Mission, Vision & Philosophy
The Family Ministries department exists as a way to minister to families as they navigate the many different roles required of parents in a University-Model School. Our vision is for Family Ministries to exist as the hub of a small town. We want to help families build and strengthen their communities at the school, provide avenues for families to connect, serve and pray, and walk with families through times of joy and sadness. Our vision is not to replace the church but to be a full extension of the body of Christ at school. Family Ministries creates a safe space where parents’ needs are met by listening, sharing, and learning more about God’s role in their families, thus continuing to foster a school community rooted in faith and love.
See details below about how our Family Ministries team exists to CELEBRATE, CONNECT, EQUIP and CARE for our families!
Meet Our Team
These four women have served as co-teachers and also served the school in many capacities, and they look forward to providing support, encouragement, and care as our families navigate their parenting and education journeys!
Family Ministries has many unique and intentional events to CELEBRATE our families throughout the year. As we celebrate those in our community, we love the opportunity to provide ways for you to serve so that you can get to know other families.
Family Ministries CARES for those in our Veritas community by organizing meals and prayer chains and meeting with students and parents to ensure positive partnerships. We CARE for those outside our community through Veritas Shines by serving various organizations throughout the year.
Family Ministries works to EQUIP our families with tools needed for parenting, teaching, and raising Christ-centered children. We offer one-on-one mentorship, weekly Bible Study, conferences, videos and an endless supply of resources from many of our leaders.
We offer a few places for you to CONNECT on a deeper level. Reflections and Connections is Wednesday & Thursday mornings (except on delayed start days) and Fireside Chats occur on the first Thursday of the month. See the school calendar for the dates of the upcoming events.
Contact Our Team
Do you need school@home or parenting strategies? Would you like to learn more about our celebrations and how you can get involved? Are you interested in coming to one of our gatherings or events, but you aren't quite sure where to jump in? Do you have a need for prayer or meals?
Meet Our Team
Christi and her husband, John, are parents to Coby (Veritas Class of 2018) and triplet daughters, Sydney, Catie, and Jenna (Veritas Class of 2021). Prior to Veritas, Christi was an attorney, who graduated from UT Law School. Before joining as the Assistant Director and later Director of the Veritas Family Ministries team, Christi served on the School Board (2012-2020), and taught 12th grade Leadership, 8th grade Discipleship, and Etiquette and Cotillion at Veritas. Christi loves seeing families grow closer to one another and to the Lord in their time at Veritas. Her desire is that Veritas families feel that our school is like a "small town" where they can be known and loved. She hopes families spend time serving and celebrating on the land that God so graciously gave to our school. Her advice for Veritas parents is to be "all in," as they approach their years at Veritas, as the time goes by so quickly. In Christi's free time, she loves reading, being outside, and spending time with her family at their ranch.
Molly, and her husband, Mitch, are parents to two boys - Dylan (8th) and Noah (6th). Molly attended business school and worked in Financial Planning prior to finding her true passion of working in a school setting. She spent 7 years teaching Spanish as an ESL teacher and then at Veritas as a long-term sub before landing in our Family Ministries Department. Her desire for all families is that they truly abide in Jesus - to be so connected to Him that their identity is clear, decisions are solid, and all that they do flows out of that abiding love. Her greatest desire for her own children is that they encounter and know the One True God, aim to be counter-cultural, know Him and choose Him again and again, no matter what comes their way. She prays they are godly sons, husbands, dads, men, and warriors for the Gospel. Molly's greatest advice to parents came from Ellen. Lay it ALL down at His feet and ask Him what to pick back up so that they can carefully and prayerfully evaluate what their lives and loves need to be about. In her spare time, Molly loves to continue to practice and teach Spanish - sharing tips and ideas for how to remember the words and rules and incorporating those words into songs!
Ashley and her husband, Evan, are parents to Hayes (1st) and Harper (4th). Prior to joining the Family Ministries team, Ashley worked in the Women's Ministry at her home church for 5 years and in Human Resources for 12 years. Ashley loves the extra time that the UMS model allows her to spend with her young children. Her desire is that the Veritas families truly find a connection with one another and constantly point each other to Jesus while navigating parenting and school. Her advice for Veritas parents is to "jump in." Find a place to serve and/or events to attend, and get connected! The more time you put into this school, the more you will bear fruit, and through serving, you will find community. In Ashley's free time, she loves to spend time with her family, explore small towns, swim, and cook.
Ellen and Glen, are the parents to a son (Troy) and two daughters (Erin and Alisa) and grandparents to eleven children, all of whom attend Veritas. She has served at Veritas since its inception. Prior to Veritas, she worked in AISD and as director of two schools in Oregon. In addition to serving as a Family Ministries Mentor, Ellen teaches her grandchildren on their home days, works for NAUMS (National Association of University Model Schools within NAUMS), and writes parenting books and articles. Her desire for all families at Veritas is that they seek Jesus first and foremost as their source of hope, joy and strength; that they are able to "lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and run with endurance the race that is set before them." (Hebrews 12:1) Her advice for Veritas parents is to mentor thier children from a state of rest, yet with intentionality. The time parents have with their kids is very, very short and goes by quickly. She wants them to remember that their influence is rooted more in who they are than what they say or do. In Ellen's free time, she loves to knit, sew, bake, cook, garden, walk and read.
