Instructors

Lisa Allen

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Lisa Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in human development at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Ore. as well as earning her K-8 teaching credential for Oregon and Washington. She taught 2nd grade in Vancouver and Washington, community CPR classes in a hospital, homeschooled her twins for 7 years, and, most recently, she has taught Biola Youth Academics junior high classes including:

  • Math
  • History

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

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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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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,...

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Susan Basile

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor
  • BYA Electives 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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Jill Bedell

  • BYA Star Academics Instructor

Jill Bedell achieved a doctorate in Christian education at Biola University from Talbot School of Theology. She also received an master’s degree in student development from Azusa Pacific University and a bachelor’s degree from Westmont College. Overall Jill has 35 years of teaching experience. She has a great passion for teaching from a Christian perspective in the following areas:

  • Personality/Career Development
  • Christian Education
  • World History

Outside of the classroom, Jill spends her time...

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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...

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Dana Chisholm

    Bethany Curia

    • BYA Distance Learning Instructor

    Bethany Curia attended Florida State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Science in Mathematics Education. She also completed coursework in online and distance learning, and is very familiar with the online instructional format. Bethany has taught students from middle school to college. In all of her professional experiences, Bethany has learned two things: she loves teaching, and she loves math! She knows how challenging math can be, and her goal...

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    Stephanie DeClerq

      Dawn Dyer

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Dawn Dyer has been an instructor for Biola Youth Academics since 2003 and is certified by The Institute for Excellence in Writing. She began her love for language and as a medical transcriptionist where she gained knowledge of grammar rules and Latin roots. After receiving her medical assistant and x-ray technician certification from Mesa Community College, Dawn spent 10 years in the medical field. She received her medical transcription certification from Ventura Community College and is...

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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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      Lara Farrell

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor
      Lara Farrell earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and passed the CBEST test. She has taught math and science with Biola Youth Academics since 2007. Lara has been married for more than 25 years and is the mother of three girls and one son-in-law. Her passions are math, science and prayer. Lara loves to ski and swim, and volunteers in her community and church. She loves teaching and sees it as a ministry, not a job!

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      Susan Fosmark

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Susan Fosmark earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Spanish, and Psychology from University of California, Irvine where she then pursued her English Teaching Credential. Subsequently, she taught in Downey Unified for five years before she switched professions to become a stay-at-home mom. Her greatest passion is to disciple children in the love and grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ and is actively involved at her church’s children’s & women’s ministries. It brings her great joy to...

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      Jack Franicevich

      • BYA Tutor, Torrey Academy

      Jack Franicevich earned a bachelor’s degree from Biola University and is a graduate of Torrey Honors Institute, recipient of their G. Campbell Morgan House Award, and member of the Order of Peter and Paul. During his time at Biola he also co-founded and directed a preaching and leadership group, designed and directed Kidder Creek Camp's high school discipleship program, and taught Sunday school. In addition to teaching with Torrey Academy, Jack is a mentor and discussion leader for Wheatstone...

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      Rhonda Gordon

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Rhonda Gordon earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduating with honors from the City University of New York (SI campus) and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, graduating with honors from Chaminade University of Honolulu. She has also received specialized training in research and experimental psychology. Rhonda has over a decade of teaching experience in all subject matters, as she also homeschooled her three children. She also works as a licensed pastoral counselor and a...

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      Aimee Han

      • BYA Tutor, Athletics Enrichment & Services

      Aimee Han earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Michigan State University, and her Master of Arts in Education from the University of Michigan. She taught 4th grade in public education in northern California, taught 7th grade pre-Algebra at a private international school in Korea, and worked as a reading/math interventionist at a charter school in Detroit. Aimee taught full time for six years. She loves nature, and loves God even more, so she enjoys incorporating God's Word into the...

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      Mia Helman

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Mia Helman graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a minor in Spanish. Since 2014, she has taught for Biola Youth Academics in the following areas:

      • General Literature and Composition
      • Spanish
      Before BYA, Mia Helman has taught full time for the Escondido Unified School District, as well as co-op classes through various homeschool organizations. Mia Helman has a passion for the homeschooling community and hopes to continue encouraging...

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      Collette Holzer

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Collette Holzer earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in marine biology. Her 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...

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      Patrick Lavey

      • BYA Star Academics & Distance Learning Instructor

      Patrick Lavey graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and received his Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University. He spent a year working as an elementary school counselor. Since then, he has continued to teach psychology while also working for a recruiting firm that specializes in executive level engineering and construction positions. Patrick loves teaching and since 2011 has been developing his...

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      Marcia Lee

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Marcia Lee earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in mathematics. She has taught various grade levels for more than 10 years and is excited to instruct for Biola Youth Academics. Marcia homeschooled her two children and one now attends Biola University. Her hobbies include gardening, jogging, hiking, and anything outdoors! A favorite verse is Psalm 16:6, "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."...

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      Anne Licata-Solaas

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Anne Licata-Solaas graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Westmont College, a master’s degree in comparative literature from California State University, Fullerton and a doctorate in Latin American literature from University of California, Irvine. Anne is credentialed in multiple subjects, including:

      • Spanish
      • Social Studies
      • English as a Second Language.

      She has taught all levels of junior high and high school in public and private schools, and as well as some university. Anne...

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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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      Robin Longinow

      • BYA Elementary Academics Instructor

      Robin Longinow graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Public Relations and a minor in speech/English from the University of Georgia. She holds a Master of Arts in Education from Biola University with an emphasis in special education. Robin Longinow has also practiced a licensed Educational Therapist (NILD) and a certified Dyslexia Therapist (IDA). She has been in the field of education for over 20 years and has taught 1st grade, 7th grade and high school English. Along with teaching...

