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Mrs. Kathy Pierson

CHESSIE Administrator and Science Teacher

Classes Taught:

Groups 2A, 2B ,3,4A, 4B & grade 7

 Life Science

Kathy started CHESSIE in her home in 2006. When it out-grew her home, CHESSIE moved to our current location. Kathy loves teaching science topics to children. She finds it exciting to take the words off the page in a science book and bring them alive for students through fun "hands on" experiments and science activities. Science is tied closely to God’s creation and all that He has given us to enjoy. She homeschooled her three sons from 1994-2014. Kathy has a B.S. in Biology with a minor in chemistry from Geneva College. Post college, she went to The Fairfax Hospital School of Cardiovascular Technology where she earned her certification and registry in the field. She worked for ten years in a cardiac catheterization lab and open-heart surgery unit in Northern Virginia prior to having children. She also has had experience teaching Sunday School at various churches.  She is a member of All Nations PCA church in Charlottesville. She has been teaching at ACTS since 2003 & CHESSIE since 2006. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys hiking with her family and her Australian Shepherd, Penny. Kathy is married to Tom and has three sons (Joshua, Zachary, and Nathaniel) and Penny, her Australian Shepherd.

Mrs. Amber Basener

Classes taught: Apologia Physics & Astronomy

Amber and her husband, Bill, have five children;

Abigail, Wesley, Lila, J.T., and Margo. Amber graduated from Alfred University, in Alfred NY with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, and a concentration in Physics.

After graduating she taught middle school science at a small private school for a year, and then taught high school Chemistry and Physics at Carver High School,just outside of Plymouth Massachusetts for three years. She has always enjoyed the physical sciences. In studying and teaching them her favorite topics were analytical and physical chemistry and in Physics, she really enjoys mechanics. Amber and her family attend Blue Ridge Community Church.


Mrs. Karen Miller

Sports Area Coordinator

Karen is wife to Brian and a mother to four kiddos (Sierra, Chyler, Ariella, and Mason). They have been a part of the Charlottesville Homeschooling community since 2014. Karen has a bachelor’s degree from Regent University and holds a Virginia State teaching certificate (pre-K through 6th grade). Karen is also an online ESL teacher and teaches English to foreign students. In her free time, Karen enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, field trips, and camping. Karen also serves on the Children’s Ministry Leadership Team at her church, Calvary Chapel Fluvanna, and enjoys volunteering in many roles.I'm a paragraph. Click once to begin entering your own content. You can change my font, size, line height, color and more by highlighting part of me and selecting the options from the toolbar.

Mrs. Crystal Crippen

Sports leader 12-2

(Group  2A)

Crystal & her family are new transplants to the Charlottesville area, having moved here from Germany in the spring 2020.Homeschooling in Europe allowed for much traveling which they thoroughly enjoyed. But now, they are excited to experience all that Charlottesville has to offer. She and her husband have 3 children, Nathaniel, Graceylyn, and Adele. Recently, they added a dog, chickens, and bees to the mix. She is looking forward to meeting and growing in friendships through CHESSIE.

Mrs. Jacque Spruill

Supervising Mom and Morning Coordinator


Jacque and her husband, Asher, have five children. She has been homeschooling since 2012, and has been involved with CHESSIE since 2013. She and her family attend All Saints Anglican church. 

Mrs. Emily Fernandez

Supervising mom- 10:45-12:15

Emily moved to VA from Texas 5 years ago and has loved her time here. She and her husband have 3 children, Elijah, Silas and Lena as well as 3 dogs and a cat.She enjoys hiking, traveling, reading and game nights with her family. She has a degree in child development and social work from Texas State University. Emily and her family attend Calvary Chapel Fluvanna.

Mrs. Lisa Saucerman

Presidential Physical Fitness Leader

Lisa has 4 children and has been homeschooling since 2010. She grew up in PA and attended Penn State University before moving to California for law school. Lisa enjoys traveling, theatre, movies, soccer, hiking, kayaking, food, playing with her pets, and teaching PPF at CHESSIE!

