Elizabeth Elfers joins Ironwood Academy to teach English I, American Literature, and British Literature to our high school students. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Xavier University in English and Theology, where she graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors). She also has a Master of Theological Studies degree, summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she was a Founders Medalist. In addition, in 2011, she was a Fellow in the Vanderbilt University Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership.
Elizabeth has extensive experience in teaching, administrative leadership, and youth mentoring. Most recently, from 2015-2020, she was Dean of Campus Ministry and Student Life at Father Ryan High School in Nashville. In her leadership role, Elizabeth provided direction and oversight of student service opportunities such as Room in the Inn, Special Olympics, and Relay for Life, as well as overseeing student mission trips. Prior to her tenure at Father Ryan, Elizabeth facilitated youth and adult volunteer opportunities as Co-Director of Lydia’s House in Cincinnati, Ohio. She previously served as Associate University Minister at the University of San Diego for four years facilitating domestic and international immersion experiences for college students. Elizabeth taught Great Books, Theology, and Social Justice at Pope John Paul II High School and was a Writing Consultant at Vanderbilt University’s English Language Center tutoring international students. Her extensive classroom experience in all grade levels, combined with her passion for reading, writing, and providing leadership development for youth and young adults, makes Elizabeth a tremendous addition to Ironwood Academy’s dream team faculty. She and her husband, Jim, who is a Spanish teacher at Pope John Paul II High School, have been married four years and are the proud parents of a two-year-old daughter, Margie, and a four-month-old son, Oscar. In her free time, Elizabeth volunteers for the homeless through Room in the Inn and other charitable organizations. She is a Franklin, Tennessee native and her entire family is local. Elizabeth plays guitar, enjoys live music, and she loves reading, especially works by Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, and J.K. Rowling.