What students and parents say about CHESS

What students and parents say about CHESS

If your student has attended CHESS and you have something to share that will help future parents and students make a decision to join CHESS, please email Tara Taylor with your comments here.


“I love everything about CHESS and am always happy to spread the word.  So grateful to all of you for providing these classes so we can successfully homeschool our high schoolers.”

Mary Beth Balint

“Structure, consistency, and professionalism. My kids are very motivated to follow through with their assignments due to positive peer pressure.” 

Parent, Faith Lillemo

“The students here are a wonderful group of kids, kind, polite and respectful to one another. Social aspect for homeschoolers is important at this age.”

Parent, Victoria Cherpes

“More than probably any other classes I took in high school, IMHO-Logic and Effective Writing proved to build immeasurably valuable skills. These classes train you to think and to communicate, which I use everyday at work and interacting with the culture. Much of the content I learned exceeded anything I was taught at University.

Jesse Taylor, Electrical Engineer, MICRON

“Good course selection that meets our needs. Like the Mon/Wed schedule. Love the community and loving/caring teachers.”

Survey response

“Being new to the area, we have truly felt welcomed and having a group with consistency and intentional communication and relationship has been wonderful for myself, and my children.”

Parent, Sandra Brokate

“Instruction in courses that are beyond what we can do at home.” 

Parent, Rose Haas

“Also, the courses and teachers are top notch and prepared Emily very well for William and Mary — 4.0 in her freshman year and with compliments on her writing.”


“Everyone is so kind and it is a great Christian environment to be in.”


“I’m not sure who to tell, but the CHESS yearbook turned out wonderfully! Thank you to the teacher, and students for pursuing everything to assemble such a wonderful memory for these students! I love that your seniors are honored in their own special way.  We are still so new to homeschooling and have been pleased to see so much support for these students. Have a blessed day!” 

Loree Katahara

“Excellent teachers who care and very affordable. I wouldn’t be able to homeschool high school if not for CHESS.” 

Parent, Karey Akers

“My kids have been given a spirit of belonging someplace. It has quenched that thirst of wanting to be in public school.”

Parent, Kimberly Glover

“It’s been great to have the accountability for the students – to turn in homework, take tests, prepare for class discussions. Also nice to have a chance for them to make new friends.”


“I chose CHESS because I like the variety of classes offered and the professionalism and enthusiasm of the teachers and coordinators.”

Survey response

“Organized teaching, concern for students, tests, projects, quizzes, writing assignments enable excellent learning.” 

Parent, Debbie Runyon

“Having a classroom environment while still being able to get attention/help from the teacher without having 20 other students who also need help.


“I liked hanging out with the other students and the classes were challenging but interesting.”


“My girls have been responsible for their work to another adult. Important for college.”



“Mrs. Kintzing makes art exciting and easy to understand, and she encourages us to be creative. She is also very passionate about what she is teaching.”

E. Kornreich, Hands On Art History

“Mrs. Dill is very funny, relaxed, and helpful. The course material is always varied and builds skills.”

J. Frantz, Drawing in Depth

“I like Ms. Dill. She’s very fun and excited all the time. “

M. Van Cleave, FPS

“The teacher is so fun! Day 1 I came in very nervous and I left laughing and smiling.”

P. Judkins

“I love all the unique projects.

L. Mullins, Studio Art

“Your art class has been a neat opportunity for my daughter to try her hand at art.  She has been very interested in the class.  Your projects are unique and interesting. And I have confidence that the CHESS teachers offer a good moral environment for the students along with their expertise in the subject matter.”

Parent of Hillary

“Mrs. Dill is so encouraging and I learn a lot.”

B. Mleziva, The Creatives

“I wanted to say thank-you for your excellent and fun class on different drawing techniques in Drawing in Depth. Zach has truly enjoyed your class.  I appreciate your upbeat, light-hearted and enthusiastic approach.  I like the way you have introduced Zach to various forms of art and artists.  It has stretched his approach to art beyond his particular favorite styles.”

Parent of Zach

“It’s really fun. I am enjoying the new projects and learning about things I’ve never heard of.”

A. Vermilion, The Creatives

“I like the friendly atmosphere, and the classmates, and the teacher.”

A. Kim, FPS

“She is very enthusiastic about creativity, and I always leave the class smiling.

