Maranatha High School: Fresh Start, Fresh Faces: The Final Four

Over the past two weeks Maranatha High School introduced the newest faculty and staff members to join its community. This is the final installment of the series where today four new faculty members are showcased. MHS hopes staff and students alike will give them a warm welcome when you see them around campus.

Matthew Ketterling
Science Department Faculty – Chemistry

Mr. Ketterling has returned to Maranatha High School – this time to teach all levels of Chemistry. Mr. Ketterling studied Chemistry for his undergraduate degree at UC Irvine. In the time between teaching at MHS the first time around and now, he has been working in youth ministry and on his degrees in Theology and New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland where he is finishing his thesis on the book of Romans. “I am very excited to be back at Maranatha High School! I love that this is a place that views the study of creation as one part of worshiping the Creator and I am thrilled to be doing that through teaching Chemistry,” he shared.

In addition to teaching at Maranatha, Mr. Ketterling is also teaching “Life and Letters of Paul” at Biola University. He and his wife of 12 years, Kari, have three kids: Andrew, Siena, and Charlotte. For many years they have attended Church of the Open Door in Glendora, where Matthew was a youth pastor for five years. Some of his hobbies include reading and, along with his wife, spending time with and raising his kids.

Daniel Newkirk ’97
Science Department Faculty – Biology, AP Biology, and AP Physics

Daniel Newkirk is a Maranatha High School graduate from the Class of 1997. He has spent the last 13 summers teaching Biology in our summer school program here on campus and we are so thrilled to have him join our faculty team full-time.

Mr. Newkirk graduated from Biola University where he double majored in Biochemistry and Biblical Studies. He then moved on to obtain his master’s degree in Theology from Boston College. During his time at Boston College, he discovered a Ph.D. program that peaked his interest. As a result, he is currently in the process of finishing his dissertation to obtain his Ph.D. in Science, Philosophy, and Religion.

Mr. Newkirk has spent many years in the classroom teaching at various colleges, but he is thrilled to be back at Maranatha where his high school journey began. “I love the community here on campus. I also love being in a place where we are transforming lives during such a developmental period in a young adult’s life, especially through subjects that allow us to discuss the makeup and design of the God-given bodies we live in,” he stated.

Mr. Newkirk has been married for seven years, and he and his wife, Erica, have a 2-year old daughter and a baby boy due to arrive in early November! His hobbies include reading many different genres including fiction and science fiction. He also enjoys gardening, and at one point grew over 200 different kinds of peppers, making it quite obvious that he enjoys spicy foods. Other activities he enjoys are staying active, roasting his own coffee beans, and smoking meats (tri-tip being his favorite!).

Cheryl Dixon ’80
Math Department Faculty – Math Analysis & Statistics

Alumnae, Cheryl Dixon ‘80, is returning to join the Maranatha faculty team, specifically the Math Department, after taking a break to travel and do God’s work in different areas where she felt she was being called.

Ms. Dixon attended Cal Poly Pomona where she obtained her B.S. in Mathematics and her teaching credential. Since then, she has been teaching Math during the school year, and has spent five summers teaching conversational English in the Middle East. Ms. Dixon is also currently teaching Bible in the Azusa Unified School District to 4th and 5th graders, where she is using her talents to bring the word of Christ to young people. She commented, “I’ve always loved teaching, in general. I pray each year, asking God where He wants me and am always looking for the opportunities that He is going to bring me. I feel whatever He brings me will be of eternal value so, for me, that means investing in students, in people’s lives. And I can do that through teaching here at MHS.”

Ms. Dixon attends Church of the Open Door in Glendora. She also loves to travel, and she is a firm believer that God has used her passion to do work for his kingdom all over the world. “My most favorite place I have been to is Kenya! I lived there for three years and was working at a high school as a Math teacher and dorm mom,” she mentioned. We are so happy to have Ms. Dixon back on our campus!

Janna Ziegler
Science Department Faculty – Biology

Janna Ziegler is joining the MHS community to teach Biology. Mrs. Ziegler holds a B.S. in Biology, a M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Louisiana, and a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She has taught both at the university and high school levels. She seeks to help students be formed into people who think well about the world in which we live and our place in it.

She is also an ordained priest with the Anglican Church of North America and pastors the Gold Line Church in Northeast Los Angeles.

Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit



blog comments powered by Disqus

Pasadena Now has been published daily since April, 2004 and is among the very oldest continously operated community news websites in the U.S.

Pasadena Now strives to publish a full spectrum of news and information articles in service to the entire community. The publication will remain free to readers and will not erect paywalls.

Pasadena Now strives to provide factual, unbiased reporting. Our opinion section is open to all.