Lancaster Learning Link Lancaster Learning Link Lancaster Learning Link Lancaster Learning Link Lancaster Learning Link


Mr. Bruce Burns

My name is Bruce Burns; I have been married to my wife, Claire, for over 30 years and we have five children and three grandchildren. I have taught Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Advanced Chemistry at the Link. I graduated from Beloit College in Beloit, WI, in 1962, having earned a B.A. in Chemistry. I attended Oregon State University, working as a graduate teaching assistant and earning an M.S. degree in Inorganic Chemistry. I served as Chemistry Instructor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering from 1965-69 and at UNL from 1969-71. I taught Chemistry as adjunct faculty at Doane College and UNL from 1989-93. I have also taught evening and summer classes in Chemistry through the Chemistry Department and Adult Extension Division through 1994. In my leisure time, I teach bridge classes to adults of all ages at the Bruce Burns Inc. Bridge Center, and I have enjoyed umpiring adult and youth softball games and refereeing at volleyball games.

Mrs. Lisa Cassel

Hello! My name is Lisa Cassel. I really fell in love with art when I was about twelve, studying book after book and delving into many different mediums and styles from that point on. I drew just about every chance I got, and started oil painting around the age of twelve, as well. When I was in high school, I was the school cartoonist for our monthly newspaper publication. I also spent dozens of hours doing art for our theatre department, along with designing t-shirts for different school groups. Then, as now, there weren't many days that went by where I was not practicing some form of creativity, be it cooking, sewing, drawing, painting, or modeling clay. I even made my wedding dress! I married my high school sweetheart in 2000, and we moved to Lincoln in 2001, where we both went to school. In 2008, I begin homeschooling my daughter, a second grader, and I started teaching art to kids at a homeschool co-op we attended. In 2009, I joined the Lincoln Artists' Guild and began exhibiting work in their shows around town, through which I have since earned numerous ribbons and awards. In 2012, I entered two of my pieces in a statewide contest through the Association of Nebraska Art Clubs, both pieces were two of 26 chosen out of 400+ pieces to receive Certificates of Excellence and were given the honor of traveling for a year throughout the state at various galleries. Since 2007, I have also completed many commissioned art pieces, given private lessons, taught classes at the park and in a local coffee shop, as well as given presentations to the members of the guild. Always striving to improve my skills and techniques, last summer I became a certified art instructor through Bob Ross, Inc, in Florida. I am really excited to continue to use the new skills I learned there to continue to inspire and encourage others to develop a love for art, too. During the 2015-2016 school year I began teaching Bob Ross painting classes to homeschooled students and adults in Lincoln--it has been so much fun! I really enjoy using my passion for art to serve God and often work on various projects at church, like painting murals or signs for various events, as well as face painting when we have our church's annual Fall party. This next year, I am really looking forward to again sharing my passions for art and for God with the students at the Lancaster Learning Link. I'm excited to see my students' progress over the course of a year and hope to share how art has enriched my life and my relationship God in countless ways.

Mrs. Valerie Coleman

My name is Valerie Coleman.  I have been married to my husband, Marshall, for twenty-three years, and we have two children, Hannah and Joshua.  We have been homeschooling for fifteen years, since our oldest started kindergarten.   I earned my AA degree from Des Moines Area Community College, my BA in Education from the University of Northern Iowa, my Reading Endorsement from Iowa State University, and various graduate credits in education from Drake University.  I have eleven years of teaching experience in Iowa public schools.  I substitute taught for one year in grades k-8 and special education.  In Perry, IA, I taught two years of remedial reading for grades 1-3 then taught second grade for eight years.  My husband and I both grew up in Grimes, IA, and continued to live there after we were married.  In 2000, we moved to Peshtigo, WI, and I resigned from my teaching position to become a full-time homemaker.  Eight months later, in 2001, we moved to Lincoln, NE, and in 2004 we moved to a neighborhood near Eagle, NE.  During my free time, I enjoy crafting, painting, supporting my children at sporting events, and attending Bible studies.  I have been teaching English I since 2014 and General Science since 2017 at the Link. I am looking forward to working with all of the teachers, students, and parents this coming school year!

Mrs. Jaime Delfosse

Jaime Delfosse holds a degree in theology and attended Southern Seminary until the birth of their first child, so she loves teaching Bible, Theology, and Ethics. She also gets pretty excited about flash cards, diagramming sentences, and participating in a local literary society. As a Link study hall monitor, Jaime will flex many of her skills: people watching, giving instructions, helping with homework, and sitting- all honed over time as a southerner, oldest child, and homeschool mom to five.

