Meet our Teachers

Christina Bacca

Christina Bacca

Teacher

“Spanish Teacher 1. Like a regular teacher only mucho mas chido. #HasFunInSpanish #ILoveMyStudents #IAlwaysWantedToBeAMeme”

Christina Bacca holds a Master’s degree from The George Washington University and a B.A. in both Spanish and French. She has studied in Spain, France and Mexico. She has had a love for teaching since she was a child, when she played school with her brother. Christina taught in Fairfax County Public Schools and had the privilege of teaching other educators Spanish at UVA and George Mason University. She is married to a native Spanish speaker, homeschooled her two daughters, has tutored for 18 years and is amazed at how God has given her so many opportunities to use Spanish. Currently, Christina is passionate about developing a homeschool curriculum using Comprehensible Input, a method that allows students to understand a second language from Day 1 and acquire a high degree of proficiency in the language and the confidence to use it.

Cyndy Berryman

Cyndy Berryman

Teacher

“I love the quote: ‘If you can’t explain your physics to a barmaid it is probably not very good physics.’ – Ernest Rutherford”

Cyndy received her BS in engineering from the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) and her ADN RN degree in 2009 from Lord Fairfax Community College. She currently works part time as a labor and delivery nurse. Cyndy and her husband have 6 children which they have homeschooled since the oldest was in 1st grade (28 years homeschooling) and are in the process of adopting a child from Ukraine. They have graduated 5 children who all went on to college, and one is currently being homeschooled. When Cyndy had her first child, she wondered why God would have directed her to a science/math degree if she was going to stay home with her children. And then she embarked on the amazing journey of homeschooling and found her niche teaching high school math and science. God is so Good!

Sandy Boemerman

Sandy Boemerman

Teacher

“Both my adult children agree that if I were an animal, I would be a deer!”

Sandy has a Master’s Degree in Education from Va. Tech. She has been teaching at CHESS for 6 years. Sandy also works as a tutor through NovaStar Prep, a tutoring company. She currently tutors 2 students. Before she became a mother, she taught a Study Skills class, and a Career Exploration class at Prince George’s Community College. She also developed and taught a Psychology class for students in Prince George’s County who were working on getting their high school diploma after previously dropping out. In addition, Sandy worked with emotionally challenged children, worked for Fairfax County Social Services, and was the Personnel Manager at an education association. During the years of homeschooling her 2 kids, she and her kids participated in a 4-H club, where she developed and taught a Career Exploration class for teens. Sandy served as the HOPE high school leader for 4 years. After homeschooling her son and daughter, her daughter went on to become a Pediatric nurse and her son is in the Doctoral Program for Industrial Psychology at Penn. State. Sandy is a Stephen Minister at her church, ministering one on one with women going through a difficult time. Teaching and helping teenagers is a passion, she remembers clearly what it was like to be one, and likes to assist teens in any way she can.

Betsy Dill

Betsy Dill

Teacher

“My favorite quote is ‘Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.’ -Authorship up for debate.”

Betsy has over 30 years’ experience working as a professional illustrator and copywriter. Her fashion illustration and humorous inspirational articles have been published in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. She also illustrated two children’s picture books. For over 19 years, she has taught art, creative and essay writing, and public speaking in private Christian schools and tutoring centers after she homeschooled her son. In addition she directed a professional writers group, is a former Guideposts magazine workshop winner, and was nominated for a Disney Teacher Award, honoring creativity in teaching.

Kimberly Glover

Kimberly Glover

Teacher

If a time machine is ever created, I will be the first to sign up. I’d set it for 1929, my great-grandmother’s house in South Louisiana.”

Kimberly Glover combined her passions for teaching and photography into one fulfilled dream at CHESS. She has always loved teaching, beginning with the Bible classes she taught as a high school student. She studied English at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, with the goal of teaching high school, and also studied psychology at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. Married to a writer and editor, she has been educating their children at home for more than a decade. Mrs. Glover’s passion for photography inspired her decision to start Cedar Box Photography six years ago. She applies the creative skills she has learned in that role to her activities in the homeschooling community, which include yearbook photography, senior portraits and graduation photos.

Katrina Hadley

Katrina Hadley

Teacher

 “Although I can’t tell a joke well, I love to laugh and need others to remind me to be silly sometimes. And during March, you’ll find me watching the NCAA college basketball tournament routing for my Kansas Jayhawks.” 