Mrs. Traci Pownall

Sports leader 11:00-1:00 Group 1/2

Mom of 3 - ages 6 (Oliver), 9 (Annabelle) and 20 (Hunter). Enjoying the Homeschooling life for 2 years now with the younger two. Happy wife to a K9 police officer and love our two dogs too! I stay busy with our chicken farming, gardening and schooling activities but fit in fun as often as I can. I have worked with kids (preschool - elementary) for years and had fun running weddings/events for while before returning to working with children again. Funny how similar the two actually are! Excited to be a Sports Leader at CHESSIE.

Mrs. Karin Wilcox

Sports leader for group 2B

Karin grew up in Bavaria, Germany, where she met her husband who quickly turned her into a globetrotter as a military wife. After 20 years in the service, they spun the globe and ended up in Charlottesville, VA. Her husband and she have three children (Michael, Jesse-Paul, and Kaitlyn). Karin studied psychology but later discovered that her biggest passion in the educational field is linguistics. She has a B.A. from Liberty University as an ESL teacher. Before that, she taught her native language at a language school in Tacoma, Washington. When her oldest son was old enough to attend school, she quickly realized that providing a Christian education with an ever-growing desire to learn would be accomplished best by homeschooling. Her family and she attend First Baptist Church.


Sports Leader, group #1


Ava Saucerman

PPF  Assistant

Group 4B

Ava has been going to CHESSIE since 2014 and has been homeschooling since kindergarten. She enjoys Skate boarding, gaming, writing and youtube. She has worked at CHESSIE summer camp and Girl Scout camp and is excited to help out at CHESSIE this year.

Bella Saucerman

PPF Assistant

Groups 3, 4A & Life science

Bella has been taking classes at CHESSIE since 2014. Bella is very athletic, and plays on a travel soccer team. Her favorite positions are right wing and striker. She also enjoys petting her cat (the Budz), swimming, baking, and sleeping.

Aylenne Spruill

Class assistant, group 2A

Aylenne is a seventh grader and has been at CHESSIE for seven years. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, sewing, and making herbal remedies. She loves taking care of her pet rabbit. She has three younger brothers and enjoys working with younger kids.

Theadora Godbold "Thea"

PPF assistant 3:15-3:55 (4A)

Thea is an 11th grader this year and in Human Anatomy class. When she’s not doing school or practicing soccer, she can be found hanging out with her friends or many brothers, biking, singing (or thinking about singing), and playing piano like Beethoven—(loud). She also loves creative writing, including poetry and short stories. She’s very happy to be working with the CHESSIE kids again this year!

Noah Fountain

Life Science Class Assistant

Noah is a homeschool graduate (June 2022)

Hello there, I'm Noah and I will be assisting my brother, Ben, in life science class.  I really enjoy taking Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and I am a First Class boy scout.

Pierce Arnold

First grade class assistant 12:00-1:00

Pierce is in the 10th grade and taking Chemistry  at CHESSIE this year. This will be his 10th year at CHESSIE and it’s one of his favorite things about homeschooling. Pierce enjoys building with Legos, listening to audiobooks and playing soccer. He has served at Awana and VBS for the past couple of years as well as at CHESSIE summer camp for the past two years and is looking forward to working with Mrs. Cothran's first graders this year.

Emerson Holmes

Group #K class assistant

Emerson is excited for her 9th year at CHESSIE! She is a social butterfly, likes reading, writing, sewing and biking. Emerson enjoys mushroom hunting and selling her finds to local restaurants.

Mollie Cothran

K class assistant 11:00-12:00

Mollie has been a part of CHESSIE as a student since she was six years old. Mollie enjoys biking, being outside, and seeing her friends. She is looking forward to helping the younger students again  this year.

Sierra Miller

Class assistant 2B/3 (12-1:30)

Sierra is 14 years old and has been homeschooled since preschool. She loves sports, especially swimming competitively. She enjoys working with young children and guiding them to know more about Christ. She spends much of her free time making and editing videos and she serves on the audio/video production team at her home church of Calvary Chapel Fluvanna. She has worked at CHESSIE science camp the past two summers and she is excited to work at CHESSIE this school year.

