The Academy at Bright Ideas Press is excited to announce our list of teachers who are subject experts and have extensive teaching experience. Our teachers have a love for their Creator, the classes they teach, and their precious students. Our teachers are the heart and soul of our online classes.
For an opportunity to join our team, please contact Karri Iverson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs. Anderson has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University and spent 15 years in radio broadcasting and national trade association public relations work before homeschooling her sons. She’s taught adults and teens how to be confident communicators and loves her current profession of teaching homeschool students online through The Academy at Bright Ideas Press. She is known for taking the fear out of public speaking, helping reluctant writers succeed, and guiding students toward a passion in journalism. She brings a great deal of energy to her online classes, so students stay engaged. She is married to a jetBlue pilot with whom she has three sons.
Rhiannon Appelgrijn is a Long Islander, raised by an Englishman, married to a South African, and currently residing in Florida! She and her husband have been married for sixteen years and have three lovely and energetic children! She loves being a stay-at- home mom and desires to raise her kids to have a deep, enduring relationship with Jesus. Before having children, she taught sixth through ninth grade Language Arts, Literature, and Musical Theater classes at Dayspring Academy for Education and the Arts. Most recently, Rhiannon has taught a high school level literary analysis class and a middle school writing class for two online Christian academies. She is known for teaching grammar rules through rhymes she has written to make the lessons more fun and memorable. She is thrilled to be teaching English I and IV for The Academy at Bright Ideas Press! She prays that God will use her to ignite a lasting love of literature, language arts, and above all, the LORD in the lives of her students.
// Email Mrs. Appelgrijn
Lita Bledsoe has always been an educator at heart; her mother reports that she preferred the school supplies to the toy section as a child. Lita has been homeschooling since 1995, and she and her husband Greg have graduated 4 of their 6 children, but with 2 still at home their homeschooling adventures aren't quite over yet! She obtained both her Bachelors in Elementary Education (with emphasis in Early Childhood) and a Masters in Gifted Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Lita is currently working in operations and curriculum development for a private online school based in CA, but has been a teacher, math trainer, curriculum vendor, school administrator, educational/school startup consultant, and has been deeply involved in online learning since 1998. In 2007, she discovered she had a passion for instructional/curriculum design, operations and systems support and has enjoyed continuing to develop her skills in those areas. She is a tech enthusiast, loves all things e-learning, and enjoys exploring and learning about new applications and tools and passing those skills on to others every chance she gets.
// Email Mrs. Bledsoe
Dr. Sonya Brouillette
Dr. Sonya Brouillette graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. She lives in south Louisiana with her husband, Marty, and 3 children (Paycen - 16, Owen - 13, Landry - 10). They live on a small farm and raise Jersey cows, 4-H show pigs, and Orpington show chickens. They also have 3 horses that her children use for youth rodeos. She has homeschooled all of her children and leads at her local co-op. Dr. Brouillette believes that all children can love learning, and she strives to help them find their passion for knowledge.
Cheryl Carter is a busy homeschooling mom, fierce lover of Jesus, and practical teacher of truth. She, along with her husband of 32 years, spearhead the marriage ministry in their local church. Cheryl also serves on the prayer team at her church where she regularly prays and counsels with congregants. Cheryl considers herself a “practicing” Christian and delights in helping others embrace the mind of Christ in their everyday lives and writing. She is the author of several books including, Chasing God and the Kids Too! and A Christian Mother's Guide to Organizing, and Clean Your Room So I Can At Least See the Floor. She has also written fiction and curriculum-related books. In addition to teaching her own children, Cheryl enjoys helping other homeschoolers prepare their children to influence their generation. She currently teaches writing to college students, English language learners and aspiring teen authors.
// Email Mrs. Carter
Amy Craven grew up in Southern California and continues to make her home there with
her husband, five children, and large extended family. She earned her BA in English from
UCLA, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After obtaining her teaching
credential, she returned to her high school alma mater and taught freshman and
sophomore English. While teaching, she also earned her MA in education with an
emphasis in secondary curriculum and instruction. Her master’s project focused on using
close reading techniques to improve student writing. She is an IEW-accredited writing
instructor who loves teaching students to write with clarity and sophistication. Although
Amy left her teaching position after the birth of her first child, her love of words was the
catalyst for starting her own company that provides writing services in areas ranging
from curriculum guides to deposition proofreading to novel editing. Amy and her
husband also decided to homeschool their children and are beginning their second decade
with students in elementary through high school. The primary goal of their homeschool is
to seek truth, beauty, and goodness, all of which flow from God, the author of every good
thing. Amy cherishes the fact that “whatsoever things were written aforetime were
written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might
have hope” (Romans 15:4) and agrees with William Nicholson that “we read to know we
are not alone.” When Amy is not teaching, she supports her children in following their
God-given passions in art, music, youth government, dance, and swim. She also serves in
the moms ministry at her church and volunteers with the local ballet company.
