Faculty Biographies 2020-21

Meet our Faculty!



Laura Coker-Garcia

Mrs. Coker-Garcia earned a Master’s of Education degree with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction and a Bachelor’s of Journalism degree, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also holds Texas lifetime teaching certificates for Secondary Social Studies and for  Journalism.

Mrs. Coker-Garcia started her career teaching middle school history for  HISD, where she served on the Site Based Decision Making Committee and  chaired an innovative summer school program. After leaving the public  schools she went to a private alternative school working with middle and  high school students and their teachers as a learning specialist.

When her oldest daughter achieved school-age Mrs. Coker-Garcia committed  to home schooling. Over the years she has been active in several support  groups, organized many “outside” classes, set up hundreds of field  trips, coached students participating in history fairs and  the  geography bee, sponsored a Gavel Club, taught at several co-ops and led two troops of home schooled Girl Scouts.


Linda Hendrix

Linda H

Linda Hendrix holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering. She has taught math for HEP for 21 years. Mrs. Hendrix has had great success in preparing students for College Calculus. San Jacinto College has been very impressed with the students who come from the HEP classes. Currently, she is teachng Algebra 1/2,  Algebra 2, Honors Advanced Mathematics, Honors Calculus, and Honors Physics. Mrs. Hendrix home schooled her three children, one of whom won the National Merit Scholarship in 2006. Her children were actively involved in CHSA Athletics. Her daughter graduated from Baylor Law School in 2015 as the #1 graduate. Her second daughter is scheduled to earn her doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2020.


Tiffany Henry

Tiffany Henry teaches Classical School History. She finds joy in her role as wife and mother, of 3 children, as well as a homeschool mom for the last 12 years. In her previous life, B.C. (Before Children), she earned her Bachelors in Business Administration as a Business Management Major. Working in the business world for 6 years thereafter, she decided the time had arrived to focus on her true love of children and join the teaching world. Earning her Lifetime Texas Teacher Certificate – Generic Special Education, she enjoyed the blessings of teaching. Once children arrived, she focused on family, and dabbled in working on various grants as well as gaining more knowledge to share in workshops. Since joining the homeschooling adventure with her children and supportive husband, she has worked with children of all ages, from preschool to high school, in various coops and Sunday school. Texas History, Geography, and a Masters Class for C.C. top the recent list of classes taught, always with her children in the forefront and joining in the mix. When trying to explain “homeschooling,” she explains it as a “lifestyle with so many blessings.” The Lord set us on a path in which we have been richly blessed, and we love to share it with others.

Debby Jasinski

Mrs. Jasinski joins the HEP TX staff as the new art teacher and will teach Creativity in the Classical School. As a young child, Ms. Jasinski discovered her love for art, dance, and creative movement. As an adult, she continued her passon through teaching, sharing, and making a difference helping others discover and grow their talents. After 16 years of teaching in a local dance studio, Ms. Jasinski continued teaching art and creative movement at summer camps and in local outreach. She also taught in after school programs working with Pre-K through 12th grades and with special needs students.  Ms. Jasinski studied art in college (TAMU) and continued to participate in classes and worshops taught by many professional artists learning techniques in various mediums including painting and drawing.  

Ms. Jaskinski is also a certified Ageless Grace Educator teaching fitness for the body and the brain and has recently trained in their program 4 Ever Fit 4 Kidz. This program is designed to develop both physical and cognitive skills through the stimulation  of neuroplasticity while being playful, spontaneous, and creative .


Joanne Juren


          Recently inducted into the Texas Home School "Hall of Fame," Joanne Juren has over forty years experience as an educator, with experience as both a teacher and administrator in public schools and college, and eighteen years as a home educator in the homeschooling community. Mrs. Juren has a B.A. in English/History Teacher Education, a M.Ed. in Educational Administration, and a Texas Professional Mid-Management (Principal's) Certificate. She is the founder and National Executive Director of Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society and the new National Home School Science Honor Society, and owner of the HEP Bookstore and Home Education Partnership of Texas. She has served as  a member of the San Jacinto College Honors Committee, and as an administrator at the college. 

She was the first winner of the "Home School Best Pioneer" Award by the Calvert School in 2002 and is also a member of "Who's Who of American High School Teachers." The author of nine books, she is a popular speaker and has appeared on national television as an advocate of home schooling. She has been an active member of Sagemont Church since 1975 and was active in Boy Scouting for 15 years and is a featured panelist in the BSA Training Video for Youth Protection. The Juren's have two sons, both who were homeschooled and today, one is a patent attorney and the other holds an MBA and a JD and works for their other company, Gilmore Global Instruments, Inc..  A world traveler, Mrs. Juren brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and experience to the classroom. In her spare time, she is Nana to the five most wonderful grandchildren in the year. Three attend classes at HEP TX.


