Teacher Bios

LeahLeah Ashby

Leah is an enthusiastic fourteen year old who, when not doing school work, loves to knit and swim competitively. She learned to knit at ten years old at HSOBX and loved it! She has been homeschooled since third grade and enjoys her Russian studies. When not using her hands to knit, she enjoys learning American Sign Language.

Stephanie CadyStephanie Cady

Stephanie Cady has lived in Norfolk for almost 3 years with her husband and 3 children ages 12, 10 and 7. Stephanie had a bachelors of science degree from Liberty University with a major in Psychology focusing on Spanish, and Counseling. Stephanie and her family founded a non-profit in Guatemala for families at risk. Stephanie is currently pursuing her masters degree through Liberty University. She also studied abroad and has traveled through Central America as a translator. Stephanie enjoys traveling with her family and staying active.

ValeriaValeria Cappabianca

Valeria is an Italian transplant with two young multilingual children and a passion for the Italian language and culture. She enjoys taking care of her children and instructing them in the Italian language and volunteering at Red Mill Elementary, where her youngest son attends second grade. She often assists teachers during lessons and taught Italian language classes to Red Mill students during Red Mill’s Dolphin Academy. She has a master’s degree in civil engineering and worked for 20 years as a manager in an Italian public transportation company.  She tutored students in Italian, advanced math, physics, and other subjects and prepared students for required tests since she was a teenager. She still tutors Italian. In addition to teaching, she loves cooking and trying new recipes, including American and ethnic dishes. She loves reading literature, novels in Italian and English. She also enjoys graphic design (photoshop, brochures, home décor) and spending relaxation time cross-stitching and knitting.

KristieKristie Cochran

Kristie is a Hampton Roads native. She has two sons and has been homeschooling since 2006. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Regent University. In her pre-kid life, Kristie worked for a large non-profit managing their Direct Mail and Printing facilities. She currently enjoys schlepping her teens and their friends to the beach and other various activities.

MillieMillie Davis

Millie is a recently retired educator who earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Education from Old Dominion University with endorsements in special education. She was a teacher and an administrator in a therapeutic day school for approximately 20 years. She has two grown children and five grandchildren, three of whom are homeschooled and are actively involved in HSoBX. She is enjoying retirement by regularly volunteering at Southside STEM Academy, CHKD, and Connect with a Wish.

Kala Dawson

Kala Dawson graduated from Norfolk State University, 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. He has studied and played Chess over 30 years. He has been teaching chess as a life skill for over 12 years. He has taught in various organizations, public, private, and homeschool to children ages 5-17. He believes chess is a tool that children can use un their everyday lives to help make better decisions.

Cynthia Dise  19732337_10213421010503038_7413799551985868933_n(1)

Cynthia is a former software engineer for SAS Institute and has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Strayer University and also studied mechanical engineering at N.C. State.  She has 3 kids and has been homeschooling them since her oldest was in kindergarten in 2008. Her favorite hobby is doodling and drawing mandalas. She also teaches classes in science, programming, and engineering.

MariaPicMaria Fischer

Academy of Rock Music instructor Maria Fischer began her musical journey as a student of AoRM in 2013. Maria quickly shot through the ranks and began teaching for the program in early 2016. A multi-instrumentalist focusing mainly on guitar, bass and vocals, Fischer currently instructs weekly performance-based band rehearsals at both their Newport News and VA Beach locations. She is also a lead vocalist and songwriter for the Virginia Beach based alt-funk band LJ. Maria will be available on Tuesdays at HSOBX, teaching Group Guitar Classes & Rock Band to large range of ages and all skill levels.
LJ on Facebook
LJ on Spotify

RobinRobin Fraizer

Robin Frazier M. Ed is the managing director of Konneckt IT-Science Mobile Technologies LLC. Robin earned her Master’s in Education from Regent, a minor in Special Education and a General Science. She also received a Master’s Level Instructional Design Certificate from Wisconsin-Stout University. Over the years, Robin was a substitute teacher with Chesapeake Public schools for 7 years, taught math and science in both public and private schools, and several adult education courses. She has further served as a G.E.D. test administrator and tutors occasionally. Girl Scout STEAM badge workshop facilitator, Boy Scout merit badge counselor, Grant writer and Recipient of the 2014 National Girls Collaborative Mini STEM grant for Girls, partnering with Girls INC.  Currently, teaches STEAM classes and camps in Hampton Roads areas, developing project based learning classes to provide skills for 2st Century careers focused on interesting girls in STEAM.

