Benjamin Padilla is a graduate of Shorter University, Rome Ga. He has a Bachelor degree of Art with a Major in Piano and a Minor in Voice. He has been the director and Owner of Padke School of Music and Padke Productions for over 5 years. Benjamin has been teaching Piano, Drums, Voice, Guitar and Bass Guitar for almost 12 years, leading kids, Teens and adults to enjoy the beauty of Music. Through Padke Productions, Benjamin has produced, arranged and recorded several Christian artist. Today, Benjamin is the Pastor of Worship of Iglesia Bautista El Calvario (Calvary Hispanic Baptist Church in Doraville Ga. He is also the music promoter of the Georgia Hispanic Baptist Association, where he has directed Christmas Choir and special event choirs and worship groups. In addition, he gives worship seminars. Music is his passion. He loves to worship God through his God given ability and wants to teach others and help them develop their knowledge and love of music. Benjamin is married and has two daughters.
Dawn Thomas graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree, earned her Master of Education degree majoring in Mathematics from Georgia State University and will complete her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mercer University this summer. Dawn has taught everything called math for over 23 years at the middle school, high school and college levels. This past June, Dawn hung up her professor hat and returned to her passion of ensuring that every student she encounters have a solid footing in mathematics. She is the owner and visionary of College Prep Done Right! whose sole mission is to instruct students in a manner that challenges, motivates and prepares them to successfully and confidently apply math skills to the real world. For the past 17 years, Dawn has been an endorsed College Board consultant, SAT question writer and presenter. She has traveled throughout the country training teachers on how to incorporate the SAT into various curriculums and develop ways to improve SAT scores for struggling schools. She also has the distinct honor of being the math presenter on the Official SAT Study Guide with DVD. She and her husband have been married for almost 28 years, have three beautiful children and attend Free Chapel Church.
Deborah Thomas received her B.A. degree in Mass Communications from the University of West Georgia in 1986. Upon graduation, she worked as an administrative assistant for the Atlanta Urban League for four years. She also worked as a staff writer and editor for The Abundant Life Church newsletter for several years. In 1990 she married Wendell Thomas and became a full time homemaker. She has home schooled their three children for the past thirteen years. Deborah has taught writing for homeschooled middle and high school students. She has provided instruction and coaching for The Truth Sayers Speech Club in Stone Mountain Georgia for the six years. She and her family are members of The Solid Rock of Atlanta Church where she and her husband serve middle school students as teachers in The Cross Over ministry.
Denisa Millette is a child trauma assessment specialist and a wellness coach whose mission and passion in life is to help children and their parents find a safe path to ultimate emotional wellbeing. Denisa holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology and she has been conducting psychological evaluations as well as specialized trauma assessments of children and teens in a private psychological practice since 2001. Denisa has been recognized as an expert witness in child abuse and trauma cases in juvenile and superior courts across GA. As a wellness coach, her main focus is on aiding her clients on their road to emotional recovery by using safe, effective, and non-drug treatment strategies.
Derek Owens graduated from Duke University in 1988 with a degree in mechanical engineering and physics. He taught physics, honors physics, AP Physics, and AP computer science at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA from 1988-2000. He worked at the TIP program at Duke for two years, teaching physics and heading the Satellite Science Program. He received a National Science Foundation scholarship and studied history and philosophy of science at L’Abri Fellowship in England. He worked as a software developer for six years before returning to teaching. Since 2006, he has been a full time teacher for homeschoolers in the Atlanta area. He and his wife Amor and their two children Claire and David attend Twelve Stone Church, a non-denominational church near their home in Lawrenceville.
Gina Ospina graduated from Georgia State University with an M.B.A. in Marketing and has been homeschooling her children for the past 17 years. This is her sixth year of teaching at LAC. Gina also professionally translates business documents, papers and reports to Spanish and has volunteered in the simultaneous interpretation of church services to Spanish. She is a native Spanish speaker born and raised in Panama and has lived in Atlanta for the last 30 years. She is married to Rafael and they have 3 daughters. They worship at Victory World Church in Norcross.