Melissa Juren


Melissa Juren joins the Home Education Partnership as the Computer Science teacher.  Her classes include Introduction to Microsoft Office 2010, Introduction to Programming, Introduction to Web Design, Introduction to Game Programming, Animation and Graphic Design.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science  and a minor in Create Writing from the University of Houston.  She also worked a full-time, paid internship with NASA at Ellington Field while earning her degree.  As a software engineer, she developed and maintained programs primarily using Java and XML, but she is also experienced with Visual Basic, C, C++, Scheme, JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, and Microsoft Office.  For twelve years, she has worked as a private tutor for elementary, high school, and college students teaching subjects such as English and composition to trigonometry and statistics.  She is married to Jason Juren, the second of Mrs. Joanne Juren's two sons, making her the third and final "Mrs. Juren" to join the HEP faculty. The mother of "triples" or "Irish triplets," Mrs. Juren loves children and looks forward to hers joining the HEP TX Pre-K program this fall.


Mandy McDonald

Mandy McDonald brings over twenty years of teaching experience to HEP as the Classical School Language Arts teacher.  A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in elementary education, she moved to Texas and taught first and second grades in Fort Bend ISD and CyFair ISD for numerous years.  She left that educational setting when she followed her husband’s work to Moscow, Russia, for part of a year.  While there, Mandy volunteered in an orphanage twice a week.  She later worked for a private reading tutor and returned to the public schools teaching second grade in CCISD. 

Mandy began homeschooling their three daughters 13 years ago.  Since then, she taught at various co-ops, local classes, and at a hybrid program in the Clear Lake community.  Over the years, she instructed individual and small group reading and writing classes out of her home. 

A trained reading interventionist in the Orton-Gillingham methodology for elementary-aged children, Mandy enjoys empowering students and partnering with parents in their homeschool journey.


Mary Ellen Minyon

Mrs. Mary Ellen Minyon rejoins the HEP TX staff as the Sign Language Teacher. We are excited to welcome her back to HEP TX! 

Welcome to Mary Ellen Minyon our new Sign Language Teacher. She will be teaching SL online.

Mary Ellen Minyon, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Therapy from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in Edinboro, PA. She received a Master of Education degree in Education of the Hearing Impaired from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA.  Mrs. Minyon has been using sign language to communicate with individuals who are Deaf for over 40 years.  She has taught in an elementary classroom for the hearing impaired, adult community sign language classes and developed the Ohio Resource Center on Deafness in Columbus, OH.  Recently, she worked as a Communication Facilitator for Galveston Brazoria Co-op for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Clear Creek Independent School District at elementary, middle school and high school settings.


Cheryl Red


Cheryl Red teaches Algebra 1, Life Science, Honors/AP Chemistry 1 and 2, Honors/AP Biology 1, and Accelerated Math. Mrs. Red has a B.A. in Microbiology, a B.S. in Medical Technology, and a M.S. in Biology. She also serves as the Math/Science Chairperson for HEP.   She has three children and homeschooled for thirteen years. She has taught science classes ranging from Physical Science to Chemistry for the last thirteen years to home schooled students in the Clear Lake area.  Part of the HEP SAT Test Team, Mrs. Red teaches the math preparation for college entrance tests. Mrs. Red also serves as the Chairman of the Math and Science Department for HEP and is currently the chairman of the AP program at HEP TX.

Fred Rodriquez

Fred Rodriquez is the upper level Spanish teacher. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Mr. Rodriquez has travelled through Central and South America for over 30 years as a consultant. He holds a B.A. from Sam Houston University.  On one of his most recent adventures, he walked the 500 miles along Spain’s Camino de Santiago de Compostela where he enjoyed visiting with families along the walk (this is where the photo above was shot).  A couple of years ago, he worked in HISD teaching Spanish to ESL students.  He attended the official TPRS training and continues to learn and practice new ideas for the TPRS methodology.


Sue Rothberg


With a love for history, a strong biblical background, and multiple experiences abroad, Sue Rothberg brings a unique set of experiences to the Journey Through Time program.  She also teaches math and science in Classical School, "Chemistry and Physics" for sixth grade, Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, Marine Biology, Meteorology/Environmental Science, and Math. She has a BS in biochemistry, BS in meteorology, and a MSBA. She served in the USAF  as a meteorology officer, manager of a clothing store, and has given private piano lessons for 15 years.  A big history buff and a Sunday School Teacher of many years, her biblical background will be a huge plus for JTT. Her husband is on the pastoral staff of Sagemont church. Her three sons (one an attorney, one a HPD officer, one a real estate agent) were homeschooled and the oldest two were 2 of the first 4 students in HEP TX when it began.

