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Our Team

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience and we are all livescanned. We love what we do, and we do it with kindness, care, and passion. We believe in individualized alternative education and we look forward to working with you.

Elmarie Hyman

Founder, Executive Director, and Math, Economics & Entrepreneurship instructor

Elmarie is the founder of Learn Beyond The Book and has more than 20 years experience as an educator.  She has taught her own 4 children (currently ranging in age from 11th grade to college), as well as group classes for homeschoolers and after school enrichment classes for public school students. She also has experience tutoring and has been a speaker at various homeschool seminars and conventions.  She has been the coordinator of various homeschool co-ops and support groups, organizing numerous fieldtrips and other homeschool events as well.  Before she started teaching, she obtained a degree in Accounting and worked as an accountant and auditor for years. She has a passion for education, and strives to accomplish that goal through means that go way beyond the textbook.  She loves using projects, games, and hands-on learning while teaching, which is evident in the classes that she offers, as well as in the Where’s the Money curriculum she developed for teaching Economics, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.

Email her at learnbeyondthebook@gmail.com

Susan Beaty

Piano Lessons

Susan grew up in Southern California and has been playing piano since the age of 6. She received her education from UCLA, earning a degree in Music Education. Starting small while raising her 4 daughters, she now maintains a private studio and has for over 30 years, averaging 35-40 students.

She is an active member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) and offers her students the Certificate of Merit®  testing program. She also holds a position on the CM Council and helps to run the program throughout the state. Susan is also a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) which allows her to offer her students even more testing and performing opportunities. One of the things Susan enjoys most about teaching piano is that each student is different, with unique capabilities and challenges. Her goal is to instill a lifelong love for listening and making music in all of her students.

Sarah Bonham

Science & History

Sarah is a homeschool mom to two girls with an enthusiastic eye for Science. In her former life (before kids) she was a collegiate rower with a scholarship that helped her obtain her B.S.in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Fitness, Health and Nutrition. She spent a year on a Study Abroad program in both Scotland and Australia. She cannot wait to share her love of science with your children!

Becky Castells

Dance Fitness

Originally from the east coast, Becky majored in dance, (ballet and jazz concentration) at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, graduating Cum Laude. She also studied with the Hungarian Ballet in Budapest, Hungary, and was a principal dancer in the Chester County Ballet Company in Pennsylvania, the Hollywood Ballet Company, and the Donlavy Dance Company in Los Angeles. Becky is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and has appeared in numerous commercials, TV shows, movies, and music videos. She has performed as a professional dancer all over the U.S. and abroad in countless shows of every type, from modern dance to magic – and everywhere in between. In addition to dance and acting, Becky has enjoyed a long and decorated career as a choreographer, and has had the opportunity to choreograph in many different genres, from TV and Film to Musical Theater. Becky has been the proud recipient of several stagesceneLA Scenie Awards over the years, including Choreographer of the Year, Best Choreography, and Outstanding Choreography in Multiple Productions, and was honored by the Simi Valley Cultural Association as Ventura County’s 2016 Artist of the Year. In addition, Becky has been a highly regarded dance teacher for 20 years, specializing in ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, musical theater, tap, and ballroom.

Andrea Coane

Reading Comprehension & Math through Stories

Andrea Coane is a fully credentialed teacher with the California CTC. After earning a BA in Political Science and then a JD from Florida State University in 2000, she discovered the joys of teaching as a substitute teacher for Glendale Unified and went on to earn her teaching credential. This led to ten years as an elementary school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition to her work with the district, Andrea has conducted summer enrichment, developed and taught physical science for children in the community, coordinated field trips for families, and tutored privately. During both group sessions and individualized instruction, Andrea facilitates learning through active engagement with the subject matter so students may develop a deeper understanding of abstract principles. With the use of manipulatives, environmental observation, music, movement, and discussion, Andrea is always determined to find a way for her students to develop mastery of a given curriculum and to develop a lifelong love of learning!

Click here to listen to a short message from Andrea.

Brooklyne Coulter

Middle and High School Science & Labs

My name is Ms. Coulter, or Ms. C if you prefer.  I am a CA credentialed educator originally from Colorado, now residing in sunny Southern California.  Why would you leave Colorado you might ask?  The answer is simple, my daughter was bitten by the acting bug, so here we are!  My original training was as a scientist and I have degrees in Cell and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, a Masters in Molecular Virology, and a Masters in Science Education.  I worked for the USDA and National Geographic and though research was super interesting, I prefer to interact with students!  If I’m not on set, I spend as much time outdoors as possible.  I also like to read and play board/card games. Excited to share the awesome world of science with your student!

