English 3: American Literature & Writing
Master Teacher: Carissa Campbell
Carissa Campbell, MA
MA, Vanguard University
Carissa Campbell earned her bachelor’s degree in English with emphases in Creative Writing and High School Teaching from Vanguard University in Southern California. She then earned her California Clear Teaching Credential in English, followed by her Master’s in Education with an emphasis in research, also at Vanguard University.
Carissa’s passion for teaching began during college when she served as a professor’s assistant in a composition class. She realized how much she enjoyed helping others learn to write and, weirdly, how much she enjoyed editing term papers! Carissa brought that passion to high school English and AVID students in the California public school system for seven years, where she taught several Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Now, her favorite thing about teaching is empowering the individual student to grow in his or her critical thinking and writing skills.
She lives on the central coast in California, where she and her husband are pastoring South Valley Community Church. She has two children, a daughter (age 6) and a son (age 2), who cause her to pray—a lot! She enjoys writing, cooking, date nights, and coffee. Lots of coffee.
Carissa taught English 1 in her first year with the Academy. She went on to develop English 2: World Literature & Writing and English 3: American Literature & Writing. This is her third year teaching Academy English courses.
BA, Widener University
Sarah Scarnato, born and raised in New York, was homeschooled for a portion of her education. After receiving a scolding from her mother in 4th grade—that she could not go outside to play until she had completed the daunting task of writing a poem about fall—she begrudgingly sat down to the task. This was her first introduction to composing something of her own, and it was not long before she did not need the pressure of an assignment to find her voice and zeal as a writer. Naturally, this led to her discovery of the literary world, and she became an avid reader and lover of the English language.
While pursuing her undergraduate degree from Widener University, Sarah tutored her younger siblings still in high school. She realized that helping students find their own love for literature and writing was a passion she wanted to pursue, and she began tutoring other homeschoolers part-time.
After attaining a dual bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing, Sarah began her teaching career in a private classical Christian high school. She spent three years in the classroom, teaching a variety of courses including language arts, ancient & medieval literature, church history, and creative writing workshops, while continuing to tutor on the side.
Sarah now stays home with her daughter Aria. She is grateful for that blessing and happy to teach online so she can be attentive to her growing family. She and her husband live on Long Island, where Stephen manages his own company.
BA, John Brown University
Elissa Lucero grew up in rural Greenwood, Arkansas. The eldest of five children, she received a home school education and views it as formative to her independent thought and love for reading. During high school, Elissa took four AP classes from HSLDA Online Academy and is eager to work with homeschool students who share her excitement for excellent Christian education in preparation for college.
At John Brown University, Elissa graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of arts in history and a minor in English. Within JBU’s Christian private university culture, Elissa studied formative topics in British, American, Russian, and Middle Eastern history and literature. She also delved into theology, society and politics, and women’s experiences in the context of American history.
During her undergraduate career, Elissa studied abroad at Oxford University. She studied women in early modern England, the socio-economic effects of Victorian housing crises, and the creative writing of George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis. The British tutorial system provided one-on-one feedback and significantly impacted her writing and research skills.
Elissa is passionate about fostering student interest in literature and helping learners to pursue challenging questions and creative ideas. She gets excited about the details of grammar and punctuation and is determined to help others enjoy well-written sentences. Her pedagogy has been informed by years of teaching piano, tutoring for the ACT, working for Save Our Youth (a non-profit focusing on the education of at-risk youth), and working with professors teaching two undergraduate courses.
Elissa lives in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with her husband and their cat. She enjoys running, drinking loose-leaf tea, hiking, and baking.
BA, Biola University
Long familiar with homeschooling, Leilani Mueller was homeschooled through high school. She went on to receive a BA in humanities, with a minor in English and Bible, from Biola University. She is also a member and graduate of Torrey Honors Institute, the Great Books program run through Biola. One of her fondest university memories is the year she spent studying English and history at Oxford.
After graduation, Leilani taught high school for seven years through Torrey Academy, a classical Great Books program resourcing homeschooled families in the Southern California area. She understands the expectations of homeschooling families, having experienced firsthand the joys, difficulties, and privileges that come from a homeschool education.
Teaching literature is one of her joys. She loves to engage high school students with challenging, classic texts (such as Dante’s Divine Comedy, a favorite work to teach) and watch them joy in the experience. Leilani is convinced that studying literature enables students to become more emphatic, loving Christians as they read and consider the experiences of others.
Leilani is a native of California and a recent transplant to Texas. She lives with her husband Nathan and daughter Felicity in Waco, where Nathan is pursuing his PhD in philosophy. Since her early days, Leilani has spent much of her free time with a book and a pen (or a keyboard as the case may be). She is excited about leading Academy students through American literature in English 3.
BA, Patrick Henry College
Caroline graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2014 with her BA in history, and she is currently pursuing an MA in biblical counseling at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
Caroline views the study of history and literature as a study of truths pertaining to the nature of man and the nature of God Himself. As Dr. Robert Spinney often reminds his PHC history students, “History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” The study of history and literature reveals the patterns of man’s nature, the mercy of God in interacting with man, and the grounding on which we must stand to accurately understand our own time.
As a perpetual student herself, Caroline is excited to continue discovering God’s truths found in history and literature along with her students, while passing on the tools that have been so helpful to her.
Caroline enjoys reading, running, music, and taking walks with her husband David (who teaches Logic & Critical Thinking for the Academy). They currently reside in Louisville, KY, and are expecting their first child in the summer.
This is Caroline’s third year teaching for the Academy. She teaches English 3: American Literature & Writing and AP® US History.
Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks).
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