2016 - 2017 Teachers
Dianna de Valle
John A. Garrett
Chris Criswell is a husband of 21 years to his wife Andrea and father of 4. He has his B.S. from Texas Tech in family studies and M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary. His professional career has included the following: 14 years as missionary, pastor, and church planter; 10 years in Residential and Oil and Construction Sales and Marketing; 1 year in teaching/coaching football and basketball and running a construction business. Chris has been a volunteer football coach for 8 years—long enough that a lot of people know him as Coach Criswell.
The Criswell family has been homeschooled from the beginning. Chris and Andrea have 4 children ages 9-14. Their philosophy in homeschooling is that their most important assignment as parents is to disciple their children to follow Christ in all things. Their education is just part of the overall picture of character training and preparing to live a life to glorify God. The second goal for them in education was to teach their kids to love learning and become self-taught learners. Their children’s interests guide many of the elective events and they have loved seeing them excel in the interests God put in their hearts. There are definite requirements in education they have to attain to, but not all have all the same requirements based on how they are “bent”.
As for church, the Criswell family has attended Methodist churches, Baptist Churches, Charismatic Churches, Bible Churches, etc. They are a bible believing family, and that value supersedes any name on the sign out front. In 2009, they started a home church that has grown to about 15 families. The church meets in homes, eat breakfast, worship, and have an exegetical study of God’s Word. Everyone is encouraged to bring their gifts to live as the body of Christ together. They love it and their kids love it.
Dianna de Valle’s greatest joy is leading, guiding and encouraging young minds through the life-long journey of learning. She has a passion to teach and to see the light in a child’s eyes when they truly grasp a new concept. Born in Arkansas, she began her undergraduate work at the University of Arkansas as a pre-med major. She married in 1992 and soon after moved to Houston where she attended Houston Baptist University from 1993 to 1997. The birth of her three children led her to a new chapter of life, which included an eventual leap into the wonderful world of homeschooling. For the past 13 years she has been dedicated and devoted to infusing her children with a love of learning, as well as discipling them to live a life that reflects the character of Christ, seeks His will, and shines the light of His love. Her philosophy of education involves a patient approach marked by encouragement and perseverance with the ultimate goal being excellence in education and character. She has attended New Life Church since 1994 where she has taught all ages in children’s church from 1998 to present. During that time period, she has also been a small group leader teaching Bible studies on marriage and parenting, as well as Foundations and LifeBasics Bible classes. She is also a member of the prayer team and the Director of Women’s Ministries. You may contact Dianna at devalleo (at) aol (dot) com or 281-798-7715. Registration information and payments may be sent to 22090 Bryantwood Ct. Hockley, TX 77447.
John A. Garrett earned his undergraduate degree in speech, theatre, and English from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS, and a graduate degree in English education from Auburn University in Alabama. A veteran teacher, Mr. Garrett retired in 2005 from teaching public school at Westfield High School in Spring ISD. He has taught all levels of English, below-level to advanced placement (AP), in grades eight through twelve, college-level concurrent credit courses at Westfield articulated with Lone Star College, North Harris Campus, and college speech communication and English as an adjunct instructor at Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College and with his alma mater, William Carey University. In addition to English, he taught speech and theatre courses at both the middle school and high school levels before being promoted to K-12 Language Arts Coordinator for the Pascagoula (MS) Municipal School District, a position he held for eight years. Trained as a writing instructor with the New Jersey Writing Project in Texas, Mr. Garrett taught an AP Rhetoric and Composition course designed to hone the writing skills of gifted and talented students for eight years before his retirement in December 2005. In 1991 Mr. Garrett was selected as the Westfield High School Teacher of the Year, Spring ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year, and Spring ISD K-12 Teacher of the Year, and was nominated for the Texas Region IV Teacher of the Year. He was named to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” for three consecutive years, an honor he cherishes because each time he was nominated by former students who, themselves, had been chosen as a Who’s Who Among America’s High School Students honoree. He was also recognized in 2005 as a Spring ISD “Distinguished Educator,” an honor bestowed upon him by a former student who, as a graduate in the top 5% of his class, selected Mr. Garrett as the teacher who had the most influence on him during his K-12 educational experience. Teaching writing is Mr. Garrett’s passion. His students have won numerous writing awards over the years, notably gold and silver keys in the Houston-area and National Scholastic Writing Competition. In fact, two of his students at HIS Classes won gold awards in this most prestigious competition in 2006. Address: 26384 North Reids Prairie Road, Waller, TX 77484; Email: GarrettEdServices [at] gmail [dot] com; Home Phone: (281) 352-0674.