Jeffery D. Henderson has been an advocate for youth since the age of 15 when he spoke at Harvard University at the National Council of State Committees for Youth Helping Youth. He has been recognized twice by Governor Nathan Deal and other organizations for his community service involvement in various communities; especially as it relates to the next generations. Jeffery is the Founder and CEO of Youth Business University (YBU) which is a non-profit 501 (c) Company which was founded in 2010. YBU’s motto is ''Educating and Empowering the Next Generation to Become Global Leaders and Wealth Builders''. He is currently providing training and development training to youth in one recreational center, one Elementary School, two Middle Schools, and six High Schools in the following areas: Financial Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, Business and Life Skills, and Career Development. He is on the Board of Directors (Treasurer) for Out of Love Ministries and Self-Image Development, Inc. along with being the Treasurer for the NFL Alumni Association – Georgia Chapter. He is also on the Advisory Board for Cross Keys High School, DeKalb County, McNair High School, and Stone Mountain High School. Furthermore, he has over 25 years as an accomplished customer relations advocate and operations/customer service manager experience in collaborating with national and international financial business partners to achieve increased business, revenue, and return on investment (ROI). He also has a diverse global background in managing teams and projects involving promotional initiatives in multiple industries. He has a proven track record directing multi-million dollar direct mail, inbound, and outbound marketing campaigns for Fortune 100 companies. He is a graduate of Clark College (Clark Atlanta University) with a minor in entrepreneurship, finance, and human resources.
Jessica Taylor has been teaching in various settings for over 15 years. She received her B.A. in History from Hiram College, continued History and Education coursework at Case Western Reserve University and is now learning to teach English as a Second Language. She loves all things that pertain to History, but thoroughly enjoys teaching all subjects! She spent the 2013/2014 school year learning the joys of homeschooling at LAC. Jessica and her husband have 3 children who have been homeschooled and attended traditional schools. She and her family are active disciples of Christ at The Faith Church of Atlanta.
Jessica Thompson has loved acting and theater her whole life, and has been performing in community and professional theater since age twelve. She graduated with a BS in Interpretative Speech from Bob Jones University and began working with the Georgia Association of Christian Schools as a judge for their fine arts competition shortly after moving to Georgia. In 2008, the Lord lead her to begin teaching when her own daughter began school. She now teaches drama, Public Speaking, and elementary and high school history to both private and homeschool students. Jessica considers it a privilege and a charge to train the next generation of communicators who will spread the gospel of Christ as He commissioned us to - by word of mouth. She takes as her mission verse Jeremiah 1:7, “Say not, I am a child; for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee; and whatsoever I command thee, thou shalt speak.”
Karen Sculley began her home schooling journey in 1996, focusing on teaching her six children, four of whom who have gone on to study Engineering (x 2), Philosophy, Medicine / Music, with her youngest two continuing their high school studies. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Queensland (Australia), is an accomplished pianist, and recently completed two years of training in spiritual direction. She and her husband Paul recently celebrated 30 years of marriage. They serve together on the leadership team of the Liberty Vineyard Church in Lilburn, where she leads Bible studies, plays on the worship team, and enjoys helping with kids. Karen enjoys teaching all kinds of topics to every age and stage in a wide variety of settings, including churches, clubs, camps, conferences, seminaries, and schools. She lived in Australia from age 7 to 25, and her family lived as missionaries in Russia for almost 2 years before her children began their college studies. She is passionate about helping young people find God`s direction for their life and teaching them how to think with discernment in order to impact our culture for Christ. More than anything, she desires to glorify God with her life as she equips, encourages, and empowers others to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
Kathy Romanoff has an MEd from Georgia State University and a BS in Education from the University of Tennessee. She enjoyed teaching students in the Metro Atlanta Area for eighteen years and has maintained her teaching certificate. During her tenure as a public school teacher she taught various math and science classes, but chemistry was her love. Numerous levels of chemistry, including Advanced Placement, permitted her to develop a thorough - learner based program. Kathy stepped out of the classroom in 1995 and into the home to care for her children . Shortly after this transition she began to teach chemistry within the home school community. Bruce and Kathy enjoy fellowshipping at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Katie has been teaching middle school theater for the past two years. Her directing work includes Merry Christmas from Windsor High, her adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor; Richard III; Wild, Wild West Macbeth, again her own adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic; As You Like It; and Cinderella. Her love (some might call it an obsession) for Shakespeare propels her passion to impart the knowledge of him to her students. Another of Katie’s passions is writing. Her first book, Through the Fire, was published in September of 2013 and she continues to pursue publishing for her other works. She loves collaborating with other authors and helping them hone their writing skills. Katie has been heavily involved in youth ministry for the past five years. Discipling teenagers is one of her favorite ways to spend her time. When she is not working, Katie can be found at a coffee shop with a good book, kayaking with friends, or cheering on the Braves at Turner Field.
