Homeschool Connections Teachers | 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.
Homeschool, Homeschool Connections, Michigan Homeschool, homeschooling in Michigan, Detroit homeschool, homeschooling in Detroit, homeschooling, Christian Homeschool, Homeschool Support, Academic Advising
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-67300,bridge-core-2.0.1,ctct-bridge,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-theme-ver-25.7,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_bottom,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.6.0,vc_responsive
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.

Branton, Katlin

Caitlin Cesarz

Cesarz, Caitlin

Caitlin Cesarz is originally from Texas but now resides in St. Clair Shores, MI with her husband, tortoise, and cats. She loves art, crafts, and teaching children, and is excited about working at Homeschool Connections!

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.

Ekstrom, Heather

Heather Ekstrom grew up in Clarkston and graduated from Clarkston High School. After high school, she attended Wayne State University. Heather graduated with a BS degree in Secondary Education- Mathematics with a minor in Science. Heather has been married to her husband, Lee, for 25+ years. They have 4 sons, 3 of whom they have homeschooled and graduated. They continue to homeschool their youngest son who has two more years in high school. Heather has been enjoying teaching various math classes with Homeschool Connections since 2014. In her spare time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family and friends, walking her dog, reading, and attending classes at PureBarre in Clarkston as much as possible.

Feeney, Angela

Angela has been an elementary teacher for 8 years and loves being a teacher! She began teaching at Homeschool Connections in the winter of 2020. Angela, her husband, and their 12 year old daughter live in Leonard, where they love taking care of our ponies, dogs and cats!

Foster, Cathy

Cathy Foster has more than 30 years’ experience teaching children. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Oakland University earned her master’s degree in reading and language arts from Michigan State University.

Cathy has hallways had a belief that children learn best in a comfortable, fun, hands-on environment. She has always loved teaching science and has had an interest in technology. Cathy became inspired when teaching a coding class using the robots Dash and Dot. Cathy watched children fully engaged in learning while having fun. This class motivated Cathy to start a business called TechKnowKids in 2016. Cathy has a collection of robots and teaches coding and STEM classes in a variety of settings. Cathy is excited to be teaching coding and STEM classes at Homeschool Connections!

Cathy has a husband and enjoys traveling and cooking!

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.

Jagod, Jessica

Jessica Jagod currently teaches at the Clarkston Campus for Homeschool Connections. She has taught at HighPoint Academy and Homeschool Connections for the past three years. She has been married for over 24 years. She home educated her children over the past twenty years. She has two boys attending universities out of state and one daughter who is a Junior with special needs. She loves teaching elementary students! Her students know she loves it when they use color on their assignments and you might catch her dancing with them!

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. All of her children but one are graduates and the last is going to college this year. Shares their home with a kitten named Kiwi and their dog named Sniper.

Kearney, Danielle

Danielle Kearney has a BS in Elementary Education with certifications in K-8 Mathematics and Special Education from Eastern Michigan University. She earned her Masters degree from Marygrove College in the Art of Teaching. She taught special education for 14 years before shifting focus to her family. Mrs. Kearney’s greatest teaching moments are when she watches a spark of enthusiasm for a subject turn into a flame.

Mrs. Kearney enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons. She can often be found on the sidelines of a basketball court, football field, or baseball diamond cheering on her sons. She enjoys yoga, reading, and DIY projects.

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.

Leal, Joe

Joe has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Evangel University in Springfield Missouri. He attended Evangel on a football scholarship and played 3 seasons of collegiate football. He currently coaches varsity football at Avondale High School in Auburn Hills. Joe has served as a Student pastor at multiple churches in Missouri and Michigan. He has also worked in the marketplace as a marketing professional and sales account executive. He is married to Taylor, an educator in Mt. Clemens and together they have a son Jaxon (3 Years old) and a daughter Blake (1 year). They enjoy making a good cup of espresso and trying new restaurants whenever they travel.

LeVasseur, Dawn

I homeschooled my daughter her whole school career, she went on to graduate college with honors in 2 degrees. I taught with Homeschool Connections (crafts, sewing, cake decorating, & high school government) from its beginning until a couple of years after my daughter graduated. I am also a Faith Formation Director at Faith Lutheran Church, Shelby Township & have my own business offering seamstress work, special sewing orders, & upholstery.

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

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.

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.

Rowe, Jackie

Mrs. Rowe is a lifelong Michigander who lives in Oxford with her husband and children. She loves the beauty and uniqueness of the four seasons, especially as they are so majestically displayed Up North. Jackie has worked in education for years, in various roles in public elementary and middle schools, and in a volunteer capacity for her children’s small school. Faith, family, and food are important to her, so outside of work, she enjoys any combination of the three.

Royer, Karly

Karly is a certified ESL teacher with a background in linguistics, literature, history, and dance. She taught at Palestra for many years. Joined Homeschool Connections in 2015. Enjoys teaching writing and literature. Loves to show students that writing can be–if not fun–at least tolerable.

Savalle, Mary

Mary was born and raised in Detroit, MI. She graduated from the East Detroit Public School System in 2001 and continued her education at Wayne State University. Her college experience included HVAC design, powder paint chemistry, crash testing, ballistics testing, AutoCad design and more.

Mary’s love for mechanical equipment does not stop at her employment. She has published multiple papers in her industry, teaches courses throughout the country on Internal Combustion Engine concepts and has developed hands on training devices to assist those that struggle with learning from a textbook. She has worked with companies around the world in research, analysis and training activities.

Due to her passion and love for her work, it spills over into her personal life. Mary developed a S.T.E.M. program to teach children concepts in all facets of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Mary has spent the last 18yrs educating herself, living the concepts she was taught and demonstrating those concepts to her peers. She believes in knowledge sharing and continuous education, which led her to begin her Master of Engineering in Engine System Design in September of 2020. Her passion for Project Management and Reliability of mechanical equipment is real and comes out in her teaching.

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 University 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

Jen grew up in the Buckeye State. After high school she attended Clarks Summit University. While in college Jen was on the Student Leadership Council and was a cheerleader. After graduating she had various jobs like nannying, teaching, Director of Children’s Ministries at her church, College Admissions Counselor and even being a missionary to Cambodia She is married to her amazing husband and has 3 children that she adores!
In her spare time (she’s a mom so that isn’t often) she loves thrift shopping, putting things in her Amazon cart, camping with her family, reading, doing artsy things, reading, drinking coffee and hanging with her friends!

Thelen, Wauketa

Is a child of God, wife, homeschool mom of two, pet parent and an avid cook. 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. 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.

van-der-Harst, Madison

Madison van der Harst grew up in Rochester, MI and attended Homeschool Connections throughout her middle and high school years. She loved it and is so thankful to be back as a teacher! After high school, she attended Hillsdale College where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Politics with a minor in Art. Throughout college and for a couple years post-graduation, Madison volunteered with Young Life, a ministry reaching middle and high school students. Since college she has primarily worked as an art teacher and tutor. She loves spending time with her husband, family, church family, and everyone else!