Our facilitators

Karrie Beckmann

Financial Literacy and Money Management
Karrie is a homeschool veteran of 13 years, with her oldest in college at the University of Florida. Her youngest graduates from LAF in 2024. Karrie has been a licensed Realtor for 10+ years (sometimes part-time and sometimes full-time, as time allowed and finances were needed). This allowed her to use her degree in business administration, all while still being able to homeschool her children. Working with so many people over the years, she realized there is a gap between what schools teach and what students need when they get into the real world. Karrie’s goal is to make sure her students have a firm foundation and understanding of how finances, money, and the economy work. Email Karrie

Kimberly Collins

High School Anatomy and Physiology
Kimberly grew up in Georgia and spent the previous half of her life in Colorado. She relocated to Florida about six years ago. Kimberly has three daughters. Her oldest daughter is a homeschool graduate at college in South Carolina. Kimberly’s youngest two daughters attend classes at LAF. Kimberly has a major in history and a minor in biology. Kimberly truly enjoys teaching the high school age group. She looks forward to bringing Biology and God’s Creation alive in the classroom.

Trish Cruise

Middle School Anatomy & Physiology

Trish is a mom of five children, a daughter (16) and 12-year-old quadruplets. Trish and her family moved from California in January of 2022 and have loved exploring their new home and finding new adventures. She and her husband have homeschooled their children for the better part of the last four years. This coming year, all children will be taking classes at LAF, and they are extremely excited! Trish is excited to teach Middle School Anatomy and Physiology and has a passion for this science. She has worked for 18 years as a NICU nurse, but since her move to Florida, works as a neonatal resuscitation RN very part-time so she can spend more time at home with her children and focus on homeschooling. Trish and her family have a heart for Jesus and are so blessed to have found LAF and the biblical foundation on which their program stands.

Natalia Drumm 

High School Bible
Natalia is a homeschooling mom to three boys from elementary to high school. She teaches Bible at LAF. Natalia has a B.A. in English Education from USF and is currently at Dallas Theological Seminary, pursuing an M.A. in Christian Studies.

Melissa England

Middle School Apologetics

Melissa England is a Sarasota native.  She has been married for 13 years and has a 10-year-old daughter.  She is currently a court reporter and has been for 17 years.  Two years ago she received the book Mama Bear Apologetics for Christmas and it opened her eyes to the world of apologetics… the intellectual defense of the truth of Christianity.  She’s jumped in with both feet, having a new appreciation for loving God with her mind.

Lani Ferguson

Literature 8
Lani Ferguson is originally from New Jersey and has been a Florida resident since 2001. She and her husband have been homeschooling for six years. They have two children, Andy (18) and Grace (13). After the first year of homeschooling, Lani decided she wanted to try teaching and started teaching history and art in a small one-room schoolhouse co-op. After the first two years, she moved on to teaching grammar, writing, Latin, and geography. Each time she took on a new subject, she fell in love with teaching and learning them equally. Lani is excited to share her love of learning with her classes this year.

Cari Gibson

Middle School Writing 1
Speech and Logic

Cari earned her English literature degree from UCF with a minor in history in 2009. She completed teaching classes and student teaching at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. After having her second child, however, she decided to stay home with her children instead of further pursuing her career. Cari has been blessed with five healthy children, and she loves teaching them and learning with them every day. Her ultimate teaching goal is to have her children and students pursue a relationship with Christ, witness to others, and learn to think for themselves.

Summer Gordon

Literature 7
Summer is a mom of three treasured children and has been a member of LAF since 2017. She loves homeschooling and the quality of life and freedom that it brings. Summer and her husband are the recently published authors of Hope Remains: Seeing the Goodness of God in the Shadow of Suffering, which was written after the tragic death of their youngest son. Summer loves teaching literature at LAF and strives to make each class engaging while facilitating a comfortable, positive classroom environment.

Olga Halo

High School Art

Olga was born in Ukraine and moved to the U.S. when she was nine. She lived all over the U.S. and finally settled in Florida in 2004 after she married her husband Vlad. Putting her physical therapy career on hold, Olga homeschools her three boys, Simon (14), Jasper (9), and Oren (7). She designs wallpaper for a paper company based in Portland, Oregon. Olga enjoys reading, collecting plants, and traveling with her men.

Nick Gutsche 

Middle School Chemistry/Physics
Middle School Physical Science
Intro to Robotics
High School Chemistry
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
Intro to Circuits and Computer Programming
Nick grew up in Sarasota, FL as a homeschooler. He studied engineering in college and is now in his fifth year teaching math and science at LAF. In his spare time, Nick enjoys playing volleyball with his wife Alex and playing the cello.

Heather Kelley

Literature 6
Heather Kelley is originally from Canton, OH (Pro Football HOF City). After high school graduation, she moved to East Tennessee, where she double-majored in Social Work and Youth Ministry at Milligan College. While living in TN, Heather met and married her husband, Mike, with whom she has been married for over 20 years. The newlyweds moved to Indiana and lived there for 17 years. Mike’s current job as a Lead Scientist in Research and Development at Catalent Pharmaceuticals in St. Petersburg brought them to Florida in the fall of 2020. Heather and Mike have two treasured boys named Noah, age 15 and Isaiah, age 10.  Heather has educated the boys at home since the very beginning. She and her family enjoy reading lots of quality literature, spending time with friends and family, and swimming at the pool and in the Gulf. Heather and her boys have been a part of LAF for the past two years. She is the current Literature 6 facilitator, and she looks forward to another year with 6th graders relishing engaging books.

