Dionne Chang has been a part of Learning and Families for the past seven years. She joined the Junior Co-op science team in 2018, facilitating the upper elementary levels. She enjoys bringing the subject matter to life through experiments, games, dissections, and hands-on STEAM projects.
Dionne is a native Floridian, raised in Tampa. She moved to Bradenton 20 years ago and graduated from Sickles High School, in Tampa, in 2000. She has an Associate of Arts degree with a focus in Early Elementary Education from Manatee Community College, presently know
as State College of Florida. She has been married to her husband, Weylu, for 17 years. They have three amazing kids and a golden fur baby. Dionne enjoys spending time with family. They recently all started shooting archery. She loves playing games, working out in the gym, and going to the beach. Dionne is a member of Bayside Community Church and enjoys being a part of women’s small groups.
Wendy is a mom of six children ages 3-21 years old. She has homeschooled her children for over 18 years. Wendy believes every child is different and every homeschool family is different. She is passionate about helping new homeschool families find a “grove” that works for them.
Self-Contained Kindergarten, Tuesdays
K – 3 Unit Studies with Gather Round
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.
Self-Contained Kindergarten, Thursdays
Vanessa Santos earned her Early Childhood Education Associate and has over 11 years of experience working with students (infants – Kindergartners) and their parents. She had worked as a private school classroom teacher and has been homeschooling two of her three boys for the last two years. She enjoys working with children IMMENSELY – helping them discover and experience the world around them more fully. She makes a point to help students feel comfortable in the classroom and confident in their abilities while following children’s interest and fostering their innate curiosity.
Vanessa is married to Anthony and they have three awesome kiddos (also lots of chickens!) She loves art, reading, podcasts, science, music, and moving through nature as often as possible. She basically loves life…and freshly made sweet tea.
She is excited to dip her toes back into the world of teaching with a new perspective as a parent of children who are loving the homeschooling lifestyle.
K – 3 Science, Tuesdays
Jamie Sciensinski has been a part of Learning and Families since 2019. She was born and raised in Florida, graduated from Riverview High School in 2000, and went on to get her cosmetology license in 2001. Jamie married her best friend Tom Sciesinski in 2004 and had their first daughter Tyler in 2006. Being raised in a Christian home, Jamie was not content with public school and started homeschooling Tyler after her 2nd grade year. She has continued to do so while working part time. Jamie had her second daughter Hazel in 2014. Thanks to the help of her parents and her teaching, she has been blessed to keep them both homeschooled. Jamie opened her own salon in 2018. Her interests include animals, sports photography, homesteading, djing at ballgames, and basically anything crafty. She can never tire of learning anything biblically. She spends lots of time watching her two favorite girls, Tyler and Hazel playing softball.
Pre – K
Allana has an early childhood education degree with a reading endorsement from Malone University in Ohio. Allana married her husband, Luke, while in college and celebrated their 10-year anniversary in June. Allana’s family moved to North Port in May of 2021 as her husband serves as a children’s pastor in a church in Port Charlotte. Allana has 3 kids and has been homeschooling the oldest for 3 years and the middle joins them this year. Allana and her kids are excited to be a part of the LAF community.
K – 3 Art
Crystal graduated from Southeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2001. A few months later, she married her husband Jeff. She taught 1st and 2nd grade for 4 years, and during that time, she moved from Tennessee to Florida. She is mom to 5 children: Macayla, Mariah, Joshua, Andrew, and Elizabeth. She enjoys teaching, homeschooling, being with her family, doing art, reading books, camping, and kayaking.