Lillian Novotny

PPF assistant for group #4B

Lillian is in 7th grade and is taking life science at CHESSIE this year.

Clara Otto

Sports assistant, group 2A

I am 14 years old. I enjoy horseback riding, reading, and playing with my goats and cats. I have been attending CHESSIE for five years. I am looking forward to helping with the 2nd grade sports this year.

Graham Huddleston

Sports assistant, group 1/2

Graham Huddleston is a 10th grader taking Chemistry at CHESSIE. This will be his second year of CHESSIE. He is the oldest of a family of four children. He enjoys Legos,  reading, and airsoft. He is looking forward to helping with the first and second grade sports this year.

William Otto

Sports assistant, group 1

I am sixteen years old. I enjoy reading, programming, and playing frisbee and volleyball. I've been attending CHESSIE for over seven years. I split and sell firewood in my spare time.

Xavier  Huddleston

Teen sports leader on the

field 11:00-12:30

Xavier is in 8th grade and taking Physical Science at CHESSIE this year.

Kella Lemcke

Teen sports leader on the

field  3:00-4:30

Kella is in 8th grade and taking Physical Science at CHESSIE

this year.

Mrs. Sharon Shelton

Classes Taught:

Apologia Physical Science, Biology, & Chemistry

Member of Administrative Team

Sharon homeschooled her children from 1996-2020. She and her husband, Brian have four children; Mary, Abigail, Robert , and John .Sharon has B.S. and M.S. degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology from Mississippi State University and came to Charlottesville after college for a job in the Diagnostic DNA lab at UVA Hospital. She worked there for 7 years, carrying out tests for cystic fibrosis, paternity, hepatitis C and other DNA related issues. Over the years, she has enjoyed using her background to teach science in group settings with children of various ages. Sharon especially enjoys teaching high school level science classes using the Apologia Curriculum. She believes scientific study enables the wonder and mystery of our Creator to be revealed and also provides insights, answers, and avenues to serve and bless people through what is discovered. She has taught highschool science classes at CHESSIE since 2009. She has been teaching high school science classes at ACTS homeschool co-op since 2015. The Shelton’s attend Christ Community Church.

Mrs. Renee Cothran

Science Teacher: 

Groups K, K/1, & 1

Renee joined the CHESSIE staff in 2013 after moving to the Charlottesville area from Colorado Springs. Renee has been a classroom assistant and a sports leader for 7 years. For fall 2021, she is looking forward to moving into the role of science teacher with these young students. She has always had an interest in God’s creation; what we can learn from it; and how it points us to a God of beauty, order, and intelligence. She is excited to use her decades of experience working with students to nurture curiosity about the natural world as well as to bring other science-related topics to life in the classroom. Renee holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Central Arkansas. Renee joined the Summit Ministries staff full-time in 1996. Renee loves outdoor activities, is involved in leading the worship ministry at church, and has taught piano to young people since she was in high school. Renee and Todd have four children—David, Jonathan, Maggie, and Mollie. They attend CrossLife Community Church, where Todd is the pastor.

Mrs. Mandy Newberry 

Class Taught:  

Human Anatomy & Physiology

Mandy graduated from the University of Virginia with a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and spent several years working as the Exercise Coordinator at UVA’s Kidney Center. She is passionate about promoting optimal health now for our future quality of life by utilizing the tools and resources God has given to us. Mrs. Newberry has enjoyed coaching middle and high school volleyball in Charlottesville since the early 2000’s and is a firm believer in the positive effects of practicing Growth Mindset: on the court, in the classroom and in life. She and her husband have four sons (Liam, Declan, Baer, & Easton) and have been homeschooling since 2015. The Newberrys are members of  First Baptist Church on Park street.

Mrs. Rachel Hice

Class Assistant & Activity Leader, 2B,3

Supervising mom 1:15-4

Rachel, her husband Bryan, and their son Isaac, live in Scottsville Va. The love of organic foods and homesteading brought them to this area.

