Grades K-9 Vice Principal
Grades K-9 Vice Principalsborley@schoolathome.ca
Steve has taught in Christian schools in Richmond, White Rock and Comox; he has homeschooled his own children at different times; and he firmly believes in the rights and responsibilities of the family to help govern the educational process.
Steve believes that an education is very important for every individual, and an individualized education promises more success than a cookie-cutter education. Schooling should fit into life rather than fitting life around schooling, and absolutes only apply to the Divine. Success can be measured more accurately by looking at one’s joy and contentment than at one’s bank account or trophy cabinet.
Steve hopes to succeed in providing good service that meets people’s needs and encourages them to enjoy all that the Good Lord brings our way. No better example of joy and contentment exists than the life of Jesus, for he knows his Father can handle things just fine.
Kara lives in Smithers, BC with her husband James (who is also a teacher) and their three young children. Kara has been working as a Home Teacher with TLA for many years and appreciates being able to stay at home with her children while working with families to pursue an excellent education for their children.
Kara enjoys cross country skiing, and the family built a skating rink in the backyard. Kara looks forward to summers and spending time at the lake camping with family and friends.
Cara Lee Buzza
Cara Lee Buzza
Cara Lee lives in Mission with her husband, David and her three amazing children, David, Connor, and Emily.
Cara Lee has been working with TLA families since 2002 as a DL teacher for students living in Maple Ridge and Port Coquitlam.
David had a long history of teaching in the Independent school system before transitioning into the role of pastor of a church in Maple Ridge. As life often goes, he has come full-circle back to teaching at TLA while continuing to pastor.
David married Cara Lee in 1994 and 5 addresses, 3 kids, and a dog later – they’re still going strong!
Alisha Deddens is an installation artist currently living and working in the Vernon area. She also works with a range of other media including painting, drawing, sculpture, video and sound.
In 2014, Alisha graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Fraser Valley. She has been involved in several juried group shows, installations, murals and community engagement pieces including Buy One Get None: Conformity, Consumerism and The Collective Voice, exhibited at The Reach Gallery Museum and the 2015 Fraser Valley Biennale. Alisha was recognized at the 2015 Abbotsford Arty Awards and won the Christine Caldwell Arts Advocate Award.
Alisha’s projects often focus on specific themes including her personal experience with epilepsy, the fear of losing control, and the fragility of self. She has had the opportunity to teach and engage with students in various workshops and classes, sharing her knowledge of and passion for the arts.
Jen lives in Fort St. James with her husband Steve and four children. Her homeschool journey began in 2008 with the entry of her eldest, Aidan, into kindergarten. Having taught English at high school prior to having children, she was excited to start her journey as a support teacher. Connecting parents and combating isolation are two ways that Jen helps improve the experience of homeschooling for Northern families.
In her “free” time, Jen loves to scrapbook, play with clay, and spend time outside with her family. Summer is one of her favourite times as she gets to spend it at Echo Lake Bible Camp, which her husband directs.
Jessica Ens joined the TLA team in 2013 as a Home Teacher and enjoys helping TLA families find the flexibility they need to meet their educational goals for their children.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Education from Simon Fraser University, and has taught in both independent and public schools.
Having grown up in Northern BC and lived on Vancouver Island and in Surrey, Jessica now resides in Kamloops with her husband and three adorable children. She likes coffee, knitting, public libraries, her vegetable garden and writing letters.
Assistant K-9 Vice Principal, Home Teacher
Assistant K-9 Vice Principal, Home Teachermjohnson@schoolathome.ca
Michelle loves working for TLA as a home teacher and Assistant K-9 Vice Principal as it allows her to combine her passions – helping families be successful in their educational endeavors through support and encouragement, and having flexibility to travel and work from wherever life takes her.
Michelle lives in beautiful Armstrong, B.C., where she had the opportunity to raise her three lovely girls. Though she started her career in Alberta, teaching in a private school for 5 years, she has enjoyed working at TLA for well over a decade.
Learning how to navigate an “empty nest”, e-biking, travelling, reading, and sipping a good cup of coffee are all ways she loves to fill her time not spent working with families as they educate from home.
Home & Blended Teacher
Home & Blended Teacherajones@schoolathome.ca
Amy Jones lives in Cloverdale with her husband, Marty, and her 3 children, Judah, Myah and Joshua. She and her husband are also foster parents.
Amy graduated from university with her Bachelor of Education in 1998 and specializes in teaching French as a second language. She is currently part of the K-9 Home Program serving families in the Lower Mainland.
Amy loves spending time with her children, going to sporting events, visiting family and friends and working on the odd DIY project. She is very thankful to be a part of the TLA team.
Jessica Kotanen lives in Mission, BC with her husband Jonny and daughters Olive, Fern, and Juniper. She has worked as a Home Teacher for TLA since 2012. Jessica was raised traditionally homeschooled through her elementary years, and although she obtained her teaching degree with the goal of being a public school teacher, her heart was eventually drawn back to the world of homeschooling as something she deeply believes in and loves.
Jessica particularly enjoys working alongside enthusiastic families of young children who are new to DL.
Rita has been a part of the TLA community for over a decade as a homeschooling parent. She has dedicated her life to educating students, from her own three children as well as other children, in a variety of settings. In addition to homeschooling, she worked as an Education Assistant in the Catholic school system and as a volunteer catechist at her parish. Her own passion for learning fueled her desire in nurturing and teaching her own children, with the goal of imparting a life-long love of learning and with the idea that learning can take place anywhere.
Prior to having children, Rita taught university-level students as a Teaching Fellow while pursuing her graduate studies in Economics in the United States. She was excited to come back to TLA, this time as a Blended Teacher, entering a new chapter in her life.
When she’s not busy with all her commitments, Rita enjoys the outdoors with her husband and children, kayaking, hiking, and camping.
Home & Blended Teacher
Home & Blended Teachercmcgrath@schoolathome.ca
Chris has worked with TLA before in 2003-2005 as a DL teacher before moving to Kelowna where he continued his work in Distance Learning, classroom teaching, curriculum development, career planning for high school students, and even dabbled in administration work and was excited to return to the DL environment.
Before working at TLA, Chris taught grades six and seven before moving into teaching a variety of humanities courses in high school. Chris enjoys working with the TLA program, and assisting families as they meet the challenge of educating their children by blending the British Columbia’s curriculum into their home environment and online education.
Chris lives in Kelowna with his wife Karen. They have 4 grown children.
Janice is excited that God has brought her to TLA. She has been a teacher for a number of years, teaching a range of subjects and grades. Having spent many years in South America as a missionary, Janice is fluent in Spanish and works with the online Spanish students in addition to her Two-Day Blended program.
In her spare time, Janice likes to go to the movies, to the beach, and out for coffee. She also enjoys the doodle craze called Zen Tangle.
Online & Home Teacher
Online & Home Teacherpjreimer@schoolathome.ca
PJ is an avid outdoorsman. He has been an educator/administrator for over 28 years in public, First Nations, and Christian Schools.
In his spare time PJ enjoys soapstone sculpting and painting houses. He has two grown children and resides in Kamloops.
Home & Online Teacher
Home & Online Teacherjrene@schoolathome.ca
Jaime is a veteran homeschool mom of three beautiful children – Lily, Gabriel, and John – who brings a love of home education to her role as DL teacher.
Having received a Bachelor’s degree in history and music from Trinity Western University, Jaime returned to school later in life to enhance her education skills by attaining a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of British Columbia.
Jaime loves exploring the innovative educational opportunities that are enabled by blending online learning with homeschooling. In addition to a love of learning, she enjoys reading, music performance, directing her church choir, and the art of homemaking.
Peggy joined TLA in 2008. She enjoys seeing students develop to their full potential in their home setting with the ultimate goal of a lifelong joy of learning. Peggy loves working with the limitless resources in curriculum and studying techniques and learning alongside her families.
Peggy’s interests includes sailing, kayaking, and enjoying numerous outdoor activities in beautiful British Columbia.
Darren enjoys quiet time, walking somewhere/anywhere and sitting under the clouds and trees next to water.
Darren relishes time at home playing intensely with his kids. He loves his wife’s hugs, his eldest’s ideas, his middle one’s playfulness and his youngest’s eyes.
He appreciates competition, the predictability and unpredictability of sport, the life illustrations found in chess and the making something out of nothing in the game of backgammon.
He’s amazed at the fingerprints of God throughout nature and is humbled by the voice of Yahweh on the Page and in his heart, learning His ways are perfect and his aren’t, the precious gift of repentance and a broken heart.
Darren is thrilled by learning about history and that Solomon was right, the alphabetical symbols and all their permutations of combinations of meaning and playing board games with friends.
And yes, he salivates over wholesome-rich-thick-nutritious-tasty-mmmm toxic-and-gmo-free grown yourself food, as well as savouring three shot espressos in the morning.
Finally, he anticipates “the-lights-came-on” look in the eyes of his students and the search for truth, working in a professional field where what he does makes families stronger and children more confident and creative.
After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Maureen worked in the Catholic school system for two years before starting her own family. Since then, life has been an exciting and rewarding adventure of learning along with her nine children whom she has home-schooled “since the beginning”. Learning is an adventure that begins with birth and never ends!
Maureen was a member of the TLA community as a parent for many years before joining the K-9 Staff as a Home Teacher in 2013. She feels privileged to assist other families in their own homeschooling journey while still homeschooling her youngest child.
Maureen lives in Burnaby where she is a member of St. Michael’s parish. She finds her Catholic faith central to all aspects of her life. In her spare time Maureen is an avid gardener, loves music, playing board games, sewing, and spending time with her husband and their children.
Libby Voth lives in Abbotsford with her husband and two children.
Originally from the UK, Libby earned her BA from the University of Stirling. Several years later, she took the teacher education course at SFU part time while working as an EA with special needs students. She taught for 6 years in an independent Christian school in Abbotsford before joining the TLA team in 2017. She is passionate about connecting with students and is excited to be part of facilitating their learning and growth.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, taking photographs, and drinking chai.
Blended PE Instructor
Blended PE Instructorssikma@schoolathome.ca
Shelley has always loved anything active and athletics related. She has years of experience playing
a wide variety of sports and volunteering as a coach for various teams and sports camps. She is
excited to be able to share this passion with the students of TLA in the blended PHE program.
Shelley lives in Langley with her husband Paul. She feels blessed to spend the majority of her week at
home managing her active household of five sons and one daughter. She also loves to volunteer for
activities at her church.
Trina was born and raised in Terrace, BC, but went to Trinity Western University and taught for many years at Cloverdale Catholic School in Surrey.
Wendy Levasseur first earned a bachelor of Outdoor Education at University of Alberta, then an Education Degree at the University of Calgary. For ten rewarding years, Wendy taught at a First Nations public school near Grande Cache, Alberta. During those years, her and her wonderful husband Marc received their life’s greatest gifts, three beautiful children; Kail, Maelle and Talie-Anouk.
In 2012 the family followed a life dream and moved to a hobby farm near Dawson Creek. It quickly began to remarkably look like Noah’s ark with two every kind of farm animal.
On the farm they also started the adventure of home-learning. They are grateful for this opportunity to understand their kids hearts and gifts. Wendy so appreciates this time and loves supporting other home-learning families.
Most importantly Wendy is grateful for Jesus’s kind and enduring love. For His forgiveness and gentleness in early morning hours, gently guiding her and moulding her spirit to be more like His own.
My teaching adventures include a B.Ed. from UBC and a diploma in Christian Studies from ACTS, in Langley. Most of my teaching experience has been as a Christian-school teacher in Colombia, South America, and in British Columbia. I’ve also been a teacher-support for DL students and a tutor. I’m excited about teaching project-based learning and supporting parents in the Blended 2-Day Program with TLA.
I live in Maple Ridge and enjoy music, gardening, reading, being outdoors, and volunteering at a local animal rescue. And when football season starts, out come the Seattle Seahawks and BC Lions jerseys.
Mary lives in North Delta with her husband Edward and two homeschooled children. Her journey with homeschooling started in 2012 when her oldest, Alice, started Kindergarten. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and having taught Science and French at BC high schools prior to having children, she was excited to start her journey as a teacher parent.
Mary leads the Blended Two-Day K/1 program in Surrey as well as the One-Day Blended K/6 program in Vancouver.
When not teaching or homeschooling, Mary likes trying new recipes, reading books, and having nature walks with her family.
Charis Hammermeister was homeschooled all through her grade school years, which instilled in her a desire to help other families along their homeschooling journey. Joining the TLA team in 2019 as a Blended teacher allowed her to combine this desire with her love of classroom teaching. She is passionate about educating through inquiry and investigation and about tailoring her instruction to meet the individual needs of each child. Her hope is that each of her students will leave her classroom having developed a lifelong love of learning.
Driven by her passion for mentorship and discipleship, Charis is active in her local church through counselling and women’s Bible studies.
Most of Charis’s free time is spent teaching, coaching, training in, and competing in taekwondo. Her other interests include reading, creative writing, music, visual art, and 20th century Russian history.
Charis holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Maranatha Baptist University and a Master of Arts in Theology-Biblical Counselling from Central Baptist Theological Seminary.
Pauline and her family live in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. She has been involved with TLA for over 15 years as a homeschooling parent, and on the ‘other side’ as a Home Teacher. Pauline’s real passion is for close and healthy families, as well as for fostering the opportunities homeschooling offers for students to develop their own unique gifts and interests in the way that best works for them. Pauline has experienced these benefits through the homeschooling of her own children, and her goal is to be an encouragement and support to other families.
Prior to receiving her Education degree, Pauline had a B.A. in Psychology as well as her Early Childhood Education Certificate and her Montessori teachers diploma.
During her spare time Pauline enjoys the outdoors, hiking, reading, and painting. She continues to develop her family’s property into a fruitful endeavour.
