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Instructors

Mrs. Angie Auer

Angie Auer earned her Bachelor's degree in Special Education at Mount Saint Joseph, and her Master's degree at NKU. After teaching in a variety of settings for over a decade, she landed her favorite job as a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband have two children, ages 6 and 9, and reside in Southgate, KY. She and her children are looking forward to their first year participating in a co-op! 

Mrs. Tara Bacon

Tara Bacon earned her B.A. in education with a minor in mathematics and language arts and her M.A. in gifted and talented education at Northern Kentucky University. After teaching in both public and private schools for seven years she decided to leave the classroom to begin homeschooling. She has been homeschooling for 9 years and looks forward to returning to the classroom to teach Algebra I at DMHC.

Mrs. Margaret Brecount

Margaret Brecount is a homeschooling mother of five and the former communications head of Divine Mercy Co-op.  She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Dallas ('96) and her M.A. in Shakespeare from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland ('97).  She has experience both as a chastity educator and as a grade school teacher in the Catholic school and homeschool co-op settings.  Writing and literature are her first loves, and her particular interest is Southern Literature from the 20th century.

Mr. Courtney Brown

Courtney Brown, M.A., a native of Louisiana, spent twenty years in Catholic Education and ministry. He is currently the Director of Evangelization and Discipleship at St. Margaret of York parish. Before this, Courtney served as a principal for five years at St. Bernard Parish in Cincinnati and the Education Director at Ruah Woods, where he co-founded “Kenosis: Teen Disciples for Love and Life” at Ruah Woods with Emily Macke. Courtney has extensive experience in teaching Theology and doing ministry for 6th to 12th graders. Courtney has a Master’s in Theology from the University of Holy Cross College in Louisiana and an undergraduate degree from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is working on his Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University. He is a national speaker and has consulted and written for publications on teaching theology.  Courtney is likely to be fishing, running, the seasonal sport, and hiking with his wife and eight children when not working. 

Mrs. Penny Catanzaro

After globe-trotting throughout her childhood, Penny settled in Mankato, MN (yes, you do recognize that name from Little House on the Praire) where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation with an emphasis in Therapeutic.  Following graduation, Penny moved to Cincinnati for a postition at Drake Center.

Penny and her husband, David, have five children ranging from 13-21.  During her homeschool adventure, Penny has had the opportunity to teach memory work classes, English grammar classes, and writing classes with Classical Conversations, as well as tutor reading as she is a certified Orton-Gillingham reading instructor.  She loves to unlock the doors of grammar and writing for students, and to see the joy in their eyes as they gain understanding.  Penny's passion for language carries over into the classroom and kids naturally "catch the bug" and begin looking at language in a new way.

Mr. Derek Christenson

Mr. Christenson grew up in Lexington, Kentucky as the eldest child of a large Catholic family that loved sports and the fine arts.  He and his sisters were all "band geeks" and athletes, and he continues to love soccer to this day. Mr. Christenson is an alumnus of Miami University in Oxford, where he majored in both Trumpet Performance and Music History.

Mr. Christenson and his wife, Erica, have homeschooled their four children for the past 11 years.  Their eldest is now in college after having graduated through the Divine Mercy program. They have lived in Milford for 26 years and are parishioners of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church. 

This is the 9th year Mr. Christenson has taught in a co-op, and the 7th year at Divine Mercy.

 

Mrs. Lisa Farwick

Lisa resides in Montgomery with her husband, Brian, and 3 kids ages 3-9 years. Following college she worked as a graphic and web designer for 12 years. She now enjoys her vocation as wife, and homeschool mom! She was trained in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Level 1 (3-6 yo) and Level 2 (6-9 yo). She has been a catechist for over 6 years serving at St. Gertrude Church and Divine Mercy Homeschool Co-op. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from The College of Mount St. Joseph. She is passionate about assisting children with joy and wonder in the atrium.

Mrs. Joan Ferguson

Joani attended Miami University and earned a BA in Mathematics & Statistics and BS in Adolescent Education for Mathematics.  Following college, she taught at Oak Hills High School for three years before meeting her husband Jeremy.  She retired the following year to fulfill her dream and vocation to stay home as a mother.  They now enjoy the smiles and joy of three beautiful girls.  Joani has tutored high school math since 2008 and began teaching math at DMHC in 2016.