// Email Mrs. Craven
Katrina Custer grew up as a missionary kid in Austria. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in TESOL from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota and her Master’s Degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Minnesota, she felt drawn back into missions work herself. She has taught for short stints in Taiwan, Ecuador, and Kazakhstan and has now been at Black Forest Academy in Germany for 10 years. When she’s not teaching middle school students the joys to be discovered in history, geography, German, and the Bible, she’s off hiking the Black Forest and trying to visit every castle in the area. She loves reading, tinkering in the kitchen, going on pilgrimages, and helping out backstage with theater productions.
// Email Katrina Custer
Ralph enjoys serving as associate pastor at a local church where he oversees the young adult and connections ministries. Ralph is credentialed through the Assemblies of God. He also has a heart for deaf missions and pastored a deaf church for fifteen years. Ralph was raised in a church with an active deaf community and, in hindsight, sees that’s where God planted a seed in his heart to work with the deaf someday. Ralph also has two deaf cousins. After graduating from high school in 1985, he took his first sign language class and was immediately hooked! Ralph went on to be trained as a professional Sign Language Interpreter and worked in the private and public sector operating his own interpreting business for over fifteen years interpreting in a variety of settings. Also, during this time, Ralph taught community education and middle school non-credit ASL courses and deaf awareness workshops. In 2008, God called Ralph to go back to school and become a certified teacher of ASL. He now teaches at the high school level for students seeking foreign language credit; both in private and public schools, oncampus and online. He thoroughly enjoys the roles of teacher and pastor!
// Email Mr. Dally
After growing up in Connecticut, Christine graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a bachelor’s degree in Education and a minor in Bible and psychology . She married her college sweetheart, Keith, and they soon moved to Michigan. They both knew that before having their first child over 20 years ago that they would homeschool and they both have enjoyed the journey. Besides teaching her own children for the past 16 years, Christine has taught in private Christian schools and Apologia sciences to families in her home for 4 years before teaching several classes at the Quest Tutorial. Christine began the REACH Tutorial in 2012 and has been teaching classes in a variety of areas and manages several teachers to meet the needs of local homeschoolers. She and Keith have served in leadership positions over the past 12 years with two homeschool support groups and are currently on their homeschool council serving locally and at the state level. She feels that God has put her in this place and time to share her passion for excellence in home education and to help other homeschoolers continue their homeschool journey.
// Email Mrs. Filipek
Sharon Fisher has been an educator for over 22 years in the local public schools, homeschool co-ops and teaching her own children. She has resided in Martinsburg, West Virginia for the past 19 years with her husband, Phil, and their four children. Her family has loved using online learning throughout their educational journey. Her oldest son was able to use online schooling to graduate high school with 44 college credits. She is currently homeschooling a 12th grader, an 8th grader, and a 1st grader. In addition to teaching with Academy of Bright Ideas, she teaches children how to speak English, she teaches general science to 7-8th graders in her local homeschool co-op, tutors local math students, is the treasurer for the non-profit Christian drama group, Youth Reaching Others for Christ (YROC), and is the treasurer for her local homeschool co-op, Students are Inspired Learners (SAIL). Sharon earned her BA degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Discrete Mathematics, a MS of Elementary Mathematics & Science and a MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Hood College in Frederick MD. Sharon has an active teaching certificate in the states of Maryland and West Virginia. Sharon and her family have been members of Covenant Church for the past 16 years. They volunteer in the children’s ministry and teen ministry on a weekly basis and love investing in the children in the church to help raise them up to be Christian leaders of the future. Sharon is passionate to help all students find their God- given talents while walking through their educational journey. She has a passion to see students succeed in all their classes and have fun at the same time! She loves watching her own children perform in their drama ministry, play hockey, and play volleyball
Michelle Glandon has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from Stetson University. She is certified in her state in Mathematics, grades 6-12. She has been tutoring math for over 25 years. Michelle and her husband have been married for 22+ years. She's his biggest fan and he is hers. They are the parents of four children, ages 15-21. The Glandons have been a part of the same church for over 22 years (and counting). They love the Lord and want His will most of all. In addition to math, she also loves studying personality theories, working with youth theater, Shakespeare, encouraging creativity of students, and can be a bit of a grammar nerd. With over 20 years experience, Mrs. Glandon is a veteran homeschool mom (3 in college and 1 in high school). She is passionate about helping students succeed in math and follow all of the paths that God has laid out for them.
