Our Teachers

Find great teachers and great homeschooling classes in Newark, Ohio

ELCC is located in Licking County!

Diana Andews studied art at the Columbus College of Art and Design and has taught in Private schools as well as at several homeschooling co-ops and artist studios since 2005. Her work is regularly displayed throughout Licking and Franklin Counties. She is a mother to 4 adult sons. Diana has taught at ELCC since 2012 and offers instruction in a wide variety of mediums. Diana shares "I can’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t want to create. Escaping the business of the day and expressing the variety and creativity of God’s handiwork is such an awesome privlege and a joy to me. I hope to express a story in my paintings that might bring back a moment in your life you cherish." D.Andrews@excellenceinlearning.org

Ellen Chancey is a 1987 graduate of Bob Jones University, majoring in composite science education. Married for 33 years and a mother of five, she lived and taught science in Newark for 30 years. She now lives in northern Texas, but is still teaching math and science through livestreaming. Ellen has taught at ELCC since 2016, first in person, and now virtually. Ellen loves doing labs and watching her students enjoy science. E.Chancey@excellenceinlearning.org Ellen is teaching Exploring Creation with Physical Science, Biology, and Advanced Biology.

Erin Couglin - American Sign Langauge

Barb Danhour - sewing

Kimberly Davis is a homeschooling mom of four. This will be her family's eleventh year of homeschooling and they have attended ELCC since 2016. In addition to homeschooling, Kim works as a mental health therapist. She graduated from Kentucky Christian University with a Bachelors of Science degree, majoring in Bible, Christian Ministry, and Counseling Psychology. She also graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Master of Social Work degree. Kim enjoys time with family and volunteering in children's ministries. She will be teaching Pre-Algebra with ELCC this academic year.

Taryn Davis grew up a homeschooled musician with piano and violin lessons before settling on her main focus as a bassoonist, graduating with a bachelor's in Music from La Sierra University in 2011 and a Master's in Special Education from California Baptist University in 2014. Between multiple symphonic orchestras, wind ensembles, and woodwind quintets over fifteen years, Taryn has performed in Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Bahamas, and Tuscany, Italy. She began playing handbells in college under the direction of Chip Spier, who taught her too well and made her both a handbell soloist as well as a handbell director of his 5 handbell choirs at La Sierra University church when he retired. Taryn went on to teach and direct handbells at Milo Adventist Academy from 2012-2013. She currently teaches music at Eastwood Jr SDA Academy where she is privileged to spread the joy of handbell ringing from the colored handbells of lower elementary up through handchimes in late elementary and on to handbells for the middle schoolers. Taryn is a current member of Columbus Rings, an auditioned, community handbell ensemble composed of ringers from the Central Ohio area that seeks to advance the art of handbell ringing through performances, educational events, and community involvement. Taryn spends most of her time homeschooling her two older children (7th and Kinder) with a toddler underfoot and taking care of the menagerie of pets they own while dreaming of her next Disney park trip with her husband Jon.

Charissa Fee is a chief communications officer, event planner and organizer for both The Columbus Marathon and her busy, homeschooling family. She has a degree in Organizational Communications and Public Relations and more than 16 years of experience in corporate communications, leadership development and event planning. “Now, more than ever, we need to raise up Godly leaders that can confidently speak truth in our world with the boldness of Peter and John in Acts 4:13-20,” says Charissa. She is excited to teach the next generation to be “Courageous Communicators” by building confidence and experience in public speaking and critical thinking.

Amy Fraunfelter and her husband Jeff have three children, Hunter (high school), Gabriella (high school) and Trapper (elementary). They have homeschooled from the beginning and believe that this has been a greatest blessing in their lives. Amy previously worked for a finance company. Jeff has been with the Muskingum County Juvenile Detention Center since 2008. Amy has been attending ELCC since 2015 and teaching kindergarten since 2016. She served as our event coordinator from 2018 - 2021. She says "I try to fill spots where I am needed and called, so don't be surprised when you see me pushing a broom." Amy teaches Kindergarten and Lego WeDo classes.a.fraunfelter@excellenceinlearning.org

