Bozeman Homeschool Teachers

Meet the EMERGE teachers

Kerri Anderson

Creative Writing, Poetry

Kerri Anderson moved to Montana twenty years ago to finish her Microbiology degree at MSU. She fell in love with the mountains and never left. For the last 11-years she has homeschooled her two children and has taught multiple academic classes. Mrs. Anderson can be found teaching English this year, a role well suited to her, as her passion for the subject was instilled at a young age. In her spare time she can be found skiing, hiking, watching football or reading.

Jessica Black

K-5 Music

Mrs. Black grew up in Peoria, Illinois, in a family of 7 where everyone loved music and enjoyed playing instruments and singing together at home, church, and school. She received a B.A. in elementary education from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and taught at Peoria Christian School in the resource room, 5th grade, and elementary music. During her time at Peoria Christian, she met her husband, a native of Montana who moved to Peoria for his work, and Mrs. Black left teaching to enjoy staying home to be a mom to their four children. While at home, she enjoyed moving to Indiana and Utah along the way, and homeschooling her children up until about grade 4/5. Finally in 2014, their family was able to return to Montana permanently to live on Mr. Black’s family ranch in Gallatin Gateway, where they currently reside. Now that they are living somewhere for good and the kids are no longer homeschooled (currently ages 12, 13, 17, and 19), Mrs. Black decided to get back into the classroom as a music teacher at Emerge. She looks forward to making music with young children again as they learn the basics and have fun using their voices and instruments to give glory to God. Jessica is a member of Belgrade United Reformed Church, where she serves as a piano player and helps out with women’s activities, and she also enjoys living/playing on the ranch and helping her kids with their 4-H projects.

Mandy Bowker

Choir, Life Skills: Personal,
Personal Finance I & II

As a teacher, Mandy Bowker has two passions: music and helping students thrive in the real world. Mrs. Bowker sang her first solo in church at the age of 4 and has been singing ever since. Her performance experience includes opera, symphonic choir, and madrigal groups to name a few. She is currently an active member of the Bozeman Symphonic Choir and has performed with Intermountain Opera.

Mrs. Bowker holds a Master of Music degree in voice performance from the University of South Dakota and a Bachelor’s degree in vocal and instrumental music education from the University of Sioux Falls. She moved to Bozeman from Seattle, WA, in 2013 and spent almost three years as a financial coach at MSU in the Office of Student Success. In addition to her experience as a financial coach, Mrs. Bowker has served as the bookkeeper for various non-profits in Bozeman and has been a volunteer tax preparer with the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.

When she isn’t teaching, Mrs. Bowker loves her job as pastor’s wife and mom to two beautiful daughters. She also loves singing, reading, traveling, and watching movies. Mrs. Bowker has a deep passion for working with students and helping them succeed in all areas of life.

Susan Beth Breuner

Photography I & II

Susan Beth Breuner is a professional photographer with an emphasis on weddings, relationships and portraits and has made her living in this profession for 6 years. While her business is Bozeman based, Mrs. Breuner travels all over the American West to meet the needs of her clients.

Mrs. Breuner also happens to be a "retired" California attorney. As an attorney the main part of her practice was in the area of Federal Environmental Litigation, representing plaintiffs and defendants, individuals and large corporations such as Chevron and other oil companies in issues related to contaminated land and water.

Mrs. Breuner and her family moved to Bozeman in 2002, coming from the Sierra Nevada/Greater Lake Tahoe area. She has an amazing husband and wonderful 21 year old son, both of whom help to keep her on her toes with their humor and sense of adventure.

Teaching at Emerge allows Mrs. Breuner to share her passion and excitement for photography and visual arts with students and encourage them with problem solving and a can-do attitude as they learn concepts associated with photography and capturing the beauty of God's people and His creation.

David Cherry

Robotics

I have had many amazing opportunities to build robotics and machinery at various companies, including building machines to make guitars at Gibson guitar here in town. I am self taught in many fields including electronics, mechanical engineering, and software development and have used each of these in a professional setting. I currently run my own engineering consulting business. My business has completed work on atomic force microscopes, DNA detection systems, and gravitational wave detectors. I love to share the excitement of robotics with others at the same time as giving students the opportunity to explore and learn.

Gary Cook

Civics, US History

Like Woody Guthrie, I was born and reared in small-town Oklahoma. And like Woody, I’ve roamed and rambled around this land that’s yours and mine, living in Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas, Utah, and, for the past twenty-two years, Montana.

I studied history and education at Oklahoma Baptist University. I taught seventh and eighth graders before returning to school at Oklahoma State University for graduate work in environmental education. My work in environmental education and teacher training eventually brought me to Montana State University in 1999 where I worked as the Director of Project WET USA (WET=Water Education for Teachers). In 2007 I left Project WET to become the Executive Director of The Rock Youth Center across the street from Bozeman High School. I retired in 2018.