// Email Mrs. Glandon
Jenna Hahn is a genealogist who loves to help others with their family mysteries! She got the idea to teach classes on genealogy research when she was helping friends and needed to break down the steps for them. Her passion for history and family stories is so great that it overflows into everyday life.
Jenna graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in History. This degree helps her to understand what was happening during a time period that is currently being researched. She currently works for the University of Memphis in the Library at Special Collections. The Special Collections department is also the archive for the school, so there are many interesting collections, books and artifacts. Jenna is currently in the process of becoming an accredited genealogist. She has worked on her own personal research for 15 years. During this time she has attended many lectures and seminars including talks by Blaine Bettinger, a DNA specialist, Joshua Taylor, Genealogy Roadshow host on PBS, Lisa Louise Cook, Genealogy Gems podcaster and blogger, Roots Ireland, and many more. Jenna works for clients pro bono while building her genealogy business.
Her philosophy is that students should have fun while learning. When a student is excited to take a course, they will receive a greater understanding of the knowledge because they are happy to learn. Students become more engaged and vocal while still getting the education they need and deserve.
Jenna is a home school graduate! Married to an active duty soldier, their small family moves frequently. When not chasing her two small children around, she loves to read, swim, and go to the batting cages.
Linda Lacour Hobar
Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a genuine “people-person”, and a fan of comfortable high-heels. Through homeschooling her children, and service as a missionary, she discovered a deep love for world history where famous and infamous men and women have left their mark on time through the sovereignty of God. In the year 2000, Linda sensed a clear call to write The Mystery of History series for her children, grandchildren, and generations to come that they might know “the mystery of God . . . in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:3) In its 15th year of worldwide circulation, The Mystery of History has been well received by all ages. While fact-filled and historically accurate, Linda’s writing style remains warm, personable, and thought provoking. The “Chronological, Christian, Complete” program is user-friendly and includes activities for multiple ages, timeline work, mapping exercises, quizzes, literature recommendations, audio books, and much more to fully engage students of all learning styles. The Mystery of History series has been awarded “Best Homeschool History Resource”, Cathy Duffy’s “100 Top Picks”, Mary Pride’s “Practical Homeschooling Reader Award”, and The OldSchoolhouse “Excellence Award.” A native-born Texan, Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, where she first fell in love with world history. She presently resides in Tennessee where she continues to study, teach, write, and obsess over matters big and small.
// Email Mrs. Hobar
Mrs. Hunter earned her doctorate in Pharmacy from Purdue University in 2005. She received her Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2015. She has worked in both the hospital and retail Pharmacy settings in the past, and currently works from home as a Certified Health Coach. Amanda is passionate about nutrition and fitness, and the impact it has on disease prevention. She loves learning and teaching others about how God designed our bodies to work and nourishing our bodies and spirits. She also loves teaching Bible classes to all ages of children. Amanda believes her first role in life is to be a servant of our great God. She is thankful for her Godly husband of 13 years, Sean, who shares her convictions. She has homeschooled her 2 daughters (ages 7 and 9) since the beginning, and they live on 5 acres in Central Illinois. Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, running, gardening, hiking, and singing.
// Email Mrs. Hunter
Kelly has been teaching since 1996 when she started substitute teaching in the schools near her. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Secondary Education. Her major was History and her minor was in English. She later attended Saginaw Valley State University to change her minor to a major in English. She taught in the classroom setting for just over 10 years before resigning to stay home with her two children and soon learned the third was on her way. She has taught some fantastic specialty classes, such as Criminal Justice, the Holocaust, Geography, and World Cultures. She homeschooled her kids from the start.
When her son was in the second grade reading was a huge struggle and by that summer, Kelly knew he had dyslexia. She has since learned the oldest two children have the greatest degree of dyslexia and her third struggles with dysgraphia. Her youngest is five and she is hoping he has an easier time with learning. Yet, she is now a master in teaching her kids to read, spell, and memorize info in non-traditional ways. She and her kids have been a part of a co-op for five years where Kelly has taught geography, note-taking/study skills, science, and language arts classes. Kelly has also taken several classes the past 10 years to maintain a valid teaching certificate. She is active in her church and a leader of her church’s BeFriender Ministry, a listening ministry that serves as a pastoral care ministry group. Finally, in her free time she enjoys reading, their country life of peace and quiet, helping her husband in their garden, vacationing around the country, spending any quality time with her four children now 13, 10, 9 and 5 years old, and all working together to expand their growing farm of land and animals.
