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 maureenaltman@ compasscommunityathens.com
Dance Teacher and Choreographer
Heather Arnold is an Athens native whose passion for all things performing began at a very young age. She began taking dance classes at age 2 and a half and fell in love with the art, receiving training in tap, ballet, jazz, contemporary and musical theatre styles, with her favorite quickly becoming tap. Heather took the stage often as a child in church musicals before trying her hand at community theatre at age seven and becoming absolutely smitten with it. She has performed with several theatre companies in the area over the course of her life and is currently on staff at Brightstone Productions where she teaches dance classes, performs, choreographs and directs for shows. Heather earned two associate degrees, one in Early Childhood Education and the other in Psychology, and is currently working on her bachelors degree in Sociology. She has worked in the childcare field for many years, nannying and teaching preschool, and is always eager to see kids learn and grow through artistic outlets. Aside from being a dance and musical theatre nerd, Heather is also an avid reader, a creative writer, a lover of people (and game nights), a random fact generator, and a huge Disney and Marvel nerd.
Contact Heather at harnold@ compasscommunityathens.com
Danielle Bailey Miller
Drama Teacher and Performing Arts Coordinator
Danielle will begin her ninth year with Compass Community in August 2023. 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. Recently she was seen in the Athens Downtown Development Authority's holiday commercial in December 2018 and ACT’s October 2020 production of Live Drawing: A Portrait of the Mona Lisa. Danielle enjoys working with the local theatre scene- Athens Creative Theatre and Town & Gown Players.
Contact Danielle at dbaileymiller@ compasscommunityathens.com
MAP Science Teacher
Donna Brown is a homeschooling veteran with 2 grown kids. With a degree in education, she homeschooled her children for 20 years. One is now in school at UGA majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife and the other is married with kids). Science is Donna's favorite academic subject, and she started teaching science in co-ops when her oldest was in second grade. Through the years she has taught classes in just about all the areas of science, including biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, and more. She has coached Lego League, Science Olympiad, Ocean Bowl, and Envirothon teams. She believes in teaching using hands-on and project based methods, engaging the student and hopefully creating a love for science at the same time!
Contact Donna at dbrown@ compasscommunityathens.com
Drama and Literature 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 scraig@ compasscommunityathens.com
Director of Compass and English 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 14, 17, and 19 and have been homeschooling since 2007. The two oldest have graduated and are currently attending college. 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 of 2015.
Contact Kristy at mrskristy@ compasscommunityathens.com
William Dennis is a recent graduate of Compass Community. He has been homeschooled his entire life, taking classes at Compass starting in 5th grade. William has been playing piano for 11 years and enjoys playing at his church, the Compass Performing Arts Festival, and other music competitions in the area. He began assisting in the Compass piano classes when he was a sophomore and started teaching privately during his junior year.
His favorite musician is the piano man himself, Billy Joel, and his favorite composer is Beethoven. In his spare time, William likes to see how many additional instruments he can collect and play. So far, he can make recognizable sounds on the guitar, harmonica, ukulele, saxophone, and accordion. He'd love to get his hands on a set of bagpipes.
Contact William at wdennis@ compasscommunityathens.com
Brandy Ferris is originally from the foothills of the mountains of NW Georgia. Eventually, she moved to Athens to attend UGA where she graduated with a BS and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. She simultaneously taught kindergarten in Gwinnett County, early childhood classes at Athens Technical College and Gwinnett Technical College and pursued her Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She finished her last degree three months after her first child, Abigail, was born. She went on to teach two more years while her husband completed Pharmacy school at UGA. She then decided to stay home while expecting her second child, Anderson and began her journey as a stay-at-home mom for 4 years and homeschooled her daughter for kindergarten. She moved back into the classroom to teach 2nd Grade at Westminster Christian Academy for six years before returning to homeschool both children, and she’s been homeschooling ever since! She has a total of 17 years of classroom teaching experience between public and private settings and from preschool through 2nd grade students and loves teaching and especially loves teaching math.
Contact Brandy at bferris@ compasscommunityathens.com
Billie Jo Fouts
Billie Jo Fouts is a Kentucky girl born but raised in Georgia . A pastor's daughter, she loved teaching children’s church and children’s drama and working with missions work.
