In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:6

Compass Community

A vibrant and growing
homeschool group
in Athens, GA

Brianne Baine

I am a California girl by heart but have been living in Georgia since moving from CA as a teenager. I am married to Michael Baine and have five children that attend classes here at Compass Community. We live at and take care of Camp Hooray in Jefferson--a camp for children and young adults with developmental disabilities and special needs. My family is very active in our church: serving in the children’s ministry and the special needs ministry. As for my education: I obtained my BSEd degree in Exercise & Sport Science as well as Health Promotion from the University of Georgia before going on to get certified as a school teacher.  I taught for many years in the public school system before I began homeschooling my children and teaching at Compass. This will be my 5th year as a Compass Community teacher and I have enjoyed every year! I love to make learning fun by creating an environment that gets my students excited and reaching their full potential before they even realize they are working hard. I am also a professional photographer and own Brianne Marie Photography.  I am excited about the classes I am teaching this year and look forward to another great year at Compass.

2017-2018 Classes (MAP): Science grades 2-4 & 5-6, Literature grades 6-7, 8-10

Contact Brianne at briannebaine (at)
Sarah Beam

Sarah Beam homeschools her two quirky and hilarious children, while also working as a bookkeeper, real estate investor, and yoga teacher.  She has lived in Virginia and Louisiana, and has spent time in eight other countries and in most of the United States, but happily makes her home in a restored farmhouse in the middle of the woods in Oconee County. 

Eight years ago, she decided to homeschool her oldest child for his kindergarten year because she thought it would be silly for him to spend most of his waking hours in a school building.  The following May, she decided to homeschool for just one more year.  She is still surprised when she repeats that same decision-making process every single summer, with the very same result every time.

2017-2018 Classes: Strength and Grace: Fitness for Young Ladies
Contact Sarah at sarah.brown.beam (at)

NeeCee Delk

NeeCee Delk, a Summa cum Laude graduate of the University of Georgia, spent the first 15 years of her career as a public school educator, with the majority of those years as a reading/language arts specialist in K-5 classrooms. As a second career professional musician, Mrs  Delk has over 15 years of experience in the fields of music and music education.  Along with teaching, she spends much of her time working with local theatre companies and schools as music director for musical productions.  Mrs. Delk is an accomplished pianist,  performing often for weddings, parties, etc. and  in pit orchestras.  She has also performed in several piano concerts in the Athens area.  Mrs. Delk is currently Organist at Bethlehem First UMC.  She lives in Athens with her husband, Steve Hulsey and their homeschooled daughter, Abbey.  For more information about Mrs. Delk's music or educational services, please contact her at [email protected]

2017-2018 Classes: Delk's Piano, Music for Little Mozarts, Analytical Grammar, Analytical Grammar Jr., Musical Theatre

Contact NeeCee at delkpiano (at)

Kristy Dennis

Kristy Dennis earned a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Stetson University in DeLand, FL. and taught middle and high school English in the public school system.  Kristy also served as the Children's Ministry Director for six years at Calvary Chapel Tampa, overseeing and organizing classes and a team of 25 volunteer teachers. 

Kristy has three children, ages 8, 11, and 13, and has been homeschooling since 2007.  She is very passionate about homeschooling and so thankful that she has the opportunity to teach her kids!  She and her family have been involved in co-ops in Florida and Georgia, and Kristy enjoys teaching English, logic, art, and music to homeschooled students. She assumed the role of Director at Compass Community in Fall 2015.

After living in Florida for over 30 years, Kristy and her husband decided that the joys of the sunshine state were lost on them, and they moved to Athens, GA in 2012.  The family attends Oconee Heights Baptist Church and is actively involved in several areas of ministry.

2017-2018 Classes: MAP Writing grades 6-7 & 8-10, History grades 9-10
2017-2018 Classes: Wednesday - Fiber Arts / Handcrafts, Leadership

Contact Kristy at dennisfam2000 (at)

Matt Graham

I was born in Athens, GA and graduated from Oconee County High School in 2004.  I earned a
B.A. in Sociology from the University of Georgia and live in Bogart with my wife Lisa Graham. I am currently a firefighter for Athens Clarke County, and I work part time instructing martial arts and coaching at Creed Fitness. I am passionate about Jesus, relationships, and personal growth. I enjoy anything adventurous and outdoors. I have been teaching and training in the martial arts for over 10 years and I believe martial arts is an excellent way to encourage growth and unity in the body, soul, and spirit. I believe people are powerful and the true goal of martial arts is not to fight but to learn how to love yourself as well as others and to take action on what love requires.

