Indian Rocks Christian School Administration
Walt Weller: Superintendent of Schools
Walter Weller joined the IRCS Administrative Team as Superintendent of Schools in July 2013. Prior to that, he served in the Pinellas County School System as a teacher, coach, school administrator, and county level administrator for 26 years. In his last position with Pinellas County, he served as the Principal of Seminole High School. He is a graduate of Clearwater Central Catholic High School, the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Social Science Education and Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
Walter’s passion is for every child to realize and utilize their God given abilities in a way that honors God. Walter is drawn to activities and events that help students grow in knowledge and in faith. Walter and his wife Karen have been married since 1990 and have four children: Noah, Samuel (IRCS graduate, class of 2015) Solomon (IRCS graduate, class of 2020, and one who currently attends IRCS, Chloe.
Rob Starner: Preschool and Elementary Principal
Mr. Starner returned to Indian Rocks in June 2018 as Preschool Director and will now serve additionally as the Elementary Principal in 2019. He previously served at IRCS from 1992-2003 as Guidance Counselor and then Elementary Principal. Most recently, he served as Head of School at Grace Christian Academy in Bainbridge, Georgia. Rob has a B.A. in Psychology from Clearwater Christian College and a M.S. in Counselor Education from the University of Southern Maine. Rob and his wife Joella have six children, including two who previously graduated from IRCS, Kara (class of 1999) and Kevin (class of 2002).
Melissa began her career in education in Lexington, Kentucky. She has experience as a classroom teacher, district representative for MAP testing, Teacher Growth and Effectiveness coach, and a school administrator. She received her Bachelors in Education, Masters in Teacher Leadership, Masters in School Administration, Certification from National Institute for School Leadership (NISL), and a Principalship. She and her husband, Brian, have 4 boys, Nolan (CPA in Kentucky), Samuel (IRCS class of 2019), and Cameron and Caden (7th grade twin boys at IRCS).
Michelle DiFrancesco: Director of Guidance
Please help us welcome Michelle DiFrancesco in her new role as Director of Guidance. She received a B.A. in Elementary Education from University of South Florida and M.Ed. in Curriculum/Instruction from Grand Canyon University. She started teaching at IRCS in 1994. She has taught both 1st and 4th grade and is now serving as the Guidance Director for IRCS. She and her husband Danny have been married since 1994 and have 2 children, Joshua (IRCS class of 2015) and Rachael (IRCS class of 2018).
Dee Bates: College Advisor
My name is Dee Bates, and I am the College Advisor. I consider it a privilege to work with our students as we navigate the college admissions process. Each year 97% -100% of our seniors attend college in the fall after graduation! It is my desire to make college planning easy. Each student/family meets one-on-one with me to discuss college goals, preferences, and plans. The main objective is to achieve a “best fit” for the student. Whether the outcome is a community college, Christian University or an Ivy League school, each decision is carefully and prayerfully planned with our families.
Dee Bates received a B.A. in Elementary Education from Palm Beach Atlantic University. In 2004, she received an M.A. in Education/Guidance Counseling from the University of South Florida. She started teaching at IRCS in 1985, and has been the IRCS Guidance Counselor since 2002-2020. She and her husband, Ric, have three children, Melissa (IRCS class of 2002 and Elementary Art teacher at IRCS), Brianna (IRCS class of 2010), and Ty (IRCS class of 2012). They also have four grandchildren, who all attend IRCS.
Coach Phil Farver: Director of Athletics
Coach Farver has been at IRCS since 1992. He graduated from Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wisconsin with a B.S. in Secondary Education/PE/Bible. As Athletic Director, he oversees about 40 sports teams, with close to 50 coaches, working on scheduling, budgeting, purchasing, transportation and development of the entire program. He is the author of “Five Smooth Stones” and speaks in chapel during the school year. He serves on different committees for the FHSAA on a regular basis. Coach Farver and his wife Rhonda, the IRCS Vocal Department Head, have two children who graduated from IRCS, Kindal (class of 2008) and Blake (class of 2010).
Joe Frost: Middle/High School Dean of Students
Mr. Frost is the IRCS Dean of Students for Middle and High School. He has been with Indian Rocks since 1994. After graduating from Clearwater Christian College with degrees in Business Administration and History Education, he completed his Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. Joe taught 6th grade for 13 years before joining the administrative team of Indian Rocks. For over 20 years he coached the varsity basketball team at IRCS. His wife, Sharon is a 6th grade teacher at Indian Rocks. They have four children. Three have graduated from IRCS, Christian (class of 2015), Autumn (class of 2016), Somer (class of 2019) and Tyler who is a current student. Mr. Frost is also one of the teachers of the Foundation Connection Group at Indian Rocks Baptist Church.
Kristy Ackerman: Director of Teaching and Learning Middle/High School
Kristy received her B.S. in Elementary Education and holds the Florida Department of Education certifications in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education K-12. She also received her M.A. in Educational Psychology and is a trained school psychometrist. Throughout her educational career, Kristy has held teaching positions in both elementary and middle school, worked on Student Support Teams, as well as collaborated with faculty to enhance pedagogical skills to better meet the needs of students. She has experience as a Learning Specialist and a school administrator. She and her husband, Brian, have three children, Elyssa (college), Jack (IRCS 4th grade), and Isabella (IRCS 1st grade).
Stephanie Vogel: Director of Teaching and Learning Preschool/Elementary
Stephanie Vogel began her career in education in 1997 working for Pinellas County Schools. She has experience as a Classroom Teacher, Title I Facilitator, Technology Instructor, Test Coordinator, Acting Administrator, & Elementary & Middle School Counselor. She received her Bachelors in Education in 1997 from U.S.F. and her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership & Supervision from U.S.F. in 2001. She has been at IRCS since 2013. She has been married to her husband Rick for over twenty years. She has four children who all attend IRCS, ranging from Preschool to High School.
Janette Ferguson: Director of Enrollment and Marketing
Janette has served at IRCS since 2011. Beginning as the Elementary Spanish teacher and then transferring to Enrollment and Marketing in 2014. She received a B. A. in Marketing from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She and her husband Tim have been married since 1989 and have three children who attended IRCS from Preschool through 12th grade, Tyler (class of 2012), Ryan (class of 2014) and Ashley (class of 2019). She has a passion to share the vision and mission of IRCS having experienced it first hand as a parent.