Phoebe Judkins, Creative Writing


“Thank you for all your work with Eva in the Effective Writing and J101 classes this year!  She says you are a wonderful teacher, and I can tell she learned a great deal about all facets of the writing process. Her research skills and editing and revising abilities have clearly grown, as well as her ability and confidence to write in a number of styles and a variety of formats. Plus she thoroughly enjoyed it — it is not every teacher who can make hard work seem fun and rewarding as you do!  As she continues, I know she will always benefit from what you have taught her and helped her learn and achieve this year.  We feel truly fortunate to have had such a thoughtful, empowering, and dedicated teacher to help with our writing curriculum.

Ken Quittman, Eva’s father about EW 9-12 and J101

“As a freshman at George Mason University I was nervous attending my first English class and even more nervous about writing papers for an actual college professor. My first assignment was a research paper. I wrote it, turned it in, and came in the next week anticipating a lot of red marks on the paper. The first thing the professor said to me when I came in was, “Gabriel, where did you learn to write like this??” I was stunned. I got a 98 on my first college paper. After having my paper shown to the entire class, I explained how I had been taught to research and write these types of papers by none other than Mr. John Jenkins. I took his British Literature class and his Effective Writing class in high school, and nothing could have prepared me better than his teaching. It is thorough, educational, and extremely helpful when it comes to writing on the educational and professional level, and might I say helped me pass my first college English class with an outstanding A+!” 

Gabriel, Effective Writing 9-12 and British Literature

“The instructor is very enthusiastic. I enjoy the assignments.”

K. Frodigh, English 10

“The teacher is very good at explaining and making sure we understand. Also, we can email her questions and she always responds quickly.”

W. MacDonald, IEW Basic Writing

“It helps with my other classes.”

A. Lawson, Study Skills

“The teacher knows what he’s doing and makes the class interesting.”

L. Osterhoudt, Effective Writing 9-12

“I like the structure and the way the material builds in steps.  I love the regularity of checking work. Teacher does a tremendous amount of work. Very appreciative.”

Parent, Basic Writing IEW

“(He) challenges students to think critically.”

S. Bliss, Journalism 101/American Literature

“The teacher is very energetic and he makes the class fun.”

E. Hirscher, Effective Writing 9-12

“I like the fun atmosphere and interesting class discussions we have.”

R. Grace, Journalism 101

“I love the environment of the class. I feel I have learned a lot ever since the first day of his class.”

J. Layendecker, Effective Writing 9-12

“(I like) the teacher because she’s nice, kind and funny.”

IEW Basic Writing

“Everyone gets individual help with homework and assignments.”

L, DeWitt, Effective Writing 9-12


“Academically, I have enjoyed learning from each of the courses I’ve taken at CHESS; however, I feel I’ve most benefited from my Worldviews class, taught by Mrs. Boemerman. I really loved learning about different worldviews from her, as she always made the discussions fun and understandable.” 

G. Ramey, Worldviews

“It is fun and enjoyable, but I’m still learning a lot.”

T.Doran, History Detectives

“I enjoyed the lectures and discussions. I especially loved using primary texts as our ‘textbooks’ and forming our own opinions about history. I learned a lot of new things I will never forget! Thanks!”

E. Hauge, History of Freedom

“It really teaches you to work with others – and overcome issues. Similar to a college course.”

M. Wood, Mock Trial

“It is interactive; the teacher knows the material and is not shy, and it is team building.”

J. Akers

“I enjoy the discussions and question-answer format.” 

Hannah, Government

“Wonderful info, enthusiasm and variety of teaching methods.”  Parent, World Geography”I really appreciate how approachable the teacher (is) when I have questions.” 

G. Ramey, U. S. Government

“This is Gage’s favorite class! He has so much fun learning and looks forward to Monday mornings!”

Parents Michael and Jennifer Heiserman, World Geography

“I like how much the reading combined with our class discussions help me understand the material so much better.” 

G. Ramey, Understanding Worldviews

“Material is presented in a way that is interesting.”

M. Wood, Virginia History

“Interesting content, the teacher makes it fun, and most of all – my son enjoys the class and doesn’t mind doing the work.”

Parent, World Geography

“I like studying about the different countries, and I think Mrs. K is a fun teacher!”

A. Teramura, World Geography

“Mrs. Lyons’ class gave me a solid foundation in US government. As a Political Science and American Studies major in the pre-law program at Christopher Newport University, I was faced with a slew of government and law related courses right off the bat. Within the first few class sessions, however, I was able to draw clear connections to what I learned from Mrs. Lyon. For example, my familiarity with landmark supreme court cases allowed me to better comprehend a class on constitutional law. I would highly recommend Mrs. Lyon to any student seeking to gain a firm understanding of US government.”