She attended Athens Technical College for Early Childhood Education and then interned and assisted at local Montessori schools before deciding to earn her Masters from Kennesaw State in Montessori education. Her teaching experience includes 5 years at Old Peachtree Montessori School as Primary Assistant and Elementary Assistant for lower and upper; 4 years teaching at Lifespan Montessori, and 4 years teaching at Athens Montessori School.
She believes children are naturally eager for knowledge and capable of learning and looks forward to creating an environment where students learn from discovery.
She has three children and has been homeschooling for the past 5 years. She stays busy with children's ministry and drama work and being part of Christ's hands and feet to do His work.
Contact Billie Jo at bfouts@ compasscommunityathens.com
Front Desk Assistant
Michelle Graham has been homeschooling her two children, Clint and Chloé, since 2015. She was also homeschooled herself in the mid 80's and early 90's but completed high school in the public school system. She did dual enrollment during her senior year with Dekalb Technical College in electronics and met her husband in the lab. After finishing the first year of her electronics major she changed course and finished her degree as a Business Administration major with a legal specialty. The degree was not put to use however as she and her husband, Tom, decided to focus on building their house and starting their family. They now reside in Arnoldsville in Oglethorpe County and Michelle has filled her days with kid's and women's ministry for Crawford Baptist and now Southside Church and teaching her kids, who are now in 7th and 9th, to love God first and use their talents for His glory. In her spare time she enjoys reading, growing flowers and vegetables, and day dreaming about being on the beach. They have been a part of Compass since 2015 and love the friendship, support, and fun it provides for them all.
Assistant Director and History Teacher
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. They moved back to Georgia in 2013.
Jessica homeschooled Abby (‘21 Compass Graduate) and Jacob (‘22 Compass Graduate) since the first grade and has never regretted a second of it. 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.
Carol Hill is a lifelong Georgia native who has been blessed with ten children with her husband, Don, of 32 years. She earned her BS in Christian Education (concentration in youth ministries) and a minor in Christian Counseling from Toccoa Falls College in May 1992. Just weeks after graduating, she gave birth to her first child and changed from the role of full-time college student to full-time mother. Although her primary role for the past 30 years has been mother/home educator, she has enjoyed teaching upper elementary and middle school students in numerous home school co-op classes. She also has led and participated in several church based children’s ministries over the years and especially enjoys teaching apologetics and biblical creation based classes to children.
In 2013 Carol started following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, losing and maintaining approximately 70 pounds while gaining energy and stamina to keep up with her many duties. She now has a passion for health and fitness, and is introducing her younger children to this lifestyle as she is teaching Trim Healthy You, a health/nutrition/fitness curriculum for children of different age levels, in their homeschool.
In her limited spare time, you will find Carol enjoying being Nana to her first grandchild, going out on a weekly date with her husband or hiding somewhere eating dark chocolate. Most likely you will see her out and about driving children to their activities. She never misses an opportunity to turn a vacation or even a trip to the grocery store into a field trip or learning opportunity. She is excited about the opportunity to share her knowledge and passion of health and fitness as well as world geography/culture with students at Compass!
Contact Carol at chill@ compasscommunityathens.com
Liberty is a rising senior who attends Compass and takes dual enrollment classes through Toccoa Falls Collage. Liberty has taken dance for 14 years, including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, ribbons, pointe, and Shadow CO. In addition to taking classes, Liberty has been teaching dance classes at Graceful Gospel Dance Academy and is currently teaching a ribbons class and special-needs class. Liberty is also involved with the special needs program at her church. She has many younger siblings and loves teaching kids of all ages! She is excited to start teaching!
Contact Liberty at lhill@ compasscommunityathens.com
Alicia Holman is a Georgia native who currently resides in Monroe, GA with her husband and three children. She has a BA in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies as well as an Associates in Art. Alicia owns Twisted Moon Studios, an art studio in Bogart, where she teaches art to both kids and adults. Bringing art to the community in a variety of ways as well as educating the community about the benefits of therapeutic art is a passion of Alicia's. She enjoys working with students with different abilities and needs using art as a method to communicate and express themselves. 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 aholman@ compasscommunityathens.com
Kevin Kaes is the middle child in a family of 9. A homeschool graduate, he attended Compass Community all throughout his four years of high school.
While he was a freshman, he began working for his dad at their family owned pizza shop and is still working there now. He has also worked at Camp Little Light, a Christian Youth Camp, for two years and enjoys working with and teaching young children.
Kevin played organized soccer from the age of 12 to 18 and continues to play through adult leagues. He looks forward to teaching soccer classes at Compass Community and sharing his love of the game with young kids.
