Mr. Bill Cournoyer – Secondary Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science, Intro to Computer Programming
Bill has been teaching science at homeschool co-ops since 2004 and has been a web developer and designer since 1998. He has a B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry minor from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. For many years Bill has been studying creationism and apologetics, finding new ways God’s hand appears in nature and sharing these nuggets with his students. Bill tries to make classes fun and memorable, instilling a love for the subject into his students.
Sifu Jeff Goodwin – Christ-Centered Martial Artists
Sifu Jeff Goodwin, Sr trained in various martial arts for over 46 years earning an 8th Degree Black Belt – Master Level in CMA; a 5th Degree Black Belt – Master Level in Zu Wei Shu Kenpo; a 3rd Degree Blue Belt – Internationally Certified Instructor in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan; and a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Chuan Lu Chinese Boxing. During the 1980’s, he served as a Board Member on the United States Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation’s Board of Directors. He has taught many students for over 42 years ranging from 4-76 years of age. Sifu Jeff competed locally, regionally, nationally, and in 1982, placed 4th in the world during international competition as a member of the USA Forms Team in Atlantic City, NJ.
Sifu Jeff retired from a successful 18 year corporate career of Loss Prevention. And now, he is blessed to have received the Lord’s call to Ministry. In 2015, he became a District Licensed Nazarene Pastor, presently working as an Associate Pastor in Merrifield, MN. He will become a fully and internationally certified Pastor in 2020. CMA is the collaborative efforts between Sifu Jeff and the late Reverend, Sifu, & Dr.Charles Jackson to develop a Christ-centered martial art. Hundreds of hours were used to base CMA on Jesus’ teachings, and not that of another eastern religion. Through these efforts, CMA codified all aspects of the mental, physical, and spiritual training into our unique style of Christ-centered martial arts that are based on the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Mrs. Nancy Harris – Writing Grades 1 – 4
I am so excited to again be a tutor for our youngest writers this year! I have always loved reading, writing and communicating. And I love helping young ones get excited about getting their ideas from “heart to page.”
My goal is to encourage and help develop confidence and enjoyment in the students during their pre- and early writing stages. I want them to hear good writing and to recognize how important and enjoyable words can be and to whet their appetite to try it themselves with success. I know not every student is a natural writer, but I believe communication through writing is powerful and worth developing.
My experience comes from being a long-time homeschool mom of six with four students (so far) having successfully gone through ESCHEL’s elementary writing program. My family has been blessed to be a part of ESCHEL since our oldest was 4 ½ years old. I look forward to following in our previous teacher’s well-laid footsteps.
Besides homeschooling my 3 remaining students, I’m pretty passionate about backpacking and everything outdoors and I love reading aloud with my family.
Mrs. Linda Kauss – Physical Education
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, Hebrews 12:1.
This is my hope and prayer for each student involved in physical education class.
I began teaching tennis, racquetball, swimming, gymnastics and exercise classes at my local YMCA at age 14, because I had taken every class and the instructors were aware of the gift I had involving teaching. I taught gym for ESCHEL for 12 years and for the TEACH co-op in St. Louis Park for 2 years.
My background is in physical education as well as spending several years playing professional racquetball. My gifts are teaching and organizing and the love of activity. As an eighth grader I wrote my career paper on becoming a “professional athlete.” It is amazing to me that I knew what my gifts and talents were by that age. I would like to help each student recognize their gifts in whatever that realm may be.
Mrs. Becky Knefelkamp – Writing Grades 5-10
Becky Knefelkamp has been teaching writing for over 25 years. She graduated from Bethel College with an elementary degree, taught fifth grade for St. Paul schools for four years, and then stayed home with her children. A friend challenged her to teach the writing class at their co-op and that started an adventure of digging for quality resources and checking out a variety of writing curriculums. She has written her own writing lessons using aspects of a variety of curriculums: The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), the Six Traits of Writing, Rhea Holtan’s research process, an excellent teaching book—Before the End, and others. Keith and Becky Knefelkamp have enjoyed over 35 years of marriage, raised four children, homeschooled them K-12 grade, and now are loving the era of the empty nest and grandchildren! J She loves the Lord, loves kids, and loves to write, and is especially happy when the three can come together! J “My philosophy of writing is to be more of the encourager. Writing is so personal. It’s hard to trust another to read our work, so I want them to feel safe. When I grade assignments, I mainly look to see if they have included what I asked for. I believe the aspects of writing that I ask them to include WILL make their writing stronger. I believe that writing is a progressive skill, most of the time taking a few years to master, just like in math and science. Each year they build on their previous year’s skills until they come to a place where they can write in a strong way, finding their unique voice. But I do always see improvement in each student’s work from the beginning of the year to the end. I love that!”—Becky Knefelkamp
Vicki Myers – American History (Secondary)
Vicki has been teaching for over 20 years to students of all ages from elementary to adults. In addition to homeschooling for over 17 years, she has taught community education classes, Bible College Courses, and at homeschool co-ops for 7 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies and Ministerial Applications, in addition to Business and Paralegal Degrees. Her teaching style is interactive… trying to engage students as much as possible, with the hope that the more they participate, the more they learn. Homeschooling for all these years, she knows that different students learn differently. She tries to incorporate various activities so that students are able to get all they can from the course. She is always excited to teach and watch students learn and grow throughout the year.
Mrs. Andrea Nehring – Elementary Art
Mrs. Ann Soderberg – Speech
Ann Soderberg has earned a BA in Elementary Education from Bethel University and taught in the public and private classroom prior to starting a family. In conjunction with homeschooling her five children for the past fifteen years, she has substitute taught at ESCHEL through the years; most frequently in secondary speech communications classes. Coming alongside of her own children as their “assistant coach” throughout their speech class years has also given her the valuable, firsthand experience of working together with them throughout the challenges and rewards of speech class and its assignments. Her passion for effective and meaningful communication with others is further practiced weekly in her church’s ESL program where Ann has engaged in a language tutoring program for many years. Her family has been an active part of ESCHEL for more than twelve years in the roles of student, parent, board member, and substitute tutor. She’s looking forward to the joy of watching your students amaze themselves as they discover their strengths and talents!
Mrs. Cherie Vircks – Preschool and Kindergarten
I am honored to be teaching our littlest ones at ESCHEL. Teaching young children has been a passion of mine since I was young. In all the themes that I teach, God is the center of it all and His love for us is the foundation of our faith. I am excited to be a part of their faith journey with you to build upon their foundation in the Lord, even at this young age. I love answering their incredible questions and helping my students think critically about their world around them. In my class we work on language development, sharing, social skills, listening skills, academic skills and fine/gross motor skills all while playing. Playing is an important way of teaching children because it is fun, engaging, and filled with wonder and excitement! I change our theme every month and plan different activities to go with that theme.
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin- River Falls with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development. I live in Cottage Grove with my amazing husband, Adam, and our three children (Graeme, Ruby and Elijah). We love being a part of the ESCHEL family because it allows our children to express and learn not only about math, writing, physical education, science or art, but also about how those things are interwoven into our walk with the Lord. ESCHEL has given us an opportunity as a family to learn God given principles and how to apply them in our every day lives. It has truly been a blessing for our family.