Lara Storm: Her roots are in the soil of her family’s Northern Ohio dairy farm. This is where she learned how to raise and prepare food. She credits her mother and 10 years of 4-H for teaching her to cook. Processed food was an anomaly at the table. Vegetables were raised in the garden, fruit came from neighboring farms, and milk, eggs, and beef were raised by her family. Lara attended The Ohio State University where she earned a BS in Medical Dietetics. She has been a chef in the catering and restaurant industry for over 20 years. She is passionate about good food and good health and wants students to understand basic culinary concepts and get excited about preparing healthy food from scratch. More than anything, Lara just wants a wants a generation of kids to be comfortable in the kitchen!
Kelly Negvesky: Graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a major in Humanities. Currently, Kelly is logging her 10th year as a homeschool mom and she is feeling right at home in the high school years. While her kids were still tackling those fun days of elementary learning she was working with high school families all over the world guiding them through the newly emerging world of dual credit and distance learning. She wrapped up her six years as a formal high school consultant in spring of 2015 and decided to focus on her favorite high schoolers, the ones that live in the rooms down the hall. Her investment in their education has proven fruitful since her 17 year old is wrapping up her Freshman year of college and her 15 year old will start 2016 as a college Junior with over 60 credits. She loves to rehab furniture, spend time with kids of all ages, read and learn. Kelly is passionate about helping todays families realize that formal education does not always mean knowledge and learning. And that knowledge and learning are not found solely in an educational institution.
Sara Rausch: Sara Rausch teaches two classes at NGHE; she is one of the "JumpStart!" teachers as well as the "Heroes of the Faith" teacher. In addition to her time at NGHE, Sara homeschools her three children, is involved with her church, and she loves to do crafts whenever time allows. Sara has been married to her wonderful husband for seventeen years. Sara and her husband met while in college at Alderson-Broaddus (a small liberal arts college in West Virgina) where Sara earned her Elementary Education degree. After graduation and moving to Ohio, Sara taught third grade for two years at a Christian school; until she began expanding her family. The Rausch family lived and grew in Newark, Ohio for fourteen years during which time they became a homeschooling family. Prior to moving to Georgia three years ago, Sara was very involved in their local homeschool support group and local homeschool co-op where she taught music, grammar, history, and missionaries. Sara loves the color purple, spending time with family and friends, cooking, a good book, and a warm fire on a cold evening.
Meg Green: She studied a variety of STEAM subjects in high school and college which led to an IT career where she consulted across multiple disciplines and industries. From consulting she went on to lead global learning for various consulting divisions within IBM. She approaches education for our kids from a top down perspective - knowing what the business world looks like and how it is evolving. Meg believes in the power of learning through doing, and to retain what has been learned you need to continue to build upon a skill over time. She also believes in the concept of enabling our kids through the learning process to develop their own ideas and passions on how they can personally touch society through a positive impact. Meg is very excited to have the opportunity to share her love of learning and exploration with our NGHE kids through science and public speaking. God has called her back to her passion of science and public speaking through teaching. Her calling to teach crosses other topics as well including leadership, kingdom building business, the times and seasons of God's calendar and finding your true identity for both individuals as well as organizations. Her professional work still includes coaching and consulting on the journey towards the whole person, training strategy, and operations strategy as well as facilitating innovation and creativity. She and her son are just beginning the journey of homeschooling and are excited to see all that God has planned to unfold for them as they move forward!
