Biology | Chemistry
Peggy Burkley graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She continued her education in graduate school at George Washington University to become an ASCP-certified Medical Technologist. Peggy worked for GWU Hospital for several years as a Medical Technologist specializing in blood bank operations. As her two daughters grew, Peggy taught Christian pre-school and Sunday school for over four years before joining HEARTS. During her time with HEARTS, Peggy has served on the Steering Committee, taught as a substitute teacher in Physical Science and Chemistry, provided college counseling and acted as the parent advisor for the HEARTS Yearbook and the Sea Lions swim team. After over ten years of homeschooling, including seven years at HEARTS, Peggy’s two daughters recently graduated and are currently studying at Virginia colleges. Peggy is also a former Girl Scout leader and church high school youth group leader. Peggy is passionate about science and is looking forward to teaching Chemistry and Biology.
Kaila was a HEARTS student who graduated in 2011. She completed four years of Spanish with Mrs. Specht, which served as a huge blessing when she later moved to Nicaragua to work at Verbo Orphanage where she taught preschool, and then to Peru to study minority languages with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Her love for languages led her to pursue a degree in linguistics and language education from George Mason, which she earned in 2015. She is currently working on her master’s degree in language acquisition. Spanish is a passion of Kaila’s that began at an early age, when her mom put her in a Spanish immersion daycare. And now Kaila owns and operates her own Spanish immersion preschool in Ashburn, which is just one of the many facets of her passion for teaching language. She is thrilled to be joining HEARTS as the Spanish teacher, and hopes that some of her excitement for language will be passed on to the students.
Yvonne Douglas is originally from Rochester, New York. She graduated from Geneva College and then taught Spanish in upstate New York. After several years of teaching, she obtained her M.A. in Secondary Education with a Concentration in Spanish. She spent eight years in the U. S. Coast Guard, after which she became a stay-at-home mom. She taught Sunday school at her church and she began homeschooling in 2014. Yvonne is married to Joseph and they have two wonderful kids. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.
OT/NT Survey | Government
Gary Hall is a native of New Jersey and proud father of six beautiful homeschooled children, two of which are current students at HEARTS. He retired from United States Air Force in 2016 after 20 years of service where he served as an intelligence analyst and spent a significant time training new analysts. He graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Religion and a Master’s degree in Public Policy. He is passionate about his family and loves spending his time with his wife Laura (who he married in 1994) and his children. They have been homeschooling all the children for the past 15 years. They have a desire to teach children the word of God, and together they started an AWANA program at their church in South Carolina. They were truly blessed to witness God’s work being done in the hearts of all the children and parents as they all learned the Bible. He enjoys the beach, football, baseball, camping, fishing, weightlifting, Legos, landscaping, and spending time with the family. He loves music and is mediocre at playing the drums. He currently lives in Hillsboro, VA and attends Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg.
Kim Hayes is a former homeschooling mom of 13 years and a founding member of both SHE (Sterling Home Educators) and SCOOP (Science Co-Op). She has taught a variety of subjects to homeschoolers, including French, Biology, Speech and Drama, Literature and Worldviews. After studying French all through high school and college and teaching it to her own children, she was excited to be able to share her love of all things French with other homeschoolers. She has been conducting French classes out of her home for the past 10 years. Kim has a degree in nursing and is a “retired” RN. She has two grown children and lives in Lansdowne.
Intro to Literature & Composition
Kathy Henry graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Vocal Performance and a K-12 Virginia teaching certificate. She has served as Children’s Minister at Church of the Holy Spirit while they were located in Ashburn. There, she created curriculum and taught a one-room Sunday school. As the church grew, she directed the program as it grew to over 100 children located in two nurseries and five classrooms. Currently, Kathy individually tutors a variety of students in language arts, arithmetic, SAT/ACT/PSAT prep, college essay prep at a local tutoring center.
Composition & Literature | American Literature | British Literature
Mrs. Holmberg has taught at Hearts for seven years. Working with Hearts students is a continual joy and each year engaging in the process of studying literature and writing with them is an awesome adventure. From preschool to sixth grade, she was homeschooled by her mother. She graduated with honors in English Literature from the University of Mary Washington in December 2007. She focused on British Literature, taking classes in Chaucer, Victorian Literature, British Renaissance Literature, and Tolkien. Writing acted as an integral part of her education, she enjoyed courses on the writing process and how culture and context interact with writing. In 2008, she received certification in adult literacy tutoring and was trained and employed as a tutor for a national tutoring service. For six years, she has taught middle-schoolers in a Classical Conversations homeschooling cooperative. She and her family enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, and, of course, reading. They reside in Ashburn and are the high school youth group leaders at Broadlands Community Church.
Jenny Holsinger graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught in Christian Schools for 7 years before staying home with her children. Jenny and her husband, Steve, have homeschooled their children for the past 19 years. The Holsingers became involved in HEARTS 11 years ago, when their oldest child began taking classes here. Four of Jenny’s children have attended HEARTS, or are currently taking classes at HEARTS, with three having graduated so far. For the past 5 years, she has been a member of the HEARTS Steering Committee. Jenny has been through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class herself, and is excited about the opportunity to teach this class at HEARTS. She is married to Steve, has 5 children, lives in Sterling and attends Chantilly Bible Church.
Heather Jansen graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Social Work, but life took her down the path of teaching where she found her true joy. Prior to starting her own family, she taught, developed curriculum and was involved in training other teachers. As a homeschool mom she has continued to share her passion for learning not only through teaching her own children, but also teaching in various co-ops. More recently, she has taught high school English and Biology. She and her husband have been involved in the HEARTS community for the past 7 years where they have graduated two of their three children.
Sara Jones graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Education, Biology and Mathematics. She taught in the school system in Michigan and Texas before the arrival of her three children. While homeschooling her own children, Mrs. Jones has continued to share her passion for God’s creation through classes offered to the homeschool community. Over the past 15 years, she has taught all ages and levels of math and science through co-ops, camps, and classes offered out of her home.
Mrs. Annamaria Oehler's educational background includes a B.S. in Computer Engineering from a technical university in Romania and an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling from the Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. Upon graduation from seminary, she became a missionary supported by a US-based Christian mission organization and then functioned for a number of years as the Co-Founder and Director of Counseling Services for one of the first Christian Counseling Centers established in Romania. The Oehler Family's homeschooling journey started 12 years ago in Japan where Annamaria's husband, Michael, worked at the time. She first became involved with Hearts when their son (who just recently graduated from there) started attending the school. Their daughter is currently taking classes there. Annamaria had opportunities to substitute teach different classes at Hearts and really enjoyed getting to know the kids. She has additionally been tutoring Math at all levels (elementary through high school) for the last 3 years at a tutoring center in Ashburn and is looking forward to teaching Earth Science at Hearts.
Rachel Sargent grew up in Manhattan the daughter of East Indian immigrants. She started learning French in sixth grade and eventually graduated with a BA in French from the University of Vermont with a minor in Spanish. She received her teaching license after moving to Virginia with her husband and began a career as a Spanish teacher at Stafford High School. After several years she put her teaching career on hold to raise her daughter. She has more recently tutored homeschooled students in French.
Rachel Sargent loves to travel and has been to France, Spain (for graduate studies), India, Ukraine, and several other countries. She enjoys getting to know whichever culture in which she finds herself and quickly feels at home. In addition to travel abroad, Rachel Sargent enjoys music and has sung at church services, weddings, and other events and played the viola and violin in middle school. She loves going to the beach to sit in the sun and collect shells.
Christy Shipe has been involved in teaching debate for the past twenty years. As a homeschool graduate herself, her first opportunity to learn debate was in college at Cedarville University. She competed for three years on the Cedarville Debate team, earning the Outstanding Graduate Award for the National Educational Debate Association in 1998 during her senior year. During her junior year of college, she was hired by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to start a debate league for homeschool students. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in political science, Christy continued to run the debate league until the birth of her third child. HSLDA debate eventually grew into the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA), a national speech and debate league for homeschool students. Christy continued to serve on the Board of Directors and is currently Vice President of the NCFCA Board. She is the author of two debate textbooks with a third due to be published in 2019. She and her husband Rich, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel Ashburn, are the homeschooling parents of five children.
Physical Science | Physics
Angela Taylor loves teaching and has 20+ years of experience teaching K-12 in homeschools, co-ops, and private tutoring. She met her husband, Ken Taylor, while attending Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, Wisconsin. She has worked as a CNA and assistant librarian, taught children with learning disabilities, homeschooled two children, and is a high school youth group leader/teacher at Community Baptist Church of South Riding.
Her son is currently a senior at HEARTS and her daughter is a recent graduate of Grove City College.
Mrs. Taylor is passionate about getting students to ask questions, and to truly think through information before coming to conclusions. She is looking forward to teaching Physical Science from a Biblical worldview, and to helping 6th graders master new concepts and skills in core subjects. Her goal for each student is to inspire them to think about putting their knowledge to work in the real world for the Glory of God.
Kim van Essen loves being both a teacher and Assistant Director at HEARTS. Mrs. van Essen has a BA in Global Justice and Policy Development from James Madison University (go Dukes!) and a Minor in Nonprofit Studies. Mrs. van Essen is passionate about being on the Harvest Bible Chapel Ashburn worship team lead by her husband, Michel and together they also run Van Essen Studio: a company that creates identity via web, print, social media presence and branding. Most importantly of all, every day she is Mama to their toddler, Anson.
Michel van Essen began teaching World History and US History for HEARTS in 2014 and is excited to have been approved as the Director of HEARTS in 2017. Mr. van Essen studied History, Theology and finished with Jewish Liturgy in the Netherlands. Before moving to the United States, Mr. van Essen taught History for over five years in the Dutch Public School system. Together with his wife, Kim, Mr. van Essen runs Van Essen Studio, a company that creates identity via web, print, social media presence and branding.
Studio Art I | Studio Art II
Lisa Zadravec has taught in the Loudoun area for 23 years, including two decades with HEARTS. She studied Art at the Corcoran School of Art and Design as well as the American University and Montgomery College. She was trained in the traditional Maroger method of oil painting, portraiture and by members of the DC Color School. She was the co-founder of Crossroads School of the Arts and has taught for Loudoun County, the Ambleside School, various VBS and home-school co-op programs, Shenandoah University, Loudoun Senior Center and was Art and Program Director for Camp Jeanne d'Arc in New York State. She teaches Fine Art Programs for all grades and is a professional, multi-award- winning, internationally recognized & published artist with teaching experience in both home-school and private school environments. Among other publications, she has a chapter in the new book, Draw Portraits in Colored Pencil, so there is naturally an emphasis on realistic drawing and painting. Her bio & work can be viewed at www.LisArts.com.