Instructor Biographies

Misty Causey

Misty Causey received her science degree from ECPI University in Greensboro. She worked several years in the medical field before she started homeschooling her daughter. She’s been a homeschool teacher for 6 years. Misty is currently obtaining her elementary education degree from Salem College. She’s expected to graduate in August. Meanwhile, she tutors kids and substitutes at local schools. Her passion is helping kids learn and grow in their academic studies. 

Samantha Collins

Samantha Collins is a self-taught professional baker with more than four years of experience baking and decorating cakes and cupcakes for all occasions, with a focus on weddings and birthdays. Samantha, a mother of two boys, developed her love of baking by preparing specialty cakes and cupcakes for her sons’ and other family members’ birthdays and weddings. From there, she founded her own business designing custom cakes for local customers and has continued to grow and expand her offerings. Samantha is skilled in preparing hand-painted, tiered cakes with complex, custom designs.

Cynthia Cox

Cynthia Cox earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science and Music from UNCG.  She programmed for AT&T Technologies--Federal Systems prior to having her two children.  Cynthia became a mom in 1995.  Her family began home schooling in 2006.  Her son graduated from Lee University in 2017, and her daughter attends Elon University where she plays golf for the Phoenix.  Cynthia completed her class room work in 2014, to earn her status as a Registered Instructor with IEW.

Will Crawford

Gabriel Kulits

I am an educator with 39 years of professional experience.  I taught high school science for 10 years and I served at the middle and high school level principalship for 10 years.  After serving as principal I was a Central Office Employment Specialist for two years and then I served as a school Superintendent for 17 years before I retired.

 

I have been carving for two and a half years and I love the creative challenge and the discovery of many fascinating things that can be created using a block of wood.  It’s a relaxing and rewarding endeavor and hobby.

Charles Griffin

Charles Griffin has been carving wood since he was a youngster in the Scouting Program.  During his Scouting tenure, he received the rank of Eagle and all three palms.  Charles served as Scoutmaster at Ardmore Baptist Church for twenty years.  He obtained his Doctorate Degree in Commissioning Service from the BSA. He currently is treasurer of Triad Woodcarvers Club here in Winston-Salem.  Charles graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and later enrolled as a graduate student pursuing a Masters Degree in Mathematics.  He is retired form RJR in 1994 and is married with two grown children.

Annabel Dierking

Annabel Dierking is a freshman in high school who has been participating in robotics forthe past 4 years. She participated for two years on a homeschool FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team at the Greensboro Science Center, and two years on the FLL team at STEM. All four years her team advanced to the State Tournament. She is currently participating in her second year of FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Last year her team won the State Tournament and advanced to the World’s Championship in Houston, Texas. She has had experience with LEGO WeDo, LEGO Mindstorms, and Vex IQ.

Josie Dierking

Josie Dierking is a junior in high school and is dual enrolled at Guilford Technical Community College. She has three years of experience as a team member of FIRST Lego League, two years on a homeschool team at the Greensboro Science Center and one year on the team at STEM. She has experience with LEGO WeDo and LEGO Mindstorms. In addition to her STEM interests, Josie is also involved in various dance classes where she assistant teaches 3-6 year old children. 

Anderson Elam

Anderson Elam graduated from Salem College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Mathematics. She taught middle school Math and General Science for a year immediately after graduation from Salem before entering the business world. For a couple of years, Anderson worked as a team member supporting a sales team before being promoted to a Business Analyst at RH Donnelley. In her role as a BA, Anderson performed application testing, developed training materials, and trained the sales support team members. When she and her husband moved from the Triangle to the Triad, Anderson was able to retire from the business world to be a full time Mom! With four children ranging from 10 to 19, Anderson has only been homeschooling for the last 9 years, and her eldest son and daughter are currently attending Clemson University and Liberty University; however, her younger daughters are keeping her busy. Having taught a variety of homeschooling science curriculums to elementary students at 3C's Co-Op in Winston Salem, she loves seeing her students experience the "Ah-Ha" moment when they finally grasp a concept! Anderson is excited to get back into the classroom and share her passion for science with her students. When she is not teaching, Anderson helps her husband in his business, drinks coffee and loves to travel. Thankfully, homeschooling is mobile, and the world is our classroom - especially for science!

