Veritas Press Scholars Academy Instructors

SCHOLARS ACADEMY INSTRUCTORS

   

Mary K. Andreades is a classics maven, having pursued learning in the humanities for all of her life.  After receiving a classical education at the Holton-Arms preparatory school in Bethesda, Maryland, she earned a BA with a fine arts major from Yale University in 1984.  She worked in New York City as a fine artist, theatric prop and set painter, and inner city art teacher for several years before becoming a pastor's wife and mother of four.  Now a fifteen year homeschooling veteran, she was an enthusiastic early adopter of the Veritas curriculum. 

Mary K. also brings mentoring skill to her classroom. In assisting her husband, Sam, as he pastors the Village Church (PCA) in Greenwich Village, she has led a number of support groups, children’s arts programs, parenting and women's ministries as well as being active in counseling. Her eldest son, Thaddaeus, is pursuing 3D animation at School of Visual Arts in New York City.  Jeremy, who learned to argue properly from Mr. Baker and Mr. Dennis, is now a nationally recognized public high school debater. Her two younger children, Veronica and Enoch, continue as Veritas Press Scholars Academy Diploma students.

 
Scott Baker has worked in the field of education for 30 years and in the classical Christian setting for 20 of those years, primarily in teaching but also in administration and consulting. For several years, Scott served on faculty at various institutions of higher learning (UNC-Greensboro, University of Maryland, University of Virginia, Liberty University, Goucher College and Bowling Green State University). At UVA, he served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Rhetoric and Communication Studies Department. Starting in 1995, Scott initiated and developed the Rhetoric and Senior Thesis curriculum at 2 classical Christian institutions (New Covenant Schools and VPSA) and has been Lead Teacher for the Logic, Rhetoric and Senior Thesis department at VPSA. Scott Baker is dedicated to instruction and curriculum development based on the Trivium, helping to usher his students through the transition from high school to college in a way that is engaging, challenging and fun. At his age, he has no spare time, but if he did he would spend it on road cycling, running and working on music. 
 
Janet Beavin taught English in a Christian school before having a family and beginning her real education. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Florida State University. Her experience includes homeschooling five children (four are now grown), tutoring, teaching in and directing a homeschool co-op, developing literature and composition classes, and hosting a radio book review program. Janet and her husband Bob have been active in church leadership, Christian education, missions and youth work for many years.
 
Alexandra Bitton is a native French speaker. She was born in Montreal, Canada and spent much of her childhood traveling throughout the Francophone world. Her family is from both Canada and Morocco, both rich in Francophone culture and language. Her primary and secondary educations were conducted in Canada. She graduated from Villa Sainte Marcellinne with a Diplome Canadien and a Brevet Francais. She completed a BA in history from the University of Florida, an MA in romance languages from the University of Florida, an MS in information science from Florida State University and has taught French at the college and university level. She is the mother of five children Daphne, Henry, Harrison, Ella, and Sophia.
 
Linda Braman graduated from Central Michigan University, and has taught English and speech in public schools, Christian schools, and homeschool co-ops.  A life-long learner, she has taken classes at the local community college in photography and videography, specializing in portrait photography and event videography. She also takes advantage of the free online university classes, enjoying new insight into literature and writing.  Hobbies include doting on her seven grandchildren, traveling to see these same grandchildren, writing, rewriting, and reading, reading, reading.
 
Allan Bruner received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Seattle Pacific University in 1981. He received his Master of Science Education from Oregon State University in 1988. Between the years of 1981 and 1988, he fished in Alaska, went through nursing school to obtain a practical nursing license, worked on a doctorate in Biochemistry and Biophysics, and ultimately decided that teaching science was the best possible use of the talents God provided him.

Mr. Bruner has been teaching at Colton High School in Colton, Oregon for the past 21 years. He teaches a wide variety of science, mathematics, and social studies courses in this rural public high school located in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range. He serves as music and drama teacher, and advises a number of student clubs and organizations. He has served in a number of state leadership roles for the Oregon Department of Education, and been fortunate enough to work with Dr. William Woodward at the Oregon Health and Science University as a Murdock Charitable Trust “Partners in Science” Fellow. Most recently, Mr. Bruner was elected to serve as the President of the Oregon Science Teachers Association, and was named the Oregon Teacher of the Year for 2006.

Allan and his wife, Karen, have been married for 21 years and have three daughters who are educated at home. They are all active in their local church, where Mr. Bruner serves as teaching elder and musician. They own small acreage above the Molalla River in rural Clackamas County, Oregon, where they garden and enjoy a menagerie of farm animals.
   
Molley Carey taught Latin for ten years at the nationally known Veritas Academy near Lancaster, PA. She also taught Latin-in-a-Week for teacher training conferences and authored Veritas Scholars lesson plans for home school Latin. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a B.A. in Latin. She has two daughters and believes Latin should be studied because it is a beautiful language. She is also a gymnastics coach and certified ballet teacher who taught for many years at the Lancaster School of Ballet.
   