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      Kristin Martinez

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Kristin Martinez is certified to interpret for the deaf and has worked as an American Sign Language interpreter for ten years with a passion for the language and the deaf community. She loves sharing the beauty and fluidity of signing.

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      Alicia Mata

      • BYA Tutor, Star Academics

      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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      Tessa McQuillan

      • BYA Tutor, Torrey Academy

      Tessa McQuillan graduated from Torrey Honors Institute and Biola University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies. Currently she is attending Fuller Theological Seminary for a master’s degree in theology.

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      JD Neal

      • Studio Artist

      JD Neal attended Biola University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies. Currently, he attends Fuller Theological Seminary pursuing a master’s degree in theology. His experience with the Torrey Honors Institute has shown him the power and beauty of classical education and learning in the context of a loving community. JD Neal is a husband, a student, a theologian, a pastor, and a lover of community. He is part of Housechurch in Whittier, and he loves to see...

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      Lynndele Negi

      • BYA Tutor, Star Academics

      Lynndele Negi earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. She taught English for two years in Japan, then returned to the United States and earned her MBA from The American Graduate School of International Management. She enjoyed her career as a marketing manager, which allowed her to combine her English and business skills on behalf of industrial clients. Lynndele left her career when her son entered preschool and poured herself into...

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      Debra Nishi

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Debra Nishi graduated with a Bachelor of Science from University of California, Los Angeles and later earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She has taught in public schools, has homeschooled and privately tutored students, as well as been an instructor for Biola Youth Academics for the past several years. Debra is married and has a daughter who is recently married. Her favorite pastime is to study the Bible. Other favorite things include traveling to historic places, training at the...

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      Carol Peel

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Carol Peel received a bachelor’s degree from Gordon College and two teaching credentials. For eight years she taught elementary and junior high students at a Christian school. She loves being a mother and a wife, and has grown passionate about homeschooling since she has had her two children. Carol sees Biola Youth Academics as a hybrid mix of the best of both worlds, classroom and home. She has had a keen interest in “all things science, nature, and math” since childhood, seeing firsthand...

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      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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      Austin Quamme

      • BYA Instructor
      Austin Quamme is graduating from Biola University in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries. He loves the subjects of math and science and while he is still pursuing a career in ministry, he has continually tutored students in math throughout his time in high school and college. He is well-equipped in knowing how to help students understand and grasp any subject that he teaches. Studying ministry has given him a deeper understanding of the importance of personal...

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      Jessie Reed

      • BYA Tutor, Torrey Academy

      Jessie Reed earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from California State University, Bakersfield and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Talbot School of Theology. Her passion is to teach young minds how to think well and to prepare them for the challenges of modern thought. She is also passionate about building up Christians in their faith and giving them the right tools they need to know what they believe and why they believe it. In addition to her passion to teach, Jessie loves a variety...

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      Robin Reynolds

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Robin Reynolds earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master's degree in environmental science. Her first teaching experiences were in the public high school, followed by teaching college courses. Robin clearly sees the fingerprints of God in His creation.

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      Stewart Riley

      • BYA Tutor, Torrey Academy

      Stewart Riley graduated from the Torrey Honors Institute and Biola University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in philosophy. His undergraduate experience was characterized by an intense seeking of truth and beauty through Socratic discussion and the written word. He has taught 18th Century pioneering life to students from kindergarten through high school at his family's living history farm in Oak Glen, Calif., and for the past three years he has led high...

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      Ginny Schneider

      • BYA Tutor

      Ginny Schneider completed her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Biola University and is an alumna of the Torrey Honors Institute. As an undergraduate student she studied both Shakespeare and C.S. Lewis at Oxford University. Ginny has a "Victorian Museum of Curiosities" type collection of interests and hobbies. She is fascinated by collecting things, subjects and ideas that don't commonly go together. For example she's fond of poetry, less so of math, but loves each better when the two...

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      Ariel Sheegog

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Ariel Sheegog received a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from St. Katherine College. Upon graduation, she was happily hired by Biola Youth Academics. She attended classes at Biola Youth Academics during junior high and high school, as well as participated in the Biola Youth Theatre. Ariel has a lifelong love for literature and excites on the fact that students are exposed to writings from around the world. She enjoys being able to show her students how literature is 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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      Michalyn Slagle

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Michalyn Slagle currently attends Biola University and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. She has her certification in school audiometry and hopes to work toward a SLPA certification. Michalyn teaches American Sign Language and choreographs shows for Biola Youth Theater. She loves performing, singing, dancing and acting. Michalyn also has a huge passion for helping families with kids that have hearing loss and disabilities. Her dream job would be...

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      Bryant Stone

      • BYA Teacher

      Bryant Stone attended Biola University and earned his bachelor’s degree with triple honors. He worked with Biola's education department for a number of years before joining the Biola Youth Academics team in 2016 as a math instructor. Bryant grew up in sunny San Diego where he and his four brothers were home schooled since elementary school. He loves teaching math in a fun and accessible way that helps students connect with the material and often uses his love and knowledge of games to create...

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      Kimberlie Struve

      • BYA Star Academics Instructor

      Kimberlie Struve was raised in South America and has been teaching Spanish for 16 years. Her love for the language turned into a passion to teach others. She currently teaches a class for adults who wish to communicate on a professional level in the work field. Kim then used her teaching skills in a different field. She helped organize a non-profit organization at Rising Hope Ranch. She gave horseback-riding lessons for the organization as well as private lessons. Kim homeschooled all three...

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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, Mich. 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 Youth...

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      Alexander Vollmann

      • BYA Instructor

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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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