Debra Bell is the founder and executive director of Aim Academy Online. A former high school and college English teacher, Debra and her husband Kermit home educated their four kids K–12; all of whom are college graduates with families of their own. She is a best-selling author and internationally-recognized expert on home education and online learning.
Debra holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She is vice-chair of the Global Home Education Exchange (ghex.world).
Vicki is the Director of Student Services for Aim Academy Online and a member of the leadership team.
Vicki Dincher is the author of the 3rd editions of Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Physical Science and Exploring Creation with Biology. She also created the student notebooks for Apologia’s Exploring Creation with General Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, and Advanced Biology. Vicki holds a masters of science in biology. She is a former high school and college science teacher. Together with her husband, Jerry, they home educated their four, now adult, children. During their homeschooling years, Vicki taught science courses—including life science, physical science, biology, AP biology, chemistry, physics, AP physics, and anatomy and physiology—to home educated students in co-ops and online. She has been involved in Encore! Home School Productions, a nonprofit educational organization for homeschooled students, for 20 years.
Susan Habacivch is the academic advisor for Aim Academy Online, a member of the leadership team, and a STEM teacher.
Susan Habacivch earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Washington University and a BA in French from Regis College. After working for several years in the fibers industry, she began homeschooling her four children in 2003. She has been tutoring and teaching science and mathematics in local coops since 2003 and has been teaching online since 2010.
Susan Spivey is a member of the Aim Academy Online leadership team and an English teacher.
Susan is enthusiastic about sharing her love of literature with students and finds tremendous joy in teaching. Susan earned her MA in English from Arizona State University and her BS in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for several years before starting her family. Susan also worked as a freelance writer for magazines and as a substitute teacher in public schools. She has taught English for many years and has been teaching for Aim Academy Online since 2015. When she is not reading a book, discussing a book, or teaching about books, you can find her in her garden, likely with a book nearby.
Colette Bailes has been teaching homeschooled students and supporting home educators for 25 years. She was the founding middle grades English teacher at Creative Home Educators Support Service (CHESS) in Pennsylvania, where she taught fourteen years. Colette homeschooled her own five children: one has completed a doctorate in education, one received a Fulbright research fellowship, one has finished law school, and two who are pursuing business careers. She is known for compassion and warmth as well as the academic excellence she inspires in her students.
Charles Baughman knew since childhood he was an artist. His family always supported his endeavors and in 2004 he and his wife, Kate Pepper, made dreams come true when they opened their own studio, the Monart School of Art and The Art Park Enrichment Campus. Charles is a contemporary, abstract expressionist painter, whose work is shown in several galleries internationally. He received his bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts and Art History from Kearney State College in Kearney, Nebraska and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting/Sculpture from Wichita State University.
In addition to Charles’ extensive background as a fine artist, he has been involved in art education for over 30 years. Charles has been an instructor at the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita State University, and Friends University, to name a few. At his own studio, the Monart School of Art, Charles teaches drawing, painting, and sculpture classes to students of all ages. Charles enjoys showing students who may have little to no art experience that they too can create and learn new skills. Once students have gained basic drawing skills in his classes, they are then supported while developing their personal drawing style and encouraged to try new media and techniques.
When not in the classroom Charles can be found painting, exploring nature, gardening, cooking fabulous foods for his family, and begging his wife to not adopt more animals.
One of Natania Cook’s favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:8 that admonishes Christians to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. To her, beautiful literature provides the perfect fodder for deep thinking and worthy discussion. Natania believes that books provide a “safe place” for adults and children alike to wrestle with the tough situations of life and to pause and ponder what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. It is her privilege to be able to assist Aim Academy parents in their efforts to nurture and develop deep thinkers who ponder and aspire to excellence.
Prior to becoming a homeschool mother of four, Natania’s lifelong pursuit of knowledge led her to earn a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Texas Woman’s University and a BS degree in Education with a specialization in English from Baylor University. She is certified to teach English and English as a Second Language in grades 1-12 and Reading for grades 6-12. With over twenty years of teaching experience, Natania has served in both public and private school settings as well as in various homeschool forums where she has taught multiple grade levels and ages.
My Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Liberty University shows that I know a little about mathematics. And my Masters of Education degree from American College of Education shows that I have learned something of education theory. However, my passion for learning and for helping others learn is what really drives my desire to teach mathematics.