Black Belt - Karate; Black Belt - Filipino Kyusho; Brown Belt - Japanese Jiu Jitsu;Purple Belt - Gracie Jiu Jitsu

2017-2018 Classes: Martial Arts I & II

Contact Matt at matteo3746 (at)

Dave Ham

Dave Ham grew up in Waycross, GA but has lived in Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Washington, and Texas.  He has a Bachelors degree in economics from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Military Arts and Science from Air University (USAF), and a Masters of Arts in Religion from Liberty University.  He served eight years as an aircraft maintenance officer in the USAF and six years as a civil servant training foreign militaries.  He is currently the Supreme Allied Commandant, Woodworking Forces East (aka Production Manager) for Between You and Me Signs (BY&M) here in Athens, GA where he leads a motley team of woodworking heroes in creating shenanigans and manufacturing hand-made, all-wood interior decorative signs for an online marketplace.  Dave is married to Jessica the Beautiful and father to Abigail and Jacob.  He enjoys woodworking, reading, and studying God’s Word.

2017-2018 Classes: Woodworking 101

Contact Dave at djajham2 (at)

Nanette Heckler

Nanette has been teaching art to homeschooling groups, adults, and individuals for 12 years.  Her work may be seen on her website at  Nanette concentrates in figures, flora and fun abstracts.  Her primary medium is pastel, but she is well versed in drawing and watercolor techniques.  Nanette's commissioned portraits may be found in Nevada, California, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina and Georgia.  She has had many one-man shows in South Carolina and California.

Nanette Heckler is also a formal trial attorney with extensive speaking experience.  She has been a lobbyist to the US Congress, is a lawyer who has worked for a US Senator and a state legislature, and has taught political science courses for a college in NV and a college in SC.  Nanette has won awards in moot court competitions, competed on a traveling moot court team in law school, and has taught many classes including bible studies, Precept bible studies, college paralegal courses, college political science classes and speech courses for homeschoolers. In college, she earned a minor in journalism and worked as a news reporter and editor of a Sunday supplement.

Nanette has been homeschooling her children for 14 years.  Contact Nanette at nanuart (at)

2017-2018 classes: Survey of Fine Art Mediums, Pastels and Acrylics, Study Skills and Test Prep, Journalism, Public Speaking
Alicia Holman

Alicia Holman is a Georgia native who currently resides in Loganville, GA with her husband and three children (ages 3, 5, and 10). She has a BA in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies. Alicia has 10 years of photography experience and owns her own photography business. As a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Alicia has 5 years of scouting experience where she enjoys teaching kids about nature, the environment, and practical ways to be self sufficient. In her spare time (because all homeschool mamas have spare time between 3am-4am), Alicia enjoys pursuing her artistic endeavors, gardening, and learning more about herbal remedies and self sufficiency.

Contact Alicia at wintergroveacademy (at)

2017-2018 Classes: Georgia History, History through Literature, Art Smart, Mad Science, Order in the Court/Ecopolis
Abbey Hulsey

Even at the young age of 17, Abbey has accomplished so much as a dancer.  She began her training at DanceFX Athens, under the tutelage of Allison Hayn.  She was a founding member of the DanceFX Xcel Elite Competition team and has performed around the south as a member of that team.  As she grew, she was selected to perform with the Senior Edge Elite Dance Team at Rhythm Dance Center in Marietta, under the direction of Dani Rosenberg and Becca Moore.  With Sr. Edge, Abbey performed around the southern US at many dance conventions with a team that took top honors at every event.  She has studied closely under some of the most sought-after national choreographers such as Twitch, Chebar Williams, Kevin Maher, Andrew Winghart, Jaci Royal and many more.

She is also an accomplished soloist, holding a First Place Platinum National Title for her solo, "The Weight" at Hall of Fame Dance Challenge in July 2015.  During the 2016-17 dance season, she plans to continue her ballet and jazz training at Atlanta Ballet while continuing to perform locally and at national dance conventions, in pursuit of a professional dance career .

