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Mrs. Kathy Pierson
CHESSIE administrator & 
Science Teacher
Classes taught: 2A, 2B, 3, 4A, 4B
& Life Science

Mrs. Sharon Shelton
Science Teacher & part of the
administrative team
Classes Taught: Physical Science, Biology,
& Chemistry

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
Astronomy & Physics Teacher

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.

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Mrs. Renee Cothran
Science Teacher for 
Grades K/1/ & 1/2

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

Mrs. Jacque Spruill
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. 

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. Karen Miller
Sports Coordinator
Part of the Administrative team

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.

Mrs. Crystal Crippen
Sports leader, Group 2A

Crystal and her husband have 3 kids, Nathaniel, Gracelyn, and Adele. Even after being homeschooled herself, she has enjoyed the last 8 years learning another time around with her kids. Their family goes to Mountain View Chapel in Madison. She's very much enjoyed getting to know and become a part of the CHESSIE family and is looking forward to a new year!

Mrs. Hannah Huddleston
Science Activity Leader
Strawberries, blueberries, apples & bananas

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.

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Mrs. Christylynn Flynn
Supervising Mom 2:00-4:00

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Mrs. Serena Nappi
volunteer assistant treasurer

Serena and her husband, Nick, are California transplants and have lived in Virginia since 2018. They have six children and began homeschooling in 2020. This is their children's third year at CHESSIE and Serena is happy to use her old banking skills to serve the co-op. 

Mrs. Traci Pownall
Sports leader for group 1/2 (11-1)
& group 1 (1-2)

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. Emily Fernandez
Supervising Mom  10:45-12:15

Mom of 3 - ages 7 (Oliver), 10 (Annabelle) and 21 (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. Katie Arnold, volunteer service hour coordinator
Class assistant for Group 1 & 1/2 & Apples & Bananas

Katie & her husband Shaun have four children: Pierce, Reid, Delaney, & 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 of  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 kid's book club, and  Adventure club for other homeschooling families. They attend Calvary Chapel Fluvanna and also love to serve there.

Lena Travis
Sports leader for K & 1

Presidential Physical Fitness  Leader

Lena is a homeschooled highschool graaduate (May 2021).  She was homeschooled for all of her schooling and attended CHESSIE for her five highschool classes. She worked as a teen leader during the years she was at CHESSIE and now she is part of our adult staff. Lena loves working with the students and helping them to listen and learn about God's creation. She works at ways to engage even the  most quiet students in activities. Lena is creative, kind, and a fast learner. Lena has helped with the fitness class and learned how to lead the activities, so it is exciting to have her in this new role of leadership for 2023-2024.  


Mrs. Lauren Griffith
Afternoon Cleaning and Supervision 4:00-5:00


Lauren and her husband Russ have three kiddos- Keira, Finnley, and Declan. She has been homeschooling 9+ years now! Lauren is originally from Dallas, TX but moved to Charlottesville from NC to help plant Center Church where her husband is an elder. In her free time she’s spending lots of time with her church and homeschool community but she also LOVES to read and finds herself collecting lots of books. 

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Mrs. Terri Lynn Petty
Waitlist Coordinator

Terri Lynn and her husband, Mark, have lived in Crozet since 2000 and they have three children, ages 14, 19, and 22.  They attend First Baptist Church (Park Street) in Charlottesville.  Terri Lynn has homeschooled her youngest child, Wesley, since 2021 and he has participated in CHESSIE each of those years.  She is excited to serve as the CHESSIE waitlist coordinator this year.

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Mrs. Bethany Hoovler
Supervising parent 1:30-4:00

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Mrs. Karen Lemcke
Supervising parent 12:15-1:30

Bethany and her husband, Michael, have two children. They have been homeschooling since 2018 and joined Chessie in 2021.


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Mrs. Ashley Nettleton
Sports Leader (apples & bananas)
January through March, 2024

Ashley and her husband Dane have 4 kids: Charlie 10, Edmond 9, Johanna 5, and Guy 3. Ashley received a bachelor's in Finance from Western New England College where she and Dane met. In 2010 they moved down to Virginia to run the Charlottesville KOA campground. They have been homeschooling and sending their kids to CHESSIE since 2018. This will be Ashley's first year as a CHESSIE Sports Leader. When she's not working at the campground, Ashley enjoys cooking, traveling, and being outside. Their family attends the Scottsville Baptist Church. 

Wife of Jose and Mom of 3 - Elijah (11), Silas (8) and Elena (6). I obtained my degree in family and family studies from Texas State University and am passionate about all things foster care. Walking the tightrope of homeschooling, family, and a part time job with a foster agency! We have been homeschooling for 6 years and love the homeschooling community we have made here since moving from Texas in 2015. 

Mrs. Rebecca Palmer
Volunteer Adninistrative Assistant
Background Checks & sign-in sheets

Rebecca graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master's Degree in Curriculum & Technology.  Rebecca taught for several years in the public school system in southeast Virginia before becoming a stay at home wife & mother. Her professional experience and desire to provide for 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, & Kinley) Rebecca attends The Point Church.


Mrs. Christina Ashoo
Administrative Assistant, Roster Updates

Christina is wife to Andrus and mom to Ruth & 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 children.  Christina and her family attend Trinity PCA Church.

