Teachers

(Listed alphabetically by first name.)

Alex Flores
princealifreez@gmail.com
Alex Flores
Alex Flores discovered his passion for hip hop dance and digital video in high school. Since then he has pursued a career in teaching local youth in hip hop culture and digital media in order to uplift his community. Alex has been dancing for 10 years and has been working with youth for two. He is looking forward to pursuing his journey of helping youth and providing a positive outlet through art.


Angie Schertle
aschertle@yahoo.com

Angie Schertle has been teaching in various settings for over 20 years. After earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering, an M.Ed. in Teaching, and a teaching credential in Physics, she started as a math/science/ESL teacher in public schools. She left that for the wonderful experience of homeschooling her own two children for 12 years. She currently tutors reading, math and writing, often to students with dyslexia and other learning differences. Her favorite thing is to help struggling and discouraged learners see how gifted and special they really are.


Ann Lee Wolfe
annleewolfe@gmail.com

Ann

Music has been part of my life since age 7, when my mom bought a piano with grocery money and started teaching me. I followed that with violin starting in 4th grade, and played in orchestras, jazz bands, and small groups, and started teaching piano lessons at 15. I got the singing bug while in youth choir at church, started singing in choirs in high school, and decided (after an interesting year of “pre-med” at UCDavis) to pursue my passion to teach choral music. I quickly transferred to San Jose State University, where I sang with the Concert Choir and Choraliers, completed my BA in Music and earned my CA teaching credential. I had a 2 1/2 year public school teaching career at Hayward Unified School District, teaching elementary, middle school, and high school choral music until having my baby, Jordan, and deciding to stay home. I have continued through the years to teach piano (and love it!) and have in the last few years started teaching vocal and ensemble music for homeschoolers. I have homeschooled all my children’s lives, and am thankful for the people they are becoming.


Ashley Hinson
austinfamilyA California native, Ashley has performed in regional theaters throughout the state, including leads roles in Tartuffe, Othello, The Miracle Worker, The Psychic Life of Savages, and Spring Awakening.
She has appeared in several independent film productions, including Rise: Blood Hunter (with Lucy Liu) and Bam Bam and Celeste (with Margaret Cho), among others.  Television credits include Medium, Passions, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, along with various industrial and hosting appearances.
In addition to acting, Ashley has directed several plays, and has written and produced two short films and one feature. Her studies include a Theatre Arts BA (acting emphasis), University of California, Los Angeles as well as specialized training in acting and voice.

Ashley King

Hey, y’all! My name is Ashley King and I am so excited to begin my first year of teaching here at A TEAM Homeschool Community! I am a homeschooling mother of a teenage daughter, and homeschooling has taught me so many important lessons and has enabled me to allow my child the space she needs to discover who she is as person and to provide her with unique experiences and challenges that she could never have otherwise encountered! I am so excited to bring this sense of adventure and wonder into the classroom and bring history and literature alive for my students! From studying Spanish at Austin Community College to literature at Arizona State University, I have a unique perspective that I bring into the classroom. I can’t wait to get to know your child and help bring new life in to books and writing! Here’s to the new year and new adventures together!


unnamed-3Music TK/K, 1st-2nd grades

Becky teaches Flute, Recorder, Beginning Drums, and Beginning Piano, and also works with children with special needs.  She teaches group classes at several locations, including The Music Place and Bright Star Preschool.  She has been working with children of all ages and abilities for over 20 years. She believes that all children are a gift from God and that everyone is able to learn music in their own special way.  As teacher, she works hard with her students and their parents to find the best (and the most fun) way to help them learn. In the past she has been trained in Orff Schulwerk and Music Together styles of teaching and earned her B.A. in Diversified Liberal Arts with an Early Childhood Development emphasis. She has taught preschool, Sunday school, studied flute privately and played in both bands and orchestras. In addition, she and her husband have two amazing girls, and her experience as a mother for many years has given her unique perspective on teaching.  Becky is constantly looking for new ways to teach musical concepts and creative ways to enrich the learning experience.  She believes every child that comes through her classrooms helps her grow and is a treasure to teach.


Ben Austen

austinfamily

Originally from Georgia, Ben honed his acting craft at Savannah College of Art and Design. He has performed
on stage at the Rose of Athens Theatre, the Springer Opera House (the state theater of Georgia), Theater in the Square, and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, among others.
Ben has worked as an actor in films, print ads, commercials and voice over in Georgia, Florida, and California.  In addition to acting, he has directed several projects, most notably winning the Grand Jury Prizes for Best Film and Best Director in the Sherry Theatre’s 120 Hour Film Festival.
Ben has been teaching theatre, martial arts, and mischief making (by example only) since age 14.