Katrina has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with Distinction from the University of Kansas. She began her career at the National Security Agency analyzing encrypted messages, then moved on to Accenture, helping to develop a $15M enterprise application as part of the technical team for the Tennessee Department of Corrections. She then worked with SAIC as a consultant for the FBI, designing, testing, installing, debugging, and supporting the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Her responsibilities also included managing installations and upgrades of CODIS throughout the forensic community in the U.S., leading training sessions, and creating training manuals. And then there were kids. She left the “working” world and views her highest accomplishment as raising her four children and homeschooling them for 13 years. During that time, she tutored Foundations and Essentials classes within the Classical Conversations homeschool program for nine years, and trained other tutors during its summer practicums. Although she hung up her homeschool hat a few years ago, her combined passion for math and educating the next generation for God’s glory ensues. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Biblical and Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary while teaching classes at CHESS.

John Jenkins

John Jenkins

Teacher

“I love writing fiction that inspires young people; it’s my passion. Our generation needs heroes – at least a million of them.”

John is a publisher, author and conference speaker who has been teaching homeschoolers for 21 years and at CHESS since its inception. John’s classes include effective writing for high school and college, critical reading and thinking skills, fiction writing, literature, mock trial, business and technical writing, and Microsoft Office skills. His writing credits include nine short stories for Focus on the Family, including “If One Falls” which took the Higher Goals first place award for fiction in the 2000 EPA publisher’s competition for Breakaway magazine. John’s most recent books are I Love Baseball and Ghost Pirates, which are part of his Young Heroes series. John is married and a proud father of two adult sons, four lovely granddaughters, a grandson and a great granddaughter. John has lived in No. Va. all of his life. A Christian since 1970, John teaches Sunday school at Clear River Community Church. All of John’s books are available on Amazon by going to StoryShopUSA.com.

Sandy Kelly

Sandy Kelly

Teacher

“I like to crochet and find it very relaxing.”

Sandy Kelly has a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Geneva College. She has taught chemistry at the college level and has taught chemistry to home school high school students for over fifteen years, both in co-ops and in private homes. She also does private tutoring in chemistry for students in all types of schools. She and her husband homeschooled their now 30-year-old son, who has two degrees from George Mason University and is working for a large information technology services company.

Dee Dee Kintzing

Dee Dee Kintzing

Teacher

“Every time I do this, I say it’ll be my last one. This October, for sure, will be my last marathon. I think..”

Dee Dee graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a degree in education and a passion for teaching and learning. She has over 30 years of teaching and tutoring experience in a variety of subjects and learning programs, including public high school, Classical Conversations, and several homeschool coop and enrichment programs. Within the CHESS community, she has taught classes for over a dozen years, including subjects in Art, Science and Social Studies. Dee Dee’s three children (all graduated) were homeschooled and are former CHESS enrollees. Dee Dee and her husband co-teach 4th grade Sunday School.

Charlie Lu

Charlie Lu

Teacher

“I love Walt Disney World. I could go on all day talking about the Disney Parks and the Disney Cruise Line.  If you ever have a vacation planning question about Disney, feel free to ask me.”

Charlie received Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was a senior in high school, and his relationship with God matured during his college years. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, a M.S. in Software Systems Engineering from George Mason University and an M.B.A. from UMUC. Charlie currently works full-time as a capture manager winning new business for Leidos. In his past, he taught Sunday school for grades K-6; he was director of AWANA’s Truth and Training Club for two different churches in two different states; he coached 8th grade girls’ lacrosse in Fauquier County; and for fun he was a volunteer medic (EMT) for several years in Charlottesville and Prince William County. Charlie and his wife Kimberley, have three children and have homeschooled them since 2005. Their two oldest are students at the University of Virginia. Their third is a junior in high school. With God’s providence and Kimberley’s encouragement, Charlie successfully founded Boy Scout Troop 2717. As the Scoutmaster, he emphasizes the purpose of Scouting from a very strong Christian perspective with a foundation built solely upon the Rock, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Charlie enjoyed ballroom and swing dancing in college, so he decided to learn how to square dance and took lessons in 2012. He began sharing his knowledge of square dancing with the area youth in 2016 and took a group to the Washington Area Square Dance Cooperative Association’s (WASCA) Spring Festival in 2018. Since he is very thankful for all of the experiences with which God has blessed him, Charlie’s passion is to share the fun and knowledge he has acquired throughout the years with the youth in the homeschooling and church communities.

