Can Learn Christian Academy is blessed to have dedicated, compassionate and qualified staff members working with your children. Our staff represents many years of experiences drawn from education, counseling and neuro-diversity.
* Toni Hager, BA/BS--is the founder and director of Can Learn Christian Academy. Her vision is to create a learning environment for struggling and/or special needs students utilizing holistic, innovative, individualized and comprehensive brain-centered programs that develop physical, mental, emotional, social skills. After graduating from college with a BA in Applied Psychology & BS in Developmental Psychology Toni continued her education completing the well-known S.M.A.R.T (Stimulating Maturity through Readiness Training), the Hemisphere Specific Auditory Stimulation (HSAS), Dyslexia and others through Minnesota Learning Center and A Chance to Grow. She also has over 300 continuing education credits in academics, adoption and attachment disorder, neuro-education, and teaching a neuro-diversity classroom, educational issues and more. She also knew something needed to be created that addressed the entire family and also a support system put in place for the family to turn to during the long process of healing. Families seemed to become burned out and a feeling of hopelessness would set in, resulting in the child going to a Residential Treatment Facility or a disrupted adoption, instead of being able to stay in the home.
For three years, before starting the private school, Mrs. Hager began traveling across the US, Victoria Canada as well as Warsaw & Kracow Poland working with children and youth living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), prenatal exposure to alcohol and/or drugs. She has also lectured to professionals and co-authored a book titled "FAScinating Journey...Living With Fetal Alcohol Disorder" and reference type publication, both with Jodee Kulp.
Ms. Toni has extensive volunteer experience with children with special needs in the Girl Scouts and other groups, paraprofessional experience in the Spokane School District, coaching people with visual and hearing impairments, and reading and transcribing Braille. With years of invaluable experience, Mrs. Hager is our lead teacher. Toni and her husband have two daughters with special needs and have lived in Spokane since 1989.
*Carli Robinson BA----Mrs. Robinson is a WA State certified teacher. She has been teaching since the 1970s earning a BA in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1969. She is a "life long-learner" and her dream is to create a desire in our youngsters to always continue learning. Mrs. Robinson has extensive training in typical and atypical child development, neurodevelopment, adoption and attachment issues, special education in public and private schools, the S.M.A.R.T.™ (Stimulating Maturity through Readiness Training) program, and others through Minnesota Learning Center at A Chance to Grow. She has attended conferences on the Love & Logic™ theory, Circle of Security™, and the Connected Child™. She and her husband have three birth children, six adopted children and 15 grandchildren! We are fortunate to have Mrs. Robinson as our part-time acting principal, advisor and head administrator.
* Lacey Lopez--our music+ teacher--Lacey started playing viola at 8, took private lessons and school orchestra through high school, won gold in many Solo/Ensemble competitions in high school, participated in All-State Orchestra, toured 6 countries in Europe with a National Orchestra in high school. Learned to fiddle in middle school and fell in love with it. Started teaching private lessons at 16 and group lessons at 18 and haven't stopped! Earned her BA in music from Central Washington University. Learned to play violin, cello and piano somewhere along the way! Director of "Red Hot Fiddlers" in Ellensburg for 6 years, love composing and arranging music for her students and performs in church regularly. She met her hubby while at CWU and is the mother of 5 musicians ages 4-14. Lacey has organized several school and community orchestras and volunteered to assist Mt. Spokane Orchestras for 2 years. Currently, Ms. Lopez teaches general music and string instruments class at North Star MEPP, beginning her second year with us and has roughly 3 dozen private students learning violin, fiddle, viola, cello, guitar and piano! Ms. Lopez is also fluent in Spanish so teaches our students Spanish! We are blessed to have Lacey on board!
* Shauna Howell ----is our art instructor. She loves sharing her artistic talent with others and has been creating custom artwork for the past 18 years. Shauna has always enjoyed being creative and loved art projects as a young girl. In high school she provided lessons to younger special needs children. She saw the impact that creating and using your imagination can have on self-esteem and confidence. Shauna continued to learn about art and received her Associates of Arts degree from North Idaho College. She currently creates custom artwork for a variety of clients and teaches private art lessons. She has been teaching k-8th grade art at her home for the past 3 years. She is energetic and loves bringing fun into the classroom. Her goal is to build the confidence of the students as they learn about basic art principles and how to apply them. Each project encourages imagination while learning about important skills such as: perspective, shading, and layering. She believes that God created each of us uniquely and individually and our art should be just as special and unique as we are.