Brenda O'Keefe: Raised bilingual by deaf parents who began teaching her to sign before she could talk. Though her parents taught her to sign, as a young adult she became a student of American Sign Language, which lead to achieving an interpreter certification and a wide range of interpreting experiences in a variety of settings, including: medical, church, school, and theatre. ASL has been a lifelong passion that she considers a privilege to share with her students. Over the years she has taught many people including her own children. Some of her students, through their hard work and perseverance, have become nationally certified interpreters.It is easy to see that she believes learning ASL should be fun and interactive! In her classroom, students will get to know their classmates while participating in engaging group activities such as playing games, singing in signs, and practicing conversational skills with one another. In addition to learning vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure, students will also learn about the history and culture surrounding the Deaf people and their language. All these activities allow students to develop the skills needed to carry on basic conversations with deaf people. To say that the Deaf people and their language are dear to her would be an understatement. It is her hope that by sharing the fascinating language and culture of the Deaf people her student’s lives will be enriched as hers has been, and that in some small way she will have bridged the gap between the deaf and hearing worlds. Brenda has been married for 30 years to Dennis O’Keefe and together they have six wonderful children, three boys and three girls. In the early years of her marriage she had a career with IBM, but she decided to dedicate herself to being a homeschool mom instead. It has been a challenging and rewarding adventure for her and her family. Her oldest two sons graduated college as aircraft mechanics. Her youngest son is currently earning a degree in Computer Science. Her oldest daughter hopes to become a certified sign language interpreter, but is currently working in the technical world at NCR. At this point, Brenda considers it a breeze to be homeschooling only her two youngest daughters. Her two oldest sons have married and six months ago the eldest and his wife were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Brenda loves being a grandmother. (Just ask her for pictures. I dare you.) Raquel Torres: The Spanish Level I Instructor at NGHE. This is her first year with NGHE. Profesora Raquel is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast where she attended elementary and high school. She fell in love with the Spanish language at an early age and has worked to learn it ever since. She is a 1994 graduate of Washington University in Saint Louis where she earned a double major in Spanish and Psychology. She spent the first half of her career working on trading floors at various international banks in New York City. In 2006, she and her family moved to Atlanta where she joined the Global Marketing team at The Coca-Cola Company until she left to be a full time mom in 2013. Raquel is married to Andres Torres, the electronics/robotics instructor at NGHE, and they have two teenaged sons, Matthew (16), a sophomore at Forsyth Central High School and soon to be homeschooler and Daniel (14), an eighth grader who is homechooled through Freedom Project Academy and one beloved Chihuahua named Rico. Raquel loves being a part of the body of Christ through her Calvary Chapel Alpharetta family and NGHE, spending time with her family and travelling especially to visit family in her beloved, adopted homeland of Puerto Rico.
Danielle Judge: The Math Mosaics and Math Mastery instructor at NGHE this school year. Alongside she works as an instructor at the JCKC After School program, attends Georgia Perimeter College as a physics major, private tutors, and serves as a youth leader at Johns Creek Korean Church. Upon graduating high school in 2012, Danielle has been continuously private tutoring in math from arithmetic to single-variable calculus. When first beginning college she worked as a class tutor for El Camino Community College. Around March of 2014, she left California for Georgia. She then began her first year as a staff member for the JCKC After School program. Danielle has led different homework classes ranging from first to seventh grade and runs supplementary classes such as book club and math study. This past summer of 2015 she was a teacher’s assistant for a first grade class at the JCKC Summer School program and taught an English as a Second Language course. In addition, she was a part of their After Care Program, which includes running a study hall for children in grades ranging from pre-school to eighth grade. Once summer school ended, she continued in their Summer Bridge program which entailed holding a class for math, language arts, and a personal favorite—art. For her own students, Danielle hopes to inspire them in seeing how math isn’t an impossible, foreign task of memorizing tedious equations, but instead can be quite fun in due to its fluidity, applicable and conceptual nature. Her goal is for my students them to take away tools they can use to know both how to approach problems and have the ability to execute it. Above all, Danielle wish for them to take this education so that they may use to carry God’s will wherever they go!
Mike Stafford: Currently teaches four classes at NGHE including “R.I.S.E. Junior” (Readiness in Science Exploration), “Game On!” (Euro Board Game Design), and both Geometry and Pre-calculus for high schoolers. Because of his incredible versatility and skill sets, Mike is known as “Professor Mike the Wacky Scientist” (complete with his white lab coat), “Mike the Game Guy”, or “Mike the Math Guy” depending on the time of day at NGHE. Mike graduated from Georgia Tech as an Information and Computer Science major and followed that up with a Master's Degree in Computer Science from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He worked for almost twenty years as a programmer, software developer, and “PC Whisperer" (as one supervisor put it) until he finally had to accept that he just didn't "fit in" in the corporate world. So, one somewhat major life change later, Mike is a math and science tutor, a substitute teacher in Forsyth and Fulton counties, and now a beloved teacher at NGHE! The fact that Mike is teaching a board game design class is a tip-off that his hobby/passion is GAMES! His constantly growing collection of over 2,000 board, card, and miscellaneous games are almost always being played at the weekly game nights he hosts at the "Townhouse o' Fun", the Wednesday night youth meetings at church, or anywhere else he finds unsuspecting people he can turn into "gamers". Mike has also designed several games of his own and has been an official “Play Tester" on a number of published games. Other interest include... writing and performing sketch comedy which he has done in college, at work conferences, and with youth groups (both his "Bad Samaritan" rap and his "Lost Episode of the Brady Bunch" can be found somewhere in dusty little corners of the Internet). Mike also enjoys listening to audiobooks in his car (mysteries, thrillers, and non-fiction about science); and bird watching, which Mike says may sound boring (as he once thought) until you actually try it and spot a rose-breasted grosbeak on one of your feeders!