Jennifer Collender is the wife of Dr. Michael Collender and the mother of three little monkeys, Jackson, Benaiah, and Isabella. She graduated valedictorian from Logos School and then from New St. Andrew's College with a Liberal Arts degree and an Education Emphasis. She taught numerous subjects for The Oaks Academy, an ACCS school in Spokane, Washington, including Latin, Protocol and Journalism, before having children of her own. She is now a very thrilled homeschooling mother and the director of Coram Deo Academy, a homeschool co-op based in Spokane, where she has taught Logic, Omni IV, Elementary Geography, Protocol, and Creative Writing. Her hobbies include anything related to children, even coaching her son's soccer team, though secretly she has never played a game in her life, but don't tell anyone. The team still doesn't know. 
 
 
Dr. Michael Collender is an alumnus of the Los Angeles Film Studies Center who also worked in script development and in production in the capacities of Assistant Director and Second Unit Director. He has taught philosophy and leadership studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, for over a decade. He earned his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, working on the problem of modeling complex systems. He has also been a Visiting Fellow of the Philosophy Institute of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. At VPSA, Dr. Collender teaches Rhetoric 2, Film and Worldview, Economics, Psychology and Omnibus courses. 
 
James Conner is currently serving full time as a Christian School teacher in Midland, Michigan where he resides with his family.  He has over five years experience as a science, mathematics, and technology teacher in a distinctively classical, Christian school. Jim has an engineering and technical background in both the electrical and architectural fields.  He holds a B.A. in Christian Ministry and is currently working toward several information technology certifications while pursuing graduate studies in apologetics.Along with a hearty discussion over the physical and biological sciences, Jim is particularly fond of studying and discussing both philosophy and theology.  He is also an avid sportsman with a passion for coaching basketball.
 
Rick Davis has been teaching in classical Christian schools since 2006. He studied in the honors program at Liberty University where he graduated summa cum laude in 2004 with a B.A. in Religion. In his college years, Rick spent time as a youth pastor and as a teacher assistant at Pactum Christian Academy in Lynchburg, VA. In 2006, he returned to Pactum to teach. Since 2008, he has taught a variety of courses for Veritas Press Scholars Academy including Omnibus II, Omnibus IV, Logic I, Logic II, and Rhetoric I. In addition, Rick has contributed essays and study questions to the Omnibus textbook series. He also wrote and taught for the self-paced Omnibus II Secondary Course, and contributed exercises to the self-paced Omnibus I Primary Course. He enjoys reading just about anything he can get his hands on. His particular interests include ancient and medieval history, archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean, Medieval Literature, Biblical Studies and Christian theology. Rick and his wife Mary Beth are members of Providence Church in Lynchburg, VA and are the very proud parents of Luther, Anthea and Alfred. 
 
Tammy Duby holds degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Biola University. She is the co-author of The Ultimate Lap Book Handbook and Pillars of the Hebrew Nation. She taught kindergarten and first grade before homeschooling her two children. Tammy shares her passion for learning and teaching as she creatively teaches history, literature and science classes for local homeschoolers in kindergarten through high school. She especially enjoys encouraging parents in their homeschool journeys as she travels to teach Lap Book workshops to home educators. Tammy joined the Veritas faculty in 2008, and has taught grammar, history and Omnibus courses. She has never decided which age student is the most interesting, so she keeps busy with 6 to 18-year-olds all week. She enjoys talking about great books with students and challenging them to go "further up and further in" to God's kingdom. She loves cooking healthy food, reading, traveling, and hosting "How to Watch a Movie" nights for teens at her house. The most fun she has ever had was homeschooling her two children, who grew up way too fast. She actively serves in her local church and makes her home in the countryside outside of Washington D.C.
   
Samuel Gist earned a B.A. in History from Hillsdale College and an M.A. in Medieval History from King’s College London. He has taught Latin, Logic, and Humanities at a Classical Christian school for five years and is excited to be working with students from all over the country at the Scholars Academy. His passion for history and Classics lives outside of the classroom as well, where he spends his time writing historical fiction and collecting a very old-fashioned library. With any extra time he tries to keep up his jazz and classical trumpet playing. He is happily settled in Indiana with his wife and three daughters.
 
Denise George is a homeschooling mother of four children, ages 9-16. She has taught mathematics to various age groups, from Kindergarten through adult, and in many different settings, including public school, community college, private tutoring, homeschool co-op, and her own children. She is also an academic consultant for the Excelsior Co-op she and her children attend. Denise graduated from Bloomsburg University with a B.S. in Secondary Education Mathematics and an M.S. in Education of the Hearing Impaired. She continues to take stimulating continuing education classes and is always interested in learning new things. She loves the way mathematics reflects the order and structure of God’s creation and seeks to foster that love in her students.
 

Cynthia Jackson has a God-given passion for children and young adults.  She and her husband Calvin have been blessed with two children educated at Cary Christian School.  After receiving a business information technology B.B.A. degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, she spent about 25 years as a technical and business professional in the computing industry.  She has taught technical product software to corporate clients and children.  She joined Cary Christian School in 2009 as an SAT Prep elective teacher and later as College Advisor.  Cynthia is an active servant in her church's Children's, Prayer and Women's Ministries. 