Mrs. Angelle Findley

After growing up in the New Orleans area, Angelle Findley attended Eastern Kentucky University, graduating with a BS in Elementary Education and a BS in Special Education for Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. After three years of teaching with the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, she was blessed with the gift of her first of three children. She is overjoyed to be able to stay at home with her three youngsters. She began tutoring math when she was in 9th grade and has continued tutoring and teaching ever since high school. Helping others to understand and enjoy math is a true joy for her.

Mrs. Sarah Gutzeit

My name is Sarah Gutzeit. I am from Northern Kentucky, and I have 3 children (2 1/2, 1 1/2, due in December!). I was homeschooled all the way through high school, so I have a huge appreciation for continuing to work with other homeschoolers. Some of my prior teaching experience includes teaching piano for 7 years, substitute teaching in Kenton County for 2 years, and teaching 6th and 7th-grade social studies and 7th-grade language arts at St. Cecilia in Independence, KY. 

Master Jamie Hamilton

Master Jamie Hamilton is the co-owner and chief instructor of Ahn Taekwondo Institute. Master Hamilton is a 7th degree black belt in Taekwondo and has been training for over 32 years. She graduated from Miami University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing and is the creator of many martial arts curriculums, including the Little Bears (preschool and Kindergarten) program, “I am Strong I am Brave” Girl Scouts program, and a comprehensive women’s self-defense program. She is former US national Taekwondo team member and world class athlete who represented the United States around the world.

Master Hamilton enjoys homeschooling her two daughters and spending time with her family.

Mr. Devin Heffernan

My name is Mr. Devin Heffernan. I studied for four years as a seminarian for the Diocese of Covington and later studied philosophy at the Pontifical College Josephinum while working on a Sacred Theology Baccalaureate in philosophy. I plan to pursue further graduate studies in the upcoming year. I have a passion for the study of philosophy, especially metaphysics from the Catholic Perspective of St. Thomas Aquinas. I'm very excited to be able to teach philosophy to high school students as I firmly believe that it creates better Catholics for the future who are better prepared for understanding their faith and living it out!

Mrs. Annie Herbert

Annie earned a B.S. in both Physics and Mathematics from Xavier University, as well as a M.S. in Physics from the University of Cincinnati. During her studies, she specialized and performed experimental research in Condensed Matter Physics. She’s enjoyed tutoring various math and physics courses for over 9 years, and has experience teaching physics as a teachers assistant in both her undergraduate and graduate careers. This will be her second year teaching physics at Divine Mercy.

She married her high school sweetheart, Donovan, almost five years ago. They have a son, Alexander, who was born just before Annie finished her Masters. They live over on the eastside of Cincinnati, where Annie enjoys gardening, baking, and reading when she's not running around after Alex! 

 

Mrs. Theresa Johnson

I taught for 8 years as an Intervention Specialist and have tutored 15 years.  I have my Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and Master of Education in Special Education.  My primary teaching focus is Reading, Literature, Writing, and Mathematics.   I am currently working towards a Reading Specialist Licence with a focus on Orton Gillingham. Currently, I am homeschooling my boys and tutoring students with an Orton Gillingham based learning model and hands-on-Math. I have experience working with students who have various needs whether mild to severe. 

I live in Wilmington with my four boys and husband, Chris.   I truly enjoy being a mother.  Together, we enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, gardening and bike riding.  We are a very outdoor family but love evenings that include reading a good book.  I look forward to meeting you all in my classroom!

 

Mrs. Bridget Kaufman

Bridget Kaufman earned her BA Magna cum Laude in German from the University of Notre Dame. Originally a biology major planning to study medicine, she was able to graduate in three years by pivoting to only the German degree. She and her husband Michael have seven children, with three children currently homeschooling. Bridget has a passion and exuberance for teaching science and has taught science at various co-ops, including Lyceum Catholic Co-op for three years and three years at DMHC.

