Our Teachers

Fall 2021

Get to know our teachers!

Lisa Algate

Coming soon.

Kristyn Augustyniak

Coming soon.

Carlos Avalos Cardenas

Carlos enjoys the energy the kids bring to the classroom. Born and raised in Torreon, Mexico, Carlos obtained his Electronics Engineering degree from Instituto Tecnologico de la Laguna University. After he moved to Michigan with his wife and son in 2011, Senior Avalos began teaching Spanish for Homeschool Connections in 2016. He loves playing soccer, riding bikes with his son, and puzzles.

Jennifer Bazick

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Kristin Bickford

Kristin teaches science and STEM classes. She loves spending the day with children. A graduate of Baker College, Mrs. Bickford has taught for 10 years, grades Pre-K through 5. She married her husband in 2005 & has 2 children. Kristin loves her dog, Milo.

Nichole Bittner

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Angela Branch

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Pam Briggs

The loves of Pam’s life are God, her husband Pete, two kids Peter and Paige, and Rottweiler Moses. Pam taught in the public school for eleven years prior to homeschooling her children. To her, homeschooling her children has been the best honor and blessing. During this time, Mrs. Briggs began teaching at Homeschool Connections. Pam enjoys watching students learn and grow. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in Elementary Education, Science and Mathematics, integrative Creative Art, and Early Childhood Development. Also, Pam obtained a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College. She teaches a variety of subjects, however, you will usually find her in the science and gym classes.

Diana Clay

Mrs. Clay joined Homeschool Connections in 2015. She enjoys teaching “fun stuff” and life skills, such as basketry, woodworking, and sewing, and more. Diana has been married for over 30 years to Ray W Clay III. They have one son, Ray Clay IV and have lived in Missouri, Texas, Minnesota, and now in Michigan for over 10 years.

Chloe Doroh

Coming soon.

Rebekah Dunstan

Coming soon.

Lisa Houck

Lisa has homeschooled her children for over 20 years. She loves seeing children learn and grow. Mrs. Houck has been married for over 30 years and has 3 daughters.

Micah James

Micah grew up in Detroit, MI and graduated from Auburn Hills Christian School in 2016. She graduated from Oakland University in 2020, studied Women’s Health and would like to become a midwife in the future. She has recently returned from Madrid, Spain as an ESL teacher and has traveled to several countries around the world. She has a background in health and nutrition, music, foreign language and culture, life skills and athletics. She enjoys singing, writing music, playing her instruments, cooking, baking and serving in several ministries at her home church.

Wendy Kapusta

Wendy Kapusta has been a teacher in some capacity for over 25 years. Her first two jobs were in the special education departments of the public schools before having her own children. Ms. Kapusta homeschooled her children through middle school.  Her last child is currently in college to be a teacher. She also shares her home with a dog named Sniper and a cat named Kiwi. Ms. Kapusta has been teaching for Homeschool Connections for ten years and for Highpoint Hybrid since its inception. Her favorite teaching moments are when a student has an “Aha!” moment or when a student says, “Class is over already?” She also tutors for Inkwell English Education, The Etiquette Guru, and does private tutoring. 

Liz Kaynor

Liz has been teaching children in various capacities for over 25 years, including piano lessons, Sunday School, HighPoint Hybrid and homeschooling her own children. She graduated from Cedarville University in 1997 with a degree in Communications (Speech/Theater emphasis). She and her husband Dave have two daughters and two sons. She enjoys thrift store shopping and slow mornings with coffee and is very involved with her church.

Tom Kenyon

Coming soon.

Andrea Krisciunas

Andrea has been teaching for 26 years. She teaches STEM classes online and in-person.  She has a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Education Specialist Degree all in education. She knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was 6 years old. She loves children and enjoys making learning fun. Andrea grew up in Clinton Twp. She married her husband in 2000 and has 2 children. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family.

Bethany Kurschat

Coming soon.

Stephanie Landon

Stephanie Landon grew up in Lake Orion and graduated from Oakland University with a Bachelor’s in Music Education in ’99. She taught general music, choir, and musical theatre in public and private schools before deciding to stay home with her kids and homeschool. She also developed a homeschool Preschool/Kindergarten program at her church, where she loved working hands-on with the young children. 2021-2022 is Stephanie’s first year teaching at Homeschool Connections, but her children have been students here for years. She lives in South Lyon with her husband and 2 children. Stephanie enjoys the outdoors- camping, swimming, hiking, and gardening.

Virginia Lane

Virginia Lane has been with Homeschool Connections for over ten years. She teaches a wide variety of classes and enjoy all of them! Miss Lane graduated from Oakland University with a BA in Psychology and a concentration in Child Development. She obtained her Masters credentials and was trained as a Montessori teacher, as well as, a certification as a reading specialist in the Orton-Gillingham reading program. Most of all Virginia loves seeing our students come to class with their bright smiles and excitement to have fun, while learning new things. In her leisure time, Virginia enjoys spending time with my family and traveling.

DJ Malseed

Coming soon.

Amanda McClusky

Coming soon.

