Learning Support Services Vice Principal
Learning Support Services Vice Principalvhooper@schoolathome.ca
Virginia joined the LSS department at TLA in 2013. Her previous work was in post-secondary education, teaching in psychology, counselling, Bible studies, and Christian History. She transitioned to K-12 education and has found her work with students who need learning support to be deeply satisfying. She has also been a teacher in a BC provincial prison, where she also volunteers with the chaplain’s office; has worked in children’s ministries; and provides pastoral counselling within her local congregation.
Her educational journey includes degrees in Christian education, theological studies, counselling, and educational leadership. She views participation in Christian education and pursuing excellence for our students as a privilege.
Virginia is married to Ralph. They have two adult children, and three delightful grandchildren. They share interests in reading (biographies of historical persons), music (Ralph is a vocalist and Virginia is a flutist), hiking, camping, kayaking, and taking road trips with their grandchildren.
Joanne has been a part of the TLA LSS teaching team since 2008. She has been extremely blessed learning from her talented colleagues and working with students and families to create and implement educational plans that cater to their individual strengths and needs.
She studied English and History in her undergrad years and then completed her Bachelor of Education in Secondary English and Socials Studies. She has always known that her passion was in educating special needs children, and so she continued on and received a post-graduate diploma in Special Education at UBC. She has taught a range of students, from kindergarten to grade 12, in both the public and private education systems.
In her spare time, Joanne loves to laugh, relax and read, and simply be with her family and friends.
Home & LSS Teacher
Home & LSS Teachermfriesen@schoolathome.ca
Melissa Friesen has been a part of the TLA team since spring 2014. Melissa loves working for TLA and partnering with families to educate their children at home. She enjoys building relationships with families, and the wonderful opportunity to create customized learning plans for every child.
Melissa grew up in Langley and graduated from TWU in 2002 and SFU in 2003. Prior to working for TLA, Melissa taught in several schools in the greater Vancouver area. She also had the wonderful privilege of homeschooling her own children for three years.
Melissa has been married to Corey since 2000 and they live in Langley with their three school-aged children. They love to travel, especially to their favourite sunny destination – Maui!
Cara lives in Langley with her husband and three lovely children: Kolya, Julitta and Jovan. Cara graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Regina but moved immediately to Montreal to teach at a private school while her husband pursued his Graduate studies. They have now lived in BC for 10 years, and Cara spent 7 of those years having the pleasure and joy of homeschooling her own children.
Recently, Cara was certified in the Orton Gillingham approach to teaching children struggling with reading and writing and has spent time privately tutoring children in their literacy skills. Cara considers herself a lifelong learner and loves sharing information she has learned with those around her.
Cara fully believes in homeschooling as a wonderful choice for families and is excited to blend her experience as a classroom teacher, and dedication as a homeschool parent to address the unique needs of all learners in creative, effective and caring ways.
In her spare time, Cara is usually driving her sons to soccer or her daughter to horse riding, but she also loves reading, cooking, taking dance classes, and enjoying a good cup of coffee.
Val comes to TLA from the Surrey School District, where she was a teacher of all grades from primary to secondary, as well as Special Education. She has her Master’s Degree in Supervision of Instruction and was a Vice-Principal with the Surrey District.
She has a passion for students who require the extra support and understanding to feel successful in learning. Val is also very supportive of the important role that teachers play in partnership with parents in the education of their children.
Val and her husband have two daughters and two beautiful grandsons. Family is very important to her and she is very pleased to be a part of the family of TLA.
Kate has a passion for working with students and their families to achieve educational and life successes. She attended Capilano College and Simon Fraser University where she played varsity soccer and basketball while obtaining her teaching degree. She has a double minor in Physical Education and English with coursework focusing on special needs students and diverse learners.
Kate worked in the classroom setting for 5 years before making the move to teaching within the homeschool setting. She enjoys being able to work with families on a personal level and creating engaging and enriching opportunities for students.
Kate lives in Langley with her family. She loves the outdoors, being active, reading, cooking and spending time with family.
LSS & GAP Teacher
LSS & GAP Teachercmckaig@schoolathome.ca
A desire to help children reach their potential is what drew Charles to education. He enjoyed working in various Christian schools throughout the Lower Mainland.
Previous to that he worked supporting adults with physical and mental challenges in the community. After graduating from Simon Fraser University, he went on to complete a master’s degree in education at the University of British Columbia.
He and his wife Nicole (also an educator) live in White Rock, where they spend their time adding to their substantial film collection or taking photographs of family members.
Lael Rombough joined the TLA team for the 2013-2014 school year. Having been homeschooled himself, he genuinely understands its needs and benefits.
Since childhood, Lael knew he wanted to be a teacher and help raise up students to be all they can be. Having achieved his education degree from Redeemer University/College in Ontario with History and Science as teachables, Lael worked towards gaining experience in a wide range of subjects. Due to his desire to understand and help students with exceptionalities he took additional Special Needs certification. Lael has had classroom experience with all ages and specific experience with students with Autism.
He loves pursuing a plethora of hobbies with his wife in his spare time. These hobbies can include, but are not limited to: a good game of road hockey, singing, playing a variety of video games, or messing around on the guitar.
Debi has worked as a classroom teacher for 35 years in the public school system. She taught K-2 in the classroom and was a learning assistance teacher for students in K-7. Debi has also worked privately on teams supporting children with autism.
