Promoting Academic Excellence ~ Nurturing Friendships ~ Glorifying God

Compass Community

A vibrant and growing
homeschool group
in Athens, GA

Maureen Altman

Teacher

Maureen Altman earned a B.Ed from Heriot Watt University, in Edinburgh and a PGCE, from Dundee University. She has taught in  schools in Dunfermline, Scotland for nearly 30 years, working with children, aged 3-12, and their families.   In 2001, she married a good ol' Southern boy from Georgia, and they lived in Scotland for the first seventeen years of their married life.  Since moving to Athens in October 2018,  they are learning a lot about themselves, the American culture, and homeschooling their two teenagers. Maureen is glad to be part of the Compass homeschooling community where she can continue her passion to inspire youngsters to learn and grow in all that God has for them. 


Contact Maureen at mrsaltman123 @ gmail.com

Danielle Bailey Miller

Drama Teacher and Performing Arts Coordinator

Danielle will begin her fifth year with Compass Community in August 2019. She has been teaching theatre in various arenas for over fifteen years including Rose of Athens Theatre Academy, Masters Academy of Fine Arts, Athens Creative Theatre, and more. Danielle is the former Artistic Director of Rose of Athens Theatre and the former 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. She has performed at the South Eastern Theatre Conference in the Fringe Festival and in the 10-Minute Play Festival, as well as 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. 

Locally, she has been an invited guest speaker for the Classic City Rotary Club, Athens Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club of Athens, and the Oconee Civitan Club, as well as appearing in several radio spots on WUGA and a few televised WUGA broadcasts. She was last seen in the Athens Downtown Development Authority's holiday commercial in December 2018. Danielle enjoys working with the local theatre scene- Athens Creative Theatre, Rose of Athens Theatre, and Town & Gown Players. You can follow her theatre adventures at daniellebmiller.wordpress.com

Contact Danielle at jdaniellebm @ yahoo.com

Elizabeth Bennett

Teacher

Elizabeth Bennett was lured from her home state of South Carolina by the honors program at UGA, and except for two year-long stints in church planting (one in Clemson, SC and one in Melbourne, Australia), she and her family have been in the Athens area ever since. She currently resides in Winterville with her husband and twin sons, attends and serves at Nations Church, and relishes the fact that her grown offspring and her 13 grandchildren are all now located in the Athens/Atlanta area (that’s driving distance!).

Several years after graduating from the University of Georgia, Elizabeth began a journey into parenting and homeschooling that has spanned more than three-and-a-half decades. While teaching her nine children, eight of whom are boys, Elizabeth was delighted to discover the straightforward simplicity and effectiveness of IEW methods and materials. Since 2011 she has shared her enthusiasm for IEW composition and literary analysis with students in grades K–12 through co-op classes in the Athens, Georgia area, private tutoring, and online paper evaluation. A strong believer in the positive way IEW's incremental approach shapes students' writing—including students with learning challenges—Elizabeth is pleased when her students perform well in national competitions and college classes. However, her greatest joy is when a parent says, "My child used to hate writing, but now it is his/her favorite subject."


Contact Elizabeth at elizabethbennett14 @ gamil.com

Sarah Craig

Teacher

Sarah is a classically trained actress who has studied and worked with both Georgia Shakespeare and The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. She holds a BA in Theater Performance and English Literature and has taught Shakespeare to all ages over the past 15 years. She and her husband are covenant partners at Alps Road Presbyterian Church and her son Britton attends Wednesday classes at Compass. They enjoy hiking at the Botanical Garden, and Living History exhibits. They also have a 2 year old daughter, Lillian who keeps them on their toes.

Contact Sarah at plainandtall7 @ gmail.com

NeeCee Delk

Teacher

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]


Contact NeeCee at delkpiano (at) gmail.com

Kristy Dennis

Director and Teacher

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.

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.