Tara McCulley

Coming soon.

Bill McGarry

Coming soon.

Angela Mejia

Angela Mejia attended culinary school in Port Huron where she found a love for teaching after becoming a tutor. After working in a few restaurants and bakeries Angela moved towards education where she worked in a high school with IEP students. She is now teaching life skills classes with Homeschool Connections and loves to spend her free time reading or mini golfing with her fiancé.

Rod Moon

Mr. Moon joined Homeschool Connections in 2009 and teaches history, government, & more. Rod loves watching students grow and change. He and his wife have homeschooled 6 of his 8 children. Rod attended Syracuse University, was a military aviator & flight instructor, and has 30 years experience in automotive industry sales! Mr. Moon has also authored 14 books.

Miranda Moore-Stepnitz

Coming soon.

Noel Nash

Noel attended the University of Michigan and graduated April 21’ with a bachelors in science from the School of Kinesiology. During her time at university and post-education, she worked as a childcare taker in multiple different settings and loves any opportunity she gets to be apart of children’s lives and help nurture their development! In her past time she loves spending time with her fiancé, friends, and family. Some of her favorite activities include time outside, reading, and traveling.

Cindy Olekszyk

Cindy is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Oakland University and a Master of Arts in Nutrition & Food Science from Wayne State University. Cindy has also completed the Chef’s Training Program through the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts in New York City where she learned a variety of health-supportive cooking techniques. Following her return to Michigan from the Big Apple, she earned a Health Coaching certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Cindy is currently working at Ascension Providence Rochester’s Diabetes & Nutrition Counseling Center and is excited to join Homeschool Connections to share her love of health, nutrition, and science with students. 

Sue Osis

Sue joined Homeschool Connections in 2007. She specializes in computer technology, robotics, lego engineering, and graphic classes. Mrs. Osis also has experience as an occupational therapist with special needs students. Married for 40 years before the passing of her husband, Sue loves her 2 adult daughters. And she enjoys the priceless reward of teaching.

Michelle Pate

Mrs. Pate has dreamt of teaching since she was a small child. Married to Craig Pate, Michelle has 4 children and 2 grandchildren. She has been homeschooling since 1998 and came on board with Homeschool Connections in 2016. She graduated from Impact Bible Institute in 2013. Michelle delights in working with middle school and high school-aged people. Mrs. Pate thrives working with art and literature and has been specializing in history.

Karly Royer

As a certified ESL teacher with a background in linguistics, literature, history, and dance, Karly taught at Palestra for many years. In 2015 she joined Homeschool Connections and teaches science. Mrs. Royer delights in teaching writing and literature. She revels in showing students that writing can be–if not fun–at least tolerable.

Cathie Jo Seamon

Cathie Jo joined Homeschool Connections in 2015. She teaches sciences including biology & chemistry. Cathie Jo loves being with the kids & sharing science with them. Mrs. Seamon studied Civil & Environmental Engineering for her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Michigan. Then she earned her Master’s Degree in Hazardous Waste Management at Wayne State University.

Janice Smith

Janice began teaching with Homeschool Connections in 2019 and loves teaching because she gets to spend time with young people – the people of our future. She has also taught at HighPoint Hybrid Academy. Janice studied at Wayne State University and Michigan State. She wants to pass on her love of language with her students. Mrs. Smith enjoys walking and reading good books and is married with 3 grown daughters.

Holly Spalding

Coming soon.

Julie Thenn

Julie Thenn grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She graduated from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL with a BA in Business Administration. She worked in the financial industry for several years, and then received her Masters in Business Administration from Columbia College. She loves seeing students reach goals and get excited when they learn new things. She coached soccer for 11 years, taught Sunday school at her church, and is an avid runner. Julie is a military spouse and mother of three children.

Rachelle Tolwin

Rachelle Tolwin is an artist, mother and art educator. For the past two years, she homeschooled her two children and created an organic children’s clothing company called little mountain. She received a Bachelor‘s degree in studio art from NYU and a MFA in drawing and painting from California College of the Arts. Rachelle has exhibited her artwork in various galleries and has taught art to students ranging from toddlers to college age. She loves making art inspired by nature, baking and yoga and recently moved to Michigan.

Christian Tomlins

Coming soon.

Madison van-der-Harst

Coming soon.

Sophia Vrtachnik

Coming soon.

Karen Walby

Coming soon.

Erika Walker

Erika Walker grew up in Troy and graduated from Troy Athens High School. After high school, she attended Oakland Community College and Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. She graduated with a BBA in Marketing. During high school and college she taught American Red Cross learn to swim classes to all ages and Lifeguard Training. She also coached middle school and high school varsity swimming during college. Erika has been married to her husband Todd for over 25 years and they have 3 children, two of whom they have homeschooled for the last 8 years. Erika teaches both at Homeschool Connections and HighPoint Hybrid Academy. She loves to read, cook, and lives on 10 acres with her husband, children, chickens and two dogs Hendrix a Great Dane, and Capt. Mal an Anatolian Shepherd.

Kevin Watza

Coming soon.