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School Leadership


Christie Stover, Head of School


Christie Stover is a Midwesterner at heart, having spent a considerable amount of time in Illinois and Ohio working in the field of school leadership. Having served as the Head of School at Applewild School in New England, Christie returns to the Midwest to lead Bergman Academy, bringing with her a considerable amount of administrative experience in independent schools like Bergman Academy. 


Christie holds her MA in Labor and Human Resources from Ohio State University and her BS in Secondary Education from the University of Illinois. Christie’s leadership reflects her belief that each member of our school community is valued, encouraged to grow, and welcomed in the educational process. 


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Katie Ewing, Director of Admissions and Marketing 

Katie Ewing is excited to lead Bergman Academy’s admissions and marketing efforts. Sharing Bergman with prospective families and the Des Moines community and guiding people through the admissions process brings her great joy.  


Originally from Marshalltown, Katie attended Iowa State University where she earned her BA in Journalism and the University of Louisville where she earned her M.Ed. in Counseling Personnel Services. Married to Brent, a college track and field coach, and mom to three active kids she spends a lot of time in the role of supporter, driver and fan. She loves reading, fitness, writing, and laughing with friends.




Chris Newton, Director of Finance and Operations

Chris Newton coordinates all financial aspects of Bergman and ensures the operations of the school are running smoothly. She has been in the accounting field for more than 25 years and brings to Bergman a wide range of accounting knowledge from various industries such as real estate, construction and most recently non-profit work. Chris as spent the last 3 years working for Goodwill of Central Iowa and brings a vast knowledge of the non-profit work with her.  


Chris has an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College Business Management with emphasis in Accounting and minor work in Information Technologies. Most recently she graduated from Kaplan University in 2017 with her Master of Science degree in Accounting. Chris is married to Bryan and has a daughter Brylee, they currently live in Des Moines.  



Sydney Gerritsen, Director of Student Affairs

Sydney Gerritsen is an Iowa native, born and raised in Davenport. A lifelong musician, Sydney earned her B.A. in Music Education from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Her first teaching job was being the sole orchestra teacher for the Fort Dodge Community School District where learned invaluable lessons in managing largescale programs across grade levels.


For twelve years, Sydney was a music teacher for Bergman Academy where she joyfully taught all students in addition to directing the choral program. In December 2021, Sydney graduated with her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Louisiana Monroe and in the 2022-2023 academic year became Bergman Academy’s first Director of Student Affairs, fulfilling a career-long dream to move fully into administration. Outside of school, Sydney loves to run, spend time with her husband and son, do crossword puzzles, and read.



Staci Shabino, Office Manager

Staci Shabino joined the Bergman team in the Fall of 2019 after moving to Des Moines. She manages all front office operations, coordinates our staffing needs and serves as the first point of contact for our families. When she's not making Bergman a better place, she is enjoying her husband David, her children and her beautiful grandchildren.



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