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Instructors

Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce is the editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions of Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, with more in the works. He is the author of Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet (recently published by Ignatius Press) and two other books on Shakespeare: The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome and Through Shakespeare’s Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays. He has hosted two 13-part seasons of The Quest for Shakespeare for EWTN. He is writer in residence and visiting fellow at Thomas More College in New Hampshire, editor of the St. Austin Review(www.staustinreview.com) and has also authored books on great Christian writers such as G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Professor Pearce teaches literature.  

Monica A.shour, M.T.S., M.Hum.

With 20 years of experience in the classroom, 3 years of experience working at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Texas A&M University as a Campus Ministers, and Master Degrees in Humanities and Theological Studies from the University of Dallas, Monica Ashour comes to us with a breadth and depth of vision solidifies and electrifies high school students. Orthodox, passionate, and pedagogically adept, Miss Ashour reaches youth especially in the Theology of the Body. Her former students come to her often with gratitude in preparing them for the various experiences they face in college. She is also a gifted speaker for the Theology of the Body Institute.

 Miss. Ashour teaches theology and church history. 

Ed Rivet, M.P.A.

Ed Rivet has a B.S. in Pre-Law and Public Policy and a Master’s in Public Administration both from Michigan State University. He served three years as a legislative aide in the Michigan House of Representatives. For 21 years Ed has served as the Right to Life of Michigan’s Legislative Director. He has written and helped enact dozens of laws, including the nation’s first complete ban on human cloning, and banning assisted suicide in the face of the assault on human life by Jack Kevorkian and Geoffrey Fieger. Ed was the director of the state of Michigan’s largest all-volunteer citizen petition drive which also was the state’s most accurate petition drive ever, 97.3% valid signatures. Ed has done countless media interviews, appearing in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, plus live interviews on CNN and Good Morning America.

Mr. Rivet teaches government. 

Henry Russell, Ph. D.

Dr. Henry Russell is Headmaster of the St. Augustine’s Homeschool Enrichment Program founded with his wife Crystal. The program began in Fall 2005 with 20 students in two living rooms and now tutors more than 70 students. He is also the President of the SS Peter and Paul Educational Foundation, dedicated to founding an orthodox Catholic Liberal Arts college in southeast Michigan.
A graduate of Princeton and South Caroline (M.S.), Dr. Russell completed his graduate work at Louisiana State University. Formerly the Chairman of Ave Maria College’s Department of Literature, he has also been a professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Wake Forest University. He is a founding faculty member of the St. Robert Southwell Creative Writing Workshop held in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Dr. Russell’s works include The Catholic Shakespeare Audio Series. He was the Associate Editor of The Formalist from 1990-2004 and his writings have been published in various journals. He was honored to edit Dr. Alice von Hildebrand’s groundbreaking volume, The Privilege of Being a Woman.

Dr. Russell teaches literature. 

Robert Gotcher, Ph. D.

Dr. Gotcher is an independent educator and scholar. He has taught at a major seminary, graduate and undergraduate students, lay ministry students, diaconal candidates, and high school students, both online and in the classroom. He and his wife, Kathy, are raising their seven children in Franklin, Wisconsin. Dr. Gotcher has been actively involved in the homeschooling of his children, especially in the junior and high school years. He has taught Latin, literature, physics, astronomy, and religion to homeschooled students. He has a special devotion to the classical trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, especially as they pertain to the written arts. Dr. Gotcher graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies. He received his M.A. in Theology of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and his Ph.D. from Marquette University.

Dr. Gotcher teaches literature, theology, writing and logic. 

Kris Correira, M.H.P.E.

Mrs. Correira is a homeschooling mom of three boys. She worked as a physician assistant in a busy emergency department for over 16 years. She has been teaching paramedic students at Quinsigamond Community College since 1994 and has taught human biology labs at Eastern Connecticut State University. She has over ten years of experience teaching online classes. She received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biological Sciences and Computer Science from Wellesley College, and her Physician Assistant Certificate and Masters of Health Professions degree from Northeastern University. You can find Kris on the web at her blog AtHomeScience.blogspot.com or her homeschool blog ScienceOfRelations.blogspot.com or her nature study blog APrivateEyeNature.blogspot.com. You can also find her at daily Mass, Adoration, or whatever event is going on at the small parish to which her family belongs.

 Mrs. Correira teaches biology. 