Mrs. Hannah Keegan

Hannah Keegan is a Catholic convert with a BA in Philosophy from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and a Master's in Theological Studies with an emphasis in Bioethics from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC. Since graduating with her masters she has been involved in high school education. First she taught and and organized campus ministry at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Memphis, TN, and has since taught in two homeschool high school co-ops in the Cincinnati area. She has been an editor for Ruah Woods Press since 2016, working on both their middle and high school curriculum. As of Spring 2019, she is an adjunct theology professor at Thomas More University. Hannah lives in Northern KY with her husband and their two children and this will be her second year at DMHC! 

Mrs. Julia Kunz

Julia is the mother of three children.  Her homeschooling adventure with them began in 2001.  Prior to being the education coach on the home front, she taught students with severe behavior and emotional needs for 14 years, earning the title of “Teacher of the Year” for the state of Ohio in 1996.

She believes in all students’ desire to succeed and wants them to feel good about what they are doing.  Her passion lies in teaching children to read and write.  This begins with surrounding them with “good” literature, beginning in the womb.

Ms. Michaela Kunz

Michaela has been dancing since the age of 3, beginning with ballet and tap, and now 14 years later, she is still actively involved.  It is through dance that she has become the person she is.  Her mom always says that she has a passion for dance and she hopes to instill that in her students, for the sake of the joy of dancing!  At the age of 10, Michaela began assisting in classes for beginning dancers.  This will be Michaela’s third year teaching at DMHC.

Mrs. Emily Macke

Emily Macke, a homeschool graduate, spent six years developing the "Called to be More" high school Theology of the Body curriculum for Ruah Woods Press. Prior to that, she co-founded “Kenosis: Teen Disciples for Love and Life” at Ruah Woods and served at Pregnancy Center East. Emily has a Master’s in Theological Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and an undergraduate degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is a Lecturer in Moral Theology at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary and School of Theology, has written for several publications, and frequently gives presentations in the Tri-State area. Emily has enjoyed teaching at DMHC for the past three years and gladly makes the trek from southeastern Indiana each week to make it happen. When not teaching, she is likely to be found reading a book, whether it's The Fellowship of the Ring aloud with her husband, a stack of picture books with their daughters, or a novel or theology book "for fun."

Mr. Jarod Mariska

Jarod Mariska is a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, where he majored in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences and Disorders and Linguistics. Currently, he is pursuing a Psychology MA at Divine Mercy University (no relation!), and is looking forward to a career in Clinical Neuropsychology. When not working or studying, he enjoys building and playing banjos, writing, and reading G. K. Chesterton.

Dr. Mary Mariska

Dr. Mary Mariska graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Neurobiology and Behavior.  She went on to receive a Masters and Doctorate in Neuropsychology from The University of Oklahoma.  Although her first love was Biology, she TA'd Biochemistry in college and did most of her graduate research in the Biochemistry lab.  She happily teaches Chemistry at DMHC and loves her high school students!

Dr. Mariska began teaching Chemistry, Physical Science, and General Science for the homeschool community eight years ago.  She enjoys reading, singing, baking, experimenting with her Instant Pot, attempting to garden, large mugs of mocha with whipped cream, and Disney vacations.

She and her husband, Mark, have four children: a recent graduate of The University of Kansas, a senior at UC, and a junior and 6th grader at DMHC.

Mrs. Mariellen Rechtin

Mariellen Rechtin is a wife and homeschool mom.  She and her husband, Tom, have seven children ranging in age from 24 to 13.  Five of their seven children have been homeschooled for some portion of their educational lives.  In a former life, Mariellen earned a BS in Finance from Mt. St. Joseph University (then College of Mt. St. Joseph) and an MBA with a Finance concentration from Xavier University.  She spent seven years at AT&T in various network engineering management positions and then eight years in Marketing at Cincinnati Bell Telephone.  She "retired" from Cincinnati Bell Telephone in 1996, as Director-Market Development, to focus on her most prestigious job, "Mom".   A lover of travel, Mariellen has organized countless field trips for the AMHEA community.  She has previously taught three classes at Divine Mercy Homeschool Coop:  American History Book Club, Ancient History Book Club, and Economics/Personal Finance (high school).  She has taught World History, Ancient Literature, American Literature, Economics, American Government, and Financial Literacy at All Saints Studies Group. Mariellen is registered as an instructor with the Institute for Excellence in Writing.

