Having lived in and/or traveled to five continents by her eighteenth birthday, English teacher Celia Crotteau likes to think that her unorthodox childhood and early exposure to other cultures allows her to approach instructing with flexibility and a tolerance for individual needs and viewpoints. Because her father’s work took her family all over the world, Celia herself was home schooled in the 1960s, long before home schooling was considered an acceptable educational alternative. Her rather unconventional learning also included four years at a convent boarding school in New Jersey for high school, followed by four years at the world’s largest Baptist university (Baylor), where she earned a B.A. in English and journalism, and, finally, graduation from University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing where she earned a B.S. Her twenty-five years as an RN encompassed staff to supervisory positions in hospitals and corporations, including six years as an active duty Navy nurse. After raising two daughters, both of whom were home schooled for part of their education, Celia pursued her love of literature and interest in women’s issues at University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she received a M.A. in Humanities, with an emphasis in Women’s Studies. She earned awards for Outstanding Graduate Student in Women’s Studies and Outstanding Graduate Student in Humanities, Text Tract, and worked as a professional tutor at the UHCL Writing Center for five years. A published essayist, poet, short story writer, and novelist, Celia considers herself a non-denominational Christian whose upbringing helps her respect the regard in which all believers hold their particular faiths. As such, she tries to teach in a way that allows students to acquire the background and acuity to understand and develop their individual creeds. When not teaching, Celia enjoys reading, cooking, working out, hiking, and traveling; she hopes to set foot on those last two continents in the near future!
Dr. Robert Crotteau
Dr. Robert Crotteau comes to Home Education Partnership upon retiring from Friendswood High School, where he taught Mathematics for 16 years. He taught Algebra I and II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus AB and BC. Prior to becoming an educator, Dr. Crotteau served in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine force for 24 years. He served on four nuclear submarines, including four years in command of the fast attack submarine U.S.S. New York City (SSN 696) before retiring with the rank of Captain (O6). In addition, he served on the staffs of Commander Submarine Force Pacific, Commander U.S. Seventh Fleet, and Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet. His military awards include the Navy Achievement Medal (2), the Navy Commendation Medal (3), the Meritorious Service Medal (3) and the Legion of Merit. Dr. Crotteau holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master of Business Administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Houston. He is married to Celia Crotteau, an English teacher at HEP. The Crotteaus have two daughters, Madeleine, who attends the Texas Maritime Academy on the campus of Texas A&M in Galveston, and Simone, who attends Texas Woman's University.
Ruth Elrod has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a major emphasis in Interdisciplinary in Human Development, from Marquette University. She has held teaching certifications in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Mrs. Elrod also holds a Master of Education degree from Sinte Gleska University, SD. She has taught in the Milwaukee Public School System as an elementary teacher and as a bi-lingual teacher. She continued teaching for Todd County Public School System on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. After moving to Minnesota she joined Southwest State University in Minnesota as an instructor of Early Childhood Development. Mrs. Elrod is married to Dr. Scott Elrod and they have three daughters. Mrs. Elrod is a dedicated advocate for home schooling. She and her husband have graduated their two oldest children, both of whom have been accepted to two excellent Texas Universities and have had the opportunity to excel in their chosen majors. Their youngest daughter is in her junior year of high school and attends honors classes at HEP giving her the same strong foundation as her sisters. Mrs. Elrod has enjoyed teaching over the past 25 years.
Mrs. Flores joins the HEP staff as the Spanish teacher. Mrs. Flores holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master of Education degree in Bilingual Education and Early Childhood Education. She also holds a Mid-Management Administration (Principal) Certificate from the University of Houston, Clear Lake. While teaching, she mentored many beginning teachers and was the lead teacher for Bilingual, English as a Second Language, Math, Language Arts and Reading. She holds certifications in teaching Gifted and Talented Education (K-12), Special Education (Pk-12), Bilingual (Spanish/English Pk-12), English as a Second Language (K-12) and is an Irlen Screener. Mrs. Flores is married to an Electrical Engineer and has three very successful sons. Her love of teaching has guided her to specialize in many areas of education, so that she can instill this love of learning to all of her students.