 

Dr. Jason Jewell holds a BA in history and music from Harding University, an MA in history from Pepperdine University, and a PhD in Humanities from Florida State University. Dr. Jewell is the chair of the Department of Humanities at Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in history, literature, Bible, and interdisciplinary humanities. He is an Adjunct Scholar for the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, AL. He also homeschools his four sons with his wife, Vickie. He blogs at The Western Tradition, where he is tracking a seven-year project to read through the Great Books of the Western World.

   
Susan Joslyn is a magna cum laude graduate of West Virginia University and mother of six. She began homeschooling in 1987. She later went on to teach professionally beginning in 1999 when she took a position at the grammar level at New Covenant Schools of Bedford, a classical Christian school. There she became trained in Shurley Grammar and Saxon Math. She implemented a writing program for students there based upon the principles of the highly effective Institute for Excellence in Writing. Susan further developed these skills when she transferred to New Covenant Schools of Lynchburg, VA, where she continued to teach at the grammar level until 2006. At that time she moved to Tappahannock, Virginia, and for two years taught literature, grammar and composition, science, and math at the Aylett Country Day School. She began her career as an online instructor with Veritas Online Scholars in the fall of 2009 teaching Grammar and Composition III, Literature I and III. She is currently teaching the Saxon curriculum for grammar math classes Math 65 and 76. Susan and her physician husband now reside in High Point, NC and are members of St. John’s Anglican Church in Greensboro, NC.
 

Tammy Kabakjian is a home schooling mother with a love of classical education. She earned a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Bob Jones University, and has taught a variety of subjects in both Christian school and business settings. Tammy and her husband, Bob, have three children: Robert, Tori, and Katy. They reside in Camden, SC, (the oldest inland town in South Carolina), and are members of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. As a family, the Kabakjians love adventures like exploring new places, camping and traveling. In her spare time, Tammy enjoys early morning runs, baking and photography.

 
Al Keller received his M.A. in Russian History from the University of New Orleans in 1970, followed by three years of post-graduate work in Russian and Chinese History at the University of Washington. During the 1960s and 1970s, he served in the U.S. Navy in Intelligence, worked for the University of Washington in cardiovascular research, and spent five years as a programmer at Boeing. He received his M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 1983. From 1984-2008, he served as Senior Pastor of Emmaus Lutheran Church and School, Fort Wayne. He served as an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of St. Francis, Fort Wayne, IN from 2005-2008. He is skilled in the Greek, Latin, German, Russian, and Chinese languages. His interests include philosophy, international politics, chess, woodworking, and travel. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Rosalie, his daughter and son-in-law, and four homeschooled grandchildren.
 
Mark Keuthan grew up in central Texas. After earning a Bachelor of Education in English and Counseling from Hardin Simmons University, Dr. Keuthan taught public and private high school in Texas. Then Dr. Keuthan earned a Masters of Arts in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio, concentrating on American and British Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, which precipitated teaching at UTSA, Wayland Baptist University, Baptist University of the Americas, and San Antonio area community colleges. Wanting to concentrate more on the study of film, television and literature, Dr. Keuthan accepted a teaching fellowship at Regent University in pursuit of a PhD in Communication Critical Studies. His dissertation explores J.R.R. Tolkien’s communication of evil and redemption in his earliest literature. Completing the Doctor of Philosophy, Dr. Keuthan has taught in Regent University’s School of Communication and the Arts. Dr. Keuthan is an internationally award winning script and screenwriter, story consultant, actor, director, producer, and conference presenter. His greatest passion is writing redemptive cinema and television and seeing it produced. Dr. Keuthan currently lives in a small town in picturesque Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. 
   

Laura King, headmaster and teacher for Imago Dei Academy in Alamogordo, New Mexico. She teaches grammar school science and grammar, and logic school grammar. Laura graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in English Literature from Liberty University. She has been with Imago Dei Academy from the beginning, and has also taught kindergarten through third grade. She has attended training seminars at the Association of Classical Christian Schools annual conference for the past two years, as has researched classical methodology.
Mrs. King has sixteen years’ cumulative teaching experience in church settings and Christian schools. She also has approximately 4 years experience in supervision and office management. She has been married to her husband, Chuck, for 16 years and they have three sons.

 
Jack Klein served as a US Air Force navigator for nearly 23 years – 10 as an instructor for the US Air Force Weapons School and 3 instructing senior US and foreign military officers as an assistant professor at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA. He has served in the air and on the ground in places like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, England, France, Italy, Japan, and Iceland. Prior to entering the Air Force he taught high school math and science on the island of Guam, the Republic of Palau, and Laurel, MT. He has also taught Omnibus I, II, and III in home school coops and coached speech and debate through the NCFCA, as well as volleyball, baseball and soccer in various environments. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Math and Physics education from Montana State University - Billings and a Master’s Degree in Military Studies (Air Warfare) from American Military University. His interests include Music (both performing and listening), Communications, and Community and Leadership Development. Jack and Susan have been married for 28 years, are the homeschooling parents of 6 children, ages 8-22, and are the owners of the leadership development business JSKLIFE. They currently reside in Billings, MT. 
   
