Instructor Biographies

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Pam Allen

Hi All! My name is Pam Allen. I have been a homeschool mom for 5 years. I have been married to Shane for 20 years and we have two boys (Michael, 17 and Zachary 16). I have a passion for worship as well as working with vocals. I love finding the person who has no idea that they can sing.  I have sung in church my entire life. This includes leading choir, praise teams (youth and adult) and solos. I have a passion for worship and love to sing about Jesus! Come join me!


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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.

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Cynthia Cox

Cynthia Cox earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science and Music (piano, vocal) from UNCG.  She programmed for AT&T Technologies – Federal Systems prior to having her two children.  Cynthia began home schooling her children in 2006.  She and her family joined the Greensboro Classical Conversations group, where Cynthia also tutored 4th grade in Foundations.  In 2008, Cynthia birthed a Classical Conversations group in the Burlington area.  She directed Foundations, Essentials, Challenge B, Challenge 1, and Challenge 2 over the next six years.  Being in Classical Conversations, she and her family were also introduced to the Institute of Excellence in Writing (IEW).  Cynthia fell in love with the process of writing, leading her to work homeschool conventions for IEW from 2011 until 2018.  In 2014, Cynthia completed the Teaching with Structure and Style curriculum to earn her Registered Tutor status with IEW.  She maintained this designation until May, 2020, when she earned her Accredited Certification with IEW.  Cynthia and her husband David live in southeast Guilford County.

Will Crawford

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.

Allison Della Vecchia

Allison Della Vecchia is a homeschooling mom since 2003 and the mother of 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls, ages 26-13. She is the owner of a small printing business and is an accomplished graphic designer and website creator.  She currently works part-time for Central Triad Church as their Creative Director and as a Realtor with Ardmore Realty.


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. 


Meleah Farlow

Meleah Farlow is the Owner and Instructor of Baby Grand Music Instruction, LLC in High Point, NC. She has been teaching music to children since 1999 and has turned her passion for music and love for children into a full-time profession! She teaches Early Childhood Music and Movement classes at local daycares and preschools and also teaches group music classes at summer and afterschool programs for older children. Meleah has led workshops for fellow teachers throughout the Southeast to help them incorporate music and movement activities into their classrooms at their schools. She looks forward to any opportunity she has to share her love of music in an educational and age-appropriate fashion!

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 27 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.   


Rachel Haynie

Rachel Tilley Haynie is a native of Pilot Mountain and attended Surry Community College and UNC Chapel Hill. She has been a Registered Nurse for 17 years and is a Charge Nurse at Brenner Children’s Emergency Department. She is passionate about the importance of balance in children physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. She is the mother of three growing boys whom she just started homeschooling two years ago. Since homeschooling, her boys have had the opportunity to begin and earn several ranks in karate, learn to play the piano, continue playing soccer and just enjoy their 27 acre homestead. She and her family love to camp, hike and travel. She has taught numerous children over the span of more than 25 years through church from ages nursery to teen. She was involved in Cub Scouting as a Den Leader and Cub Scout Master for more than 6 years and enjoyed helping them learn and explore. Music, rhythm and movement have always been an integral part of her teaching children as well as a personal passion for her. She was active in her High School Show Choir performing for local audiences and currently participates in her church choir. She enjoys staying active and hopes to run her second half marathon next year.

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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!

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 homeschooling mom of four boys. With a background in reading, writing, art and dramaturgy, she brings passion for the written word and creativity to the classroom. Angel graduated from UNC in 2010 with a BA in English Literature. Post graduation she served for ten years in local Pregnancy Care non-profit organizations. She is also the published author of Moments of J.O.Y. Volume One and Anna’s Journey. Her hobbies include design, travel, tree climbing and writing.

Jeanette White

Stewart Hodges

I am Stewart C. Hodges Born 2-16-50. I started seriously carving after retiring from the City of Winston-Salem in 2013. I was self taught until I discovered ,and joined, the Triad Woodcarvers club, of which I am now the president. Through my association with the carving club I have gained instruction from many noted woodcarvers from around the state and Southeast

I have been married now for 49 yrs. to my wife Betty and we have 3 sons.


Beth Howard

My name is Beth Howard, and I’ve been involved in home schooling for over 25 years. I homeschooled our son, Ward, from 5th grade through high school and our daughter, Lauren, from 2nd grade through high school. Ward is in his last semester of his PhD in physics and astronomy at UNC-CH and recently married Kate who is also a doctoral student in Romance languages/literature at UNC-CH. Lauren is in her second year of a doctorate in physical therapy at Wingate University. As for my own educational background, I have a BA in psychology and education from Meredith College and an Masters degree in counseling from NC State. BH (Before Homeschooling), I worked as a school counselor at both the elementary and high school levels. I have taught various subjects (including U.S. Government/Economics, World History, U.S. History, World Geography, Middle School Worldview, Elementary Literature Circle, and Writeshop) during the past 7/8 years at Cornerstone Enrichment in Lewisville and EMMA in Greensboro. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach at STEM for the 2021-2022 academic year.

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.


Corbin Kelly

My name is Corbin Kelly, and I have worked as a commercial photographer and videographer for the past three years. I have spent a majority of these years working for high-end clients such as Hanes Brand, Rubbermaid, Ralph Lauren, Terry Bradshaw, and numerous others. Being homeschooled has helped me to accomplish many things within my career at a much younger age than average. I am passionate about my relationship with God, and teaching others. I enjoy helping people to discover new talents by sharing my skill set with them.

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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,, and 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.


