Mind and Heart Podcast

Mind and Heart is a podcast by Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, Virginia. In this space, we explore our calling to raise up the next generation to be salt and light in the world. 



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EP 34 | Asking a Mental Health Panel (with Guest Host, Rev. David Stephenson)

In today's episode, Trinity Chaplain David Stephenson sits down with a mental health panel to discuss issues specific to high school-age students. He is joined by Leecie Brown, a licensed clinical social worker and TCS parent; our own Peter Schnuda, TCS dean of campus life, sixth-grade teacher; and TCS parent, and Kelly Stephenson, a licensed professional counselor. 


EP 33 | Equipping Students through Christian Ethics with Hawraa Salama

In this episode, we sit down with Upper School Christian studies teacher Miss Hawraa Salama. Hawraa is new to Trinity this year and is teaching Christian Ethics to eleventh-grade students. In this episode she discusses imparting biblical truth and wisdom to students, the unique challenges these students face, and the true value of Christian education. As someone who grew up in Palestine, she also educates us about what makes Christianity unique from other religions like Islam and discusses how to best approach faith conversations with people of other faith backgrounds. 


EP 32 | Girl Talk: Getting to know Beth Thomas

In this episode, we sit down with the lovely Mrs. Beth Thomas, wife of our new Head of School, Dr. Matt Thomas, and mother to their three beautiful daughters. Having served as an English teacher in a private school for 15 years, and as a mother to three girls, Beth is passionate about providing spiritual mentorship for girls, young women, and young married couples. Listen in as we get to know Beth better, discussing books, marriage, and our true identity as women of God.


EP 31 | The Impact of a Trinity Education with Kristen Short

In this episode, we sit down with Trinity parent and board member, Kristen Short. She shares her own experience as a parent and points to the impact a Trinity education can have on the lives of students, an education that many would not be able to afford without gifts to our annual fund from generous people like you. 


EP 30 | The Christian's Calling to Hospitality with Gayle Fuller

In this episode, we sit down with former Trinity nurse Gayle Fuller. Having been part of our school community for over 20 years as both a staff member and a parent, Gayle developed quite the reputation for hospitality, hosting constant gatherings in her home, making people feel welcome with her warmth, and now even writing a book on the subject. Today, she will talk to us about what it truly means to be hospitable, and the Christian calling to love one another well. 


EP 29 | Overcoming Addiction through Christ with Caroline Guirgis

We sit down with Mrs. Caroline Guirgis as she shares the story of her late brother and his recovery from drug addiction. Because September is National Recovery Month, Caroline talks with us about that story, common misunderstandings about addiction, and how, as Christians, we can help those who are struggling.  

TW: drug abuse and addiction


EP 28 | In Good Hands: Introducing Trinity's new Head of School, Dr. Matt Thomas

We sit down with Trinity’s new Head of School, Dr. Matt Thomas as he answers our most pressing questions about his new leadership position and vision for Trinity. We also ask him some fun, get-to-know-you questions! 


EP 27 | SPECIAL: Wisdom from a Grad Part 3, Service with Christine Sinn

We sit down with Trinity graduate and former Head Girl, Christine Sinn. Christine is a leader amongst her peers, both formally and informally, and in this episode, she talks to us about what it means to live a life of Christian service and the important role that service plays in leadership. 


EP 26 | SPECIAL: Wisdom from a Grad Part 2, Courage with Eliott Renenger

In this episode, we sit down with TCS senior Eliott Renenger, who has undergone more challenges in his young life than many people will experience in their lifetime. But through it, he has earned a true heart of courage. Listen as he talks to us about his experience and how the Lord has taught him to live courageously, trusting not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord.

TW: medical trauma


EP 25 | SPECIAL: Wisdom from a Grad Part 1, Truth with Jianna and Jamison Coppola

We are returning to our special "Wisdom from a Grad" summer series! In this episode, we are talking about Trinity's core value of truth with two very special guests: father-daughter duo, Jamison and Jianna Coppola. The Coppolas are a Trinity family, and they talk to us about standing firm in truth, leading in truth, and raising children to love and seek truth. 


EP 24 | Personal Safety: What to Know Before Leaving for College with Duncan Lingle

We sit down with safety expert and Trinity parent, Duncan Lingle, as he educates us on personal safety, particularly regarding safety on college campuses. 

TW: mentions of sexual assault and mental health


EP 23 | Never Abandoned: God’s Provision of Family through the Church with Cara de Gastyne

We sit down with Cara de Gastyne, wife of one of our beloved Christian studies teachers, Mr. Aaron de Gastyne, as she talks to us about her experience as a child being removed from her home and how the church stepped up in a big way to help raise her and her siblings.


