited to be your child’s fifth grade teacher! To start off, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself personally and professionally. I am from Nicaragua and my husband is from the Bahamas! We have four awesome children together, 3 boys and 1 girl! We love going on vacation anywhere there is a beach/ocean. I am very competitive and love playing sports, particularly basketball, baseball and field hockey. This is my first year teaching at Destiny and I’m grateful to be a part of the family. Before my time here, I had the opportunity teaching in the Rochester City School District for 14 years, so I am a veteran teacher who’s had plenty of experience. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree at SUNY Brockport where I was certified in Elementary Education with a Bilingual Extension, and earned my Master’s Degree at St. John Fisher College where I obtained my Educational Administration certification as well.
Tina Auble has had the privilege of being a teacher at Destiny Christian School and Preschool since 2012. Mrs. Auble anchored our fourth grade classroom for 7 years before transitioning to our Middle School and now High School mentor position. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s of Education Degree in General/Special Education (1-6). Mrs. Auble began her teaching career in 2004, when she joined the teaching staff at Northstar Christian Academy as a Preschool Teacher. She absolutely loved it and realized that this was truly what she wanted to do. In September 2007, she accepted a position at French Road School in Brighton as an Academic Instructional Support Teacher, specializing in reading and math. In the five years she was there she worked in many different classrooms and collaborated with a variety of teachers and students in grades 3-5. Although she loved the job she had, God had other plans for her (Jeremiah 29:11), and He brought her to Destiny Christian School. Since being here at Destiny, God has given Mrs. Auble the ability and desire to make a difference in the lives of her students and their families.
Kamilah Ellis has been a distinguished educator for nearly two decades. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Master’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, she has been afforded the opportunity to teach at multiple levels (general and special education, pre-K through high school), and serve in various ministerial capacities for many years. Dr. Ellis has received various recognitions, including the America’s Choice Model Classroom teacher in the Rochester City School District, recipient of the 2013 Teacher of the Year award at ICEF Public Schools in Los Angeles, California, and the recipient of the Southwest SELPA Excellence in Education award in Southern California. Dr. Ellis is the Middle School Administrator here at Destiny Christian School. She also serves as the Vice President of the POP Squad (Parents, Our Partners: parent teacher organization) at Destiny, and the school’s secondary cheerleading and step team coach. Likewise, Dr. Ellis is a published author, an ordained elder, an adjunct professor to undergraduate and graduate students in Teacher Education programs, and the founder and CEO of Fruition Consulting LLC, a professional development trainer, educational consultant, and events coordination organization. Dr. Ellis attended all Christian schools from preschool through post graduate school. Therefore, she strongly believes in the value of Chrisitian Education. Her teaching philosophy is that all students can learn, through a Christ-centered environment. Dr. Ellis believes in meeting individual educational needs in student-focused classrooms, while helping young scholars attain intrinsic motivation in their academic achievement through nurture, discipline and love. She is an active member of Faith Church and proud to be an educator at Destiny Christian School.