Kristy and Chris have three children, ages 10, 14, and 16 and have been homeschooling since 2007.  Kristy is very passionate about homeschooling and teaching and is so thankful to have the opportunity to teach both her kids and others.  She and her family have been involved in co-ops in Florida and Georgia, and Kristy assumed the role of Director of Compass Community in the fall or 2015.  

Contact Kristy at dennisfam2000 (at) gmail.com

Abigail Dennis

Teacher

Abigail Dennis is a senior at Compass Community. This will be her sixth and final year as a student at Compass. She is an avid theatre and musical theatre student.  Her acting experience includes several plays and musicals with Compass Community and local community theatre organizations such as Rose of Athens and Circle Ensemble.  Her favorite roles have included the evil stepsister in Cinderella and Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  During the last two years, Abigail has served as Danielle Bailey Miller's assistant teacher and looks forward to teaching a class of her own this year.  

Contact Abigail at ajdennis2003 @ gmail.com

Julie DeVries

Teacher

Julie is a wife, mom, small aircraft/helicopter pilot and the current commander of the Walton county Civil Air Patrol unit that meets at the American Legion post 233. I also work there as a rental coordinator. I am a general crafter, but focus mostly on sewing arts as a form of relaxation. I make weighted blankets with a not for profit called Sharing the Weight, I also make fidget mats for autistic kids and adults stricken with Alzheimer’s. In my free time, I volunteer with many local organizations that help kids or animals, including making special g-tube button covers for kids with feeding ports or port pillows that go over a seatbelt to stop the belt from rubbing on the port. I have about 25 years sewing experience; have done everything from sewing on buttons to recovering furniture- I have been teaching for about 15 years. My promise to you as the student's parent, is that I will do all possible to teach your child how to do these tasks safely and work toward their general understanding so that they can do these skills without much supervision, with confidence and ability, and with safety.

Jessica Ham

Teacher and Volunteer Coordinator

Jessica Ham was born and raised in the Athens/Oconee area, but when she married her husband, Dave, she moved to North Carolina where both their children were born at Fort Bragg/Pope AFB. Then they moved on to San Antonio, Texas for ten years with the United States Air Force. Although Texas still has her heart, Georgia is her home, and they decided to move back to the area. 
Jessica has homeschooled Abby (17) and Jacob (16) since the first grade and has never regretted a second of it. She has tried just about every curriculum and way to homeschool out there in order to find what was best for each of her children. Her philosophy of teaching is to teach children to love to learn and how to find out anything they want to know.
Jessica has a passion for teaching, whether it be children in children's church when she was the Nursery and Childcare Director at their church in Texas, homeschooling her two kids and starting a small co-op in Texas, or leading women in studying their Bible as their source for all knowledge through her Bible study classes at her home church, Grace Fellowship.

Contact Jessica at djajham @ gmail.com

Nancy Hartgrove

Music Teacher

Nancy received an undergraduate and graduate degree in music education from Samford University.  Nancy taught elementary general music and middle school choir for eight years before staying home full time with her children.  During that time, Nancy also served as a choral director for a church in Flagstaff, AZ and directed the Flagstaff Children's Chorus.  Nancy has remained active with music while not teaching through church involvement. She currently serves as a preschool choir leader at her church, Athens First United Methodist.  Along with this responsibility, Nancy home schools her children, Anna and Liam.

Contact Nancy at newh214 @ hotmail.com

Joshua Hartgrove

Guitar Teacher

Joshua Hartgrove teaches Group Guitar with Compass Community at the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. His teaching combines sixteen years of experience as a music educator with a life-long passion for the guitar. He taught band, orchestra, percussion and guitar in public school settings in Alabama and Arizona, working with students from 6th grade through undergraduate. Joshua holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, summa cum laude, from Samford University (2001) and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting, with honors, from Northern Arizona University (2008).

