<p>Teach Co-op<br /><span style=

MEET OUR 2019-2020 TUTORS!


Mrs. Nancy Djerf, B.S.

  • IEW Prep: Writing Fun (K - 3rd)
  • IEW Fundamentals & Fundamentals Plus (4th - 7th)
  • IEW Advanced Writing (7th - 10th)
  • Intro to Speech & Communication (4th – 7th)
Nancy is a seasoned homeschooler of seven children. The Djerfs began their homeschool journey before it was popular, which makes Nancy one of the pioneers of the movement in Minnesota. She has taken delight in mentoring other mothers in their homeschool challenges and she continues to support families as they make educational decisions on behalf of their children.  She has been a homeschool consultant with T.E.A.C.H. Institute and was a co-founder of Teach Co-op.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Child Development, worked as a Child Life Specialist at Minneapolis Children's Hospital, and she and her husband were youth pastors for a number of years.  Her skill as a teacher of the primary students is well established and she has skillfully taught IEW classes to middle and high school students as a Registered IEW Instructor since 2008.  Teach has affectionately called Nancy, "The Child Whisperer," due to her keen ability to reach and teach both the gifted student as well as the struggling student...and all the students in-between!  
Laurie Gentrup, B.A.
  • Heart-Full Handcrafts
Laurie Gentrup grew up in rural central Wisconsin. She attended Northwestern College, St. Paul (now the University of Northwestern) and earned a degree in Elementary Education. Since then she has taught middle school, worked as a legal secretary, and operated a home daycare. She and her husband John homeschool their four children (Will, Brenna, James and Samuel). She has served on the Teach Homeschool Board since 2016 and also volunteers as a youth leader for American Heritage Girls in Minnetonka. Laurie and Soni look forward to creating hands-on experiences with our younger elementary students.

Mrs. Gretchen Gramenz, B.S. 

  • Graphic Design

Gretchen Gramenz-Adamich grew up in the Chicagoland area. She gravitated toward the arts, and especially graphics as far back as high school when she served on the yearbook committee and, was the senior editor of the school's literary and arts magazine. She attended college at L.I.F.E. Bible College in Virginia and received a bachelor degree in Theology, becoming a licensed and ordained minister. As an associate pastor in Kenosha, Wisconsin she taught kid’s classes, lead small groups and served as Music Minister. Upon moving to Minneapolis, Gretchen volunteered at a local church while earning her Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She went on to work as a Photo Imaging Technician at the Star Tribune, and freelanced at advertising agencies in Minneapolis and Chicago in the areas of photo work, magazine page layout, poster design and contributing to advertising campaigns of companies such as Target, Best Buy and Accenture! Currently, Gretchen spends her days home-schooling and learning with her seven-year-old, Trace. She loves growing plants indoors and gardening, practices piano, volunteers at Cub Scouts and tends to the needs of a precocious pug and two high-maintenance cats. She is looking forward to sharing the principles of strong design and the basics of design software to the students at Teach Co-op.

Mrs. Terri Kryzer

  • ART:  Mixed Media (K - 3rd)
  • ART:  Extended Projects (4th - 8th)
  • ART:  Multi-Media / 3-D Art (7th - 12th)
Terri LOVES teaching art and learning new things!  God has gifted Terri with the ability to teach art and she loves being able to glorify God in all that she does.  She considers herself blessed with having had the opportunity to teach art at many different homeschool co-ops for the past 12 years and also a number of years with Young Rembrandt's. She has worked with gifted children, has held private lessons, and also held summer clay- and oil painting camps throughout the years as well.  She has homeschooled two of her children from infancy through PSEO. Her family has been involved in missions, Terri has led women's Bible Study groups for many years, and she continues to chaperone youth events.  Besides teaching art, her passion is to see and help guide youth to live as Christ, become servant leaders, and walk out the gifts they have been given, to shine His Light and bring glory to God!  Some of her interests include all kinds of art, traveling, cooking, sewing, knitting and loving on people!    

Julie Nelson, B.A.

  • Acting Adventures
  • Theater I

Julie Nelson has always had a love for the arts and has spent many years acting, dancing, and singing; after majoring in Theater at Mankato State University.  After teaching at In the Company of Kids Performing Arts Center, she started her own Homeschool Theater Company "Acting with Character" in 2013 which includes classes and performance opportunities for homeschool students from the Twin Cities Homeschoolers for the Arts, South Heights, and now Teach Co-op.  Students attending any of these co-ops may also participate in a spring play production she directs.  

Julie also teaches with Drama Interaction which features programming for children, adults, and elderly with special or other needs.  Private acting lessons as well as a unique inter-generational theater program personally designed for use at Ebenezer Care Center for residents and pre-schoolers further exemplifies her broad application to bring drama to people of all ages and abililies.  

Julie has acted in, written and directed many dramas and plays for various churches, Sunday School programs and homeschool co-ops.  She is enthusiastic about sharing her love for theater with students and helping them explore their creativity and develop their unique talents, along with using these talents to glorify the Lord and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She is married and has four boys whom she homeschooled for eleven years.  

Hannah Powers, B.A.

  • British Literature and Composition (9th - 12th)

  • Introduction to Literature (7th - 9th)

Hannah Powers is a homeschooling mom of five, including two high schoolers and a high school graduate. She loves teaching, books, writing, poetry, learning anything, and riding her bike. Hannah has taught language arts in her own homeschool and in a coschooling arrangement with other families since 2005, and has been a private tutor for high school writing, language arts, and math. She is looking forward to a good year of thinking and writing about literature with TEACH students!

Hannah has a BA in English Literature with an emphasis in medieval verse from the University of Oklahoma.