Abbey has taught ballet, tap, and jazz to young students at DanceFX Athens.  She is so excited to have the opportunity to teach at Compass Community, bringing her love of dance to a new world of dancers!

2017-2018 Classes: Ballet and Combo Dance
Contact Abbey at abbeyhulseydance (at)

Renée Jackson

Renée earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from the University of Georgia and her Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UGA, she met her husband Doug, who is now a chemistry professor at UGA. She spent six years at Prince Avenue Christian School in Athens, teaching high school chemistry as well as middle school earth science and physical science. She also taught keyboarding and Microsoft Office skills. For the past two years, Renee has spent most of her time at home with her two-year-old daughter, Hannah, but she has also worked part-time as a chemistry tutor. In her spare time, Renee enjoys traveling, baking and running.

2017-2018 Classes: Chemistry and Computer Microsoft Office Skills

Contact Renee at reneejackson2 (at)

Brenda Kaes

I was born and raised in Northern CA and graduated from CSU Chico with a BA in Physical Education.  After marrying Ron, a naval officer, in 1991 we relocated to Athens Ga, where Ron was an instructor at the Navy Supply Corps School. We liked the area so much that Ron resigned at the end of his tour and we opened a pizza shop in Madison County. I have now lived half of my life in each state. We live on 7.5 acres in Danielsville where I have spent the past 19 yrs homeschooling my 9 children, ages 23g, 19b, 18b, 17b, 15b, 13g, 12g, 9b & 6.5b. With 11 yrs of homeschooling still to go, we are so happy to have found Compass this year to help us on our homeschooling journey, and I am looking forward to teaching at Compass next year.

2017-2018 Classes: MAP History grades 5-8, Integrated History, Writing, and Literature Grades 2-4

Contact Brenda at brendakaes (at)
Carolyn Kaes

My name is Carolyn Kaes. I am a native Athenian homeschool graduate currently finishing up my BS degree at Liberty University where I am majoring in Early Childhood Education and minoring in International Studies.

Growing up, I attended Master’s Academy, a fine arts school for homeschoolers, where I took piano and violin lessons and participated in the drama company, show choir, and various musical theatre productions. I have 10 years of piano training and currently play piano in the worship team at Living Hope Church.
Post high school, I have taught a variety of classes and camps for homeschoolers including horseback riding lessons and horse-themed unit studies.

I am passionate about serving the international community in Athens and seeing the unreached areas of the world reached with the Gospel, so learning about other countries and cultures is one of my favorite hobbies. My other loves include being outdoors (especially in the mountains!), singing with my sisters to Broadway soundtracks, reading a good book, completing DIY projects, and drinking coffee.

2017-2018 Classes: Piano for young beginners, Piano for older beginners, Marvelous Math, and Music & Chorus

Contact Carolyn at ckaes93 (at)

Carly King

Carly King began studying music at the age of 4 when she began taking violin lessons from a private instructor in Roswell, Georgia.  At the age of 6, she began formal piano lessons and continued classical training for 10 years.  At the age of 16, she began teaching herself guitar and has continued developing skills on the instrument since.

Carly recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a double music degree in Music Therapy and Violin Performance.  During her time at UGA, she was involved with multiple small ensembles, including quartets, quintets, sextets, and octets with other undergraduates, graduate students, and doctoral students, and was also involved with the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra.  Her music therapy degree required several field clinicals as well as volunteer work which included individual and group sessions with geriatric residents in assisted living and hospitals, individuals with behavioral disorders, and children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disorders. These clinicals encouraged growth in musical leadership, personal and group interaction, as well as learning to use music as a means of reaching non-musical goals in a fun but structured environment.

Currently, Carly is enjoying teaching private lessons through Stuever Studios in Monroe, Georgia, which includes violin, piano, guitar, banjo, voice, and drums with students aged 6-20 years old.  She greatly encourages learning to read music as well as playing by ear, and encourages listening to all forms of music, from classical, rock, pop, Broadway musicals, or whatever the student is interested in.

She is currently a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in downtown Athens where she helps lead worship in violin, vocals, and piano.  In her free time, Carly loves to spend time with her crazy dog, enjoys reading and writing, and is currently teaching herself how to waterpaint.