In addition to teaching, I love to read, hike, fish, camp, play guitar, and watch films. I am a member of First Baptist Church of Bozeman where I teach high school Sunday School and Tuesday morning Bible study for adults, play guitar for worship, serve on the Leadership Team, and occasionally preach.

Jim Cook

Career Planning, Skill Games

Jim Cook is a happily married Christian, veteran, father, and grandfather. Born in Nebraska, raised in California, he is a 15-year resident of Montana. He has a BA in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, four teaching credentials, owned a printing business, and taught high school and middle school English, Graphic Arts, and Photography. Mr. Cook and his wife average seven weeks a year camping, and he can be frequently found in his wood shop.

Kirsten Daniels

Theater I, II, A & B

Mrs. Daniels has been passionate about theater since age five. Hailing from Minnesota, she is a graduate of Vanguard University of Southern California and the Baron/Brown Meisner Studio. After an incredible season in Southern Asia, Mrs. Daniels spent the last decade acting, directing, producing and teaching in Paris, France. She is excited to now be in Bozeman and part of the EMERGE community. When not on stage, on camera, or in front of the classroom, Mrs. Daniels can most likely be found playing with her fantastic children, checking out new hiking trails, or hunting for the perfect cup of coffee.

Delaney Elliott

Kindergarten-1st Grade Teacher

Heidi Fry

Algebra II, Chemistry, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Student Government

Mrs. Fry was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, but has spent her adult life in Bozeman. She was a student-athlete for Montana State and graduated with a B.S in Secondary Education/Broadfield Sciences. Mrs. Fry homeschooled their two children (who are now in high school at EMERGE) but still loves showing them how, where, and why through travel and hands-on experiences. A self-proclaimed science nerd, Mrs. Fry began at Emerge in mathematics and quickly fell in love with the opportunity to take a new approach to teaching math. She believes fun and creative learning should be the ultimate goal of education. When she is not teaching, Mrs. Fry can usually be found on her bicycle, running, hunting, riding her Harley, creating beautiful things, or planning her next adventure.

Ceci Goodman

Book Club, Bible Study

Mrs. Goodman has a love for learning and working with kids and families. She and her husband, Jon Goodman, and their five children, the youngest of whom is in High School at Emerge, have lived in Montana for seventeen years. Prior to settling in Montana, she spent her growing up years in North Carolina and then served in the ministry for almost fifteen years in Georgia, Virginia, Washington DC and Indiana.

Mrs. Goodman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of North Carolina and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Communication Sciences/Speech Pathology from the University of Montana and in Human Resources Management from Duke University. This summer she graduated from the Speech Language Pathology Assistant program at the University of Montana. She also holds a two year associate's certificate in Bible. She and her family lived in Ennis for ten years, where their two oldest sons graduated from high school. While there, she was the founder and director of preschool, taught ballet, and worked with her husband’s financial business. The Goodmans relocated to Bozeman in 2017 where their two daughters graduated from Bozeman High School. In 2018 she was the Assistant Director of an adult trade school before taking her current position as a K-Readiness preschool teacher at Selah Early Learning Academy.

Mrs. Goodman’s favorite thing to do is to spend time with her husband and family, including two grandkids! She also loves reading books, traveling, going to the gym, walking and hiking in beautiful Montana, playing games (and trying to win) with her 9th grade son, learning Hebrew words, gardening, and eating!

Jon Goodman

English I

Mr. Goodman graduated with a B.A. in English from Duke University, where he
played basketball for Hall of Fame coach, Mike Krzyzewski, and studied
creative writing under Faulkner Award recipient, Reynolds Price. After Mr.
Goodman married the love of his life, Ceci Poole Goodman, Mr. Goodman
continued his studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where
he ultimately earned an MALS in Humanities with a concentration in Religious Studies. More recently, Mr. Goodman’s passion for writing landed him at Stanford University, where he earned an Online Writing Certificate (OWC) and, along the way, received invaluable guidance from numerous Wallace Stegner Fellows for his historical novel in the works called *Golden* that chronicles the meteoric rise of the 1929 Montana State College men’s basketball team, better known as “The Golden Bobcats,” to national prominence as told by the wide-eyed, ambitious, affable, enthusiastic, yet terribly flawed radio personality, Jimmy Fox.