Alison Roach (a.k.a. Soni), M.S.

  • Heart-Full Handcrafts

A born and raised Minnesotan, she earned a B.S. in Home Economics and Communications from the University of Minnesota and later headed to Kansas State University for a master’s degree in Grain Science, a field of food science involving the study of grains. It was in Kansas where she met her husband Richard who was working on his PhD in Grain Science. After marriage, and moving to Connecticut, they moved Chicago where she worked in R&D at a food company, later as a food consult, then into the Test Kitchens of The Pampered Chef as the Manager of R&D, Kitchen Tools. Alison has been a Christian homeschool mom since 2009. She has been on the Teach Homeschool Board since 2014. Motherhood has been a wonder-filled life and she is excited to expose a new generation to “hands-on” experiences in the Heart-Full Handcrafts class.


Mrs. Mari Rodriguez

  • Spanish Fun
  • Passport to Latin America
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II

Mari is a graduate of Christ for the Nations Institute, Mexico City, where she earned a degree in Biblical Studies and Missions. She then served as a missionary in Argentina and worked with street children. Returning to Mexico City she earned a Missions certification followed by a serving as a missionary alongside Family Circus, a ministry reaching the children and youth of Davao City in the Philippines.

Mari has been married for sixteen years and has three children; God has given her to the privilege to homeschool them. She and her husband served as children’s pastors at Grove Christian Center for eight years. The past eight years she has taught Spanish at homeschool co-ops in the metro area including Teach during the 2015-2016 school year.

She loves to teach students not just the language, but also the important things that go along with it such as the food, dances, and songs from Latin American culture. She is excited for the adventure that awaits everyone, in each class! She feels blessed to have gotten to know her students and built relationships with many families over the years.

Mari is also a private tutor for students that want to sit for the Spanish CLEP test.


Mrs. Jill Schwarz

  • Personal Finance

Jill has been homeschooling for 12 years during which time she graduated two of her three children. She remains involved and busy homeschooling her youngest. Part of her background is having completed the Dave Ramsey Financial coursework and implementing it in her home over the years. She is excited to be bringing this directly to more young Christian students to learn about, explore and incorporate into their lives for a life long impact!  Jill is a native Twin Citian and attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth campus.  She is active in church, choir, and other Christian related matters and always brings excitement and zeal to all her endeavors!

Mrs. Wendy Sulzer

  • Picture This! Photography

Wendy has been a homeschooling mama to 2 girls for 10 years. As the proud owner of Wendy Sulzer Photography, specializing in family, children and newborns, her camera and her business has also kept her busy during the last 4 years. She loves to capture God’s creations through the lens of her camera. She is excited and looking forward to sharing her love for His creations to the next generation and how the camera can be used to create photographic art.

Mrs. Rebecca Wahl

  • American Government and Economics

Rebecca is excited to be a part of the team at Teach Co-op this year. From an early age, she knew had been given a heart to teach. As a young adult, God led her to pursue her dream, earning a Master’s in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Minnesota. She taught at Edina High School and St. Croix Preparatory Academy before being called to leave the public school life to spend her time teaching at home with her four children, Sophia, Sarah, Sydney and Shelby, which is a work still in progress. 

Economics and American Government are two of her favorite classes from her content area, and she is eager to enter a classroom where she can share both her excitement for the content and her faith freely. Her passion for teaching has not been limited to the social studies classroom, but has extended into teaching Sunday school, leading women’s Bible study, and developing broader prayer ministries at her church.

Rebecca was born and raised in St. Louis Park where she continues to reside with her husband, Matthew, their four daughters and one African Cichlid.  While faith, family and teaching are her main passions, Rebecca also loves to make time for long walks, cooking from scratch, drinking dark roast coffees, and reading good books.

Mrs. Esther Williamson, M. Ed.

  • Math Lab (7th - 12th)
Esther Williamson is married to Jim and has two precious boys (Vincent, 16, and Tad, 12). Besides home-educating her "guys," her passion and joy is to teach math. Her own, undeveloped problem solving skills were re-trained and refined during her teaching classes, so she can relate to your students! She has a Minnesota teaching license (grades 7-12 mathematics), a Masters in Mathematics Education from the University of Minnesota, and 21 years of experience teaching and tutoring math to all ages, kindergarten through college students. In the past she has taught classes at Eden Prairie High School and at Minnesota School of Business and currently works as a private math tutor for students in the western suburbs.
Mrs. Heather Whyte, B.S.
  • Science Fun K-2
  • Science Fun 3-5

Heather Whyte loves working with children. She has homeschooled her four wonderful children for fourteen years, which has been an adventure. Heather loves hiking, playing games, and making maple syrup with her family. For many years she has been actively involved with the children’s ministry at her church. Heather graduated from Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern, St. Paul) with a degree in Elementary Education with a Kindergarten Endorsement. She looks forward to teaching this coming year!

Ms. Erica Woytcke, B.S.

  • Apologia Chemistry (9th+)
  • A Beka Biology (9th+)  
  • Apologia Physical Scrience (8th +)
  • Upper-Elementary Science: Earth Science (6th - 7th)
  • Upper-Elementary Science: Microscopy (6th - 7th)
Erica graduated from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She was homeschooled through high school, and now has six years of experience teaching science to students of all ages, from preschoolers to college undergraduates. She also works part-time as an adjunct professor at Northwestern teaching biology. Erica loves to be active outdoors, and has taken groups on trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for research and studies in biology. Her passion is to teach others about God’s incredible creation, leading them to a greater excitement about what surrounds them, and pointing them back to our amazing Creator!