Joshua currently works in church administration at Athens First United Methodist Church, serving as Assistant to the Executive Pastor. When not spending time with his family, Joshua enjoys taking part in book groups, yoga, spending time outdoors, and recording music and video for this YouTube channel, Blues Friar. The Hartgroves are a Compass Community family: Nancy teaches general music, piano, and chorus classes, and Anna (10) and Liam (9) are in their third year of classes. Benjamin (1) was a welcome addition in 2019 and looks forward to participating in the future.

He explains and demonstrates the skills and techniques students will learn in his class in this video: https://youtu.be/pnf8XfeQd4M


Contact Joshua at jbhartgrove @ hotmail.com

Alicia Holman

Teacher

Alicia Holman is a Georgia native who currently resides in Loganville, GA with her husband and three children. She has a BA in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies. Alicia is a self-taught artist and photographer.  In addition to owning her own photography business, she also paints and draws.  Community projects and volunteerism are extremely important to Alicia as she actively supports the local arts and sports programs in her community.  When given free time, Alicia enjoys a good baseball game, dark chocolate, and lots of snuggles with her kiddos.   

Contact Alicia at wintergroveacademy (at) gmail.com

Abbey Hulsey

Dance Instructor

Abbey Hulsey is an accomplished dancer and performer.   She was a founding member of the DanceFX Xcel Elite Competition team and  performed around the south as a member of that team.  She also performed with the Senior Edge Elite Dance Team at Rhythm Dance Center in Marietta 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. 

Locally, she has been involved in many of the theatre programs, performing with Brightstone, Rose of Athens, and Town and Gown.  She is the choreographer for Malcolm Bridge Middle school Theatre Program.

Contact Abbey at abbeyhulsey (at) gmail.com

Helen Hunsinger

Teacher

Helen has lived in Georgia all of her life.  Born to a family of public and homeschool educators, teaching has come naturally to her.  Mother to 2 girls, she has been homeschooling her family for the last 9 years.  She owns her own small cosmetology business and enjoys knitting and crocheting. 

Contact Helen at helenhunsinger @gmail.com

Kevin Kaes

Soccer Coach

Bio to come

Brenda Kaes

Teacher

Brenda Kaes was born and raised in Northern CA and earned her B.A. from CSU Chico.  After marrying Ron, a naval officer, in 1991 they relocated to Athens Ga, where Ron was an instructor at the Navy Supply Corps School. They liked the area so much that Ron resigned at the end of his tour and they opened a pizza shop in Madison County. She has now lived half of her life in each state. 
The Kaes live on 7.5 acres in Danielsville where Brenda has spent the past 20 yrs homeschooling her 9 children, ranging from 7 to 24 years old.  With 11 yrs of homeschooling still to go, Brenda enjoys being part of the community at Compass.

Contact Brenda at brendakaes (at) windstream.net

Allison Keeling

Teacher

Allison Keeling grew up in Canton, Georgia and moved with her husband and 3 kids to Monroe in 2017. She has a BS in Psychology (concentration in Child Development) with a minor in Public Relations from Berry College.  Her homeschooling journey began in 2015 when her oldest child was in First Grade. Before that, Allison worked with children on the Autism Spectrum for 8 years as a Behavioral Therapist and volunteered with High School Youth at her church for 5 years.  These roles founded her value of individualized and relationship based education, the approaches is she excited to bring into her classes at Compass. When she isn’t busy homeschooling or advising her husband in the running of their small business, Allison can be found watching documentaries and spending time with family and friends.


Contact Allison at ad.keeling01 @ gmail.com


Christi Leach

Teacher

Christi is a Georgia native whose family has been a part of Compass since 2014.  She and her husband Brian have been married 22 years and have homeschooled Ryan (17) and Cade (15) since kindergarten.  Nearing the end of her homeschooling journey, Christi continues to be passionate about homeschooling her own children and supporting others as they homeschool theirs.

Contact Christi at leachfamily4 @ bellsouth.net

Jenny Liedberg

Teacher

Jenny Liedberg is a wife and mother of 3 and lives on a farm in Oglethorpe County.  She has a true passion for working with children and helping them become the best version of themselves both in her class and outside of it. Jenny earned a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University in animal science with a minor in equine studies.  She worked as a vet tech for 7 years and has been a horseback riding instructor for 18 years and archery instructor for 4 years.

