WESTMINSTER ACADEMY

Faculty

Adams, Roseanne

  • B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Roseanne has taught at Westminster Academy since 1999.  This year she will be teaching the 6th and 7th grade general science and 9th grade earth science classes.  Roseanne has a great deal of experience teaching science for different co-ops.  She has been an active member of the Board with Westminster Academy and brings a godly perspective to the study of science.

Science should be taught from the perspective of God being the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  The primary role of spiritual education should come from parents.  Reinforcement of godly character should come in the school classroom.

Boswell, Renée

  • B.A. Speech Communications, University of Virginia

Renée Boswell has taught Writing Club for sixth graders since 2005. She worked in radio (as Renée Ridley) for 13 years as a news reporter. After being forced to read plenty of bad writing she is eager to help her students write clean, clear prose with a touch of their own originality.

Being able to write well means being able to think well. I hope to challenge my students to be logical as well as original. The ability to communicate in an effective, winsome manner is a life skill that everyone should cultivate. I pray it will help my students to be able to share the truths of the gospel in a variety of settings.

Degenhardt, Kathie

  • B.A. Psychology, Hofstra University
  • Master of Liberal Arts (MLA), University of Richmond
  • Professional Certification, Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)

During her fifteen years as an educator, including six years at Westminster Academy, Kathie has primarily taught United States history, government, and economics.  Additionally, she has instructed students in world history, literature, consumer math, and Bible doctrine. She also taught a home school humanities co-op for juniors covering 20th Century United States history and American literature. Kathie has a love for books and quality writing, and she was able to incorporate these interests while overseeing a local church library for a few years. She has long attended Community Bible Study and is currently a core group leader. Of course, family, friends, and dogs are very important in her life!

I am so glad to be back at Westminster Academy! I look forward to a new assignment in the Writing Lab and assisting students in developing their skills. I have always required my history students to write frequently. Therefore, I see my upcoming role as an extension of what I have accomplished in my previous classes. I am enthused to teach students how to express themselves in their own voice and write with clarity and substance.  It is a privilege to have the freedom to interact with students, build relationships, and encourage them in their faith and the truth of the Gospel. 

Easterling, Mary Ann

  • B.A. Music Ed; B.A. Voice, University of Richmond; Magna Cum Laude
  • Level 1 Certification in Orff Schulwerk, George Mason University

Mary Ann teaches piano and voice lessons.  Her love for music and love for students combine to make her time of instruction a success and enjoyment for all involved.

My desire as an educator and a Christian is to stimulate a hunger and thirst in my students to realize God’s plan for their lives, realize the gifts He has given them, and utilize those gifts to lift up Jesus, our Savior and Lord.  My desire as a music educator is to enable my students to realize their potential to worship and glorify God through music, and encourage others, through the medium of music, to seek Him.

Fagan, Pattie

  • Bachelor of Applied Studies in Information Systems with Business Minor, University of Richmond, Summa Cum Laude
  • Independent Educator since 1989

As an active home educating parent of four for more than twenty years, Pattie led various home school co-op groups, which featured science, history, creative writing, creation research, and art.  In 2008, Pattie joined Westminster’s teaching staff for mathematics and computer science, bringing to the classroom her business and computer systems experience. As Westminster Academy’s Educational Counselor and WA Yearbook Team faculty sponsor, Pattie enjoys working side by side with students.  In addition to the classroom setting, Pattie offers private computer and math lessons tailored to meet the needs of individuals. Outside of teaching, Pattie enjoys opening their home to her three youngest children in college and their friends; providing bookkeeping/accounting services to small businesses; and traveling with her husband.  

The orderliness of mathematics and computer science presents a picture of God’s consistency and order. The ability to produce quickly, efficiently, and creatively is a skill that is in high demand in the academic and business worlds. My goal as a Christian and an educator is to meet students where they are and bring them to the next level. I desire that they learn skills and techniques that will enable them to work to the best of their abilities, which in turn may glorify the Lord.

Greenhill, Mollie

  • B.S. Exceptional Education, Appalachian State University
  • M.A. Educational Leadership/Student Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University

Mollie was both an administrator and a high school English teacher in Henrico County Public Schools before coming to Westminster.  As the wife of a youth and college pastor, she spends much of her free time with teenagers as a small group leader for high school girls.  She loves reading and especially enjoys teaching students how to apply and connect literature to our current world.  A claim to fame: She is the oldest daughter of WA’s Señora Ames!

