Instructors

Kate Adamson

Kate Adamson is an actress, herbal medicine enthusiast, and wedding officiant. She worked for over 10 years as a team-building facilitator at a local camp, and has led children and adults of all ages in cooperative games and decision-making. Kate was a double major in Sociology and Religion at Wittenberg University in Ohio, and went to graduate school in Sociology at UVA. Kate is an ordained interfaith minister, homeschooling mom to her 11 yr old daughter, stepmom to 3 older kids, and has a husband, a garden, and 3 cats.

Megan Bailey

Megan Bailey is a classically trained musician and music teacher, with a degree in biochemistry. While these two fields seem to be at opposite ends of the educational spectrum, Megan feels that they are more related than not. In the science world, she worked in Research and Development for the advancement of testing supplies for people with diabetes. During her time in Denton, TX, she taught rocketry, kitchen chemistry, and remedial math for the county's summer school program. After dabbling in the science world, Megan switched gears to explore her first love - music. She has taught violin, piano, ensembles, and various music classes for over 20 years - the last ten in the Charlottesville area. In addition to teaching at CHEC and private music lessons, she currently runs her own bookkeeping business and teaches full-time for PVCC's Kids College program. Megan has recently jumped, head first, into the homeschooling world with her two children - one of whom has special needs. Homeschooling has allowed her to feed her many passions: music, science, and math, to name a few!

Janet Beals

Janet Beals Orejudos is a process artist, teacher, and facilitator. She has taught in summer camp, year round programs, and Adaptive Recreation with C'ville Parks & Rec, offering 3-14 year olds classes in Beginning and Youth Sculpture, Collage, Home School Art, Paint Like Picasso, and Open Studio. Janet comes from Chicago's Open Studio Project, offering process art and social emotional skills through art to disadvantaged and other diverse populations. Process art, unlike traditional art, focuses on the experience of artmaking rather than the final product. Therefore, there is no "bad art," just a piece with a story or a message. Although classes may have a theme (Dinosaurs, Self Portraits, Dia de los Muertos, Martin Luther King), each child is free to express it in her own way. We honor each child's artistic vision. Classes use unusual materials and techniques when possible, and aim for creativity, learning, and self determination. Janet is open to students with special needs and communication disorders, and children outside the age parameters of the class.

Louisa Cahan

I have been a teacher for most of my adult life, primarily with young children, but have some experience with all ages. Art has been a hobby for me since childhood, and when I retired from full time work, I chose to spend my retirement years learning and teaching Art. During the years when I taught preschool and the early elementary grades, I always included as much Art as I could wherever I could. I do see the teaching of Art as my calling, and the thrust of my life is to get better and better at it. Most recently, I taught Art for Charlottesville Parks and Recreation, until the pandemic caused us to stop our classes. Now my new “classroom” is Zoom!

Grace Cole

Grace was born and raised in Charlottesville. Both of her parents were professional musicians, she so was constantly surrounded by music as a kid. Grace majored in music at Mary Baldwin University and participated in vocal performance and music production and business certificate programs at Musicians Institute of Hollywood, California and Berklee College of Music. She received a small NEH stipend in 2015 to spend a week studying the indigenous music and culture of the Gullah Geechee population of the Georgia Sea Islands, and in 2017 she spent three weeks in Burkina Faso studying the country's traditional music under the mentorship of Malima Kone. Grace's father, an avid wildlife enthusiast led many many wilderness and biology trips for local middle school and high school students during her childhood, in which she participated. As a young adult Grace hiked and camped in 49 of the 50 U.S states and in several counties, including South Africa, Scotland, Canada and Ecuador. For the past 15 years Grace has studied the local plants and wildlife of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Grace has been a substitute teacher in Charlottesville and Albemarle County schools for the past several years, has worked at several local summer camps and taught music and and led wildlife art activities at The International School of Charlottesville. Currently Grace is taking on small music gigs in the local area, is taking courses for a license in Special Education K-12 and online Neuroscience and Physiology courses with hopes of applying for a Music Therapy graduate program. She has a special love for animal sounds, particularly wolf howls and whale song.

Charlottesville Debate League

The Charlottesville Debate League is a non-profit, student-run organization based out of the University of Virginia. They believe that speech and debate programs are incredibly important for the development and middle and school school students and are committed to providing accessible speech and debate opporunities.

