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Co- Op Director

Carrie De Francisco: Writing Teacher, Mad Science Club, &

Marine Biology Instructor

Carrie has been married to her husband, Michael, for 27 years and has been homeschooling their two children, Francesca and Joseph, for over 18 years.  Before homeschooling her own, Carrie was a private and public school teacher, an adjunct professor, and STL in Bible Study Fellowship.  Carrie is the author of Just Breath (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God, the host of Coffee With Carrie Podcast, and presenter at various homeschooling seminars including CHEA and Special Weekends for Homeschooling moms in SGV.  She is also the co-founder of Christian Classical Conservatory Community (Homeschooling Support Group) in Southern California.  Carrie is a Bible-loving, born-again Jesus freak whose mission in life (after loving and supporting her husband and loving and teaching her children) is to walk alongside fellow homeschooling moms- helping them, equipping them, and encouraging them to do what God has called them to do at home!  Carrie is also an IEW certified instructor for the Level A, B and C classes.  To register for FUNdamentals or any Writing Class, contact Carrie.

FUN Instructors

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Georgina Tanefski

Conversational Spanish

Georgina started learning Spanish at age 3 from her Mamita (grandmother).  Graduating with B.A. in Radio, TV & Film Production from Cal State L.A., allowed her to intern at CBS and work for N.W. Ayers Advertising Agency when she discovered her passion had changed from career gal to motherhood.  She studied toward a teaching credential and worked as a bilingual teacher/sub for Mountain View School District for 5 years. She has done voice-over work in English and Spanish and has had the privilege of being a Sunday School teacher for 29 years.  Walking with Jesus since 1984, married and grateful to James since 1989 when she was blessed to become a full-time homemaker.  Mom to Alexandra, Timothy and Lauren, and grandmother to Bella. “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed!”  John 8:36  To register for Spanish class, contact Georgina.

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Lisa Wong

American Government, Economics and Personal Finance

Married to Anthony for 19 years, Lisa homeschools their sons Matthew and Eric.  “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)   The Lord has placed us in the homeschooling community to teach, to learn, and to grow.  Lisa is grateful for this homeschooling community, and for all the blessings involved.  She looks forward to teaching government and other courses which allow a homeschooling application utilizing her experience practicing law (Previously a full-time attorney, she currently practices on a contract basis when not homeschooling).   To register for Government & Econ class, contact Lisa Wong.

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Matt Sanders

Biology and Chemistry

Matt has been an enthusiastic student and teacher of science for over 30 years. He and his wife, Diana, served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ after graduating from the University of Virginia in 1981. Matt went on to teach Bible, biology, chemistry, and physics at the high school and university level. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. In 2000 he earned a master’s degree in Biology from the Institute for Creation Research. Matt has done research in genetics at the City of Hope National Cancer Institute in Duarte, California.  Besides his faith and his family, his passion in life is 
to share his excitement for how good science fully supports God’s Word. He loves to help Christians (especially young people) to see that they can be proud of their faith and their God and His Word, and do not need to be intimidated by the atheistic assault of modern science.  Matt serves as the Board Chair of Hope for People, and in this capacity, he leads mission teams to India each summer. He loves the outdoors and has run numerous marathons and adventure races. He and Diana have been married for 34 years. They are members of Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. Their daughter, Aliviana, is an elementary school teacher, and  Micah their son is attending Weaton College. To register for a high school Biology or Chemistry class, contact Matthew Sanders.

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Michele Small

All Math Classes

Michele loves seeing the light bulb moment when a student “gets it” and loves removing math fear by bringing fun into math learning.  Using various methods from whiteboards, to objects, to songs, she breaks down concepts into small manageable pieces. She found her passion for math as a teenager, but more importantly in high school she found her passion for Jesus and has been grateful to follow him for many years.  Graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Civil Engineering, she worked for 6 years in her field to earn her Professional Engineering License before she chose to become a stay-at-home mom.  Married to her best friend Scott for 30+ years, she home schooled her 3 adult children from kindergarten to graduation.  Her sons Justin and Nathan have college degrees in Mathematics and Civil Engineering while her daughter is finishing Nursing School at California Baptist University.  Michele has taught many different classes in different homeschooling venues over the years while raising her kids, but has taught math exclusively since 2014 and would love to help your child.  To register for math classes, contact Michele.