Carolyn Kirkman

Carolyn is a mom of three boys and 1 girl and has been married to Patrick for 25+ years. She earned a Bachelors from the University of Central Florida in Communications.  She became a mom in 1999 and knew she wanted to homeschool from Day 1, and by God's grace she has.  For fun, she enjoys hiking, drawing, acting, reading classics, singing worship songs, learning about languages, interior design, family time, friend time, and CTCT (coffee, tea or cocoa time).


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!


Stuart Matthews

Stuart Matthews was an Aerospace Education Officer for the Winston-Salem Civil Air Patrol, and has over 25 years of experience as an airframe and power plant mechanic.  In addition to being a Marine Corps Veteran, he is the owner of the Wright Stuff, which offers flight simulation for entertainment and education.  The business, located in Kernersville, also provides some combat and racing simulation and rocketry.


Donna Mulholland

Donna Mulholland has her BS in Nutrition From Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She has practiced in various clinical nutrition settings.  Though she remains registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she set aside her paying job 12 years ago when her first child was born.  Her husband Kevin has a BS in exercise science from the University of West Florida and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA..  He is a full time firefighter in the City of Greensboro and remains active with his first love of fitness education in his private personal training business.  The Mulhollands have homeschooled for 4 years.  


Jana Murray

Jana Murray studied Early Childhood Education in her hometown of Morehead City, NC
while tutoring and caring for afterschool children. She and her family moved from the
east coast to rural Forsyth County. There she worked as a first grade Paraprofessional
at Brunson Elementary while her husband partnered in establishing a commercial
refrigeration company. As Jana’s family grew, she put teaching aside to stay home with
her young children, which eventually led to her family’s journey into homeschooling in
2009. Fast forward to 2021, she has graduated two daughters and has only three more
years of homeschooling with her son.

Over the course of her family’s homeschooling years, Jana 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 volunteered 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 the history of our state in
the most creative and hands-on way that offers curiosity to learn more. In her spare
time, this cat lady enjoys watching historical documentaries, growing and preserving
food, organizing, and traveling around our beautiful state!

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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!


Lynne Patrick

Lynne Patrick retired after 20+ years as a Certified Paralegal at a law firm in Winston-Salem, NC.  In April 2019, she joined the Triad Woodcarvers Club because her husband had joined the year before. She had never tried working with wood before.  In June 2019, she decided she would like to try Pyrography.  She also carves but found her first love is wood burning.  In October 2019, she entered the Hickory competition.  Her first piece in the Pyrography division won 2nd best in the Novice class which resulted in a $50.00 prize.  Since then she has entered the Charlotte competition and won several first place ribbons.   She has been married for 48 years and has three children, four grandsons, and one great grandson.


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 (plus one on the way) awesome little sous chefs, a 8 yr old girl and 4 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."


Tara Raczenski

Tara Raczenski is a freelance theatre enthusiast, wife of 24 years, and mother of three children. She has her bachelor's degree in drama, television and film performance and for the past 20 years has been actively working and teaching for various community and professional organizations around the Triad.  Currently, she is employed as the costume shop manager for The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem and a tutor for Classical Conversations in Jamestown.  She has also taught a variety of theatre, creative writing, and public speaking classes for High Point Home Educators since she and her family began their homeshooling adventure in 2015.  A member of the Jane Austen Society of North America,  Tara is also an avid reader and fan of Jane Austen specifically, and classic literature in general.  Romans 11:36.


Ericalynn Roberts

Ericalynn B. Roberts is the descendent of Danish Resistance participants and immigrants in the near past and Vikings in the far.  On the other side of her family, she is the descendent of 13 people on the Mayflower and many pioneers who helped to settle the west.  Doing family history has increased her connection and understanding of the world, its history, and those around her today.  She has three children, and has homeschooled for about 12 years.

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. 

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Kelly Simeonides

First and foremost, I am a conservative Christian and a mother of three children: Simeon (age 26), Anna (age 24), and Panteleimon (age 15). I firmly believe that education is a privilege and the joy of learning should be shared with students, which is why I have been teaching HS science courses since the Fall of 2019. For the past two years, I have taught AP Environmental Science and Advanced Biology: Anatomy & Physiology to high school level students at Cornerstone Enrichment, utilizing a faith based approach which incorporates the Apologia textbook and a compilation of sources that scientifically scrutinize the order of God’s creation and the challenges facing our world today.

My past experience includes over 10 years in mutual fund and broker dealer compliance at New York Life, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. I also worked with clients for 13 years as a real estate agent, attaining a Broker-in-Charge status. I majored in Business at the University of Connecticut (1994) and was accepted into Forsyth Tech’s CardioSonography Program in 2017. I enjoy reading, solving puzzles, mysteries and spending time with my husband and children. It would be a joy to share my love of God and science with students.


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.

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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.


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.

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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.


Shannon Wooten

Shannon Wooten has served in Children’s Ministry for 19 years in a variety of roles, from
nursery age to teenagers. She has taught children’s church using multiple curricula over the
years. She has planned, organized, directed and taught 5+ years of Vacation Bible School. She
has planned and directed several church Christmas plays, one of which she wrote herself. She
served as a trained AWANA leader which then lead to her and her husband starting a youth
group where they discipled teens and led youth events before deciding to step down and
expand their family. She has helped plan, organize, and work fundraising events for various
needs within her community. She has been homeschooling for three years. For the last 6 years
she has been working from home for a software company and has an Associates Degree in
Healthcare Management. She is working her way through to obtain her Bachelors Degree in
Business Administration and Law when time allows. She has three children. In their free time,
she and her family love to go camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing...basically anything outdoors.
She loves a good book and a good cup of coffee.