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Staff Directory


Superintendent, Principal, Tacoma Baptist Junior High & Tacoma Baptist High School

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Debbie Schindler has a 37 year history in Christian education. She taught second grade and then has served in various administrative roles for over 35 years. In addition to holding a bachelor's and a master's degree in education, Mrs. Schindler has recently completed doctoral level work in the Superintendent Certificate Program from Seattle Pacific University. Mrs. Schindler has a long history of involvement with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Presently she is serving as a board member on the national level with ACSI and is chair of the Regional Accreditation Commission. She is a popular workshop presenter at the ACSI educational conventions, having committed her life to the furthering of Christian schools. Mrs. Schindler enjoys gardening, studying nutrition, and reading Christian historical fiction.  She is eager to meet with parents who are considering Christian education, and is passionate about the disciple-based program offered at TBS.



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Karen Edwards joined TBS in 2008 and is thrilled to have spent 20 years working in public and private schools. She received her BA and K-8 certification from UW Bothell in 2002-2003 and recently earned her Washington State Professional Certification.  Karen feels blessed to work in a Christian school and loves how technology allows students to work more efficiently and gives them a chance to express who they are as part of God's creation. Karen moved to Orting in 2008 with her husband and their two adult children and adorable grandson.  She enjoys reading, swimming, camping, and time with her family.


Athletic Director

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Mark Smith graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1975, with a degree in Education, and went on to teach and coach for 32 years in the public school system. He earned his Master's Degree in Athletic Administration at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, in 1982. Mark has been the head football coach at Tacoma Baptist since its inception in 1991. He took over as Athletic Director on a part-time basis in 2005 and after retiring from Washington HS he became the full-time Athletic Director in 2007. Mark and his secretary (his wife, Susan) have been involved at Tacoma Baptist for over 25 years! When Mark isn't coaching football or track & field, working on athletic schedules or interacting with his athletes, he is out on the golf course. Go Crusaders!


Student Services

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Kirsten (Norman) Herdle is a TBS alumnus and has had connections to the school since 1985. Presently she works in the Counselor's office. Before this, she worked in the Secondary Office for four years. Prior to 2009, Kirsten was an Aide in the Instructional Support Center. She and husband Michael (of 21 years), have five children. TBS has been extremely instrumental in her family's life and she is grateful for the privilege of being a part of this ministry. She loves young people and enjoys how each one is, and has been, woven into her journey of life right here on this campus by our God. Believing that each student has a perfect purpose, her mission is to inspire each great TBS student that she comes in contact with to follow hard after the Lord in the specific way He has created them. Some of her favorite things are: people, family, hiking photography and reading.


Executive Assistant

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Stephanie Dorfner has been part of New Hope and now Tacoma Baptist since 1995. She was hired as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent in 2005 and has enjoyed being a part of the growing ministry that is South Sound Christian Schools. Before coming to SSCS, Mrs. Dorfner worked for LeMay Enterprises and also as an Administrative Assistant in the banking industry and in her church. Stephanie and her husband David have been married 25 years and have four children. The oldest, an alumni of TBS,a senior, a sophomore and a 5th grader. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending as much time as possible with her family.


Finance Manager

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Debbie Washburn joined SSCS in 2003 as the Finance Assistant, and is currently the Finance Manager. Before working at SSCS, Mrs. Washburn worked for the Lakewood Court System. Previous to that, she worked in the insurance industry for 20 years. Mrs. Washburn finds working for a school that puts the Lord first to be a true blessing in her life. In her spare time you will likely find Mrs. Washburn, walking, sailing, or on a motorcycle ride with her husband Mike of 25 years. Mike and Debbie have two sons, Justin a sophomore at TBS, and Braxton a sophomore in college.


Finance Assistant

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Debra Jordan and her family have been connected with TBS since 1999.  Three of her children have attended TBS over the last thirteen years. Her previous position of nineteen years was in the field of management for a local biometric company where she was involved with customer contracts from around the world.  After volunteering for several years at TBS both in the Art Department and ISC, she became the District Finance Assistant and has worked in that capacity for over five years.  Much of her leisure time includes fun with her five grandchildren, church activities, keeping the books for her church, reading and hiking.  She feels blessed to be a part of God's work in this ministry.



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Danette is an alumna of Tacoma Baptist, and the mother of TBS alumni and current students. She earned her Bachelor's in Business and Communications from Corban College. Danette has worked in the offices of various Christian organizations and considers her role one of support and service. It is her joy and passion to serve others and to continue learning the best ways to do that. Outside of the office, Danette enjoys serving in the Women's Ministries of her church and caring for her family, including a new baby granddaughter.


Athletic Secretary

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Susan Smith earned her bachelor's degree in Christian Education from Corban University in 1977 and has always held a strong conviction for the importance of Christian Education. Both of her children graduated from Tacoma Baptist and the school has always been a large part of her family's life. Since coming to Tacoma Baptist in 1989, she has served in several capacities. She first served as Elementary/Middle School Secretary and then moved to Registrar/High School Secretary. She now serves as Athletic Secretary where she enjoys working with her husband. When she is not at the school or an athletic event, she enjoys reading, watching the cooking shows, shopping and walking with Bailey (her Bichon Frise). Spectators coming to sporting events always enjoy meeting Bailey as he “helps” sell tickets.


Director of Admissions & Marketing

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DJ Rippl joined South Sound Christian Schools as the Director of Admissions and Marketing in 2013. Originally from Wisconsin, DJ moved to the Northwest in 2003 after completing his degree in Strategic Communication at the University of Minnesota. Before coming to TBS and New Hope, DJ spent ten years working in youth ministry and has enjoyed helping students to know and experience the joy, hope, truth and love of Jesus as they learn to walk with Him. In his spare time, DJ enjoys playing volleyball and basketball, watching movies, and spending time with his family.  


Guidance Counselor

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LeAnn Kitselman earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling and Human Services from Corban University in 1993.  LeAnn is an alumna of Tacoma Baptist and is married to her high school sweetheart, Todd, who is a Sergeant with the Tacoma Police Department.  Todd and LeAnn have three children who currently attend Tacoma Baptist.  In addition to providing academic counseling to help students plan their high school course work, LeAnn annually hosts College/Career Workshops, organizes and facilitates college visits, and helps keep students apprised of many scholarship opportunities.  LeAnn is our school's testing coordinator for grades 7-12, including serving as our AP Test Coordinator.  LeAnn's favorite hobby is caring for and spending time with her family.  She also enjoys reading and time spent with her extended family and friends. LeAnn has served faithfully as the school's guidance counselor for four years. If you have questions about classes, requirements for graduation, credits, or course information please contact her via email or phone.