Welcome! Meet the Leaders of our current NLC classes. Brief bios below help you to get to know who the amazing people who are shepherding our NLC teens.

I've started volunteering at my local shelter, because I reasoned that if I’m asking my students to do that, I should be willing to do the same thing-busy schedule and all.
– NLC Class Leader

Class 2024A

Doug Brown
One of the caveman’s most essential elements of survival was to belong to a tribe. I was born into a tribe of four siblings where footballs, mini bikes, forts, Barbie dolls and a dog scrambled around the yard like autumn leaves in the wind. My mom baked cookies for the armies who filed in for play dates. I belonged to a neighborhood tribe.

Baseball expanded my tribe…then basketball…then college volleyball at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. As the elite athletes moved on, I found a new tribe in overseas work and lived in Tokyo for 14 years.  My nick name became, “Yuubino Toechan”; I hustled rings and graduation products to students in international schools in the Far East (maybe you’ve heard of the company, Jostens Inc.?).

When I returned to the US, my own clan began – aka – marriage and kids: Ann (wife); Chandler and Henry (kids 20 and 18). Now we begin our tribe of NLC, the 2020A crew. Thank you for letting me share these next years with you as we adventure, grow, bond, and strengthen.

Jen Murphy
I’m Jen Murphy. I live in Asheville, North Carolina where I work as the Communications Director for a statewide agency that helps children and families. Before moving to North Carolina, my family and I lived in northern Michigan where we raised dairy goats, chickens, and honeybees.

When I’m not working, I enjoy exploring, hiking, reading, and cooking. I have two children – Sadie and Kian – and a husband named Marc. No one in our family has participated in NLC, so I’m excited to learn all about it right alongside the 2024A class!

Class 2024S

Mark Pécheck
Hello, my name is Mark Pécheck. I’m a life-long student of Christian Science who was raised in Southern California. I attended UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, and am a partner in an international law firm, where my practice involves real estate transactions.

My wife Wynne and I have three children. Our son Grant recently graduated from Davidson College and is currently working in the AmeriCorps program as a college counselor in North Carolina. Our daughter Grace is a freshman at Principia College, and our son Cade is a junior at Principia Upper School. Grace was a member of NLC Class 2019P and that amazing experience has inspired Wynne and me to take on the challenge of becoming class leaders!

Our family started attending family camp at the A/U Ranches when our children were 7, 4 and 2 years old. When our kids were older, they spent numerous summers as campers at A/U, and both Grant and Grace have been on staff at A/U. I’ve enjoyed teaching Sunday School for more than 20 years, primarily for the high school and college classes.

My hobbies and interests including traveling, hiking, American history, baseball (and especially the Los Angeles Dodgers), UCLA basketball, Michael Connelly novels, and collecting elephants. I’m looking forward to working with the 2024S class, both in exploring what it means to be a “servant leader” as well as having lots of adventures along the way!

Wynne Pécheck
My name is Wynne Pécheck and I am excited to be a new NLC leader for the 2024S class. Our daughter, Grace, was in the 2019P class and, after having watched her amazing experience with NLC, I was inspired to become a leader. In addition to Grace, we have two sons, both of whom have been active A/U campers for many years.

We are all native Californians, but just moved from our home in LA to St Louis in order for our younger son, Cade, to be a day pupil at Principia, and to be closer to our daughter, a freshman at Principia College, and our older son, Grant, who just graduated from college and is now working in North Carolina. Before moving to St Louis, I was a school librarian, so obviously I love books for teens as well as adult literature. As well as being a voracious reader, I also enjoy travel, sports and spending time hiking in the mountains of Colorado.

Class 2025K

Lizzie Loomis
Hi, I’m Lizzie. I am a maker, baker, singer and lover of all things that create community. In fact, most of the jobs I have had over the past 15 years have involved creating community through food. You might know me from Owatonna, where I was the Head Cook for over 7 years. Or you may know me from my work at Principia College, where I was the Resident Counselor in Howard House. I also spent years as a cook on sailboats with Ocean Classroom and have a deep love for the ocean. When I’m not cooking or sailing, I enjoy singing with my barbershop quartet, Last Call, and Skyline Chorus in Denver, a women’s barbershop chorus. I can often be found playing my Ukulele in the sunshine, with a cup of tea, of course!

NLC is not completely new to me as I was a mentor for a student in the 2020T class. While at the 2020 graduation, I became inspired to pursue NLC leadership after seeing the deep connection the class had formed and the growth they’d experienced individually and as a class. I’m excited to be embarking on this adventure with Josh. He and I worked together at Principia College and are excited to reignite our partnership in this unique way. I look forward to growing with the 2025 teens as we learn more about servant leadership and deepen our understanding of, and love for, Christian Science. I expect to learn a lot from them!

