Principal’s Office

Mrs. Yolanda GarrisPrincipal, Abundant Life Christian School

Yolanda Garris

  • Practiced Corporate Law with such Financial Institutions as JP Morgan and Citicorp for nearly 24 years prior to yielding to her passion for education.
  • 1980 Received Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts;  Admitted to the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and the  U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • 1982 Gubernatorial Appointment to the Board of Trustees of the Roxbury Community College, Boston, Massachusetts
  • New Jersey State Certified Teacher
  • Graduate – Case Western Reserve University
  • BA degree and concentration English, History, Education
  • Teaching Experience
    • Durban Ave. Elementary School, Hopatcong, NJ
    • Marie Duffy Elementary School, Wharton, NJ
    • Alexander Hamilton Elementary School, Morristown, NJ

Favorite Scripture: Psalm 16:11 “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. “


– Mr. Joseph ArminioAthletic Director, Phys. Ed.

Joseph Arminio

  • Active student at Abundant Life Bible Institute
  • Children’s ministry 11+ years
  • Youth ministry 7+ years
  • Full time ministry 3+ years
  • Physical Education/AD Experience
    • Certified Personal Trainer
    • Certified Aerobics Instructor
    • Certified in Exercise Nutrition
    • Certified CPR

Favorite Scripture: James 4:14 “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

– Ms. Jodi Hopp– Language Arts Teacher

Ms. Jodi Kahan

  • NJ/NY Certification: School Counselor
  • NJ Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing
  • Life Coach Certification
  • 1996-BS, Education, University of Maryland
  • 1998-EdM, Counseling Psychology: School Counseling, Columbia University, Teacher’s College
  • Teaching Experience
    • Teacher/Guidance Counselor, Bronx, NY
    • Guidance Counselor, K-8, Totowa, NJ
    • Substitute Teacher: Bergen County Tech, Fort Lee, Palisades Park, NJ (K-12)
    • Substitute Teacher: Biology & Anatomy/Physiology (11-12), Bergen County Tech School

Favorite Scripture: Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

– Mr. Paul SeliksonMath Teacher

  • New Jersey Certified Math Teacher
  • 1989- Graduate of Fairleigh Dickenson University, MBA Degree
  • 1983- Graduate of Montclair State University, Bachelor of Science Degree, Double Major: Mathematics/ Computer Science
  • Alumna of Kean University, Early Childhood Education
  • Teaching Experience
    • Algebra I (Honors and ESL), Geomoetry (Regular, In-Class Support, Honors), Algebra II (Regular and Honors), Advance Algebra II and Trigonometry (Regular), Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ

Favorite Scripture: Deuteronomy 1:10 “The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven.”

– Mrs. Linda RosaHistory Teacher

Linda Rosa

  • ACSI Certified Teacher
  • Graduate of Louisiana Baptist University, Bachelor of Applied Science in Biblical Studies
  • Graduate of Christ for the Nations Institute of Biblical Studies, Associate of Bible
  • Alumna of Kean University, Early Childhood Education
  • Teaching Experience
    • 17 years as Children’s Director & Teacher, Abundant Life Worship Center, Whippany, NJ
    • Children’s Sunday School Teacher & Director, Abundant Life Worship Center, Whippany, NJ
    • Substitute Teacher, The School of the Hills, Far Hills, NJ
    • Student Teacher and Teacher’s Aide, Abundant Life Academy, Nutley, NJ
    • Youth Ministry, Abundant Life Worship Center, Whippany, NJ

Favorite Scripture: Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

– Miss. Kerri Pursell – Math & Science Teacher

  • ACSI Certified TeacherMiss.-Pursell
  • B.A. in Middle Childhood Education for mathematics and science
  • Graduated from Cedarville University

Favorite Scripture: Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says unto you, Do not fear; for I will help you.”

– Mrs. Eglah Lugo Dicksen – Elementary Teacher, Spanish Teacher

Eglah Lugo Dickse

  • ACSI Certified Teacher
  • Graduate from “Santa Maria” University, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Bachelor of Laws Degree
  • Teaching Experience
    • Life Group, Realife Church, Parsippany, NJ
    • Children’s Ministry, Realife Church, Parsippany, NJ
    • Women Ministries, Reallife Church, Parsippany, NJ
    • Calvary Christian Academy, Wayne, NJ
    • Spanish Tutor, Springfield, MO
    • Children’s Ministry, Radiant Christian Church, Warren, RI
    • Missionettes, Radiant Christian Church, Warren, RI
    • Youth Ministry, Radiant Christian Church, Warren, RI
    • Marriage / Parenting Seminars, Radiant Christian Church, Warren, RI
    • Women Ministries, Radiant Christian Church, Warren, RI
    • Missionettes, Evangel Chapel, Bridgewater, NJ
    • Children’s Ministry, Evangel Chapel, Bridgewater, NJ

Favorite Scripture: Psalm 27:13 “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

– Mrs. Patricia Rutzler – Middle School & High School TeacherMrs Rutzler

  • B.A. in History
  • Graduate from Rutgers University
  • Studied Law at Seton Hall Law School

Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

– Mrs. Lydia Barlow – Elementary Teacher

Mrs. Lydia Barlow

  • New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and ACSI Certified Teacher
  • Graduate from Cairn University
  • B.S. in elementary education and Bible
  • Teaching Experience
    • Roseville Community Charter School, Newark, NJ
    • Elementary Substitute Teacher, West Milford. NJ

Favorite Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Mrs. Meredith Hamilton Music Teacher

Meredith Hamilton

  • New Jersey State Certified Teacher
  • Graduate from The College of New Jersey
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Teaching Experience
    • Halsted Middle School, Newton, NJ
    • Merriam Ave. Elementary School, Newton, NJ
    • Lawrence Middle School Lawrenceville, NJ
    • The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ
    • Abundant Life Bible Institute, Whippany, NJ
    • Abundant Life Worship Center Children’s Ministry, Whippany, NJ
    • Private Music Instructor

Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

– Mrs. Laurie Shingley Brown – Latin Teacher


  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Languages (Greek and Latin)
  • Master of Arts degree in Classical Languages (Greek and Latin)
  • Doctoral degree, neared completion, with a primary emphasis in Greek and a secondary emphasis in Latin, at Bryn Mawr College – her doctoral work was brought to a halt, shortly before the defense of her dissertation, by the serious illness and eventual death of her first-born child.
  • Whiting Dissertation Fellowship recipient
  • Fulbright Fellowship recipient
  • conducted research in Athens and on the island of Crete
  • President and member,  ex officio, of the Board of Directors of The Classical Foundation of Lancaster
  • Teacher The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies