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Instructors

Lisa Allen

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Lisa Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in human development at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon as well as earning her K–8 teaching credential for Oregon and Washington. She taught second grade in Vancouver and Washington, community CPR classes in a hospital, homeschooled her twins for seven years and, most recently, she has taught Biola Youth Academics junior high classes including the following:

  • Math
  • History

Lisa Allen has a passion to help students enjoy math and she does so in a...

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Janice Babad

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Janice Babad grew up in Washington State where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Central Washington University with a minor in psychology. She graduated with honors from CWU while maintaining involvement in musical theater, orchestra, vocal ensembles, worship in her local church and swimming competitively. While working as a paraprofessional in a high school counseling department, Janice attended or led seminars in the following:

  • Suicide prevention
  • Children of the alcoholic
  • ...

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Chelsie Balli

  • Director of Quantitative Reasoning and Instructor of Mathematics
  • BYA Elementary Academics Instructor, Math and Language Arts

Chelsie Balli is serving at Biola as the director of the quantitative reasoning program. This role will enhance the department’s contribution to the University’s core curriculum and requires a unique blend of mathematics and administrative expertise. Chelsie believes that the integration of faith and learning is a key element of the educational theory and practice of a Christian University which includes equipping students for all aspects of life after college. She has studied how confidence...

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Jenny Grigorovich Barsky

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Susan Basile

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Sue Basile received her associate's degree from Pasadena City College and then pursued a degree in fine art photography from Cal State Long Beach. She has experience teaching history, photography and art classes for the last 15 years and teaching at Biola Youth Academics since 2008. Sue admits to being a history nut as she watches programs and reads books as often as possible to share new exciting facts with her class. She enjoys being able to tap into her knowledge and experience of art...

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Dana Bowers

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Dana Bowers received a bachelor’s degree from California Lutheran University and continued her love of learning through homeschooling her three children. She has a special love for history and literature and has been an instructor for Biola Youth Academics since 2009. Dana enjoys travel, especially to national parks and historic sites. She also loves classes at the gym, coffee, the beach, Scrabble, knitting and crocheting, hiking and good books. God, her family, friends and students teach her...

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Barbara Dickerson

  • BYA Elementary Academics Instructor
  • Teaching Math

Barbara Dickerson received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Houston and a teaching credential in elementary education. After graduating, Barbara taught public school in Texas, homeschooled her three children for 13 years and taught in Christian schools. Barbara joined the Elementary Academics teaching team in 2017 and eagerly anticipates another year of great experiences with the students and parents at each campus. She has a heart for homeschooling families and a...

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Lindsay Estrada

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Lindsay Estrada comes to Biola Youth Academics with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from San Jose State University, a master’s degree in teaching from Chapman University and multiple-subject teaching credentials. She taught elementary school in the public and private sectors in her early teaching years, but found her niche in teaching and tutoring high school students in the following subjects:

  • Physical science
  • Chemistry
  • Algebra 2

Lindsay’s interest in teaching began when she...

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Susan Hasegawa

  • BYA Elementary Academics Instructor
  • Teaching Language Arts

Attesting to God's grace and faithfulness, Susan Hasegawa homeschooled her three children from Kindergarten to 12th grade, graduating her last child in 2017. Her children are attending Biola University, The King's College and Cal State University Long Beach. Susan holds a Bachelor of Science from University of California, Los Angeles and a graduate degree from University of California, San Francisco. She has tutored classical conversations in the past and is looking forward to working with...

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Tina Hedin

  • BYA Elementary Academics Instructor
  • Teaching Science

Tina Hedin has a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  She has experience homeschooling and worked as a homeschool facilitator in Indiana before moving to California in 2018.

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Karren Hiskey

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor
  • Teaching World History with Art

Collette Holzer

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Collette Holzer's love for God’s design started in high school. During the last 10 years, she has taught many science subjects, but focuses on life sciences. She has been an instructor at Biola Youth Academics since 2012. Her passion is to bring glory to the Lord through science and enjoys bringing new discoveries into the classroom. Collette Holzer desires that her students embrace the intricacies of the world and its divine creator in order that they may strengthen their faith. Her husband...

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Kelsey Lick

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Kelsey Lick earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Master of Science in Computer Science from University of California, Riverside. She taught computer programming at the university from 1997–2002 and has taught middle school and high school math at multiple charter schools. She has been teaching with Biola Youth Academics since 2014. Kelsey has been married for over 20 years and has two high school children. She has a passion for teaching and absolutely loves math. Finding patterns...

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Alicia Mata

  • Administrative Assistant, BYA Yorba Linda Campus Coordinator
  • BYA Star Academics Instructor
  • Teaching Biology

Alicia Mata holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. In addition has earned certificates in medical assisting, including back office, front office and billing, anatomy and physiology and a limited x-ray license. She has six years of homeschool training teaching all required high school courses as well as 25 years of teaching experience that includes:

  • Medical assisting
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • CPR
  • Career development
  • Teacher leadership training

Alicia Mata’s...

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Vicki Milczewsky

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Vicki Milczewsky is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in psychology through Biola University. She has been an instructor in English and Science for Biola Youth Academics since 2002. Having partnered with Biola Youth Academics in home educating her four children during their junior and senior high school years, she values the academic opportunities and community support that her family received and desires to strengthen and encourage other families in the same way. Vicki has a...