Andrea lives in Cloverdale with her husband and four children, Kate, Marie, Kyle and Ryan, and a budgie named Perri. Andrea grew up near Winnipeg, Manitoba. She attended Providence Bible College, where she enjoyed playing volleyball and basketball and where she decided to change her career from Youth ministry to Education. After marrying her husband Russ, she attended UBC and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Bachelor of Education. She taught at a private Christian school in Vancouver until Russ was elected a Member of Parliament (2004-2015) and her first child was born. For so many reasons, homeschooling became the best option for their family. She continues to homeschool while being a Home Learning Support Teacher with TLA. Along with Russ, she serves on the board of the Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada.
Having been classroom teacher and a homeschool parent in a busy household, Andrea knows the challenges parents face when wanting to lead their children into life long learning. She believes that parents are the first and best educators of their children and is excited to help support them in that role.
Andrea’s ideal day involves books, coffee and a kid or more cuddled up and reading. Her family can often be found having some hiking adventure somewhere in the Lower Mainland or enjoying a good book or movie together.
Sharon has been teaching since 2008 at an Independent school in Richmond. She completed her BA and BEd at UBC. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, three children and their cat.
She has a passion for play, child-led learning and social-emotional education. She loves to see students light up when they discover new things, express creativity and solve problems. She is fascinated by human diversity and how individual capabilities are distinct and amazing.
In her spare time, she enjoys coffee, crochet, nurturing relationships, and being outdoors.
Online, Home, & LA teacher
Online, Home, & LA firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin joined TLA in 2011 after teaching at two other distributed learning schools as well as in the classroom. Originally from Victoria, she moved to Prince George after she graduated from the teaching program at the University of Victoria. After five years in the north, she moved back to Victoria in 2013, closer to family and the west coast life she loves.
Erin is passionate about empowering families to be successful in their home education journey. She enjoys sharing her ideas and creating connections with students and parents. She has worked in a variety of different roles including as Online, Home and Blended teacher. In 2018 she transitioned to Learning Assistance and is now the coordinator for this aspect of student’s learning in K-9.
Erin derives her approach from a variety of research, professional development and experts such as Dr Ross Greene, Dianne Craft, Sir Ken Robinson and others. “I believe in Dr Ross Greene’s idea that children want to do well and they will do well when they can. It’s important to listen to what our children are telling us through their behaviour and words so that we can frame realistic and achievable goals for them.”
Joelene has worked as a distributed learning teacher for 4 years before joining TLA in 2020. She feels extremely blessed to become part of such a dedicated and knowledgeable team at TLA. She loves working with families to design educational plans that inspire a passion for learning.
Lisa lives in Comox BC with her husband Donnie and their two children Jaben and Emelia. After earning her education degree from Trinity Western University and SFU she taught on-call and in the classroom for 10 years. Since having her children she has spent her time ministering to the families of her church, overseeing the home learning of her children during their first 5 years of school, and then volunteering in their local elementary school. Now that her own children are in high school she looks forward to working with the families of TLA, encouraging and supporting them as they take on the challenges and joys of home learning.
LSS and Home Teacher
LSS and Home Teacherahoward@schoolathome.ca
Allison lives on her family farm in the Fraser Valley. She competed in ultimate Frisbee up to the national level and loves being active. Her educational background includes teaching physical education, music, puppy classes, Kindergarten through to 8th grade and most recently, English Language Learning. She began her teaching career in 2014 in the classroom and joined TLA in 2022. Her educational philosophy is that every student deserves the very best chance to reach their full potential and appreciates the tailored style of education offered through distributed learning.
When Allison is not teaching, she loves to spend her time playing with her kids outside, whether it be sports, baking, hiking, gardening, camping or spending time with their pets, including an enthusiastic lab and a curious clydesdale. Allison and her husband both love farming, food, sports and travelling around the Pacific Northwest, from the prairies to the mountains to the beaches. When she’s not outside, she enjoys playing the piano and violin, photography, sewing and woodworking.
Julia is a passionate, creative and curious learner! Her love of education began as
a little girl, playing teacher to her little brother, babysitting, and volunteering as a
youth catechist. After graduating from Little Flower Academy (2000), she went on
pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree (UVIC, 2004), Bachelor of Education Degree
(UBC, 2005) and Master of Arts in Religious Education (St. Marks, 2010).
Julia was a classroom teacher in the Catholic Independent Schools of the
Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA) for seven years before starting a family. Julia was
first introduced to the TLA community as a homeschooling parent. All six of Julia
and Jesse Kuester’s living children (ages 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 10) have had the benefit
of a present, consistent educator and nurturer for the last ten years.
Homeschooling has helped the Kuester family instill a love of God, family and
learning to their children.
When not educating, cuddling kids, and cleaning, Julia can be found listening to
Praise and Worship music, minimizing and editing YouTube videos for her