Contact Kevin at kkaes@ compasscommunityathens.com
Madelyn Kaes is a middle child in a family of 9. A homeschool graduate, she attended Compass Community from 6th to 12th grade.
While she was younger, she began working for her dad at their family owned pizza shop. She has also assisted in several Compass classes and enjoys working with and teaching young children.
Contact Madelyn at mkaes@ compasscommunityathens.com
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 akeeling @ compasscommunityathens.com
Josh was born and raised in Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture. He married his high school sweetheart, Allison, and they have 3 beautiful children: Landon, Jillian, and Emily. Josh was very active in youth ministry with his wife for 7 years, where they had the amazing opportunity to teach, and help teenagers to grow closer to Christ. He worked in construction for ten years, designing and building landscape projects for residential clients. He owned his own construction company and was a licensed general contractor for 4 years. God then called him to a different profession, and his family moved to Monroe in 2017; where he is now the owner and operator of Two Men and a Truck moving company in Athens. Josh has always had a passion for hands on learning to develop new skills and a gain greater understanding of how things work. When he’s not working for Two Men and a Truck, or taking on some project at home, he loves to be outdoors enjoying nature.
Contact Josh at jkeeling@ compasscommunityathens.com
Elena and her family moved to the Athens areas from Florida two years ago. Elena was a Miami Beach Firefighter/ Paramedic for over 12 years prior to her career change to a full time stay-at-home-mom. Together with her husband George, also a retired Miami Beach Firefighter, they have 4 children ages 7-16. Elena has previously taught other children through Classical Conversations and loves combining her artistic gifts into realistic scenarios to help children learn in many different ways. She and her family are currently living on a small homestead filled with animals and gardens. She is passionate about guiding children to be strong, independent thinkers
Contact Elena at eledon@ compasscommunityathens.com
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 at jliedberg@ compasscommunityathens.com
Elizabeth Long is a pediatrician - turned - homeschool mom and volunteer soccer coach. Just as Eric Liddell felt the pleasure of God when he ran, Elizabeth feels the pleasure of God when she works with kids, whether in the clinic, at home, at church, or on the soccer field. She lives in Athens with her husband and 3 kids and has been coaching the ACC rec soccer teams of each of her 2 oldest kids every fall and spring since fall 2021. Elizabeth is excited to begin working with Compass students in soccer class in the fall of 2023.
Beatrice Marchette is ecstatic to be tutoring upper level mathematics at Compass this year! To her, studying mathematics and appreciating the patterns through it is a way to worship God, our Creator. Patterns, numerical relationships and order are everywhere...from the tiniest subatomic particles to the motion of the planets. Without numbers, we are unable to begin to understand His amazing creation. Mathematics is the language in which He speaks to us through creation.
Bea graduated Salutatorian from White County High School and ran Cross Country and Track for UNG where she majored in Math and Secondary Education. She taught in the public high school setting for 10 years, where she also coached. After her 3rd child was born, she dove head first into homeschool and has done almost all forms of Christian home schooling programs imaginable including solely at home, Classical Conversations and helping to launch Sardis Classical Christian Community-- all of which have been a great learning experience. She's excited to begin her newest adventure here at Compass!
Her hobbies involve any way to have time with her family. Bea's husband is an Infantry officer with the Georgia National Guard. Her three children: Sophia (7), Joseph (4) and Leilani (2) keep her on her toes. Bea loves to garden, hike and camp-- really, anything that gets her outside in the fresh air, enjoying the majesty of God's works!
Contact Bea at bmarchette@ compasscommunityathens.com
Rebekah Nunez grew up in Lawrenceville, GA, where she was homeschooled 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) and making piñatas. Rebekah taught Spanish at a public high school for six years before coming to teach at Compass in 2016. She lives in Athens with her husband, two children who they homeschool, and three cats. She attends Redeemer Presbyterian Church with her family and enjoys baking and cooking, hiking, and watching sci-fi.
Contact Rebekah at rnunez@ compasscommunityathens.com
Wendy is the mother of six children and the Executive Director of Brightstone Productions in Watkinsville. She trained in music from a young age and has music directed nearly 30 community theatre productions. She is the former music minister for her church and has led several children's choirs. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, studying history, all things music, but mostly spending time with her family and friends.
