2017 - 2018 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.
Andrea Criswell is a homeschooling mother who is passionate about integrating education with spiritual & character development. She homeschools because she wants to pass along to her own children, as well as, the extra children who have come through her home, a love for learning and a desire to make the Kingdom of God top priority. She has a Bachelors of Arts in General Studies with a focus on Biology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Arts in Missions and World Evangelism from Asbury Theological Seminary. Her husband of 22 years, Chris Criswell, is also a homeschool teacher and coach. They share life with their four children ranging in age from 16 to 10.
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.
Cheryl DePonte has been married to her husband, Michael, for 19 years and has two daughters, Katelyn and Savannah and a son, William. All of her children are internationally adopted and being homeschooled. She also loves her four rescued fur-babies. Born and raised in California, she admits to having moved to Texas as fast as she could and is very proud of her adopted state. She attends North Oaks Baptist Church, lives in Tomball, and loves the Lord with all her heart.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with honors from California State University, San Marcos, her Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology (emphasis in Organizational Management and Learning) with honors from Alliant International University, Scripps Ranch San Diego, and is in the dissertation phase of her Ph.D. in Human Resources Development at the University of Texas at Tyler. She has over 20 years of experience teaching, tutoring, and training students as young as 2 and as “old” as 72.
Her first “job” as a teacher started when she was in 3rd grade when she taught a new student from South America how to speak English. From there, her lifelong love of teaching has never stopped! She has taught and tutored students of all ages in several subjects including basics such as science, math, history, and English as well as, physiological psychology, biology, anthropology, sociology, oceanography, geology, expository (research) writing, statistics, business and leadership for K-12, speech, business math, accounting, statistics, and advanced AP statistics, computer graphics, fine art, and graphic design. Cheryl has also worked with children with both physical and emotional special needs.
Send registration and tuition checks, payable to Cheryl DePonte, to 9614 Dornoch Dr, Spring, TX 77379. Contact information: deblovesdp1 [at] gmail [dot] com.
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
Karen Garza is a 26-year home school veteran that is passionate about claiming science back for God. She has a vision of science being a tool to use to reveal the intricacies of God to students who in turn can use their knowledge to share the wonders and proofs of God that exist in our universe and are revealed through science. Ever since she can remember, she has enjoyed teaching others. Her own education path includes paramedic training and 60 hours in the honors program at U of H, which included biology and chemistry. Her life journey truly began in 1981 when she married Joey. In the fall of 1989, God instructed Karen to quit work and school and thus began her career as a full time mom. Two years later, she became a home school teacher. Her three girls that were her first and most important students are Penny, Jennifer, and Esther. In 2011, Karen graduated their last daughter after 20 years of home schooling. All of their daughters went on to college. Her ministry to further science awareness has also included joining her husband as the administrators for 20 years over the Texas Regional Science Fair, www.texasregionalsciencefair.com. This ministry was extended when based on a daughter’s need, Revelation Science Classes, www.revelationscience.com, was begun in 2005 to offer high school biology, chemistry, physics, human anatomy & physiology utilizing the Apologia curriculum. Teaching and instructing others has always been and continues to be a ministry and a privilege to Karen and she lives to be used by God to bring Him honor and glory.
Karen can be texted or called at 832.483.9643 (cell) or emailed at revelationscience [at] sbcglobal [dot] net. Please mail payments in Karen’s name to 7327 Root Road, Spring, TX 77389. Payments are due on the 1st of each month and to be received by the 10th. A late fee of $10 will be charged after the 10th of the month.
Payment options: 1) Write 10 post-dated checks to be cashed on the first of the month (July 2017-April 2018 with July & Jan. to include the lab fee); 2) Set up bank draft to arrive at the 1st of the month (Remember, include lab fee for July & Jan.); 3) Pay for entire year by semester (1st semester + lab fee dated July 1, and 2nd semester + lab fee dated Dec 1, 2017).
Laura Green Daughter of a well known Artist from Tennessee, Charles T. Cox (www.CHARLESTCOX.com), Mrs. Green received her formal degree in education from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she graduated with high honors. Having been surrounded by and steeped in art from a very young age, she developed a love for great art as well as for teaching it. She taught kindergarten and junior high school before homeschooling her own children, and has been teaching art to home school classes for eight years. Mrs. Green has worked with children ages 5 to 18 years old. For more information contact her via call or text at 281-507-9893 (preferred) or by
Lauren Brooks 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: laurenbrooksclasses [at] gmail [dot] com
Devin Gott received a Master’s Degree in English with a focus on Linguistics from Sam Houston State University. She has been a tutor at Sam Houston’s academic success center. During her studies she was a teacher’s assistant in Freshman English and World Literature classes. She has a passion for grammar and the mechanics of English. She was a Children’s Church teacher for over 4 years and loves sharing the Word with young minds and inspiring a love for learning. Devin was a graduate of H.I.S. classes in 2009, and has first-hand experience with the benefits of Christ-centered home education. Send checks to Devin Gott, 2451 Lake Rd #711, Huntsville, TX 77340. Contact: Devin Gott at: devin.a.gott [at] gmail [dot] com or 281-216-1668.
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 29214 Sedgefield St. Spring, TX. 77386 Contact Jack at jack_hghtwr [at] yahoo [dot] com.
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 sells paintings, takes commissions and teaches classes at various art events and conventions. 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 will learn in mediums such as 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 see her work, go to colorcatstudios101.etsy.com. You may find more on her life and work on her blog, www.colorcatstudios.blogspot.com. To contact Cindy for sales, commissions or classes, email her at crazymomma100 [at] yahoo [dot] com.
Teresa Johnson'slifelong 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 since 1984. 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. They have attended Congregation Bat Tzion, a Messianic community in The Woodlands, since 2009 and serve on the leadership board. Tim is chief musician on the worship team and Teresa organizes physical set-up, dinners and 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, designing geography 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 or phone/text 281-871-0397.
Kimberly King has been a home school mom, public school teacher’s assistant, and tutor for 14 years. She home schooled her daughter for 5 years, and her son for 2 before she and her husband of 20 years decided to put them into public school. At that time she went to work in the public school system, and spent 5 years working with the reading specialist, and helping children with learning obstacles obtain help. The family decided that home schooling was the best option for them, and started homeschooling both of the kids full time. Her daughter is a 2015 homeschool graduate, and her son will graduate in 2018.
Kimberly has taught Sunday school and Bible studies for ages 5-12 for 10 years. She was actively involved with the Jr. and Sr. high school ministry for 4 years. She served on the student council at her church, and was a board member at TUMC until she felt like the Lord called her into a new direction with her family. She has also taught Bible studies for Jr. and Sr. high, joined them on church retreats as a counselor and teacher. She has taught a purity class, and went on mission trips with the youth.
Helping kids discover how the English language fits together, and use strategies to remember content in a story is a passion she has. Every child has the ability, and she loves to help them find theirs.
Make checks payable to Kimberly King and mail to 19206 Paradise Summit, Tomball, Tx 77377. You may contact at 281-750-6509 or kimking0121 [at] icloud [dot] com.
Yvonne Kruse has a 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, a science teacher at a local co-op, and now at HIS classes. She has spent the past 19 years as a home school mom, with one son now at Texas A&M and continues to home school her youngest son. Contact Yvonne by phone or text at: 832-444-8256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Robin left her career to homeschool her children, a job she proudly completed in 2014. She now tutors privately, and teaches classes to homeschool students in The Woodlands, Tomball, and Rosehill. Before homeschooling, she worked as an educator and science 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 BA in Humanities - Communication from the University of Houston. After studying for a Behavioral Science MS while at NASA, she is currently taking classes to complete a Naturopathic Doctorate. She completed training 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 the prestigious NASA 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 multi-sensory 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. 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.
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.
Jolynn McQuary B.S. in Education, Masters of Education. Jolynn received her B.S. in Education with a specialization in Life-Earth Science from Texas StateUniversity in 1989. She has taught science for junior high in public schools and high school with a co-op over the past 20 years. After receiving her Masters of Education in 1996 from Sam Houston State University, she also served as an Assistant Principal in Tomball for two years before becoming a homeschool parent. She has been blessed to homeschool her three children, ages 21,18, and 17. In addition, Jolynn has led many adult and teen Bible studies through her church, Salem Lutheran, and a Maidens of Virtue group she began with her daughters. She has enjoyed coaching for the YMCA in several sports over the years, co-coordinating a P.E. co-op and teaching swimming lessons for 20+ years. Jolynn and her husband Austin, a Biology teacher and coach at Tomball High school, both avidly love science. They enjoy family camping trips and spending days on the family farm where they can witness God's handiwork first-hand. Jolynn feels teaching science is a ministry and enthusiastically shares her love of science with others and relates these concepts to our Master Designer. In addition, Jolynn strives to take difficult concepts and develop them into understandable ways in which students may better master them. Contact Mrs. McQuary at mcquary5 [at]att [dot] net.
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 11.
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 11 years, and is a live simultaneous Spanish translator at her church. She and her husband, Charles, both spoke different languages when they got married, so she understands how important learning a new language can be. They began their homeschool journey in 2001. It is Mrs. Woelfel's desire to see her students learn Spanish with enthusiasm and purpose, intentionally seeking out opportunities to use the language. Email Mrs. Woelfel at 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 computerexplorers.com/houston or contact: Lorri at 281-256-4256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CE’s Jr High and High School teacher, Dawn Romaguera has been married to husband Mike for 33 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 10 years. 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