Josh Sprague
I am so excited to be co-leader of 2025K! Until recently, pretty much all of my professional career has been about working with teens and young adults as they figure out Christian Science and who they want to be. This started when I worked at Camp Leelanau for 4 summers after I graduated from college and was attending grad school for education, and continued while I worked in the Student Life department at Principia College for 20+ years in a bunch of different positions. Now that I am working in real estate, I am really grateful to have found another way to continue what has become my life’s focus. My wife, Ellen, and I live in Godfrey, IL where we love to hike with our dogs, bike, golf, and generally be outdoorsy. This is my first time doing something with NLC and DiscoveryBound and I can’t wait to get started!

Class 2025U

Ron Clarke
Hi, I’m Ron Clarke and I am excited to be co-leading the NLC 2025U class. I live in Minneapolis, MN and am married to Betsy. We have 5 children and a cat: Alessia is married and has 3 boys; Emily graduated NLC in 2010; Peter is a young adult working at a pizza place; Camille is a Principia College sophomore and graduated NLC in 2019; Daniel is a high school senior and races on the high school mountain bike team; and our cat Alfred was named after Bruce Wayne’s butler.

Betsy and I enjoy camping, biking, mountain biking and hiking. We’ve worked as bunkhouse parents at the A/U Ranches and I did volunteer maintenance work at CedarS Camps. Betsy and I love to be active and outdoors. Between Betsy, me and the five kids we have spent summers at all but one of the six Christian Science camps!

I am the Kitchen Manager for Beacon Haven Christian Science Nursing Facility where I have worked with several high school/college student interns. A number of years ago I planned, organized and ran the youth portion for high schoolers of a regional Christian Science meeting in Chicago with lots of help from speakers and panelists along with camp directors Warren Huff from CedarS and Weldon Rutledge from Leelanau/Kohana. We had a fun, inspiring time and it was great preparation for becoming an NLC leader.

Stephanie Maxey
Stephanie grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and decided to experience life on her own in a below zero degree climate as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. Stephanie earned her BA in Speech/Communications and began what she had hoped would be an exciting and long-term career in television production. After a few years, she was divinely guided to make a career change and embarked on many enriching years in sales and marketing positions for small, entrepreneurial organizations. She is currently back in Colorado working for a commercial interior furnishings dealer. She met her husband, Charlie Christensen, and her bonus son, Alex while in Minnesota, and their family grew to include Spencer, Kassie and Cole. More recently, after fostering 9 dogs for potential service training careers, Labradors Brick and Secret were adopted into their family.

Stephanie is feeling very fortunate about her trifecta with NLC – she was first a mentor of a student in the 2010 class, is a parent of 3 NLC kids (2018C, 2020T and 2023B), and is now stepping into the class leader role. Stephanie draws on her involvement with Junior Achievement, Big Brothers/Sisters and AFS Intercultural Programs, along with experience as a Sunday School teacher, bunkhouse parent, PTO and Booster Club board members, church clerk, reading room attendant and youth sports enthusiast. She has every expectation to be inspired by, and to learn from, these teens as they take on this spiritual stewardship together.

Class 2026B

BK Grimmer
Hi! My name is BK Grimmer and I am over-the-moon excited to be leading the 2026-B NLC class with my husband, Brett! We currently live in St Louis on the Principia Upper School campus, in the Aron House Dorm where I am Dean of Girls. And we have a fur-baby, our Aussiedoodle Bindi!

Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and having grown up in the Portland, OR area, my favorite place on the planet is the Oregon Coast and I try to get there as often as I am able. This past summer we were able to spend two months in our RV travelling up the coast, and visiting with family including our 3 daughters and 2 soon to be son-in-laws! Brett and I are very grateful for our blended family and love any opportunity to spend time with them.

The bulk of my career has been as a middle school teacher, teaching at Berkeley Hall in Los Angeles, and both public and charter schools in Oregon and Arizona. I can’t imagine a world where I don’t see kids every day! After a few years working in Student Life in higher ed, I jumped at the opportunity to return to a K-12 work environment where, once again I get to work with kids on a daily basis.

NLC is near and dear to my heart and I’m so grateful for the experience, leadership opportunities, and growth that both of my daughters, Mandy-kay 2016W and Molly 2018M, had in the NLC program. Being an NLC parent offers great insight and perspective to the program. I also worked for DiscoveryBound as the Western Regional Manager where I gained an even deeper understanding and appreciation for the NLC program – and I tell everyone I can about how important it is!