Jennifer Flippin

Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education and went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Education.  After many amazing adventures as a backpacking instructor, she decided to center her career a bit more as a counselor working with youth.  Jennifer has experience working with special needs children, as well as students in a traditional public school and alternative school settings.  During her years of counseling, she was blessed to work with homeschool families and learn many interesting philosophies of home education.  In addition, to many adventures in the wilderness, she and her husband embarked on an adventure in farming.  Their family grew much of their own produce and opened an in-home bakery.  They would pack up each Saturday with four kids in tow and sell goods at a local farmer’s market.  Their whole family became well versed in raising chickens, caring for a garden, and baking fresh milled breads.  Though they no longer live on a farm, they continue to love sharing their experience and knowledge with others.  Jennifer loves traveling and seeking ways to integrate a hands on approach to teaching her four sons at home.  Jennifer loves experiential learning and has found that raising boys takes a lot of experiencing things and getting your hands dirty. 

Odessa Gordon

Odessa runs Artbuggy Studio from her home--teaching classes for all ages and creating fine art. She worked for five years in public school and has taught various workshops, classes, college courses, and camps.  She is a stay-at-home mom of two boys and a teacher artist. Odessa earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education with a Minor in Chemistry and a Master of Fine Arts from Radford University. “Art is my passion. The students are my blessings. There is no place that I would rather be than to be sharing art.”

Renee Greene

Renee Greene directed, choreographed, and ran Showtime Performers, a group that produced original musical comedies, for twenty years. She taught drama for eight years, and worked professionally as a performer at the Carolina Renaissance Festival for four or five seasons. She had eight years of drama lessons herself, and she grew up around the theater, so her list of shows she has acted in is extensive. She has worked every aspect of tech, including composing music. She has a masters degree in mathematics from Wake Forest University. She has been homeschooling for twenty years, as she has seven children. She also is an avid writer who has used her knowledge of character development, drama curve, plot development, etc, to write over thirty novels, about a dozen young reader books, and a workbook for homeschoolers to learn to write novels. She has the odd hobby of spinning fire poi.

Maria Hanna

Maria Hanna graduated from Malone College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education Kindergarten through eighth grade, with a focus in Spanish.  She is wife to Terry of 25 years and mother to 4 sons and 2 daughters.    Maria taught first grade in a Christian school before their children were born.  With two graduates and four more kids in progress, homeschooling is an endurance journey which she trusts the LORD to help her accomplish.  Her hobbies are fitness and nutrition as well being active outside with family and friends.   She also uses her teaching skills and passion for exercise in her role as a group exercise instructor at the YMCA. 

Terry Hanna

Terry earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from Grove City College a long time ago.  He is a homeschool father of 6 kids, and has spent his career working for the Volvo Group in many capacities, including Engineering and Information Technology.  He is currently working as an Enterprise Architect (fancy name for 'IT guy') with Volvo Financial Services.  He would like for his hobbies to include playing sports, but finds that keeping up with work, family and their small "farm" takes enough time and energy that he doesn't play as much as he used to (could be something about getting older too).

Crystal Henderson

Crystal Henderson graduated from UNCG with a Bachelor of  Science in Mathematics.  She taught in public school before she and her husband started their family.  For 21 years she taught math in various positions at Davidson County Community College while homeschooling her three children.  Her oldest two children have graduated college and have full time careers.  Her youngest is in high school.  Crystal is excited about having the opportunity to join STEM of the Triad!

Aundrea M. Hildreth

Aundrea M. Hildreth earned a BA degrees is in Economics, Political Studies, and Sociology with a minor in Statistics from Meredith College, before going onto professional degrees. I fell in love with Economics in my first principles class. I have been married for 24 years to my husband Aaron, and we have one daughter Emma Grace. I love homeschooling and seeing kids experience new things, and light up with interest.

Amanda Hinds

Dr. Amanda Hinds graduated from Wake Forest University with a PhD in biochemistry in 2016, and worked 2 years in a breast cancer research laboratory at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital before becoming a mother in 2019. She was awarded a graduate research fellowship by the National Science Foundation and has authored or co-authored 9 research publications in biology and chemistry. Having been homeschooled herself, she is eager to mentor future young homeschooled scientists to appreciate nature’s brilliant design. Through the years she has supervised several undergraduate research assistants in the laboratory, and taught high school biology and chemistry to several homeschool students. She is excited to have an opportunity to teach more!

