Our Teachers

Carolyn Christiansen

Carolyn Christiansen has a B.S. in Education from Bryan College and has been published in Nature Friend Magazine. She worked at a Christian school before starting to homeschool her six children. She has been homeschooling for 25 years. Volunteer positions: SMHEA Secretary & Resource Fair Coordinator, Sam Houston Historic Schoolhouse - historical interpreter, museum curator, & Board Secretary, Berean Bible Church - Children's ministry director, Awana secretary, librarian, and CEEC - teacher for 15 years.

Ashley Anderson

Ashley Anderson grew up in South Mississippi and began learning sign language as a three-year-old girl.
That’s a real “God story” that she loves to share. Only He could have known that she would one day
marry the son of two deaf parents. She and her husband, Jason, will celebrate their Silver Anniversary
this June. Ashley is mom to one son (Nick, 25) and 2 homeschooled daughters, Ana (14) and Loren (12).
Her family relocated to Knoxville 11 years ago, and they love it here! In the past she has taught high
school ASL classes at Concord Christian School (pre-homeschooling). She’s also served as an
interpreter at four different churches as well as numerous events through the years. Her hobbies include
singing, playing piano, hiking, reading, and she’s currently excited about learning to paint. She loves to
laugh and wants to be a lifelong learner!

Beth Troyer

In 1990 Beth Troyer earned a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee with a major in history. She and her husband home-educated their four children from kindergarten through high school by God’s exceedingly abundant grace. She has been involved with CEEC since 2008—ten years as a parent, seven years as a board member, and now four years as a teacher. “What a blessing this co-op has been to me and my family!” Now that she has finished her personal homeschooling journey, she thanks the Lord for His kindness in continuing to give her opportunities to teach and invest in the CEEC community.

Beth Yost

Beth Yost holds B.A. degrees in Speech and Theatre, as well as English, from East Tennessee State University. For a time, she worked at the professional level as an assistant to the Producer of Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Over the past few years, she has had lead acting roles in various productions with Knoxville Christian Arts Ministries as well as taking part in the Word Players Playback Theatre Troupe. She has also worked in the public schools teaching Speech, Drama, and English at the high school level. But after becoming a mom, she homeschooled both of her sons from 2002 through 2018. This is her 10th year of teaching theatre at a homeschool co-op, during which time, she has directed and produced over 10 full-length productions. and taught acting technique to over 120 students.

Cheryl Massey

Cheryl L. Massey is a former nurse, educator, and self-taught artist who has taught drawing in the homeschool community for many years. She frequently shares this favorite quote with her students: "Art is never finished, only abandoned." It is the goal of every artist in training to take that idea in their head and put it on paper, but it's frustrating for young people until they have the foundational skills. Anyone can learn to draw! Through practice and mastery of the basics, she strives to take her students to the next level of creativity. Mrs. Massey's work appears regularly in area art exhibits and recently she was honored with "Best in Show" at the 2019 Fountain City Art Guild's Holiday Show. She is a current member of the Knoxville Watercolor Society and The Fountain City Art Guild.

Claudia Collantes

Claudia Collantes is originally from Lima, Peru and a native Spanish speaker. She has a B.S. in Hotel Management. She moved to Knoxville, TN a little over two years ago with her family. She is married and has two children, Ariana (11) and Joaquin (8). In the last twelve years, she has lived in Minneapolis, MN; Lausanne, Switzerland and Columbus, OH. She loves to travel, arts and crafts, exercise (barre) and really enjoys spending time with her family. In the last six months, she has been working as a Spanish substitute teacher at TC. She loves to teach kids Spanish as she truly believes learning a new language exposes kids to early challenges and provides future opportunities.

Dr. Jerry Burns

Dr. Jerry Burns is an East Tennessee native. He graduated from Sevier County High School (1984), Carson-Newman College (1988), and the University of Tennessee (1995; Ph.D. in chemistry). He did doctoral research at ORNL and has been teaching full-time at Pellissippi State Community College since 1994. He is a homeschool dad of four marvelous children, all now done.