Aylenne Spruill
Setup & Class Assistant (2nd & 3rd graders)

Aylenne is a 9th  grader and has been at CHESSIE for eight  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.

Mollie Cothran
Class Assistant (Kindergarten)


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.

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Josiah Flynn
Teen Sports Leader 1:15-3:00

Josiah has attended CHESSIE since his early years and is now taking Physics. He is the oldest in his family of 4 children. He likes all sports including soccer, ultimate frisbee, jiu-jitsu, and cross-country. Josiah plays violin and piano and enjoys debate, math, and history. He attends Christ Community Church, and is passionate about God and evangelism. Josiah is looking forward to this year at CHESSIE!

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Constance Flynn
Sports Assistant (group 1/2)

Constance started attending CHESSIE in Kindergarten and is now a Chemistry student. She loves sharing with others about Jesus. Constance is passionate about music and she enjoys all sorts of competition, including speech and debate, sports, and board games. She is excited to help out at CHESSIE this year.

Graham Huddleston
Group 1/2 (11:00-1:00)

Emerson Holmes
Class Assistant (Kindergarten)

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.

Sierra Miller,
Rotating Teen sports leader

Sierra is 16 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.

Lillian Novotny
PPF assistant (1:35-2:20) Life Science


Lillian is a physical science student this year. She is excited to help with the fitness class again this year.

Clara Otto
Sports Assistant for group 2A (12:00-2:00)

I am 15 years old. I enjoy horseback riding, reading, and playing with my goats and cats. I have been attending CHESSIE for six years. I am looking forward to helping with the 2nd grade sports this year.

Chyler Miller
PPF assistant, group 3 & Life Science

Chyler is in 8th 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  help with the fitness classes this year.

Keira Griffith, sports assistant
grade 1 (11:00-12:00)

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 again this year!

Ellie Palmer, Class Assistant
Apples & Bananas (12:00-1:30)

Ellie is a 9th grader and taking Biology 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 grades 3&4 students this year. 

Graham Huddleston is a 11th grader taking Physics at CHESSIE. This will be his 3rd 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 & second grade sports this year.

Xavier Huddleston
11:00-12:30 Teen leader on the field

Xavier is in 10th grade and is taking biology this year. Xavier enjoys working with the students at sports and looks forward to his second year working in this role.

Reid Arnold, PPF assistant, group 3

Reid is a 8th 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 the Physical Fitness class this year (one of his favorite things about CHESSIE)!

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  Fay Kobyra, craft table leader, 1:45-2:45

Fay is in 11th grade and joined CHESSIE last year in Chemistry. She enjoys reading classics, running, hanging out with friends and family, traveling, and spending time in God's word. She also loves crafts and is excited to have the opportunity to help out with the craft table this year!

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Lena Garber, PPF assistant group 3

“My name is Lena, and I’m excited to help with younger CHESSIE children for the first time this year! I’m in 7th Grade and the oldest of 5 kids. I love reading, baking, swimming, volleyball, and hanging out with my friends and family.”

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Parker Flynn, Sports assistant
Group 1/2

Parker has been attending CHESSIE ever since Kindergarten and is now in the 7th grade. He loves all sports, including basketball, soccer, spikeball, cross-country, ultimate frisbee, and airsoft. He also enjoys reading, sharing the gospel, and hanging out with his siblings and friends. He is excited to help at CHESSIE this year.

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Nathaniel Crippen, class assistant, 4A

This is Nathaniel's 4th year in CHESSIE. He goes to Mountain View Chapel in Madison where he plays the guitar for the children's church. He also is a beginning music producer and enjoys coding websites. He's excited to be helping out with CHESSIE.

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Gracelyn Crippen
Class assistant, apples & bananas (grades 3&4)

Hi I'm Gracelyn, and I love to play soccer, garden, bake, craft, and spend time with my animals. I also love to play games with my 2 siblings. My family and I go to Mountain View Chapel in Madison. I'm looking forward to helping with CHESSIE classes this year!

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Kate Thompson, sports assistant, group K (10:00-11:00)

Hi my name is Kate. I am in 8th grade. I am the middle child of 7 in my family. My activities include ballet, karate, and basketball. I also enjoy arts and crafts in my free time. This is my first year helping at CHESSIE. I am looking forward to it!

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Luke Otto (1/2 sports assistant) 11:00-12:00 & 4B PPF assistant

My name is Luke Otto, and I am 13 years old. I have nine siblings. I like to play football and other sports. I also enjoy reading and playing the guitar. 

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Gianna "Gia" Hines
Sports assistant for apples & bananas


Staff not pictured above:

Soren Holmes, sports assistant for group #1 (1:00-2:00)

Gia is in 8th grade. She has always been homeschooled and

has attended both Acts and CC. Gia loves to play softball,

both as a catcher and at 3rd base. She also loves reading,

shopping, listening to music and hanging out with friends.

She has 4 siblings and enjoys working with kids!  Gia will be in physical science at CHESSIE this year.

Luke Novotny, PPF assistant 4B (12:45 -1:30)

Sarai Lanfranchi PPF assistant (2:25-3:10) apples & bananas

  Mrs. Amy Fuller, sports leader (apples & bananas (1:00-2:30)

Trisha Thompson, volunteer assistant treasurer (payroll)

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