Jean Rioux, Ph. D.

Dr. Jean Rioux is a professor and chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he has taught for 26 years. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, he completed his graduate work in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, earning his M.A. Ph.D. in 1990. Specializing in the thought of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Rioux has published textbooks in logic and natural philosophy, as well as articles on the philosophy of mathematics in the Thomist and the Aquinas Review. He came to Benedictine with a love for the study of primary texts, as well as a keen interest in what computers might bring to that study. His contributions to the philosophical life of Benedictine College range from Great Books Sequences in philosophy and theology to 3D software for students of logic. He and his wife, Maria have been designing their own curricula and educating their nine children at home for over 20 years.

 Dr. Rioux teaches philosophy. 

phillip campbell 2Phillip Campbell

Phillip Campbell holds a BA in European History from Ave Maria University and recently completed a certificate program in Secondary Education through Madonna University. He has a background as a Youth Director and RCIA instructor. He teaches history and Scripture for the St. Augustine Homeschool Enrichment Program. Mr. Campbell is the author of the popular fantasy-epic Tale of Manaeth. His writings have also appeared in such publications as St. Austin Review and The Distributist Review. Most recently, Mr. Campbell was elected Mayor of Howell, MI. Mr. Campbell and his wife of nine years homeschool their four children.

Mr. Campbell teaches history, economics, and logic. 

Gary Michuta

Gary Michuta is the author of Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: Did the Catholic Church Add Books to the Bible? Gary’s latest book is How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Keeping Your Kids Catholic. This book gives Catholic parents and educators valuable insights into the deceptive tactics used by anti-Catholics and concrete suggestions on how to combat these methods. Mr. Michuta was also the co-host of the radio show Hands on Apologetics Live. He is a frequent guest on various Catholic radio and television shows, and he also worked as an uncredited consultant for Steve Ray’s Footsteps of God video series. Since 2003, Mr. Michuta has developed apologetic material for the Eastern Church Re-Evangelization Commission (E.C.R.C) to aid the Chaldean Catholic Dioceses. Gary currently offers classes on Apologetics to Catholic parishes around the country.

 Mr. Michuta teaches apologetics. 

Jean Hoeft, MA

Jean Hoeft has been a math and algebra teacher for 23 years. She has a BA from the University of Michigan and a MA from Marygrove University. Jean has taught the confirmation class at her Catholic parish for 28 years. She loves gardening, sudoku puzzles, raising chickens, reading, knitting, and everything Catholic.

Mrs. Hoeft teaches math. 

Irma Luz Schmitt, MA

Irma Luz Schmitt was born in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico.  She graduated from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Monterrey Institute of Technology) in Monterrey, Mexico with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 1986 and a Master’s Degree in Education in 1999. In 2005, she earned a certification from Cambridge University in England to teach English as a second language.

From 1987-1999, Mrs. Schmitt worked as an accountant at Catepillar, Cedetel and Sorteo Tec.  In 2000, she worked at Universidad Virtual del Tec de Monterrey as part of a team that initiated online courses in Accounting.  From 2002-2004, she taught accounting, humanities and Latin American Studies at Universidad LaSalle in Ciudad Victoria. In 2003-2005, she taught English as a second language in the Centro de Lenguas de la Universidad Autonoma  de Tamaulipas in Ciudad Victoria. While there she also participated in a distance learning program to train teachers who teach English in elementary public schools in neighboring cities of Tamaulipas.

Mrs. Schmitt and her husband live in Bear, Delaware where they homeschool their 5 year-old-daughter.

Mrs. Schmitt teaches Spanish. 

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Erin Brown Conroy

Mrs. Brown Conroy has been teaching writing for 17 years, including teaching students in private colleges, universities, and online for thirteen years. She was an online professor of writing and research for Patrick Henry College (six years) and taught writing, leadership and management, and health and wellness for Cornerstone University’s Professional and Graduate Studies Division (seven years). Professor Brown Conroy is an author of several non-fiction books, including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success and Twenty Secrets to Success with Your Child; designs online courses (including an AP English Language and Composition course for PHC Preparatory Academy online); and speaks at conferences on education and learning, healthy living, and the teaching of writing. She has a BS and MA from Western Michigan University and is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing/Genre Fiction at Western State College of Colorado. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, she is also a fiction writing coach for high school and college students; has judged writing contests; and has been a freelance professional writer in marketing/web writing and ghostwriting for twenty years. Professor Brown Conroy also authored True North Reading: The Complete Mastery Reading and Spelling Program, a five-level multisensory learn-to-read program for children ages 3 to 15. Mrs. Brown Conroy, who has been homeschooling for 28 years, lives in Brighton, Michigan, and enjoys walking her dogs, playing the wooden flute, and homeschooling four of her 13 children who still live at home.