Click here to listen to a short message from Brooklyne.

Lisa Creahan

Music & Singing, Musical Passports, Fun Facts Geography, Urban Explorers Coordinator & San Fernando Valley Site Manager

Born in Alaska and raised in Taiwan, the Philippines and Florida, Lisa grew up singing in choirs, bands and musicals. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she was fortunate to perform with some great theaters. She put professional performance on the back burner to raise her two beautiful children. After moving to Los Angeles, she returned to music with acoustic sets and vocal recordings, many of which have been featured on TV. Bring it on Home to Me was featured on 90210 with Keaton Simons and Nothing Can Change this Love was featured on TV’s Arrow. She is thrilled to be working in music again. To see more about Lisa’s singing career, feel free to check out her website: lisacreahan.com

Also, check out this short video of Lisa’s homeschooling experience.

Alicia Danielle

Nutrition and Cooking Workshops & From Ten to Zen Yoga & Meditation

Alicia is a holistic nutritionist who loves to work with kids and adults and teach them how to cook healthy meals.  Here is her website: http://www.nourishedbyalicia.com

Dominic Diblasio

Video Game Design Using Unity

Hi, my name is Dominic! I am 17 years old, and a former student at Learn Beyond the Book. I began working with Unity as a professional app developer over the last four years. I picked up programming when I was 11, however, it was a bit overwhelming to learn game development when I first started. I had no guide outside of online resources and a few ground-level classes. That’s why it has always been a goal of mine to share my experience to kids who also have a passion for making games! A lot of kids are getting interested in Game Development at an early age, and I want to make a creative outlet for them to grow and get started! 
You can check out some of my work here, available on Apple and Google Play platforms.If you have any questions about the class, feel free to reach out to me at bubingadigital@gmail.com!

(Until later this year when Dominic turns 18, a livescanned adult will be in the Zoom room with him).

Erin Donovan

History, Civics, Philosophy, and Anthropology

Erin has a terminal degree, CA credential, a Masters in Applied Anthropology (masters plus 40) and has taught US and World History as well as Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology with Lab, Archaeology, Indians of North America, Women and Anthropology etc. for 20 years, in schools and colleges.

Erika F.

Growth Mindset, Literature classes & Young Story Writers and Canyon Country Site Manager

Erika has ten years of personalized experience in education with homeschooling and is continuing her support of alternative learning through her unique classes at Learn Beyond the Book. She completed a Writing Certificate Program through UCLA Extension and shared her love for writing as she mentored children in Los Angeles schools through the Young Storytellers Foundation. Erika demonstrates her passion for children and learning by developing a safe space in her classes for kids to open up their imaginations and CREATE, while also working to steadily build personal and academic confidence in their work.

Sanae Glover


Konnichiwa! (hello in Japanese) I am originally from Yokohama, Japan. I moved to California in 2006 to study TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at California State University, Los Angeles. I am an experienced teacher with a B.A in English/American Literature from Sagami Women’s University in Japan, and a Master’s degree in Education from California State University, Los Angeles. I was previously a middle school English teacher in Japan and have been a Japanese teacher in Los Angeles since 2013.  I love teaching both English and Japanese to any age, and any levels. My teaching style is ‘learning the language by using it!’ with a variety of hands-on activities. In my class, students will learn not only the language but the culture as well.

Click here for a short introduction video from Sanae.

Christine Gray

Math, Science & Social Studies

Christine is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher who has a passion for education through hands-on experiences. After seven years of teaching in elementary schools, she decided to homeschool her own children. Christine utilizes a variety of techniques including singing, art, logic, and project-based learning to stimulate curiosity, master content, and make learning fun.

Lynn Hayes

Shakespeare for Kids & Literary Analysis

Before becoming a mom, Lynn Hayes was a professional theatre director in Chicago and Los Angeles, and also directed youth at both the elementary grade and college level. Lynn started two play-school groups for when her son was younger and currently leads two nature clubs for her kids who are now 5 and 9. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. Lynn uses her theatrical background to teach kids to learn with fun, hands-on, playful activities!

Nathaly Hernandez

Spanish and Science classes taught in Spanish for native & bilingual speakers

In her native Venezuela, Nathaly taught Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish for 14 years with a bachelor’s degree in Education specializing in Biology and Chemistry from Universidad Catolica del Tachira. UCAT. She moved to the United States in 2015 and has been steadfast in continuing her career here. With a love for knowledge and a passion for imparting it, Nathaly proudly shares her heritage and language in her lessons.

Marie Johnson Lafranque

History, Science, Literature, Math, Art

Marie is a second-generation homeschooler originating from France. She has worked with children her whole life, both as a Nanny and as a Tutor, and has a BS degree in Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago. She loves teaching and is always looking for new subjects to get the kids interested in. From French to Art and History, while sneaking in some Math and Science, every subject is brought to life with the interest of the children in mind. Hands-on and fun, Marie is known for her quick bursts of focused learning, followed by creative activities that allow children’s brains to rest and soak up the information that was just given.

Click here for a short introduction video from Marie.

Caid Jones

Violin & Piano Lessons, Creativity

Caid Jones is a fiddler/violinist from Eagle, Idaho – just an hour away from the fiddling capitol of the nation. He grew up playing American folk tunes, classical piano, competing in Texas Style fiddle contests, and traveling all over the country to perform and learn at folk music festivals. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in classical and contemporary violin performance from the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, California. Caid has a passion for teaching, and has taught at summer camps across the US, but calls Los Angeles his home-base, which is where he spends his time helping people of all ages challenge themselves, develop confidence, and learn to master an instrument.

Alexis Krasnoff

3D Modeling with Blender

Alexis is a digital artist and content creator with extensive experience in 3D modeling, digital/traditional painting and drawing, and game modding. She is a former Learn Beyond the Book student, and is currently studying Media Arts and Technology at UCSB. Her custom assets for the Sims 4 have accrued over 6.4 million downloads across all platforms, and she has worked with EA Games to put one of her pieces in the base game for the game’s 21st birthday. She also enjoys participating in game jams and has created several smaller games in Unity that are playable on her Itch.io page. Check out her website to see examples of her work and previous projects: https://feralpoodles.wixsite.com/alexiskrasnoff

Tiffany Lamb

PE, Social Studies, Nutrition, Hogwarts School

Tiffany is passionate about teaching kids how their bodies work while showing them how to make fitness fun for life. As a certified personal trainer and licensed massage therapist, she believes getting in tune with their bodies gives kids so much confidence. As a homeschooling mother of two, she knows it takes a lot of patience and compassion to guide kids through life and learning opportunities both in the classroom and out of it. She is excited about the subjects she teaches and likes to share that joy with her students.

Chloe Levaillant

French & Voice Lessons

Chloe Levaillant is a French-British multidisciplinary artist, composer, and vocalist. She was born in London and spent the early part of her childhood in England before moving to France where she studied opera at the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud in Aix en Provence. She later received a BA in Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and an MA in VoiceArts at California Institute of the Arts. As an artist, she brings together her wide-ranging interests and experience in dance, choreographic movement and visual arts as she engages with work that is personal, and thought-provoking. As a teacher and facilitator, her goal is to help others to find their authentic voice and vehicle for expression, to use art and creativity as an educational tool and to share the knowledge that was passed down to her by her teachers in a context of mutual learning

Click here for a short video from Chloe.

Josh Mann

Creative Writing, Improv & Theater Games, and Short Stories & Literature

Josh has extensive experience tutoring and teaching at many private schools in the Los Angeles area for the past six years, including, Campbell Hall, Windward, New Roads, New Community Jewish High School (de Toledo), Bridges Academy, Urban Homeschoolers and Westmark. He has also tutored students who attended Pierce College, CSUN, Harvard Westlake, Brentwood, and Crespi. He has taught literature, creative writing, life skills, drama, film, and Shakespeare classes to students of all ages.  He specializes in helping students who have learning disabilities and behavior challenges, such as Dyslexia, Autism, ADD, and Aspergers syndrome. Josh also incorporates life coaching skills into his process of working with students, in order to assist with organization, scheduling, executive functioning, time management, social skill improvement, and motivation. He also has experience teaching young children how to read and improving the reading skills of all students. Additionally, he works with students on college essay writing and SAT Preparation.  He has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in writing and also studied at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and at Oxford University.

Click here for a short introduction video from Josh.

Michael Marchesan

Engineering, DIY Projects, Accelerated Math&Engineering, Cooking, Photography, Video Production

Michael began tutoring math while studying Civil Engineering at Cal State Northridge. Upon graduating with his B.S. in the Fall of 2014, he founded Alyria Tutoring to further pursue his passion for teaching. His engineering coursework provided him with a strong background in critical-thinking & problem solving strategy with the math, physics and engineering classes he took. This gave him a practical perspective to effectively explain problems to his students in unique way. His experience as a martial arts instructor from 2008-2014 showed him the value of discipline & repetition when it comes to polishing one’s skills, and is vital to his teaching methods. Also an avid photographer, cinematographer, musician & cook, Michael’s passion in the arts as well as the sciences allows him to connect with almost any student.

Jared Meeker

Guitar, Digital Music Recording, Songwriting, Music Theory, Jazz Improvisation, Basics of Drumming, Math & Music

Los Angeles-based guitarist, composer, producer, educator, and author Jared Meeker has performed throughout the world, playing blues, rock, Latin, reggae, metal, R&B, funk, hip- hop, and soul. Jared graduated from California Institute of the Arts and has taught workshops at USC, UCLA, Seattle Pacific University, SUNY, Los Angeles Music Academy, Crown of the Continent, and the National Guitar Workshop. The diverse roster of artists Jared has worked with include Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Myka 9, N.A.S.A. / Squeak E. Clean, Karen O, Salvador Santana (son of Carlos Santana), and Hollie Cook (daughter of Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols). Jared has released several instrumental albums of original music, and his compositions were featured in the Sundance award-winning Fuel and in Sunken City, which won best music at the Dubuque International Film Festival. He has also composed original scores for films including Take Me To Tarzana, directed by Maceo Greenburg, and Interreflections, directed by Peter Joseph. His music can also be heard on the hit television shows Dexter and Smash, as well as on various programming on MTV, Showtime, NBC, VH1, CBS, and TNT. Jared has appeared in music production video courses for Producertech and appeared in dozens of guitar, bass, and mandolin videos for Alfred Music. Jared also worked as a sound designer with Loopmasters UK to create a few award-winning sound sample libraries as well as releasing his own plugin called DejaVu by Meeker FX. He has been featured in Guitar Player and Guitar World, has written columns for Premier Guitar, and authored several books on guitar styles for Alfred Music. Read more about Jared on his website.

Noel Rodriguez

Edifying Journeys, Social Studies, Latin American Literature, Art & Spanish Conversations & Guitar

One size doesn’t fit everybody. Why should learning be any different? This is the philosophy that Noel brings to education. When you learn with Noel, you end up engaging a subject you are struggling with differently. That’s because you will have an educator with over 5 years of experience providing you a personalized approach to learning. He holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Spanish from the University of Houston and the other in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas.

Mayra Santos

American Sign Language (ASL) & Gardening

Mayra received her formal American Sign Language Interpreter training at Pierce College.  Her prior experience includes 16 years working at Los Angeles Unified School District as a Sign Language Interpreter for the “Deaf and Hard of Hearing” students who were mainstreamed into K – 6th grade classrooms.  In her role, she provided academic support for students, and facilitated communication between students, parents and staff.  Mayra also taught American Sign Language to hearing students and provided interpretation for teachers, campus staff and at school events.  Mayra received the “Exceptional Children’s Certificate” which focused on “Early Childhood & Exceptional Children Development” from Los Angeles Mission College.  In 2018 Mayra started her own business “Luvz2Sign” offering both in-person and on-line American Sign Language Instruction and Interpretation services.  Mayra is very passionate and enjoys teaching Sign Language to students and she makes learning fun, easy, and unforgettable. 

Lizzie Scott

Co-founder, Teacher for Math & Logic Games, High School Literature & Composition (2 levels), Well-being 101 (different age levels), Psychology courses, and English 101, 103 companion college courses

Dr. Lizzie Scott is an enthusiastic and experienced teacher who has expertise in math, language arts, and psychology.  Her classes incorporate discussions, games, and activities tailored to each student’s personality, strengths, and challenges. Lizzie holds a B. A. in Psychology (with a minor in English), a M. S. in Counseling, and a PhD in Positive Psychology.  With experience in both the traditional classroom and small-group settings, Lizzie connects with her students as a group and as individuals, and works to build a supportive learning environment, and take the educational experience to a deeper level. As a member of Mensa and a game enthusiast, Lizzie has strong mathematical and logical skills as well, and uses games and fun activities to help students enjoy what they are learning and to bring out creativity and connection.  Lizzie creates classes that are exciting for those who already enjoy the subjects she teaches, engaging for those who tend to find the topics challenging, and fun for all!

Elizabeth Seward

Waldorf Knitting & Hand Sewing and Embroidery, Spinning & Weaving & Waldorf Math Games

Elizabeth Seward, PhD has been a teacher in private and public Waldorf schools for 30 years. She delights in teaching handwork to homeschool groups, charter school students, parents, and teachers, and in sharing the enlivening and successful Waldorf curriculum. Elizabeth has been knitting for over 50 years, was a contributing editor to Living Crafts magazine, and is the author of the new book Teaching Through Stories: Jane and Jeremy Learn to Knit.

Jason Sheinkopf

Technology & Programming

Jason is a science and technology teacher with a passion for STEAM education. He enjoys combining arts and engineering through creative projects. 

Terri Stair

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Writing Classes, Grammar Classes, and Individual Personalized Tutoring, Certified Instructor for the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science from California State University, Northridge and high honors from the UCLA Paralegal Program, Terri enjoyed a decade in the world of litigation. However, her desire to preserve her children’s love of learning lured her into an unexpected adventure, home schooling. While teaching a home school group class, she was surprised to discover it was a blast! As author and illustrator of “The STAIR WAY to My Secret Recipes for Making Grammar Fun and Easy,” Terri is reaching beyond the classroom to encourage parents, teachers, and students with the clever and whimsical posters and props she created to transform grammar from boring and bewildering to amusing and understandable!  Visit www.thestairwaytogrammar.com to learn more. Terri is a Certified Instructor for the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), and she delights in equipping students to listen, speak, read, write, and think the IEW way.  After a three day IEW summer camp, a shy student’s note exclaimed, “I am so glad I took this class…it made writing a lot more fun and ENJOYABLE! This class was EPIC!” (Emphasis added by student.)  A busy mom wrote, “She (her daughter) has really come to love writing in just these three days. I am so thankful…!” Terri’s enthusiasm for teaching grows every time her students overcome their apprehensions about writing and become confident communicators.

Kim Turney-Schmidt

Video Game Design, Minecraft Mods Programming & Social Studies through Minecraft 

Kim received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Theater and Acting from Ohio State University.  She has tons of teaching, theater, and acting experience. In recent years, she has enjoyed working with children learning computer programming and Lego Robotics.  Minecraft is a personal favorite.  Kim knows how to connect with students and bring out the best in them!

Debbie Walker – Quest in Science

Science courses

Debbie Walker, co-owner and instructor of Quest in Science, is an experienced teacher that brings science to life for her students and creates a fun classroom atmosphere by promoting questions and discussion. Debbie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in Psychology from Scripps College in Claremont, CA. She spent five years teaching high school Advanced Placement Physics,
Physics, and Chemistry. She took several years off teaching to pursue a full-time position of mom to her three wonderful children and two dogs. She resumed her career in 2010 by joining Quest in Science and
teaching hands-on science to elementary school children throughout Los Angeles. Quest in Science lessons encourage students to observe, measure, collect, and analyze data, make hypotheses, and draw conclusions. Hands-on science to us means teaching based on activities that engage a student’s mind and hands to make science fun, interesting, exciting, and challenging. Debbie Walker is excited for another great year with Learn Beyond The Book students.

Kirk Watanabe

Math & SAT Prep

Kirk has been teaching and tutoring in Math since high school and more recently has taught many SAT & ACT Prep courses.  He has been the Manager of Instruction for Catalyst Prep where he taught all different subjects.  He is excited to join us in the Math program as well as offering test prep courses.

Martha Zittel

Physical History, Science & Language Unit Studies

Martha was born and raised in Mexico City where she earned her BA in Industrial Design. In the United States, she worked for many years in the Aerospace Industry, but she found that exploring her artistic vein was her passion and her path. She likes to work with all kinds of materials and techniques to create bi-dimensional and tri-dimensional art. She married a professional illustrator and both she and her husband homeschool their two daughters who share their love for creativity. Martha has been teaching for over 25 years to populations ranging from At-Risk-Youth at an inner-city school, working with both outpatients and clinicians in a mental health clinic, and with groups of mothers and homeschoolers. She loves working with kids and is constantly inspired by their fearlessness in expressing themselves. She is a certified yoga teacher, a meditation facilitator, certified massage therapist, and doula. In her spare time, Martha is an avid reader, a world traveler, a closet writer, and a doll maker.

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