Casey Green is a homeschooling mom of five, so she understands the challenges homeschooling parents face at every level. She has been teaching at ELCC since 2019. She is also a Senior Member of Civil Air Patrol, Licking County Composite Squadron. She functions as the Aerospace Education Officer for her local squadron, located at Everett Park in Newark. Casey is passionate about enriching children’s education and providing tools to educators and homeschooling parents to spark an interest in children’s minds regarding science. Casey also owns her own photography business, Pixelated Photography, located in Newark, Ohio. casey@excellenceinlearning.org

Leigha Hickman is a homeschool mother of three elementary aged kids who she has been teaching from the beginning of her oldest's education in 2018. Prior to moving back to Licking County in 2021, she was a Camp Financial Director, Homestead Director, and Homeschool Program Coordinator for a Christian camp in West Virginia. She has her degree in Business from Ohio Dominican University and had a career in finance for several years before deciding to stay home full-time with her children, and work part-time in student ministry. She is currently a part of her church's student leadership team. Even though she is usually involved with children through service projects, work, and ministry, she loves serving and building relationships with the whole family!

Shannon Hughes is a homeschooling mom of four. This will be her family's fourth year homeschooling and they have attended ELCC since 2019. Before diving into being a full-time, stay-at-home mom she worked as a brokerage back-office administrator for Chase for 10 years. She graduated from The Ohio State University majoring in psychology and minoring in the environment and natural resources. She also has an associate's degree in criminal justice from the Community College of the Air Force. She served six years as a Security Forces member for the Ohio Air National Guard. She has a variety of interests and loves to explore and learn about all of God's creation and especially enjoys a good debate. Shannon is teaching Adventure Book Club.

Shandi Lanning is a wife of 9 years and mother of 3 children, Ava, Ryder, and Bo. This is their first-year homeschooling. It has been wonderful. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from OSU. She is currently completing her practicum to become a tutor for students with Dyslexia and struggling readers. She will complete her practicum in Spring of 2022. Her hobbies include anything that allows her to be creative because that is how God created her to be (Genesis 5:1-2, Psalms139:14), specifically metal hand stamping, photography, making things with essential oils, wood burning. She also LOVES volleyball and helping her husband, Nathen, in their family own electrical business, Lanning Electric, LLC. Shandi is thrilled to join the Excellence in Learning Community Co-Op in Spring 2022 with Reading/Writing class based on Orton-Gillingham Approach.

Mindy Larson is a homeschooling mother of seven, wife for 15 years, ELCC member since 2017, and a high energy wrangler of kids. She enjoys good company, good conversation and good coffee. Mindy holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Health and Exercise Sciences and has taught/coached in the gymnastics field for 10 years. Mindy has dedicated herself to her family with home health, home cooking and of course home schooling. While her background is in exercise and gymnastics she identifies her true gifts as her energy with people, especially young kids. She has a great deal of experience with preschooling programs and says "I truly enjoy sharing my God given gifts with other families as I feel blessed to have them share their gifts with our family. " m.larson@excellenceinlearning.org

Kayce Long is a homeschooling mama who has attended ELCC since 2021 and 20 year veteran dance instructor at Millennium Academy of Irish Dance.

Melissa McAllister and her husband, Jonathon, have three adventurous, age diverse, children. They moved from Pennsylvania in 2016, back to his family farm here in Ohio. She holds a bachelor degree in Accounting with a minor in math and has 12 years of accounting experience. This is her first year of teaching and is excited to help the kids explore all the possibilities of building with Legos. She is looking forward to the year and what God has in store for her and her family.

Alana Meek and her husband, Gary, live in Newark with their son, Connor, who is a sixth grader this year, and near their adult children and two granddaughters. They enjoy spending time as a family playing board games, watching movies, and exploring Licking County. Although this is their fourth year homeschooling, it will be their second year at ELCC. They had an amazing first year at ELCC and feel blessed to have met so many new friends, and look forward to continuing to get even more involved in this wonderful community this year. Last year Alana assisted with the yearbook by taking pictures and helping with the yearbook layout. She is excited to serve ELCC this year by stepping into the position of Yearbook Coordinator. Alana has a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Print Media, and has a background in graphic design and social media management. She looks forward to capturing beautiful memories throughout the school year as God continues to bless and reveal His plans for ELCC. She can’t wait to see familiar faces and meet new friends in August!