EP 22 | YoungLife: A Relationship-First Approach to Youth Ministry with Mike Miller

In this episode, we sit down with Mike Miller, TCS parent and Regional Initiatives Coordinator at Young Life. With over 20 years of experience in youth ministry, Mike talks to us about the unique spiritual challenges facing today's youth and how we can successfully communicate with them about the God who created them and loves them. 


EP 21 | Ask Dr. Vanderpoel Pt. 2

In this second and final installment of our “Ask Dr. Vanderpoel” series, Dr. Vanderpoel continues to answer listener-submitted questions! From questions about his personal life to life advice, Dr. Vanderpoel delights and intrigues through both his wit and his wisdom. Enjoy! 


EP 20 | Ask Dr. Vanderpoel Pt. 1

In this special episode, we sit down with our beloved Head of School Dr. Vanderpoel, who is retiring at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. We reached out to our community to see what questions you had for him, and you did not disappoint! From questions about his personal life to life advice, Dr. Vanderpoel delights and intrigues through both his wit and his wisdom. Enjoy! 


EP 19 | Missional Living with Lauren Allen

We sit down with TCS alumna Lauren Allen ‘21 as she shares about her experience serving in Africa this past summer, what it taught her about missional living, and how we as Christians can all live missionally wherever we find ourselves.  


EP 18 | Life Unburdened: Decluttering Homes and Hearts with Michelle Konson

We sit down with Trinity parent and Founder and Lifestyle Mentor at Life Unburdened LLC, Michelle Konson. As both a Christian and professional organizer, Michelle finds deep meaning and value in helping others to live unburdened by clutter, both in their homes and in their hearts. In this episode, she teaches us about what it means to live unburdened, gives us practical lifestyle tips, and helps us to understand the power of letting go.   


EP 17 | Student Mental Health: What Parents Need to Know with Nancy Linton and Ellen Hilliard

TW: Depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation 

We sit down with Trinity's Director of Counseling, Nancy Linton, and Trinity Upper School Counselor Ellen Hilliard to discuss the social and emotional challenges students are facing today, common stereotypes and misinformation regarding mental health, and what parents need to know. As Christians and licensed, professional counselors with years of experience working with students, they offer expert wisdom on this pressing issue from both a psychological and spiritual perspective.


EP 16 | Student Leadership with Christine S. and Jonathan M.

We sit down with Trinity's Head Boy Jonathan M. and Head Girl Christine S. As seniors and leaders of the school, the two share their insights into what it means to be a leader and how they strive to use their influence for the good of the community. Fueled by a love for their fellow students and a desire to serve others, Christine and Jonathan strive to emulate Christ in their roles. These students are truly wise beyond their years, and offer excellent advice for students and adults alike about leading others well.


EP 15 | The Intersection Between Science and Faith with Dr. Caroline Crocker

We sit down with scientist, entrepreneur, professor, speaker, and published author, Dr. Caroline Crocker as she discusses what makes her so passionate about the natural world, what it can reveal to us about God, and her experience with the intersection between science and faith. Ultimately, she encourages listeners to stay curious and fearlessly seek truth from a place of security in Jesus’ arms. 


Ep 14 | SPECIAL: Wisdom from a Grad Part 4, Faith, Philology, and Freshman Year with Grace Whitaker

We sit down with TCS alumna, Grace Whitaker. Grace graduated from Trinity in 2021and finished her first year at the University of Virginia this spring. In this light-hearted yet insightful episode, Grace shares with us some wisdom about transitioning from high school to college and remaining faithful as a Christian in a secular environment.  


Ep 13 | SPECIAL: Wisdom from a Grad Part 3, Service with David Crouch

We sit down with TCS graduating senior David Crouch. Like all our Upper School students, David is required to complete 40 hours of community service per year. While these service hours are commendable, it is his seemingly natural heart for service toward his peers and community in his everyday life that make him stand out from the crowd. Those who know David describe him as a humble, yet strong leader amongst his peers who emulates servant leadership from a quiet confidence, often serving behind the scenes and seldom taking the spotlight. In this episode, David talks to us about what it means to have a heart of service and why it is so important to serve those around us as Christians.  



Ep 12 | SPECIAL: Wisdom from a Grad Part 2, Courage with Ava Gidwani

We sit down with recent TCS graduate, Ava Gidwani. During her senior year, Ava has battled a chronic health condition that often causes her to experience pain, discomfort, and distraction yet, despite these difficult circumstances, she has remained faithful, hopeful and above all courageous. Courage is one of our core tenants at Trinity, and in this episode, Ava is going to tell us a little bit about what it means to have courage in the face of suffering and fear.  