Contact Wendy at woesterle@ compasscommunityathens.com
Paula is an 18-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 serves as head of the welcome team and leads a small group with 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 six published books and the editor or seven more. She loves all things crafty and finds her greatest therapy to be in the Bible or in the kitchen. Paula serves as Director of the Lifelong Ministry Program
at College of Athens. 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 priobo@ compasscommunityathens.com
MAP Math Teacher
Kara and her family live in Bishop, Georgia. She and her husband Rocky have four children: Kaden, Kaylin, and identical twin boys – Kody and Kason. Their homeschool journey began in 2016 as a way to provide a better learning experience for the kids’ dyslexia. As a family, they enjoy spending time outside: cooking + grilling, gardening, fishing, and going on trips (especially to the lake and beach). In addition, Kara loves plants, quilting + sewing, reading, and having people over for dinner. The Smith family attends Watkinsville First Baptist Church.
Although Kara has resided in Oconee County for the past 20 years, she was born in New York, and has also lived in Ohio, Florida, and West Virginia. She studied mathematics at UGA and received a BFA in Graphic Design from Marshall University.
Contact Kara at ksmith1@ compasscommunityathens.com
After growing up in central Kentucky, Rhonda earned a BS in Wildlife Biology from Murray State University and an MS in Raptor Biology (birds, not dinosaurs!) from Boise State University. She has taught science in a variety of settings including 3 years as an outdoor education instructor, 3 years teaching college-level biology labs and 4+ years of teaching at Compass Community. She volunteers for church ministry in several positions with missions, youth, and children. She and her family moved from Rhode Island to Athens in 2015 with their 3 children. She has been homeschooling for 9 years and her children are currently ages 15, 12, and 8 years. She loves homeschooling and learning something new every day. She spends her precious free time reading C.S. Lewis, knitting blankets, watching Star Wars, and birding. She loves hiking, owls, mountains, Jesus, baking, and her family.
Contact Rhonda at rsmith@ compasscommunityathens.com
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 dstokowski@ compasscommunityathens.com
Tiena Thacker is a homeschooling mom to four amazing kids, a wife, and the Children,
Youth, and Family Ministries Director at her church. All four of her children have attended Compass at one time, with her two oldest now graduated from college and the younger two attending Wednesdays. Her passions in life include loving and serving the Lord, her awesome family, and teaching and working with children and teens. She has been working with children for more than 33 years as a teacher, daycare worker and owner, and in children, youth, and family ministries. Originally a coffee-drinking girl from Seattle, she earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Central Washington University and worked as a teacher in Colorado before moving to Georgia 27 years ago. In her “spare” time she enjoys being creative, baking, reading, singing in her church praise band, and being outdoors. She considers 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 seventh 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, explore, discuss, problem- solve, laugh, learn, and have fun!
Contact Tiena at tthacker@ compasscommunityathens.com
Tamara is a native of New York state and moved to Athens after high school to attend the University of Georgia. She met her Georgia born and bred husband, Glenn, quickly after settling in. She completed a BS in Psychology with an emphasis in Child Development. Soon after graduation, she married and settled into raising children and making a home. She has 3 children, Cory (14 years old), Annalea (11 years old) and Elizabeth (6 years old). She has been homeschooling since 2017 and has had children at Compass the entire time. She lives on 22 acres in Lexington (Oglethorpe County) and has many chickens, ducks, a rabbit and three Australian Shepherds. She’s a self proclaimed bookworm and loves having stacks of books everywhere in the house. She also enjoys gardening, sewing, knitting, hand quilting and basket weaving. She has a special passion in gathering people together and developing community ties.
Contact Tamara at ttillman@ compasscommunityathens.com
Front Desk Assistant
Diana Werling is a South Carolina native who has lived in Georgia for over 25 years. She graduated with a history degree from Furman University and a Masters Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia. After working for 15 years as a historic preservationist and city planner, in both the private and public sectors, she put on a new hat to homeschool her three children with her husband David. It has all been a great adventure and gift! Diana enjoys gardening, reading, walking, hiking, and mountain biking, and considers her faith, her family, and her friends her greatest treasures. Oh, and coffee!
Paige Wheeler has her masters degree in Early Childhood Education. She spent three years in private education and twelve years in public education. Paige and her husband live in Jackson County with their three children eleven, nine and six. They spend additional time supporting their children In Trail Life and American Heritage Girls activities. In her spare time she enjoys camping, reading and farm chores.
You can contact Paige at pwheeler@ compasscommunityathens.com