About True Light Shines

Founded by educators David and Nancy MacLaren, True Light Shines Academy works closely with students to facilitate their ability to “internalize” learning. When presented with new concepts, the brain internalizes by paying mindful attention—or engaging the child at a deeper level. Through the extensive use of math manipulatives, language arts through real literature, hands-on science, and history/social studies that are organized around engaging themes, we create a more productive learning environment that engages the brain and increases understanding.

True Light Shines Academy believes in involving the entire family in the learning process and aims to enrich the academic experience through experiential learning. Our program encompasses all subject areas while using instructional techniques and digitally-based learning tools designed to appeal to today’s technologically-savvy student.


Our Mission

True Light Shines Academy believes that every child is different and learns differently at a different pace. We’re committed to forming a partnership with student and parents in order to establish and meet individual goals while educating and discipling through a central God-focused curriculum.

Our Vision

By adding a grade level each year, True Light Shines Academy will become a K-12 school that integrates God’s Word throughout our core subjects. We aim to enrich the overall academic process and experience through direct family involvement in the learning process.

From Our Founders

Thank you for your interest in True Light Shines Academy. Starting this school was truly a calling from God, and we’re blessed to be able to offer this educational opportunity to you and your family. As educators, we understand that learning takes place when children are actively engaged, so we are proponents of hands-on learning.

We believe that education does not begin and end in the classroom and therefore seek to build a strong relationship with parents in order to reinforce and broaden the learning experience. We view each student as a unique individual with different talents, strengths, and gifts. Through a cooperative and integrative relationship with the family, we strive to teach God’s word while creating engaging lessons that guide students to mastery of a skills and concepts.

We look forward to the opportunity of meeting you and your family and working in His name to make a positive difference in your lives.

David and Nancy MacLaren

Board of Directors


R. Michael Oney

Mike Oney is senior pastor of Grace Assembly in Wake Forest, NC and has an extensive background in executive denominational leadership, church planting, consulting, coaching, and mentoring. Mike holds ordination credentials with the Assemblies of God. He also holds a BA from Southeastern University, an MA from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Regent University.

Tom Atkisson

Tom is a co-founder of True Light Shines Ministries, Inc. and currently works as a network administrator for the Lewis Center for Educational Research where he is responsible for network and phone system design and administration. The Lewis Center for Educational Research operates two charter schools on four campuses with a total of 1500 students: Academy for Academic Excellence (K-12) and Norton Space and Aeronautics Academy (K-4). The center works in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA on its three radio telescopes at the Goldstone Deep Space Network Complex on the Fort Irwin Army Base. Students from across the globe gather valuable data for NASA missions and the JPL scientists. Tom has certifications from both Cisco and NEC and currently resides in Apple Valley in Southern California.

Jennifer Revoir

Jennifer is the Children's Ministry Liaison of Grace Assembly in Wake Forest, NC. She has extensive experience in working with children and families as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She teaches, manages, and provides input into the children's ministry at Grace Assembly and has also worked with non-profits helping families through crisis management, parenting skills, and social skills development of children. Jennifer received her Master's Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a mother of two boys—ages 7 and 9.

Nancy MacLaren

Nancy has 30 years experience in the field of education and administration. Over her extensive career, she has served as a public classroom teacher (grades K-6), a mentor teacher, school coordinator, teacher-in-charge, and program quality reviewer. Nancy was also a charter school principal for five years where she planned, implemented, and administered the elementary portion of the K-12 program and also served as the Director of General Administration for the Lewis Center for Educational Research, coordinating the planning and implementation of a second charter school. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from California State University, San Bernardino and completed graduate level studies in elementary education and school administration. She received her Standard Teaching Credential (K-9) in California.

David MacLaren

David has over 25 years experience in both public school as well as providing professional teacher training. For the past 18 years, he has served as a public classroom teacher (grades 2-6), as well as a mentor teacher in math, social studies and science. David has also served on the School Site Council, District Math Committee, and School Improvement Committee and was Family Math Night Coordinator and School Representative for the District Math Regional Committee. In addition, David served as Curriculum Developer and Lead Trainer of teachers for a partnership program between NASA and the Lewis Center for Educational Research, as well as Director of Curriculum Development and Global Programs where he worked directly with NASA scientists overseeing the radio astronomy educational partnership. He has presented at a number of math and science education conferences across the country and trained American teachers overseas. David received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from San Diego State University in California and completed graduate level studies in Elementary Education. He holds multiple subjects teaching credentials (K-12) in California and has a standard professional teaching license from North Carolina.

Ruth M. Deatrich

Ruth attends and is a member of Grace Assembly Church of Wake Forest, NC. She is a Registered Nurse and graduated in 1982 from Garden City Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. She practiced nursing at Scott County Hospital in Scott City, KS for 18 years and has been actively working as an independent contract RN for the past 10 years. Ruth also received her Childbirth Education certificate from Educational Resources, Inc. in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Ruth is married and has a large family with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren living in a variety of states. She has lived in North Carolina, outside Louisburg, for the past six years and has grown to claim this state as her home.