Through literature we learn to express our faith and discover the ways in which God is revealed and glorified.  As Christians, we must be able to clearly articulate our beliefs; becoming good readers and writers is pivotal to becoming effective communicators.  My prayer is that I can impart my love of reading and writing as I remind students that they, themselves, are characters in a story.  I want to encourage students to be bold in sharing their role in God’s story by embracing the oral and written word.

Gross, Kari

  • B.S. Administration, Cornell University

With her home-schooling family, Kari moved to Richmond in 1999 from Tennessee, where she served on her church staff in children’s ministry. She has taught humanities, mathematics, and Bible at Veritas School since 2004, as well as courses in her home in history, literature, math, and writing for homeschooling families. Kari and her husband Paul have two adult children and worship at West End Presbyterian Church.

I truly enjoy spending time with high school scholars, and especially relish tracing the thread of the Gospel that runs throughout history with them. My family loves to read and travel and I believe that broadening students’ knowledge of God’s world is vital to a rich education. A good teacher enthusiastically displays a love of learning in front of her scholars and invites them to come along for the adventure, and I look forward to the journey with Westminster students.

Hall, Fran

  • B.A. Classics, The College of William and Mary
  • M.A. Latin, University of Ottawa
  • M.A.T. Classics, Boston College

A former high school Latin teacher, Fran came to Westminster in 2002.  She homeschooled her children for ten years as well as taught a number of Sunday school classes. She will be teaching Latin 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Fran also serves on WA’s Academic Committee and is a member of The American Classical League.

Apart from the beauty and orderliness that Latin has to offer, I believe that the benefits of understanding the Roman language and culture are far-reaching. Not only does studying Latin help with English grammar and vocabulary, but for the Christian, it puts the New Testament and development of the early church into context. My goal as teacher is to encourage students to learn and enjoy this remarkable discipline.

Hutton, Kathy

  • B.F.A., Illinois State University
  • M.F.A., Sculpture, Virginia Commonwealth University

Kathy received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Illinois State University in 1986. She was awarded a scholarship to attend Virginia Commonwealth University's Graduate Sculpture Program, which is now the # 1 Public Sculpture Program in the United States. While at VCU, Kathleen was a teaching assistant. When she graduated in 1988, her work included copper, welded steel, bronze, aluminum and mixed media sculptures, as well as many paintings and drawings. In addition to being an accomplished artist, Kathy has home schooled her own children for sixteen years and has taught art classes since 1991. She currently teaches High School and Middle School Art classes at Westminster Academy, Arête Christian Academy and Veritas School, as well as out of her home. Kathy’s students have received various awards over the years, including multiple students placing in the State Fair, National printmaking contests, and the Trinity Middle School Arts competition. Kathy’s students have been accepted into many college art programs, including VCU Arts, University of Richmond, The Art Institute of Washington, and Virginia Tech.

I believe that we are reflecting the image of God, and so glorify Him when we exercise creativity to bring order and beauty to our lives.  I love helping students tap into their creative side.  I am looking forward to another year of facilitating discovery, growth and development of our gifts.

Maroon, Anne

  • B.A. French, Virginia Tech

Anne has taught French at Westminster Academy since 1995!  Before that she had experience teaching in public and private schools.  In college, Anne spent a summer abroad studying at the Université de Touraine in Tours, France.  Since college, she has enjoyed traveling on four other occasions to various parts of France, most recently with students and families of Westminster Academy to Paris and the Provence region in June 2010.  Anne will teach all levels of French, exposing students to another language and culture and nurturing them in their command of French.

I believe the goal of education is not simply to transmit rote or memorized information, but to stimulate thinking and the application of what is being learned.  Education takes place best in an environment that is encouraging, stimulating, and creative.  I am so happy to have the freedom to express my faith and to encourage students in theirs.  I pray that the Lord will use me and make me more sensitive to opportunities to do this.

Matsumoto, Mori "MIchelle"

  • B.A. Education, Elementary Reading and Mathematics Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Michelle has been teaching children for almost 20 years, having taught 8th grade math in Tacoma City, Washington for four years, and 6th & 7th grade math/science in Hanover County, Virginia for 5 years. In 2006, God put the desire on her heart to homeschool her children, and she began teaching her eldest son his 8th grade year and continued until he graduated. She taught her children and other homeschoolers in a co-op for 10 years, and is currently homeschooling two of her children who now attend Westminster Academy. She is excited to be a part of the teaching staff and for this opportunity that presented itself as a result of her children’s involvement in Westminster. Teaching middle school students – math in particular – is what she happens to enjoy most!