Angel Hinman

Angel Hinman is a local homeschool mom of four boys. With a backround in reading, writing, art and dramaturgy, she brings passion for the written word and creativity to the classroom. Angel graduated from UNC with a BA in English Literature in 2010, and has since published a devotional titled Moments of JOY: Volume One, and is releasing Water Walk America in 2019. Her hobbies include design, travel, adventure and writing. 

Dan Hudgins

Dan has been playing the guitar for more than 50 years and has taught for six years.  He currently teaches private lessons at Love That Music in Kernersville.

Hannah Mikelle Kelly

In 2009, at 11 years old, Hannah began directing cameras for “New Day”, a 30-minute television program which aired on Fox 8 for 52 weeks. She continued to direct cameras and began running video mixers for Central Triad Church later that year and continues still today. She graduated high school in 2015, at 16 years old, and began studying at Full Sail University in Florida. In 2017, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Media Communications from Full Sail University. During her collegiate studies, she earned a Course Directors Award, became a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and was named Salutatorian by the age of 19. She has also created production trailers, television commercials, and graphics for TheLostShepherd.tv, StixandStones.tv, and CentralTriadChurch.com. Currently, she is the audio/video director for Good News which airs daily during the Good Morning America show on ABC45 as well as leads the internal media department of Central Triad Church.

Elias Kulits

Elias (senior) has been homeschooled his entire life. He has been creating LEGO films his LEGO collection for over ten years and has been sharing his knowledge about stop-motion through classes and camps for over five years. 

Allison Markwood

Allison Markwood has a Bachelor of Arts in English from UNC Chapel Hill and a Master of Arts in Teaching English from NC A&T University. She taught public high school for nine years, and received Guilford County's High School Teacher of the Year award in 2014. She is a published writer with Woman's Missionary Union and LifeWay, and has worked as a copywriter for business blogs. She currently homeschools her three children, freelances as a writer, and teaches ESL online with VIPKid. She is passionate about helping kids learn to research and communicate effectively within all academic disciplines, and is excited to join the STEM of the Triad team!

Jana Murray

Jana Murray received her Early Childhood Education credentials in her hometown of Morehead City, NC. After starting a family she moved from the east coast to rural Forsyth County, where she landed a first grade teacher assistant position at Brunson Elementary in Winston-Salem. Once Jana completed her time at Brunson, she became a stay-at-home mom of three kids, which led to the start of their homeschool in 2009. Since then she has taught multiple history, language arts, and science classes at CDG Co-op in Westfield. She has organized a Reading Cafe literature club for kids in her home and volunteers her time proofreading for the FHE Newsletter. When not teaching, you will find Jana monitoring absences and
Study Hall students at STEM. As a North Carolina native, she is passionate about teaching North Carolina History in the most creative, hands-on way possible. In her spare time, she enjoys watching historical documentaries, gardening, raising animals, and traveling to quirky spots in her state!

Rosa Otero

Dr. Rosa Otero is the current chair of the Art, Art History and Design department as well as the School of Music Administrative Director at Salem College. She is the designer and curator of the Salem College SIDE Chair Library, a one-of-a-kind facility that provides access to 20th-century furniture icons. Before Salem, she helped established the interior design program at Forsyth Technical Community College and became its first coordinator. Most recently she has taught interior design, as an adjunct, at High Point University

 

She holds a Masters of Science and a Ph.D., both in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania; a Masters in Architecture from Virginia Tech; and a Bachelors in Environmental Design from the University of Puerto Rico.

Rosa currently serves on the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Arts Council and Kaleideum boards and had served on the LEAD Girls of NC and the USGBC North Carolina board of directors among other organizations. She is a member of the Interior Design Educator’s Council (IDEC), the International Furnishings Design Association (IFDA) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). She is an inductee of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi. Rosa’s first language is Spanish and is originally from Puerto Rico. She resides with her husband, two children and one dog in Davidson County.

Suzanne Passero

Suzanne Passero graduated from UNCG with a B.A. in Biology and earned a science teaching certificate in biology with a chemistry endorsement.  Her experience includes teaching and tutoring in public and private schools as well as homeschool groups. 

 

Suzanne and her late husband have three grown children who were homeschooled for six years.  Hiking at her favorite birding hotspots, training her pack of dogs, and reading books about history, airplanes and nature are her hobbies.  As a member of Forsyth Audubon Society she has participated in bird walks, the local chimney swift watch, and counted migratory raptors at the annual Pilot Mountain Hawk Watch. She also enjoys participating in citizen science bird counts through eBird.