Degreed in English, Language and History with a minor in Psychology, Karen Freeman lists teaching and cooking amongst her greatest passions, with her family as her greatest joy. A graduate of a noted European culinary institution, she holds the license of Executive Chef in Grande Cuisine and serves with the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Married to Steven, a former police officer, their entrepreneurial exploits include a catering business, a photography company, and 2 restaurants. While serving on the Board of Directors and as the only woman Head Coach in the HHSI, she brought her sons' team, the Humble High School Hockey team, to claim several District and City of Houston championships. During her association with the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, she developed curriculum and training formats currently in use on a statewide basis in public schools and law enforcement departments and often serves as a guest speaker during statewide conventions on the subject of domestic violence. A published essayist, she presents her work at the Webb Historical Society, the Great Plains Convention, LSU, U of H, Sam Houston and Lee College, while her essays also appear in Reader's Digest and Southern Living. After teaching on the collegiate level and as a private tutor for 10 years, she turned her focus towards homeschooling her three elementary-aged children and teaching high school students at HEP of Texas, Inc. wherein she developed an approach to learning that “focuses on the journey, rather than the destination.”
Former HEP Student and ESA member, Jeremy Gallagher joins the HEP staff to teach Microsoft Office and Introduction to Programming. He has obtained two associates degrees from Lee College: A. A. in General Studies and an A. S. in Pre-Engineering. Jeremy has tutored in C++, Python, and Matlab programming. He started the Lee College Robotics Club and was also elected President of the Student Government Association and Vice president of the Honors Program at Lee College. He also was inducted into the Lee College Hall of Fame. Jeremy is excited to help ignite a passion for programming in the next generation.
Dr. Valerie Hanka
Dr. Valerie Hanka attended James Madison University in Virginia and then transferred to the University of Kentucky receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Topical Studies with an emphasis in Science and Psychology. She then entered the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and graduated with her Doctorate of Medicine degree. She then did her internship and residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Family Medicine. After having her sons and deciding to become a stay-at-home mom, she trained and became a certified medical transcriptionist and editor. Along with homeschooling her own sons, she tutors students in science and math. She is teaching Medical Careers and Middle School Health at HEP.
Linda Hendrix holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering. She has taught math for HEP for 14 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, 3 levels of Algebra 2, Honors Advanced Mathematics, Honors Statisticsand Honors Physics. Mrs. Hendrix has also home schooled her three children, one of whom is a National Merit Scholarship winner for 2006! Her children have all been actively involved in CHSA Athletics. Her oldest daughter will graduate #1 from Baylor Law School in 2015.
Eulis "Hal" Hill
Eulis “Hal” Hill completed his undergraduate degree in 1991, majoring in Psychology. He then spent almost two decades working and teaching computer science. For several years Hal worked for San Jacinto college teaching both academic classes and continuing education classes for NASA and its subcontractors. He has taught everything from computer graphics courses and programming languages like C++ and Visual Basic to computer hardware and A+ certification. In 2010, Hal began attending Perkins School of Theology at SMU, and completed his M.Div. in 2015.
Nicole Huffman Hollins
Nicole Huffman Hollins is a homeschooling parent, local attorney and mediator, and founder of Money Fit Kids, an early financial literacy program for children. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism in 1998. In 2001, she obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law. Mrs. Huffman Hollins is currently pursuing her teachers certification in elementary education with an emphasis on children with learning differences.
Recently inducted into the Texas Home School "Hall of Fame," Joanne Juren has over thirty-eight 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 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.
A native of England, Mrs. Kruse grew up in Southampton, England. She studied French for 7 years and German for 5 years before coming to Houston as an exchange student in 1989. She attended South Houston High School as an exchange student in 1989-1990.
She then graduated from the University of Houston Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Business Administration in 1996. She has homeschooled since 1999. Her daughter has already graduated and Mrs. Kruse is still homeschooling 2 her two sons. She is a long time volunteer and Board Member at Eagles Lift Ministries. Mrs. Kruse joins our staff as the French teacher. We hope to talk her into getting a German program going too!
Mrs. Lira-Anderson will join the HEP staff as the new Sign Language Teacher. Dannette Lira-Anderson and her husband adopted a four year old deaf boy from China. They communicate through American Sign Language with their deaf son. She is certified in Deaf Education and ASL in all levels in state of Texas. She is currently teaching at Blinn Community College, Brenham campus and Lone Star College, CyFair campus where she teaches American Sign Language (ASL) as a foreign language. In her professional experience, she has taught ASL at Atascocita High School (9th – 12th grades) for 4 years. She has taught Deaf Education at the Elementary level for 11 years and taught in college for 9 years. In Bryan ISD, she has taught ASL beginning and advance ASL classes for parents who have Deaf children and staff who have Deaf students in class. In 2001 to 2006, she taught ASL in all levels at Blinn Community College in Bryan, TX and Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. She is a former Miss Deaf Texas (1993 – 1995). She was involved in Texas Association of the Deaf on the Board of Director for two years and Treasurer for two years. She also served the Miss Deaf Texas Pageant (MDTP) – she was co-director for one year, stage director for one year, Master of Ceremonies in June 2002; and auditor during the MDTP 2011. She has a Master of Science in Deaf Education/Deaf Studies from Lamar University and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Communication from University of Houston. She enjoys interacting with Deaf people in the Deaf Community. She loves teaching ASL to hearing people.
