Tutor Bios

Mrs. Cherie Vircks – 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 mo

tor 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.

Mrs. Nancy Harris – Writing Grades 1 – 6

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 be

ing 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.

Linda Kauss

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 fo

r 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 7-10

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!    She loves the Lord, loves kids, and loves to write, and is especially happy when the three can come together!    “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


Mrs. Andrea Nehring – Elementary Art

Andrea has a Speech Communications degree with an Art minor from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She has been tutoring Drama, Art, and Speech at several home-school co-ops around the Twin Cities for seven years. She is also homeschooling her own three children.
Andrea believes every child has the potential to create beautiful things, as God is perfectly creative, he made us creative also. Seeing children excited about art brings Andrea great satisfaction. It will be her privilege to come along side your children as they explore Art History.

Mrs. Monica Schlemmer – Speech I

Mr. Dan Schneider – World History, Government, Economics, Apologetics