Santa Barbara Christian School is committed to hiring the highest quality teachers and administrators dedicated to academic excellence. All the teachers and administrators have deep Christian values and a heart for children. Teachers, administrators and all educational assistants are screened carefully and selected on the basis of their teaching expertise, Christian faith and values, integrity, commitment and love for children.
With the belief that children do not care what you know until they know that you care, SBCS teachers and administrators go well beyond the classroom to encourage, support and show love to the students. From attendance at student’s activities and sports outside of school, to calls and notes of encouragement, teachers and administrators show that they care on a continual basis.
Head of School
Christopher Rutz earned a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota, a B.A. in Secondary Education from Western Oregon University, and an M.ED in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon. He spent eight years as a public school teacher and administrator and is in his 16th year in education. Chris has been married to his wife, Kristan, for seventeen years and they have two daughters, both who attend SBCS.
Shelley Hill earned a B.A. in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fresno. Mrs. Hill has been employed at Santa Barbara Christian School for the past nine years; the last four as the kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Hill has been married for nineteen years to her husband Andrew, and they have three children, one SBCS graduate and two still in attendance.
Jill Cunningham earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Westmont College in 2005, as well as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2006. Miss Cunningham began working at Santa Barbara Christian School in 2008. She is entering her 7th year in education and her 5th year as the first grade teacher at Santa Barbara Christian School. Miss Cunningham enjoys the opportunity to work with young students at SBCS and considers it a privilege to be part of the SBCS community. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends, reading, photography, and the beauty of Santa Barbara.
Peggy Archuletta attended Ventura College for her undergraduate studies and earned a B.A. in Psychology from Westmont College. She also holds a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from UC Santa Barbara. This will be Mrs. Archuletta’s 28th year teaching at Santa Barbara Christian School. All her years in education have been served here at SBCS. Mrs. Archuletta has been married for 2 years to her husband Stan and they love spending time walking on the beach and hiking in our local mountains.
3rd / 4th Grade
Christa Jones earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and Mildly Mentally Handicapped from Huntington University in IN, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Indiana Wesleyan in IN. Mrs. Jones served as a resource teacher for two years in Churubusco, IN, and a public school teacher in elementary for six years in Huntington, IN. Mrs. Jones is entering her twelfth year of teaching and her fourth year at Santa Barbara Christian School. Mrs. Jones has been married to her husband Doug for twenty years and they have two boys, both who attend SBCS.
Jennifer Suleiman earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Studio from UC Santa Barbara and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Sacramento. She has been a credentialed teacher for 18 years and involved in classroom education for the last 8 years. Jennifer is entering her third year at Santa Barbara Christian School as the Art Teacher and her first year as the 5th grade teacher. Jennifer has been married to her husband Tony for 17 years and they have 2 children.
Carri Svoboda earned a BA in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara with Honors in 1992. In 1993 she received her single subject teaching credential in English from UCSB where she was named student teacher of the year. She is a Fellow of the South Coast Writing Project and enjoys continuing participation in teacher education and enrichment. Ms. Svoboda taught 8th grade GATE at Santa Barbara Junior High for 7 before coming to SBCS where she is entering her 13 year of service. She currently serves on the board of administration at her church, leads a women’s Bible study, and is part of two high school girl mentoring groups.
Roger Hill earned his BA & MA in History as well as his Secondary teaching credential from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Mr. Hill worked for the Santa Barbara Public Schools for two years, but has been teaching at Santa Barbara Christian School since 1974, and is entering his 39th year. He has served in many capacities over the years, including administration, but currently teaches middle school history, Spanish, Bible and computers. Mr. Hill has been married to his wife Marilyn for forty-three years. They have four married children, all who attended SBCS. They have eight grandchildren, half of whom attend or have attended SBCS.
Allison Smelley earned a B.A. in Sociology from Westmont College and graduated with honors. She earned a California Teaching Credential, also from Westmont. Allison is returning to Santa Barbara Christian School for the 3rd time teaching Middle School Math and brings eleven years of classroom teaching experience. She has also taught piano lessons for the past twenty five years. Allison is married to Russell, Professor & Cross Country and Track & Field coach at Westmont College. They have been married for 31 years and have two children.
Jan St Oegger
Jan St. Oegger earned a BS degree in Recreation and Camp Administration and a minor in Bible from Biola University. Later she completed her teaching credential from Cal State Northridge. Mrs. St. Oegger has been involved in education for over 20 years. She has taught from preschool through 8th grade. She worked at Harding Elementary for 8 years before coming to SBCS seven years ago. Mrs. St. Oegger is married to her husband Dana and they have 3 daughters.
Ryan Vande Wydeven
Ryan Vande Wydeven earned a B.S. in Kinesiology from Westmont College. Ryan has coached a swim team in Irvine, CA for the past seven years. He is entering his first year in education as the P.E. Teacher and Athletic Director at Santa Barbara Christian School. Ryan enjoys swimming, going to the beach, watching movies, and travelling abroad.
Karen Williams earned a B.A. in English with a Music Minor in Choral Conducting and Vocal/Piano Performance from Westmont College. Karen owned a Santa Barbara/Los Angeles Talent Management firm for ten years. She served two years as Music Assistant and fourteen years as Musical Producer at Trinity Baptist Church and has completed her ninth year as Director of the Villa Arts and Music Camp at Goleta Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Williams is entering her eighth year as Music Teacher at Santa Barbara Christian School. She has been married to her husband Ross for thirty years and they have two sons, one a graduate of SBCS, and one currently attending SBCS.
Peggy Kahler earned a B.A. degree with a Diversified Major in Education and Spanish from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, Spanish Certification from the University of San Francisco’s Summer Sessions in Palma de Mallorca and Valencia, Spain and Spanish Proficiency Certification from the University Menendez Palayo in Santander, Spain. Miss Kahler taught fourth grade and Spanish for five years in Pennsylvania and grade four at Main School in Carpinteria for thirty-eight years until her retirement in June of 2005. Miss Kahler is entering her fifty-first year in education and her eighth year working in the library at Santa Barbara Christian School.
Jan Smith earned a B.S. in Elementary Education at the University of Indianapolis. Jan is entering her 17th year at Santa Barbara Christian School. Jan is married to Tom and they have 2 grown sons and a daughter-in-law.
Tom Smith earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Economics from Indianapolis University. Mr. Smith was an owner/operator of restaurants in Santa Barbara for 15 years, a retail store owner for 7 years, and served on the SBCS board of Directors for 6 years, holding the offices of Treasurer and President. In February 1995 he became the Business Manager at Santa Barbara Christian School. Mr. Smith is married to his wife Jan. They have two grown sons, Matt and Tim both graduates of SBCS and later the University of California in Santa Barbara.
Judy Janke earned a B.A. in sociology from Westminster College in Pennsylvania. She is the parent of an SBCS alum and has been the Office Manager since 2010. She loves working in the school environment, volunteering, and serving the community. She is married to Rolf and has three children and a daughter-in-law.
Extended Day Program Coordinator
Kelly Torrellas received her B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology from Santa Clara University. She is in her second year as coordinator of the Extended Day Program. Kelly enjoys reading, writing, painting and traveling with family and friends.