Marie Nichols shares, "The Lord allowed me to attend Christian schools from elementary grades through college. It was at the schools where I learned to play different instruments and eventually learned to teach music. My main performing instruments are piano and trumpet, but I do teach most all of the band and orchestra instruments. I graduated from Bob Jones University in 1986 with a Bachelors degree in Music Education and then graduated from Bob Jones University in 1990 with a Masters in Music Education. This is my 13th year of teaching at Licking County Christian Academy and I am excited about expanding my teaching to your co-op." Marie has taught music at ELCC since 2016 as well as Choir, Orchestra, Strings, and private lessons. m.nichols@excellenceinlearning.org

Lora Parks and her husband Aaron are parents of 5 kids. They have been homeschooling since 2012 and a member of ELCC since 2014. She has taught preschool classes, science and more. This year she is teaching our Cupcake Decorating class. Through her years at co-op Lora has served as a coordinator, a board member, a doyenne, and is now the ELCC librarian. She enjoys reading, the ocean, gardening, canning and sewing. She also volunteers as a costume seamstress with the Central Ohio Youth Ballet.

Sondra Rathe is a mom of two girls and three furry boys. She moved to Ohio after her husband left the Marine Corps in 2019. This will be her second year of homeschooling and first full year at ELCC. She is currently a college student studying psychology and criminal justice and will begin a masters in crime analysis this year (2023) as well. During CO-OP time you can generally find her in Pre-K during her free time while it is crazy in Pre-k it is such a fun place to be. When she’s not at Co-op, Church, or doing schoolwork, she loves to read, run, paint and garden. Sondra will be teaching the K-2 Time Travelers History class.

Jan Rohrbaugh is a wife and mother, homeschool mom who has been teaching Sunday School since I was 16. I have a Bachelor of Christian Education and am only 1 class shy of a Deaf Studies Certificate. I currently serve on the ministry team at Truth Tabernacle teaching and ministering to a variety of age groups from toddler to adult classes.I am also a part of our church's praise and worship team and work with the organization and secretary-type work for our church. I love all kinds of crafts from painting to wreath making to repurposing furniture. j.rohrbaugh@excellenceinlearning.org

Keri Sanders is a homeschooling mom of four who has been part of the ELCC family since 2012. Keri holds a BA in Liberal Arts and French and has used a wide variety of skills through the years from technical writing at a software company to empowering individuals with developmental disabilities. She also trained as a Wilderness First Responder, worked as youth adventure trip leader, and loves the outdoors! She and her husband Adam were dedicated to raising their own children which naturally led into homeschooling from the very start. Keri has been active in sports throughout her life including playing Div III college basketball. Keri helped organize the PE program at co-op and has served as a teacher, Facilities Coordinator, Security Coordinator, Secretary and a Doyenne on the board, and helped launch ELCC sports serving as assistant girls’ volleyball coach and head girls’ basketball coach. Moving to fun music and helping students gain confidence continues to be a delight as Keri starts her 6th year as dance teacher. Keri@excellenceinlearning.org

Karla Schaefer and her husband Doug returned to Coshocton County in 2019 when Doug retired from the Marine Corps after 30 years of service. They live on her family farm in a multi-generational home and are attempting homesteading (any tips appreciated). Doug currently works at the Veteran's Service Office in Coshocton County and Karla has a bachelor of social work, works part-time at a local dietary supplement shop, and enjoys traveling, and has recently started learning about herbs in her free time. She has been homeschooling classically (leaning eclectically) from coast to coast since 2011. They have two daughters- the eldest graduated from ELCC in 2021 and is currently attending Liberty University and Lyla Grace attends coop classes at ELCC and loves horseback riding. Karla facilitates Ellen Chancey's science classes and Gavel Club.

