Susan White Baumert completed her B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she double majored in Religious Studies and in News-Editorial Journalism. She went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America.
Susan and her husband homeschool their three sons, who have inspired her work in classical education, in the Montessori method, as well as her work in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, all of which she has used while homeschooling and volunteering in her community over the past eight years. She is a certified Montessori instructor and has a love for teaching at all levels.
Susan lives in Falls Church, VA, where she enjoys reading, teaching her boys, painting, going on bike rides as a family, and playing with their two toy poodles, Bella and Galaxy.
Tim Burgess received a bachelor's degree Secondary Education from the University of South Carolina, a Masters Degree in Secondary Science Education and Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Design from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. He taught physics at the high school level for 36+ years and retired from classroom teaching in 2017 to more fully serve his family. Tim was an early adapter and national presenter of National Science Foundation sponsored “Modeling Physics” starting in 1997. Tim uses an experiential dialogue-based approach to learning with an emphasis on empirical reasoning, verbal description, diagrammatic representations and productive discourse. Tim has been married over 44 years. He and mostly his wife Theresa home schooled six children over 3 decades. Now they enjoy seeing their children homeschooling grandchildren.
Bill DiPuccio recently served as an instructor in Physical and Earth Science at Heritage Classical Academy near Akron, Ohio. He has been teaching science since 2002 including a position as science instructor and department head for five years at St. Nicholas Orthodox School, a classical school in Akron, OH. He has designed and taught laboratory courses in biology, earth science, astronomy, chemistry, and physics for elementary school, middle school, and high school. Bill has also, trained elementary school teachers, and taught numerous summer and weekend science camps.
Bill has a Ph.D. in historical theology and a professional background in meteorology, engineering (ultrasonic and electromagnetic polymer joining processes, automation) and graphic design. His academic interests and publications can be found on his blog, scienceetcetera.blogspot.com.
Mother Melania (Salem) is the Abbess of the Holy Assumption Orthodox Monastery (OCA) in Calistoga, Ca. She holds the Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Durham, England. She has been a monastic since 1999. She is the author of the series of children’s books entitled Fearless the Fire Duck and His Friends, as well as a continuing series of booklets on the meaning of the Great Feasts of the Church and Stories from the Old Testament.
Patricia Slatin received her Ph.D. in Classics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005, with a focus on ancient philosophy, particularly Platonic metaphysics and theology. Thereafter she served as visiting assistant professor at Georgetown University (2007-2009) and postdoctoral teaching fellow at Stanford (2009-2013); recently she taught history and Greek at St. John’s Orthodox Academy in San Francisco and Biblical Greek at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Beyond teaching, Patricia enjoys spending time with her cat, walking in the hills of western Iowa, and volunteering at a local nature preserve.
Rory Adams received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Mathematics from Western Washington University. He then went on to earn an MA in Theology. Since then he has worked as both a pastor and a math tutor. In addition to providing individualized math instruction, he developed and taught an after-school class for students struggling in math, and coached a competitive ‘Math Counts’ team in 2019 which placed 2nd out of 14 schools.
Rory lives in Billings, Montana with his wife Jennifer and their 5 children ranging in age from 4 to 14. Rory is a skydiver and in his spare time he memorizes digits of pi!
Brady Adolph received his B.A. in classics from the University of Iowa (where he received several awards for excellence in Classical Studies) followed by an M.A. at Indiana University. He has been studying Greek, Latin, and Classical Literature for about ten years and is particularly interested in the narrative technique of the Greek historians (Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon) - the first long form, prose narratives in the Western tradition!
Molly Barnett earned her B.A. with honors in English from The Ohio State University in 2011. Upon graduation, she began teaching middle school English Literature at Grace Christian School in Columbus, Ohio. From there, she accepted a position teaching fourth grade at Immanuel Lutheran School, a Classical School, in Alexandria, Virginia where she taught for the next 6 years. During the summers of 2015-2018, Molly was a graduate student of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and earned her M.A. in the liberal arts in August 2018. Later that month, she and her husband, who teaches Latin, Theology, and History in the Upper School at ILS, were joyfully married. They and their son and daughter currently reside in Alexandria where they enjoy little adventures outdoors, spending time with dear friends, and savoring all of life's blessings.