Dr. Lynette Sharp

Lynette Sharp has been teaching and performing music for over 25 years.  A graduate of Indiana University School of Music and Butler University School of Music, Lynette has multiple music degrees with concentrations in music education, vocal pedagogy, piano pedagogy, music theory, choral conducting, and piano performance.

Lynette has used her training in many ways over the years.  She has produced Broadway-style performances and offered Broadway summer camps.  She has taught music theory and group voice enrichment classes, and has published piano solos.  She has led a homeschool choir, and has performed extensively as a professional pianist. 

Currently, Lynette operates a large private music studio with more than 30 voice and piano students whom she teaches on a weekly basis.  She is also the choral director and pianist at a church in Lebanon, working with both a thriving adult choir and a youth and childrens' choir. 

She has a 22-year-old son who is in the Air Force, and a 14-year-old daughter who is a singer, dancer, and harpist. 

Mrs. Anne Sheehy

An alumna (’10) of Xavier University’s Honors Bachelor of Arts program in Latin and Greek, Anne has tutored middle and high school students in Latin for 15 years.  In 2017, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona to marry her dear high school friend John Paul. Anne taught 7th and 8th grade Latin classes there at Veritas Preparatory Academy, where she gained a new appreciation for and proficiency in spoken Latin. In her free time, Anne enjoys playing piano, knitting, social dance, and stargazing. She also holds BS (’14) and MS (’17) degrees in civil and structural engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Anne is looking forward to returning to Cincinnati with her family and teaching at DMHC. 

Mr. Brad Slaven

Mr. Bradley Slaven has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Youngstown State University, and Master of Science degrees in Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He worked for 20 years as a Computer Scientist developing statistical and mathematical computational systems for governmental and private sector applications. He worked for another decade at The Institute for Genomic Research and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, applying computational methods to the field of genomics and computational biology. Mr. Slaven has taught Zoology I, II and III classes at the All Saints Catholic Co-op at the primary school level, mathematics classes at the Youngstown State University and genomics classes at the UC College of Medicine. After retiring from a professional career, he and his wife chose to home school their five children for the past 12 years. With specific regard to chemistry, he has taken an Introduction to Chemistry class, General Chemistry I/II, Organic Chem I/II, graduate Organic Chemistry and graduate Biochemistry I/II. He is looking forward to contributing to the excellent scientific course work developed by Dr. Mary Mariska and others at Divine Mercy Co-op. He is a faithful Catholic who is in love with his family, Jesus Christ and His Church.

Mrs. Kari Staples

Kari Staples is a mom of seven children ages 12-2. She has been a homeschool mom for 7 years. While in college she worked at a preschool and after graduating she served as a FOCUS (fellowship of Catholic Universty Students) missionary for two years. After FOCUS she taught kindergarten for two years before welcoming her first son! She has a bachelors degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado and is excited to have this opportunity to spend time with your children. 

Mrs. Monica Stein

Monica was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and graduated from Xavier University with a BS in Montessori Education for ages 3-6. Montessori’s deep respect for the child made a profound impact on Monica’s teaching style and parenting, and she believes that children learn best with lots of opportunities for movement and use of all of their senses. Monica is now a homeschooling mother of four who enjoys getting her hands dirty alongside her children as they explore, investigate and ask questions about the beautiful world around them.

Mrs. Anna Walton

Anna Walton brings over 21 years of experience in teaching classes from preschool through university courses. With her hands-on, energetic approach, Anna received the Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year award for Ohio University. Earning her Master’s in Education from the University of Alabama, Anna has felt a life-long call to inspire young people through experiential learning. Also, she brings over a decade of experience in both youth ministry and campus ministry with tweens, teens, and college students. Anna spent two years volunteering in retreat ministry while traveling with the National Evangelization Teams (NET Ministries), a lay Catholic missionary retreat service. Additionally, Anna completed both the Frank J. Lewis Institute for Campus Ministry and also the North American Forum for the Catechumenate for R.C.I.A. Certification. For relaxation, Anna can be found traveling in a big blue van with her spouse, Bob, their six amazing children, and her trusty Canon 5D aimed for a shot. Passionate about developing a love of learning within her students, Anna looks forward to serving your family in your homeschooling adventures.