HSLDA Online Academy Instructors
All HSLDA Online Academy instructors are bible-believing Christians, committed to helping their students grow spiritually as well as academically.
Most HSLDA Online Academy courses have two instructors—a Master Teacher and a Classroom Teacher. The Master Teacher is the visionary behind the course who personally designs and creates course content and oversees the progress of the course during the year. All are seasoned high school or college educators whose teaching is informed by a variety of academic and practical experiences in their respective fields. Each Classroom Teacher is a fully qualified instructor with a degree and specific knowledge that leads your student to success—and a heart to help your student individually improve and grow, while thriving in the online environment.
To read more about the instructors for a particular course, simply scroll down the page to the course you are interested in and click on the instructor’s name.
Master Teacher: Sean Welsh, MA
Sean Welsh, MA
MA, James Madison University
BA, Virginia Tech
Sean Welsh earned his Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech and his Master’s in Education from James Madison University. He has fourteen years of experience teaching a variety of high school mathematics courses including Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, and Math Analysis. Sean has coached Golf and Basketball at the high school level and also served for several years as a Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle leader. He currently resides in Loudoun County, Virginia with his wife and three children.
Master Teacher: Rebecca Darby
BA, Florida Atlantic University
Rebecca graduated with honors from Florida Atlantic University in 1991, acquiring a BA in Mathematics along the way. Since then, she has been passionately and persistently teaching secondary mathematics for over 20 years. Throughout her years of teaching, she has had the opportunity to teach math at all levels from grades 6 through 12, and has tutored extensively in both regular courses and SAT Prep. Currently, Rebecca teaches secondary mathematics and serves as Mathematics Department Head at Calvary Christian Academy.
Rebecca and her husband, John, reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When she is not actively involved in stomping out mathematical ignorance, she enjoys reading, singing, and good conversation.
Master Teacher: Maria Waters
BA, California State University, Northridge
Maria Waters earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Northridge, and a Professional Clear Teaching Credential in English from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Early in her life she realized her passion for teaching and has been working with students ever since in both church and school settings.
During her teaching career Maria has taught English in public schools in California, and currently she teaches 9th grade and 10th grade English classes in a college-preparatory homeschool academy in Virginia. Additionally, she tutors individual students from various educational backgrounds in literature and writing and volunteers as a classroom helper at a local elementary school.
Maria and her husband reside in northern Virginia and have two children that have been homeschooled since kindergarten. The oldest is a sophomore at Patrick Henry College, and the youngest is a senior in high school. In her free time Maria loves to read books, take walks, and shop for antiques.
Classroom Teacher: Andrew Nuce
BA, Patrick Henry College
Growing up as the child of missionary teachers in Chihuahua, Mexico, Andrew Nuce grew in his passion for literature at a young age, writing his first story by the age of six. Both his parents pushed Andrew to overcome many struggles including ADHD and dislexia. Before he graduated high school, Andrew had read two-thirds of the classics on his school's reading list and encountered his favorite novel, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's breathtaking Crime and Punishment.
Desiring to develop further in his literary gifts, Andrew began his pursuit of a Literature degree from Patrick Henry College in 2011. Andrew took his first two semesters of classes through PHC's distance learning program, which allowed him great flexibility and to remain near his family as he adjusted to returning to the nation of his birth. During his time at PHC, Andrew interned with the publishing company Lamplighter Ministries, assisted with the publication of PHC's literary journal Vessel, and wrote a full-length screenplay under the mentoring of author and screenwriter Brian Godowa. By graduation in 2015, Andrew grew in the assurance that he was called to serve as a teacher. Andrew has taught a weekly homeschool co-op class at Providence Preparatory Academy and is pursuing a Master's degree in secondary education.
Andrew's favorite activities include writing short stories and screenplays, chess and other strategy games, reading, and spending time with family and friends. He is always ready to engage in a discussion of a great novel or film.
Classroom Teacher: Annika McKinney
BA, University of Northern Colorado
As a farm kid from Northern Colorado, Annika McKinney grew up with a love for books, music, and the land. She began to learn from all of these at an early age, and all of these changed how she sees the world. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Music and a minor in Literature. Her studies convinced her that learning was her passion, and since then she’s taken that passion to new places.
In 2014, she got married and spent a year in the wilds of Washington, D.C. teaching violin lessons to around 30 students, both homeschooled and traditionally schooled. All this teaching solidified what she learned at university and helped her become more empathetic with the needs of students and their parents. It was a great year, so after completing a teaching certification from Cambridge University, she decided to go even further afield and spend 2014-2015 in Beijing, China teaching English to Chinese university students. Now she’s ready to help native English speakers expand their reading and writing capabilities with HSLDA Online Academy.
Classroom Teacher: Emily-Rose Cockerham
BA, Patrick Henry College
Emily Rose Cockerham graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2008 with a BA in Literature. During her four years of on-campus education she had the privilege of learning from some truly brilliant teachers including Dr. Steven Hake and Dr. Gene Edward Veith. These teachers gave her the opportunity to learn to write in a number of different venues and styles including analysis, novellas, poetry, and radio drama. During her junior year, she was given the opportunity to mentor young high school writers—a vocation she continued until her graduation.
Since graduation, Emily-Rose has continued to both self-educate and help train high school students in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. She has taught several courses in Worldviews in Literature, as well as serving as an editor for writings varying from young adult novels to doctoral theses.
As she prepares lessons for her students, Emily-Rose enjoys the chance to grapple with great authors and share her enthusiasm for literature with others. She looks forward to learning something new from her students. This will be her third year teaching AP® English Literature for the Academy.
Emily-Rose lives in South Carolina, where she is seeking to serve and grow in God as she walks the daily adventure of life in faith.