Contemplative Life, Vocation

The Heart of a Teacher: Education & Spiritual Formation

In this Soundings Seminar conversation, educators Carla Mueller, Abri Nelson May, and Squire Newsome talk with co-moderators Karla Petty (Coracle’s Dir. of Program Development) and Erica Adams (Redemptive Education‘s Assistant Director) about the interplay between their work as teachers or school administrators and their spiritual lives.  The discussion ranges from the joys of teaching, to the different dynamics at play in caring for the souls of students in a variety of educational settings, to the challenges of education during a pandemic, and much more.  If you are an educator, parent, or student, we hope this will be an encouragement and a blessing to you!

Panelist Bios

Erica Adams:

Erica Adams has worked in the education field for over 10 years in the classroom, as a consultant and speaker, and as a curriculum/program developer.  She currently works as the Assistant Director for the Center for Redemptive Education, a nonprofit that trains and supports teachers, administrators, and homeschooling families in methodologies that are Biblical, relational, integral, and experiential in nature.

Carla Mueller:

A native of Southern California, Carla spent 17 years as a teacher, college/career counselor, and finally principal at an urban public high school in Los Angeles, working primarily with students who were at significant risk of dropping out of school.  In 2010, she moved to Northern Ireland for a year and earned a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Trinity College Dublin, where she focused on education in conflict zones, trauma healing, and restorative justice practices.  Her work after that led her to earn a Masters in Educational Leadership from CSU Dominguez Hills.  Living a story that only God could write, Carla unexpectedly moved to Virginia in 2019 and began teaching 4th and 5th grades at Rivendell School in Arlington.  It has been her surprising joy to invest in younger students, encourage them to ask and consider difficult questions, and help them to discover God’s love for and their place in our beautiful and broken world.  Carla was a Coracle Fellow in 2019 and she facilitates retreats on the Holy Spirit, listening prayer, and discernment.  She loves using her passport as often as possible, cooking for friends, playing at the beach, and breaking out in spontaneous song and dance.

Squire Newsome:

Squire Newsome currently serves as the Upper School Principal at Cornerstone Schools of Washington, DC. He began his time serving at Cornerstone in 2012 as a 5th and 6th grade teacher. Prior to coming to Cornerstone, Squire also served as a teacher and administrator at Woodstream Christian Academy in Mitchellville, Maryland from 2008-2012. He is passionate about education in the Christian setting because of his love for God’s word and shaping the hearts and minds of young people.

For the last 25 years, Squire has also served as the Pastor of the Greater Beulah Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland.  Squire is a graduate of the Philadelphia Biblical University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies with a concentration in Christian Leadership. In 2008, Squire received a Master of Divinity Degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

Abri Nelson May:

Abri Nelson May has taught in public schools since 2009.  Her certifications are in Social Studies, English, and Journalism, and she teaches grades 9-12 in Arlington.  Abri also works as a Curriculum Coordinator for the Journalism Education Association.

She has served as a Bible study teacher, prayer minister, and worship leader in various church and parachurch ministries in Virginia and Kansas.  In addition to vocational ministry, Abri enjoys writing, adventures, and cooking.

Share this post

Keep Growing

Do you want robust Spiritual Formation resources delivered straight to your inbox each week?