Untitled Header Image

Elective Tutors

Chris Carl

  • Sewing 

Chris is the mother of 6 children and has been homeschooling since 1995. She has been sewing since she was 13 years old and has sewn everything from baby clothes, to elaborate costumes and dresses, and recently recovered her living room couches. She has been involved with Children’s Ministry for many years which has given her the opportunity to teach children in a classroom setting.

This will be her sixth year teaching Sewing at WEST.

Braxton Carvette

  • How to Read Your Bible
  • High School United States History

Brax Carvette completed his Associates degree in Christian Worldview in the spring of 2017. He is returning to Bethlehem Baptist College and Seminary to attain his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies with a concentration in Biblical Exegesis. Brax is looking forward to either entering ministry or continuing his education into seminary once he completes his bachelor’s degree. Brax has been married to his lovely wife, Jessica, for one year and has a dog named Riggs.

Brax has been serving as a teacher at his church’s youth group for the past eight years. He hopes to continue to share his love of the Bible with students at WEST this coming fall.  God has truly gifted us with His word. It is imperative that we are equipped in our knowledge of the word as we engage with others in our world.

Bill Cournoyer

  • Introduction to Computer Programming

Diana Dutcher

  • The WEST Kitchen

Diana was born with a passion for cooking good food. She was raised in a kitchen at the family restaurant in Columbia Heights; which is closing its doors in 2017 after 45 years in business. The entire family is looking forward to having more time to embark on new endeavors. For Diana, that means continuing to teach at St. Thomas University as an adjunct professor in the Engineering Department’s graduate program for medical device design, teaching at WEST Academy, spending the days raising five young children, and growing a home-based business through teaching people how to reduce their toxin intake and live chemical-free.

Diana has been a volunteer at the Kitchen Window Culinary School since 2013, which allows her to be a teacher and a student. New skills, tips, and recipes are constantly being acquired so the WEST Kitchen will stay fresh and relevant.

Diana and her family currently attend Genesis Covenant when the kids decide to cooperate on Sunday mornings. Her other hobbies and interests include reading, cooking for friends and family, hosting do-it-yourself parties, and boating.

Mark Fierst

  • Introduction to Business
  • High School Health and Well-Being

Mark has been a professional photographer for 8 years, with the last 2 spent as full-time photographer. He specializes in weddings, but has strong experience shooting portraits, events, and sports photography. Mark’s background is in education, having experience at the elementary and high school level, most recently having been a special education paraprofessional at Spring Lake Park High School. He also has over 12 years experience as a high school tennis and basketball coach. Mark has a long history in youth ministry at Vision of Glory Lutheran Church in Plymouth and at Spring Lake Park with Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Mark lives in Champlin with his wife, Steph, and their two boys, Jordan and Jackson. When he’s not behind the camera, Mark is usually spending time with the family, playing sports, watching sports, or checking out the local food scene. Mark’s website is www.markfierstphoto.com.

Jennifer Holt

  • Study Skills

A graduate of the University of Minnesota at Morris with a Bachelor of Arts (an English major with Biology and Chemistry minors), Jennifer Holt loves learning as much now as she did then. The opportunity to serve as a tutor for WEST allows her to share and pass on this enthusiasm for learning. 

Jennifer has a passion for engaging all styles of learners and enjoys incorporating that passion into each setting for classroom instruction.  Whether it is having a coffeehouse-style discussion, role-playing the class content, or using hands-on models, Jennifer’s goal is to make learning effective, fun, and memorable.  She is delighted to have served eight years at WEST, where she has tutored Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Study Skills, and Literature.  Jennifer looks forward to a new year of personally supporting students while communicating God’s power, beauty, order, and creativity.

Heather Johannessen

  • Exploring the Bible in Middle School

First and foremost Heather loves Jesus and wants live a full life of serving Him. Beyond, that, Heather Johannessen is married to Erik. They have homeschooled their 3 children for the last 16 years, who are currently 17-22 years of age. In 2010, while homeschooling her own children, she earned a bachelor of science from Bemidji State in Elementary Education with an emphasis in middle school math. Over the years Heather has taught everything from art to science. Her favorite part of teaching is working with the students, especially those light bulb moments. She has had the good fortune of tutoring a plethora of students in a variety of levels of math.

Outside of homeschool and education Heather loves spending time with her family, especially traveling, and playing with and taking photos of her 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; Poppy, Brooklyn, and Tennessee. However, on any given Friday or Saturday night you would most likely find Heather in her movie room, with her family, watching a classic, action or comedy.

Heather Kipp

  • ACT Test Prep

Heather Kipp graduated with a B.S. from Northwestern College in Roseville, MN, with majors in Mathematics Education and Bible and a minor in Science in 2000. In 2014, she received her M.A. in Education from Bethel University in Arden Hills, MN with a concentration in Online Teaching.   

She has taught mathematics in a variety of capacities and levels - elementary math through college courses.  Prior to teaching at WEST she taught high school mathematics in the public schools, ACT prep courses, tutored individual students, and started a tutoring ministry.  In recent years, she has been a stay-at-home mom and has enjoyed the opportunity to homeschool her own children in addition to teaching PSEO math and ACT Test prep classes at WEST. She has a passion for teaching mathematics and enjoys helping students become life-long learners.  Many of her favorite tutoring experiences have been while ministering to students in the inner-city, and she is always blessed when she sees students overcome struggles and begin to thrive.Her interests include music, reading, hiking, and gardening.  She is actively involved in the music ministry of her local church and serving the practical

and spiritual needs of others at CityLifeWorks, a ministry in North Minneapolis. 

Lolene Love

  • FUNctional Middle School Math
  • Middle School Health

Lolene Love is married to Dr. Alan Love and has taught her four children, currently ages 12-19, for all of their school years. She graduated from Cornell University (in Ithaca, NY) with a BA in Biology, specializing in Animal Anatomy and Physiology. Along the way she successfully completed language courses and three semesters of college calculus. After college she lived in Romania for one year and then served with Campus Crusade for Christ for eleven years. In addition to math, she loves grammar and the materials from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. She has taught group IEW writing classes to a variety of ages for nine years. She enjoys the fun and energy of students in the middle grades.

LeAnn Liberator

  • WEST PhyEd

LeAnn has a national group fitness certification, a current CPR, AED and First Aid certification. She is a current coach for Special Olympics. She has a passion for helping every student feel valued and part of a team.
LeAnn has been homeschooling her two boys for thirteen years and understands the need for movement and team involvement. She is excited for the new school year and considers it a privilege to sow into the life of your student.

Her interests include hiking, biking, resistance training,  coming alongside others to motivate positive change.

Josiah Okamoto

  • Worldview

Josiah’s passion for people and for development have been the basis for his work in missions over the last 6 years. The ability to see ones’ eyes opened as they experience life through different lenses is what he truly loves about worldview. Living cross-culturally and multi-lingually have brought new perspectives about life and God in ways that were never before seen.

While during high school Josiah’s goal was to always attend college and initially study sports medicine, however, God had a different calling. At the age of 19 he joined the mission field full time after spending a year interning at his church and 6 months in Central America. This all led to a new found love of teaching, discipleship, and a new understanding of God’s kingdom and culture.

Josiah is newly wedded to a beautiful bride with whom he has no children but a rambunctious golden retriever/husky mix. He is very excited to transition into this role of teaching at West as well as transitioning back to living in the United States. He’s very passionate about not solely teaching what to think, or of the mindset of the Kingdom of God, but how to think and to create the ability to stimulate one’s own thoughts.

Tiffany Pavlish

  • Computer Applications (fall semester only)

In 1990, Tiffany Pavlish graduated from Normandale Community College with an A.A.S. degree in Office Systems and Management. While working as an Agency Secretary full time, she achieved a Business Education degree in 1993 from the University of Minnesota. Rather than teaching in high school classrooms, Tiffany choose the route of a computer applications trainer in the business world where she taught for 14 years before homeschooling her four children since 2006. 

During her time as a trainer, Tiffany had the opportunity to work with large and small companies locally as well as across the country. A portion of that time was also spent at Normandale Community College, where she taught semester classes for 1.5 years. After Normandale, she taught with the Continuing Education departments at North Hennepin and Anoka-Ramsey Community Colleges respectively. In recent years, Tiffany has returned to the classroom teaching computer application tools to a group of homeschooled students and is excited to be a part of WEST.

The real-life examples Tiffany has gleaned from teaching in the corporate world and community colleges are what fuel her passion for this class. Her goal is to stretch your student beyond the basic computer application skills and look at tools that will explain how the software works. This background information will springboard your student into the next realm of confidence and skillset necessary to help them succeed when accomplishing school work, landing an entry-level office job, and/or excelling as a PSEO/college student.

Jan Sands

  • Personal Finance

I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in elementary education. My bachelor’s degree includes a concentration in math.

I have been tutoring and teaching students in math, algebra, and geometry for over twenty years.

Parents of my students have told me that their child’s opinion of math has changed from least favorite subject to at least tolerable, and in some cases even enjoyable. Parents have also reported improvement in their relationship with their child once math was eliminated as a cause of conflict between them.

Robin Schaible

  • Career Exploration

Robin’s love of literature started at the age of ten when after a move to a new town, she read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders thirteen times. That passion for books continued right into her late teens and early twenties when classics like Jane Austin’s Emma helped her navigate her five years at North Central and Pride and Prejudice ushered her right into her career as a Corporate HR Training Manager.

While writing and conducting training manuals and programs paid the bills, Robin used her spare time to write bad poetry and short stories that were never quite as good as Flannery O’Conner’s works. At the age of 31, Robin stepped away from work to pursue motherhood full time and discovered the joy of leading and teaching at book clubs, Bible studies, church kid’s clubs, vacation Bible schools, and Girl Scouts.

Robin has one fantastic hubby, three unique teen daughters that she has both homeschooled and facilitated PSEO for, two spoiled but sweet Goldendoodles, two turtles, and 13 fish whom she hasn’t bothered learning the names of. Robin is excited to bring her motivated, upbeat style of teaching into the classroom and help students discover their own love of reading for a lifetime. You can catch Robin at her weekly storytimes at the Elk River Library.