Daniel Glenn, Government


“Two of my teens took Lynn Lewis’ Life Skills class. I was thrilled by the wide variety of skills she taught them, as well as the way she taught them to think Biblically. My girls loved her. I highly recommend her class.” 

Trish, Life Skills

“I took Mrs. Lewis’s Life Skills class in 2009.  She taught the class communication techniques which were helpful and applicable to all relationships.”

Rocina, Life Skills

“It helps with my other classes.”

A. Lawson, Study Skills

“Mrs. Lewis’s Life Skills class is easily one of the most valuable classes I have taken. It is full of wisdom, useful advice, and incredibly helpful information on a wide range of topics.”

Kade L., Life Skills

“Mrs. Lewis makes ‘learning to adult’ way more manageable. I especially liked her “master list” exercise. I graduated college 2 years ago and I still use her method!”

Danika M., Life Skills


“Attentive to detail; positive feedback; encouraging. Organized; incorporates current French culture into material.” 

Parent Debbie Runyon, French I

“I can study the course without the fear of learning a new language. The teacher is kind and very patient.”

J. Tatum, Spanish 1

“I LOVE how thorough Mrs. O is! There’s no way you can finish the class without grasping the material.”

M. Wood, French 1

“Mrs. O’Donnell is very enthusiastic about French and really wants to see all of her students succeed.”

Parent Kanoa Ratliff, French I

“It’s fun and Mrs. Bacca turned my hatred of Spanish into a love of it.”

W. Webb, Spanish 3

“The drive is worth it.”

E. Hershberger, Spanish 2

“She’s the best teacher I’ve ever had. I’ve learned so much from her.”

A. Mumford, French 2

“I love all the individual attention, and that the teacher makes sure we understand.”

C. Matthews, French 1

“I like everything about this class because my teacher explains everything very well.” 

K. Cherpes, Intro to French

“The teacher is so awesome!”

N. Ziu, French 1

“It is so much fun – my favorite class!”

L. Mullins, Spanish 1

“Everything is interactive; I am involved in everything.”

S. Ottaviano, Spanish 2

“She is a really good teacher and cares about us.”



“I love how the teacher presents the material and helps us understand the material and helps us improve.”

J. Moon, Intro to Literature

“The instructor is very helpful and eager to help students with any questions we have about the material.”

A. Kent, Masterpieces in Literature

“Both kids really enjoy Mr. Jenkin’s class and style of teaching.”

Parent, Intro to Literature

“I loved the people in the class and I had fun with the assignments.”

Intro to Literature

“I appreciate that everyone is met at their level and challenged where they personally need to be.” 

H. Lillemo, Masterpieces in Literature

“I am challenged in a good way…I really feel as if I am learning and growing in this area as a direct result of the standard he holds us to.”

D. Glenn, Masterpieces in Literature


“Mrs. Rivera has been teaching for so long that she understands the way a student’s brain works.”

J. Frantz, Pre-Algebra

“I personally love the way the lessons are explained. It helps me grasp the material much easier.”

S. Post, Geometry

“Really like the homework sheets you give the kids.  It is great for them to see each day’s work assigned and will be helpful as they move toward high school and have to divide up the work themselves.  Also appreciate the spreadsheet with all the grades on it.  Makes it very clear. You are very funny.  Humor is critical for life but certainly for math & science!”

Parent of student in Pre-Algebra and General Science

“The class is easy going, there isn’t pressure to do everything perfectly, but we’re challenged and encouraged to do work better than our best.”

T. King, Geometry

“The teacher really cares about the students and explains the material well.”

Parent, Algebra II

“I like everything about this class!”

P. Maloy, Geometry

“I really enjoy having a teacher who knows the material super well and is able to answer challenging questions that may be beyond our own knowledge.”

C. Lillemo, Algebra 2 Honors


Note: until 2015-16, Camilla Rivera taught all of the science classes,, now she is teaching math.

“The teacher is just very helpful and is willing to listen to any questions you may have.”

J. Gritton, Biology

“Mrs. Rivera is awesome! She is passionate about chemistry and it rubs off.”

D. Glenn, Chemistry Lab

“I like the experiments. They are fun and interactive.”

P. Glenn, Chemistry Lav

“Labs are interesting and fun.”

J. Mullins, Chemistry

“I love all of the hands on experiments.”

Carissa, Biology

“I like the curriculum and the way the teacher presents the material.”

J. Moon, Physical Science

“The biology labs were fun – even if the dissections were gross – and I loved my classmates.” 


“She gave us specific instructions but allowed us to have fun in class as well.”


“She explained homework really well and she was really funny.”


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


CHESS classes logo

About us


News & Events