Ep 11 | SPECIAL: Wisdom from a Grad Part 1, Truth with Jenna Gibson

We sit down with recent TCS graduate Jenna Gibson. Jenna was the president of Trinity’s Students for Life Club, and through both her involvement in the club and her strong convictions as a believer, she has become a passionate advocate for seeking and remaining rooted in truth. Truth is one of Trinity’s core values, and in this episode, Jenna talks with us about what truth is, why it’s important to be truth-seekers, and shares her own experiences of standing for truth, even when it goes against what is popular. 


Ep 10 | Love, Loss, and Grieving with Hope with Kelsey Daiber

We sit down with Trinity Christian School Varsity Cheer Coach and former Trinity student, Kelsey Daiber. For someone so young, Kelsey has experienced great hardship in her life. Kelsey watched her husband, Alex, battle with cancer only six months into their marriage, and gave birth to their son only months before Alex would go home to be with the Lord. While her story is harrowing, Kelsey uses her experience to teach us about how to cope with loss, how to mourn with those who mourn, and how to grieve with hope.


Ep 9 | The High Calling of Motherhood with Chimene Dupler

We sit down with author, speaker, and Trinity parent Chimene Dupler as she encourages mothers in the trenches of parenting to rely on the strength of the Lord. Chimene shares candidly about lessons learned while raising her three daughters, and strives to equip parents with confidence to raise up the next generation. She also gives a sneak peek of her next book!


Ep 8 | Created to Create with Deb Dayhoff

We sit down with Trinity Christian School Visual Arts Department Chair and Upper School Art teacher Deb Dayhoff, to discuss how students can glorify God through artistic expression. Armed with decades of experience and scriptural truth, Deb challenges her students to see themselves as image-bearers of the ultimate Creator and to use their God-given creativity as a mouthpiece for the gospel.


Ep 7 | Body Image and the Idolatry of Control with Carter Leach

We sit down with Trinity Christian School graduate, Carter Leach ’18, as he shares his struggle and victory in his fight against an eating disorder. Now, almost a year into recovery, Carter explains how community and scripture have empowered his healing, and emphasizes the importance of finding one’s identity in Christ.

Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders


Ep 6 | Grace for the Single Mom with Simonee Carter

We sit down with Trinity Christian School Instructional Assistant, Simonee Carter, to discuss how prayer has powerfully impacted her life as a single mother. Simonee encourages listeners to believe that when prayer is all you have, you have more than enough. She gives practical tips for Christian communities to support single parents, and offers encouragement for anyone on a similar journey.


Ep 5 | Fighting for Life with Alyssa Thoburn

We sit down with Trinity Christian School graduate, Alyssa Thoburn '21, to discuss her passion for the pro-life movement. Once a shy, quiet student at Trinity, Alyssa is now known as the “Bullhorn Girl” for pro-life events! She walks us through how God opened her eyes to the horror of abortion, and what her life has looked like since the moment she found out. 

 Note: This conversation surrounds sensitive topics, and we suggest listening on your own before allowing young children to hear.


Ep 4 | SPECIAL: Thanks and Giving Part 2 with Edwin Miller

In Part 2 of our series on Thanks and Giving, we are joined by Gemspring Capital Operating Executive, Edwin Miller. Edwin is a five-time CEO with an impressive resume, but even more importantly, he is a strong man of faith with an unwavering trust in God. 

With emotion and humor, Edwin walks us through an incredible life journey; from his humble beginnings in a one-stoplight town, to the incredible businessman and follower of Christ that he is today. We invite you to listen as Edwin recounts how a broken jaw, a broken dream, and a single anonymous gift changed the trajectory of his life forever.


Ep 3 | SPECIAL: Thanks and Giving Part 1 with Mary Trombadore

This week, Mary Trombadore sits down with us to share how a childhood of poverty provided her with a grateful heart, a generous spirit, and a deeper relationship with God. Her stories, often hard to believe, are clear evidence of a God who hears the prayers of his children. As we enter this season of thankfulness and giving, we invite you to listen as Mary shares the impact we can have when we are willing to be cheerful givers.


Episode 2 | Demystifying Learning Disabilities with Mrs. Kim Miller

We sit down with Trinity Christian School Assistant Head of School for Academics Mrs. Kimberly Miller to discuss the myths, challenges, and gifts of learning disabilities. With over 20 years in education, an advanced degree in educational psychology, a child with learning disabilities, and an ADHD diagnosis herself, Mrs. Miller is uniquely qualified to offer insight on this topic from both a personal and professional vantagepoint. We invite you to listen as Mrs. Miller confronts the assumptions that surround learning disabilities and challenges fellow believers to better love and advocate for these often-misunderstood students.


Episode 1 | Why Christian Education with Dr. David Vanderpoel

We sit down with Trinity Christian School’s Head of School, Dr. David Vanderpoel, to discuss why Christian education matters. He addresses common misconceptions of Christian vs. public school education and ultimately makes the case for why Christian families should consider sending their children to Christian Schools.