Monica Farrell

I have been a teacher since I was around 14 years old when I was hired to teach horseback riding at a local riding school. In High School I taught Spanish speaking kids English with the Big Sister program. As an adult I taught Comparative Literature as a TA in Grad School at UCLA and then in the Freshman Writing Program at The American University in Cairo for years. I've tutored high school and home schooled kids in various subjects and helped them prepared for GCSE exams (high school exams in the UK). I have a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature (ABD) and currently teach yoga and mindfulness in Charlottesville in addition to teaching Yoga Teachers in my annual retreats around the world.

Carolyn Fay

Carolyn Fay holds a Ph.D. in French and taught French language and literature for about 16 years at the university level, where the students never wanted to leave their seats, and would've rather died than sing "Frère Jacques" in class. Now she's a homeschooling mother and freelance writer. Carolyn has been teaching French to homeschoolers for the past 11 years. Her classes involve singing, dancing, B-grade acting, ridiculous costuming, cute puppets, and horrible ventriloquism. She believes that children are sponges when it comes to learning a second language, and that the most effective approach encourages them to play in and with the language. Learning a foreign language is a powerful way to connect with other peoples and cultures.

Will Goss

Will Goss is from a very small town called Clarksdale, Mississippi – also known as “Home of the Blues.” Will studied English literature at the University of Georgia, but it wasn’t all Dickens and Shakespeare…he was also in a lot of bands. His favorite one was called Plume, and it’s still alive today. After graduating from Georgia, Will moved to Chicago to study filmmaking at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. What a city! The school took his love for the cinema to the next level, and his interest in filmmaking and film history has only grown since then. After 3 years of teaching film in Jackson, Mississippi, and 2 years of teaching English in Russia, Will is now in Charlottesville, VA!

Teela James

I love learning about new things and finding connections between diverse topics. This tendency has lead to a rather wandering career path that has included programming, technical training, writing short stories, designing parks, teaching, and guiding wilderness camping trips. I am currently able to share my enthusiasm for these topics with my two custom educated children. I feel that my role as an instructor involves engaging students by presenting fun material and then supporting them in delving into the parts they find fascinating. Students with learning differences are welcome in my classes and I enjoy working with them to find effective accommodations. I have a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan and a MLA from the University of Georgia.

Kim Lohan

Kim Lohan is a homeschooling mama who loves exploring ways to use all our senses to engage with learning. She especially loves hands on activities and crafts as a way to anchor the information in a tactile way. She and her family spend their time hiking, studying bugs, gardening and exploring the outdoors. She finds that when she slows down she sees a so much more. She graduated with a Bachelor in Science from Minnesota State University.

Tom Lynch

Tom Lynch is a software engineer and musician. Nearly 20 years of computer programming has required him to be a lifelong learner to keep up with the rapid pace of changing technology. He believes the best way to learn new technology is to use it, even if you don't know what you're doing, by working through projects that challenge you to figure out how stuff works and learn from your successes and mistakes. Tom aims to inspire students to learn programming as both a practical skill and a way to have fun through video game-based programming activities that offer opportunities to learn from their own process of trial and error with a new technology. He currently works for the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia where he builds custom software applications to support the pedagogical, research, and administrative goals of the academic side of the UVA Health System. Tom is also a performing member of two bands, playing music described as experimental electronic and electro rock. His music has taken him on the road to several states as well as to local theatre productions at Live Arts and PVCC. Tom holds a B.A. in Literature and a M.S. in Library and Information Science.

Emily Norris

Emily Mohajeri Norris is a homeschooling mother of three boys ages 10-17. She is passionate about hands-on learning, global education, service-learning, and creating custom educational opportunities that help empower and engage. Her kids’ interests led her to coach a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics team for four years and her family’s desire to raise their kids with a global orientation moved them to Beijing, China, for a year. She has a BA from UVA and an M.Ed. from Harvard; loves photography, travel, hiking, yoga, and rainy days at the art museum; and is learning to swim laps.

T Williams

I have been teaching and coaching children and families through Westcity Soccer in the Cville area for the past 10 years. As a former Division 1 College Coach and former 2 Sport College athlete, I provide students with insight and training into what it takes to compete at the highest level. I implement a personalized coaching and training approach with each student. I follow a curriculum for teaching technique, tactics, fitness and mental aspects of team sports with emphasis on American football and soccer. I support each player in the moment, aiding in their complete development over time. I provide a teaching and learning environment where each student can succeed.