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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 over 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 over 15 years.


Angie Sayre

Angie Sayre grew up in West Virginia and attended undergrad at Marshall University. During her time at MU, she worked as a writing tutor at the university’s Writing Center and taught English as a Second Language classes through Marshall’s ESL department. Once she earned her B.A. in Communication Disorders, she moved to Knoxville to complete her M.A. in Speech Pathology at the University of Tennessee. After working as a speech-language pathologist for three years, she and her husband moved back to Tennessee where she chose to become a stay-at-home momma. She has been homeschooling her children for the past 15 years: two sons now in college, one daughter in high school, and another daughter in elementary. Angie loves teaching at home, but she especially enjoys bringing her energy to a weekly classroom setting….better still it involves writing and literature!


Claudia Collantes

Claudia Collantes is originally from Lima, Peru and a native Spanish speaker. She has a B.S. in Hotel Management from Peru. She moved to Knoxville, TN 5 years ago with her husband and two children, Ariana (14) and Joaquin (11). In the last twenty years, she has lived in Lima, Peru; Minneapolis, MN; Lausanne, Switzerland, and Columbus, OH. She loves to travel, arts and crafts, exercise and really enjoys spending time with her family. For the last 3 years, she has worked as a Spanish teacher at TC and BHEA. 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.


Dr. Timothy Holder

Timothy Holder received a Ph. D. and an MA in History from the University of Kentucky, an MA
in Applied Theology from Carson-Newman University, and a BA from Asbury University with a
double major in Bible and Secondary Education. He was a dean at Walters State but left his full-
time position there so he would have more time for public speaking, writing, and church work.
Currently, he teaches online for Walters State and Liberty. His teaching background includes
many years as a history professor at several colleges, dual enrollment experience at multiple
high schools, and a lengthy stint at a Christian high school. He has authored over a dozen books.

He is married to Jill, a former early childhood teacher and currently an actress and producer. His
radio show, “The Leading Edge” on WRJZ, features interviews of leaders because he believes,
that as Christians, we are all called to be leaders.


Elizabeth Weaver

Elizabeth Weaver earned a BA Mathematics from Carson-Newman⁠—where she graduated with honors⁠—and an MA in Mathematics from Wake Forest University (2008). She will be starting her ninth year of teaching full-time at a local community college in East Tennessee and her 18th year of teaching college-level mathematics.
As a teacher, Elizabeth uses instructional strategies and techniques to help her students continue to grow into independent, strategic learners. Her goal, in every class she teaches, is to prepare students to do more than simply calculate correct answers using various formulae and equations. The transfer of knowledge is incomplete if the student cannot apply that knowledge in a situation where each step is not directly prescribed. On a personal note, Elizabeth is an avid board gamer and a consummate comedian both in and out of the classroom. She is a Knoxville-native and enjoys exploring everything from the Smoky Mountains to the Bijou Theater.


Heather Duncan

Heather Duncan is a choir director with over 30 years of experience with church, traditional school, and homeschool choirs. Ms. Duncan holds a Bachelor of Music in Sacred Voice from the University of Tennessee, as well as a Masters of Music in Music Education, also from UTK. She has taught both ensemble and private voice lessons and has participated in both local and national vocal and choir director associations enabling students to participate in adjudication, such as: the All East, All State, and Smoky Mountain Music Festivals. Committed to comprehensive musicianship and lifelong music making, Ms. Duncan continues to attend workshops and classes during the summers; and is an active member of two professional music groups, the Palmetto Voices Spirituals Ensemble, and Rich Mountain Celtic. In the latter, she not only sings, but plays bodhrán and mandolin. In addition, Ms. Duncan is the President and co-founder of Victoria Watoto Fund, a non-profit committed to meeting the physical, emotional, and educational needs of children in Mbita, Kenya.

Ms. Duncan loves working with young voices, and is committed to not only teaching musicianship, but hopes to enrich the lives of her students by introducing them to diverse music from different cultures and different genres, and to foster a life-long love of singing.


Jill Heaton

Jill Heaton attended Crown College and received a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Certificate in ASL Interpreting Training through the college’s Language Navigators Program. Jill also attended Sword Deaf Baptist College and received her Masters in ASL and ASL Interpreting. The Lord burdened Jill’s heart for the Deaf, and that burden turned into a deep love and respect for the Deaf and the Deaf culture. Through her educational experience, Jill learned more about the great need for a Christian outreach into the Deaf community, not only in America, but throughout the world! Jill also works as the Deaf ministry leader of her church, Clear Springs Baptist in Corryton. Jill’s ultimate desire is to reach the Deaf with the Gospel and share with them of Jesus Christ and his love for them. Jill hopes to touch other’s hearts with the burden for the Deaf so that there will be many people who will share the burden for the Deaf and will seek to learn their language so that they too may be able to share the Gospel and Jesus Christ with them!


Mark Brackney

Mark Brackney has been a teacher at CEEC for the past twelve years. He has been married to his wife, Christine, for thirty-three years. They are blessed with seven children and have always home-schooled. Their six 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 Michigan. 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 serves as the minister 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.


Roxana Marquez

Roxana Marquez was born in Venezuela in a small town called Trujillo. There she obtained a degree in public accounting and worked together with her husband and her father-in-law directing and teaching theater groups, ceramics courses, vacation plans and more in their art academy. She came to the United States to the city of Knoxville with her husband and her 7-year-old daughter. She has been a volunteer in the library of an elementary school and has also been an English student in various places. She worked in a faux finishes company and helped her husband in his tree service company. About a month ago they opened an art gallery in the Knoxville Sunsphere. Roxana likes to travel, likes animals, outdoor activities and helping others. This new opportunity to be able to teach her language and a bit of her culture to others is really exciting for her.


Ruth Caldwell

Ruth Caldwell graduated from LMU with a B.S. in Biology in 2004 and an A.S.N. in Nursing in 2006. She worked at Parkwest Hospital for several years before realizing that God had different plans for her. She became a stay-at-home mom before she began homeschooling their two children for 9 years. She has taught different sciences at another co-op for four years. Her hope is that she can inspire children to love science as much as she does and for her students to see how amazing and intricate God’s world is.


Shelley Stockton

Shelley Stockton is an East Tennessee native. She graduated from Temple Baptist Academy in Powell
and she earned an Associate degree in Nursing from Pellissippi State Community College and a
Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education from Pensacola Christian College. She taught in a
Christian school for three years before homeschooling her three children. She and her husband,
Stephen, have been homeschooling for six years. Shelley works part time as a nurse and full time as a
homeschool mom. She has been a volunteer leader in the American Heritage Girls organization for the
last six years. She loves riding horses and gardening. Shelley has a passion for teaching science and
loves being around students. She is a strong believer in life-long learning and hopes to encourage
everyone around her to continue learning for their entire lives.


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 23 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, Suzette 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 learned new techniques, methods and ideas which she has incorporated in the programs she designed and has been putting to 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.


Todd Kiles

Todd Kiles grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and always had a passion for art. He graduated with a B.F.A. from Harding University and moved to Nashville where he met his wife, Michelle. Todd started his design business, Gourmet Graphics, about 25 years ago and continues it today. He was also a professor at O’more College of Design in Franklin, TN. Todd and Michelle relocated to the Knoxville area several years ago and have 2 wonderful, homeschooled children, Evelyn (14) and Collin (10). He is looking forward to teaching the next generation of young artists.

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