I’m grateful to be re-joining the NLC family in this new capacity and Brett and I look forward to a wonderful journey with 2026-B!

Brett Grimmer
Hi, I’m Brett. I am very excited to be co-leading 2026B with my wife BK! We live in St. Louis with our Aussiedoodle puppy, Bindi.

We love family time, the beach, traveling, and are originally from the west coast (California and Oregon). This past June and July found us in our RV, traveling up and down the Oregon and Washington coastline – Bindi loves the beach too! Our remarkable daughters Hannah, Mandy-Kay, and Molly joined us for fun-family beach time while in Oregon. Two of our daughters are NLC grads – Mandy-Kay 2016W, and Molly 2018M – and know from their experiences and tremendous growth how special this program truly is!

I have loved working with teens and young adults, coaching youth sports for more than 20 years (soccer, basketball, baseball), supervising/mentoring students at Principia College including the social event team, admissions ambassadors, and leadership program.

My days as a college student found me at Principia, Cal poly Pomona, and Ashford University, eventually earning my degree in Business Administration. In the 80’s I had a lot of fun and excitement working as a firefighter and search team member in Northern and Central California. I have also enjoyed careers in business management, as an entrepreneur, and as a business consultant. In 2014, I returned to Principia, grateful for the opportunity to give back and worked in both Student Life and Admissions. Recently I left Principia to return to business consulting and entrepreneurship. In my off time I am an avid reader, so-so golfer, and builder of farmhouse furniture.

BK and I are so grateful and feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with these wonderful young adults, and to shepherd this Class as we share experiences, grow spiritually, and discover unlimited potential with 2026B.

Class 2026W

Chris Helms
Hi, I’m Chris and I’ve lived in Bellevue, Washington, with my wife Kerste for the past 30 years, and have been active with Adventure Unlimited and Discovery Bound activities in some way for most of those years, and I am so glad to be continuing this journey in this way with NLC! Gabriel (2017W), our son, is living in Austin, Texas, and beginning his professional career in IT technologies, and Ashleigh Helms (2019P), our daughter, is a senior at the University of Washington.

I’m so grateful I get to teach Sunday School in addition to other aspects of church membership at Second Church of Christ, Scientist in Bellevue, WA.  I attended Principia Upper School for my junior and senior years, and went on to attend Principia College, where I met Kerste. I began my career in technology and all things internet, and I believe that it and Christian Science have been integral in the unfolding of my career. Most recently, I’ve worked for Microsoft for the past 14 years supporting our customers and their journey to the cloud.

I am honored and thrilled to be a part of this program!

Kerste Helms
Hi! I’m Kerste (Care-stuh). I graduated from Principia College in the ‘90’s with an Education/History double major and have taught children, teens, and now college, ever since. My education and teaching experience have shown me how to bring an understanding of my and my students’ unlimited potential to our learning experiences. I have seen that we all learn best by doing, so I’m really excited to get out on our upcoming NLC trips together! Chris and I have really enjoyed raising our two children who graduated from NLC just a few years ago. They are now young adults who are applying the leadership skills they learned in NLC to their college and professional experiences.

In addition to serving church in many capacities, my favorite activities are spending time with family, traveling, gardening with native plants, reading, and hiking in the mountains near our home in Bellevue, WA. I have always loved the outdoors. I’m also looking forward to traveling with our NLC class and learning more about the world together.

I’m passionate about Christian Science and the freedom it brings to our thinking and growth. I am grateful for this opportunity to strive together with NLC students to see the “man of God’s creating” (SH 534) as we grow individually and embrace the world in our thoughts and actions!

Class 2027J

Lee Adler
Hi, I’m Lee Adler. I am very excited to be co-leading the NLC 2027 Class. I grew up in the St. Louis area and after I married my wonderful wife Betsy, we moved to Atlanta where we raised our family. We have two sons, Will and Jack who are both NLC graduates. (Classes of 2016 and 2018). After 23 years in the South we moved back to the St. Louis area when our younger son Jack wanted to finish his high school experience at Principia Upper School. (Encouraged by NLC classmate Jeremy Fox who was already attending Prin Upper School!)

I have spent my career in the packaging industry running my own business. I love all sports, traveling, reading and mentoring budding entrepreneurs. As a lifelong Christian Scientist I am active in my local branch church, currently serving on our board and as a Sunday School teacher. I am very excited to be a class leader and to be a part of such an outstanding organization, whose mission is to open windows to God.

