Meet the Team


OFFICE STAFF


Brett Bowers

PRINCIPAL-AT-LARGE

Brett is a home-schooling father of three and has teaching, tutoring, and administration experience in public, private, and home education programs. In his “free time”, Brett enjoys hiking, camping, skiing, and just about anything that gets him into the mountains.

Education: BS (Computer Science and English Literature) and M.Ed. (Curriculum and Instruction)

Natasha Hicks

High School Coordinator

Biographical sketch coming soon.

Debbie Smith

FAMILY SERVICES COORDINATOR

Biographical sketch coming soon.

Laura Taylor Engel

Special Needs Coordinator and Enrolment Assistant

Biographical sketch coming soon.

Noelle Thorton

Accounts Manager

Biographical sketch coming soon.

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 FACILITATORS


 


Annual Training Day, August 2017

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Brenda Acheson

facilitator

Brenda Acheson has home schooled her four sons since 1993. With the older two now graduated, she is helping her youngest two through junior high and high school. Before having her own children, she taught kids with learning problems in public and private schools. These experiences, along with tutoring, led her to an increased interest in home schooling as an option for families who want to “do school” according to their own priorities and learning styles. She loves to see students discover and pursue their individual passions–this can happen so easily in a home school environment. Her hobbies include music, reading, swimming, and walking in nearby Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary.

Debbie Anderson

Facilitator

Debbie decided to homeschool for “just one year” to teach her dyslexic son phonics. The family fell in love with the lifestyle, the joy of learning together, and the opportunities to strengthen character, and soon “one year” became seventeen. Her three children are grown now: one has his MA from Harvard and is running his own business, one is working on his MA in theology, and the youngest is beginning a career in the banking industry. Debbie’s love for homeschooling lead her to become a facilitator for thee in 1994. Through her own experience as a homeschool mom and from visiting various families, she has come to realize there is no one recipe for homeschooling success. She is a firm believer that every family is unique, and she is passionate about encouraging and supporting parents to discover the homeschool path that works best for them. She enjoys spending time with her hubby travelling, working with youth, hiking in the mountains, boating, fishing, camping, snorkeling… and best of all, playing with the grandkids!

Education: B.Ed. (Elementary Education) from Trinity College, Illinois; Illinois Special Ed K-12 Learning Disabilities; Alberta Teaching Certificate

Cindy Dextraze

Facilitator

Cindy taught elementary school for 7 years before the birth of her son. Being a “stay at home mom” gradually morphed into being a “homeschooling mom.” She spent 13 years homeschooling her son (Kindergarten to grade 12) and her niece (grade 2 to grade 12). She has been a facilitator with thee since 2005. Now that both her son and her niece have graduated, Cindy has a LOT of spare time on her hands. She fills this with reading, writing, tutoring (see our thee+ tutoring program), and some volunteer work.

Education: B.Ed. (Elementary Education) from the University of Alberta with emphasis on Early Childhood Education and Language Arts

Aarin Gillespie

Facilitator

Aarin is a home school graduate born and raised in Northern AB. She fell in love with teaching and began her education career in 1993 as a preschool EA. After grade 12 she went on to complete her Reading Therapy certificate through Potentials Learning Systems and then on to Canadian University College in Lacombe, Alberta. Aarin graduated cum laude from Union College, Nebraska, CUC Campus in 2005; she specialized in Elementary Education and received many bursaries and academic awards during her time there. After teaching in public and private school sectors for several years, she returned to the world of home schooling as a facilitator for thee. Aarin believes learning is an exciting part of life, and she facilitates with energy and passion in hopes that she can pass that joy on to others. Providing reading therapy for kids and adults as well as substitute teaching keep Aarin busy during the year. She and her husband Myles live in central Alberta where they run a youth ministry and spend any free time they can remodeling homes, creating music, hiking in the mountains, and organizing canoeing expeditions.

Education: B.Ed. (Elementary Education); certified reading therapist for the Potentials Learning Systems program

Vivian Malmo

Facilitator

Vivian is passionate about family & home schooling, and has home schooled her 3 darling daughters all the way through school. She is eternally grateful for the precious abundance of time spent with them during those years. Allowing and empowering them to pursue their God given gifts & talents and raising them up with strong righteous beliefs is also a treasured benefit of this time. Everyone is gifted, and no one knows and cares about an individual more than their families. Vivian loves visiting and getting to know her home school families and encouraging and helping them in their home school life adventure. Family time continues to be a high priority and great joy in her life.

Education: B.Ed.

Eleanor Mitchell

Facilitator

Eleanor Mitchell retired from public school after seven years of teaching to be at home with her children. She and her husband home educated their two children, during which time she realized quality education includes more than just academics. Eleanor has been a facilitator with thee since 1996, and she particularly enjoys working with families using non-traditional learning styles. In her spare time, she pursues various hands-on projects, classical guitar studies, and traveling.
Favourite Quotes:

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death; Imagination is more important than knowledge; It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
-- Albert Einstein


In ancient times, the purpose of education was for children to be near the finest adults possible to absorb their wisdom, their values, and the way they dealt with feelings and relationships. Should it not be so today?
-- Sally L. Smith (No Easy Answers: The Learning Disabled Child at Home and at School)

Bonnie Ragan

Facilitator

Bonnie Ragan’s bio to come in the near future.

Jacquie Schmidt

Facilitator

Jacquie and her husband have been homeschooling their 4 daughters with THEE since 2002. During this time, they have seen 2 graduate, and 2 are still at home striving toward that goal. Now with a little more time on her hands, Jacquie is excited to be in her role as home education facilitator and to have the opportunity to encourage and support others on their homeschool journey. Jacquie enjoys spending time with her daughters and their friends, reading, and volunteering with Pregnancy Care Centre.

Education: B. Ed. (Secondary Education); BJU Test Administrator

Heather Senger

Facilitator

Heather taught in the public section for nine years before deciding to homeschool her four young children. At the time her oldest daughter was only six. While trying to learn strategies and techniques that worked for her family she felt the need for networking and support. Reaching out and trying to build networks with other young homeschooling families motivated her to become a facilitator for THEE. She believes that homeschooling is unique for every family and that being able to network and share ideas helps as families grow develop their homeschooling techniques and strategies. Heather is wanting to help build those networking bridges by offering curriculum based learning days open to all ages for children (and parents) to come together and learn and build relationships. In her spare time Heather and her family run a small hobby farm in northern Alberta and promote eating local farm direct food.

Christie Thomas

Facilitator

Christie is a home-schooling mom whose greatest joy has been raising her 4 boys. She has loved having the opportunity to intentionally invest in them by homeschooling them, while at the same time, getting to engage her passion for teaching. She is excited to be involved in encouraging and supporting other homeschooling families as she has the privilege of being a facilitator.

Christie enjoys good coffee, reading, cooking, and cheering her boys on at their soccer and football games.

Elise Twa

Facilitator

Looking back on their homeschooling journey, Elise and her husband have great joy in seeing the close family relationships and the strong moral compass that their grown children now have. As a facilitator, Elise seeks to be an encourager and a resource to other families who have decided to educate their children at home. Prior to having her own children, Elise taught children who are deaf, as well as hearing children of deaf parents. Additionally, she taught a language-oriented preschool program and a French language course at a secondary school, in Africa.

Education: B.A., B.Ed., and Early Childhood Education graduate diploma; American Sign Language (ASL) Levels 1 & 2

Rita Vandenbrink

Facilitator

Rita and her husband feel blessed and privileged that they had the freedom and support to homeschool their four children until grade twelve graduation. This choice gave each of their children more time to pursue personal interests and provided Rita and her husband with more opportunities to watch them become who God created them to be. All of their children have gone on to post secondary studies in their field of interest. Mainly before Rita’s homeschooling days, she worked and volunteered with people of all ages in a wide variety of fields. This includes preschools, Christian and public schools, The Alberta School for the Deaf, various hospitals and an extended care facility. Rita looks forward to walking alongside homeschooling families and encouraging them in their journey.

Education: Education: B.Sc.O.T. (Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy), B.Ed. (Elementary Education with a Reading Minor), Certified Irlen Screener

Jill Wiesinger

Facilitator

Although I worked in a private Christian school for four years before having children of my own, the most memorable years of my life have been those of parenting and homeschooling my two children, who are now young adults. Since that time, and for the past number of years, I have had the privilege of working as a facilitator with thee. This role has allowed me the wonderful opportunity to pursue my passion of supporting and encouraging homeschool parents in their challenging task of training, shaping, and preparing their children for life. I look forward to my home visits, and I am so inspired and grateful to be able to meet face to face with the parents and their exceptional children.

Education: B. Ed. from the University of Alberta in Elementary Education, and a Diploma in Early Childhood Services.