 

Susan Klein is the wife of fellow VPSA teacher Jack Klein and mother of 6 children ranging in age from 23 down to 8, including 2 adopted from China and Vietnam. A graduate of Montana State University in Billings, MT with a degree in Math and History Education and extensive work in Chemistry and Physics, she has home schooled all 6 of their children over the course of 12 moves encompassing 5 states while her husband served in the US Air Force and has taught many others, principally nearly every flavor of mathematics and science through various home school coops. She has coached Lincoln-Douglas debate in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association since 2009 with several students competing at the national level. While being stationed at Grand Forks AFB, ND, she worked as a college mathematics instructor. Prior to her husband’s entrance into the Air Force she taught math and history in Guam, as a missionary teacher in the Republic of Palau, and as a substitute teacher in Laurel, MT. An avid reader, musician, and athlete, she loves being back in her home state of Montana. 

   

Woelke Leithart received a Bachelor of Arts from New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, and a Master of Arts from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.  His graduate thesis was entitled The Effect of the Black Death on English Universities.  He has taught Biblical Interpretation and Bible survey classes for middle- and high-school students, and he contributed numerous chapters to the Omnibustextbookseries.  His hobbies include Duke basketball, film scores, and studying the American legal system.  Woelke and his wife Megan have been married for eight years and have three children: John, Matthias, and Vivian.  They currently live in North Carolina.

 
Phyllis Linton is a veteran teacher of over 30 years, including twenty-five years’ experience in public high school education, experience teaching in two Christian schools, and overseas experience teaching at Han Nam University in Taejon, Korea. She has taught a variety of math classes ranging from Algebra I to Advanced Placement Statistics, as well as life science and English. She earned National Board Certification and has served as a national advanced placement grade reader for the College Board. A National Merit finalist in high school, she holds undergraduate degrees from Mississippi College and from the University of North Alabama, where, as well, she earned a Master of Arts in Education. She completed summer coursework at the University of North Carolina in Asheville and at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In 2007 she won the Alabama District 7 Secondary Teacher of the Year award. With degrees both in biology and in mathematics, she inaugurated a statistics program over ten years ago at Florence High School. She enjoys statistics with its interdisciplinary component and the logical thinking necessary for analysis. An active member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Florence, Alabama, she has four grown children and seven grandchildren.
 
Cindy Marsch has been with Veritas Press Scholars Academy since 2010 and has taught writing online since 1997, and before that taught at two community colleges, Auburn University, and Florida State University, where she earned a B.A. with honors in creative writing and business and an M.A. in general literature studies. Cindy and her husband Glenn, a professor of physics at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, were among the founders of a classical Christian school, and Cindy has served as a conference speaker and as a consultant and tutor for several schools and homeschool study centers. The Marsch family, members of Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Grove City, includes Abby (GCC ’11) and her new husband Garrett (GCC'11), David (GCC ’12), Betsy (Union University ’14), and Ben (VPSA '16), all of whom have been homeschooled for the majority of their education.
 

Jacob Moya has a BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Teaching History from the University of San Diego. Jacob has taught in various capacities over the last 12 years, including as a historical interpreter for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia. He has spent the majority of those years teaching the Trivium from a Christian perspective. The 2014-2015 school year will be Jacob’s third with VPSA. He will be teaching the secondary books for Omnibus II as well as Associate Logic and Logic I. He and his bride, Julia, have six beautiful children, and they make their home in Northern Idaho. The Moya family enjoys hiking together, playing soccer and tennis, and watching old films. Jacob's academic interests include educational history, historical theology, and music appreciation. One day, he would like to own a small business with his sons. He and his bride, Julia, have six beautiful children, and they make their home in Northern Idaho. The Moya family enjoys hiking together, playing soccer and tennis, and watching old films. Jacob's academic interests include educational history, historical theology, and music appreciation. One day, he would like to own a small business with his sons.

 
Joost Nixon is the pastor of Christ Church, Spokane. He loves to teach, and has done so in many different subjects in a number of institutions, including Christ Seminary (Polokwane, South Africa), Greyfriars' Hall (Moscow, ID) and The Oaks: A Classical Christian Academy (Spokane, WA). He has been a contributing editor of Credenda Agenda magazine since 2000, and is the Executive Producer of St. Anne's Public House, a Christian audio quarterly. He is on the Board of Trustees for New St. Andrews College. Mr. Nixon has a M.Div. from the Master's Seminary, and is an incurable student. Joost has been married to Kristen, who is much too good for him, for fifteen years. They have six sons and one well-protected daughter.
 
Adair Paul has been involved in Christian education for several years, teaching a variety of science courses at both the middle and high school level.  She is a founding board member of Imago Dei Academy, a classical Christian school in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and currently teaches science for the school.  Prior to teaching science, Adair worked as a registered nurse for twenty years. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing from the University of New Mexico, and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instructional Technology from Grand Canyon University. Adair and her husband Allan have been married for 33 years and have three grown children.
 