I began by tutoring my peers in the math lab at college. Eventually, I taught my own children from preschool through high school at home. Now, I enjoy sharing mathematics with students from many different backgrounds. Although math presents beautiful puzzles and amazing connections to all of creation, I also enjoy studying for my own benefit (especially in God’s Word), creating crafty projects, tending my chickens, and spending time with family.
A former AAO parent, Lisa is joining the Aim Academy Online faculty for the 2022-23 school year. Welcome, Lisa!
Hi! I am Lisa Duckworth, and I am super excited to teach science with Aim Academy! I have been an educator for 30 years. I have a Bachelor of Science in Science Education from North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!) and have taught science to all ages of students. I started teaching public high school science in NC – Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and AP Biology and then took time off to be a homeschooling mom to 4 fabulous kids. Over the last 20 years, I have been teaching in our homeschool coop, and my teaching repertoire has expanded to math, history, English, art, and science classes for all ages, you name a topic, and I have probably taught a course in it over the years. For the last seven years, I have been teaching science summer camp classes to kids ages 7-16 and teaching science classes at our local community college. But, as you can probably tell, I love science!
In addition to my passion for all things science, I am an animal lover. I live on a horse farm with my four horses, two dogs, four cats, lots of fish, snails, and our tortoise, Tessa! My other passions include reading, cooking, scrapbooking, watching musicals, and collecting plastic ducks. I love traveling and visiting new places, where I always try to visit a science museum! I am a very hands-on interactive type of learner and teacher. I think students learn science best when they are doing science. So my classes are fun and filled with lots of layers of learning. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know you as we learn together!
For as long as Heather Eades can remember, she has lived by the motto “Create GOOD things. Live a GREAT story.” And as both a maker and creator, her passion is equipping young creatives to do the same.
Earning her B.A. in Visual Arts from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH and studies at the Columbus College of Art and Design helped launch her professional career in publishing where she helped create SRA/McGraw-Hill’s elementary art program, Art Connections.
After moving to Colorado with her husband and earning her master’s degree in education, Mrs. E. launched a 20-year career as a creative curriculum developer/editor and private art teacher while she homeschooled her two daughters (one recently graduated and the other other now in high school!)
And while she recently went back to full-time remote work in 2021 to use her writing and design skills for Colorado Christian University’s Communications and Creative Services department, Mrs. E is most passionate about her first and favorite work: the fine art of homeschooling — teaching her own and other students in their far-reaching homeschool community. Heather Eades is excited to begin her seventh successful year of teaching online with Aim Academy!
In her spare time, Mrs. Eades loves to laugh, draw, read, hike, camp with her family, develop social media content for Aim Academy, …and can be found consuming obscene amounts of coffee.
Nate Gilbert graduated from Cedarville University in 2002 with a B.A. degree in secondary social studies education. Since then he has taught and tutored many students, primarily in the subjects of history, government, and economics. Nate has worked in a variety of settings, such as teaching in Beijing, China, and at some local schools. He now focuses on utilizing his passion for social studies to teach online classes that stimulate his students’ critical thinking skills and understanding of society.
Mr. Gilbert also assists his wife in homeschooling their children. His hobbies include reading philosophy books, playing with his children, and outside activities. As a family, the Gilberts are involved in their local community and church fellowship.
Kathryn (Bell) Gomes
I was homeschooled K-12 and I loved it, but math was not the strongest part of my home education. I’ll never forget my first day in a calculus class at the University of Pittsburgh. I was so unprepared! I survived and was able to graduate with a degree in mathematics, but not without noting quite a few things I wish I had done differently in high school. Now that I am homeschooling my own kids, I’m committed to helping other homeschooled students enter college math classrooms prepared and confident.
I taught mathematics in the public schools of Philadelphia for seven years, hold a Masters in Math Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and authored Apologia’s elementary math program. Find out more about my curriculum here.
When I am not working on something math-related, I’m probably trying out a science experiment with my three little ones, cooking something spicy (we love Indian food!), or running in a local Philly race (look towards the back of the pack . . . I’m quite slow).