Contact Jenny gunsmokesfancy @ yahoo.com

Tara Massey

Teacher

Tara earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Hospitality from the College of Charleston. As a former event planner, now travel concierge, Tara is excited to bring her love of planning and creating memorable events to the classes she teaches at Compass!

Tara and her husband, Chris, have a love for travel and have lived all over the U.S. from Charleston, SC to Park City, UT. Five years ago they decided to settle down in Athens where they could raise their children in a supportive homeschool community. Tara has enjoyed homeschooling her 9-year-old and 7-year-old since the beginning of their school career and cannot wait to see where this journey leads them!

In her spare time Tara enjoys spending time with her family, planning events for Athens Homeschool Edventurers, and volunteering with her children at Sweet Olive Farm.


Contact Tara at tarajmassey @ yahoo.com

Allison Mauldin

Teacher

Allison, magna cum laude graduate of UGA in Early Childhood Education, spent six years teaching in the Georgia public school system and is currently a certified teacher in the state of Georgia. Prior to this, Allison had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain earning an Associate in Spanish. In B.C. times (“before children”), she traveled to several countries, such as Russia twice on mission trips, Spain, Mexico, and the Bahamas for missions and VBS work and hopes to travel again one day with her crew of three. Allison has resided in Loganville, Georgia for the past 16 years with her husband, three children, and menagerie of two dogs, five cats, and one fish. She has homeschooled her three blessings, ages 14, 12, & 11, from birth and is passionate about all things literature and history, as well as travel and languages. She also enjoys reading nonfiction, historical fiction, & the classics, book clubs, eating dark chocolate, writing, pets, being outdoors in God’s creation, and all things Charlotte Mason. Most importantly, Allison strives to focus on God’s goodness, truth, and beauty while embracing a lifelong love of learning.


Contact Allison Mauldin at allisonlmauldin77 (at) gmail.com

Sherri Michelle Mills

ASL Teacher

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.


Contact Sherri Michelle at 129mills @ gmail.com

Rebekah Nunez

Spanish Teacher

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 enjoys bringing Hispanic culture into the classroom, from making the best guacamole to celebrating birthdays with cascarones (confetti eggs) to making piñatas. Rebekah taught high school Spanish for six years before teaching at Compass. She lives in Athens with her husband Alex, son Kendrick (3), daughter Darcy (1), and orange tail-less cat, Murray. She attends Redeemer Presbyterian Church with her family and enjoys cooking, hiking, and watching Star Trek. .


Contact Rebekah at rebekah.c.nunez (at) gmail.com

Jennifer Padgett

Science Teacher

Jennifer Padgett acquired a degree in Science of Nursing at Darton College and subsequently earned her licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in 2008. While working as an Emergency nurse at The Medical Center of Central GA in Macon, she continued her education by obtaining certifications as a Stroke Care Coordinator, Critical Care Coordinator and Trauma Nurse Coordinator. Despite her love for nursing, Jennifer felt God calling her to homeschool when they moved  in 2016 to Chattanooga. She taught classes for 3 years at a classical co-op in TN.  She loves teaching, whether it is to adults regarding patient care or to children who find joy in the smallest ways. 
Jennifer and her husband Kyle have 3 beautiful children, Haley, Southerly and Grayson. Since moving to Athens in 2019, they have found Compass to be a nurturing environment for the children and feel blessed to be a part of the community. She hopes to inspire a love for God's creation through science with positive encouragement and reinforcement of concepts with interactive instruction and observation. 

