Meet Our Team
"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
Deuteronomy 6:7 KJV
Brother Harold and Mrs. Susan Payne - Dean of Students and Principal
Harold Payne serves as the Dean of Students. He is a great blessing around the building and has a great spirit for the Lord! Brother Payne has been involved with Christian education for over ten years. He also helps teach the secondary Bible class and preaches in chapel throughout the year.
Susan Payne has been in education for over twenty years. She has a great desire to help students learn and grow! Mrs. Payne is the principal of the academy.
The Paynes have been married for over forty years. They have four children and sixteen grandchildren that they love dearly!
Mrs. Danyell Lahmann - Elementary Teacher
Danyell Lahmann was born and raised in Missouri. She accepted Christ as her Savior when she was fifteen years old. God has brought Danyell to serve alongside her husband and five children on the Navajo Reservation as missionaries. They are currently serving at Mexican Water Baptist Church. Three of their children currently attend Lighthouse Christian Academy. Their oldest son is currently attending Texas Independent Baptist College. "The Lord brought the opportunity to teach at Lighthouse Christian Academy this last year, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to get to share Christ with my students."
Miss Abigayle Lillebo - Elementary Teacher
Abigayle Lillebo was born and raised in Alabama. Her parents took her to church from the time she was born and at a young age she made many confessions of faith. As a teenager, her heart was hugely burdened for missions, but she began to struggle with assurance of her salvation. In college, she gained assurance of salvation and began to look for where God wanted her to serve in foreign missions. After college, Miss Lillebo took a missionary internship with a small church in Auburn, Alabama. Almost a year after the internship ended, God led her here to Lighthouse Baptist Church to serve in the Christian Academy teaching in the elementary. Miss Lillebo also serves alongside the Lahmann family on the Navajo Reservation at Mexican Water Baptist Church.
Mrs. Gayle Earley - Secondary Teacher
Gayle Earley was born in Cortez and chose to spend her life here with her family. She has been married to the love of her life for 20 years, and has three fantastic children, Alexx, Scott, and Neven. Her family is her heartbeat! They love to farm, to work together, and to be active in their community. Gayle started her walk with Christ when she was 17. She lives to serve the Lord and is blessed to be put into her dream job at Lighthouse Christian Academy. Gayle loves to learn and to teach and finds being able to do a job that she loves is completely fantastic. She truly enjoys her community and making it a better place to live. "Being a part of a tight knit, close, agricultural community has benefitted me and my family in so many ways. I grow food as a hobby and love to keep people eating healthy." Gayle is an avid reader, and enjoys snuggling up next to the fire to read a good book. She loves working with the students and brings a great deal of knowledge, patience, and grace to our program.
Pastor Bruce Burkett - Secondary Bible Teacher
Pastor Bruce Burkett and his family moved to Cortez when he become the pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church in September 2014. He has a strong desire to reach the coming generation for the Lord and to invest in their eternity! He teaches the secondary Bible class and preaches in the weekly chapels. His love for the school is very evident! He and his wife, Emily, have four beautiful daughters.
Mrs. Kaitie Gray - Academy Consultant
Kaitie Gray has been a part of the academy staff at Lighthouse Christian Academy since 2013. Mrs. Gray was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of eighteen. She has always had a heart for children and attended West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California, to pursue God’s will for her life. While there, she obtained her bachelor’s in Education and master’s in Christian Education.
After teaching for seven years, Mrs. Gray fulfilled the role of academy secretary. She now consults and assists Mrs. Payne from home with her son, Justin. Mrs. Gray and her husband, Ethan, attend Lighthouse Baptist Church.