Katrina Harris has been teaching homeschoolers for more than 10 years - and has been with the LAC program since 2008. She has degrees from the University of Georgia and Georgia state with a focus on History and Anthropology. Katrina has a passion for classical antiquity (all the history, stories, cultures and languages), for travel (so much so that she also works as a travel agent), and for reading (over one hundred books each year). She and her husband are the parents of two teenage daughters. The Harris family attends Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn.
Kristi Helfen graduated from Asbury University, a Christian liberal arts school, with a Bachelor of Science in music education/piano. After homeschooling her children for 15 years, Kristi went back to school and received a Master of Music in piano pedagogy from Georgia State University. As a graduate student at GSU, she taught group piano classes to both non-music majors and instrumental/vocal music majors who were required to gain a certain level of piano proficiency in order to graduate. Kristi is in her sixth year of teaching at Oxford College of Emory University as the Applied Piano Instructor there. Along with teaching private piano lessons and music theory for the past 35 years, Kristi has also enjoyed performing. She is a former accompanist for the National Symphony Chorus of San Jose, Costa Rica and currently performs as a member of Redeemer Piano Ensemble, a group of eight pianists playing simultaneously on four pianos. Kristi loves working with homeschooled students. As a member of Dekalb Christian Home Educators, she coordinated and directed a summer music program for many years that culminated in a September Showcase Concert in which students performed in instrumental ensembles and as soloists on various instruments and voice. Kristi and her husband Paul have been married for 34 years, have three children, three grandchildren, and live in Stone Mountain. Their hearts are full of thanksgiving for all the Lord has done.
Margaret Shuman earned a secondary English education/German double major and a renewable, 7-12 GA teaching certificate at Berry College. She went on to get a master's degree from Bowling Green State University, OH, in speech and theatre, where she also took graduate level courses in literature and theories of teaching writing. Since graduation, she has taught in two public schools, two private schools, and the home education world. The College Board has officially approved Margaret to teach both AP Literature and Language, and has hired her to score SAT essays. She has also led seminars in drama, AP English, speech, and writing at professional development conferences. Margaret and her family worship at Passion City Church. You can find out more about Margaret at www.margaretshuman.com.
Marlys Roos is a certified teacher who holds a B.A. in Speech and Drama and an M.A. in education with a concentration in Language Arts and Social Studies. Before and after the Lord`s call to teach full-time (first in public school, and then as a homeschool mom), she was recruited to teach evening classes in communications at several locations including Georgia State University`s Department of Continuing Education. Her writing skills were honed during a full-time, ten-year marketing career as she wrote advertisements and reports, made presentations, created company newsletters, developed training programs, and, of course, wrote many business letters. Creative writing experience includes writing (directing and performing in) mystery dinner theatre, scripts for churches, and published teaching materials for vacation Bible schools and children`s discipleship. She and her family are members of Perimeter Church.
Michelle Shaw received her B.A. in Economics from Harvard College in 1985 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989. She practiced law in Massachusetts for six years before she chose to focus on homeschooling her children. She brings to her debate class her training and experience in criminal and civil litigation. Michelle has taught teenagers in various capacities for over 20 years. She has taught at Eastside/LAC for eight years. She is married to Dr. Alan Shaw, an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Kennesaw State University and the pastor of Christ First Community Church in Stone Mountain. Michelle and Alan have three children who have graduated and two who are still in high school.
Philippe Lecoin was born in France but grew up both in Canada and the United States. After completing a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, he worked six years as a project manager for an IT firm. Philippe then followed his passion for business and started a furniture design, manufacturing and imports company with his wife. During that time their wonderful daughter was born, who is now homeschooled. In 2009, due to his growing passion for health and fitness, Philippe created Go Gym (www.gogymcompany.com). Since then, Philippe has incorporated many disciplines in his work. Some of these include functional training, pain therapy, tactical fitness, spine and posture health, sport-specific training, nutrition and weight management. Philippe trains individuals and groups, younger and older, athletes and beginners, and the strong or the injured. He focusses on functional fitness and tactical fitness, yet he is recommended by medical doctors and chiropractors for core strength training, rehab and weight management. He has also been coaching Sports for homeschoolers, including his daughter, for a few years.