As I move into this incredible role of assuming greater responsibilities, I do so with the assurance that this is God’s purpose for this season of my life – and the life of your children. I believe each and every one of them are incredibly powerful gifts from God; “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.” Psalm 127-4. In this life of challenges and uncertainties, we have been explicitly charged to train up our children in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6). I am humbled and honored to assist you as parents in training up an Army for God. 

Perry, Rebecca

  • B.A. Spanish, Cum Laude, James Madison University

Rebecca taught Spanish for six and a half years in Chesterfield County.  She has taught at Westminster since 2005.  In 1998, she was awarded Most Outstanding Secondary Education Student from JMU.  In 1999 Rebecca was awarded Chesterfield County's New Teacher of the Year.  She has studied abroad at the University of Salamanca, Spain (summer session), traveled to Spain six times (taking students three of those times), and traveled to Mexico and Puerto Rico.

When I was a swim instructor I realized that I can't make a child swim, but I can give him the tools and make it so much fun in the water that he wants to jump in and start swimming. I have the same teaching philosophy for teaching Spanish.  The Lord continues to bless me here at Westminster, and I hope that by His grace, I can be a blessing to my students as well.

Phillips, Suzanna

  • B.A. English, Gardner-Webb University
  • B.A. Religious Studies, Gardner-Webb University
  • B.A. Journalism, Gardner-Webb University
  • Creative Writing, Continuing Studies, Oxford University
  • M.A. English Literature, Gardner-Webb University

Suzanna began teaching writing while still in undergrad work at her university Writing Center. Candidates for this program were hand selected by the head of the English department and personally trained for the position throughout the year. She went on to work as a writer for the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. and the International Mission Board in Richmond, VA. Most recently, she has been published in Focus on the Family’s monthly magazine Thriving Family. In the 2011-2012 school year she worked at Veritas School as an instructor for Rhetoric I and II, Senior Thesis and Hermeneutics. She also served as advisor to the Veritas upper school newspaper Litterae Veritatis and founded the school Writing Center. She spent the 2012-2013 school year teaching World Literature and Writing 9/10 at Westminster. She adores reading, writing, and most of all sharing the love of all things lit and hopes to bring a contagious enthusiasm for savvy language use and dissection of the written word to her students at Westminster.

It is evident in Scripture that the Lord loves literary devices and Christ used stories to draw in and call people to Himself. From loving God’s Word and desiring to follow Christ’s example I see literature as a way to ponder the condition of man through a lens of insight - to learn and think without ruining your life! Looking for Biblical parallels in literature is one of my favorite endeavors. They are always there, they can’t help but be. We are created in God’s image, and like Him, we create what we love. Our hearts pour out through our pens. 

Pilson, Jessica

  • B.A. Middle School Education, Cum Laude, Certified Tester, James Madison University

Jessica has taught English at Westminster since 2000.  Jessica’s main focus is middle school.  Her teaching experience includes not only Westminster but also experience in the Henrico County school system.

I desire to teach the students the art of communication.  Writing, reading, and analysis are learned skills.  I want to educate students to analyze and think independently within the framework of the Bible.  Students are challenged, pushed and stretched in my class in order to glorify God.  I want my students to be able to effectively communicate the gospel in whatever environment God leads them.  I praise God for the chance to teach these students in His ways.

Pottle, Susan

  • Master of Music in Composition; Bachelor of Music - Voice; Piano Minor, Southeastern Louisiana University

Susan actively home educated her four girls for twenty years and had the joy of having her daughters sing in a girls’ homeschool choir that she has directed since 2007. She continues to direct the homeschool girls’ choir, which provides her with opportunities for one of her greatest passions- composing and arranging choral music. Susan’s particular love for choral music began in high school where she was mentored by her high school choral teacher. Since high school, Susan has sung in and directed a variety of choirs over the years from children’s choirs to church choirs to community choirs. From 1991-1995 (while living in Massachusetts) Susan served as the assistant conductor for the Lawrence Choral Arts Society. She also was their composer-inresidence, and debuted two of her choral compositions with orchestra.

I believe that music is one of the most powerful gifts God has given us and I love being able to share this precious gift with others. To me, choral music is a perfect example of how we can come together as one to glorify God and as a result, all be blessed- whether it be as the listener or the singer.

Reid, Debra

  • B.S. Chemistry; M.S. Chemistry, University of Richmond

Debbie has taught at Westminster for a number of years.  Next year she will be teaching Physical Science and Chemistry.  Her employment background includes working at A.H. Robins in chemistry, allowing her to relate practical experience to her class.  She has previously taught groups of homeschoolers in chemistry and is teaching college chemistry at J. Sargeant Reynolds.  She has homeschooled both her children; Lindsey is a graduate of Randolph Macon and Josh is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.  Debbie enjoys teaching basic science principles to the middle and high school students in hopes of encouraging them to pursue sciences. 

