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.
Classroom Teacher: Classroom Teacher Angela Ellis
MA, George Mason University
BA, George Mason University
Angela Ellis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Masters in Education from George Mason University. She has fifteen years of experience teaching secondary math courses from pre-algebra through pre-calculus. Mrs. Ellis has taught in math classes at a local school, on online programs, and as a homeschooling mother. She enjoys meeting the challenges that are unique to each learning environment.
Angela currently lives in Loudoun County, Virginia with her husband and three very active boys. She has a passion for finding mathematics everywhere and for sharing her enthusiasm with anyone who will listen. As Galileo so wisely noted, "Mathematics is the alphabet with which God wrote the universe." Angela holds that little nugget of wisdom to be a profound influence behind her teaching and her own love of learning and loves nothing more than to help other people see just how true that statement proves to be.
Classroom Teacher: Classroom Teacher Sylvia Pope
MS, Pace University
BS, University of New York (Albany)
Sylvia Pope received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of New York (Albany) and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science at Pace University in New York. She is currently a certified teacher in math, teaching advanced math, pre-Algebra and Algebra I at a local Christian School. She strives to challenge her students to push their boundaries, to become self-motivated, and to learn that an “I can do this” mindset will achieve great successes.
Before Mrs. Pope became a teacher, she was a software-engineer for IBM and Lockheed Martin. She also served as a member of the United States Air Force Reserves shortly after graduating college. Currently, Mrs. Pope teaches at the College of Southern Maryland.
When she is not teaching, Mrs. Pope has remains busy with church, family and fitness. She bicycling with her local club and competing in triathlons when the weather allows. She and her husband have 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: 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.
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: Carissa Campbell
Classroom Teacher: Rachel Gray
MA, Liberty University
BA, Azusa Pacific University
Rachel Gray has been working in the field of education both as a high school and college level instructor for over 18 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Azusa Pacific University followed by her California Clear Teaching Credential in English from Chapman University. She began working on her Master’s in English at California State University Long Beach and then transferred to California State University Fresno where she completed over 30 units of graduate level English courses. She recently completed her Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in English from Liberty University.
Rachel has taught at both public and private schools throughout California, but shortly after her first daughter was born she decided to look into teaching online so that she could stay home with her children. For the past decade she has taught for several online schools and enjoys being able to continue teaching while also homeschooling her three children (ages 11, 12, and 13).
Rachel and her family reside along the central coast of California and enjoy many outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding to riding horses on the beach. Rachel and her husband spend most of their free time traveling with the family to their children’s various activities and events.
Classroom Teacher: Carolyn Triano
PhD, University of Nevada Reno
MA, University of Nevada Reno
BA, Sierra Nevada College
Carolyn Triano earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Reading Specialties from University of Nevada Reno, and a Professional Clear Teaching Credential in Special Education from the State of Nevada, Department of Education. The granddaughter of an evangelist/preacher, the love of the Bible and Jesus was instilled at a very early age. She has lead interdenominational Bible classes for over twenty years.
During her teaching career Carolyn has taught Special Education Resource classes as well as guided high school reading programs in public schools in Nevada, and currently scores SAT writing tests, is a substitute teacher for the local public schools, and teaches the Early Childhood Education course as an adjunct faculty member at a local community college.
Carolyn and her husband reside in South Lake Tahoe, CA and have three adult children and five grandchildren. Two of her grandchildren have been homeschooled since kindergarten. In her free time Carolyn loves to read books, enjoy the local birds, and care for her garden.