2017-2018 Classes: Guitar for Beginners, Intermediate Guitar

Christi Leach

2017-2018: MAP Writing and Literature for grades 4-5, Wednesday Study Hall and Chess & Games Club
Jenny Liedberg

Hi my name is Jenny Liedberg. I have a true passion for working with children and helping them become the best version of themselves both in my class and outside of it. As a horseback riding instructor of 17 years, this passion has only continued to bloom as I now look to add archery to my resume. I am a certified archery instructor and look forward to learning and growing with your child. I am a wife and mother of 3, and live on a farm in Oglethorpe County.

2017-2018 Classes: Archery
Contact Jenny at gunsmokesfancy (at)
Danielle Bailey Miller

Danielle is a local theatre professional and teacher. She taught Drama with Masters Academy of Fine Arts for five years. In addition to teaching, Danielle is the Artistic Director of Rose of Athens Theatre and the Director of Rose of Athens Theatre Academy. She received her B.A. in theater from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA in 2007. Danielle has participated in many theatrical ventures and has worked every job from backstage to onstage, including several years of experience at Highlands Playhouse in Highlands, NC. She has performed at the South Eastern Theatre Conference in the Fringe Festival and in the 10-Minute Play Festival and was recently invited to perform in the Georgia Presenters Showcase hosted by the Fox Theatre Institute. Danielle is a three-time Irene Ryan Award nominee, an honor presented by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

She has been teaching theatre in various arenas for over fifteen years. Danielle also enjoys working with the local theatre scene, directing, teaching and acting with Athens Creative Theatre and performing, Assistant Directing and volunteering with Town and Gown Players. You can follow her theatre adventures at

2017-2018 Classes: Drama for grades K-3, Drama for grades 4-6, Theatrical Production for grades 7-12

Contact Danielle at jdaniellebm (at)
Sherri Michelle Mills

Sherri Michelle learned to sign in her freshman year of high school.  She made a deaf friend who taught her sign language.

She has earned a BA in American Sign Language and Interpreting for the Deaf from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. She has worked as a freelance interpreter for the deaf as well as an educational interpreter in public schools in Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina.

Sherri Michelle is married to David Mills, pastor of Beech Haven Baptist Church. She is the mother of four children.

2017-2018 classes: American Sign Language: elementary, middle, and high school levels

Contact Sherri Michelle at smmills6 (at)

Rebekah Nunez 

Rebekah Nunez grew up in Lawrenceville, GA, where she was homeschooled all the way through high school. She attended Georgia College & State University, where she earned her B.A. in Spanish and Master of Arts in Teaching. Rebekah has spent time in Spain & Mexico, where she developed her love of Spanish language and culture. She taught high school Spanish for six years. Rebekah lives in Athens with her husband Alex, baby Kendrick, and two cats, Javier and Murray. She enjoys cooking, hiking, and watching Star Trek with her husband.

2017-2018 Classes: (MAP) Spanish all levels

2017-2018 Classes Wednesdays: Elementary Spanish, Conversational Spanish, Painting and Crafting Stories

Contact Rebekah at rebekah.c.nunez (at)

Jeni Pittard

Jeni Pittard is mom to four children ranging from preschool to high school. Born in Germany to a military family, she considers Georgia home. After college at Augusta State University, Jeni and her husband Jeff ended up in the Athens area about 15 years ago. She loves reading a good mystery, traveling whenever possible, developing new recipes, and incorporating coffee into all of those things. She and her family are members at Beech Haven Baptist Church.

2017-2018 Classes: Missionary Stories Grades K4-2 and World Religion and Christian Apologetics

Contact Jeni at jeni.pittard (at)
Maryanne Romano

My name is Maryanne Romano.  I am a homeschooling mother of three and have dedicated my life to Christ and to my family.  Homeschooling was always our intention, and in those early years it just felt like the natural path for us.  Now I am completely confident that we are where we need to be.

The privilege to teach my children has renewed my love for learning, and I try to inspire my students to experience the same love for learning in their own lives.   I enjoy creating a rich learning environment full of opportunities for hands on activities and I encourage active class discussions.  It is my desire to infuse life and joy into what might otherwise be considered dull and dry academics. 

I am happy to be part of Compass, and it has been a wonderful opportunity to watch this community flourish as just that, a community.  It has been a blessing in our lives, as I am sure that it will be in yours.