Beth Hankoff
b11ankoff@gmail.com

Beth grew up in Southern California, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Composition at California Institute of the Arts.  After working as a teacher’s aide in her last year of college, she decided to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher, and received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 1994.  Since that time, she has taught in public, private, and charter schools, while also raising two boys on the autism spectrum, homeschooling them on and off.  This summer she is completing her Handwriting Specialist Certification through Handwriting Without Tears.  She is a practitioner of Jane Nelsen’s Positive Discipline strategies, and believes strongly that children should make choices and have ownership of their own learning.


Christopher Treder
ctreder014@hotmail.com

christopher-treder-picture

I think everyone is unique and therefore special.  Some of my uniqueness is that I am a “Jack of all trades” who learns pretty quickly and thinks a lot.  I have a variety of progressing interests, most of which are related to health, games, teaching, creating, ideas and adventuring.  I like to explore and learn, then use my understanding to make things better.      

I was born and raised in Michigan.  Teaching runs in my family – my parents, sister, and one brother are teachers like me.  After receiving an education degree in 2008, I moved to California to begin a teaching career.  My experience includes being an elementary principal for 3 years in North Hollywood, while teaching a multi-grade classroom (3rd-8th grade).  Most recently, I taught for 5 years in San Jose as a 5th grade teacher, departmentalized music teacher and school music coordinator.  Currently, I teach piano and tutor, and enjoy the freedom and variety it brings.  

As a teacher, I try to help students learn to utilize their individual strengths.  I try to create a thoughtful environment that is safe and genuine.  I do this, so that students can be themselves, and be creative and helpful to one another as they learn.  

My family is important to me.  I am the second youngest of 6 children –  Mandy, Nate, Jon, Tim, me, and Ben.  My wife’s name is Stephanie and she’s a teacher too.  We enjoy watching shows together, cooking, playing tennis, hiking and camping.  We’ve explored parts of California together, and a few years ago took a road trip up the coast to Oregon.  

One of my grandest accomplishments was appearing on “Wheel of Fortune” in 2011.  I made it to the bonus round, where I did not win $100,000, as I could not solve the puzzle “Gorgeous bouquet.”  Yet, I did win a trip to Costa Rica and some cash.  I have also aspired to be a contestant on the show “Survivor.”


Dema Hinson
dema@demahinson.com

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Dema earned herBFA (Bachelors, Fine Arts) in Studio Practice from San Jose State University and is currently teaching a variety of art and related classes. Dema has been a designer and accomplished seamstress for more than 30 years. And she is a pioneer homeschooling mother of four.

While instructing her students in the various techniques required by distinct materials, Dema encourages her students to discover their creative talents through methods of research and development as they learn to skillfully handle the various materials provided them. Dema is patient, relaxed and positive when interacting with both colleagues and students.


Faith Tio
Faithhopelove3harmony@yahoo.com
Faith Tio pic

Hello Fellow Homeschoolers!  My name is Faith Tio, and I am delighted to be a part of A T.E.A.M.  I grew up in San Jose, received a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA, and earned my Multiple Subject CLAD CA Teaching Credential from San Jose State.  Before having my own children, I taught preschool for one year, 4th grade for four years in a large San Jose public school, as well as one year in a small mixed age class in a small private school.  I’ve subbed in private and public schools K-12.  I have always homeschooled my three children—about six years now.  I also coach in a homeschool sports co-op, organize field trips, and am active in the children’s ministry at my church.  I enjoy connecting personally with my students and providing hands-on, real-life activities to help them develop their strengths and challenge their weaknesses.  My goal is to create a balanced learning environment that provides some guided structure and encourages creativity.  My favorite activities are to sing, play piano, travel, be in nature, play sports, learn new things, make new friends, and explore with my kids!


Larry Luna
moonbase02@hotmail.com


Larry Luna pic
Larry Luna is a local freelance illustrator and art instructor. Over the past eighteen years he has worked on comic books, children’s books, magazines, concert posters, movies, album covers and more. A few years back Larry began private art instruction with children, adults and the autistic community.

Larry Luna Art pic
Larry Luna Art

Luciana Farlas Feeney

Luciana Farias Feeney was born in Argentina and has been dancing and performing on stage since the age of 3.She got her High School diploma and Ballet Teacher degree at the age of 16 and then went to College to become an English teacher in Argentina, teaching students from the age of 3 to 70. Because of her travelling, she has vast experience in teaching Spanish in the USA for different Spanish Immersion programs since a young age. This is her third year teaching at “Let’s Play in Spanish” for their “Mommy & Me”, “In Your School”, “Summer Camp” and Preschool programs. Her patience and infinite love for children is easily recognized by the children and their parents who really enjoy her classes.


Marisa Bean
beanhappyhomeschool@gmail.com

1406337510

Marisa facilitates and mentors students through the art of questioning and experiential teaching techniques, while always striving to meet the child where they are academically and developmentally. Sharing her own expertise and passions in natural history subjects has been a core educational component, as Marisa continues to home school her own children.