Ashlea Massie is a former homeschooled H.E.P student. She graduated summa cum laude with an A.A. in General Liberal Arts and magna cum laude with her B.A. in English. Upon graduating, she furthered her education through online copyediting courses at the University of California- San Diego extension. Ashlea also works as a Christian freelance writer and has been published in Boundless, The Life, and Devozine. Having taught English to homeschooled high schoolers for three years, Ashlea enjoys instilling a love of learning to all her students and she appreciates the ability to incorporate Godly principles into learning.
Joseph Morton joins the HEP faculty this summer to serve as the Assistant Principal. Joe Morton has lived most of his life on the east side of Houston, where his permanent residence is still (rumored to be) a large red barn. He was once an HEP student, during which time he took great pride in myriad Debate-class pranks which targeted Joanne Juren. He still lives in fear of his comeuppance. He attended the University of St. Thomas (Houston), where he acquired a B.A. in Philosophy (with Minors in Honors and Political Science), and served as President of the Student Government. He also very nearly completed a B.S. in Procrastination Resources, which he fully intends to finish tomorrow. After graduation, Joe co-founded The Paideia Institute, a three-week college-preparatory summer academy, taught by college professors at the University of St. Thomas, which exposed high-school students to college-level texts. During this time, he joined Teach For America (Americorps), and taught 9th Grade English at Chavez High School’s Achieve! Academy for at-risk students. He still very much misses teaching at Chavez – though he does not miss the accompanying hair loss. Joe has since received an M.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University in New York, from which he is pursuing a Ph.D. of the same. His research areas include Philosophy of Language, Phenomenology, and Ethics. He’s argued, with some success, that coffee is a necessary condition for the possibility of thought, and he very much suspects that the phenomenon of missing socks supervenes on the underlying physical facts.
Am anda Murray, a native Houstonian, brings the experience of over 20 years in the performing arts to the students at HEP. A published playwright and poet, her work has been produced in
Katie Brown O’Neale, an HEP graduate, has a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Houston Baptist University. Mrs. O’Neale has extensive background in literature, creative writing, and journalism. She is currently working on writing a fantasy/science-fiction novel and a book of short stories. She served as editor in chief of HBU’s student newspaper for a year and has had several articles and columns published. She also currently serves as the newsletter editor for Celebration Women’s Ministry. By the start of the fall 2015 semester, Mrs. O’Neale will live with her husband Gabriel, a geometry teacher at Cypress Lakes High School, in Katy, TX.
Teaching has been my passion since I was a young girl. I attended Texas State University, graduating with my Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I taught third grade in Taylor ISD and fifth grade in Round Rock ISD for eight years until my youngest child, Emma, was born and my husband Bryan transferred to the Houston area. Homeschooling my youngest child, Abigail, rekindled my love and passion I had as an educator. I hold certifications in Reading, Special Education, ESL, and Gifted and Talented education. This has expanded my experience in the classroom and helped me adapt to the students individual needs. When I am not teaching, I enjoy gardening, caring for our abundance of animals, and watching Dallas Stars hockey. I am very excited and blessed to be a new member of the HEP family teaching Classical School History for grades 3-5.
Michael Puryear was a homeschool father of seven children for about 30 years. He will teach Latin for HEP this year. Mr. Puryear has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Houston, graduating summa cum laude. He also has a Masters of Science in Physics from the same university. In addition, he completed all of the coursework required for a PhD. in Physics before leaving college to serve his country in the United States Marine Corps. Michael completed four years of high school Latin (Basic Latin, Advanced Latin, Translation of authors Julius Caesar, Cicero, Ovid, Virgil, et al). He also took an advanced college Latin course while in graduate school. At the same time, he took beginning and advanced Attic Greek. He is self-taught in KOINE Greek, the language of the New Testament, and in Hebrew, the majority language of the Old Testament. Michael has taught Latin to homeschoolers for many years, using various high school and college texts.