Erica Mandato: Coming Soon!
Eunice Monticillo: Developed her love for singing at a very young age of five. She started doing solo in school competitions, churches, corporate events and weddings which turned into passion as a professional performer by age 16. She has recorded popular songs, studied Music majoring in Voice at the University of the Philippines, and joined songwriting competitions. She’s had previous experience as a back-up vocalist, lead vocalist for two bands, and a musical theater artist which she enjoyed doing most. Songwriting continued to play an important role in her life as she writes songs based on her personal life experiences and her devotion to God. Her career as a singer took a halt when her eldest started high school four years ago. In 2006, she joined FCHE and co-lead in various classes where she taught Arts, Drama, and Biology. This year in Co-Op, she is thrilled to be teaching Hymns and Songwriting. She’s so privileged and appreciative of NGHE for offering her debut in teaching where she can coach and cultivate talents of homeschooled children to become passionate singers at Gleeful Noise. She believes that everyone is blessed with a God-given talent to be honed, but most importantly she wants everyone to realize that all were called to worship the One Creator in their own way whether one can carry a tune or not. Eunice started homeschooling her children a decade ago and has continued to live on this one verse in Nehemiah. “ I am doing a great thing, and I cannot come down.” She lives in Cumming with her husband Alain and her three children Ericka -17, Anaiah -12, and Shane -9.
Stacy Wright: Coming Soon!
Jonathan Clark: I had my first experience coaching youth basketball about twenty years ago, and the fire burns even brighter today. Recently while living in Tampa, I had the pleasure of coaching high school basketball as an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at Carrolwood Day School, in addition to year-round developmental and competitive teams through the YMCA and Skills Center. I have also conducted basketball skills training both one-on-one and in groups through VIPERS Basketball, and as part of Dream Center Tampa’s community outreach program. I am happy about the chance to coach in the North Georgia area! Coaching and mentoring kids is both my passion and my purpose. I have coached the game of basketball with players from ages four to eighteen, served as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters, and tutored middle school aged children with Partners in Learning. I live to help children fulfill their life’s purpose with character by understanding, embracing, and realizing their own potential. I believe we all have a God given purpose and that the world is a better place when everyone can fulfill that purpose in service to others. This core belief is the foundation on which the Basketball and Beyond program stands. In all I have experienced with children along the way, what I have learned is this: mentorship through youth sports can change lives. Sports are about so much more than a potential path to fame and lucrative contracts for the few players at the top or a chance at redemption for parents who fell short of their dreams. They can either be used to tear kids down or build them up. I’ve seen coaches who inspire kids to greater heights, and others who crush their confidence in ways that take years to heal, if ever. Coaches and parents can either make their kids feel insecure, ashamed, and isolated, or confident, proud, and supported. Lacking the wisdom to understand the true value of individuality, what kids want more than anything is acceptance and to know they belong. To belong, kids will sometimes change their behaviors, their values, and even their personalities. As coaches, we have the chance to create a sense of family and community where children can belong to something positive that builds character by molding them into people of principle, integrity, honor, and courage. I am honored to have the opportunity to influence our youth in such a positive way.
Rebecca Ewing: Coming Soon!
Mariah Provost: Coming Soon!
Dan Smith: Coming Soon!