Cameron Hopkins

Cameron graduated from Christopher Newport University with a degree in Accounting. She worked for a government contractor as a Senior Management Analyst before becoming a homeschool mom. Her family has been homeschooling for ten years. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading books, and volunteering at the Portsmouth Humane Society.

SheriSheri Huddleston

Sheri is a mother of 4. She was born in Oklahoma but has lived in several states due to her husband serving in the Military. She is educated in child development. She has spent the majority of her life working with children. She started nannying when she was 12 years old. That led her down the path knowing she wanted to always work with children. When she isn’t teaching or working within her home, she can be found at her sewing machine, for a part time business, or on the softball field where she and her husband play on multiple co-ed teams.

WendyWendy Inman

Wendy is a Virginia Beach native who holds a BS in Business Administration – Information Systems from Old Dominion University. She worked as a programmer for Norfolk Public Schools Administration until deciding to stay home with her son Alex. Homeschooling was introduced to her by her best friend when Alex was about three and they’ve been going strong ever since. When Wendy is not homeschooling her high school student, she loves to knit, birdwatch, take photos, read and eat tacos.

benBen Keckley

Benjamin (Ben) is a senior high school student with a strong fascination in mathematics, music, computer science, and video game development. He has studied game design over the past several years and wants to help students understand the “backstage” work of video games. He has played piano for eight years and has worked on many personal projects relating to computer programming and game development.

DawnDawn Keckley

Dawn earned a B. A. in English and a minor in religion from Virginia Tech in 1994. She worked at MET Electrical Testing Co. until she began homeschooling her oldest son. At the close of this school year, she will have homeschooled for 20 years and graduated three. She enjoys, in addition to being with her sons, theatre, podcasts, exercise, papercrafts, healthy eating, gardening, birds, PBS, and the BBC.

AndreaAndrea Kinnear

Andrea is a former health data analyst for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. She has a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, and her bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences is from Johns Hopkins University. When not homeschooling her four children or working on probability problems for fun, Andrea is in the dojo doing karate forms and jiu-jitsu submissions.

Karen Kowalski

Karen is a homeschooling mother of two. As a native New Yorker with Bachelors and Masters degrees in biology and a minor in chemistry, she has worked for several biotech companies in the New York City area. The Navy brought her to Norfolk, where she has been teaching Biology at Tidewater Community College for the past fourteen years. In her spare time she is a taxi service in support of her kids’ sports commitments, and enjoys reading every chance she gets.

TerrieTerrie Livingston

Terrie Livingston has lived in Hampton Roads for over 30 years and graduated from high school in Virginia Beach, VA. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Special Education at Old Dominion University. She then received her Masters Degree in Education with a Special Education (K-12) endorsement. Terrie is certified in CPR/First Aid/AED and maintains her teacher credentials required by Virginia Department of Education. She taught in the public education system for 15 years and maintains her state teacher license. When she had her third child, she had the wonderful opportunity to stay home with her kids. During this time, Terrie became president of a local non-profit organization for supporting stay-at-home moms and once her youngest began pre-k, she worked part-time as a tutor in Chesapeake. She has also been an active PTA board member for both schools that her three children attended. Terrie’s passion is in teaching kids who think out of the box! Her favorite subjects to teach are one’s not typically offered by organized school systems, but are essential skills to have before moving on into the big world!

Tess2Teresa Mitton

Tess graduated from Evie Mansfield Modelling and Acting Agency in 1994 and worked for the agency until starting a family in 1996. Home schooling her children had become more important than pursuing her acting career. The opportunity to teach theatre came in 2015, when Tess was teaching Romeo and Juliet as a literature class which then turned into a miniature Drama Class and rekindling her love of the theatre.


EllenEllen Patchin

Ellen is 15 and has been home schooled for the last 7 years, She has been a part of a home school quizbowl team, concert band, and girl scout troop. She loves reading, baking, and working with younger kids. She also enjoys math and science, and hopes to be an engineer someday.

SusanSusan Patchin

Susan has been with HSOBX for almost 5 years. She has been a co-leader in Girl Scouts. She has homeschooled her children for 7 years. Prior to Susan’s career in Motherhood, she worked as a Certified Nurses Aide and Certified Pharmacy Technician.  She also enjoys playing her bass clarinet in a homeschool band and assisting with her son’s Boy Scout troop.

Sarah PopeSarah Pope

Sarah Pope is a Virginia Beach native, with a passion for nature and science. She received her undergraduate degree from ODU with a major in Ocean Earth and Atmospheric Science. In 2014, Sarah completed her graduate coursework in secondary science education from William & Mary. Her teaching experience includes 6 years with Norfolk Public Schools where she taught Earth Science, Oceanography and AP Environmental Science. In 2016, Sarah started teaching outdoor science classes and enrichment programs. When she’s not teaching, Sarah enjoys paddling on the Chesapeake Bay and hanging out with her husband, three sons, and dog.

PatriciaPatricia Richman

Patricia was homeschooled herself in grades 5-12, going on to graduate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Honors College with a BS in Education. She has a teaching certificate in Special Education and has taught in classrooms for kindergarten through 12th grade. Patricia now has six homeschooled children, enjoys playing and teaching piano, volunteers as a La Leche League Leader, relishes her husband’s organic garden, and hangs clothes on the line all year long.

StaciaStacia Sanders

Stacia holds a BS in ASL Interpreting Studies from Eastern Kentucky University, as well as a BA in English from the University of Kentucky. She worked as a freelance ASL interpreter in the community and as an educational interpreter in the public school system before becoming the homeschooling mom of three small children. She currently resides in Suffolk, dabbling in various hobbies like dance, music, chickens, and chasing aforementioned children.

Selene Spelts

Selene Spelts holds an associates degree in Social Science, with a focus on pursuing a degree in elementary education. She is a Hampton Roads native and the mother of two incredible daughters. Currently, she is employed by the Unitarian Church of Norfolk as the Nursery Supervisor. In her spare time she enjoys bullet journaling and writing her own curriculum.

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Medical Technology from Old Dominion University and is board certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. She previously worked in hematology and blood banking at a hospital laboratory before her interest in education prompted her to pursue teaching. She taught both science and English at the middle school level before beginning her own homeschooling adventure with her eldest in 2010. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, music, and the general pursuit of knowledge.

StephanieStephanie Waggoner

Stephanie has been homeschooling since 2010 when the oldest of her four children became Kindergarten age. She grew up with a variety of interests, studying a range of subjects including psychology, drafting, and human geography and participating in academic competitions as a member of a forensics league as well as a Varsity Academic Decathlon team. While her love of learning has not slowed, these days she focuses her free time on learning about various ways of creating including fiber arts, card making, bookbinding, decorative painting, sewing, and woodworking. She has taught adult classes in the fiber arts covering topics like dyeing and spinning yarn as well as pattern design, tying her love of creating with the scientific and mathematical concepts that influence the results.

KenKen Wright

Ken is a professional abstract painter who has received over 300 awards and has work displayed in the Bush Presidential Library in Texas and in the White House in DC. He has a BFA in Fine Arts and Graphics from Norfolk State University. Ken has lectured and taught workshops for the Chrysler Art Museum, Hampton University, and many many others. He has served on many arts committees and boards, as an Arts Commissioner for the state of Virginia, is a founding board member of the Portsmouth Children’s Museum, and is an honorary committee member of the Chesapeake Friends of the Arts. Ken currently teaches at the d’Art Center in Norfolk.