Anjela Brenner grew up in Ukraine and moved to Russia at the age of 18. She received a Bachelor of Education degree in Russian Language and Literature from Rostov State University, Rostov, Russia. She moved to the United States in 1999, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Master of Arts in Communication Disorders in 2011. She is a Member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and she has a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). Anjela has provided individual and group speech-language instruction for children and adults with various communication disorders, has taught Russian Language to children and adults as a private tutor, and served as a medical interpreter for Russian and Ukrainian speaking patients, families, and caregivers.
Anjela is a native speaker of Russian and is also fluent in Ukrainian. She enjoys hiking and gardening. She is married and has two children.
Tessa Carman studied Politics, Philosophy, & Economics (B.A., magna cum laude) at The King’s College in New York City, where she wrote her thesis on George MacDonald’s fairy tales. She also completed her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Seattle Pacific University in 2020.
Her family roots are in northern Minnesota, where her father’s crowded bookshelves, her grandfather’s 400-acre farm, and long cold winters were some of her first tutors.
She continues to pursue her love for literature, languages, theology, and theater with her husband, daughter, and son. Some of her favorite things include going for walks with her family, writing at coffee shops with her husband, hiking in the mountains, studying Old English with friends, baking biscuits and scones, exploring used bookstores, and advocating for the Oxford comma.
He is always ready to discuss topics of history, literature, political philosophy, and the elements that best bring about human flourishing and the good life. Some of his favorite things are drinking morning coffee, going for walks in the rain, poring over history books, long conversations with friends, and hoeing strawberries in the field.
Nadia Chandler is a native speaker of Japanese. She holds an M.A. in Intercultural Studies (Multnomah Biblical Seminary) and a B.A. in Persian Language and Teaching English as a Second Language (Osaka University, Japan). She has taught all ages, from pre-school through adult and has been working as a teacher and interpreter for over 20 years. In addition to being a homeschool mom herself, she has taught in both homeschool groups and public schools (for a Japanese immersion program). She understands both the traditional and homeschool educational models and is experienced teaching both immersion and grammar-based Japanese. Besides being a native Japanese speaker and fluent in English, Mrs. Chandler speaks Farsi (Persian) and Russian, and has studied Latin, Koine Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Arabic, and Yakut (a Turkish language).
Nadia enjoys watching European and British dramas, listening to Bach and other classical composers, baking something new, knitting with beautiful yarns, and walking in nature. And she dreams of traveling to the ancient Persian city of Isfahan in Iran someday! She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
Natallia Cherashneva is a native Russian speaker from Brest, Belarus. She received her BA degree in Linguistics, English and German from Brest State University and completed her MA degree in TESOL at the University of Delaware. Natallia has 9 years of experience as a Russian language instructor and translator and is currently teaching Intensive Russian at Middlebury Russian School in Vermont. She also worked at the University of Maryland to develop an immersive Russian language program with an extensive library of lessons and e-learning materials. Natallia is passionate about foreign languages (in addition to her native Russian she is fluent in English and conversational in Belarusian, Polish, German, and Italian.
Rafaela Fernandes grew up in Brazil and lived and studied for six years in Italy. She completed her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude at the Conservatorio di Musica Antonio Buzzolla Adria, followed by three years of study at the Accademia d’Arte Lirica in Osimo. She currently lives in Germany where she is a professional opera singer, and teacher and has earned two Master’s in Music in both Opera and Concert from Nürnberg University.
Rafaela is fluent in Italian, Portuguese, German and English and has a basic knowledge of French and Spanish as well! She currently teaches music at Stimmakademie Herzog.
She is passionate about music, languages and teaching and in her free time she enjoys cooking and gardening.
Jackie Maria Goodson has been a Literature and Writing teacher for over 25 years. She has also been a middle school Principal and is currently an Instructional Coach supporting teachers and students. She got her middle school education degree from the University of Georgia and later 2 masters in Curriculum/ Instruction and Educational Leadership. As a teacher, she was nominated twice for Teacher of the Year and awarded Teacher of Distinction. She has taught in a variety of school settings during her educational career.
Jackie is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and lived in Louisiana for about 12 years, until Hurricane Katrina.. This event prompted her family to move to Arizona where she currently lives with her husband and 2 grown sons. In Arizona, she has been a church member at St. Demetrios in Tucson and currently lives in Florence. The lives of Saints have always been a inspiration to her and her family throughout her life. She speaks Greek and loves anything vintage Greek. When she has free time, she enjoys journaling, hiking, spending time with family, and making jewelry.