// Email Mrs. Knieper
The desire to be a teacher was birthed in Chris during his eighth grade year. After graduating high school he entered college with that desire still burning inside him. In 1996 he graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Science with an emphasis in Chemistry and Physics. He then went on to graduate from Concordia University, Portland with an M.A.T. in Secondary Education in 1998. His teaching experience spans both Middle School and High School, as well as a variety of subjects, including General Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics, Forensic Anatomy, Creation Apologetics and American Government. He was later called into full-time Christian ministry with Lutheran Brethren Youth Ministries, where he helped to lead teams of young adults as they worked in church-planting and outreach.His passion for teaching hadn’t left but had been refocused on ministry, missiology and church leadership. As with most teachers, Chris’ passion for teaching is coupled with a passion for learning. Hence, it was no surprise when in 2002 he enrolled in Seminary. While attending seminary he supported his family by teaching part-time at Hillcrest Academy, a nearby private Christian High School and by serving part-time as Associate Pastor to the Dalton Free Lutheran Parish. In 2005 he graduated from Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls, MN with an M.Div. and began serving Faith Fellowship in Kelso, WA where he continues to serve today. In addition to the church work, he spent from 2010 through 2016 teaching online for Landry Academy, offering four different courses and serving almost 2000 students. In addition to teaching, he served as Chair for the Science Department, providing more than 50 teachers with coaching and encouragement. Chris has been married for 25 years and has three grown sons. As a homeschooling dad he understand the benefits and challenges homeschool families face and is excited to be able to assist them as they educate their children and prepare them for college.
// Email Mr. Leingang
Mrs. Lopez and her family live in Rockwall, Texas (just outside of Dallas). Mrs.Lopez has been married to her husband for 13 years, and they have three sons. Mrs. Lopez went to college at Baylor University, and she holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology. She taught in public schools for 14 years, in a local homeschool co-op for five years, and at Landry Academy for three years. Mrs. Lopez has taught biology, pre-biology, algebra 1 and 2, pre-algebra, geometry, personal finance, and independent math studies. She has served in several mentor positions and has taught staff development and training for several school districts in the Dallas area.
// Email Mrs. Lopez
Stacy is the author of Wisconsin’s Flood Journey, and a home-educating mother of five children. She earned a BS in Geology from Michigan Technological University and a MS in Environmental Education from Concordia University Wisconsin. Stacy is currently enrolled at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the Theological Studies program. Stacy has presented at Creation Research Society and Society of Creation conferences, and is passionate about getting people outside to experience God in the wonder of His creation. In addition to her own children, she enjoys sharing this love with on-line students in science classes she teaches, including Chemistry, Geology, Ecology, and Environmental Studies.
// Email Mrs. Lung
Joanna grew up as a missionary kid in Colombia, South America, and learned Spanish so she could communicate and play with neighborhood kids! She earned a degree in Music Education from Malone University and loved opening a new world of expression to middle school band students, but found she loved her own children more. Since becoming a stay at home mom in 2000, Joanna has served the homeschool community with both the music and Spanish skills God has given her. She started a band for homeschoolers which grew from one beginner’s class to three full bands and many solo and ensemble groups over the course of a few years. As this took over her life she handed the program off to another homeschooling band mom and focused on schooling her own children as well as Spanish classes for both elementary and high school ages. Joanna lives with her husband Armando, who she “imported” from Colombia, in Dalton, OH. She has always homeschooled her four children, and her passion for a high quality, well-rounded education has increased each year. Currently they are working on grades 12, 10, 8 and 2.
