Our Fabulous Faculty | Homeschool Connections of Michigan
Our mission at Homeschool Connections is to support, encourage and advise parents as they educate their children; to provide a variety of innovative and quality educational opportunities; to help prepare students for their future; and to have a profound impact on the educational society.
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Our Fabulous Faculty

We work hard to feed the mind and the spirit via classes that reflect the interests of students, with an all-inclusive atmosphere that encourages the development of lasting connections, and through the support we offer our students and their families.

Avalos, Carlos

- Began with Homeschool Connections in 2016 - Enjoys the energy the kids bring to the classroom - Born and raised in Torreon, Mexico - Obtained his Electronics Engineering degree from Instituto Tecnologico de la Laguna University - Moved to Michigan with his wife and son in 2011 - Loves playing soccer, riding bikes with his son, and puzzles - Teaches Spanish for elementary through high school

Bickford, Kristin

- Teaches science and STEM classes - Loves spending the day with children - Graduated from Baker College - Has taught for 10 years, grades Pre-K through 5 - Married her husband in 2005 & has 2 children - Loves her dog, Milo - Prefers to vacation in Cape Cod

Carpenter, Kara

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2019 - Teaches language arts for young students - Loves seeing the excitement and joy on the kids’ faces coming in & enjoying the classes - Homeschooled most of her elementary years - Graduated from Bob Jones University

Clay, Diana

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2015 - Enjoys teaching "fun stuff" and life skills - Teaches life skills like basketry, woodworking, and sewing, and more - Married for over 30 years to Ray W Clay III - Has one son, Ray Clay IV, who also teaches at Homeschool Connections - Lived in Missouri, Texas, Minnesota, and now in Michigan for over 10 years

Clay, Ray

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2016 - Teaches math, science, and history classes for middle and high schoolers - Loves the “ah-ha!” moments in his students - Attended Oakland & Eastern Michigan universities - Studied electrical engineering

Dushaj, Luke

- Was homeschooled part of his education - Attended Oakland University - Graduated with a Bachelor's in history with a focus in medieval studies - Played football in high school and college - Has 11 siblings

Ekstrom, Heather

- Began teaching in 2014 - Loves her students - Attended Wayne State University and studied Secondary Education focusing in Math - Homeschools her 4 boys

Elizondo, Yolanda

- Started teaching at Homeschool Connections in 2018 - Teaches math classes - Studied industrial engineering in Mexico - Has been tutoring math since the age of 15 - because she loves it! - Moved to Michigan in 2013 with her German husband, her 9-year-old son, and stepdaughter - Loves living in Michigan

Hermez, Zina

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2018 - Teaches Language Arts classes - Enjoys the rewards of helping students to overcome obstacles - Attended Oakland University - Hobbies as a writer - Loves to travel - Dreams of visiting Disney

Houck, Lisa

- Homeschooled her children for over 20 years - Loves seeing children learn and grow - Married for over 30 years with 3 daughters ages 27, 22, and 14

Husted, Amy

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2014 with her kids - Has been homeschooling for 12 years - Is the 3rd oldest of eight kids and last to go to a traditional school - Helped my younger siblings finish their high school years as homeschoolers - Obtained numerous Business Certificates and an Associates in Business Administration - Enjoys connecting with students and wants to try and be the hands and feet of Jesus - Taught preschool, cooking, and gym classes - Married 28 years - Lived in Berlin, Germany and Alaska - Has one son in college - Has one daughter currently attending Homeschool Connections

Jenkins, Josh

- Teaching STEM classes - Homeschooled through 2nd grade - Attended Oakland University - Graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering - Has a passion for technology and physics - Is the middle child of 7 kids - Loves the outdoors and traveling - Hangs out with his 2 dogs

Jubelt, Amanda

- Teaches Chinese, language arts, history, and math classes - Loves instilling an excitement for learning into children - Experienced in Chinese language & cross-cultural learning as an American teacher living in China for 10 years

Kapusta, Wendy

-Has been a teacher for over 25 years - Taught in the public schools - Has homeschooled her kids - Teaches at both at Homeschool Connections and HighPoint Hybrid Academy - Offers tutoring - Has wanted to be a teacher since she was 5 years old - Has 4 wonderful children who are in various stages of high school and college - Shares their home with a guinea pig named Miss Sprinkles and their dog named Sniper

Kearney, Danielle

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2017 - Favors making connections with students - EMU and Marygrove College - Taught special education for 14 years in Livonia - all subjects - Math certified - Loves her husband Ryan - Plays with her 2 boys, Joey & Benny, who love baseball, flag football, & participating in scouts - Adopted a new puppy Twyla

Krall, Deniese

- Began teaching at Homeschool Connections in 2018 - Teaches kindergarten, reading, and writing - Loves tapping into each child's unique personality - Attended Eastern University - Graduated with a literacy specialist degree - Has tutored for 30 years - Written 3 fiction books, each featured in Nashville, Tenn. - Married for over 30 years - Has 3 adult kids - Loves to read, teach reading, and writing - Loves her dog and rescuing more

Lane, Virginia

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2007 - Has taught a variety of subjects - Loves seeing the joy of learning in children in the moment - Has a professional dancing background

Lewis, Josh

Locke, Deb

- Started with Homeschool Connections in 2006 - Teaches social studies, jr. engineering, and science - Enjoys the flexibility and opportunity to teach in "out of the box" ways

Maurer, Melissa

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2019 - Has been a part of Homeschool Connections since 2009 - Has been a homeschooling parent for 19 years - Graduated three of her children and currently still schooling the youngest two - Obtained a Finance/Accounting degree from University of Michigan - Loves numbers! - Homeschools to be able to know each child with all their own uniqueness and their own specific learning styles

Moon, Rod

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2009 - Teaches history & more - Loves watching students grow and change - Homeschooled 6 of his 8 kids - Attended Syracuse University - Was a military aviator & flight instructor - Has 30 years experience in automotive industry sales - Authored 14 books

Murrish, Laura

Orza, Gabriela

- Born in Romania - Attended an Art High School named “Romulus Ladea” for four years - Professional artist - Graduated from Art Academy, “Ioan Andreescu”, ceramic discipline - Obtained master's degree in multimedia - Likes traveling and learning new things - Has three kids: Eias Sebastian, Gabriel Allan and Andrea Elizabeth

Osis, Sue

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2007 - Specializes in computer technology, robotics, lego engineering, and graphic classes - Has experience as an occupational therapist with special needs students - Married for 40 years before the passing of her husband - Loves her 2 adult daughters - Enjoys the priceless reward of teaching

Oskioian, Ellen

- Loves the magic of movies and animation - Has twenty years of experience working with infants to adolescents - Looks forward to helping children reach their full potential as creative individuals through crafting, designing, discovering, and writing - Teaches arts & crafts classes - Does home decorating as a hobby

Pate, Michelle

- Has dreamt of teaching since she was a small child - Married to Craig Pate and has 4 children and 2 grandchildren - Has been homeschooling since 1998 - Came on board with Homeschool Connections in 2016 - Graduated from Impact Bible Institute in 2013 - Enjoys working with middle school/high school-aged people - Encourages students to be engaged and participate - Loves working with art and literature and has been specializing in history

Powers, Allison

- Has been working with Homeschool Connections or one of our moms since 2015 - Homeschools 2 children - Graduated with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature - Claims to be a math nerd that speaks Spanish!

Rector, Judy

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2014 - Teaches literature, language arts, social studies, some sciences, French and much more! - Loves the interaction with kids, their input in discussions, and personal growth - Homeschooled her daughter - Attended University of Michigan - Produces youth choir musicals for churches

Royer, Karly

- Certified ESL teacher with a background in linguistics, literature, history, and dance - Taught at Palestra for many years - Joined Homeschool Connections in 2015 - Teaches science, specifically chemistry - Enjoys teaching writing and literature - Loves to show students that writing can be--if not fun--at least tolerable

Schonfeld, Leslie

- Began teaching with Homeschool Connections in 2008 - Loves forming relationships with her students - Attend Michigan State University for her Bachelor’s Degree - Graduated with her Master’s from Eastern Michigan University - 30+ years of teaching experience - Married to Dave for 30 years - Has 3 kids ages 20 and up - Is also a speaker and author

Seamon, Cathie Jo

- Joined Homeschool Connections in 2015 - Teaches the sciences including biology & chemistry - Loves being with the kids & sharing science with them - Studied Civil & Environmental Engineering for her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Michigan - Earned her Master’s Degree in Hazardous Waste Management at Wayne State University

Smith, Janice

- Began teaching with Homeschool Connections in 2019 - Loves teaching because she gets to spend time with young people - the people of our future - Has taught at HighPoint Hybrid Academy - Attended Wayne State Univesity and Michigan State - Taught Spanish for many years - Wants to pass on her love of language with her students - Enjoys walking and reading good books - Married with 3 grown daughters

Stevens, Jen

- Started with Homeschool Connections in 2018 - Loves watching the kids' excitement & watching them understand - Homeschooled her oldest son - Attended Clarks Summit University - Has been teaching all sorts of crafts & fun since 2000 - Married to her husband Dan - Loves their 3 kids, hampster named "Jessie", 2 fish (Goldy & Slurpie), and hermit crab Pete - Enjoys camping, thrifting, and shopping on Amazon - Heads to the beach - Says her favorite vacation ever was in Cambodia

Thelen, Wauketa

- Is a child of God, wife, homeschool mom of two, pet parent and an avid cook - Wuketa worked at a credit union which taught her the importance of money management - Owned a vending company for about 7-years, which showed her the importance of response time and listening to customers’ needs - Held a position in the General Education Department at Baker College where she learned how to teach and how to assist the adult learner with math anxiety - Was awarded Adjunct of the Quarter, because the entire class nominated her - Joined the Homeschool Connections family in 2016 - Has a Bachelor’s of Interdisciplinary Studies from Wayne State University and a Master’s of Science from Central Michigan University

Thimann, Andrea

- Married to Charlie Thimann and mother to Rebecca, Samuel, and Emma (aged 10, 8 and 2) - Homeschools her children - Has coached volleyball for homeschoolers, private schools and club volleyball teams since 2004 - Earned her B.S. Degree in aviation business administration from ERAU University - Obtained her U.S Volleyball coaching certificate at the Olympic training center - Coached Freshmen, JV, Varsity and also ages 14-17 at Next Generation Volleyball Club - Joined Homeschool Connections in 2019 - Teaches introduction to sports and P.E. classes - Loves to teach and make a positive impact on the kids’ lives

Timberlake, Megan

- Started teaching with Homeschool Connections in 2018 - Teaches a variety of performing and language arts classes including theater performance - Loves her students as they are so engaged and sweet