Our Amazing Teachers

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Mrs. Christina
Howard

KINDERGARTEN

Mrs. Carrie
Thede

KINDERGARTEN

Mrs. Sabrina
Brandon

1st Grade

Mrs. Kelly
Love

1st Grade

Mrs. Jennifer
Newkirk

2nd/3rd Grade

Mrs. Kim
Pendleton

2nd Grade

Mrs. Carrie
Sima

2nd Grade

Mrs. DeAnn
Landsverk

3rd Grade

Mrs. Lynn
Buhrow

4th Grade

Mrs. Cathy
Missildine

4th Grade

Mrs. Glenda
Peek

4th Grade

Mrs. Nichole
Gray

5th Grade

Mrs. Mary
Maslak

5th Grade

Mrs. Carolyn
Ricker

5th Grade

Mrs. Christina Howard

Mrs. Howard has a MEd and a BS in Early Childhood Education from Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She has an AS in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut. Mrs. Howard fulfilled a lifelong dream, having entered the field of teaching as a second career. She has been a certified teacher for more than 15 years, working in the public school system and, more recently, as an online teacher and tutor.

Mrs. Howard lives in Massachusetts with her husband Jack, whom she married in 2001. She enjoys visiting with family and friends, as well as spending time walking and hiking outdoors. Mrs. Howard also enjoys traveling with her husband, with the hope to visit all of the national parks in the United States to appreciate and explore the great country. With a strong dedication to teaching children, Mrs. Howard strives to foster a love for learning in all her students as they gain foundational knowledge and skills in each subject through intrinsic motivation.

Mrs. Carrie Thede

Mrs. Carrie Thede has more than two decades of teaching experience, including homeschooling, with 18 years experience in public schools and six in private Christian education. In 1998, she earned a bachelor of science in elementary education (K-6) from the University of New York-Plattsburgh. One decade later she became a national board certified teacher as an early childhood generalist (Pre-K-3).

In 2004 she got married, and she and her husband currently live in Wisconsin with their three children. When she has free time, Mrs. Thede enjoys gardening, baking, fitness, sports, and travel. She looks forward to instilling in her students a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

Mrs. Sabrina Brandon

Mrs. Brandon has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Judson College and a Master of Science in Reading Education from Jacksonville State University. She is a certified elementary teacher and a certified Reading Specialist. She has taught every grade level in elementary and has been teaching and tutoring for over 15 years, including five years of homeschooling her two boys. She really likes reading and teaching great books.

Mrs. Brandon enjoys learning about other cultures. She has lived in Costa Rica and Singapore. She now lives with her family on a small hobby farm where they raise chickens, Shetland sheepdogs, and Kunekune pigs. Her family enjoys adventures and being outside.

Mrs. Brandon is excited about the opportunity to help students gain knowledge, experience and confidence as they learn about God’s wonderful world and their place in it.

Mrs. Kelly Love

Mrs. Kelly Love graduated from Northland International University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She has experience teaching in Christian schools as well as homeschooling her own children. She has been with FreedomProject Academy since 2015.

Mrs. Love lives in Tennessee with her husband, Adam, and their four boys. She is excited to teach first graders and share her love of learning. She enjoys reading and playing the piano in her spare time. She looks forward to the opportunity to help each student realize their God given potential.

Mrs. Jennifer Newkirk

Mrs. Jennifer Newkirk (M.Ed.) is experienced in teaching in public, private, and online settings and has been deeply involved with serving homeschool families since 2001. She has homeschooled each of her own children to varying degrees, and she holds lifetime membership with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

Childhood spent as a military brat provided her the life experiences of growing up in different locations. Low brass became her hobby, and she spent her high school years performing as a competitive trombonist. She earned her B.A. and B.M. Education degrees at the University of South Carolina, where she also served as drum major for the Gamecocks Marching Band. She served as drum major for the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps (Drum Corps International), traveled nationally as an instructor for Marching Auxiliaries of America, and served five years as an adjudicator for marching band competitions across the Carolinas.

Mrs. Newkirk completed her Master of Education degree at Columbia International University in 2004, eventually serving as Vice Principal for grades K-8 at a private Christian school. She is lifetime certified as both a teacher and administrator/principal with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).

In 2017, she began teaching at FreedomProject Academy. Mrs. Newkirk is excited to have a great year with your student, encouraging the love of learning through classical education.

Mrs. Kim Pendleton

Mrs. Kim Pendleton graduated from the University of Idaho in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. She also has her Master’s of Educational Technology. She has taught for nearly two decades as an elementary teacher, including a handful of those years with FreedomProject Academy.

Mrs. Pendleton loves combining technology with educational content, and she continues to design learning experiences to engage the digital learner. She is excited to teach students online and share her love of learning. Mrs. Pendleton lives in Maine with her husband, Mark, and she has two grown sons who live in California. She enjoys games, reading, writing, kayaking, and spending time with her family.

She looks forward to building a community of learners who love God and strive to do their best.

Mrs. Carrie Sima

Mrs. Sima has a Master of Arts in Reading and Literacy, with endorsements in Special Education, Reading Recovery and English as a Second Language. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Saint Xavier University in 2005, and she has been a reading specialist and elementary education teacher for more than 17 years in public and private settings.

Mrs. DeAnn Landsverk

Years after Mrs. Landsverk announced in kindergarten that she wanted to be a teacher, she went on to graduate with a BS in Education from Martin Luther College. In addition to homeschooling her two amazing children, she has teaching experience in all elementary levels in private, public, and homeschool cooperative settings.

In the snowy WI winters, DeAnn enjoys outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, downhill skiing, running, and walking her dogs. Once the ice is gone, with her husband at the helm, her favorite place to be is on her waterski behind their boat. She spends much of her summer skiing with her daughter and teammates on the Webfooters Water Ski Show Team. In addition to waterskiing, she enjoys cooking with her daughter, as well as hiking and shooting guns with her son.

Teaching at FPA since its beginning has been rewarding for DeAnn. She loves the challenge of creating lessons that incorporate games and activities to engage her online students. Her desire is to develop every student to a maximum potential, empowering each one as a problem solver and future leader.

Mrs. Lynn Buhrow

Ms. Lynn Buhrow graduated from Maranatha Baptist University in 2011 with a bachelor of science in elementary education and a minor in special education. In the summer of 2015, she completed her master’s degree in exceptional education, with an emphasis in multicultural education. She has been teaching for more than a decade and enjoys facilitating a love for learning in her students. In her free time, Ms. Buhrow enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

Mrs. Cathy Missildine

Mrs. Cathy Missildine graduated from Faulkner University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. That year she received the Elementary Education Award for most outstanding Elementary Education student. In March of 2014, she completed her master’s degree in Reading and Literacy. She has 14 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools.

Mrs. Missildine is married to her husband Randy. They have four children whom are homeschooled. Mrs. Missildine enjoys reading, music, and teaching, as well as spending time with her family.

Mrs. Glenda Peek

Mrs. Glenda Peek has a BA in Elementary Education from Saint Martin’s University. Her education experience includes nearly 20 years in public and private schools, as well as four years homeschooling. Mrs. Peek and her family have been involved in foster care for more than 10 years, and she has dedicated numerous hours as a child advocate, Sunday school teacher, Youth ministry leader, and volunteer spokesperson for several foreign mission endeavors.

Mrs. Peek and her husband (Lynn) were high school sweethearts and were married 40 years in September 2021. They have four adult daughters, as well as two young sons (currently attending FPA). She also has five grandchildren. Mrs. Peek loves cheering on her family members in their various interests, including baseball, soccer, cornhole, basketball, karate, and sprint car racing. She also enjoys cooking (especially on the grill or Traeger), baking pies, and working alongside her husband on home improvement projects on the 119-year-old home that has been in her family since the 1930s. She is a lifelong learner who is currently learning to play the guitar. She loves studying God’s Word or curling up with a good book.

Mrs. Peek is honored to be a part of educating the leaders of tomorrow through FreedomProject Academy and looks forward to building relationships with her students and their families.

Mrs. Heather "Nichole" Gray

Mrs. Gray is a graduate of Missouri State University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She has taught in both public schools and virtually. She has been blessed to homeschool her children for the past 11 years. During her career, Mrs. Gray has enjoyed teaching students in the United States and abroad.

Mrs. Gray resides in Missouri with her husband of 19 years and her three children. She enjoys reading, crafting, and attending her children’s sporting events.

Mrs. Mary Maslak

Mrs. Mary Maslak has a Master of Arts in Education from Eastern Michigan University and has experience in both public and private school settings. She homeschooled her five children for 22 years. She enjoys reading, sewing, the challenge of gardening at high altitude, and most of all, spending time with her family and cooking.

Mrs. Maslak has had the privilege of working for FreedomProject Academy since 2015. She has enjoyed getting to know students, building relationships with them, and partnering with parents from all over the country.

Mrs. Carolyn Ricker

Mrs. Ricker graduated from Notre Dame College in 1995 with a BA in Elementary Education/Special Education and a minor in English. Currently, she lives in South Carolina with her husband and two dogs. Homeschooling her two children was her passion until they grew up! Emma is a nurse, and Colby is a cinematographer. Teaching for FPA has been Mrs. Ricker’s privilege for several years. When she is not teaching, she enjoys relaxing with a great book, kayaking, sharing time with friends, traveling, or keeping busy with home improvement projects.

Mrs. Ricker is excited to be working with homeschooling parents and students as a teacher at FPA!

Mrs. Mary Amorose

Mary Amorose has studied at the Ohio State University, Indiana University, and Dominican University in Chicago. She spent many years overseas as a teacher, examiner, and trainer for Cambridge University, England prep programs for high school students. Stateside, she has worked as an English, world history and Latin specialist in private schools. Teaching is a vocation from God, not just a job.

Dr. Susan Benecchi

Dr. Benecchi received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in Astronomy, Physics and Religious Studies and her PhD from the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She is a Senior Research Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and also works with the New Horizons Pluto team on its extended mission to the Kuiper Belt (NASA). Her research focuses on studies of small bodies in our solar system. She does her best to bring real world applications into the classroom. One of her goals is to give her students a love for Astronomy and God’s creative powers in the world. She seeks to help students to develop confidence in, and the ability to express, who they are and what they believe in an integrated understanding of modern science and the Christian worldview. She is married and the mother of two children. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, reading and baking.

Dr. Kierstin Bible

Dr. Kierstin Bible has been performing and teaching music professionally since 1995. Although she retired from teaching “traditional” music classes in 2015, she was drawn to FreedomProject Academy’s mission and intrigued by the challenge of teaching a hybrid music class that included both fully online portions and teaching students in “real time” in a streaming setup. She has not been disappointed and counts her class as one of the highlights of each week.

The Music Theory & Appreciation class she teaches heavily emphasizes interaction, both during class and online, leading to robust discussions about music history, theory, composers and much more. Students are pushed to reach a high level of learning, as they synthesize course materials.

Dr. Bible finished her second master’s degree in Educational Technology in 2018, and she currently works as an instructional designer and training coordinator for the University of Arkansas. In her down time, she spends countless hours with her husband, Brian, her cat, Simon, and her garden.

Mrs. Fehrin Brindley

Mrs. Fehrin Brindley grew up in a Christian family on a small ranch in western South Dakota. She attended Black Hills State University where she majored in Composite Science Education and was a key player on their Division II volleyball team. She taught high school level Chemistry and Biology in a public high school before joining FPA in the fall of 2020. In 2021, she earned her Master of Science in Chemistry from Ohio University.

When she isn’t teaching, Mrs. Brindley loves to play guitar and sing, read, ride her horses, coach and manage a volleyball club, and work with her husband on the farm. She now has a son, Creighton, who has become her sidekick in all her favorite activities. Mrs. Brindley loves teaching and strives to instill in each of her students a lifelong desire reach their fullest potential. She is amazed by God’s intricate designs found in science and is excited to share those marvels with every student she meets.

Mrs. Jessica Craig

Mrs. Craig graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education and Spanish Education from UW-Eau Claire. She earned her Masters Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Carroll College (University) in Waukesha, WI. Mrs. Craig has nearly 2 decades of teaching experience, most of which was spent teaching Spanish I & II, and led two student trips abroad to Mexico. In her spare time, she is the Director of the Mom Time group at her church, educates on natural health remedies, and does public speaking for various women’s groups, with a focus on grief.

Mrs. Kathy Donegia

Mrs. Donegia is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in music. She has 20 years of experience as a home educator and has enjoyed teaching classical homeschool classes to groups of high school students for many years.

She began teaching Latin in 2003 and has developed a love for the beauty and logic of the language. She teaches Latin I and Latin II at FPA.

Mrs. Emily Gomez

Mrs. Gomez grew up in Indiana and graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and minor in math. During college, she did internships at Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Wisconsin, where she met her future husband and married just two days before her college graduation. Since college, Mrs. Gomez has had many different jobs, from making paper by hand to cashiering and caring for the elderly. She enjoys learning new things, like playing piano and sewing, helping others through volunteering, lending a listening ear, and seeing where and what God has her do.

She is excited to be a part of FreedomProject Academy and is grateful for the opportunity to instruct the upcoming generation in classical education to be critical and independent thinkers.

Mr. David Graef

Mr. Graef earned a bachelor of arts in applied linguistics in 2014, from Moody Bible Institute and a masters in education in teaching English in 2019, from Maranatha Baptist University. He has previously taught in public and private schools, as well as in the homeschool environment and tutoring.

Mr. Graef married his wife, Randie, in 2013, and the couple has three daughters, Ryenne, Aubrey, and Primrose. They currently live in central Kentucky. When not teaching, Mr. Graef enjoys spending time hiking, camping, canoeing, reading, and doing photography. He desires to faithfully make an impact for God’s Kingdom by teaching and encouraging a new generation to love God, His Word, and this beautiful world He’s placed us in.

Mrs. Heather Harris

Mrs. Harris teaches Middle School Latin and History for FPA. She earned a degree in Middle Grades Education from North Georgia College and State University in 1997. Since that time, she has taught in various settings that include private school, co-ops, and private tutoring.

Her teaching experiences include grades K-12 across various subject areas, including history, government, public speaking, and Latin. She also homeschooled her own two children for 14 years. She has been married to her husband, Brad, since 1990. She has a son, Luke, a daughter-in-law, Wendy, and a daughter, Lindsay.

In her free-time, Mrs. Harris loves travel, cooking, reading, writing, and being on the water. So far, she has traveled to 8 countries in Europe, 26 states and 1 U.S. territory. One of her travel goals is to visit all 5 continents. She has always wanted to be fluent in French and be a professional writer. She is working on both of those goals.

Mr. Charles Johnson

Mr. Johnson graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019 with a degree in Linguistics, having done coursework in Spanish, Polish, Hebrew, Greek, German, Catalan, and Latin. From there, he went to teach English in Santiago, Chile in 2020. He is very passionate about old books, especially those written in Latin and Greek, which makes him boring at parties (or so he has been told). However, his love for Aristotle makes him a great fit for teaching logic at FreedomProject Academy.

Mrs. Cindy Kempen

Mrs. Kempen earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She has been involved in Christian education in various capacities in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for more than 45 years.