Maren Pelligrino: Achieving a degree from Virginia Tech in Interior Design with a minor in art. She began teaching art at NGHE 10 years ago She has also taught Interior Design, Art History, Sewing, and Science. She is now teaching Zoology and Money Matters. Maren loves the opportunity to teach children about God's wonderful creations! Maren and her husband, Jeff just celebrated their 18th Anniversary. They have a 16 year old son named Jacob who is working on his Eagle rank in Scouts, works at Dairy Queen and is dual enrolled at Lanier Tech through Georgia Cyber Academy. He has taken many classes at NGHE over the years and would love to teach chess. Their 13 year old daughter, Julia loves to dance, play the guitar, and knee board. She made many wonderful friend at NGHE last year and enjoyed all of the classes she took. She is now back in public school at Lakeside Middle School. Maren feels blessed to be a part of such an inspiring and inviting environment. She loves how God made each person special with talents and struggles. She prays that God would speak through her to teach each child. Thank you for allowing your children to be a part of NGHE.
Susan Rivers: Susan Rivers is our high school biology teacher. Susan has been with NGHE since its conception. Susan is a graduate of the University of California of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. After a year of teaching at a Christian school in Orlando, FL, an opportunity came for Susan to begin her career in broadcasting at a local Christian TV station. After marrying her favorite fellow co-worker and moving to Atlanta, Susan found herself at Turner Communications. But she didn’t stay long after realizing Headline News was not where God wanted her to be. She was then reunited with her love of teaching children by returning to work in preschools until her own four children came along. When her oldest turned that magical five, Susan and Randy both agreed home schooling was where God was leading them for their children’s education. As a home schooling parent, Susan sought out part time employment to help out with the family budget. House cleaning, lawn maintenance, and teaching at NGHE led her to her position as part time Children’s Director at North Lanier Baptist Church for the last six years. Now with her children ranging in ages from 22 to 14, Susan recently has become enamored with raising goats. The first baby is soon to arrive!
Chris Goellner: Minecraft Programming and App Development Instructor at NGHE this fall. This is his first year with NGHE and his first time teaching. Chris graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and from Georgia State University with an MBA and Juris Doctor. He grew up on the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast near Mobile and Biloxi. He graduated from Pascagoula High School where he enjoyed playing the french horn in the band. He meet his wonderful wife DeAnna while they were both attending the University of South Alabama in Mobile. They later moved to Connecticut and survived two winters before returning to the south and starting a family. He and DeAnna are busy now with two kids, Anna (15) and Bennett (13). All four of them love to travel and this year they've been blessed with the opportunity to visit several national parks in Washington State and Oregon including Mt Rainier and Crater Lake, Arches in Utah, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
Jessica Henley-Murray: Coming Soon!
Abby Blum: Professional Landscape Photographer from Newnan, Ga. Currently enrolled at The University Of North Georgia majoring in Art Education. Current member of the Georgia Nature Photography Association. I've always had an interest in the field and a love for sharing my passion with others who have the same.
Sabine Luz: Sabine is an artist and loves to work with children. She has a degree in design from the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, Germany. Sabine uses a wide range of different media in her own artwork and has a profound knowledge in art history. She has extensive experience in teaching art to children (K through 12) from her 5-year tenure at schools in Arizona and teaching out of her studio for 15 years. In 2003, Sabine started to work for Artistic Adventures launching a one of its kind art program in Forsyth County. Her classes range from drawing to watercolor and acrylics and are covering all ages including lessons for adults. Examples of her artwork are on exhibit in the gallery of Artistic Adventures.Sabine believes that everybody can be an artist. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” (Pablo Picasso). The beauty in her own art is supposed to bring joy to the viewer and therefore is an effort to create a more humane world.
Jayme Teague: Jayme began her career in pottery twenty two years ago when she made a life change from corporate career to mother. She is primarily self taught through exploration of the medium and home studies. A quick study, Jayme’s work was in Atlanta galleries within a year of discovering clay. Jayme spent the first 7 years of her art career selling her work in galleries and juried art festivals where she won many best of show and best in clay awards. In 2000, she was offered a teaching position with Forsyth County where she taught glass fusion and pottery to adults and children. In 2002 she opened Artistic Adventures in South Forsyth to fulfill a dream to have a teaching studio with gallery space to support local artists. Artistic Adventures recently received the 2015 "Best of Suwanee Award" in the Vocational Schools category. Jayme is a firm believer that everyone has artistic abilities within and creates a learning environment which is highly interactive and geared to student success. Many of the children she taught have received AP awards and now sell their work. She embraces the intrinsic benefits of art (patience, stress reduction, problem solving, etc.) and thrives when her students discover the inner peace and satisfaction found in art.