Kristie Keller Jones completed her B.A. in History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Classics, also at UCLA. She went on to receive her M.A. in Classics from the University of Chicago.
Susan Jones holds an MA in Education from West Virginia University where she graduated with an emphasis in U.S. History. She has over 30 years of teaching experience, primarily in the areas of American History, Appalachian Culture, and Social Problems. Susan also holds a certification in music education and has taught in various summer music schools.
In addition to teaching, Susan’s interests include writing and traveling. She has written 20 books on a variety of topics including local history and music theory and has over 150 songs to her credit. Her travels have taken her to 46 of our 50 states and she proudly calls West Virginia home, where she lives in Moundsville with her husband, retired high school history teacher, Bill Jones.
Michael Kopf received his MA in Ancient Philology in 2015 from the Polis Institute in Jerusalem after completing undergraduate studies in Classics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and at the University of Vienna. He has working knowledge of 9 languages, and has been teaching Classical Greek and Latin for the last 5 years. He has taught classical languages to middle- and high-school students and graduate students, both through immersion and in more conventional settings, in Rome, Vienna and Jerusalem, and has also taught teacher training courses in Rome and Jerusalem.
He enjoys rediscovering the ancient world and its reception, especially the history of classical education, grammar and linguistics. He recently settled in rural Austria with his wife and is eager to continue sharing his enthusiasm for antiquity and language learning through online teaching. In this way, he hopes to contribute towards making classical studies more accessible.
Micha Laird completed her M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and will be attending St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in the fall to begin a second M.A. degree. She is a classical educator, a certified Montessori instructor and has a love for teaching all ages. She and her husband have 3 teenage daughters (2 in college) and a son. They attend Holy Theophany Orthodox Church in Colorado Springs.
Anne McCauley Padula received an M.A. in English from the University of Dallas. Immersed in literature/poetry at UD, Anne studied a range of genres and authors including Homer, Vergil, Chaucer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton. With a special interest in lyric poetry, Anne studied and wrote about Shakespeare's Sonnets for a junior project and T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets for her senior thesis. She also studied Greek and Latin as an undergrad and graduate student to pursue more deeply her love for Homer and other classical authors. Anne taught literature/poetry and writing at community colleges in Dallas as a graduate student, and later worked as a writer for the University of Texas Medical Branch. A full-time lecturer at Texas A&M University at Galveston for three years, Anne taught Freshman Composition, Homer and the Trojan War, Environmental Ethics, Logic, and Technical Writing. For the past 19 years, Anne has been devoted to home school education, for her own children, and in the past 4 years for CLRC. Very involved in music education, Anne served as director of operations for a youth strings program, and has guided her own children who have a Celtic band and classical string trio. Anne loves hiking, swimming, and exploring the outdoors with her three children.
Athanasia Patsaroucha was raised in Greece and from an early age was involved in both classical and modern Greek language competitions. She earned her bachelor’s degree in the department of Primary Education from the University of Western Macedonia and then completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership & Management at Nicosia University, Cyprus. In 2021-2022 she completed a 9-month certification program focused on new trends in teaching Greek as a foreign language. She has taught online students around the globe as well as both children and adults at the Leicester Greek School.
A linguaphile from childhood, Athanasia is proficient in Greek (her native language), English, German and Russian. She is passionate about teaching and learning foreign languages, sharing her Greek culture, and connecting the ancient roots to modern Greek through mythology, etymology, and a plethora of creative activities.
Anna Shkireva is from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. She received her MA degree in International Relations from the State University of Nizhny Novgorod and completed her MA degree in TESOL at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Anna is a PhD candidate in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies at UNM and is currently teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced Russian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her academic interests include second language acquisition, instructional communication and classroom applications that support the development of students’ interest and persistence. Anna is passionate about teaching and learning foreign languages, sharing Russian culture with students, hiking, snowboarding, running and kayaking.
Sue Ellen Turscak has been a teacher of Great Books, Literature, and Composition at Heritage Classical Academy in northeast Ohio since 2006. Prior to that she taught English for ten years at Western Reserve Academy, an independent college preparatory school, and before that, Russian language and literature at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia.
She earned her A.B. In History and Literature, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1986, and a Master in Humanities, summa cum laude, from Tiffin University in 2009. Her thesis was on the forms of contemporary classical Christian education.