Susan Garrett received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from Delta State University. She taught public school music to grades 1-6 for four years. She then earned her Masters of Education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi with a major in special education/learning disabilities; she taught in that field for ten years and served as district special education teacher consultant for two years. Susan loves to teach! The joy of watching students become excited about information that they might previously have found uninteresting is exhilarating to her. Since resigning from public school teaching, she has homeschooled her own children and helped others with their homeschooling. In addition to forming children and youth church choirs, she has taught music classes at homeschool co-ops for eight years and taught private piano and voice lessons. She has taught classes and privately tutored students who were experiencing academic problems in reading, spelling, and math, particularly those students with learning disabilities or dyslexia. She loves to use her World Geography class to not only help students be geographically literate but to be sure they see how wonderful God’s world is and to awake in them a love for all of God’s people. Registration and payments should be mailed to Susan Garrett, 26384 N. Reids Prairie Road, Waller, TX 77484.. Contact: noteablelessons2 [at] gmail [dot] com (281) 844-1667
Lauren Green studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and has published freelance writing for World Magazine’s college website, worldoncampus.org, as well as sportsmediareport.com. She graduated with a Certificate of Accounting from Lone Star College. Lauren loves to teach, and wants to help kids enjoy learning as much as she always has. Lauren designed and taught the dance program for the Donelson YMCA of Middle Tennessee and taught gymnastics for Thompson Tumblers. She has also been a substitute teacher for art classes at H.I.S. as well as for Excelsior School of Dance and Performing Arts. Lauren studied under Becky Celsor, the creator of The Write Foundation Curriculum, which is utilized in all of Lauren’s classes.Contact information: Phone: 281-507-2403 Email: lgreen541 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Jack Hightower – teacher, principal, and administrator for 25+ years in private Christian schools in the North Houston area. He has majored in teaching in the Language Arts area, concentrating on Rhetoric, Compositions, Essays, and American and British literature on the 7-12 grade levels. He has also written curriculum, taught same to his students in Language Arts, Social Studies, and the Bible on the 7-12 grade levels. He is experienced in teaching Latin I and II, with an Introduction to Greek on the 7-12 grade levels. Jack, while administrator of Sweetwater Christian School of North Houston, developed and implemented one of first “Umbrella” programs for home-schooled students to be able to take academic courses and participate in competition sports on the Sweetwater campus. He has attended several Summer Institutes at Rice and the University of Houston for the purpose of becoming more proficient in the teaching of A.P. Composition and Literature. He contributed to the framework of accreditation standards adopted by the I.C.A.A. (International Christian Accreditation Association) division of O.R.U.E.F. (Oral Roberts University Educational Fellowship) located in Tulsa, OK. He has been happily married to his wife, Barbara for 52 years. Jack and Barbara are members of Northwood Church Spring. Send registration and tuition checks, payable to Jack Hightower at P.O. Box 928 Spring, TX. 77383-0928 Contact Jack at jack_hghtwr [at] yahoo [dot] com.
Laurie Holleway attended Sam Houston State University, where she met her husband, Trey, to whom she has been married for 22 years. Laurie has been blessed to homeschool for all 16 yrs. of her children's education. They have a son, George, who graduated high school in May of 2012, and has now graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a communications degree and will be attending seminary. They also have a daughter, Maggie, who graduated from high school in the spring of 2015, and is attending LSCC pursuing her PTA. In addition to homeschooling, Laurie has been an active member of Salem Lutheran Church for 20+ years, where she has been involved with women's, high school, children's, and family ministries, leading and teaching Bible studies and classes, and serving as an event coordinator and speaker. For the past 12+ years, Laurie has been blessed to have taught Apologia sciences in classroom settings to over 140 homeschooled students. God has worked through these experiences to create in her an intense passion for exploring and teaching students about the wonders of His creation. She is also passionate about showing her students Christ's love, encouraging and teaching them how to be independent learners, and to become responsible managers of their time and education. Laurie sticks to a syllabus with structured rhythm that is easy for students to follow, with clearly defined homework objectives. Her teaching style in the classroom is creative, interactive, discussion oriented, and hands on whenever possible. Laurie truly enjoys working with high school students, watching them grow in their knowledge and understanding of all God's creation through the sciences. Contact Laurie Holleway at 281-960-2033 or laurie [dot] holleway [at] gmail [dot] com. Registration information and payments should be sent to 23230 Roberts Cemetery Rd. Hockley, TX 77447.