Mariel Marconi

Advanced Composition and Creative Writing
Speech and Public Speaking

Mariel is a passionate Language Arts teacher with a Master’s in English Literature from University of South Florida. A two-year LAF veteran and new mom, Mariel loves being part of the south Florida homeschooling community through the LAF Co-op.

Brandi McNulty

Brandi is a Florida state-certified teacher with a Master’s degree from the College of Education at Florida State University. She has been teaching in the state of Florida since 2003. Even after transitioning to home-schooling, Brandi has remained active in the field of education by working for various school boards in Florida as well as attending conferences as an advisor for various teaching certification tests. Brandi has been married to her husband, Kevin, since 2006. They have three beautiful children: Abi, Kevin, and Emma. Brandi homeschools all three of her children as well as being a facilitator at LAF. When she is not busy teaching, she enjoys outdoor time with her family, the beach, fishing, and various theme parks.

Kathleen Reardon

STEAM Makerspace (Second Semester)

Kate has taught STEAM, technology, and Latin in schools for seven years and has been a private tutor for over 20 years. In 2020, she was responsible for designing, training, and leading her school’s online and hybrid programs for students, teachers, and families. This innovative approach to education inspired her to think more creatively about learning and begin homeschooling. Kate’s family has homeschooled in many ways including online learning, hybrid schooling, the Montessori method, project-based learning, and co-operative groups. In addition to her teaching experiences, Kate has worked in the health law industry for over 15 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Classics and Political Science from College of the Holy Cross and a Juris Doctor from Catholic University of America Law School.

Chrissy Roberts

Middle School U.S. History
General Science
Chrissy is a mom to five kids, and has been homeschooling for 16 years.  She and her husband Richard have been married for 21 years and have a small hobby farm.  She enjoys spending time with her family and working with their animals.

Jenni Stahlmann

Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Course (Fall Semester)
Comparative Literature and Composition
Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven children, ages 6 to 25, including one child on the autism spectrum and one grandbaby. The Stahlmann family has homeschooled since 2004 and has belonged to LAF since 2008. Their oldest four are LAF grads. One of her kiddos recently graduated Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, and another two earned the prestigious Eagle Scout rank. Jenni’s fourth child Sam is the founder of the LAF Theatre Troupe. Jenni hosted a nationally syndicated parenting radio show and column. She currently writes curriculum and speaks at homeschool conventions.

Andrea Stanford

Life Skills

Andrea Stanford is a Christian, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a patriot. She attended University of Arizona, Tucson and has since had a number of jobs, including civil and mechanical work planner and field engineer in the nuclear power construction and maintenance field and campaign strategist and coordinator for Candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Andrea is a member of American Agri-Women, Inc., where she served as White House Liaison, a member of Florida Agri-Women, Inc., where she serves as secretary/treasurer, and remains active in several local political and charitable organizations.

Kim Thomson

American History
American Literature
Kim has been married for 43 years. They homeschooled their eight children through 12th grade — for about 30 years total. Kim and her family have lived in Sarasota since 1992. In college, she majored in New Testament with an English minor. Kim has always enjoyed reading and the study of literature. This is her fifth year teaching a literature class at Learning and Families, and she is thankful for the opportunity to stay involved with the homeschooling community and to continue to share her love of literature with students.

Annie White

Middle School Art

Annie has loved her full life with her best friend these past 20 years and as a mom to five unique homeschoolers for the past 14 years.  As a family involved in cross-cultural business ventures, the home/world-school lessons that have been lived together have built character and have fueled daily faith in God’s sovereignty. Annie grew up in Idaho appreciating farm life and nature, indoor and outdoor sports, and travel adventures beyond her small-town world. She enjoys beach time with her family, coffee with conversation, gardening, cooking, trying ethnic foods, reading, making useful things, and learning as she goes. She is thankful for the opportunity to share her love for art and creativity with middle school students.

Wendy Willis

Spanish 1
Wendy is a former missionary kid from Mexico who enjoys sharing her love of Spanish and culture with students. She was also a home school student for most of her childhood, so she has first-hand experience with this journey and knows the advantages of homeschooling. Wendy has a Bachelor Degree from Western Kentucky University. She and her husband Steve have two sons who attend LAF. Before moving to Sarasota five years ago, they lived in Nashville, Tennessee for almost 20 years. Wendy was a Tennessee State Court Certified Spanish Interpreter and a medical interpreter for 12 years. She also has taught languages at various capacities for over 25 years. She believes that learning Spanish and learning about other cultures supports a student’s whole academic success.

Rachel Ying


Rachel Ying is a Florida native and graduate of Florida State University. She started homeschooling her children four years ago and says it’s the best decision she ever made! In addition to homeschooling her three children, she is also a full-time professional wedding photographer. In any small amount of spare time she is able to find, she enjoys playing violin and reading every book she can get her hands on.

Charlene Yoder

High School Art: Portraits
Charlene Yoder believes ANYONE can draw, and she’s spent more than 30 years showing thousands of people that very thing. With 5.5 years of college (BFA in graphic design/secondary in drawing plus an all-grades Indiana art teaching license) she specializes in custom art lessons teaching accuracy and techniques at her Sarasota studio (beginagoodwork.com). Charlene is a working artist, taking commissions, but her true passion is teaching others how to access their God-given gift of art. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Charlene loves to give this answer through her art. She was baptized when she was eight-years-old and has loved Jesus her whole life. Her 11-year-old daughter attends LAF, and Charlene and her husband have homeschooled her since Kindergarten.

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