Our Leadership

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Leadership Team


Our school is full of exceptional people – students, staff, parents and extended community – made great by the grace of God living and working in us. Though small, we meet the diverse needs of many different students by the caring dedication of staff and the many different ways the school is supported by those who help us in various ways to realize our mission.


All systems of education have a particular goal in mind - a vision for what students would become - and this goal guides curriculum development, lesson planning, and school culture.


We at YKCS are a community of learners seeking to grow into the fullness of what God would have us be, we are all disciples of Christ. Since education is about becoming a certain kind of person, while learning many facts and picking up useful skills, education at YKCS is about becoming people who love, are wise, good, and joy-filled, delighting in Christ and being led by the Spirit. In this, it is our hope that students will be prepared for a life of service in the world that will glorify God.


It is our honor to provide leadership to Yellowhead Koinonia Christian School and we hope you can get a good sense of who we are as you explore the website or come visit us in person,


- Ms. Lisa Golding and Mr. Joshua Claassen


Ms. Lisa Golding, Principal

Principal, Music, Grade 5/6 Bible and ELA Teacher

All my life I wanted to be a teacher. My passion for education revolves around the joy that comes from seeing a student get a concept for the first time.  As my career has developed my passion has as well. Now, as Principal/Teacher, I not only look for the aha moments among students but in staff, and the organization as a whole. It is a blessing to serve the YKCS community. 

I started my education career as a music teacher and after 7 years moved into Administration.  After serving 9 years at Drayton Christian School, I felt led to work in the student services area for 3 years before coming to Yellowhead Koinonia Christian School.  This year I will be teaching Elementary Music, Grade 5/6 Social Studies, Bible and Language Arts.  

I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us this year!


Mr. Joshua Claassen, Vice Principal

Vice Principal, Sr. High Science, Social, Bible and CTS

I have a love for theology, science, philosophy and social-cultural issues and believe that a good education should encourage people to carefully think about what is good, true and beautiful so that they can pursue these things. The Trinity is goodness, truth and beauty itself. All the good things that we find in life are merciful gifts from our Father of Lights. Consequently, a good education should lead people to know and love Jesus and to make Him known among the nations because He is our Justice, our Peace and our Joy and He desires to be that to all peoples.

By studying science, social studies, and all the other subjects we have the opportunity to learn about our God and become better prepared to serve Him in all the places and circumstances that He has planned.

Looking forward to learning with you!

Mr. Colton Black

Jr. and Sr. High and Physical Education

Hello there! I’m Mr. Black and I am excited to teach at YKCS. I will be filling the very big shoes of Mr. Rand, teaching physical education and other Junior and Senior High classes (Social Studies, Science and Options). 

This will be my second year teaching. I moved to the Edson area to work at a temporary position at Niton Central School, finishing off the 2020-2021 school year as a substitute teacher for GYPSD and YKCS. In 2020 I graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor in Social Sciences and a Bachelor of Education, additionally I have Certificate of Biblical Studies from Prairie Colleges in Three Hills, AB. 

In my spare time I love playing Basketball, Soccer and most any other sport. I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking, camping and taking photos. 

If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me via email: colton.black@ykcschool.com.


Mrs. Denise Swelin

Jr. and Sr. High Math Facilitator

Denise teaches grade 8 and high school math. She attended YKCS from kindergarten to grade 12. She has her bachelor of science with a major in mathematics.

With a goal of making math fun, she strives to help all her students to learn to love math as much as she does.


Ms. Karalie Near

Jr. and Sr. High ELA, Social, Math Teacher

Nathaniel Hawthorne once penned, “Words- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” The power of words on a printed page to delight, entertain, empower, and educate has always fascinated me, leading to a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan. My goal in the classroom is to teach students how to properly utilize words and writing skills in order to reach a specific audience; in addition, students will practice decoding the hidden meanings contained within other works. Words are a vehicle through which thoughts and reasoned opinions are boldly shared. Are you willing to explore with me?

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at karalie.near@ykcschool.com.

Mrs. Laura Hit

Kindergarten Facilitator

I joined the YKCS community after my family moved to Edson in the summer of 2020. I have worked in educational settings for over 20 years in various capacities.

My background is in Community Rehabilitation/ Disability Studies - working with individuals with various abilities. I am looking forward to a wonderful year with the kindergarten classroom  - learning and growing together! Outside of school, I like to hang out with my family! My husband is a pastor at a local church and our two children - Gracie and Joah - keep us busy and having fun!

Mr. James Edel

Grade 3/4 Teacher

Hello!  My name is James Edel and I joined the YKCS family in 2020.  I teach Grade 3-4.  I look forward to speaking with you about your child’s progress.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me through the school phone at (780) 723-3850; you can also email me at james.edel@ykcschool.com.  I believe children should enjoy learning God’s word, and have the chance to worship God, and learn new pathways to help them enjoy and serve God.  All this happens as we ensure they are cared for and excel academically here at YKCS.  

Previously my family made our home in Calgary and my wife and I originally grew up on farms near Red Deer and Three Hills.  We have 3 children.  We enjoy camping in our tent-trailer, swimming, hockey, baseball, and more.   

I look forward to spending the year with your child as they learn a ton, and as they grow in Christ! In fact, I hope we all do!

Mrs. Shelley Simmons

Grade 1/2 Teacher and Kindergarten Coordinator

Hello, I am Mrs. Simmons. I am the K-2 teacher and have been with YKCS for 3 years. I have 3 beautiful children and  a wonderful husband. We have lived in Edson for 26 years. I have worked with children my whole adult life.

Within my classroom I try to encourage students to learn through play, express themselves, be critical thinkers and be accepting of themselves and others.

Leading by example, I come to the classroom with an open mind, positive attitude and high expectations.

I strive for consistency and fairness. All students are unique and deserve dignity and a safe learning environment where they can grow physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and socially. I know that with dedication, determination and a little bit of hard work, my students will rise to the occasion.




Yellowhead Koinonia

Christian School

430 72 St. Edson,

Alberta, Canada.

T7E 1N3

Phone: 780-723-3850

Fax: 780-723-7566



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