Cindy Johnson is an award winning artist who has produced artwork for many organizations, illustrated books and designed sets for theater. As a professional artist, she takes commissions and sells paintings, and teaches classes at The Woodlands Art League Gallery and at art conventions and events. You may find her paintings hanging in the DaVinci Artists Gallery in Tomball. One of her passions is sharing her love of art with kids of any age, and she especially enjoys teaching art classes and giving private lessons. Cindy’s artistic interest ranges widely and she is comfortable in many mediums. Students in will learn pencil, technical pen, charcoal, pastels, metal embossing, watercolors, crayon, watercolor pencils, collage, different printing methods, sculpture and oil sticks among other things, depending on age level and class taken. Intensely curious and with a keen interest in art history, she will draw students into conversations about art through the ages, from Early Christian works right up to modern times. They will quickly become comfortable and confident judges of art, learning how to make their own decisions and not be swayed by what they are exposed to in every area of the art world. Cindy is widely traveled and has learned in the great museums of the world. These experiences are shared with students, making art come alive. Her desire is that people will find beauty and hope in her paintings and in her life. To find more on her life and work, go to her blog, www.colorcatstudios.blogspot.com. To contact her for sales, commissions or classes, email her at email@example.com
Teresa Johnson's lifelong passions are history, geography, art, literature and nature. She studied art and history in college and then worked for ten years in the printing industry where she became skilled in typographic design and computer typesetting. Born in Chicago, she lived in Arizona and Oregon before settling in Houston in 1980. She and her husband, Tim, have been married for 31 years. Teresa received her second education through the 20+ years homeschooling their three daughters from the beginning. The girls are now in their college and career years. Tim and Teresa have consistently served in every church they have been a part of over the years and don’t believe in just showing up. They have attended their congregation in The Woodlands for 6 years and serve as elders – Tim on the worship team and Teresa in various helps including organizing special events. Since 1993, Teresa has been active in local homeschool support groups, co-leading ICARE in Spring for three years. She has been a member of North Houston Charlotte Mason since 2001 and has been a guest speaker on the Charlotte Mason method at homeschool meetings and conferences. Since 2005, she has been teaching art, history, and geography classes. This has led her to HIS Classes and other teaching organizations. She believes in teaching by a non-textbook approach and has developed her own courses based on experience with tried and tested living books and other well-recommended materials. She has organized special events and groups for homeschoolers such as summer camps, art parties, history days, a nature study group and a geography/history games group. Her favorite activities are Bible study and church events, listening to music, visiting art museums, nature walks, gardening, board games, reading good books and perusing old maps and genealogies. One of her greatest goals is to help young minds come alive to our Heavenly Father as Lord over all time, Creator of our wonderful world, and the source of all wisdom, beauty, and great artistry. Send registrations and checks payable to Teresa Johnson at 22915 Robin's Nest Lane, Spring, TX 77389. Contact Teresa at ascribe2tl (at) sbcglobal (dot) net – Home Phone 281-528-7568, Cell 281-871-0397.
Yvonne Kruse earned her Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management, Training and Development and a B.S. in Physical Education, with a minor in Government, as well as an All-Level Texas Teaching Certificate. Growing up overseas in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, she learned French as a second language at an early age. Upon graduation from high school in Athens, Greece, she returned to the United States to attend Angelo State University in Texas, where she CLEP'd French for her foreign language requirement. Through the college ROTC program she earned an Air Force scholarship and graduated, becoming an Air Force officer and eventually traveling to the Far East. After 11 years in the Air Force, Yvonne returned to Houston and entered the corporate world as a Human Resources Manager. She met her husband at Houston Northwest Baptist Church and once married, she left the corporate world to raise a family. However, Yvonne has remained in the teaching profession by being a professor at Tomball College and then becoming a part-time teacher at the School of Environmental Education in Plantersville and now at HIS classes. Additionally, she spent the past 17 years as a mom and continues to home school her two sons. Contact Yvonne by phone or text at: 832-444-8256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeannie Laney was a paraprofessional at Tomball High School in the 80's where she worked with Special Education and Resource classes for 4 years. She has been an educator in a private Christian School for over 20 years. She has taught Kindergarten and First Graders for most of that time. She has also taught Drama, Chapel, Swimming, Lifeguarding, CPR and First Aid classes for many years. She is currently the Children's Minister at New Life Community Church in Pinehurst. She is married to husband Craig and has two children. She has a son, Joshua, thirty-five and a daughter, Kendall, eighteen years old. Jeannie retired from teaching to home school her daughter and discovered HIS classes where she has been a Monitor for the past four years. She continues to teach Drama and Chapel and loves working with children of all ages. She believes students can do and become anything if given the right tools and encouragement. Jeannie is VERY excited to be teaching Speech this year. Contact Jeannie at texaslaneys [at] netscape [dot] net or 832-731-6835.