Kaye Pepin graduated from Harding University with a B.A. in mathematics. She has taught in both the public and private school sectors.  She homeschooled her three sons for over 12 years and followed her Army soldier husband all over the globe.  She now lives in Cookeville, Tennessee, and spends her free time cooking, reading, hiking, and teaching ladies' Bible classes.
 
Sheryl Powell graduated magna cum laude from Houghton College with a B.A. in French. A veteran teacher of over 30 years, she has taught French in both public and private schools to four year olds through twelfth grade and has led 15 student tours to French speaking countries. Sheryl recently received her TESOL certification and tutors international college students. She and her husband live in Michigan and love visiting their daughter’s family in England. Sheryl has provided leadership to the music and fine arts ministry of her Presbyterian church and enjoys reading, playing the piano, card stamping, traveling, and teaching.
   
Rebekah Pringle delights in opportunities to explore and share her fascination with literature, cultures, genres, philosophies, theology, and the study of communication past and present. Earning degrees in Creative Writing (B.A.) and English (M.A.) from Bob Jones University and teaching literature and composition in classrooms and through media for the past several years have increased her pleasure in these subjects. Her experiences have also provided continued inspiration for excellence in communication and biblical thinking and living. Providing guidance, tutoring, counseling, and advice in various leadership roles over the past ten years equipped Rebekah to serve those with specific needs by helping them find solutions that enable accomplishments of personal and institutional goals. Rebekah enjoys one-on-one interactions with students and families from around the world and across the country. Homeschooled from K5-12 and the second of five, she also values the close relationships she has with her family: grandma, parents, siblings, siblings-in-law, and adorable nieces and nephews. 
   
Betsy Randolph has a BA in Human Anatomy and Physiology, MS in Biochemistry, MA in Education, and PhD in Neruobiology.  After working as a research scientist with a young drug delivery company, Betsy came home as a full-time mom when she had identical twin boys who are now 16.  For the past ten years she has been teaching biology, anatomy and physiology, and inorganic and organic chemistry at the community college level.  Given her passion for a Biblical six day creation, she is excited about the opportunity to teach science from a Christian world view.  When not enthralled in learning and teaching about cells and molecules, Betsy loves being outdoors in nature and exercising.
 
Eric Reini graduated from Cedarville University in 1995 with a BA in mathematics secondary education and received his Master's of Education from Cedarville in 2004. He has taught for 13 years in the Christian school, public school, and community college environments. In addition to teaching, he has a company, Midwest Editorial Ltd, through which he writes math curriculum as a freelancer for many different publishers. He and his wife, Diana, work together to homeschool their 5 daughters and 1 son. He currently lives in Marion, Ohio, and enjoys sports, reading, and officiating high school soccer.  
 

Deirdre Salmon has taught grammar school, middle school, and high school Latin classes; individually tutored home schooled Latin students; taught Latin to home school groups; and instructed all levels of Latin at Providence Classical Academy (2007-2011), which she and her husband helped found. She has composed and contributed tests and worksheets to Classical Academic Press and authored the test books and answer keys for Classical Academic Press's Latin Alive! Books 1 and 2. Her students frequently receive honors on the Exploratory Latin Exam, National Latin Exam, National Classical Etymology Exam, and National Mythology Exam. She has been dubbed "Latin Exam Tzar" and prepares any VPSA students who wish to take these exams, in addition to students in Latin Club, which she also helps facilitate. Deirdre and her husband Jeff have been married for twenty-three years and have three sons and a daughter, all of whom they have classically educated from the beginning of their educations. Her children will tell you that in her spare time she reads and reads and then for good measure reads some more, that she loves Chick-Fil-A, and that she loves Latin and relates it to every area of their lives ad nauseam. She holds a B.A. (honors, magna cum laude) in Human Communication from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. Jeff and Deirdre's oldest son, Cooper, will attend New Saint Andrews College in the fall of 2014. The 2014-15 school year will be Deirdre's fourth year as a Latin teacher at VPSA. 

 

Mary Sam is a home schooling mom of six children, ages 6 through 20. She graduated from Houghton College with a BS in Biology and completed her Masters in secondary science education at the University of Bridgeport. In addition to home schooling for 15 years, she taught Life Science, Physical Science, Biology and Chemistry to students in Grades 7 - 12 in both the public and private Christian Schools. Although science is one of her first loves, she also enjoys classic literature, especially Tolkein and Shakespeare. 

   
Rob Shearer is the husband of Cyndy Shearer, the proud father of 11 children, an Elder at Abundant Life Church, and the Director of the Francis Schaeffer Study Center in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. He is also the Publisher of Greenleaf Press, and vice president of the Tennessee Association of Church-Related Schools. He is the author of Famous Men of the Renaissance and Reformation, and Famous Men of the 16th & 17th Century. Rob holds an MA in History and Humanities from Stanford University and a BA in History from Davidson College. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany in 1979-1980. He has been reading, writing about, pondering, musing, and reflecting on the lessons of history (Ancient, Medieval, & Modern) for over thirty years. He re-reads Paul Johnson’s Modern Times every year, and loves watching Gone With the Wind, Dr. Zhivago, and The Lion in Winter. He once organized a twelve hour marathon back-to-back-to-back screening of all three of the Lord of the Rings movies. Every few years he leads the ultimate homeschool fieldtrip and takes several dozen students and parents with him to Italy and Germany for two weeks, exploring the historical sites associated with the Renaissance and the Reformation. 
   