During the summer months, from 2010-2017, she was the director of her own Merely Players Shakespeare Camp, a two-week day camp for 7th grade through early college focused on exploring Shakespeare thematically through performance. In 2013, she was the recipient of the American Shakespeare Center’s Words in Action Award “to deserving teachers to honor their commitment in bringing Shakespeare to life for their students.”
Sue Ellen homeschooled her two children through high school. Her son works as a data scientist for a major consulting firm, and her daughter is a software developer for Microsoft. Sue Ellen resides with her husband and one very grumpy cat in Northeast Ohio, and attends St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Church. She enjoys reading, cooking, international travel, and all things Russian and Slavic in general.
Serena Warnky grew up in the mountains of Northern California. Being homeschooled through 8th grade gave her lots of time to play outside and read everything in the tiny local library. She attended high school at from a small classical school where she was first introduced to the Great Books and Latin. After a bachelor's in English at Hillsdale College where she also helped edit the creative writing publication, she worked on a small organic farm in Virginia before doing something completely different and moving to Dallas, TX to teach. While teaching, she earned a masters degree in literature from the University of Dallas. She married her husband in 2019, and they live in a snug RV with their baby daughter, Beatrice, while they start a working ranch in North Texas.
Michelle Wilband is an experienced educator in the Humanities and has been teaching history, literature, and classics courses at the post-secondary level for fifteen years. Along with her teaching, she has served as a curriculum coordinator and as the Associate Director for the Foundation Year Program, a well-known liberal arts program in Canada. Michelle received a Master’s degree in Classics from Dalhousie University, where she focused her research on late ancient and early medieval theology. She received a BA in Philosophy from St. Thomas University and was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for highest academic standing in her graduating class. Michelle is of Acadian heritage, and she received her early education from that community entirely in French. She lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada with her husband and two young children.
Seraphim Winslow was the dean of students and principal of a classical K-12 academy in San Francisco for over a decade. He has been teaching English, the Trivium (Grammar, Logic and Composition), Modern and Ancient Languages, the Humanities, and Western and World Civilization and Cultures to students of all ages for more than 30 years.
Seraphim graduated with a B.A. with highest honors in Russian Language and Culture from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in the Humanities from California State University, Sacramento. He also holds two Associate of Arts degrees in Philosophy and the Humanities. He is currently pursuing a second Master of Arts Degree in Philosophy at San Francisco State University.
Seraphim enjoys the thrill of getting lost in cavernous university libraries and old European bookstores. He also enjoys riding his recumbent tricycle through the pine-laden Sierra foothills of Northern California's Miwok territory, where he lives with his iconographer wife, Lena, and their cat, Skipper.
Jaimie Althage received her B.A. in Classical Studies from Hillsdale College in 2011 (magna cum laude). After graduating, she taught for Great Hearts Academies in Arizona for four years, and then served as a founding faculty member for another Great Hearts Academy campus in Irving, Texas, before taking a hiatus from teaching to stay home with her children. She has experience with online teaching in particular too, having worked with CLRC for a few years now, as well as with other online classical schools before that. She loves teaching and classical education, and has taught History, Latin, and Greek at various grade levels. She currently lives with her husband and three children in rural West Virginia. When not teaching, she loves to read, cook, and knit.
Lydia Aleshin received her B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook. She received highest honors and the Stony Brook Russian Award. She was raised bilingually, immersed in the Slavic culture, and studied for a summer semester in Moscow and Leningrad. After graduating, she taught privately and traveled the world extensively for eight years as a consultant for tourists and professional educational groups, specializing in the former U.S.S.R.
She took a hiatus from travel to raise her children, though continued teaching private lessons. Lydia has been teaching for over 20 years, interprets, and has engaged in cultural and citizen diplomacy. She has taught Intensive Russian, Russian Language and Culture, Russian Literature, Russia-Ukraine-Belarus Current Events, Russian Cooking, ESL, and more at Shepherd University, two local colleges, and at public as well as private schools and venues.
Lydia loves sharing the Russian culture and teaching language to people of all ages. When not teaching she enjoys reading, writing, art, baking with her granddaughter, and is working on a cultural art cookbook. Three adorable cats keep her family entertained on a daily basis.
Sara Beatty received a Bachelor of Arts in French from St. Norbert College with a minor in International Studies. As part of her degree, she spent a semester studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. She is fluent in written and spoken French, and has recently translated a French devotional work, yet to be published. In addition to French, she has studied Russian, Latin, and Spanish.