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Jessica Mumford

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Linnea Perez

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Linnea Perez earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and has worked as a materials engineer/chemist for seven years at Rockwell International, supporting the space shuttle program. She has experience teaching elementary through high school age students through Rockwell and Boeing Summer Science Camp workshops, numerous homeschool co-ops, as well as Biola Youth Academics. Linnea is married and homeschools her four children. Teaching science is one of her passions. She believes in a...

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Frances Sheegog

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Frances Sheegog received her Bachelor of Science in Engineering from University of California, Irvine and then went to work for a large municipal utility as a mechanical engineer. She switched careers to full-time wife and mother when the first of her three children was born. With the help of her husband, they home schooled all three children from kindergarten through high school graduation. During and since that time, she has taught junior high and high school math and science classes in...

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Sarah Thornton

  • BYA Elementary Academics Instructor
  • Teaching Science

Sarah Thornton graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in general biology. She has taught her kids at home for the last three years, and over the last two years she has lead a science co-op for homeschool kids from her church. Sarah Thornton has been married for 13 years and has two children (ages 6 and 11). She enjoys painting, playing the ukulele, making crafts and learning more science. She likes to teach her own kids using projects and short...

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Traci Tront

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor
  • Teaching Science

Traci Tront graduated from Biola University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and later completed a Master of Arts in Leadership and Organization with Azusa Pacific University. She has served as an adjunct professor at Biola University in the Christian Ministries Department and worked as an admissions counselor for a private elementary school. Additionally, she spent many years on staff serving in her church in many areas which included leading children’s and adult ministries. Traci loves...

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Renee Van Eck

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Renee Van Eck earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a general science group major from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She always had a love for science, her favorite subject in school. After earning her degree, she taught a combined first/second grade classroom for more than five years. Renee and her husband chose to homeschool their three children through high school. Currently they are all attending her alma mater, Calvin College. She began teaching for Biola...

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C Lynn Wagenet

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Lynn Wagenet graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and earned a master’s degree in Christian education from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. She has been teaching for Biola Youth Academics since 2006 in the following subjects:

  • Government
  • Economics
  • American history
  • American literature
  • Geography
She especially enjoys sharing the synergy between these different subjects with her students. Lynn has been married for over 36 years and...

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Susan Weaver

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Susan Weaver is a credentialed teacher and has a master's degree in education with a specialty in reading. She enjoys teaching literature, composition and speech classes for children of all ages. Susan and her husband have homeschooled since 1987.

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Torrey Academy Tutors

Anna Barber

  • BYA Torrey Academy Tutor

Anna Barber graduated from the Torrey Honors Institute and Biola University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in English. Her experience of the classical education model began as a Torrey Academy student and continued through her undergraduate education at Torrey Honors and her studies at Oxford University. Anna is passionate about learning, the life of the mind, literature, writing poetry and fiction and helping others cultivate a love of goodness, truth and...

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Timothy Lawrence

  • BYA Torrey Academy Tutor

After going through these classes as a homeschooled high school student, Timothy is excited to return, as a teacher, to the texts that have been changing his life for nearly a decade. He graduated from Biola University and the Torrey Honors Institute with a degree in Cinema and Media Arts (with an emphasis on Screenwriting), and although he is no longer pursuing a career in Hollywood, he still loves movies and acts as the managing editor of FilmFisher.com, a Christian movie review site with...

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Miranda Hess

  • BYA Torrey Academy Tutor

Like many of you, Miranda was once homeschooled and enrolled in Torrey Academy classes. That time in her life was immensely transformative and inspired in her a profound love for discussing Scripture and great works of literature. She continued her studies at Biola University and the Torrey Honors Institute with a degree in psychology. She spent the next three years studying theology at Fuller Seminary and graduating with a Masters of Divinity. In her free time, she enjoys going on hikes in...

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Megan DePaso

  • BYA Torrey Academy Tutor

Megan graduated from Biola University and the Torrey Honors Institute with a degree in psychology, focusing on the overlap between Christian spiritual formation, Aristotilian habit-forming, and cognitive behavioral therapy. She recently returned from living in the Dominican Republic for a year, and has settled for the time being in Brea. Within the last few months, she started her own floral design business. She drinks iced coffee regularly (usually from Philz Coffee) and her current favorite...

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Alyssa Rooney

  • BYA Torrey Academy Tutor

Alyssa is a Torrey and Biola alumnus with a degree in biology. She met her husband, Lukas Rooney, at Biola while he was part of the film program. They love to travel quite a bit and see their families. Her favorite topics to discuss are psychology, science, medicine, art, and philosophy. She loves organization and aesthetics, and is excited to learn all about her students’ fantastic personalities and quirky interests! 

Alyssa is an avid lover of the Torrey program and all things related...

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Jacob Waller

  • BYA Torrey Academy Tutor

Jacob Waller is an alumnus of Torrey Honors Institute and Biola University where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Arts. He was educated in the classical method and fully appreciated the Torrey Academy experience as a high schooler. In addition to being a tutor with Torrey Academy, Jacob is in the Master of Arts in Philosophy program at Talbot School of Theology and develops and writes formal logic curriculum for the Defendable Faith Institute. He has a...

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