Originally from a Missionary family that served in Az, Rachel has always had a love to learn, to explore, and to meet new people. Being homeschooled as a child, the freedom to explore and learn through hands on is why she and her family are so passionate about this lifestyle. Rachel has a BA in Psychology, and has completed massage therapy school (that comes in handy!). Rachel and her family attend CrossLife Community Church.

Hannah Huddleston

Activity Leader 2A/2B

Hannah and her husband, Ben, moved to the Charlottesville area in December 2020. They have four children (Graham, Xavier, Margaret, and Quinne). The Huddlestons have been homeschooling since 2019 and are very grateful to be part of the CHESSIE community. Hannah has a bachelor’s degree in biology. She is passionate about discovering the fingerprints of God in all that He has made and looks forward to discovering more of the wonder of creation with the CHESSIE students this year. The Huddlestons attend Crosslife Community Church.

Helen Travis


Helen and her husband, Sean, have two children (Lena & Eowyn) & have lived in Charlottesville since 1996. Helen has a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia. Helen worked in construction offices from 1996 until 2003. She learned bookkeeping on the job working for a General Contractor. Helen stopped working in 2003 when her oldest was born. She began homeschooling at that time and has been since.  In 2008, she began working part-time as a bookkeeper for various very small businesses. The Travis family has been part of CHESSIE since 2016. The Travis family attends Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Christylynn Flynn-- Supervising Mom (2-4)

After a year teaching in China, she came back to the U.S. and started reaching out to international students who attend UVA. She and her family continue to welcome internationals to their home. Folks from other nations find it fascinating to learn about homeschooling! She and her family attend Christ Community Church.Christylynn and her husband have four children (Josiah, Constance, Parker, & Estelle). She attended UVA, where she got her masters in Elementary Education and her bachelors in Communications. 

Mrs. Katie Arnold

Class assistant Group 1 & Group 1/2

Service Hour Scheduler & Reminders

Katie and her husband, Shaun, have four children: Pierce, Reid , Delaney, and Britton. They have always homeschooled and it is one of the greatest blessings in their family. Her family loves CHESSIE, of which they have been a part since 2012. Katie received a BA in Sociology from UVA and worked in community services until she became a stay-at-home mom in 2006. In her free time, Katie enjoys running, cooking, reading and serving in her community--coaching soccer, delivering Meals on Wheels, running a kids' book club and Adventure Club for other homeschooling families. They attend Calvary Chapel Fluvanna and also love to serve there.

Mrs. Rebecca Palmer

Volunteer Adnministrative Assistant

Background check s & sign-in sheets

Rebecca graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Technology. Rebecca taught several years in the public school system in southeast Virginia before deciding to be a stay at home mother!. Her professional experience and desire to provide her children a Christian education led to home schooling all three of her children. Rebecca has a passion for reading and creating teaching methods to learn through play. She and her husband have a son and two daughters (Drew, Ellie and Kinley). Rebecca attends The Point Church.


Mrs. Christina Ashoo

Volunteer Administrative Assistant

Typing and updating family roster.  (Keeping up with this takes a great deal of time.)

Christina is wife to Andrus and mom to Ruth and Gareth. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing. Her Juris Doctor is from The University of Mississippi School of Law where she taught legal research and worked with students on the Moot Court Board. Christina is now a non-practicing attorney, although she believes her training in that area has prepared her in several ways to be a homeschool mama. (Anyone else mediate conversations and tell their children they are assuming facts not in evidence on a daily basis at your home??) In her free time, she loves to read, cook, listen to Supreme Court oral arguments, hike, and sew with and for her kiddos. Christina and her family attend All Nations Church.


Karen Lemcke

Supervising Mom  (12:15-1:15)

Miss Lena Travis

Sports Leader for K & K/1

Class assistant for 2B/3 

Lena is a homeschooled high-school graduate (May 2021). She was homeschooled K-12th and has been at CHESSIE for her 5 high-school classes.  She has been on the teen staff of CHESSIE for the last 4 years and is so excited to be asked to lead kindergarten sports and assist in Mrs Pierson's classes. Lena loves working with the kids at CHESSIE, helping them to listen and learn about God's creation, and being able to engage even the quietest of kids in activities and discussions. Lena is creative, kind, and a fast learner. She is always looking for an opportunity to help someone. Always joyful, Lena is easily amused and is known to spread joy to all nearby via her naturally bubbly personality.