Mrs. Lainy Martinez

Mrs. Martinez received her undergraduate degree in Materials Engineering, and her Master’s in Mechanical Engineering with Specialization in Explosives Engineering from New Mexico Tech. She has been teaching Math and Science for the past seven years. She currently lives in Wyoming with her husband and two children. In her spare time, Mrs. Martinez enjoys reading, gardening, and swimming. She is enthusiastic about guiding students in mastering math skills and fostering confidence in their ability to apply these principles to real-world problem solving.

Mrs. Jessica Martinez

Mrs. Jessica Martinez holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from NC State University. After working for a few years in technical instruction and technical support, she and her husband decided that she should stay home and raise their children. Mrs. Martinez and her husband have 4 amazing children that keep her busy! In 2011, after a move from North Carolina to Texas, she started homeschooling. She couldn’t stay away from the Carolinas long though, her family moved back to North Carolina in 2013 where she continues to homeschool her children.

Since being home, she has been able to keep her math and science skills fresh by tutoring students of all ages and teaching classes at her homeschool co-ops. She loves helping her children with their math and science assignments!

Mrs. Diane Moyer

Mrs. Diane Moyer has been a homeschool mom and taught in the private school setting. In 2001, she graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics. Though a Texan by birth, Mrs. Moyer resides in Arkansas with her husband and three awesome kids, Reagan, Maggie, and Jake, all of whom attended FreedomProject Academy. She enjoys spending time reading, driving her kids to all of their activities, taking walks with her husband, sitting by the pool, and cooking.

Mrs. Moyer is so thankful for the blessing of FreedomProject. She prays this year will be a successful one in the education of students and the spiritual growth of everyone the school touches. Mrs. Moyer loves math and cannot wait to learn and grow right along with the students. She is excited for them to learn the importance of math in God’s creation.

Mrs. Jann Newell

Mrs. Newell graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in Biology in 1995, received a California teaching credential from National University in 1996 and got her M.A. in Mathematics Education in 2019. Moving frequently before settling in the Pacific Northwest, she held various positions and treasures all the experiences she had serving in the field of education. She taught math and science courses in junior high and high school, coached cross-country and track, and wrote test questions for standardized tests and online programs. She also owned her own tutoring business and worked for an online school, where she was first introduced to homeschooling. Seeing the many benefits of home education, Mrs. Newell has had the joy of homeschooling her 4 children since 2008.

In addition to working at FPA and homeschooling, Mrs. Newell enjoys serving in her church and local homeschool community. She also enjoys home improvement projects, playing the piano, reading, running, hiking, skiing, and going on traveling adventures with her family. She loves working with youth and strives to provide an enjoyable and fun learning environment where her students can develop their testimony of the Lord and His hand in all things as well as see their own divine potential.

Mrs. Sarah Ring

Mrs. Sarah Ring graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2001 with a BA in Elementary Education (Grades 1 to 6). She has teaching experience in both the private and public school setting. Mrs. Ring lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children.

Outside of school, she enjoys boating, swimming, working out, and spending time at the lake with her family. Mrs. Ring is excited to work with the students and parents at FreedomProject Academy.

Mrs. Amber Saare

Mrs. Saare earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature at the University of Texas at El Paso and her Master of Arts in English from California State University at Northridge. She has over twenty years of teaching English in the college classroom and over ten as an instructor in primary and secondary settings. In her literature courses, her ultimate aim is to spur on students in their love of great literature, show them how to view it all through the lens of a Christian worldview, and teach them how to engage the material in such a way that they see its relevance to today’s world and its current conversation. When she teaches composition, she works to develop her students’ writing abilities through regular, thorough feedback and exposure to examples of excellent writing.

She also homeschools her four children and tries to grow vegetables in hay bales for fun. If there’s time left in the day, you can most likely find her with her nose in a great book.

Dr. Amber Sanatore

Dr. Sanatore earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kent State University, her master’s degree in Psychology from Grand Canyon University, and her PhD from the University of the Cumberlands.

In addition to teaching for FPA, Dr. Sanatore teaches university courses in psychology and research methods.