// Email Mrs. Martinez
Marji McIlvaine (and her husband Rick) homeschooled all their six children from K-12, even though she was just going to “try it for one year” with her first five-year-old. The children are all graduated and several are college graduates (Summa Cum Laude), some are in college now, and some are in the work force, each one walking a God-directed pathway. She has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Florida, with graduate hours in linguistics and testing and assessment (ECU). She began her college career as a pre-veterinary major and garnered many college hours enjoying science. Growing up in south Florida, she went to SeaCamp in the FL Keys where her passion for marine science was ignited through snorkeling, scuba diving and the hands-on study of ocean life. She has been teaching other homeschooled students in a variety of subjects for almost her whole homeschooling life. Marji has studied seven languages (Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, and Arabic) and worked at UF as a bilingual secretary to a professor in the Animal Science department, thereby fusing her interests in science and language. She teaches Spanish 1-4, French 1-3, elementary Spanish classes, a unique language survey class, and middle school chemistry and marine science classes to homeschoolers of all ages in the mountains of western NC. She also teaches high school marine biology classes, Spanish, French, German, Forensics (speech), writing, and a broad spectrum of history classes to all ages as well. You might say that she is living proof that God will use whatever interest we give him to advance His purposes, and that nothing we give to him is in vain.Marji is an advisor to the Board for the Henderson County Homeschool Association, administers the Woodcock-Johnson IV test to area homeschoolers, and is honored to have been included as a workshop speaker at the NCHE Homeschool Conference for several years. One of her joys is helping her children and other students see the fingerprints of God in every discipline we study – science, foreign language, communication, and history, and helping them learn to use their God-given gifts and interests for His purposes in their lives. There is always more to learn and more to explore – every subject we study is an adventure into some facet of the world and of God!
// Email Mrs. McIlvaine
Emily Rudolph has a passion for teaching and desires to instill the love of learning into students of all ages. She has over sixteen years of experience working with students and has taught a variety of grades, ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to the college level. Emily has a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Ministries degree from Moody Bible Institute, a Masters of Education degree and Autism certificate from Regent University, and a Professional Educator’s Certificate from ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International). Emily has taught hundreds of students over the years, but her most precious pupils are the three daughters God has given her and her husband, Mike. Her oldest daughter, who was homeschooled all throughout her high school years, is nearing the completion of her college degree. Emily is currently homeschooling her eleven-year-old, while chasing around her active and adorable toddler. She is excited about teaching History Two this year, and can’t wait to meet all of her students. Emily’s theme verse for teaching comes from 3 John 4 which says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
Nikki Smith has an excitement for learning that is inspiring to all who are around her! Nikki believes that learning can and should be fun, interactive, and engaging. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Nikki is currently teaching undergraduate classes at her alma mater. In addition to teaching at the collegiate level, Nikki has homeschooled her two boys (ages 16 and 14) for over ten years and has taught in homeschool co-operatives throughout that time. She has also taught classes in an online educational environment for the last three years. Nikki, her husband, and her children have a passion for travel and adventure. She especially enjoys visiting her brother, who lives in San Francisco, and hiking through the Redwood Forests there. She loves to organize the family's travels around historical itineraries and educational adventures. Nikki hopes to one day swim with Blue Whales and see the Northern Lights!
// Email Mrs. Smith
Caryl majored in Professional Writing, minored in Speech Communications, and holds a BA in Communications. Her academic focus was on Stylistic Analysis and Literary Theory. Currently, she works for a publishing company called Bright Ideas Press (BIP) and teaches writing, ACT/SAT/PSAT Prep at their online school called The Academy. She has been an active part of six major home education associations throughout Georgia since 1998; in these organizations she enjoyed opportunities to teach, mentor, and spearhead various events and projects. Over a decade ago, she founded Almond Tree Education, LLC., an educational support service in North Georgia. When she isn’t teaching , she works as a publication consultant, freelance editor and writer for the local businesses in her area. Together with her husband, Jeremiah, they run their AirBNB and serve as Married Community Group leaders at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.
Sarah Westcott has a BA from Wellesley College in Political Science, but considers herself blessed to have had an eclectic career ranging from international high-tech consulting, corporate training, business network training and author, and for the last 10 years, running a private financial coaching practice as a Dave Ramsey trained financial counselor. Her most important role, however, is being Mom to four amazing teenage boys. In 2013, the launch of a family-owned business with non-traditional hours inspired her family to explore homeschooling and they have never looked back! Sarah has taught middle and high school level curriculum for her local homeschool co-op, including Civics, Personal Finance, and Economics, and enjoys the high that comes from helping students connect textbook concepts to real-world applications. She serves in her local church in Savannah, GA as a leader in the financial stewardship ministry and sings in the worship choir. She is also the chairman of the board of directors for the Savannah-Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She loves reading, gardening, knitting, hiking, boating, and jigsaw puzzles and is an avid Boston Red Sox fan! Sarah feels her calling is summed up in her personal mission statement "to educate, encourage and equip others in the principles that enable them to pursue their goals and passions!"
Join The Academy Family
The Academy at Bright Ideas Press is a virtual school, offering both live and self-paced classes for middle school and high school students, taught from a Christian perspective. With an array of course offerings and 30 plus teachers. The Academy is perfect for homeschoolers as part of their regular course load or for others who wish to supplement their learning with our vast array of course offerings.