Cinde Matocha graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1984 with a BS in Home Economics. She sold fine art in Austin, TX. where she met and married her husband Gary. She studied art under Lee Hammond in Kansas City. Mrs. Hammond is best known for her Northlight art book series as well as being the official NASCAR artist. Cinde has taught art classes for homeschooled students ranging from K-12, summer classes and camps. She has taught in Classical Christian Schools for the last 9 years. She believes that her purpose in teaching art is not only to guide students in their God given ability to create but to seek out truth, goodness, and beauty. She served as leader of the Harvest Christian Home School group for two years. She and her husband began homeschooling their two children in 2000. Daniel is a graduate Texas A&M where he went through the Corps of Cadets. He is now a 2nd Lt. in the Army and stationed at Ft. Hood. Laina is in school at Lone Star and very involved in LOVE 146 which is a group dedicated to the abolition of human trafficking in Houston. The family now attends church at Creeks End. Contact for Cinde is 713 703 1254 or cmatocha [at] sbcglobal [dot] net. 6506 Glenhill Spring,TX. 77389.
Marilyn Mathis teacher, administrator, and tutor, has over 20 years experience in public and private Christian schools in Alaska and the Houston area. She majored in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Math and History. She founded her own home school which taught levels 3-8, and has worked in the home school arena for over seven years. While in the private Christian schools, she created and instigated a summer tutoring program and served as elementary/middle school department head. Her tutoring program mentored students in math, language, reading and spelling/vocabulary skills. She has taught all subjects in levels 3-8 and math in levels 3-12. While teaching in private schools, Marilyn was a seminar instructor at A.C.S.I., a standard’s assessor for member school of I.C.A.A., and created a Junior High National Honor Society. She also spent an additional year in the public school as a substitute teacher and TASP chairman’s associate. Marilyn and her husband, Mike, attend Lone Star Cowboy Church. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two beautiful granddaughters. She has a passion for math and loves to see the “light” go on as students comprehend concepts and achieve higher cognitive thinking! Send registration and tuition checks, payable to Marilyn Mathis, to: Debbie Gott, 9614 Dornoch Dr., Spring, Tx. 77379. Contact Marilyn at email@example.com or (281) 731-9808.
Robin McDonald is married to Guy, a former Navy submariner, who decided to settle in Texas with his wife, a sixth-generation Texan, after years of moving around the country. They have three adult children, son-in-law, daughter-in-love, and four young grandchildren. They currently live on a small farm near Magnolia. Robin is passionately in love with Jesus, and through her love of teaching, she prays that her students will grow to know Him and live completely sold out to His grace. Robin left her career to homeschool her children, a job she proudly completed in 2014. She now teaches private classes, and serves as board chair for Christian Youth Theater, a non-profit educational theater company. Before homeschooling, she worked as an educator/writer for NASA-JSC, Microsoft, and La Porte ISD. Previously, she worked as a journalist in both print and broadcast media, covering police, fire, education, and science news. She holds a Communications BA, with science minors, from the University of Houston, She completed graduate studies for a Behavioral Science MS, and is currently working on a Naturopathic Doctorate. She is certified through the US Air Force Academy’s Basic Instructor Training, Center for Accelerated Learning, JASON Project, BEST Robotics, and Texas A&M’s 4H Veterinary Science Project. She is the recipient of NASA's Manned Spaceflight Award, and is an Aerospace Education Member of Civil Air Patrol. She uses the mastery approach, focusing on collaborative learning, problem solving, and creativity. Implementing multisensory methods to reach multiple learning styles, Robin hopes to instill a love of learning in her students, while helping them create a future filled with integrity and intelligence. Contact Robin at 281-732-7063 or cosmic.education (at) att (dot) net. Make checks payable to Robin McDonald and mail to Debbie Gott, 9614 Dornoch Dr, Spring, TX 77379.