Veronica Short loves foreign languages, especially Spanish. With this motivation, she graduated summa cum laude from Western Oregon University with a BA in Spanish. She then completed a Master of Arts in Spanish Literature from Portland State University with a focus in 16th century European science in relation to the the indigenous peoples of the New World. Veronica currently teaches at Portland State University. As an avid learner, Veronica believes that education is not restricted to an age group or career goal but rather that it is a way of life. She studies French, German and has just started violin. Her hobbies include classical ballet, travel, cooking, good coffee and tennis. She pursues her passions in Portland, OR.
 
Jodi Smith graduated magna cum laude from Auburn University at Montgomery with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She taught grades 5-8 for six years in both public and Christian schools. Jodi is married to Sam, a PCA pastor and National Guard Chaplain. For the last fifteen years, they have been raising and homeschooling their four children: Collin and Kaitlynn, who are enrolled in the VPSA Diploma Program; Christopher, who is enrolled in the VPSA Grammar school; and Kaebrie, who will enroll when she is old enough. They are expecting a new daughter from China in 2013. Jodi leads a ladies Bible study for her church, loves to read and to travel, and is a professional photographer. She is very thankful for this opportunity to help parents home-school their children through VPSA.
   
Kelly Songer is a homeschooling mom who received a B.A. in Human Communication from Abilene Christian University in 1990.  She and her husband Jimmy lived and worked as missionaries in the Philippines for fourteen years, where all four of her children were born. Her love of languages was sparked when she studied Greek in college. After that she learned Tagalog while working as a missionary and upon returning to the States, had the opportunity to learn Latin. She spent five years homeschooling her own children and then spent two years teaching Latin to fourth, fifth and sixth grade students at Providence Classical School. She has also taught Latin to Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric stage students in homeschool groups. She is now happy to be homeschooling again and eager to share her love of languages with her students.
   
Jessica Sperry has long loved language. She studied English and French at the University of Florida; after graduating with a B.A. in English and a French minor, she lived in France working as an au pair, studying French, and enjoying all the art galleries she could. Her teaching career began when she moved to New York City and served as a teacher’s aide in Harlem. Since then she has taught in various Christian settings for over ten years. While earning her master’s in English and writing her thesis, she became enamored with Dickens and things Victorian. She loves teaching for Veritas Press Scholars Academy, her three kids, her beekeeping husband, and, of course, language.
   

Yolanda Statema earned a BA in Elementary Education from Wheaton College (’86), and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Covenant College (’07). She is a member of Phi Lambda Theta International Honor Society for Educators. Fourteen of her 22 years of teaching have been in schools committed to the classical curriculum. Before coming to VPSA last year, she spent seven years at Rockbridge Academy, a well-established Classical and Christian school near Annapolis. Over the years Yolanda’s positions have taken her to northern New Jersey, England, Cape Cod, Annapolis, and now back to Cape Cod. While living in England she took four years off from teaching to work for and tour the world with Oak Hall Expeditions and Skiing! She loves to travel, read, cook, enjoy a good cup of tea, and do anything outdoors. Yolanda is forever grateful that God has given her a calling that brings such joy and fulfillment to her life!

   
Carter Stepper has a Bachelor's degree with honors in biblical studies from Moody Bible Institute. He has worked in the marketplace for the last ten years, the best of which were for Veritas Press, and has been involved in youth ministry and teaching since 2006. Carter believes that learning is something to be excited about, and desires to impart that excitement to his students. He loves to wrestle with the big questions, and help students to do the same, understanding that all of human achievement has something to teach us. More than anything, he loves to teach, and to see students understand something for the first time. His eclectic interests range from theology and the Church fathers, to science fiction, Japanese culture, and everything medieval. He plans to attend graduate school in the future. When he isn't buried in a book with coffee in his hand, Carter is spending time with his wife Hollie and their two children in Spokane, WA.
   
Carol Stoltzfus earned her B.A. in English Education from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio and later earned her M.A. in Psychology of Reading from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She has had the privilege of teaching English and writing to students of both middle and high school grade levels in the public, private and home-school settings. She loves to plant and nurture a love for the fine art of grammar and writing…helping students build sentences, paragraphs and papers. She, and the love of her life, David, live in PA and are very involved in their local church where she  ministers through teaching, hospitality and supporting her husband’s elder ministry. Their four sons and one very well-protected daughter, have all been home-schooled throughout much of their education. Some are finished, while others are still enjoying the adventure.  In her spare time she enjoys God’s creation through running, swimming and of course, eating fine dark chocolates.
 