Isaiah Fountain

Sports assistant 2B  (100-2:00)

Isaiah is in 11th grade and is taking physics  this year at CHESSIE. He loves being outdoors doing activities like swimming, running, hiking. He is a first class ranking boy scout. Isaiah is excited to help with younger students again.

Isaac Hice

Sports assistant for group #2A


My favorite crafts/hobbies are making 3D paper projects, wood working, and recently, metalworking. My favorite book series Is the wingfeather saga, written by song artist Andrew Peterson. I take care of all of our animals on our mini farm each morning. The animals we have include chickens (layer and meat), rabbits, goats, cats, and our dog. On a daily basis I work in our garden with my mom and dad, and enjoy walking my goats. I am 15, have been in CHESSIE for 7 years and will be taking chemistry this year. I love kids, and am looking forward to helping with their sports activities this year. 

Josiah Flynn

Teen sports leader on the field


Josiah is in the 10th grade and is taking chemistry at CHESSIE. He is the oldest in his family of 4 children. He likes all sports including soccer, basketball, football, capture-the-flag, jiu-jitsu, gaga ball, and track. Josiah plays violin and piano, enjoys math and reading, and likes taking care of his goats, chickens, and rabbits. He is passionate about God and evangelism. Josiah is looking forward to this year at CHESSIE!

Constance Flynn

Sports assistant for Group 1/2


Constance started homeschooling and attending CHESSIE in Kindergarten and is now a Biology Science student in the 9th Grade. She loves sharing with others about Jesus. Constance’s favorite activities include sports, babysitting, reading, playing music, and playing board games. She attends Christ Community Church, where she helps in the nursery. She enjoys all kids, but especially CHESSIE kids!

Ari Spruill

Sports assistant 10-12 for group K & 1

Ari is in 10th grade and is taking Chemistry and Astronomy at CHESSIE this year. This is his 10th year at CHESSIE. Ari enjoys coding, gaming, music, hiking, and soccer.  He is looking forward to working with the youngest CHESSIE students during their sports time this year.

Reid Arnold

PPF assistant for group #3

Reid is a 7th grader who has been at CHESSIE since 2015. He is extremely extroverted and makes friends very easily. Reid loves anything to do with sports, but especially basketball! He also plays soccer and piano. Reid enjoys being active outside and is excited to help with Mrs. Saucerman's Physical Fitness class this year (one of his favorite things about CHESSIE)!

Ellie Palmer

Class Assistant 4A (1:30-2:30)

Ellie is a 8th grader and taking Physical Science. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing softball, riding horses, swimming and walking her dog, Oakley. She is looking forward to working with Mrs. Pierson and 4A students this year. 

Ezzy Corbett

Cleaning staff 4:30-5:15

Ezzy is a twelfth grade student. She has been home-schooled for nearly the entirety of her education and with CHESSIE for many years.  She is looking forward to this current school year.

McKenna Nappi

Sports assistant  for group 1

McKenna will be in 8th grade this year. She likes to draw, write, do jiu jitsu, and watch movies. She's also a fantastic baker! McKenna helped with CHESSIE summer camp 2022 and is looking forward to working with the students this year.

Lizzie Lehrke

Sports assistant for group 2B

Keira Griffith

Sports Assistant, Kindergarten


Hi I’m Keira! I love playing soccer, baking, acting, and making jewelry or other crafty things! I’m the oldest of three kids in my family. I have two younger brothers and really love helping take care of other littles! I’m super excited to help at CHESSIE this year!

Chyler is in 7th grade and has been homeschooled since preschool. She loves baking, cooking, soccer, swimming, and arts and crafts of all kinds. Last Christmas she made and sold over 100 hot cocoa bombs and bath bombs. She loves creating things! She also enjoys working with young children and has helped at her home church VBS and in the Children's Ministry. She spends much of her free time talking with her friends and hanging out with her family. She is excited to work as the Art Table coordinator at CHESSIE this school year.

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