Jessica McMullen was born in Baytown, TX and raised in nearby Huffman. She is married to the love of her life, Derrick McMullen and they have 4 children - a 21 year old daughter who lives in San Antonio, a 17 year old son in Bible College, a 9 year old daughter who Jessica is currently homeschooling and a 2 year old son who keeps them laughing with all his antics. The McMullen family attended Macedonia United Methodist Church for several years where Jessica taught all levels of Sunday school classes and was the youth and children’s director for 2+ years. Three years ago they moved to Rosehill United Methodist church where Jessica fills the need as their 1st and 2nd grade Sunday school teacher and one of the adults in charge of the Youth Group there. She is also one of 3 Community Leader for Girl Scouts for the Cypress, Waller, and Hempstead area. Jessica began her homeschooling journey with her older son 10 years ago and has served the homeschooling community at HIS Classes since last January as a substitute monitor and teacher substitute. She has served as both this year as well. Jessica loves science and is excited to spend time in the classroom helping our young students build a love for science through lots of hands-on projects and experiments. Contact Jessica McMullen at jessicamcmullen4501 [at] yahoo [dot] com or 713-870-9804.
Kristen Ring is a mother of four and has been home educating for the past 16 years. Her passion is meeting and teaching each child to their individual needs and leading them to Godly character. Teaching math at all levels has always been her favorite experience, as it combines truth, logic, and life skills that will prove beneficial in many aspects of their future. She and her family are members of Life Cypress Church (a church plant), and were members of Terra Verde Community Church for 8 years. Kristen is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and is excited to bring her teaching and life skills to H.I.S. Classes assisting other families in their educational journey. Contact: kristenring12 [at] yahoo [dot] com or 832-785-9874.
Marliese’ Stripling graduated from Texas A&M University with a double major in Animal Science and Education with a minor in Reading. She then attended Sam Houston State University for her Masters in Curriculum & Instruction with a Reading emphasis. Marliese’ taught 5th and 6th grade Special Education Language Arts in Conroe ISD and was the Dyslexia Specialist on her campus. While there, she was trained in the Basic Language Skills Neuhaus program. When one of her own children were diagnosed with dyslexia, Marliese’ resigned from public school teaching and has been homeschooling her children for five years. As a child, Marliese’ had dyslexia, struggled in school and was told by many teachers that she would not be successful in college. After graduating from A&M with honors, her passion has been helping children become internally motivated, lifelong learners who find ways to use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses. Marliese’ and her husband, Jim, attend West Conroe Baptist Church, own a plumbing and air-conditioning company and have 3 children still at home: Clayton – age 20, who will be a Junior at A&M this Fall, Dalton – age 13 and Emily – age 11sa
Maricruz Woelfel is a native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Mexico. She has a BS in Computer Science, has taught Spanish classes at several coops for the past 10 years and is a Spanish translator at her church, Lakewood Church. She and her husband, Charles, married when they could barely communicate with each other in the same language. They have four children and have homeschooled them since 2001. Mrs. Woelfel has experienced first-hand the importance and benefits of knowing a second language, and it is her desire to see her students learn Spanish with enthusiasm and purpose, intentionally looking for opportunities to use it. Mrs. Woelfel can be reached at (h) 281-259-6777 / (c) 713-412-4139 or maricruz [dot] woelfel [at] gmail [dot] com.
COMPUTER EXPLORERS is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in computer and technology education. For more details go to Computer Explorers or contact: Renee Young at 281/256-4291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CE’s Jr High and High School teacher, Dawn Romaguera has been married to husband Mike for 29 years and they have 5 children. She has a B.S. in Accounting from LSU and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from UNO. Her experience ranges from teaching at a Vocational-Technical School for the State of Louisiana to the position of Associate Professor at Nunez Community College. She also received the NISOD Excellent in Teaching Award as well as being named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for two years. Mrs. Romaguera has been teaching with CE for 5 years and is fondly known as ‘Mrs. R’ by her students. Having taught using several different college computer textbooks, she considers that the curriculum written for the CE program is concise and relevant. The course offerings are varied, which keeps the classes fun for her as well as the students year after year. Whether a child is a novice or an experienced computer user, each class starts at a beginning level, but quickly moves to more challenging topics. She enjoys teaching this age group, and giving the students relevant tools they can use for their other studies and real-life situations. Contact Dawn at dawn (at) famlink (dot) net.
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