David Brandolini attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Government and Political Philosophy and a Minor in English. He is currently completing a Master’s degree at the University of Dallas as a Quintilian Fellowship recipient in Humanities with a focus in Classical Education. For the last eight years he taught a variety of subjects across middle and high school for a classical charter school network, including great books seminar courses, writing, history, and natural science. David has also served as a high school Dean, teacher coach, and student senior thesis advisor. He now lives in the Charlotte area of North Carolina, where he can be found voraciously reading as much classical literature and philosophy as possible.
Amelia Buzzard graduated summa cum laude in Philosophy and German from Hillsdale College in 2021, where she was president of the Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and a college-level language tutor. Following college, she taught German for two years at a rural elementary and middle school in southern Montana and ran a German summer camp under the mentorship of experienced teachers at the World Language Initiative-MT.
Ambrose Bykerk, a native of Doniphan Nebraska (population 800), is a recent cum laude graduate of Hillsdale College in Michigan where he studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. While at Hillsdale he was elected to both Mu Alpha (Men’s Music Honorary) and Eta Sigma Phi (National Classics Honorary). He has been working for the last two years as a remote tutor for Nebraska homeschool families and a consultant for elementary and Middle School Latin teachers. He currently resides with his wife in Lincoln, Nebraska. His hobbies include languages, playing guitar, and cooking. His scholarly interests include Hebrew poetics, Greek lyric and epic poetry, as well as linguistics and ancient history.
Wes Callihan grew up on a farm in Idaho and graduated in History from the University of Idaho in 1983. He has taught for nearly forty years–at two private schools, two colleges, and his own online classes for the past twenty-five years. His online Great Books lectures have been filmed and produced by Roman Roads Press as a video curriculum for home schoolers called Old Western Culture. He speaks regularly on education and church history at Classical education conferences for home educators and private schools, has written columns and short fiction for journals and contributed to publications on classical Education and home schooling, and has taught summer courses on the Early Church Fathers for many years.
Wes and his wife Dani have six married children and eighteen grandchildren. Wes and Dani live in the beautiful countryside of northern Idaho near Wes’s parents and most of the kids and grandkids, where six generations of the family have lived on the same family farm. They use the cold winters as an excuse to read, and the hot summers as another excuse to read. Wes also likes hiking and hunting, barbecuing, listening to the blues, gardening, movies, and travel (he has organized many tours for his students and their families to Greece and Turkey). But like the Venerable Bede he loves teaching, reading, and writing best of all.
Cristina-Mihaela Cioata grew up in Romania where she earned her Bachelor's degree in German and Romance languages and Literature Studies from The University of Romania at Iasi. She currently lives in Germany, where she is earning her Master's degree in German as a Foreign Language at the Pedagogical University College Freiburg and teaches German at the Kolping Language School in Freiburg. She has also taught German through internships with the Heidelberg Institut Mexiko and A-Z Deutschsprachkurse Freiburg.
Cristina is enthusiastic, spontaneous, and loves reading, travelling, ballroom dancing, classical music and good movies.
María (Mariel) Elena Vargas Folgar received her Bachelor's degree in Social Work in 2017 from Universidad Mariano Gálvez de Guatemala and a TEFL degree (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) from Máximo Nivel in 2019. She has worked as an English teacher, interpreter, and Spanish teacher.
Amy Gillispie and her husband, Father Robert, began homeschooling their nine children in 1999. Amy was graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Architecture, did her Master’s work in Liturgical Architecture, played the organ for her church at twelve years old, danced in a ballet/jazz company, worked as a photographer/developer, directs musicals, is a COPE certified health coach, a registered IEW teacher and a licensed Simply Music Piano Instructor. She wrote her own architecture curriculum and began teaching architecture courses to students from around the world when she created her business, Building Brilliant Minds, in 2009. “Architecture” and “Music/Piano” continue to hold her heart because the possibilities are intertwined and infinite. Mrs. G’s Architecture and Piano courses may be taken online during the arranged Zoom classes or privately. For more information, email Mrs. G. at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit her website at www.buildingbrilliantmindsonline.com .
Brittany Scott graduated on theater scholarship from Concordia University Irvine with a B.S. in Humanities: Creative Writing. She worked professionally as a production coordinator and videographer in the Orange County/Los Angeles area before marrying the love of her life and starting a family. As an Orange County School of the Arts alumni, she was excited to teach Theater and Film conservatory classes at OCSA’s sister school, The California School of the Arts. And now as she transitions into homeschooling her own two children, she’s thrilled to join the CLRC team!