Camilla Rivera

Camilla Rivera

Teacher

“The music that best describes me would be alternative rock. I never do anything with the ‘in crowd’ and whatever I am doing, I do with a smile and an upbeat tempo.”

Camilla holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University. While working in the corporate world she realized she loved teaching when she was asked to travel and teach for her employer. Switching to teaching her children at home just seemed natural and she homeschooled her two very different boys from preschool to college. While teaching her own children she was constantly learning new ways to present math and now shares her knowledge with the students at CHESS. She says children are more fun to teach than adults because they love learning, make her laugh, and don’t need so many breaks.

Dijana Trkulja

Dijana Trkulja

Teacher

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ – from Forrest Gump, my favorite movie/quote and chocolate is my favorite food!”

Dijana Trkulja was born in former Yugoslavia and studied Social Studies at the Banja Luka School for Natural Science and Mathematics (http://www.unibl.org/en/members/faculties/faculty-of-natural-sciences-and-mathematics). Due to her husband’s work, her family has moved four times over 15 years, to include living abroad. Dijana has been active in different churches domestically and internationally, leading women’s ministries and children’s programs in military communities. She worked as a financial advisor and a background investigator prior to homeschooling her daughters, and has served the homeschool community since 2012 as a teacher and a co-op board leader. Dijana holds an Associates Degree in Computer Programming from Cuyahoga Community College, speaks multiple languages and has extensive international travel to over a dozen countries. She has always had a love for teaching, especially history and geography. Over the last five years Dijana has taught high school US History, World History, World Geography, and Art at homeschool co-ops in New Jersey and Virginia. Currently she is teaching Government and Economics, and World History with Literature and Bible at the co-op in Stafford. She thanks her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the opportunity to lead and teach children in His way. Dijana looks forward to serving at CHESS this coming year.

Erica Liao-Wang

Erica Liao-Wang

Teacher

 “Because I am constantly changing my recipes, trying to incorporate some ‘healthy’ ingredients, don’t be surprised if you find chia seeds in my apple pies.”

Erica was born and raised in China, so her native language is, of course, Chinese. She received her master’s degree in Statistics from George Washington University and another master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Erica and her husband homeschooled their three children with the oldest child being a college graduate, the middle one a college sophomore and the youngest child a seven-grade CHESS enrollee. Erica taught one-year Physics and one-year Statistics in homeschool coops. Erica has been teaching Mandarin Chinese in both beginner and intermediate levels since three years ago. She has been teaching Sunday school from Kindergarten to 2-grade since 2010. Erica is passionate about teaching because she values it as a privilege and a precious opportunity to influence life through life. Erica enjoys learning through teaching, reading, cooking and running.

Heidi Wethered

Heidi Wethered

Teacher

“I love goats, and even went goat cuddling. It was so much fun having a baby goat fall asleep in my arms!”

Heidi earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Work and her Master’s degree in Human Services Program Management from Western Maryland College. (now McDaniel College) She spent 17 years working for The Arc of Frederick County (Maryland) providing service coordination to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has been married to her husband, Bennett, for 29 years. She homeschooled their two daughters from kindergarten through high school graduation. For eight years she taught first grade at Oak Hill Christian School. She recently began working with Prince William County’s Adult Education Program. Heidi’s favorite things to teach are History and English. She enjoys learning about historical events and figures, and loves passing that on to her students. An avid reader, Heidi strives to encourage the love of books in her students, helping them to identify and appreciate good literature . Whenever possible, Heidi enjoys spending time with her two grandsons, reading and scrapbooking.

Lorie Zellner

Lorie Zellner

Teacher

“When we were first married, my husband and I helped run VBS on a Native American Indian reservation in South Dakota.”

I graduated from George Mason University and have a degree in Elementary Education. I taught in a private school and also was a substitute teacher in Fairfax County public schools before having my children. My six children have been homeschooled from preschool through high school and participated in many CHESS classes over the past 15 years. My youngest is a junior and currently taking classes at CHESS. I have taught in various homeschool co-ops, Sunday school, and am currently mentoring young moms and leading a Bible study for ladies at our church.

CHESS meets at 8730 Sudley Road, Manassas, in the “Rock” building next to Manassas Baptist Church.

 

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