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Meet Our Staff

The heart of North Heights Christian Academy is our teaching staff. The excellence of the academic process is tied inextricably to the quality of the teacher. As important as curriculum, method, and philosophy are, the teacher is far more important. Besides being a born-again Christian, the key ingredient for our teachers is a heart for the Christian school ministry and a genuine love and concern for reaching children for the Lord.


Josh Thurston - Principal

Over the past nine years, Josh has served at Fridley Public Schools. He has held a variety of roles including Teacher, Alternative Learning Center Program Director, and most recently, the Dean of Students and Activities/Athletic Director for over 850 students in grades 5-8. Josh works to create unity with students, families and staff and to ensure a high level of academic achievement. He holds a B.S. in Social Studies Education from Metropolitan State University, a M.A. in Curriculum and Instructional Design from St. Thomas University, and a K-12 Administrators License from Hamline University. 

Christ-centered education has been the foundation of Josh’s life. He graduated from a Christian K-8th grade school in Blaine and a Christian high school (Concordia Academy, Roseville). He married his high school sweetheart, Ria (Lenzen) Thurston who is alumni of NHCA, and now their two children attend NHCA.  

God is on the move and Josh feels called into his new role as NHCA Principal. He is looking forward to meeting everyone and eager to serve the NHCA students, staff and families.


Staff Members (Not Pictured)

Terri Knudson - Academy Kids

Leena Callan - Academy Kids, Lunch, K Aide

MaryBeth Wasiloski - Housekeeping and Lunch

Doreen Knudson - Library

Cindy Magnuson - Lunch

Cindy Young - Lunch

James Horton - Maintenance

Jana Daugherty - Office Aide