Mrs. Sarah Everding

My name is Sarah Everding, and I have been married to Marty since 1990. We homeschooled our 3 daughters (all Link graduates!). Marty and I have been Board members for the Link since 2012. I was also a Study Hall monitor for many years, so you can tell that I am a big fan of the Link. I am now excited to add "instructor" to my list of Link roles. Before our family began, I was a registered nurse in Ontario, Canada where we lived before coming to Nebraska in 1994. I worked in Critical Care for 4 years. I also have a BA in Psychology. I am looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm for human anatomy and physiology and the wonderful ways that the hand of our Creator is so evident in His creation- us!

Ms. Janet Friesen

I became acquainted with the Link while home schooling my two sons who are now young adults. They were both well-prepared for college, thanks to the many teachers at the Link who were part of their educational journey. Even though I am no longer home schooling, I am grateful to keep impacting home school students through teaching at the Link. I enjoy helping students explore the field of psychology and gain insight into their own abilities and personality, and to live more purposefully for God.

I received a Master of Education degree in Educational & Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I worked as a graduate assistant at the Career Center there, and after graduation became the Program Director of Student Career Services. Prior to that I earned a Bachelor of Arts from William Woods College in psychology and religion, and an Associate of Arts degree from Hesston College.

After moving to Lincoln in 1992, I worked at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, providing career services to students, and facilitating the Employment Seminar for juniors and seniors. In addition, I also worked as a career counselor at Southeast Community College and developed and taught the Academic and Career Orientation class. After having children, I stayed home with them and then started working part-time at church during their teen years, leading the support and recovery ministry and facilitating groups for women healing from betrayal trauma.

In addition to teaching several dual-credit courses for Southeast Community College at the Link, I provide individual counseling (, helping women address challenges, heal from trauma, and pursue emotional and spiritual growth.  I am also working on a Masters in Christian Spiritual Formation and Leadership through Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, which will be completed in May, 2022.

Mrs. Gretchen Garrison

My name is Gretchen Garrison, and I greatly look forward to taking students around the world through my geography class. I bring five years of formal classroom teaching experiences plus a dozen plus years of homeschooling perseverance to the Lancaster Learning Link. Social sciences and English are my two favorite content areas. The fact that I am slowly pursuing a master’s degree in literacy from Concordia University in Seward attests to this fact.

Back in 2013, I started my blog, Odyssey Through Nebraska. Since I am also a travel writer, this gives me a unique perspective into the world of geography. My first book, Detour Nebraska: Historical Destinations and Natural Wonders, was published in late 2017. My second book, A History Lover’s Guide to Lincoln, will be available sometime in spring 2020.

My husband, Kyle, and I were married back in 2000. (He loves the fact that remembering how many years we have been married requires simple subtraction from the current year!) We have four children, and so far half of them are at the Link. Besides keeping up all of them, I also help Kyle with our family business, GP Restoration. We live out on an acreage near Milford, Nebraska, where God paints the sky with His majesty every morning.

Mrs. Jill Greff

My name is Jill Greff; I have been married to my husband, Patrick, for over 12 years, and we have two children. I have been teaching Spanish at the Link since 2003 and have over 19 years of teaching experience.

I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences in 1991 with a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies. As an undergraduate, I began teaching Spanish in a newly created distance-learning program for high school students through the Instructional Materials Council. Because of this experience, I wrote a distance learning textbook titled "Sonrisas: An Introduction to Spanish for Young People" for my undergraduate Honor's Program thesis. In 1994, I completed a College of Arts and Sciences Master's degree in Spanish. I studied three different times at the prestigious Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, twice as a UNL Regent Scholar and once as a Rotary International Scholar. I taught Spanish 101, 102, 201 and 202 at the University of Nebraska from 1991-1998. Besides teaching responsibilities at UNL, I was the coordinator of Spanish 202, the undergraduate advisor for non-majors and minors in the Modern Language Department, and worked administering and evaluating language placement tests during the summer. In 1998, I became a full-time homemaker. Besides teaching at the Link, I also educate my own children at home and teach a children's Spanish class.
I grew up in a Christian home on a farm near Wallace, Nebraska. My parents are dedicated believers who are exemplary in their desire to live a Godly life. Their constant prayer for my siblings and me was that we would be believers and that all the generations of our family to come would be faithful to the Lord. Missionaries were constantly in our home and my exposure to other cultures came at an early age. When I was a senior in high school, I remember hearing one of our missionary friends pray in Spanish at the dinner table. It affected me deeply and I believed that God was calling me to become a missionary.
Having attended a small public school during the 1970s and 80s, it was similar to being home educated. We recited the Lord's Prayer everyday in 4th grade and said a prayer before lunch. My public school math teacher was also my high school Sunday School teacher on Sunday mornings (she is still a dear friend of mine). In 1987 I graduated from my high school as the Valedictorian of my class of eleven and then I came to the University of Nebraska Lincoln so I could take advantage of the Regent Scholarship I had received (see information above about my degrees and a few of the honors I was awarded.) My first love was science, especially biology and physics, but I was persuaded otherwise after I took my first class of Spanish (Spanish 101) at UNL! I became deeper interested in the Spanish language and took every opportunity I could get to study in Mexico and to travel to other Spanish speaking countries. I just knew God had a plan for me as a missionary in a Spanish speaking country!
God's plans are not always our plans. As it turned out, God had his own "missionary" plans for me. He opened up wonderful opportunities for me to be able to teach and get my M.A. at the same time. After I finished my Master's degree, the UNL Department of Modern Languages offered me a job as the coordinator of Spanish 202, which included teaching, overseeing other teachers, and performing some other administrative responsibilities. I accepted the offer.
Around this time, I met my future husband, Patrick, at a church I was attending. We were married in 1996 and now have two children. When our oldest was 2 years old, we decided it would be best for me to stay home with the children and to home school them. I resigned from UNL, but continued with my Spanish by translating. In 2002, I was contacted about the possibility of teaching at the newly formed Link. I agreed and have been teaching Spanish here at the Link ever since. I believe God has given me the incredible privilege of teaching Spanish to people in the Link who will become foreign and domestic missionaries, pastors, homemakers, executives and leaders in the church. I am incredibly blessed to be a part of His master plan! 