Christine Jennings was homeschooled by her mother and began taking interest in drawing and art through Charlotte Mason-inspired nature journaling. In high school she continued her education through an independent study program with the local high school, where she attended her first course in fine art. In college she continued her education as an art major, received a 4.0, and joined the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She received several first-place awards for life drawings and fine art, and her art was published in the college arts journal.
She has a variety of skills and experience in painting public murals, mounting canvas icons in churches, training in the art of iconography, and commissioned art works such as portrait work. She has also exhibited her art in local Fresno Art Galleries.
Christine developed a classical curriculum to teach students the elements and principles of art and design through drawing and painting. Uniquely, she teaches her students how to make their own materials such as artists vine charcoal, and ancient gall ink.
Christine enjoys living with her family in the beautiful Sierra foothills of Fresno county, CA. Her husband Matthew is a carpenter, and small business owner. He is currently an apprentice training to become an electrician. They have five lively children whom Christine homeschools through a local charter school. Christine loves to make time for following her many other interests. If she’s not cooking a big meal, she can be found exploring the creeks and hills, gardening, making ink, singing, researching ecology, foraging for mushrooms, and general shenanigans, all with her children in tow!
After completing her B.A in Foreign Languages Teaching at Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, Jimena moved to France to pursue a Masters degree in Politics and Societies of the Americas at the Université de Rennes II. She is a native speaker of Spanish and has full fluency in both English and French (as well as intermediate conversational ability in both Italian and Portuguese). She has 10 years of experience teaching English, Spanish and French to children of all ages in both Colombia and France. Her studies took her to pursue diverse experiences in journalism, in particular with the French international channel France 24 as a TV news producer. Jimena was also part of the editorial team at ChangeNOW, the largest event of solutions for the planet happening every year at the Grand Palais in Paris.
Marcella Kerrigan received her B.A. from Hillsdale College, graduating from the Honors Program with a double major in Spanish and English. While at college, she was part of the Spanish Department’s tutoring program. Following graduation, she spent a year teaching English Literature at a bilingual school in Mexico and then worked at an elementary school as a reading aide for struggling students. After her daughter was born she took a break from formal employment but was able to spend a year living in Spain when her husband received a Fulbright Grant to do research in Madrid.
She currently lives in Wayne, Nebraska, where she homeschools her two children and volunteers with a program that provides instruction for community members who are learning English. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking sourdough bread, reading about theology and novels in Spanish and English.
Christina McNamara graduated summa cum laude from the University of Dallas with a B.A. in History and a minor in French. She started learning French in elementary school at the age of 8 and Latin in high school at the age of 15 and has never lost her love of languages. She has attended spoken Latin conferences led by Dr. Terence Tunberg at the University of Kentucky where she enjoyed conversing in and reading Latin. Christina attributes the beginnings of her love of history to both her seventh-grade and ninth-grade history teachers who truly brought history to life and inspired her with their dedication and creativity – she will never forget her seventh-grade teacher dressing up like a 13th-century monk, transforming her classroom into a monastery, and forcing her students to sing their textbook aloud in Gregorian chant!
Christina has taught Latin and History to middle school and elementary students at classical charter schools in Texas and Colorado for three years and is looking forward to teaching for CLRC. She loves to see her students come alive to the joy of learning.
She currently resides in Colorado with her husband Connor and enjoys hiking in the Rockies, mountain biking, cooking new recipes, teaching violin lessons, and reading historical fiction. Christina and her husband are excitedly awaiting the birth of their first child in November.
Lee Ann Shaffer received her BS in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University in 1982. She spent five years working for General Motors, where she was involved in the fabrication of microchips for automotive sound systems and developing and performing tests for electrical automotive components. She then took a permanent hiatus from her career to stay at home with her children.
Lee Ann and her husband of 38 years, Jerry (also an electrical engineer) have four grown sons, whom they homeschooled from kindergarten through high school. In addition to teaching her own boys, she also taught science classes for homeschooled students, and conducted many chemistry labs for groups of students around her dining room table!
Lee Ann taught at Heritage Classical Academy in Hudson, Ohio for seven years. There she taught middle school and high school math, science, and formal logic. It was during her years at Heritage that Lee Ann discovered her love for classroom teaching.