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Esther Saiz & Jennifer Pacheco

Five in a Row (FIAR)

Esther is a homeschool mother of six who has learned homeschooling is possible from a few inspiring women.  She plans on conveying her passion for homeschooling, science and fun in her teaching!    She is truly blessed to be able to fit this teaching opportunity into her busy schedule and to be fully supported by her awesome husband, Al.  


Jennifer is a homeschool mother of two little boys, ages 4 and 8.  She has been married to her wonderful, supportive husband, Dan, for 18 years.  They both decided early on that homeschooling their kids would be a priority, so Jen set out on a mission to get to know and learn from the most experienced homeschool moms and educators in her community and beyond. What she has discovered is that learning should be fun for both the kids and parents. If children see their parent/teacher get excited about a subject, it sets a good example for them and instills a love of learning. Jen loves the Lord, her family and reading aloud to her children. She is so excited to able to read, teach and play with your littles in the FIAR I class!  Contact Jennifer Pacheco  or Esther Saiz  for more information or to register.

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Shannon Baer

Life Stance, Meaningful Books, Western Civilization & Art of Making Instructor

Born under grey skies in an Army hospital in Würzburg, Germany, Shannon spent her peripatetic childhood years in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. After moving to Atlanta in high school, she then earned a BA from Auburn University in mass communications with minors in journalism and visual arts. Shannon has cherished over twenty five years of marriage to Stan Baer, a financial advisor in Pasadena. Together they are the parents to Alex (25), Ruby (22), Holly (20), Lily (18), Graham (16), and David (10) Shannon has homeschooled all of her kids and is herself a life-long learner pursuing various educational endeavors including UCLA Extension, Waldorf Education conferences, Education Closet’s STEAM courses, Bethel Women’s Conference, and Hillsdale College online. For over twenty years, Shannon has been envisioning, leading, instructing and serving communities where teachers, parents, children, and teens thrive. She is constantly humbled and surprised by the great meaning and purpose revealed while serving Christian Assembly, Ecclesia Classes, Protégé Education, WISH, Classical Conversations, Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene, Sierra Madre Congregational Church and SunSeeds. She has participated in the documentaries Class Dismissed, The Lily Baer Story, and The Other Side. Shannon is a minister with the International Fellowship of Ministries and has a great passion for seeing the transcendence and immanence of Christ through creative processes. She is honored to come alongside FUNamentals during this season

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Gina D’Elia

Beginning Art and Art with Mrs. Gina

Gina has studied many forms and mediums of art since childhood, including sketching, charcoal, pen and ink, oil and chalk pastels, watercolor, oil and acrylic painting. Throughout high school, she received private lessons copying the works of the Masters. Upon graduating, she was accepted to attend Bauder Fashion College immersing herself in Fashion Illustration and Design and Interior Design. Upon graduation, she proceeded to further her education at the University of Texas in Arlington where she majored in Art and Architecture. Gina returned to California and continued to study privately, at LACC, and UCLA. She has exhibited her Art throughout Los Angeles and worked as a “clean up” animator on national commercials at Wong Studios. In 1996 Gina opened a business called “Art Ala Carte” teaching art privately, in the comfort of ones home, predominately catering to homeschooled children. She was in charge of the art program called “Meet the Masters,” where she expanded from the 6-12 slides, initially given with the program, to 60+ slides for each artist creating a more comprehensive and detailed presentation tailored to each level K-2, 3-4, and 5-6 grades at her children’s elementary school for 7 years with great success. In 2013 Gina received the PTA’s “Honorary Service Award” from the State of California. She has been and continues to teach students in the Los Angeles County area that includes North Hollywood, Los Feliz, La Crescenta, Duarte, Monterey Park and all the cities within the surrounding areas for 20+ years.  Gina will be teaching Art 1, Art 2 and Beginning Art. She is also with Homeschool Coaches so all of her Art classes are vendors for all charter schools.  To register for her class, contact Gina.

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Rebekah Mackie

Musical Theatre,  Meet the Masters, & Medieval History

Rebekah Mackie, a mother of 5 and former school teacher, is in her 12th year of homeschooling. She has a BA liberal studies (elementary education) from Azusa Pacific University and has taught the Meet the Masters program on and off for the last 17 years.  Rebekah has also directed award-winning musicals for 5+ years.  Rebekah’s production of Seussical the Musical and Beauty and the Beast Jr. won several Youth Awards including Best Musical in the Junior category!  To register for From Page to Stage Theatre class, Meet the Masters class or History class, contact Rebekah.