Elizabeth Eaker

Mrs. Eaker has been involved with CEEC choirs since 2017. She is from Knoxville and graduated from UT summa cum laude with a degree in Music Education. She has a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Kentucky. Prior to her years with home school students, Mrs. Eaker taught choir for 16 years with Knox County Schools. When motherhood found her, she left full-time teaching but has stayed active in the music community. She has performed at the Tennessee Theatre, was the featured soloist for the Knoxville Nativity Pageant, and conducted the Knox County Schools Middle School Honor Choir. She currently serves the Knoxville Handel Choral Society as Assistant Conductor, and sponsors the Knox Area Homeschool Choir Showcase, which is finishing its 3rd year. Elizabeth and her family are members of Apostles Anglican Church, and she serves on the church vestry.

Jill Cooke

Jill Cooke graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Brown University in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Environmental Plant Biology from West Virginia University in 1999. After briefly working for the Department of Energy, she "retired" to care for her four children. She and her husband have been homeschooling their children for 14 years. She’s taught science classes at various co-ops for the past three years.

Mark Brackney

Mark Brackney has been a teacher at CEEC for the past eight years. He has been married to his wife, Christine, for twenty-nine years. They are blessed with seven children and have always home-schooled. Their five oldest children have been a part of CEEC. Mark received a B.R.E. (Bachelor of Religious Education) degree from Rochester College, a Christian liberal arts college in MI. He received his M.A. (Master of Arts in Ministry) degree from Oklahoma Christian University. They moved to Knoxville in January of 2003 where he currently preaches for the Arlington Church of Christ in North Knoxville. Before that, he worked for the Rochester Church of Christ for twelve years in various roles (campus ministry, youth ministry, family life ministry). He taught adjunct classes in Bible for Rochester College (Rochester Hills, MI) for ten years before moving to Knoxville. He loves the classroom and the interaction with students. He says it is a joy to watch them grow in their faith.

Michelle Wilkins

Michelle Wilkins has been a homeschool mom for 13 years. Her family has been involved at Knoxville area cooperatives throughout that time. Married with three children she has lived in every major city in the state of Tennessee. She has a joy of learning and reading and making education something others enjoy as well. She and her husband have spent years leading children's and college ministries on top of raising their own three children, all of whom are homeschooled, one of which graduated spring of 2020. Prior to beginning teaching in the classroom, Michelle was a pediatric physical therapist, earning her bachelors from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and later her doctorate in physical therapy with a concentration in education from Boston University. She hopes to give students a view of science that they can apply to their everyday world. She also hopes to show students that science is something to engage and explore not just memorize for a test.

Renae Feathers

Renae Feathers holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland. In addition, she is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt with over 13 years of experience leading Six Sigma projects in cross-functional and global teams. (Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology utilizing statistical methods and verifiable data to drive effective management decisions.) She has also taught a variety of subjects in homeschool co-ops for the past 8 years, including Algebra I and II for CEEC in the 2019-2020 academic year. Math has always been her first love as it reveals a favorite character quality of God - his unchanging nature - He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Simon St John

Simon St John is a senior at the University of Tennessee, currently working on his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Reliability and Maintainability Engineering. Having been homeschooled from elementary school to high school, he loves homeschooling and is excited to have the opportunity to be teaching at a homeschool cooperative. Simon is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and Gamma Beta Phi Honor Societies in addition to being a TranSCEnd Scholarship award winner. He also recently completed an undergraduate research internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His family lives in Knoxville with four of his siblings still homeschooled and he enjoys helping them with their studies. In addition to his classes at UT he also works at Chick-fil-A.

Suzette Laporte-Ayo

Suzette Laporte-Ayo was born and raised in a small town in Sonora, Mexico and still visits her family there often. She has been teaching children for over thirty years. She started teaching Spanish in Knoxville in the homeschool community 20 years ago and has absolutely loved it. While working toward a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Arizona, she tutored students in Spanish, as well as other subjects, at the center for students with learning disabilities. After receiving her BS, she worked for a company which implemented an extracurricular language program in public schools. She then worked at a tutoring center as both a tutor and helped out with business-related aspects. With each teaching experience she has had, she has learned new techniques, methods and ideas which she has incorporated in the programs she designed and has been putting into practice for over 20 years now. She keeps these methods up to date by participating in Foreign Language Teacher conferences each year and has taken several courses online from the University of California, Irvine for techniques and methods for teaching students online. In short, she LOVES what she does.