She graduated from SFU with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies and then completed the PDP program with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Learning Disabilities. Debi has also completed a diploma in Law Education at UBC.
Currently, she is very happy to work at TLA with families of students with special needs! She enjoys travelling, sailing, running, yoga, reading and spending time with her friends and family.
AmandaEve holds Bachelor degrees in Music and Biblical Scholarship from Rocky Mountain College (Calgary), a Masters of Applied Linguistics from Charles Darwin University (Darwin AUS) and became a BC certified teacher in 2018.
She has taught at Long & McQuade (Abbotsford), Harmony Music School (Calgary), Encore Music Studio (Calgary), Providence College (Otterburne MB), Rocky Mountain College (Calgary), Ziegfeld School of Dance (Winnipeg), Doreen Bissett School of Dance (Winnipeg) and also worked as a Teaching Assistant at CanIL @ Trinity Western University (Langley). She has extensive experience with children’s programming in church and camp settings.
Musically, she has enjoyed performing with various choral and instrumental ensembles across Canada and the USA. She has also been involved in choral composition, arranging, and directing in various contexts.
Her approach to education is to learn through play, topics of interest, exploring the world, and for each child to grow based on their level of ability. She believes strongly in the flexibility home education offers to families and is honoured to be part of helping other families achieve their goals.
She is navigating the diversity of LSS from both sides of the coin because autism is also part of her daily family life.
Island raised, LSS Teacher Sarah Stolz and her young daughter Emily live in Victoria, B.C. Sarah joined the TLA team in July 2014 and is thoroughly excited to be working with families to ensure their child’s program is as individual and unique as they are.
Sarah’s interest in family focused education comes naturally from her background which includes 10 years as a nanny, behavioral interventionist, respite worker, summer camp leader, and educational assistant. She completed her BA in Psychology and Business early in 2010 and finished her Bachelor of Education (K-12) with an emphasis on Special Education later that fall.
Communicating regularly with families is one of the things Sarah enjoys most about her position with TLA. In person visits to the home or extracurricular activities, home videos of learning experiences, email and skype sessions are ways in which Sarah is able to really connect with the students. Phone calls, emails and online document sharing allow Sarah to communicate effectively with parents and educational team members weekly.
Ada received her BA and BEd at University of British Columbia eons ago, and has taught grade 1 through 7 for more than 8 years in independent schools.
She took a year off and completed the Special Education diploma program and feels it’s God’s blessing and plan that she began her LSS teaching career at TLA. Ada has been enjoying her fun roller coaster ride without walls in her classroom.
She loves all kinds of food and her pets are 1 or 2 daddy long legs hiding in corners of her house.
Mary Joan Visscher
Mary Joan Visscher
Mary Joan joined the TLA LSS teaching team in August 2013. She has been passionate about this area for the last 15 years. She has taught a range of students from Elementary to High School in the private school system and has spent the past 10 years as a Student Support Coordinator. Throughout her years of teaching, Mary Joan has also coached Senior Girls volleyball teams in a variety of high calibre tournaments, earning an undefeated season 5 years in a row, Fraser Valley Zone Champions 7 times, and at the Provincial level earning Bronze and Silver medals.
Mary Joan has been married for 18 years and has 3 children. Their family enjoys many sports like volleyball, hockey, soccer, figure skating, skiing and snowboarding. They also love to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation through hiking, backpacking, kayaking and camping.
In her spare time, Mary Joan really enjoys scrapbooking, photography and making cards. If she is unable to find time to do that, she values spending time with each one of her family members individually and is blessed by the bonding time it affords.
Mary Joan is excited to be part of the TLA LSS department where she is values the team expertise.
Emily resides in Langley, B.C. with her husband Adam and her two sons Lucas and Samuel. She joined the TLA team in 2008 and appreciates the flexibility her career offers to raise her boys at home. She enjoys working with DL families, helping to meet the unique needs of each child.
Emily and her husband spent their first year of marriage in Korea, coordinating and instructing English Language training programs for teachers. After returning home, Emily taught Learning Assistance and ESL in elementary and middle schools in the Abbotsford and Langley school districts.
In her spare time she enjoys gardening with her boys, adventuring in the local outdoors with her family, reading a good book, and enjoying a hot coffee with a good friend.
Merissa Ang lives in Vancouver with her husband Mark and their two children, Abigail and James. She enjoys reading, sewing, kayaking and spending time in nature with her family. Merissa holds a B.A degree in Geography and Biology and a B.Ed degree specializing in high school education from Trinity Western University.
Merissa taught high school in the lower mainland before moving to a rural First Nations community (2011-2016) where she taught students in grades 2-11 in multi-grade homeroom classes at the local community school. In 2017 she returned to the Lower Mainland and began working as an LSS teacher with TLA.
Megan Mackenzie is an actor, director, writer, teacher and all around lover of the arts. She holds her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing and Theatre from the University of the Fraser Valley and her Bachelor of Education with a minor in Secondary Teaching from Simon Fraser University.
Megan had the pleasure of teaching within the Abbotsford School District before making the shift to DL Education. Megan worked three years in the Blended Program at TLA teaching Humanities and Drama before taking a leave of absence to work on a passion project: writing her first novel! Now that the novel is almost complete, Megan is thrilled to be back with TLA, this time working within the wonderful LSS Department.
Megan fills her limited spare time reading, writing, creating, travelling, dreaming and baking all kinds of desserts … which she tries not to eat … but always does, anyway.