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Bernadette Gonzalez

Science FUNdamentals Class

A graduate of Harvard University, Mrs. Gonzalez has studied science and technology at both Harvard and MIT.  She was blessed with an amazing career in the software industry when, as Executive Producer of the JumpStart Learning Series, her brand rose to international acclaim as the number one brand in educational software, grossing over $300M worldwide.  This success led to her brand expanding into toys, books, and television.  Mrs. Gonzalez has appeared in interviews related to children and learning in over 100 magazines and newspapers, as well as being an expert in technology on the Today Show and Entertainment Tonight.  She has served as Keynote Speaker at national conferences on children and technology.  After the acquisition of her company by Universal/NBC in 2001, Mrs. Gonzalez took on the oversight of technology and software educational development for all children’s brands under the Universal banner, including Sesame Street, Curious George, and How to Train Your Dragon.  Feeling the call to Christian service, in 2003 Mrs. Gonzalez left her career to join the leadership of the Right to Life League of Southern California, a personal passion of hers.  Serving as Executive Director, she led the transition of thirteen pregnancy counseling centers throughout California into Medical Clinics, complete with Medical Directors, Sonographers, and Ultrasound machines.  Still, her favorite and most rewarding job has been that of fulltime, homeschooling mom to her four beautiful children, aged 6 to 15.  Mrs. Gonzalez loves teaching any subject and finding new and interesting ways to inspire learning, but her favorite subject will always be science.  You can find her car overflowing with microscopes, binoculars, and a variety of nature books.  Her home is full of animals, though some she can’t find at the moment. 😊 

 

 

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Anita Fischer

Dance

Anita Fischer (RAD RTS) grew up in England where she trained with The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). She is certified as a teacher with this prestigious organization and continues to train with them annually. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, South America and Europe performing and teaching. In addition to dance, she has also had extensive training in mime from Todd Farley and Marcel Marceau. She has performed and choreographed many theatrical productions both local and professional and runs her own dance studio, where she annually enters students for RAD exams. She has co-directed a Children’s Theatrical Company, and until last year, was the Director of Dance for the International Worship Symposium and choreographer for the Opera Department at Azusa Pacific University. She is married to Paul Fischer and together they have four children

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Valeria Ingersoll

Spanish 1 & 2 and College & Career Instructor

Valeria was born and raised in Argentina, so Spanish is her native language. At the age of 22, she moved to the United States. She met and married Moses, her husband of 19 years. Early on their marriage, with only minimal exposure to the English language, she attended Evan’s adult school to improve her English, while simultaneously teaching Spanish at a women’s shelter in Los Angeles. Valeria and Moses have two teenage boys, Ethan and Matteo. Frustrated with the school options in Pasadena, their church family encouraged them to try homeschooling. It has been one of the most wonderful and most challenging journeys, but they are so grateful for all the memories and experiences they’ve enjoyed as a homeschool family. The boys eventually expressed an interest in learning Spanish so Valeria began speaking Spanish with them at home. Valeria has also taught several organized classes to outside students, including geography, history, STEAM, games, and movement. She has also been regularly tutoring high school students in Spanish since 2018, so she has a good feel for how high schoolers approach a second language and where they need som extra help and understanding. She is very excited for the opportunity to teach her native language in a classroom environment with the FUNdamentals families. Nos vemos pronto!

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Claire Scotti

Lego, Medieval History & Geography Classes

Claire Scotti, married to Zeph Scotti and mom to Shiloh (10) & Oliver (5). She is going into her 5th year of homeschooling and is a lover of all things U.S. history and world geography! She loves teaching history through living books and hands on activities. This will also be her 4th year of helping with the Page to Stage class production and she is overjoyed to be part of the fun at FUNdamentals!

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Derek Mackie

Comparative Religions & Biblical Studies

Derek Mackie is a father of 5 homeschooled students. He has a BA in Biblical Studies from Azusa Pacific University and a Masters of Divinity from The Master’s Seminary. He has served as senior pastor at Arcadia Bible Church for the last 12 years and is a part-time Bible teacher at Western Christian High School. He has a passion for God’s Word and the gospel and is excited to share this with homeschooled teens.  To register for Comparative Religions class, contact Derek.