Mrs. Sheri Harrington

My name is Sheri Harrington.  My husband Mark and I have been married for 41 years.  We have four grown children and five grandchildren.  I have recently retired after 26 years as a sign language interpreter with Lincoln Public Schools.  I am excited now to get to do what I have wanted to do since I was a high school senior:  teach literature.  I have a B.A. in English Lit. and an M.A. in Education of the Deaf.  I especially enjoy discussing works of literature and analyzing them from a Christian point of view.  I'm eager to do that with as many students as would like to join me!

Mrs. Carla Harvey

Hello, my name is Carla Harvey. I grew up on a hog and crop farm three miles from where I am now raising my family. I left the small town and farm life two days after high school graduation with no desire to ever return to the rural setting. I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and began volunteering with the inner-city ministry, City Impact. I went on to get my B.A. in Middle School Education with endorsements in English, history and social studies from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Upon graduation, I went on staff with City Impact and spent my summers in Watts, Los Angeles on staff with World Impact. I was captivated by life in the inner-city and began to pursue my masters in Racial Reconciliation and Cross-Cultural Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. Around this same time, a tall, dark haired Italian began to volunteer at City Impact and all my plans went south. He was headed to Zambia, Africa to minister with the Navigators. We became friends while training together for the Lincoln Marathon. After courting for six weeks (!!!), we were engaged and married four months later. With one year left at the UNL, Matthew attended school full-time and I taught English as a Second Language, U.S. government and algebra at Park Middle School in Lincoln. Through the course of his final year of school, Matthew began to feel led by the Lord to move to my family farm in Beatrice and farm with my family. This was not in my plans at all. Nonetheless, upon Matthew’s graduation from UNL we moved to Beatrice and began farming. Twenty years later, I find myself living on a 1500 head hog farm, mothering four teenagers, educating at home, gardening, quilting, running, leading three book clubs, baking cinnamon rolls for Farmer’s Markets and loving a farmer and electrical lineman employed at Norris Public Power. For the last six years, I have taught IEW courses to private homeschool classes. I love to express myself in writing and to instruct students in the style and structure of writing. My goal in teaching is to help students to use their minds to glorify God. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Rev. Lee Johnson

I am Lee Johnson, a father of five, and I have lived in Lincoln since 2010.  I have been teaching for the Link for several years, now.  

I grew up in east Tennessee and attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. I earned my Masters of Divinity at New Geneva Theological Seminary in Colorado Springs, CO. I pastored a church in Herreid, SD from 2004 to 2009, and since then I have been pastoring Saint John's RCUS here in Lincoln. As a pastor, I have taught children of all ages. I am looking forward to teaching history, a personal favorite subject, and US Government for the first time this year.

My hobbies include reading any biography I can get my hands on, playing board games, and following Pittsburgh Pirate baseball.

Ms. Ellie Palmer

Ellie Palmer has been a high school English teacher and a middle school language arts teacher for the past twenty years. She hails from C.O.R.E.  (Community Options for Resources in Education) a personalized learning  charter school in  Marysville, California, where she has facilitated home schooling parents and taught  English language arts and theater classes since 2003.  She is looking forward to giving each student at The Link individualized attention and  acknowledging the One who has given us all the longing and the gifts  to communicate!

Mrs. Marcy Rowe

I was introduced to the Link while grandchildren were attending. This home school collaboration seemed so interesting and sound - I quickly answered yes when approached about teaching a class.  My background is chemistry.  I graduated from UNL, then went to work in radio-chemistry. After 5 years, I quit working to raise children. My husband (of 45 years) and I have three children and, now, 13 grandchildren.  I went back to work in the food chemistry field and continued that for 11 years, after which I worked at College of Saint Mary in Omaha for 14 years as the science labs manager.  It is so exciting to be able to teach food science.  I love science and I really love food. I hope students will feel challenged, interested, and see so much relevance in the study of food.

Mrs. Milissa Schmucker

I have a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska with endorsements in French and English. I lived with a family in France while studying at the Université de Haute Bretagne during my junior year at the university. I have taught in a school setting (at Lincoln Christian and Parkview Christian schools) for a combined total of 8 years. I have home schooled for 15 years and my oldest child is a home school graduate. I was born in Denver, Colorado, but my family moved to Nebraska when my twin sister and I were still infants. I grew up in the small town of Holdrege, Nebraska, and then moved to Lincoln to attend the University of Nebraska after I graduated from Holdrege High School. While studying at UNL I met two very important people - Jesus Christ and my husband, David. David and I were married in 1987, shortly after I graduated from the University. I began teaching junior high English and high school French at Lincoln Christian School the next fall, and remained in that position for five years until the Lord called me to stay home with our children. At that time I began home schooling my three-year old and continued to home school her and her siblings for the next fifteen years. At that time, through a series of events, the Lord again called me to teach in a traditional school setting, this time at Parkview Christian School. I served there for three years and again the Lord called me to be at home with my youngest children. I am currently working toward renewing my teaching certificate and perhaps adding a special education endorsement. My husband, David, and I have ten children.

Mrs. Deb Shield

My name is Deb Shield.   My husband, Jeff, and I homeschooled our four children and now I teach some of the math and science classes at the LINK. 

I grew up in Nebraska and met my husband at college in Rapid City, SD.  We married shortly after and moved to Ames, IA where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University.  I worked for the City of Ames Water and Pollution Control division before we started our family.  We moved to Salt Lake City, UT and started homeschooling there, and then moved to Lincoln in 2001.  The homeschool communities in Salt Lake City and Lincoln have been incredible blessings to us and I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to be involved in homeschooling through teaching at the LINK.

I love spending time with my family and enjoy sports and outdoor activities with them.  Other favorite activities include reading, cooking, creative arts, gardening and travel.  I also enjoy time spent with LINK students and the opportunity to share with them the wonders of God’s creation.

Mrs. Jeanette Sorensen

My name is Jeanette Sorensen and I am originally from Charleston, SC. My husband, Shawn and I have been married for 14 years, and we have two children, Logan and CJ. In 2017, after Shawn retired from the Navy, we moved to Lincoln to be near my parents, my sister, her husband, my two nieces and two nephews.

For the past 8 years, I have been teaching secondary math in public-school systems in 4 different states: California, South Carolina, Oregon and for the past 2 years here at LPS. In those 8 years, I have had the privilege to teach various levels of Algebra 1, one semester of Geometry, and three years of Algebra 2. I received my Master Degree in Education from National University in Oxnard, CA, in 2011 and my BS in Business and Accounting from Brenau University in Kings Bay, GA, in 1994.

In my free time, I enjoy crafting, quilting, reading, riding bikes, camping, and spending time with my family. I am very excited for the opportunity to teach at the Link and to explore this new chapter in my life. I look forward to working with and meeting each one of you.

Mrs. Tina Spar

Tina graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a K-8 teaching endorsement, and completed 12 hours towards her Masters in Reading Disabilities. She substituted in the Lincoln Public Schools until her first child was born. Tina has been homeschooling since its inception. Being a lover of great literature, Tina has taught literature discussion classes to homeschooled jr. and sr. high studentsfor. She also has taught the IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) course to junior high girls in her home. Tina is married to Greg and is the mother of four children.

Mrs. Ronda Swanson

I strive to live every day for the beautiful name of Jesus Christ, my Lord.  I graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Pre-Nursing.  I have my Associate’s Degree from Bryan School of Nursing, now called Bryan College of Health Sciences.  I worked as a Registered Nurse for 15 years in medical-surgical nursing and nephology/dialysis.  I have been homeschooling our children since 1997. 

Mrs. Lena Toews

My name is Lena Toews. I have been married to my pastor husband, Tom, for twenty-two years, and we have two children, Matthew and Andrew. We have been homeschooling for ten years, since our oldest started kindergarten. I have a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Elementary Education, Masters in New Testament/Biblical languages and a PhD in New Testament. I have taught both elementary school and college. Currently I am homeschooling my children and am a part time professor of Koine Greek language at Union College.

In my leisure time I enjoy reading, hiking and running.