It has been such a blessing to teach the students at Westminster Academy.  I consider it a privilege to share God’s principles and how they are explained in nature.  I have grown as a Christian as I prepare for each class and have been able to see God in new ways.

Schlesman, Susan

  • B.A. in Creative Writing, Bob Jones University

Sue is an author, blogger, free-lance writer, and teacher. She has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Over the last 25 years, Sue has taught in traditional classrooms and tutored hundreds of students in writing, literature, and grammar. Between 2006 and 2012, Sue taught English at Westminster while she was home-educating her three sons. Excited to return to Westminster as a writing specialist, Sue will assist students in advancing their writing skills.

Yacher, Melissa RN

  • B.S. Nursing, Magna Cum Laude, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.A. Spanish, Summa Cum Laude, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • B.A. Linguistics, Summa Cum Laude, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Melissa is a critical care nurse at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital where she enjoys teaching her patients about how their medication works in their bodies and how what they eat affects their health. She was also an assistant teacher in a one room schoolhouse for missionary children in northern Pakistan in 2006. Melissa has substituted for Biology classes at Westminster in the past and graduated from Westminster herself in 2000. She is also fluent in Spanish and has studied abroad in Wales and Mexico. Being a nurse, her strengths are in anatomy and physiology and cellular biology. 

My favorite part of nursing is patient education. I enjoy teaching people about how amazing their body is and how to take care of their health. I loved my time substituting for biology at Westminster and look forward to teaching this year. I hope to show my students the majesty of God through the examination and understanding of His creation.

Yancey, Al

  • B.A. History & Political Science, University of Alabama

Al has been involved in home schooling in Richmond since the early 1990’s and was on the board and vice president of the Westminster Academy for over 10 years. All four of his children attended Westminster.  He is currently Commercial Lines Manager for the Virginiaand DC Metro Territory for the Hanover Insurance Company. He has been a lead trainer for college graduates hired by the company in the Underwriting Trainee program since 2006. Serving as a ruling elder since 1986, he has taught a variety of Sunday School classes at All Saints RPC for over 30 years, mostly the 4th and 5th graders. He has been involved in politics since he was 5. He has been an election official and held positions of Ward Chairman and Precinct Coordinator for the Republican Party of Richmond. Al is also a past president of both the Oxford Civic Association and the Southampton Recreation Association.

I have a passion for the American system of government and free market economics.  My goal is to enable students to see both the biblical underpinning and providence of God in our core documents and founding, and the liberties we enjoy that flow from them.

Yehnert, Rebecca

  • B.A, Government and International Politics, George Mason University, magna cum laude
  • Certified ESL Teacher

Rebecca was homeschooled all twelve years of her primary education and is a Westminster Academy graduate.  After finishing university, her plans to work for the US government changed when God called her to the mission field. Over the next four years she served several terms as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in the Middle East, working with Muslims who had never heard the gospel.  Since returning to the States last year, she has continued to serve her mission agency as a mentor for new workers, but she’s never forgotten how much she enjoyed teaching.  She is excited to return to Westminster, this time as a teacher, to instruct students in her absolute favorite subject: History.

I am thrilled to have the chance to serve at Westminster Academy as a teacher of history. It has been my favorite subject since middle school, when I had a phenomenal teacher instill a passion for the topic in me. It is my hope that I can be the same kind of inspiration for my own students. I believe that a firm grasp of history is not only indispensable for achieving a well-rounded education, but that it also clearly showcases the amazing providence of God in our lives.  I look forward to exploring with students the exciting, crazy, mysterious and miraculous stories of our past.

Ziegelhofer, Nikki

  • M.A. Early Childhood Education, Christopher Newport University
  • B.A. English, Christopher Newport University

Nikki is a Westminster Academy graduate.  After graduation, she taught 5th grade in Newport News for three years, including students with special needs.  She and her husband  were married in 2011 and decided to move back to Richmond when they were expecting their first son.  She is very excited to be able to return to Westminster to teach Science for a second year.

I am passionate about building a connection between the home and the classroom and creating an environment devoted to learning.  Science is the perfect subject for collaboration and hands-on experiments, and these skills help build a solid foundation for future academic success.  I am thankful for the opportunity to teach in a Christian school where the Lord is central to all learning, and I pray that I am able to help my students grow in the Lord while learning about the world around them.