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Desiree Lang

Personal Finance Instructor, Page 2 Stage Assistant Director

and ASB Facilitator

Desiree Lang is married to the love of her life and real life fire-fighter hero, Mike. She is mother of three, all homeschooled in a variety of ways.  Desiree shares her love of all things theatre as the Assistant Director of Page To Stage Theatre class as her speciality is lighting up the stage to help the performers shine.  She is also the founder and mentor of FUN's 4 Twelve Leadership Class (aka ASB).  Desiree shares her love of the Lord and her leadership skills with the youth of FUN as the facilitator.  Desiree also teaches Dave Ramsey's Personal Finance course to teens and moms at FUN.  To register, contact Desiree Lang.  

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Ezra Lima

Sports & Fitness Coach

Hello, my name is Ezra Lima. I’m 19 years old and starting my freshman year of college. I’ve been homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade, and have taken classes at fundamentals since 6th grade. As far as athletics, I played baseball from 7 until last summer, and played 14 seasons in those 9 years. I am also very familiar with, and a fan of football and basketball. I am also very familiar with different forms of workouts, from weight training and gym workouts to cardio and strength and conditioning training.

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Cynthia Garcia

Photography Instructor

Cynthia has been in love with photography since she was a child. Always learning and capturing every moment she could for herself and for others. She is married to her high school sweetheart. Together they have one son. She has homeschooled for 10 years now and continues to homeschool her son and also homeschools her 4 nieces and nephews. As a professional photographer  she is excited to teach her students about finding that perfect light and capturing that perfect moment. 

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Katherine Kenz

Cooking Instructor & Monthly Mom Workshop

Katherine has homeschooled their children Austin, Rebecca, Kirsten, and Ashley for the last 15 years and counting.  She has always worked with children of all ages from teaching Junior High for a private school, coaching cheer, teaching Sunday school, being a leader in American Heritage Girls troop 3130, board member for AYSO Region 2 soccer, and leading worship for the children at church.  As a life long foodie, she loves to cook and create wonderful food from simple soups to wedding cakes.  

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Amy Payne

Physics Instructor

Hi! I’m Amy Payne. I love our great nation and I’m dedicated to teaching the next generation the inspiring story of how our nation was founded in excellence! I’m a dedicated servant of the Most High God, a proud mom of two young adults, a communications and public relations associate and bachelor, a newly enrolled grad student, a voracious reader, and passionate writer – plus – I am an enthusiastic fan of acai berry bowls! I’m also a fiery proponent of Constitutionalism, lover of politics and discourse, producer of logic and opinion, die-hard consumer of news, enjoy public speaking and debate, and especially hanging with my kids, parents, grandparents, my sister’s family, and dear extended family. Causes closest to my heart include fighting to keep our nation solidly atop its beautiful foundation of godly pursuit, promoting hard work, integrity, and rugged individualism to the next generation, supporting our veterans, wounded warriors, and their families, standing up for the police, firefighters, and civil servants, raising awareness for the dire need of loving, solid families to engage in foster-to-adoption, saving unborn human life through abortion alternatives, praying for Christians imprisoned around the world, preventing the scourge of human trafficking and rescuing our country through election integrity. I look forward to getting to know each of you and your families and finding out about your passions and beliefs. Thank you for your trust, time, and support!

Qualifications:

    • Associate of Communications | Citrus College August 2019

    • Bachelor of Communications with a Public Relations Minor | California Baptist University 2021 | Summa Cum Laude Grad |The Outstanding Student Award and Top GPA – 4.0 

    • Masters of Education and Curriculum candidate | California Baptist University

    • Mother of two: Kelcee, 27; Cody, 22 | Former homeschool parent for 6 years

    • College, grammar, middle, high school, & adult tutoring in communications, English, spelling, reading, writing, structure, grammar, proofreading, editing, copywriting, current events, speech & debate, history, political science, U.S. Government, research, writing, APA, MLA, and AP style, SAT prep, test taking, etc.

    • PCC Instructor: 7th Grade Logic; 8th Grade Current Events, Life Skills, & Speech & Debate; 9th & 10th Grade Writing

    • Independent Instructor: U.S. History, World History, Ancient History, Leadership, & Speech & Debate

Contact: