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Elective Tutors

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.

Adam Woytcke

  • Introduction to Computer Programming

Adam Woytcke graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Math. He works full time at a small medical company and has experience in multiple engineering backgrounds  including manufacturing, research, and design. Apart from his job, Adam also works as a freelance engineering consultant and has taught Computer Aided Design classes to homeschoolers. 

In his free time, Adam enjoys being being outside, camping, hunting, playing sports, and tinkering with 3D printers.

Adam’s goal in teaching is to give homeschooled students the opportunity to explore science and engineering concepts in a fun and engaging environment.

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.

Diana Dutcher

  • The WEST Kitchen (spring semester)

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 three 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.

Joanna Krussow

  • The WEST Kitchen (fall semester)

Growing up in a large family, Joanna has always had her hand in the kitchen.  She was taught by her mother how to make good food from scratch, and has continued that passion with her own family.  She herself was a first-generation homeschooled kid, and has been teaching her own 6 children at home since 2002. Besides working in her own kitchen, she has had the opportunity to serve as the head cook at a Bible camp during the past several summers.  It amuses her to cook in large quantities, with gigantic appliances and equipment. 

Besides cooking, she enjoys serving in her church’s worship band, camping with family and friends, and a strong cup of coffee.

Tiffany Pavlish

  • Computer Applications

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 staying home with her four children. 

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.

With God as a compass, alongside with her husband, Tiffany has been homeschooling her children since 2006. Her heart bubbles over with joy when her students experience a “light-bulb moment” – when their eyes light up and confidence surges as they capture the information for themselves and understand its significance in the world around them – it grows self-assurance! 

Besides receiving joy through teaching, Tiffany also adores the book club she belongs to and meeting local historical Christian fiction authors in person. Tiffany has also learned through that group how to make soaps, lotions, and lip balm. She never stops learning and has quite the collection of books and curriculum!

Mark Fierst

  • Introduction to Photography

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.


Lolene Love

  • FUNctional Middle School Health

Lolene Love is married to Dr. Alan Love and has taught her four children, currently ages 11-18, 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. She loves the materials from the Institute for Excellence in Writing and has taught group IEW writing classes to a variety of ages for six years. She anticipates the fun and challenge of teaching math to students in the middle grades.

We will combine active, challenging, and hands-on classroom activities with workbook based homework to prepare fifth through seventh grade students for algebra, to use math in real life, and to succeed in high school math courses.

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.

Colleen Prudhomme

  • Health, Safety, and Fitness for Life

Colleen Prudhomme is a business owner, certified personal trainer, certified running coach and track coach. She is a liberal arts (English major) graduate of the University of Minnesota. She brings her experience as a speaker, business owner, executive director of a nonprofit counseling clinic, and fitness professional to West Classes. She is motivated by goals, excited by challenges and driven by the desire to meet the need. She dares to reach beyond the “unreachable” and encourages her students to do the same. Colleen holds firm and fast to the truth that “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like an eagle. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Colleen is jazzed about health and fitness activities of all kinds, but her favorite is running. In the past seven years, she has completed nine marathons, including the Boston Marathon. She also has competed in Olympic distance triathlons and is training to go the Ironman distance. In addition to this, she is a track coach for her local middle school and high school.

Colleen and her husband Scot met through the world of music (both were in bands at the time) and have been married nearly 19 years. They keep each other and their four-legged “children” (a springer spaniel and a beagle) feeling young by staying active while also knowing when to rest; eating nutritious food while also indulging in the occasional treat; and spending quiet time in prayer while also taking the opportunity to sing praises at the top of our lungs.

Colleen thrives on encouraging and inspiring others. She gets a kick out of teaching new ways to have fun with health and fitness, because she believes fitness is meant for a life time. She believes that everyone is on this earth for a purpose. It is her desire that each of her students gains total health to live that purpose with passion.

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.

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.

Jeff Herringshaw

  • Light Bearer’s Worldview

Jeff Herringshaw graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in California in 1984, majoring in English and minoring in Biblical Studies. After teaching English in the People’s Republic of China for a year, Jeff returned to the U.S. to earn a secondary teaching credential for English and World History from Sacramento State University. He then went on to teach middle and high school writing and literature for four years.

In 1992, Jeff and his family joined Youth With A Mission (YWAM), becoming one of the organization’s Discipleship Training School directors. For more than 20 years, he has taught young people, including his own three children, to embrace their faith, love God with all their hearts, and understand why they believe what they do. He recently completed his Master
of Arts degree in Christian Thought at Bethel Seminary.

His work with YWAM has taken him to more than 30 countries, giving him a well-rounded perspective of other cultures and worldview systems. It is his passion to teach young people to think clearly about what they believe so they can choose to live out their faith with their whole heart.

Heather Kipp

  • ACT Test Prep
  • WEST  Math Team

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. 

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.