Contact Jennifer at jenn.padgett525 @ gmail.com

Jessie Saladino

Teacher

Jessie graduated from UCF in Orlando with a degree in chemistry. After sticking around for another year to work with a ministry, she and her husband got married and moved to Athens for graduate school. After four years of research and a baby at home, she decided to finish graduate school with a master's degree and take a rest. That rest turned into having three more kids within four years. Nine years later, their family has settled into a new normal and they have been enjoying the homeschooling community in Athens. Jessie has experience teaching college chemistry and is excited about getting kids interested in chemistry early, before stoichiometry scares them off.

Contact Jessie at jessiesaladino @ gmail.com 

Paula Semple

Teacher


. Paula is a 16-year homeschooling mom of six kids. She grew up in central Florida, has been in Georgia since 2000 and moved with her family to Watkinsville in 2016. She is a graduate of Georgia School of Ministry and a licensed pastor with the Assemblies of God. She is currently a part of Nations Church. She is internationally certified in training and development through City and Guilds in London and has spent 30 years teaching and training in non-profit organizations. She loves to write and teach and is the author of four published books. She loves all things crafty and finds her greatest therapy to be in the Bible or in the kitchen. Paula serves on the board of trustees for the Athens College of Ministry and works with their fund development team. She and her family serve as volunteers for Thumbs Up Mission, a ministry designed to give retreats to families walking through cancer.

Contact Paula at pdsemple @ aol.com

Rhonda Smith

Science Teacher

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 and has been homeschooling for several ears.  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.

Contact Rhonda at owlbiology @ gmail.com

Erin Steele

Teacher

Erin Steele is a homeschooling mama of three kids and wife to Brian. They live in Winterville with two crazy dogs and nine crazier chickens. A native Georgian from Lilburn, Erin graduated from the University of Georgia in 2008 with a B.A. in Spanish. She taught Spanish at Tucker High School for two years post college. After the birth of her first son, Caleb, Erin began working for Parkview High School Young Life, a high school ministry aimed at reaching students with the love of Jesus. She also trained to become a birth doula, and continues that work, as she is passionate about supporting families through the journey of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

The Steeles have a passion for travel and have visited many countries in South America, Africa, and the Middle East, including a three-month stint at mission's school in Mozambique in 2015. It was after this trip that the Steele family relocated to Athens in the summer of 2016, and they've been enjoying the amazing community and all it has to offer ever since.


Contact Erin at ejeffre1 @ gmail.com

 
 

Diane Stokowski

Art Teacher

Diane is a native of northeast Ohio and spent the long winters with a drawing pad in hand. She married her husband in 1997. After the birth of their first son, they moved to the New England area. This is where Diane began to perfect her love of art by attending the New Hampshire Institute of Art. After their second son was born, warmer weather was on the horizon and they ventured to Georgia. One more son to add to the mix, and homeschooling seemed like the perfect plan. This is when Diane took her love of art and began to teach painting and drawing. Along with fine art instruction, she has been teaching arts and crafts in Loganville for the last seven years. When Diane isn’t creating visual art, you will find her writing, as she has three published novels. Besides loving all things creative, she has a passion for the Lord, hiking and football!  

Contact Diane at momcreates3 @ gmail.com

Tiena Thacker

Teacher

Tiena Thacker is a homeschooling mom to four amazing kids, wife, and the children and youth director at her church. All four of her children have attended Compass at one time, with her two oldest now graduated and the younger two attending Wednesdays. Her passions in life include loving and serving the Lord, her awesome family and working with children and teens.  She has been working with children for more than 30 years as a teacher, day care worker and owner, and in children, youth and family ministries.  She has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Central Washington University and worked as a Head Start teacher in Colorado before moving to Georgia 24 years ago. In her “spare” time she enjoys being creative, reading, baking, singing in her church praise band and being outdoors.  She considers is it an extraordinary blessing to be able to be with her children every day and be the one that has the privilege to lead and guide not only their education but their character as well.  This will be her fourth year teaching at Compass.  Wednesdays are her favorite day of the week!  She loves teaching and working with the amazing children at Compass as they create, grow, think, explore, discuss, problem solve, laugh, learn, and just have fun!  