2017-2018 classes: Weird Science, Apologia General Science, Apologia Biology

Contact Maryanne at 4maryanneromano (at)

Laura Rupers

Laura Rupers, a Kentucky native, became a Georgia girl 10 years ago. Her teaching background includes Bible, band directing, K-5 elementary music, chorus, drama & musical theatre, writing, arts and crafts. and homeschooling her three children. She holds a bachelor's degree in Music Education (K-12) from Western Kentucky University as well as a master's in Elementary Education with Reading Specialist endorsement. Laura believes that learning should be FUN and as hands on as possible! 

The need to create and perform are like itches for Laura; she "scratches" these by acting in plays; doing storytelling; creating themed cake pops, cookies, candies, and other treats; designing and making costumes and props for theatre; doing theatrical makeup; and writing. Laura's other hobbies include studying the Bible, cooking, volunteering, making music, dabbling in French, volunteering, and being active in her T.O.P.S. club. She also plans to get back into scrapbooking; she only needs pages covering the last 16 years to get caught up. Laura lives in Hull with her husband, Dan; three children: Cubby, Tiger, and Bunny; and a menagerie of animals that includes 2 cats, a bearded dragon, 2 betta fish, a tarantula, an Eastern box turtle, a red-eared slider, and an untold number of dust bunnies.

2017-2018 Classes: Arts & Crafts

Contact Laura Rupers at (remove spaces and use "@" and ".") rupers family at gmail dot com

Rhonda Smith

After growing up in central Kentucky, Rhonda earned a BS in Wildlife Biology from Murray State University and an MS in Raptor Biology from Boise State University.  She has taught science in a variety of settings including 3 years as an outdoor education instructor for elementary and middle school aged students and 3 years teaching college-level biology labs.  She volunteers for church ministry in several positions with youth and children including camp counselor, nursery volunteer, preschool teacher and VBS leader.  She and her family moved from Rhode Island to Athens in 2015.  She has 3 children, ages 9, 6, and 3, and has been homeschooling for 3 years.  She loves homeschooling and learning something new every day.  She spends her precious free time reading C.S. Lewis, knitting legwarmers, watching Star Wars, and birding.  She loves hiking, owls, mountains, cooking, and her family.

2016-2017 classes: WILD Science grades 1-3 and 4-6

2017-2018 classes:  Science at Your Fingertips grades 1-3 and 3-6, FUNdamental Math grades 2-4 and 4-6

Contact Rhonda at owlbiology (at) 

Lauren Sobaje

Lauren Sobaje is a homeschooling mom to a third grader, first grader, and preschooler.  She has a B.A. in sociology, and M.A. in Cross Cultural Education, and a Secondary Teaching Credential, having taught and worked with children from preschool age to high school all her life.  She speak Spanish fluently.  She has participated in homeschool groups with her kids in Los Angeles, CA, and in Melbourne, Australia, where her family lived for three years.  She moved to Athens in July 2015 for her husband's job at UGA.  She describes her homeschool philosophy as an eclectic mix of Classical and Charlotte Mason principles and aims to put Jesus Christ first and foremost in all she does with her kids on a daily basis. 

2017-2018  classes: Cooking 2-5, Cooking 6-12, Creative Learning with Living Books

Contact Lauren at laurensobaje (at)

Tiena Thacker

My name is Tiena Thacker and I am a homeschooling mom to four amazing children, a wife, and the Children and Youth Director at our church. My passions in life include loving and serving the Lord, my awesome family and working with children and teens.  I have been working with children for almost 30 years as a teacher, day care worker and owner, and in children, youth and family ministries.  I have a B.A. in Elementary Education from Central Washington University and worked as a Head Start teacher in Colorado before moving to Georgia 20 years ago. After starting my own home day care so I could be home with our first child, I could not stand the idea of sending him off to school so we decided to homeschool.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made! It is such blessing to have the privilege of being with my children every day, to be the one that leads and guides not only their education but their character as well. In my “spare” time I enjoy being creative, baking, singing in our praise band and being outdoors.

My kids have attended Compass for the last four years, but this will be my first year teaching at Compass.  I am so excited!  I look forward to working with your children as they create, learn, think, problem-solve, discuss, explore, laugh and just have fun!

2017-2018 Classes: Lego Building Challenge and Games! Games! Games!

Contact Tiena at mtthacker (at)