 

She is looking forward to exploring the amazing things God has created with students at STEM!

Alex Perez

"Ahoy there! I’m Alex Perez and I love food, whether it’s cooking it, plating it, or teaching about it. I love it! Speaking of teaching, I teach all sorts eating...oh I mean cooking classes. 😉

 

I am excited to share over 15 years of professional cheffin’ experience with children of all ages. I earned my Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and from there worked in all sorts of restaurants and kitchen environments, cooking for students, hospitals, CEO’s and even United States Generals. 

 

I have 2 awesome little sous chefs, a 7 yr old girl and 3 yr old boy. When they hear the mixer start or smell something in the kitchen, will quickly come running and ask "whatcha making," or "can I help?" Seeing them grow in their knowledge and love for food, is something I am very proud of. They have truly given me a passion for teaching, and while I enjoy teaching all ages, I am most passionate about teaching and learning alongside kids (probably because I am a big kid in a grown-up body).

 

Each of my students will learn the fundamental skill of reading recipes, as well as the basic, but vital kitchen skills needed to bake any dish. Along the way they will also be learning the science that all chefs learn as we create and play with each ingredient. Food is the tastiest science there is after all. I truly believe that in addition to gaining cooking/baking knowledge, answering the "why" or "how" something happened engages students and gives them more confidence in their new skills. The science behind cooking is often skipped over, but it’s a fun addition to any cooking course. And that’s the key to all of my classes. Fun is a requirement and I look forward to having fun in the kitchen with your student."

Dwight Saffer

Dwight earned his BSEE from Virginia Tech in 1983.  He worked as an engineer for 10 years.  In 1993 he founded Logic Services, Inc, a computer and industrial control company, which he still runs today from his home office.  In addition to homeschooling his two children for 12+ years, he also teaches robotics, computers, and programming at the EMMA classes in Greensboro.  He also spent a semester as a Mechatronics instructor at GTCC.  Dwight has a love for computers, robotics, and teaching his trade to techies such as himself. 

Hayley Saffer

Hayley has a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from Virginia Tech.  In addition to the food industry, her passions in the academic world are English and math.  She is a private math tutor and has taught for 20+ years including her own children and her EMMA students in Greensboro. 

Alice Sanders

Alice Sanders is the owner of InfoGraph Creative, a graphic design agency dedicated to providing high-end graphic services and marketing for local small businesses. Alice also teaches Graphic Design & Communication and Web Design at Salem College.

Gayle Spillane

Gayle Spillane taught K-12 Spanish for 25 years in public schools in NC. She also taught Adult High School, ESL and Spanish in the Workplace at Wilkes Community College. She retired this summer from teaching.

Gayle retired last August 2019, from the NC Army National Guard with 20 years. She had 2 deployments, the first to Iraq, and the second to Kuwait and Afghanistan. During her tenure with the guard, she had the opportunity to utilize her language skills.  In El Salvador she assisted in the preparation for the oncoming squads of guardsmen. Gayle was able to use her Spanish for many encounters with the locals during this time.

As a member of Project Re:3 church, Gayle went to Guatemala on a medical mission trip.  She worked triage and translated the issues then helped the nurses with the patients. She got to see an active volcano while there.

Gayle has lived in 5 states and 6 different countries. She lived in Germany for 3 years and learned to speak survival German, and still can understand and speak basic German. She has experienced many different cultures which has helped in teaching students not just Spanish, but about other peoples’ way of life. She enjoys teaching High School, and helping to prepare students for their future.

Kelly Stacks

Kelly Stacks home schooled her three children (Ages 27, 26, and 21) over the course of 20 years. She has taught various types of writing classes for over 12 years and high school literature for 10 years. She has also worked as a subject tutor at Calvary Day School for three years. Kelly always enjoys a great story and tries to find entertaining ways for students to make connections to the works they analyze. She loves looking for engaging, practical ways to connect teenagers to God’s Word. She also believes that preparing students with a firm foundation of world views so they can articulate their beliefs, especially when they are challenged in the college arena.