Art Stroh recently graduated with a B.A. in Classics from Florida State University where he quickly became an ardent supporter of the classical model following the realization that his former education had merely taught him what to think rather than how to think. His minor studies were in Religion and his intention is to continue this education at seminary in the very near future. Art and his family live in Panama City, Fl, where he presently serves at his church as teacher and music leader to the youth group.  He has two boys (Tate and Liam) and, in spite of what other husbands may think, is married to the most beautiful woman in the world (Angela). Art’s passion is reading about the wondrous works of God as recorded in His Holy Writ and throughout the annals and epochs of time (his-story). The “goal of [Art’s learning] and instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Tim. 1:5)”.

 

Jesse Sumpter graduated from New St. Andrews College in May, 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts. He is currently working on finishing a Master's degree in Classical Christian Studies at New St. Andrews. Jesse has been teaching for six years. Currently, he teaches Latin at Logos School in Moscow, Idaho and Greek and Omnibus 5 at Veritas. Some of Jesse's hobbies include reading, writing, baseball, history, poetry, fiction, and teaching. Jesse and his wife, Kate, have been married for three years and they live in Moscow, Idaho.

 
Mark Sumpter has served Christian schools in California, Alaska and Oregon. He has taught elective courses for Middle School students and served as the Headmaster. From 2009 to 2012, he tutored parents and children in grammar and writing by serving with a Classical Conversations community in Grants Pass, Oregon. He taught Theology and Rhetoric a Caedmon College, a Classical, Christian school aimed at homeschooled households. He enjoys recreation, family games and singing. When he grows up, he longs to call balls and strikes for Little League. He has degrees from Portland State University (B.A.) and Westminster Seminary in California (M.A. in Religion). 
   
Edward Thurber earned a BA in English literature from the University of California at Davis. He earned a Master’s degree in Spanish literature from California State University of Fresno. He has taught Spanish at the high school and college levels. Edward lives in the California Central Valley on a family vineyard with his wife Julie and their four children. Approaching the study and teaching of language from the perspective of a Christian world view is especially inspiring for Edward. Other interests include playing the piano, guitar, soccer and spending time with family and friends in some of the great California outdoors.
 
Norma Tochijara was born in Mexico City but 16 years ago moved to Montreal Canada where she lives with her family. She has been married to Victor Tochijara for 19 years and they have two sons: Marco 15 and Josh 13. She studied to be a speech therapist at the Instituto Nacional de la Comunicacion Humana (INCH) which gives her an advantage in teaching another language because she can focus on proper pronunciation and articulation, especially since Spanish is her mother tongue. Since she moved to Canada, she has been homeschooling her children and tutoring Spanish. Her whole family are communicant members of the Hudson/St.Lazare Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. Her husband is the deacon at their church and Norma serves with the women in the church. The Lord has been very gracious to her and her family by saving them at a very young age. She loves running, reading (not at the same time though), baking, teaching and being with her family. 
   

Dr. Edwin Utz teaches Omnibus classes for Veritas Press Scholars Academy.  He has been the pastor of Bennett Community Church in Jackson, Michigan for 14 years.  He has also taught History and Worldview classes for a local homeschool co-op and taught Personal Leadership Development and Biblical Perspectives for Spring Arbor University.  Before that, he lived in South Korea, serving as a pastor and educator. He graduated from Liberty University (B.S. and M.Div.) and Ashland Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He and his wife Teri have two daughters.  Mr. Utz loves touring historical sites, creative writing, Korean food, and watching students learn.

   

Gail Van Ryn earned two B.S. degrees from New Mexico Tech, a M.S. from the University of New Mexico, and a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design from Marymount University. At VPSA, this will be her third year teaching in the grammar school. Her local classes for homeschooled students have included hands-on science, memory work, and grammar and writing. Mrs. Van Ryn has also been a local community college professor for over fifteen years, teaching in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats. Her two teens have always been homeschooled, and both are VPSA students. Favorite teaching moments include discussing good writing and having her students share their work. The Van Ryns live in the beautiful Hunt Country region of Virginia where they enjoy various activities with their church, gardening, and fishing.

   
Eric VanDerhoof currently teaches history, biblical studies, and Latin at Christian Leadership Academy, an ACCS founding and accredited school in Bloomfield Hills, MI (Metro Detroit). During his 20+ years in education, he has served as teacher, headmaster, consultant, and curriculum writer. He has been committed to a classical Christian approach to education since 1998 when he worked for Veritas Academy (Lancaster, PA) and Veritas Press. Eric earned his B.R.E. at Cornerstone University in 1984, where he also met his wife, Lisa. They have been blessed with 6 children: Kevin (Rebekah), Jonathan, Matthew, Alicia, Christa (who is resting in the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ), and Valerie. They are also proud grandparents of Eldon and Ulrik! He enjoys reading, sports of all kinds, growing African Violets, interacting with students, and being with family. 
   
 

Tom Vierra has taught in the classical school setting for the past eight years. He was a founding faculty member at two different schools in the Phoenix area, teaching Great Books seminars, writing, and Ancient, Medieval, and American history. In his most recent position as Academic Dean, he was brought on to help build a new school by overseeing the development of the curriculum and of the faculty culture. He holds B.A. degrees in History and Philosophy, an M.A. in Philosophy, and has nearly completed his Ph.D. program in Philosophy at Arizona State University. He is currently working on his dissertation which focuses on ancient Greek and Roman moral philosophy. He has been blessed with marriage for nine years. He and his wife Tracey have three children, two cats, one dog, and thirteen chickens.

   
 

Sheryl Vine has been a lover of words and language since before she started storing memories. She grew up in small-town Minnesota then studied English at The Master’s College in California. During her college years she also spent one enchanted semester at Oxford University, England and took an intensive semester of Latin, during which she had no time for anything else and after which she was hooked on Latin for good! After Cody swept her off her feet and married her in 2005, they moved to Bozeman, MT where Sheryl first learned about Classical Christian education at Petra Academy. She taught Latin and English there for 4 years before their first son Tyler was born. They later moved back to Sheryl’s native Minnesota, where they now live with their additional 2 daughters Avery and Freya. In her free time, Sheryl loves to read everything she can get her hands on, walk in the woods, cook and bake, arrange flowers, and geek out about language.  

   
 

Hettie Weber resides in beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia, with her three children and husband, Lee. She has taught Language Arts, History, and Latin in classical schools since 2007. Originally a homeschooler, Hettie's appreciation for classical education continues to grow. She graduated with honors from Texas A&M University in 1995 with a degree in History. Her husband is an officer in the US Navy and they have lived in seven states as well as in London, England. If she has spare time, Hettie enjoys playing the cello, reading, studying, and sewing. Her greatest passion is raising each of her children to love the Lord with all of his or her heart, soul, mind, and strength.

   
 

Kelly Weber has a degree in education from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY. She taught at a Christian school for twelve years until she became a mom to a miracle son, Samuel. While staying at home she tutored students in Saxon Math and Shurley Grammar. Kelly is passionate about making learning fun and making her students feel successful academically. She has been married to her husband, Steve, for six glorious years. Since her husband is a lead pastor she is often helping with women’s ministries, missions, teaching, and outreach. When she has free time she enjoys making hand stamped cards and making online photo albums to document all that He has blessed her family with. She resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

 

Trisha Williams is passionate about helping students demonstrate love for God and his Word by helping them understand the world around them and their purpose in it. The rhetoric of literature, history, and theology are the means she uses to engage students in this grand undertaking. Her love for learning and passion for classical education was passed on to her and her ten siblings from her teaching parents. She graduated from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, with a B.A. in English Literature and Language and minor in Biblical Studies in 2005. She became a missionary to Guatemala in 2006, and taught all levels of high school English classes at the International Christian Academy of Guatemala for four years. She also helped coach a Harvard University sponsored debate team working to promote democracy amongst the Americas and saw them compete in El Salvador, Costa Rica and Ecuador. While in Guatemala, she helped establish ESL classes at local churches, as well as encouraging the literacy efforts of fellow missionaries to indigenous Mayan groups.

Ms. Williams is now finishing up her course work for a Master of Arts in Teaching from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. In her free time she tears her nose out of a book to play the piano, host dinner parties, or critique film. She teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible study classes at College Church, and when not leading short term mission trips to various parts of the globe, spends as much time as possible tutoring Hispanic immigrant children and encouraging the educational pursuits of her thirty nieces and nephews.

   
 

Rae Wilson has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education K-8 with a Reading Major and a Math Minor from Eastern Washington University. She taught first grade for three years in a public school, fifth grade for four years in a private Christian University Method School, and home schooled her two children for fourteen years. This is her third year at VPSA, where she teaches Saxon 54, Linguistics IV, and Primary Literature 3. Rae enjoys reading, exercise classes, biking, skiing, and following her favorite sports teams. She and her husband of 27 years are active in their church, where she teaches ladies Inductive Bible Study. Rae feels very blessed to be part of Veritas Scholars Academy! 

   
 

Mary Wright graduated with distinction from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a B.A. degree from the College of Math, Science and Engineering. She also obtained a secondary teaching credential from CSULB and taught secondary mathematics for the Long Beach Unified School District for four years before staying home with their three children. Mary has homeschooled for 16 years, predominately using VPSA curriculum. Mary and her husband Harold have been married for 29 years and actively serve in their church, Providence Reformed Church of Las Vegas. They enjoy camping, hiking, rock collecting, backpacking, dogs and reading.  

   
 

Janis Yerington is a working artist, art historian and art educator. She graduated, cum laude, from Brandeis University near Boston, and also attended Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy and Cambridge University in the UK. She has worked at the New Yorker Magazine, a myriad of galleries, museums, an arts commission and newspapers. She and her husband Matt live on the coast north of San Francisco, raising three wonderful children. Janis has been teaching art since she was a teenager and her enthusiasm only increases. Hundreds of students have taken classes with her through the years at her studio, homeschool programs and private and public schools. Janis has also taught extensively on the topics of the biblical feasts and literature. Her art is exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the states. Janis is the proprietor of Harvest Art Studio, Wedding Cake Sculptures and Bolinas Folk Art. Art is a passion and a joy and she is delighted to share her love with her students and to encourage them that through our creativity we can honor and worship our Creator.