Patti Fox
Hello! My name is Patti Fox and I am so excited to be a co-class leader for the class 2027J! Both of our children graduated from the NLC program Sidney (2015E) and Jeremy (2018C) and each had wonderful experiences. I am also grateful to be a mentor in the 2023B class. I love working with teenagers and have extensive experience working with them in a variety of capacities. I learn so much from teens and love their curiosity, authenticity, enthusiasm, honesty and openness.

I am a lifelong Christian Scientist and have loved serving my branch church wherever we have lived. My husband, Larry and I recently moved back to the great state of North Carolina and live in Chapel Hill after spending the last 10 years in St. Louis working at Principia. I am grateful to continue working for Principia albeit remotely.

In my free time, you might find me on the pickleball court, walking our dogs with my husband or cheering on the Tarheels at football or basketball games. I can’t wait to get started in this program with our teens and know I will be learning and growing right alongside them and so look forward to this new adventure!!

Class 2028S

Kristen Henley-Hills
Hi! I’m Kristen. A midwestern-New Englander, I was raised equally in Michigan and outside of Boston. Then I spent 30 years in the Washington, DC area before moving to beautiful Cape Cod. There I love spending as much time as possible outdoors, rain or shine, walking my dog on the beach or in the woods or out on the water kayaking in the marshes or boating on the bay.

I’ve spent time as a journalist covering local elections and zoning and now as a copy editor. I first discovered my love for teaching when I taught my first Sunday School class out of college, and that eventually branched out into many years as a homeschooler and Waldorf Movement teacher (gym class to the rest of the world)! I’m looking forward to watching this NLC group adventure and grow Spiritward alongside me wonderful partner, Joe, who brought music and warmth to two of my children.

My husband, David (who’s both a commercial photographer and fisherman), and I have 3 children: Sam, a carpenter/contractor in Maine, Sophie, a staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor, and Colman, a student and bike-ride enthusiast.

Joe Van Riper
Joe is a professor of music at Principia College. He teaches conducting, American popular music and musical theatre, musicianship, and applied trumpet lessons. In addition, he directs the College orchestra, choir, jazz ensemble, and various vocal and instrumental chamber ensembles. He is an active performer on trumpet and piano, playing traditional jazz in the greater St. Louis area with multiple ensembles. He also serves as substitute organist for the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League. In his spare time he loves rebuilding old cars.

Class 2028U

Carol Barrett
Hi, I’m Carol Barrett. I grew up in Illinois, went to college in Indiana, and lived in Massachusetts before moving to Houston, Texas twenty-some years ago. I am a lifelong Christian Scientist, but started embracing it as “my own” in my late teens and early twenties. My husband, David, and I have two young-adult sons–Andrew and Matthew–who live near us (but not with us!) I love music, walking, hiking, biking, pickleball, birdwatching, bunnies, and am an avid Chicago Cubs fan.

Music has been a central theme in my life, both as a flute teacher and performer. What I cherished most about my many years of private teaching were the enduring bonds I built with my students. Many times, we journeyed together from 6th through 12th grade, sharing 45 minutes each week. I still maintain connections with many of them today. My passion for nurturing young people is the same energy I bring to NLC, with an aspiration to grow together as mindful servant leaders. I am a newcomer to the world of AU and Discovery Bound, but am thrilled to be learning and growing alongside the cherished members of our 2028U class. I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Dave Garrison
Hello! I will be co-leading NLC class 2028U with Carol and I can’t wait to get to know and work with everyone on this 4-year journey of growth, discovery, adventure and service!

I grew up in Christian Science and developed a love for the Adventure Unlimited experience and mission when I first became a camper at the A/U Ranches at age 8. I went on to work as a summer and winter camp counselor, which was an amazing experience, while earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.

I began my new-product development engineering career in southern California where I met my wife, Virginia through the AU young adult group. We relocated to Longmont Colorado (close to Boulder and Denver) 29 years ago to raise our two sons. We enjoyed sharing the A/U Ranches family-camp experience with them when they were young. Now that they are grown, Virginia and I have attended A/U Ranches adult mini-camp the last two summers where I have worked leading groups out for mountain biking, hiking, and 14,000 foot peak climbs. I have also found a love for Colorado’s “14ers” and have now climbed 37 of the 54 in the state. My other hobbies include weekly pick-up soccer games, hiking, skiing, gardening, traveling, and the frame-off restoration of “Cooper”, my 1969 BMW sport coupe, which I hope to complete in the next couple of years.

The many Christian Science affiliated organizations and camps across our nation (NLC included) are tremendous resources to grow, build relationships and to adventure in loving, spiritually grounded environments. I’m grateful and excited to be part of that journey with 2028U!

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