Ruth Stanfield

Hi!  My name is Ruth Stanfield. I am a homeschool mom to my 16-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.  We began homeschooling 5 years ago when we saw our son losing his love of learning. Since then, we have enjoyed taking back the love of learning with both of our kids and for ourselves as well! I am also the director of a Classical Conversations community in the Kernersville/Walkertown area.  

I have a lifelong love of all things creative. Sewing, crochet, painting (I never thought I’d say that), scrapbooking (way back when), and now vinyl cutting.  More than my love for creating things is my love to inspire others to tap into their creative juices!  My goal with the sewing classes is to equip your students to confidently sit behind the machine and create skill-appropriate projects! Let’s create a love of creating!!

Wendy Sult

Wendy Sult graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in History. She also has a Masters in Education as a Reading Specialist from UNCG.  After graduating from WCU, she taught several lovely groups of fourth and fifth graders over the next eight years in Davidson County before deciding to leave the classroom to work with a family member in the furniture industry in High Point.  Wendy volunteered for several years in the Deaf Ministry at Pinedale Christian Church, co-teaching a basic ASL class and co-leading the Sign Choir.  When her only child, Brenley, was born in 2011, Wendy and her husband Wes realized it would be a wonderful blessing if she could stay home with their daughter.  One thing led to another and Wendy found herself coming back full circle to teaching, only this time as a homeschooling mom.  She also teaches history at 3C's Co-op on Fridays and helps as a teacher in her church's Awana program.  In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, traveling all across North Carolina and beyond, watching the Carolina Panthers football games, gardening, reading, and sewing. 

Marietta Toller

Marietta earned a BA in Biological Science from San Jose State University in 2003.  In addition to a love of science, she also enjoys learning new languages.  As a matter of fact, she grew up in a bilingual home with Spanish being the first language she learned how to speak.  Marietta has five children and began her homeschooling journey twelve years ago.  While it has been quite challenging at times, homeschooling has been an extremely rewarding experience and such a blessing for her family.  She's always enjoyed teaching and has taught various classes at two different co-ops over the years.  The excitement she sees on a child's face when he or she grasps a new concept is priceless.  Learning is a lifelong adventure!

Vanessa Wedrychowicz

Vanessa is a professional fine art lifestyle photographer who shoots on a referral-only basis. She has been published in Our State Magazine and Winston-Salem Magazine.  After 10 years behind the camera, she found a new passion in health and wellness. Vanessa has a sociology and marketing/public relations degree from East Carolina University. After doing PR for Ferrari professionally, she decided to pursue her love of photography and family becoming a stay-at-home mom when her oldest was born. Vanessa and her husband Ryan, a retired Charlotte fireman and small business owner, have homeschooled their three children since 2013, when their oldest started kindergarten.    Together, she and her husband own a landscape company.  Vanessa has a passion for entrepreneurship and understands business start up which is why she enjoys teaching our Shark Tank class here at STEM. She and her family spend a lot of time outdoors and fulfilling their passion of traveling and exploring new cultures and adventures. 

Keena White

My name is Keena White. I am a former homeschool mom of seven years to my three kids who are currently in 10th grade and 9th grade at West Forsyth High School and 7th grade at Meadowlark Middle School. My kids were ready to try out public school last year and they loved it but I was not ready to give up teaching homeschoolers so I have stayed involved in the homeschooling community.

I earned my B.S. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2000. I taught various subjects in the 3C’s co-op for grades 1-6 for four years and I am currently teaching History, Government and Logic in the Rivendell co-op for grades 7-8 for the second year. I am in my third year teaching Apologia Physical Science to 8-9 graders and I am currently teaching Chemistry to a class of 9-11 graders this year.

My goal is to show the kids that science can be a lot of fun and not just a big hairy monster.

Diana Widmer

Diana is currently working as a tutor for elementary students ranging from 5 to 11 years of age. She helps kids with various skills in reading/language arts; including decoding, spelling, application, fluency and comprehension. She also helps with math computation and problem solving for some students. 

 

Diana’s degree is a bachelor of science in elementary education. She has 30 years of experience teaching grades K-3. 

 

Children have been Diana’s passion since she began babysitting at age eleven. She enjoys instilling the love of learning, no matter what is to be learned, and watching children discover confidence in themselves as they grow and discover new things and ideas. 

 

The art of crochet has been a favorite hobby of hers for over 45 years now! She has created hundreds of items including clothes, scarves, hats, mittens, baby items, and blankets.

Jeanette White