Amanda Sillin and her husband Drason reside in Zanesville, homeschooled their three sons through graduation, and are now homeschooling their nieces part-time. They have been members of co-op since 2009 and Amanda served as the Director of ELCC from 2011 - 2021. In addition, Amanda has led numerous trainings and advocacy efforts to help homeschooling families across Ohio. Amanda holds a BS in Social Services from Franklin University and worked as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and Case Manager before becoming a full-time homeschool mom. Over the years she has taught a wide variety of classes including science, history, Spanish, sewing, and language arts. ELCC curriculum library has been one of her favorite projects. She is currently serving as our Board President and teaching Science Experiments, World Literature, Intermediate Writing, and K-2 Reading Adventures. A.Sillin@excellenceinlearning.org

Marshal Sillin and his wife Hannah reside near Coshocton, Ohio. Both Hannah and Marshal are homeschool graduates and Marshal attended ELCC from it's beginning in 2009 through his graduation. He has been teaching at co-op since 2015 and has taught a variety of classes. Marshal is passionate about encouraging students to realize their full potential in Christ through creativity and self motivated study. Marshal owns and operates Marshal's Outdoors LLC (landscaping and tree care), and holds an Associates of Arts. Marshal teaches PE and Theater and coaches Middle School Basketball. M.Sillin@excellenceinlearning.org

Heather Stokes lives in the Licking Valley area with her husband George, their 4 children, Grandpa, and a variety of goats and other animals. She and her family are active in 4H and love this homeschooling community. Her oldest daughter, Layla, graduated from ELCC in 2021. Heather has served at co-op in a variety of classes, teaching and assisting, and will be leading the Little Ninja's class with her son Tanner.

Chrystina Tharp has been a member of ELCC since 2021 and a homeschooling mom since the beginning. She is the owner/manager of the Little Arrows Play Cafe in Newark and a Girls Scout leader. She loves all things adventure and science and has a passion for teaching in an engaging and hands on way. Chrystina is teaching Science Experiments at co-op.

Lisa VanTilburg has been a member of ELCC since 2018 and a homeschooling mom for 11 years. She has been a teacher in co-ops for most of those years. She has taught science, gym and cooking in past years, but her real love is history. She tries to bring history alive to her students and to help them love it as much as she does. Lisa comes from a long line of teachers. Her great-grandmother taught in a one room schoolhouse, her grandmother was a well-loved 3rd grade teacher in the Hilliard School District and her mother is a professor at a college in Arizona. She is mom to 5 children, 3 are teenagers here at ELCC, 2 grandchildren and many, many, furred, feathered, and scaled kids. In her spare time, Lisa loves to bake and many of her creations are enjoyed in her history classes. treasurer@excellenceinlearning.org

I’m Hannah Veeck, homeschooling momma to 3 girls. I have been homeschooling since 2015, and before our homeschooling adventures, I worked as a nurse’s aid at Grant NICU. I have always loved helping people, especially kids willing to learn! I have a bachelors degree from Liberty University in Psychology and Christian counseling, minoring in church ministries. I love spending time outdoors with my girls whether we’re hiking a trail, playing at the park, or even a picnic in the backyard. Our family recently purchased an RV to explore God’s creation even more. I’m teaching the preschoolers at co-op this year for the games and puzzles hour. I look forward to another year at co-op and all of the fun we’ll have and the friends we’ll make!

Cathy Ward started sewing when she joined 4-H when she was 9 years old. She continued in 4-H until the age of 19 taking sewing projects every year. She also took Home Economics classes in high school which involved sewing. Cathy has continued to sew throughout her adult life. In the early years she concentrated mostly on garment construction and home decorating projects. Over the last several years her focus has shifted to primarily quilting projects. Cathy has been a member of a couple different quilting clubs. In addition to her own personal sewing, she is also a 4-H Club advisor. Cathy greatly enjoys assisting youth members with their cooking and sewing projects and has completed training as a Master Clothing Educator. She was able to use that training to assist 4-H youth throughout the county in their sewing projectsand has also served as a county 4-H Clothing Judge. Cathy is looking forward to assisting the students of ELCC in sewing and learning the art of quilting.

Betsy Wright is a 6th generation farmer's wife and mom to 6 kiddos (5-14 years old). She loves gardening, milk cows, reading stories out loud, craftiness, music making, and learning new things -like ALL the things! One of her main goals in education is to create life-long learners and She is thankful for the freedom God gives us to encourage that. Betsy will be leading our Preschool Warm Up Class.