Mrs. Conroy is the Master Teacher for Aquinas Writing Advantage and teaches the recorded writing, test preparation, ASL, middle school health, and life skills courses. Her live courses include fiction writing, vocabulary and writing, and life skills.

Kathy-DuttonKathy Dutton, MS

Kathy Dutton holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Michigan, as well as a BA in Accounting from University of Michigan. Her early career involved research, including work with catalytic converts, neurology, and immunology. Mrs. Dutton has nearly 20 years of teaching and tutoring experience across various venues, including at the university, private tutoring, home-school group classes, and public and Catholic schools.

Currently, Mrs. Dutton home schools her youngest son (a high school senior) and teaches an AP Chemistry course. She teaches Catholic religious education and Confirmation preparation classes for her parish. Additionally, Mrs. Dutton devotes time to the Flint Regional Science and Engineering Fair, an ISEF-associated fair.

Mrs. Dutton; her husband, Dave; son, Alex; two  cats, Taz and Tabby (or is it Tubby?); and dog, Holli, live in mid-Michigan. Her two older sons, Matt and Andy, are on their own.

Mrs. Dutton teaches chemistry.  

Alison-GringasAllison Gingras, M.Ed.

Allison Gingras, holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is a Catholic homeschooling mother of three.  Her daughter, Faith, is adopted from China and is profoundly deaf.  It is through Mrs. Gingras’s experience in learning American Sign Language (ASL), to communicate and teach her daughter, along with a desire to provide an opportunity for more people to learn this beautiful language that has promoted her to teach ASL. Mrs. Gingras has offered ASL classes in various homeschool settings including three years for her homeschool co-op.

Mrs. Gingras teaches American Sign Language (ASL).  

emily-henryEmily Henry

Emily Henry grew up in Michigan with her parents, two brothers, and several cats. All three children were homeschooled and graduated with a diploma from the Noah Webster Academy for homeschoolers. She attended Ave Maria College in Michigan until its closure in 2006. From there, she transferred to Hillsdale College, where she completed her BA in Classical Studies and English. Beginning in 2009, Emily taught several subjects at homeschool co-ops throughout the mid-Michigan area, including Latin, History, English, Bible, and Earth Science. Although she enjoyed teaching all subjects, Latin will always be her first love. She now lives in the greater Washington D.C. area with her wonderful husband. Mrs. Henry has been teaching for Homeschool Connections for one year. She has enjoyed the experience and is eager for year two!

Mrs. Henry teaches Latin. 

Alexis-MAlexis Mausolf, MA

Mrs. Mausolf is a Catholic homeschooling mother of two. She has a Bachelors degree in Russian studies from Washington and Lee University and a Masters degree in German, with a concentration in German literature, from Florida State University. Before her marriage she lived in Germany for a year, teaching English at several colleges. She has taught German at the college level in te States for a number of years and is eager to work with homeschoolers now. Her husband is from Germany too, and they enjoy speaking German at home in Texas with their Kindern.

 Mrs. Mausolf teaches German. 

Lisa-M.Lisa Mladinich

Mrs. Mladinich is a founding member of the Catholic Writers’ Guild and Founder/President of Catholic Writers of Long Island, where she organizes networking and enrichment conferences. She is an author of several popular booklets for Our Sunday Visitor and has helped create educational materials for Ascension Press, Augustine Institute, Ave Maria Press, and CCC of America. Her feature articles have appeared in Faith & Family magazine, CATECHIST magazine, Hearth (now Canticle), and various online venues.

Mrs. Mladinich is a speaker and workshop leader, specializing in inspirational programs for DREs, catechists, and parents. She is the founder of AmazingCatechists.com. Her column, “Be an Amazing Catechist,” appears at Patheos.com. Mrs. Mladinich produces “Paradox Puppets” programs for children, encouraging literacy and creativity, faith, virtue, and character development. Her original series of English and Spanish catechetical puppet scripts can be downloaded free online at CatholicMom.com.