Contact Tiena at mtthacker @ bellsouth.net

BreAnna Wheler

Teacher

BreAnna Wheeler is very excited to be teaching Bible classes at Compass! She has been sharing her love of Scripture with students in preschools and churches across North Georgia for twelve years. She has a desire to help others discover the world of the Bible and how it relates to our world today. 


BreAnna has a BA in Human Services from LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. She worked with low income families on life and job skills. She and her husband discerned the call to attend seminary in KY. She obtained a MA degree in World Missions and Evangelism from Asbury Theological Seminary where she also focused on courses in Christian Education and Church & Society. 


BreAnna grew up in Cleveland, Georgia, lived in central Kentucky for six years, and now resides in Commerce. BreAnna is married to Ross and they have three children, 2 awesome dogs, and one semi-awesome cat. The two youngest children transitioned into homeschool at Compass this past Fall. 


Contact BreAnna at breewhee @ gmail.com

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Brianne Baine

Brianne Baine is a California girl by heart but has been living in Georgia since moving from CA as a teenager. She is married to Michael Baine, and they have five children, three of whom attend classes here at Compass Community. Her family is very active in their church: serving in the children’s ministry and the special needs ministry. 

She obtained her 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.  She taught for many years in the public school system before she began homeschooling her children and teaching at Compass. This will be her 6th year as a Compass Community teacher, and she has enjoyed every year! She loves to make learning fun by creating an environment that gets her students excited and reaching their full potential before they even realize they are working hard. She is excited about the classes she is teaching this year and looks forward to another great year at Compass.


2018-2019 Classes (MAP): Literature grades 8-9, 10-11, Chemistry
2018-2019 Wednesday Classes: Human Anatomy, Chemistry Lab, and Crafting

Contact Brianne at briannebaine (at) gmail.com

Blake Ivey


Blake Ivey is the worship pastor at Oconee Heights. His passion is to lead the people of God in passionate and authentic worship. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2013. Outside of music, Blake is passionate about discipleship and the study of scripture. Blake met his wife Maddi in Rome, GA where she attended Berry College. They welcomed their first son, Ezekiel in August of 2017. They also have two dogs, Hope and Chewbacca. They love the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, Texas Rangers and they’re learning to cheer for the Bulldogs (it’s a process). Additionally, Blake enjoy video games, movies, and music (obviously)!


2018-2019 Classes: Guitar

Contact Blake at blakeivey1(at) gmail.com

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.


2018-2019 Classes: Computer Microsoft Office Skills and Intro to Baking

Contact Renee at reneejackson2 (at) gmail.com

Carolyn Kaes

My name is Carolyn Kaes. I am a native Athenian with a BS degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor 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 attended Liberty University and have enjoyed teaching children in a variety of settings including music and piano lessons, Compass classes, and horse back riding camps.

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.

2018-2019 Classes: Piano all levels, World Culture and Geography, Health and Fitness, Missions, Music and Chorus

Contact Carolyn at ckaes93 (at) gmail.com
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.

2018-2019 Classes: Cooking

Contact Jeni at jeni.pittard (at) gmail.com
Maryanne Romano

Maryanne Romano is a homeschooling mother of four and has dedicated her life to Christ and to her family.  Homeschooling was always their family's intention.  The privilege to teach her children has renewed her love for learning, and she tries to inspire her students to experience the same love for learning in their own lives. She enjoys creating a rich learning environment full of opportunities for hands-on activities, and she encourages active class discussions.  It is her desire to infuse life and joy into what might otherwise be considered dull and dry academics. 



2018-2019 classes: Weird Science, Apologia General Science, Apologia Physical Science


Contact Maryanne at 4maryanneromano (at) gmail.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 10, 7, and 4, and has been homeschooling for 4 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.


2018-2019 classes:  FUNdamental Math grades 2-4 and 4-6, and Science Deconstructed

Contact Rhonda at owlbiology (at) gmail.com