Dr. Sanatore lives in Ohio with her husband and two sons. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Mrs. Lelah Selby

Mrs. Selby graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in botany with minors in chemistry and mathematics.  She has been teaching high school Chemistry, Physics, and Biology online for 15 years. Lelah grew up in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon and now splits her time between there and Knoxville, TN, where her youngest daughter and her family live. In her spare time, Mrs. Selby enjoys hiking with her family, playing outside with her granddaughter, and gardening.

Mr. Jerry Stadt

Mr. Stadt graduated from Cedarville University and began his career teaching American History and Social Studies at a high school in Ohio. After several years he took a position with an international corporation as the manager of sales training.

During his business career he worked in sales management, marketing positions and ended his career as corporate director of Innovative Process training. Retiring in 2012 he now has the opportunity to return to his first love, namely, teaching the history of our great nation.

Mrs. Lee Suttorp

Mrs. Suttorp teaches Consumer Math, Business Math, and World Geography for FPA. She holds degrees in Computer Technology, Business Management, and Learning and Technology. Her more than 20-year career includes positions such as Assistant Registrar, Christian preschool teacher, homeschool parent, and geography homeschool co-op teacher.

She is a tech-savvy Christian homeschool parent, deeply in love with education, and aims to intrigue and challenge FreedomProject Academy students to explore the world God created.

Mr. Ryan Underwood

Mr. Underwood graduated from Faulkner University [B.A. in Humanities – Great Books] and Reformed Episcopal Seminary [Master of Divinity]. Afterwards, he taught at a Christian high school in southeast Georgia.

Mr. Underwood is an ordained Christian minister, and previously served as associate pastor of an Anglican congregation in rural Florida. He also serves as a visiting lecturer in Greek and Hebrew at an international Bible College in South Africa.

Mr. Underwood loves the study of history and is a confirmed bibliophile. When not reading and teaching, Mr. Underwood enjoys travel, mountain hiking, classical music, and conviviality.

He desires to glorify God by helping students grow in their understanding of Holy Scripture, the great books of western civilization, and real history with the goal of making them better citizens of their earthly and heavenly commonwealths.

Mr. Underwood is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord by instructing students at Freedom Project Academy.

Mrs. Chelsea Walz

Mrs. Chelsea Walz is an Iowa resident and a graduate of Graceland University, where she earned her Master of Education degree in Quality Schools. Her BA from Wartburg College is in Elementary Education, with a minor in Leadership. She possesses teaching endorsements in reading, special education, and ESL. Additionally, she has experience in all types of academic settings and with students in grades PK-12.

Mrs. Walz loves being with her husband and children and serving as a faith-based doula. She also enjoys reading, quilting, crafting, homemaking, and going for walks. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and his children through her work at FreedomProject Academy!

Mrs. Denise Ware

Mrs. Denise Ware lives on the gulf side of Florida with her husband and three stepsons. Her four adult children live across the country in various places, where she gets to visit and explore different parts of our beautiful country. Mrs. Ware graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a BS in Education and from Lesley University with a Master of Education in Technology. She has more than 15 years experience as a Middle/High School teacher, teaching Math, Science, Health, and Economics. Her passion is to prepare students to be assets to their communities and thrive in their environment as they grow into young adults.

Mrs. Ware loves to read, hike, camp, walk on the beach, kayak, paddle board, cook/bake, and make various crafts.

She strives to create an environment where students challenge themselves and learn skills that will aid them in their future endeavors.

Mrs. Margo Wesley

Mrs. Wesley graduated with a Bachelor of Science in English Education from Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, WI. She received her Masters Degree in reading and literacy from Louisiana State University. She is excited about the opportunity to work with FPA parents and students. Mrs. Wesley loves reading and staying active in her free time.

She is married, and her husband is an officer in the US Army. Throughout her courses, Mrs. Wesley wants all of her students to grow in their love for learning and to develop their God-given abilities.