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 the SAT Test. Mrs. Red also serves as the Chairman of the Math and Science Department for HEP.
Fred Rodriquez joins the HEP staff as 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). He is very interested in travelling to Spain on our school trip next spring! Last year, he worked in HISD teaching Spanish to ESL students. He will be attending the TPRS training in April and working with Mrs. Flores this spring.
Carrie Rothberg is an award-winning bilingual elementary educator. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development (PK-5) from Texas A&M University. She is certified by the State of Texas to teach Bilingual and ESL students. Carrie has taught bilingual students in both Pearland and Clear Creek ISD for 7 years. During her time with Pearland, she was named Pearland ISD Bilingual Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year at Carleston Elementary, and Finalist for Pearland ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. While in North Carolina during her husband's service in the Army, she taught Spanish and Art classes to homeschoolers of all ages. She lives in Friendswood with her husband, Grant, and their two hound dogs.
Crystal Rothberg holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development (PK-8). Crystal has taught Kindergarten and First Grade in both public and private schools for over ten years. Throughout her time teaching she has furthered her education by attending many hours of professional development on reading and math strategies, dyslexia, and classroom management. She is also gifted and talented certified. Crystal loves teaching reading. She collects children's books and loves helping children gain a love for reading. Crystal's husband was homeschooled and her mother in law also teaches at HEP. They are excited about all the enrichment HEP has to offer and look forward to the day when their son can attend classes there as well.
Sue Rothberg teaches science in Classical School, "Chemistry and Physics" for sixth grade, Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, Marine Biology, Meteorology, Math 5/4 and 6/5. 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. Her husband is on the pastoral staff of Sagemont church. Her three sons (one an attorney, one a HPD officer, one a minister of a local church) were homeschooled.
After a hiatus of 8 years, Yvette Schultheis returns to HEP to once again embrace the vocation she loves: teaching. A recent Graduate of Liberty University’s School of Business, she holds a BA in Finance, an MBA in International Business and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Program at Liberty. A world traveler, she has lived with her family in Malaysia, traveled to several countries around Europe and the Middle East and brings the experience of other cultures to the classroom.
Her eagerness to homeschool her first child developed into a 20+ year vocation and passion. Having graduated her first five children from Kindergarten to Senior-level high school, she is currently homeschooling a new addition to the family. With her husband Steven, an engineer for Shell Oil, she facilitated an international homeschool support group at a learning center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A native speaker and educated in the art of the Spanish language, Mrs. Schultheis believes in an approach to learning that gently embraces a second language as a life skill, rather than simply a task to be mastered.
Tiffany Shafer joins the HEP Classical School Staff as the kindergarten teacher. A certified Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Shafer brings a wealth of experience to the position. The mother of a high school HEP student, Mrs. Shafer is a wonderful addition to our staff. More information coming soon!
A Rice University graduate, NASA employee for almost 20 years, and homeschooling mom for nearly 15 years, Leesa Wolf has had a life-long passion for learning and teaching. As a child, she purchased math books and children's novels, created associated workbooks, and "taught" the material – resulting in, according to her mom, the smartest stuffed animals in the neighborhood. With an airline employee father, Mrs. Wolf traveled extensively to educational and historical locations and has continued these adventures in her homeschooling. In high school, Mrs. Wolf was salutatorian, a top clarinetist in the state, and a varsity cheerleader. She earned a B.A. in applied mathematical science from Rice University along with a teaching certificate in math and chemistry. At NASA, she worked as a space station project analyst, developer of curriculum and instructor for astronauts and flight controllers, robotics representative, manager of space station avionics training, and adjunct instructor of aerospace technology at San Jacinto Community College. Additionally, Mrs. Wolf completed her M.A. in applied mathematical science from Rice University through a coveted NASA Fellowship and received NASA's Exceptional Service Medal for leading the start-up of space station training.
Mrs. Wolf then shifted her priorities to homeschooling. Her passion for learning resulted in developing and teaching group classes in a wide variety of areas including music appreciation, art history, literary analysis, flight, spies in history, explosions, "cool" math, chemistry, physics, computer programming, careers, SAT/ACT test prep & essay writing, and college application essays. She also started and led multiple homeschooling groups such as a presenter's club, reading club, science club, and multiple award-winning robotics teams. Her three sons have all achieved National Merit Program recognition and (soon) the rank of Eagle Scout. Running out of students at home, Mrs. Wolf looks forward to teaching more students at HEP!