Scharell Williams has tutored Spanish since 2010. Her love for the language began in the fourth grade when her school taught Spanish over the intercom during the teachers' planning sessions. Upon high school graduation she had completed Spanish 5, joined the National Spanish Honor Society and studied abroad throughout Spain for a semester. She went on to study Spanish Language and Linguistics at Georgetown University. She has been able to apply her skills as a translator for a law firm, an international management consulting firm, in manufacturing, in hospitals and in Ministry. Scharell is married to Cedric Williams. They have a son Harris, two great-nephews, Terron and Terrell, and a great-niece, Ternysha. The Williams family attend The Solid Rock of Atlanta and they study healing with Dominion Life Church.
Snow Kendall has a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources (1990) from The University of Georgia. After working in forestry and Geographic Information Systems in central Georgia, she moved to Lawrenceville with her husband, Greg, to stay home with her children. She has been homeschooling for 11 years and taught biology for 6 years. She has a heart for special needs children, and kids with learning differences. Snow has been married to her husband, Greg for twenty six years. She has one student in high school and one in college. Her family leads a martial arts ministry, Warriors for Christ, at Campus Church of Christ in Norcross.
Teresa Hatten is a graduate of Fisk University with a BA degree in Applied Mathematics. For more than 26 years she worked in the corporate sector in various assignments including Human Performance Technology, Course Development and Instruction. She became interested in learning sign language in the 1980’s after seeing it expressed during church worship services. Her journey into the Deaf world began through a small sign language class offered by the church. In 2004, after completing and accomplishing ASL skills training courses in the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Georgia Perimeter College, she transferred to Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Services. She received a degree in Mortuary Science, became a licensed mortician and took the helm as General Manager of her parent’s funeral service establishment after the passing of her mother in the state of Tennessee. Teresa is an ordained Minister; Served as an Assistant Pastor in Louisville, KY, Associate Minister in Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA. Currently, she teaches English as a Second Language for Refugees at the Clarkston Community Center two days a week. She provides a service through WOHL Communications Services as a Reader, Scribe or Proctor for candidates with disabilities who are required to take national, state and local examinations and certifications. She continues to volunteer at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf once a week. She and her husband of over 35 years, Jiendesha “JD” Hatten, have two children and three grandchildren.
Tom Robinson graduated from Michigan State University in 1985 with an Electrical Engineering / Computer Engineering degree. At MSU, he was a 2-time letter winner on the football team and was recognized with the Potsy Ross Award for leadership scholastically and athletically. He served as president of Eta Kappu Nu, the Electrical Engineering honor society, during his senior year. Mr. Robinson has over 25 years of business and technology experience with leading companies including IBM, Gartner, and Computer Associates. He and his wife successfully homeschooled their three daughters who are all college graduates. Mr. Robinson will use Derek Owens` curriculum to teach Prealgebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Computer Science. Mr. Robinson and his wife Lisa are members at Church of the Apostles in Atlanta.
Valerie Myers is currently the staff accountant for In The Door, LLC, and a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. Valerie also serves on the financial advisory committee for Legacy Harvest Foundation. She posseses a degree in Business with a concentration in Finance and an Associates Degree in Accounting. Valerie Myers is a native to Atlanta, Ga, and is married. She has worked in various mentorship programs with young parents and has been heavily involved in women’s ministry. She founded a group in 2009 “Free to Love Me” aimed at teaching women through the love of Jesus Christ that they can overcome all that life presents. She is an avid enthusiast in all things related to home design and décor. Valerie and her family are actively involved in their community church.
Wife: Pam; kids: Russell, 20, Jessica, 16, and Graham, 14. I have been involved in homeschooling ever since our first kid, now 20, was born. I have been teaching art to homeschool, private school, and public school youth for as long. I graduated Auburn Univ. BFA/Graphic Design, have worked as an illustrator for magazine publishers, ad agencies, companies like Hallmark Cards and Spider Mag. I have redesigned and art directed two health foods magazines, and packaging, logos, & in-house collateral, and illustrated for businesses. In 1991, to be home with my kids, I started free-lancing, illustrating children`s educational books for various publishers. I am now illustrating my own books with my new company ionaleaf press. I have had my share of struggles but nothing has ever given me more purpose and pride in my family as being blessed with a faithful, supportive wife and three healthy and talented children who each now have a personal relationship with Christ. I enjoy teaching art as much as I can. I am a member of Society of Children`s Book Writers and Illustrators.