Outside of the classroom, Lee Ann enjoys reading, experimenting with new recipes, gardening, spending time with her three grandchildren, visiting her sons and their families (which takes her from coast to coast), and taking long walks with her husband. They currently live in West Farmington, Ohio with their chickens and their cat, Annie.
Ryan B. Jawad is a Texas-certified teacher. He has taught in the classroom for 14 years at the middle and high school levels. He was voted ‘Teacher of the Year’ (Student Vote) in 2018. He is also a certified GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) instructor.
Mr. Jawad graduated high school from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at UNT. He studied at the Johns Hopkins University, the Peabody Institute, and the Independent University of Moscow and holds a B. A. from Johns Hopkins in Mathematics. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received the J. J. Sylvester Award for Excellence in Mathematics.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Jawad has active interests in classical and early music. He has worked as music director for young adult and adult choirs and is currently the organist at Saint Peter Orthodox Church in Fort Worth. His recent projects include “The Abelard Hymnal: Medieval Christian Songs Translated Into English” (2020), editor and “Ten Alleluias: For Voice – SATB” (2021), composer.
Valentina Vargas Folgar has five years’ experience teaching as an online Spanish teacher, including two years with the HSA (Homeschool Spanish Academy) where she took an intensive course on how to teach Spanish online. She is working on certification as an ELE teacher at Tía Tula (an educational center accredited and endorsed by the Instituto Cervantes in Spain). In addition to her CLRC classes, she teaches individual classes to students learning Spanish.
Esther Phillips began homeschooling her own children over 25 years ago and quickly became a proponent of Charlotte Mason and Classical education. Though from England, her childhood was spent mainly in Kenya and Hong Kong until her family settled in rural Lincolnshire, UK. Esther’s father, himself classically educated and able to read Latin, Greek and Hebrew, inspired in Esther a love of learning and lifelong wonder and discovery. She has spent 15 years setting up, directing, and teaching homeschool co-ops and has served as a consultant to many homeschool families, with a desire to foster in them confidence and joy.
Esther has five children, two are still at home completing their homeschooling journey. She lives in Idaho and enjoys reading (of course) and writing (when she gets a chance).
I was born in Guatemala City. I lived at the Orthodox orphanage there for two years before being adopted. I spent most of my childhood in Homer, Alaska. In 2011 my family moved to Ellensburg, Washington after our Priest was transferred there.
I come from a family of seven children. I was homeschooled my whole life, all the way through highschool. I graduated in 2018, and immediately moved from home. I lived with my spiritual father’s family, and it was there that I began to teach -on the side- what I have always loved.
Music has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. My Dad’s office -reader Michael Smith- was right below my bedroom. At night as I lay in bed, his voice drifted through the ceiling as he practiced. Many nights I fell asleep to the sound of his voice. I truly grew up living in a Byzantine music world. I heard it at home, at church, during road trips, etc. My Dad was my main and favorite teacher. He taught me 95% of what I know. Some he taught me by practicing with me, sending me recordings, or guiding me through a curriculum he set up for me. Mostly though he taught me through example. It is my desire to be able to teach as well as he does.
Much has changed since I began teaching, both within my teaching world and without. I taught private lessons at first with two students together. Then I acquired a student who lived further away, and began teaching them online. My last two years I have spent teaching Byzantine Music at an Orthodox School. Besides teaching music to every grade, I also taught 1-3rd grade. My love of teaching has only grown, as well as a deep love for children of every age.
Outside of my work world, I moved three more times before finally moving a fourth time to Walla Walla Washington. This final move was due to my recent marriage, and now I feel that my life truly begins. I pray that with Christ’s blessing, and the Panagia’s help, I will be able to offer something to each person who enters my class.
Emily Wells has been teaching Latin for more than twenty years. She has taught Latin to junior high and high school students both locally in Idaho (where she lives) and online through her own tutorial business. In addition, she has taught grades 2-6 at Veritas Academy's brick-and-mortar school in Pennsylvania, as well as high school students online through Veritas Scholars Academy, Kepler Education, and CLRC. She has also tutored local college students in Latin, taught Introduction to Great Books and Hebrew, and loves Greek and Italian. Emily received a classical education from Schola Classical Tutorials in high school, the intensives Latin-in-a-Week and Greek-in-a-Week, and continued her studies at New Saint Andrews College and the University of Idaho. Emily and her husband, Aaron (also a teacher), are raising their four children in the house where she grew up in North Idaho, next to her parents and grandparents. She enjoys reading, coffee, travel, baseball, and ice cream.