Sarah Silva

Sarah Silva graduated from University of Houston- Clear Lake in May 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary (teaching) BS EC -6 (Reading Concentration). Her teaching certificates are EC-6 and 4-8 Language Arts with ESL. She comes to HEP with six years of teaching experience. She has a wide variety of experience. She has taught in a Montessori style school at Primrose Schools teaching Pre-K 4 and Kindergarten. She taught 6-8 ELA classes at the Odyssey Academy – Bay Area Secondary campus in League City. While there, she also taught Cooking, Yearbook, and Community Service. She returns in the spring to the district to assist in reading intervention at all levels K-8th grade. The Silva Family resides in La Marque. Their son Jeremiah attends the classical school and daughter Emery will soon. They are members of the Living Faith Assembly of God in La Marque.


Mary N. Sweeney


Mary Sweeney joins HEP’s Classical School with a rich, varied cache of teaching experiences. After earning her undergraduate degree in foreign languages at Central Connecticut State College and Yale University, she worked and traveled, eventually settling in the great state of Texas. Employed with a NASA contractor by day, Mrs. Sweeney discovered her passion teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to preliterate adults in the Refugee Program through Houston Community College. After earning a M.Ed. at the University of Houston, she formed her own consulting business, Bay Area Accent Reduction, helping foreign professionals achieve better pronunciation; she also taught pronunciation in the Continuing Education Department at UofH. But God laughs at man’s well-laid plans, and a special-needs son led her along the unexpected and sometimes fearful path of homeschooling.

Twenty-two years later, Mrs. Sweeney has learned the true meaning of enthusiasm— seeing the hand of God in everything—and shares that quality in her instruction. Now that her children are grown—one a CPA, the other an accomplished pianist—Mrs. Sweeney devotes her talents to teaching others, specializing in secondary-level writing classes, history, and languages in both private and co-op settings. Active at Sagemont Church, Mrs. Sweeney has been a long-time Precept Bible Study leader and Sunday School instructor. In her spare time, she enjoys running, gardening, and raising chickens. 


Amy Thompson Titus

Mrs. Amy Titus earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a choral concentration and a Master’s Degree in Music Theory from Baylor University. She taught elementary music and directed choir in private Christian schools for 9 years, designing and implementing the school’s music curriculum. As her two sons grew, Mrs. Titus committed to homeschooling them, instructing them for the past 13 years. With one son graduating and moving on to college, Mrs. Titus turns her attention to HEP where she will teach Classical School Language Arts and Music.


Api Wales

Api Wales joins HEP staff as a teacher for English 8, Texas History, Classical History and as a co-teacher in the Pre-K class.  She earned a B.A. from the University of Houston in Communication Disorders.  She worked as a speech pathologist in a pediatric clinic in Houston.  Prior to earning her degree, she worked as a paralegal for a law firm for over 17 years.  Api grew up in a Spanish-speaking home and is fluent in Spanish.  She often interpreted  in court proceedings both in State and Federal courts. She will be using her Spanish skills as she assists in the Pre-K class.  Api has been home schooling her two children for the past 12 years. She was a Foundations and Essentials tutor and sometimes subbed as Director for Classical Conversations, a homeschool co-op.   Api’s 16 year old daughter, Rachel, earned the Grand Memory Master award for all 3 cycles in Classical Conversations.  Rachel is an honors student attending HEP and is a dual-credit student at San Jacinto College.  Api also has a 12 year old son, Caleb, who will be attending HEP in the fall 2019.  She and her husband, Dan Wales, live in Pearland and have actively served  in various children’s ministries in their church in Friendswood. Api is excited and looking forward to applying her teaching and Spanish skills at HEP.


Leigh Ann Whitman

Leigh Ann Whitman teaches in the Classical School as a teacher for Pre-K 3 and K-2. Leigh Ann has a B.S. from Texas A&M University. In addition to her elementary certification, she holds endorsements in Reading (1-5), Math (1-8), and Special Education (PK-12). With eight years of classroom experience, Leigh Ann has taught first, third, and fourth grade students in both Alvin Independent School District and Clear Creek Independent School District. She has also taught at First Baptist Christian Academy in Pasadena. For the past nine years, she has worked as a homeschooling mom.

Leigh Ann has two daughters, Abby, who attended HEP and recently graduated with a B.S. in nursing from UTMB, and Jenna, who attends college. Leigh Ann and her husband David have spent the last six years working with the volleyball side of Christian Home School Athletics, serving in a number of roles that include Vice President, Head of Coaches, & Scheduler. She is excited about joining the outstanding teaching staff at Home Education Partnership of Texas, Inc. and working with the elementary Classical School students.




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