The field of psychology is not only my career; it is also my passion. You might even call me a “psychology nerd.” Much of my free time is spent reading about new and interesting developments in the field. I have taught Introductory Psychology classes to homeschool students and college students and have taught AP Psychology for the past 13 years. Over the past four years, I also developed a series of self-improvement classes for junior high and high school students on the topics of GRIT, Growth Mindset, Getting Things Done for Teens, and Conquering Procrastination. My teaching has also taken me into the corporate world where I have developed online seminars for healthcare providers on the topics of stress, communication, job burn-out, anger assessment and management, and boundary setting. I have 39 years of experience as a counselor in the field of individual, marriage, and family counseling where I had the opportunity to instruct individuals in developing new and more productive behaviors. When I am not reading something new about psychology I enjoy gardening, running, and taking care of my dogs and fainting goats. My degrees include an M.ED. in Counseling Psychology and a B.A in Psychology, both received from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Bev has known since she was in elementary school she’d become a teacher, having taught her one-year-younger brother everything she knew! After attending Millersville University and earning a B.S. in Special Education, a M.S. in Elementary Education, and a Reading Certificate, she taught for several years in both public and private schools and then left the world of teaching to start her own family. From there, she discovered the amazing world of home schooling, teaching all of her four children for at least some of their years of school and teaching for more than 20 years at several different co-ops. She currently also serves as a home school evaluator in Pennsylvania. With a goal of visiting all 50 of the states, she and her husband have just a few more to go! She also looks forward to becoming a grandma some day, but for now, her only “grandchild” is a pet pig!
I love history, I love teaching, and I love students. I put a great deal of thought and time into constructing courses that are engaging, challenging, and well-organized. I also care a great deal about humanizing the on-line experience, and you will see that priority woven into many aspects of my course. I majored in history at Swarthmore College, where I also earned my high-school teaching certification. I also did graduate work at Widener University with a focus on English and education. I worked for four years at an inner-city classical high school, where I taught American History and American Literature and served as Dean of Students. In 1997, I earned my Masters in History at Temple University, and soon began teaching college courses for Drexel University and Peirce College for adults returning to school. In 2005, I began teaching online, and to date have independently created nine different online college courses, ranging from survey American History courses, to the History of American Business, Colonial History, Revolutionary History, and Western Humanities surveys. I have been awarded “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty” by one of the universities I currently teach for. I am also an official grader of AP US History exams, receiving extensive training in the process and participating in College Board and ETS seminars. Despite all my experiences at the high school and college level, and despite my appreciation for the more profound academic and cultural expressions, I am nevertheless a shameless fan of English Premier League soccer, The Simpsons, Napoleon Dynamite, and MST3K.
Dr. Karen Joseph
Dr. Karen Joseph earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic. After working for several years, she began homeschooling her 3 children in 1989. As a homeschooling mom, she has taught every subject at every grade level, but her favorite subject is science! She taught science classes, ranging from Middle School Life Science and Earth Science to High School Biology to Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology at a Pennsylvania Public Cyber Charter School for 12 years. She was the recipient of the 2009 Pennsylvania Charter School Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Joseph believes that science should be fun, and she works to create classes that have a strong hands-on component, and that will ignite in her students a passion to know more about the wonderful world they live in.
Dr. Terri Kanner
Dr. Kanner received a BS in Biology from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The Ohio State University. Following post-graduate work at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., she practiced full-time in Silver Spring Maryland. Dr. Kanner took a sabbatical from dentistry and dedicated the next sixteen years to homeschooling her children. When they reached high school age, the children transitioned to AP-level courses and dual-enrollment college classes and Dr. Kanner launched a career in online science education beginning with the PA Homeschoolers AP Biology course in 2010. In addition to teaching online courses, Dr. Kanner also maintains an active adjunct professor status in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area at colleges including Northeastern University, Regis College, Stonehill College and Massasoit Community College. Her course offerings include Biology, Biology for Engineers, Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Adv. Pathophysiology for Nurse practitioners. She is particularly passionate about helping students to understand and appreciate the interrelationships between basic scientific principles, biological processes, and applications in the clinical healthcare environment.
Devon Kelly has taught writing and literature online since 2014, and she holds a BA in English from Thomas Edison State University. As a former homeschooler who understands the unique challenges homeschoolers face, she finds it rewarding to support homeschooling students. She strongly believes that each student has something valuable to say. Her goal is to encourage creative thinking while giving students the tools they need to communicate effectively.
Devon’s poetry has been published in several literary journals. Although she has always loved books, she remembers first truly appreciating language and syntax when she read “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett and “The Weight of Glory” by C.S. Lewis. She hopes her students will appreciate the beauty and power of words while growing in the confidence to write. She is excited to help Aim’s students grow as thinkers, readers, and writers.
I attended Texas A & M University and graduated with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Reading in 1996 and then went to work in the public schools. I have a soft spot for any student that learns differently than others. I feel like by working together as a team, we can build confident students, lifelong learners, and critical thinkers. I will ALWAYS meet you and them where they are. If there is anything I can do in my classroom to help them be successful, please let me know.
When I am not teaching, you can find me at my home in the country playing with my chickens and dogs. I love to be outdoors having fun – running, paddle boarding, or just about anything that sounds fun!
David and Rachel Nance
David and Rachel Nance have been teaching Aim Spanish classes together for the last several years, in addition to working together to raise and homeschool their five children. Both have deep roots with the Spanish language and with education. In addition to living in Spain with their family in 2019-2020, they each previously lived in South America (David in Uruguay and Rachel in Bolivia) and have traveled extensively through Latin America and Europe.
David has a BA in Spanish Teaching from Brigham Young University, an MSE in Curriculum and Instruction from Arkansas State University, and a Master’s in School Management from the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Spain. He has taught online Spanish classes since 2007, spent four years as the foreign language curriculum specialist at the Arkansas Department of Education, and worked for one year as an English language teaching assistant at a vocational school in Spain.
Rachel has a BS in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She taught elementary school for four years before having children of her own. In addition to being fluent in Spanish, Rachel studied ASL for four semesters while she was in college. When a Deaf couple started coming to her church four years ago, she finally got to put her learning into practice and became one of the interpreters for the couple. Rachel has taught Spanish and ASL classes in her home in addition to teaching for Aim Academy.
The Nances love spending time with their family. They love to travel, learn languages, spend time outdoors, read, and play tabletop games.
Kate Pepper has been an artist since she could pick up a crayon. Kate came from a large family with lots of nieces and nephews whom she enjoyed playing with and taking care of. Kate also spent many hours a week in her mother’s Pre-K classroom so teaching came naturally to her. Before owning her own business she was a nanny in Tacoma, WA and then taught pre-school at a private school in Wichita, KS.
Kate did not go a traditional route with her education – she was offered scholarships to several art institutes around the country, but felt she needed to take a different path. Her parents supported her while she traveled to various art centers and took intensive art courses. Kate has a wide range of interests such as large format photography, lampworking, drawing, Chinese watercolor, pottery and hand building, glass fusing, yarn spinning, mosaic, printmaking, fabric arts, batik, tie-dye, embroidery and assemblage. Who knew doing all these different workshops would one day lead to opening her own art school?
And then, in 2004 she and her husband, Charles Baughman, opened the Monart School of Art in Wichita, KS where Kate was able to combine her two favorite things – kids and art. Kate and Charles received intensive training from Mona Brookes, author of Drawing with Children and Drawing for Older Children and Teens. A few years after opening their art school they were able to expand their dream by creating a campus, The Art Park, filled with educational and family-oriented businesses. Kate is kept busy with all the details of running their campus as well as teaching art three full days a week at a small private school for students with profound ADHD and/or dyslexia. In learning about dyslexia and teaching students with language processing disorders Kate has learned a lot about herself and put pieces of the puzzle together from her own childhood and educational experience. This is part of what makes her a great teacher – she is understanding, patient, intuitive, and curious. She loves to learn new things and turn these into teachable moments for her students. Kate feels that owning The Art Park and teaching at a school uses all of her creative talents in developing programs, creating lesson plans, working with the children and running a small business.
Kate and Charles have four children together that range in age from 22 to 9 years old. They have a menagerie of animals including two dozen chickens, three large dogs, gerbils, two cats and way too many fish tanks. They also enjoy fostering puppies and kittens and getting them ready for their forever homes. Kate is an avid reader and loves mysteries, home decorating magazines, and historical fiction. Kate enjoys making large mosaic installations in her free time and donates her creations to organizations in Wichita for fundraisers as well as beautifying The Art Park campus with her work. Kate is also passionate about reducing waste and runs a marker and crayon recycling program at three schools in Wichita and 90% of her mosaic supplies are discontinued tile samples that would normally be thrown in the landfill. Kate estimates she has rescued over two tons of tile and other materials from the landfill and turned it into art.
Hi. I’m Brian Reeves.
I’m an artist, designer, and educator who loves engaging in the creative process, expanding my horizons to learn new things, and sharing my passion for art and design with students of all ages.
I first studied drawing and printmaking at the University of Minnesota and the University of Northern Iowa, where I gained experience creating etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and screen prints. As a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison I embraced digital tools, starting with Photoshop, and expanded to designing my own interactive software and websites.
Since completing my education, I’ve continued working on fun and rewarding creative projects in a wide range of media, including portraits, sculptures, cartoons, illustrations, logos, packaging, posters, pamphlets, instructional diagrams, 3D models, websites, mobile apps, fonts, animations, banners, murals, and more.
While many of my creations have been exhibited in galleries, printed in publications, and displayed on city streets around the world, I’m most proud of the work I’ve done in the classroom helping others learn to express themselves creatively using many traditional and digital media.
I have taught drawing classes since 1994 as well as other subjects at various colleges in Missouri, Maine, and Massachusetts, where I currently teach drawing and design courses at Boston College.
I bring positive energy and a constructive spirit of experimentation, wonder, and mutual appreciation into the classroom to create a welcoming, collaborative environment, meeting students where they’re at in their development. I strive to create fun, challenging assignments to explore art, encouraging students to tap into their individual interests to complete assigned projects. Some of my own favorite subjects beyond art and design include astronomy, backyard birdwatching where I live in Maine, playing games, and making music.
I’m excited to begin working with many of you at Aim Academy!
Rebecca Robbins, has home schooled her children for seven years and provided in- person Home School Cooperative group teaching prior to joining Aim Academy. She pursued her love of science, completing a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Master of Physical Therapy. She continues to practice physical therapy and offer Aim Academy courses.
Her courses focus on developing lifelong learning skills, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and sparking curiosity and discovery in the area of science. Integrity and a growth mindset for lifelong learning are foundational values for Rebecca. She seeks to empower students with the academic learning skills for high school and college as well as health and wellness.
In her spare time, you would find Rebecca enjoying her family and dog, being active with friends, enjoying a variety of fitness activities, hiking, biking, swimming, camping, gardening, cooking, and advancing her professional education.
Kristen is a Colorado native. She earned her teaching degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Kristen has been a homeschooling mom for over 16 years and is now a proud grandma as well. She has enjoyed teaching in both public and private school settings. For the last decade she has been teaching at her homeschool co-op and has been teaching online since 2019 and loves helping students grow in their natural abilities to write. Teaching students how to analyze literature and poetry as well as create their own poetry, research papers, essays, short stories and analytical papers is one of her passions. She also enjoys riding bikes, meeting with friends and having family gatherings!
Instructor email: kroy[at]aimacademy.online
Lili Serbicki is an experienced Advanced Placement English instructor with a professional background in writing, media, editing, and advertising. She is a 2009 graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a BA in Communication Arts and a Minor in Philosophy. She has over ten years of experience teaching high-level online courses, including AP Literature, AP Language, Creative Writing, poetry composition, argument and debate, and advanced test preparation classes. She has many years of experience providing student tutoring in areas of writing and mechanics as well as experience in small print publication, editing, and writing workshop leadership; she is a published author of poetry, fiction, nonfiction essay, and creative memoir across multiple literary journals. Over the past decade her students (including all course and tutoring students) have won many Silver Keys and Gold Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards at both the regional and national levels. In 2018 Mrs. Serbicki received recognition from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards as “an educator whose dedication, commitment, and guidance are represented by student work selected for national honors.”
Lili explains the assignments and goals of her AP English Literature course.
Lili discusses her AP English Language course.
Lili describes the assignments in her Creative Writing class.
Farrar Williams is a longtime educator with experience teaching in a variety of settings and levels. She has her undergraduate degree in history from Mount Holyoke College and her master’s in education and teaching from Goddard College. Farrar spent many years as a humanities teacher and administrator at a small Quaker middle school, where she honed her belief that education is a process, not a product, and that the goal is to bring out each student’s individual light. For the last decade and a bit, she has been homeschooling her sons, writing, and teaching in homeschool co-ops and drama groups. In addition to teaching, she’s currently an educational consultant and works with homeschool families on college admissions. When not teaching or working, Farrar is probably solving sudoku, reading a YA novel, or trying to resist putting in another batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. She lives in Washington, DC.
Farrar’s educational consulting site: https://simplify4you.com/