As an author and teacher, she has been a frequent guest on Catholic radio and television. In addition to teaching for Homeschool Connections, she enjoys teaching in a cooperative classics program for teens and has a manuscript for a mystery novel patiently awaiting its turn to be edited. She and her husband live in New York, where they homeschool their fourteen-year-old daughter.

Mrs. Mladinich teaches writing. 

Dave-PalmerDave Palmer, MTS

Mr. Palmer received his Master in Theology degree from the University of Dallas. He has spent the last three years studying the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas and has written several papers on Thomistic philosophy. His specific area of interest is the restoration of Christian philosophy according to the philosophy of St. Thomas. Mr. Palmer also holds a Bachelors’ degree in Communications/Journalism from Southern Methodist University and Masters’ in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. He is currently the General Manager of the Guadalupe Radio Network Catholic radio station in North Texas. Dave has taught theology (Sacraments and Scripture) at Bishop Dunne Catholic High School in Dallas. He is married to Paula and has two daughters, 7- and 3-years old.

Mr. Palmer teaches philosophy. 

Carol-ReynoldsCarol Reynolds, Ph.D.

Dr. Carol Reynolds weaves energy, humor, and history into everything she does.   After a career as a professor at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, “Professor Carol” and husband Hank moved to a ranch and began creating Fine Arts courses for students and adults.  Her unprecedented Discovering Music: 300 Years of Interaction in Western Music, Arts, History, & Culture and Exploring America’s Musical Heritage reach across the world.  Her new course History of Early Sacred Music will appear this summer, as well as online courses on Russian Music, Research Skills for Students Entering College, and a new series on American Music.  A pianist and organist, she is a popular speaker for the Van Cliburn Series, The Dallas Symphony, opera companies, and museums.  She works frequently in Eastern Europe and Russia as Study Leader for The Smithsonian.

Dr. Reynolds teaches art and music appreciation. 

Christopher-ZChristopher Zehnder, MA

Christopher Zehnder holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, California, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut. He has taught history, theology, Latin, English grammar, composition, English literature, and universal literature at Catholic secondary schools in Connecticut and California. He has developed curricula in history and language arts. In addition to his work in education, Mr. Zehnder has edited two monthlies and written for various publications on historical, political, and theological subjects. He currently is general editor for the Catholic Textbook Project, and is the author of three of the project’s books: From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America; Light to the Nations II: the Making of the Modern World ; and Lands of Hope and Promise: A History of North America  (to be published). He lives with his wife, Katherine, and their seven children in Tehachapi, California, raising goats, chickens, and vegetables.

Mr. Zehnder teaches theology and history. 

Sharon-WeisSharon Hamric-Weis, JD

Sharon Hamric-Weis received her undergraduate degree in Secondary English Education from the California University of Pennsylvania and taught both middle and high schools courses at the Palm Beach County School system. During her last year of teaching, Mrs. Hamric-Weis converted to the Catholic Church and was confirmed. Upon her acceptance to the Dickinson School of Law, she and her husband then relocated to her home state of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Hamric-Weis practiced law as Assistant Counsel for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and has been published in the Dickinson Journal of International Law, as well as working as a decision writer for the Pennsylvania Board of Workers’ Compensation. After working in law, Mrs. Hamric-Weis left her employment to raise her children and homeschool for several years before returning to work as a paraprofessional teaching and caring for a student with multiple disabilities. She is happy to be homeschooling her three children and teaching the advanced writing courses for Homeschool Connections.

Mrs. Hamric-Weis teaches writing. 

David Harris, Ph. D.

Dr. David Harris is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Benedictine College in 1997, he earned his M.S. from Iowa State University in 1999 and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008. His areas of research interest are Catholic Social Teaching, the history of economic thought, and social economics. After spending time as a full-time volunteer working with the poor and under served population of Milwaukee, he taught personal finance classes before coming to Benedictine.  Dr. Harris and his wife, Jackie, live in Atchison with their three children.

Dr. Harris teaches economics.

Jason Negri, MS, JD

Jason Negri is the Assistant Director of the Patients Rights Council, a think tank dedicated to opposing the spread of doctor-prescribed suicide and euthanasia.  He earned his BA in history & French, and his MS in education administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and his JD from Ave Maria School of Law as a member of its inaugural class.  Mr. Negri is a practicing attorney in Michigan, where he lives with his wife and 4 children.

Mr. Negri teaches law.

 

 

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