My name is Karissa Guillen and I grew up in Boone, Iowa in a Christian family. For most of my childhood I was a “rule follower” and didn’t understand the grace of God until I was a teenager. One Sunday my Sunday school teacher taught a lesson on Ephesians 2:8-9 and for the first time I understood the idea of being “saved by grace through faith” and “not as a result of works.” This started the process of turning over every area of my life to the Lord and seeking his guidance. I have seen his goodness time and again through all circumstances in my life.
After graduating from high school I went on to study at Central College where I was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I went on two mission trips while in college and also spent two semesters studying in Mexico where I attended a local church and was involved in the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Cultural Anthropology in 2005.
A few months after graduating from college I started sensing that God was calling me to teaching, so I decided to attend Simpson College where I earned my Master of Arts in Teaching. I then taught in Des Moines Public Schools for eight years and at Saydel High School for one year. In my years as a public school teacher I had some students that I was able to bring to youth group or have my church adopt for Christmas, but I love the idea of being able to share my faith with all my students every day by teaching at a Christian school. Spanish has always been interwoven with my faith, whether using that abroad on mission trips or here in the Des Moines area to reach out to Hispanics. I love that I would be able to share such a practical application of my content area to our Christian faith with my students.
I have lived in Ankeny for the last six years with my husband, Jose, and our twin four-year-olds, Anthony and Aryanna. We enjoy cooking and all things music and look forward to traveling more as our kids get older.