Amber-Rose and Adam (a member of the Veritas school board) have five children - Samuel (VA ‘18), Elijah (11th), Isaac (9th), Matea (7th) and Abraham (6th). Prior to joining the Family Ministries team, Amber-Rose worked at Veritas as a substitute teacher. Amber-Rose's heart for mentoring shines in her service in and around the Austin area. She is a deacon in her church; she and her husband have worked with engaged and newly married couples for over 10 years; and she served as a mentor in the underprivileged, teen mom community in East Austin. Amber-Rose loves that Veritas gave her the gift of time and a posture of intentionality with her children (especially as a mom who often felt stretched by the needs of a big family). She sees the fruit of both the classical and UMS components of the Veritas model in her children. Her desire is for Veritas families to find this gift of time and intentionality in each season of life. Amber-Rose's advice for Veritas families is to parent from a place of connection to the Heavenly Father, and also to see their role through a lens of faithfulness and not perfection. In her free time, Amber-Rose loves cheering on the sidelines of her kids' various sports! She also loves food, reading, hiking, exercise, the Pacific Northwest and being outdoors. As a mentor, Amber-Rose can particularly connect with parents of children with learning differences, behavioral challenges and with transracial families.
Amy and Alan are parents to Austin (22 - Senior at VA Tech), Aiden (19 - Army), and Ashlyn (a sophomore at Veritas). Prior to her role in Family Ministries, Amy was a teacher's aide for second grade. In addition to serving as a Family Mentor, Amy is a member of our Veritas Prayer Team. Amy loves the environment at Veritas and the partnership it provides for the families. It is Amy's deepest desire for families to grow in their relationships with Jesus foremost and with each other! When our eyes are fixed on Him, the other relationships in our lives look healthier. We are messengers of Hope to the world. Amy loves to see families serving in the name of Jesus. Her advice to Veritas families is to not hesitate to reach out, whether for a one-time connection or for continued prayer. We can't lift each other up and encourage one another if we don't know the needs! In her free time, Amy loves being outside, spending time with her family and cheering on her daughter in volleyball! As a mentor, Amy can particularly connect with new families (to Veritas and to Austin)! Having just moved to Austin last summer, she understands how it feels to be new and how it can, at times, feel overwhelming! Additionally, Amy can connect with those who have children who are graduating, as she understands the many decisions that come as teenagers prepare for their next chapter, and also the many emotions that parents feel in the process.
Abby and Scott have been at Veritas for 12 years and have four children - Briggs (sophomore at Baylor), Blake (VA '22), and Sophie (VA '24). As the Family Ministries Shines Lead, Abby coordinates all of the different service opportunities at Veritas throughout the year. She partners with community organizations around Austin so that families have established partnerships and ways to serve those around us. Abby plans our annual MLK Service Day, where every grade level spends the day serving those around us. Through her role in Veritas Shines, Abby encourages our Veritas families to be the hands and feet of Jesus through service.
In addition to leading Veritas Shines, Abby has served as a committee member of the auction fundraiser from 2009-2012, Homeroom Helper (and lead coordinator of homeroom helpers), Field Trip Chaperone in GS, SL, and SR (Europe), and Class Treasurer. She has also coordinated, planned, and served as a volunteer within the Athletics and Fine Arts departments . She has consistently served as a faithful member of the Veritas Prayer team. Prior to joining Family Ministries, Abby worked as a CPA for Ernst and Young (in DFW) and KPMG (in Chicago).
Abby loves that the people at Veritas are like an extended family. She has created bonds that will last past her kids' graduations and has enjoyed having peers to share in this season of life. Her greatest desire for Veritas families is that they will grow to look more like Jesus because their children attend Veritas. Abby's advice for families is to get connected. There is a place for everyone. In Grammar School, talk with people during pick up. Let your kids play to get to know other parents. In SL, find ways to meet your kids' classmates and their parents. In SR, go to your kids' athletic games, meet other parents, and continue making time for meeting classmates' parents.
In her free time, Abby enjoys scratch cooking, reading fantasy or classic books, scrapbooking, playing golf, and going to JOYFit.
Family Ministries Cares
Family Ministry Connection Gatherings
Fireside Chat occurs on the first Thursday of each month and allows parents the opportunity to gather in a safe space, building connections and sharing life with one another.
Reflections and Connections - Each Wednesday and Thursday morning, parents come together as a small group at 8:30 AM to spend time in the Word, pray, and reflect. There is no prep, and all are welcome to join at any time!
Prayer Team - Every Monday morning, our Prayer team meets at 8:30 AM to pray over the community, school, and individual needs of our Veritas families. All are welcome to attend this small group, corporate prayer time.
Check the calendar for upcoming dates and announcements pertaining to these gatherings.
Family Ministries Celebrations
We have many celebrations each and every year to celebrate the many milestones of our families and our school:
- Coffee on The Grounds
- Tea on the Patio
- Cheers and Tears
- Fall Football Games
- 12 Days of Giving Christmas Card Signing Party
- Defender Date Night
- Mother/Son Date Night
- Daddy/Daughter Dance
- A Very Veritas Christmas
- Last Day Of School Festivities
- Teacher Appreciation Luncheons
For a complete list of our celebrations and ways you can join the action team for many of our Celebrations, check out our Traditions Page.
Resources to Help Equip You In Your Parenting and Co-Teaching
We offer a weekly Bible Study, A 7 Week Walk Through Ephesians: "How to Study the Bible on your Own Without Needing to Use a Bible Study." This study will be taught by Anna Melvin, and you will have homework between meetings. Sign up Here.
Family Ministries offers one-on-one mentoring to help you reset as a teacher, leader, and parent. To set up a conversation with a Family Mentor, fill out our mentorship form.
Each year Veritas offers an August retreat with a keynote speaker as well as leaders within our community who offer sessions to equip parents to teach, lead, and parent their children while embarking on the journey of a University-Model Education..
Family Ministries Online Resources Bank
Family Ministries Vimeo Resources Showcase:
Youtube Equipping Videos featuring Ellen Schuknecht: