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Teachers – Fall 2019


Elmarie Hyman – Founder, Executive Director, and Teacher: Math, Economics & Entrepreneurship

Elmarie is the owner 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 10th 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.

Terri Ashley-MacQuarrie – Discovering  CA History  &  Geography  and  SCV  Site  Manager

You might know Terri as the helpful lady at the front desk, but this semester she is also going to teach a class!  She is a veteran homeschool mom of 3 and also the Archery coach for USC.  Terri has a ton of experience, not just as a homeschooler, but also a CA credentialed teacher, who worked for a charter school before joining our team.

Amy Arena – Theater-Lancaster

The talented and dedicated, Amy Arena, taught private voice lessons beginning in 2001 and followed as a school theater teacher in the year 2006. Arena has a long career in voiceover with recordings still heard at the Miami Zoo and, having studied with UCB and Planet Ant, worked with two professional improv groups on both coasts. As an actress, Arena performed in one of the longest running Off-Broadway productions known as The Donkey Show, a disco-themed musical tale of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and in the highly-acclaimed Tony and Tina’s Wedding.

Currently, Amy holds certifications in parent-coaching, substitute teaching, and yoga, yet her professionalism in musical theater boasts of many credits. Having done it all from writing to stage managing in professional theater, she began on stage both singing and dancing at four-years-old and studied into and beyond college. She’s also successfully produced her own album, Liquid Reality, and it’s supporting music videos. Even so, she’s always studying and always learning which is the most valuable thing anyone can teach!

Susan BeatySusan Beaty – Piano Lessons – Santa Clarita

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.

AJ Bondio – World Building & Art

AJ Bondio has earned his Fourth Degree Master Black Belt and has trained for the past 13 years under Grandmaster Dennis Ichikawa. He has been a lead instructor for four years and co-instructor for five years before that. AJ is a homeschooler himself and loves teaching! He is currently co-captain of the T.O./Westlake Karate Studio Demonstration Team. AJ is also a professional juggler and has been juggling for four years. He has taught juggling for two years. He has worked private parties and performed at variety shows. He also performs object balancing and plate spinning.

Sarah Bonham – Science 

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!

Meredith Boyle – Five in a Row and Before Five in a Row

Meredith is the mother of four young children and loves learning. She studied Writing and got a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State. She is and has always loved how writing and books cover every subject known to man. Before plunging into the crucible of motherhood and beginning homeschooling her own children, she worked tutoring Math and English to High school and Junior High students, taught part-time as a Mad Science instructor, sold fabric, and put together an office training manual.

Chris Bradfield – Computer Programming with Python & 3D Printing, Programming Arduinos

Chris is an Internet and game industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in software and technology.  During that time he has worked as a developer, engineer and manager for a number of technology startups.  He is a strong believer in the value of learning to program and he founded KidsCanCode in 2013 with that mission.  He teaches after school and summer classes for kids of all ages and experience levels.

Mackenzie Bradford – Math, Kitchen Chemistry, Martial Arts, and Stage Props

Mackenzie has been teaching sense age 15 and enjoys working with kids of all ages. She has also spent time working at a community theater as a lighting designer. She also has her second degree black belt in mixed martial arts. Mackenzie can’t wait to start teaching next semester and is excited for all her classes

Becky Castells – Dance Fitness – Van Nuys

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.

  Kris Chase – Beginning & Intermediate Band

Kris has a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. She also trained and worked as a band instrument repair technician in Milwaukee, WI. She retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years of active and reserve service in military intelligence. Kris is a homeschool mom and lives in Canyon Country with her husband and daughter.

Andrea Coane – 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!

Brooke Coulter Brooklyne Coulter – High School Science & Labs

My name is Ms. Coulter, or Ms. C if you prefer.  I am an 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!

Alicia Danielle picAlicia Danielle – Nutrition & Cooking Workshops, Ten to Zen & Yoga

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/about-us.html

Erin Donovan – History, Civics, and Anthropology

Erin has a terminal degree, 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.

Sheila Edmiston – Science, Literature, Song, Stories, Theater & Movement

Sheila Edmiston loves enlightening and engaging young minds. She has taught Theater, Spanish and currently Science with Professor Egghead Science Academy.

 Sanae Glover – Japanese

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 
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 also the culture as well.

 Joe Gutel – Reading & Essay Writing

Joe has been a teacher since the age of 16 and enjoys teaching children. He has 3 kids of his own and has been on the sub list for LAUSD.
Joe appreciates and practices the teaching philosophy of incorporating different children’s learning styles and teaching subjects based on ability, rather than age or grade.

Autumn Harding – Art, English, Science, Literature

Hello my name is Autumn, I’m an artist, specializing in Fine arts as well as mix media, and digital arts. I do many things ranging from drawing, painting, photography, collage, and so much more. I’ve focused on many different design elements achieving awards for my arts as well as portrait photography.  I have also always loved English & Science.  I have plenty of experience working with large groups of children. My teaching style is focusing on how students express themselves individually so that I can help tailor how different subjects are received by each student.

Chase Harding – Art, Digital Arts, Moviemaking, Claymation, Math

Hello my name is Chase, I’m a graphic designer by trade. Ever since I was younger I have had a craving for creativity and would surround myself with inspiration. I’ve tried my best to learn all I can, from being a self taught special fx makeup artist to animating commercials, and doing product photography for Amazon. I strive everyday to learn something new and put my talents to good use. I have found that one of my true joys in being artistic is sharing the knowledge I have to other people so they can achieve their creative vision, especially if they don’t know what it is.

Lynn Hayes – Shakespeare for Kids, Colonial America, US Presidents, National Parks, and more

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 – Santa Clarita

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.

MarieLafranqueMarie Johnson Lafranque – History, Science, Literature, Math, Art, Sewing

Marie Lafranque 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.

Caid Jones – Piano & Violin lessons

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.

Tiffany Lamb – PE

Tiffany is passionate about teaching kids all about how their bodies work, while showing them how to make fitness fun. She believes no human is ever too young to know how their body works, and getting in tune with their own bodies give kids so much confidence. Healthy is a lifestyle choice that needs constant focus, dedication, motivation, and lots of attention, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a chore. Tiffany wants to share her passion for healthy living with kids and families to help encourage active, balanced lives for everyone.

BJ Lange – Improv & Comedy, Acting Auditioning & Coaching

BJ Lange (also known by his high school nickname “HONKEY”) is a resident of Los Angeles and a native of St. Louis. BJ is an alumnus of iO West (formerly improvOlympic West), and a graduate of The Second City Conservatory, Long Form, and Musical Improv Program.

BJ has been seen on Dr. Phil, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and MTV in addition to his other film, TV, and commercial credits. He is an instructor at The Improv Trick, 3-2-1 Acting Studios, and The Second City Hollywood. He is also instructs at the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts.

BJ uses his improv training in other aspects of his career including hosting national televised events and tours such as Maxim’s Spring Break in Panama City Beach, FL. His talents also led him into “shoutcasting” for the The World Series of Video Games (CBS Sports) and hosting GameRiot (MTV2).

Live events are where BJ continued to thrive as he kept audiences entertained hosting events such as the Simon© dTour Live! Presented by ABC Family, X-Games BMX Jams, and the LG National Texting Championship and Mobile World Cup. BJ also toured with famed Disney star Selena Gomez while hosting the Monte Carlo movie tour! Other notable events include “Meet Your Makers” a 60 minute late-night talk show event for Electronic Arts at the GameStop Manager’s Conference. BJ has traveled worldwide performing including Germany for the U.S. Army and living in Blackpool England for a few months while performing at a theatre at the Pleasure Beach Amusement Park!

He has studied with some of the greatest minds in improv, having been one of The Improv Trick’s first students in St. Louis completing the program directed by Bill Chott. He has studied at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Los Angeles.

Around Los Angeles, you can find BJ playing with Not On A Boat – a weekly show at iO West, Gold Improv – an improv and sketch group comprised of his Second City grad group, and a few others.

When BJ’s not “Yes, and-ing” his passions include beat boxing, motorcycles, aviation, barbequing, and volunteering. BJ is a pilot, and proudly serves as a volunteer Public Affairs Officer for the Missouri Wing of Civil Air Patrol, the United States Air Force Auxiliary, where he is also an accomplished aircrew member and graduate of the Air Force & Coast Guard’s National Search & Rescue school. BJ has received many service awards including a Presidential National Disaster Relief ribbon, and a “Find” ribbon for his Search & Rescue service.

Laura pictureLaura Lanoil – Theater, Theater Games and Musical Theater

Laura Lanoil has worked in Film, TV and Commercials as well as Voice-overs and live theatre. She worked with Robert Altman,Anthony Newley Jane Curtain, Jon Cryer, Tyne Daly,Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon to name a few. She has taught at the Canyon Theatre Guild for eight years. She has performed at the local theatres in the Santa Clarita Valley.Teaching kids and giving them tools for self esteem is a great passion and she feels blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of SCV Theatre Community.

Chloe Levaillant – Singing, Dance Fitness, French conversations

Chloe Levaillant is a French-British multidisciplinary artist, composer, and vocalist. Currently based in Los Angeles, 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.

JoshMannJosh Mann – Creative Writing 

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.

Jared Meeker – Guitar, Digital Music Recording, Songwriting, Music Theory, Basics of Drumming, Math & Music

Read more about Jared on his website.

Doug Pfendler – Physics & Economics and Personal Finance

Doug is a retired Lockheed Martin Aerospace engineer and has been an instructor at the Denver Technological College as well as tutoring in Colorado and at S.L.A.M Tutoriing in Sherman Oaks.  Doug continues to enjoy all the Sciences and would love to share his passion for Physics as well as Economics & Personal Finance with all our students.

lizziepicLizzie Scott – Math & Logic Games & High School Literature and Composition (2 levels), Psychology

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 both a B. A. in Psychology (with a minor in English), as well as an M. S. in Counseling.  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 forthcoming book Teaching Through Stories: Jane and Jeremy Learn to Knit.

TerriStairpicTerri Stair – Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Writing Classes, Grammar Classes, and Individual Personalized Tutoring, Accredited 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.

211024 FYC ScreeningKim Turney – Stage Combat, Lego Robotics, and Technology 

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, which you can read more about at this link.

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!

Gabriela Viramontes – Yoga, Nature & Community Relationships with Spanish, Play-based Spanish Immersion

Hello, my name is Gabriela. I am a yoga teacher, early childhood educator, and a life-long student to the world that surrounds me. As a teacher who works with young children, I aim to provide my students with opportunity: opportunity to learn and develop their own path of individualized growth. I do this by providing children with support, hands-on experiences, and allowing them to choose the courses of action we take through discovery-based education.
I began studying Early Childhood Education in 2012 at Antelope Valley College and began my Yoga journey in 2013. It has become a positive supplement in my life which I hope to share in any way I can. I am a Yoga instructor in training and continue to study under Kathy Bingham at Antelope Valley College.

kirk-watanabeKirk Watanabe – Math & SAT/ACT Test 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.

Theresa Yumbar – Math

Theresa Yumbar started her teaching career as a Physical Education teacher, then received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State University, Northridge. She enjoyed being a kindergarten teacher for five years in the Saugus Union School District, tutoring Reading Skills and Algebra at Sylvan Learning Center, then Opportunities for Learning. Her true passion is in the world of homeschooling, where she has homeschooled her own children. She loves to see the way children flourish and gain a “love of learning” through their own individualized curriculum. She enjoys spending time with her husband and six children going camping, boating, and going to all her children’s sporting events!

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