Education and Experience:

  • Certification with the California Naturalist Program, UCSC
  • Riekes Center for Human Enhancement Nature Awareness Teacher
  • California Academy of Sciences, Teacher Professional development
  • CPR Certified
  • 3 years introducing young naturalists to their natural world
  • Home school mom and community instructor with a lifetime commitment to the       appreciation of nature
  • BS Psychology with Child Development Minor, SJSU

Marisa does classes what classes she can at A TEAM but some of her nature programs need to be in the great outdoors. Visit her website at BeanInNature.com for information about those programs.


Mira Betlej
mira_puppets@hotmail.com

Mira Betlej ATEAM 1

I was born in Poland, where I graduated from a Teacher College and completed two years of Drama School with a major in puppetry. Because my mother was a teacher and organized summer camps every summer, she would also involve me in the running of art and drama programs for little people there.

In 1987 I took a vacation in Greece that took an unexpected turn and after one year of learning Greek culture and language I emigrated to Canada. There, in Toronto, Ontario, I was privileged to work with children in many different setups, such as libraries, public and private schools and hospital events, giving unique drama workshops and directing shows “for children, with children.” I focused mostly on working with a variety of puppets, but I also incorporated other elements, especially masks and pantomime, in my presentations. Through my artwork I had the privilege to work with children with special needs and witness how shy children can gain confidence when given a chance to express themselves.

During this time I also studied holography, photography, sound, and film at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and graduated with honors after four years in their Mixed Media program.

I have lived in California since 1999 and I homeschooled both my children. My older boy is now a sophomore at Bellarmine, and I continue to homeschool my daughter.


Pam Stewart
pmstewart71@gmail.com

pam stewart

I’m another California native who grew up in the Bay Area and went to local schools.  I’ve had a life long sense of curiosity about how the world works, and a very patient mother who let me watch butterflies and moths emerge in jars at the kitchen table.  I’ve been called geeky in the nicest way, and have spent over 10 years teaching science in public schools.  My B.S. is in Biology from Santa Clara University, my teaching credential is from San Jose State University and most of my teaching techniques were practiced and honed in San Jose schools.  I’m starting this year at A TEAM with middle school science and High School Biology.  I’m looking forward to a great year!


Rachel Chioreanu
Chioreanu21@gmail.com

Rachel earned her bachelors degree in Social Studies and Elementary Education, K-8th grades. She taught 7th graders in Detroit for several years, and loves to teach about different cultures and the history behind them. She homeschools her two young boys.

Scott Gentile
sgentileus@hotmail.com

050-e1433915378451.jpgScott comes to A TEAM after a lengthy career as an outdoor educator/Naturalist with the Web of Life Field School, based in Santa Cruz County.  Over the summers, Scott has taught many a science lesson to children at the Renaissance Camp, an art and science camp based in Aptos, through Santa Cruz County Parks.  After working primarily at Web of Life for 14 years, Scott worked at Kidizens in Los Altos for the past school year, guiding classes on civics through the use of LEGO, and has also been working one day a week at India Education Methods in Sunnyvale, assisting and sometimes leading math classes for children of many ages.

Scott possesses a BA degree in English, with a Secondary Education minor, and also a BS in Biology, with a Theatre minor.  It is also said that Scott has an honorary degree in making children laugh!

Scott is a huge baseball (Red Sox) fan, and manages and plays on his own adult baseball team–the San Jose Mariners; he also enjoys listening to music, enjoying the outdoors, occasionally playing songs on guitar for kids, and embarking upon adventures with his wife, Katie.  Scott is excited to contribute his talents to A TEAM!


Sharon Fougler
SharonFC2003@gmail.com

Sharon Crawford was born and raised in San Jose, CA. She has been teaching LEGO Robotics for the last two years and coached a First Lego League team during the 2013 season. Sharon has worked as a company trainer for a web-based business training new-hires in how to use the company’s website and trouble shoot for customers. She has taught classes in affiliation with the Church she regularly attends. Sharon has also previously directed a Church Choir for more than 25 years and taught private singing lessons. She is excited to explore the LEGO EV3 robot with your children.


Sheila Della Ratta
sadr@mac.com

Sheila is a parent and artist, passionate about helping children connect to their innate creativity through wood, ceramics, mixed media and all around tinkering in life. She has been playing with mud for 17 years and specifically with children for about 8 years.  She has two homeschooled boys who enjoy playing in mud with her regularly.  “When we break a plate at home, we just make another one!”  Sheila has B.A. in Anthropology however she says she doesn’t get to use it much. It was, however, as a result of her early human research she became interested in pottery.  How did native peoples harvest clay?  What methods did they use to transform the clay into pottery?  These questions and more led her to explore the world of ceramics and through that exploration she realized that she was talented and hooked and what better way to share with the world than with the smiles and hands of children…

Her style is one that nourishes and guides children in their own ideas and vision by laying a foundation of skills and methods.  Rather than encourage pre-determined projects, she sees her role as one that encourages patience, comfort and experimentation with clay. When not playing with mud, Sheila also enjoys sailing and the great outdoors having completed her California naturalist certification last year.


Stacy Brittain
Stacybritainmft@gmail.com

Stacy is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She has special certifications as a Master Herbalist, a Certified Brain Health Coach, and an Advanced Certification in PTSD and Trauma. She values the importance of paying attention to the intersection of physical health on mental health.

She has also developed a unique program for kids to teach them social skills for kids in a unusual playful way — giant 3D puzzles and board games to teach kids how to share feelings and listen to others; how to combat negative thinking and learn conflict resolution skills. This method helps them to playfully learn these important life skills while increasing brain health through movement and coordination.

Prior to becoming an MFT she was a professional volleyball player and carpenter. She is happily married to Craig and they have angora bunnies so that she can spin their hair into yarn and knit fuzzy clothing. She loves gardening, exercise and learning new things especially regarding health and wellness.


Terri Chatsinchai
terri_kit@yahoo.com

Where did I start signing? While I was in college at California State University, Long Beach, my friend found out about an ASL class.  The two of us took it up and I fell in love with it.  Why would I take sign language you ask? I was born premature with many difficulties. One of them, the doctors found was liquid in my ears at the age of 4 which they couldn’t check earlier because I was sick other illnesses.  My hearing continued to degenerate so by the age of 12 I needed to wear my first hearing aid.  Today, I am deaf when not wearing my hearing aid and cochlear implant processor otherwise I am considered hard-of-hearing. So my journey with signing began shortly after my first ASL class.  I joined Crossroads Bible Church Deaf Ministry where I helped interpret the Christmas and Easter musicals for about 4 years.  Towards the end of my time there, I started helping a friend teach homeschool kids how to sign.  That was back in the early 1990’s. I took a break then in 2000, my daughter was born to another deaf woman, who requested parents that could teach her daughter to sign. By the age of 2, Megan was able to sign over 200 words.  In 2004, I swapped teaching/learning with a Spanish woman with ASL and Spanish. In 2006, teaching other homeschool students along with some their moms took off by word of mouth.  Many of my students have stayed with me for up to three years.  My last year’s group did a play “A Brave Queen Saved Her People” in ASL.  I couple of my students have continued into college advancing their skills in ASL for different reasons.

Tiffany Nyberg
ateamregistrar@gmail.com
SONY DSC

Tiffany is the Director of Operations for A TEAM overseeing administration, volunteers, and registration. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and loves to train both herself and her clients. She completed her BA in Child Development at California State University Sacramento, but completed her first three years at Washington State University on a track and field scholarship. She has taught PE, fitness, and nutrition to students the past four years. Tiffany has been a homeschooling mom, and continues to play league basketball weekly.


Tim Schwalbach
gatorlang@yahoo.com

It is a true pleasure that I will be teaching guitar and music classes for A T.E.A.M. One of the reasons is because I love sharing my passion for music with others. That passion began when I started guitar lessons when I was 11 years old, soon after I started my first band with my best friend in the 7th grade. That was my first experience in songwriting, which I continue doing currently.

I studied classical and flamenco guitar through college. It was flamenco guitar that I pursued for several years, accompanying flamenco dancers and starting a nouveau flamenco pop group called Ritmos de Flamenco. After a few years playing cafes, restaurants, art and wine festivals and private parties, that band called it quits. Silk Road was the next band I was in. We wrote and recorded a 10-song original CD in 2000. After Silk Road disbanded several years later, two friends and myself started another band called Thornapple. We released 2 CDs (2004 and 2006) of all original material. I am currently recording my first solo CD.

I have been a private guitar teacher for more than 7 years and have taught classes for homeschoolers the last 5 years.


Victoria Kazarian
vkazarian@gmail.com

VictoriaK

Victoria Kazarian is a teacher and homeschooling mom with a passion for making writing and literature come alive for students with a variety of learning styles. She’s also an award winning writer, having won Central Coast Writers’ association awards in 2014 and 2015 for her short stories. Victoria graduated from UC Davis with a BA in English. Her son, Vincent, is a high schooler at A TEAM.


Vida Tigrani John, M.D. has homeschooled her 2 daughters for 10 years, both of whom are avid math problem solvers.  Vida has an undergraduate engineering degree from Stanford and a medical degree from UCSF.  She is a former mathlete and AIME qualifier, and has coached student MathCounts teams for 5 years.  She attributes much of her academic success to her early mathematics training, and believes every student deserves these opportunities.  
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