Sarah Hay

Art I (Drawing), II (Painting)
Art A (Drawing), B (Painting)
Graphic Design I & II

Mrs. Hay has a passion for creating. Whether sewing, doing photography, woodworking, or growing plants she is always embracing new art forms. She loves spending time outside with her family hiking, rock climbing, camping, biking, always looking for adventure. She graduated from from Kutztown University in 2006 with a degree in Art Education and is happy to make use of it! Sarah lives in Belgrade with her husband and four children

Penny Johnson

Psychology, Literature A & B, Art History, History of Invention, History of Explorers

Penny Johnson earned her bachelor degree in Psychology from UCLA. Her fascination with people in both the present and past led her to further delve into literature, history and art history. Penny and her husband, Broose, have been married for 30 years, have ten children (most of them grown), and homeschooled for 20 years. She enjoys good books, movies, crafts, raising Belgian Tervuren dogs and babies. Mrs Johnson loves Jesus, her family, God's Word and the mountains.

Michelle Martin

Michelle received her doctorate in neuroscience from Marquette University in 2000. However, she soon gave up brain research to become "just a mom." She still loves science, though, and loves teaching it, homeschooling her two boys. Due to her science background she is also interested in special ed; she has taught math and science to kids who were frustrated by traditional teaching methods, helped autistic kids learn social skills, and taught dyslexic boys how to read (both examples happen to be her sons, though she has taught in special ed classrooms as well.) She also loves to build things, particularly wood furniture, and to hike in the beautiful Montana outdoors.

Heather Maxcy

4th-5th Grade Teacher

Mrs.Maxcy was born in Jackson Wyoming and spent her youth living and traveling in the United States and Canada. She has been blessed to spend her adult life living part of the year in Alaska and part in Montana. Both of Heather’s parents were exceptional teachers and developed a passion in their daughter for sharing a love of learning with others. She graduated from Montana State University with a BS in Secondary Education/Broadfield Sciences, 5-12 and a BS in Fish and Wildlife Management.

Heather has been blessed to utilize her teaching in a variety of venues: she has run and taught science and church camps for local youth as well as adults, as an educator for the Forest Service she’s written articles, created educational radio spots, and led community events, and has volunteered many hours in youth programs including serving as a leader for the Gallatin 4H shooting sports. Mrs.Maxcy believes that God has a special plan for each and every one of us. The opportunity to work with youth and foster their lifelong love of learning is key to helping them fulfill their plans and dreams and achieve success in their schooling.

When she isn’t teaching or helping with the family business, Mrs. Maxcy can be found pursuing her passion for the outdoors with her husband Chris, and daughter Carol. Their family loves hiking, hunting, fishing, riding horses, traveling, reading and spending time with family/friends. Heather is thrilled to be part of a team of teachers that is so dedicated to education and their students!

Desiree McCann

2nd-3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. McCann is all about fun and being silly. She chooses joy daily and thanks Jesus for her fun-loving personality. She strives to bring people joy and it starts with her family. She is a wife to Cooper McCann of 10 years and mom to 4 beautiful children. Desiree graduated with her BA in Elementary Education and Early Childhood degree from the University of Montana Western in 2009 and had no idea that her degree would be most useful for her at home homeschooling her own children. Her daily goal is to laugh a lot even on the hardest days. Mrs. McCann is passionate about her God given talents such as photography, being silly with the little children, seeing the un-seen and unloved people in this world and meeting them where they're at and empowering them to be who Christ has called them to be. (Ask her about her mission trips to Uganda when you get a chance!) Mrs. McCann’s most favorite thing to do is to have coffee with friends new and old and to learn more about the people Jesus brings into her life. She is truly a life-learner who is always looking for the next adventure.

Ben McEntee

Guitar

Mr. McEntee has been playing guitar for over two decades and has played in clubs and venues up and down the West Coast as well as lead worship at numerous churches and camps. He has recorded and released multiple albums (with numerous bands) and currently writes, records, and releases his own music just for the pure enjoyment of it. He loves road trips, the beach, hiking, camping, vinyl records, reading books, listening to live music, and serving young people for Christ. Mr. McEntee is the Associate Pastor of Children's and Youth ministry at Alliance Fellowship Church in Bozeman. He loves spending time with his amazing wife, Danielle and their three daughters: Lucy, Jubilee, and Lavender.

Lauren Nielson

Biology, Earth & Space Science, Experiments with Physics & Chemistry

Born and raised in Bozeman, Lauren grew up attending a rural K-8 school south of town. Her desire to learn was developed by both her parents and great teachers along the way. Lauren graduated from MSU with a degree in Elementary Education (K-8) and Spanish Teaching (K-12). She has extra certifications in math and science teaching. While at MSU, Lauren played golf for the Bobcats, giving her opportunities to work with young children through summer camps and coaching. After college, Lauren taught 5th-8th graders in Manhattan for two years at Manhattan School. Now, Lauren works for her own tutoring company, Tryumph Learning, to create individualized learning plans for students who are struggling academically. She is one of the golf coaches for the Gallatin Raptors, and she is also working on obtaining her certification in Biblical Counseling so she can learn how to help people change and grow in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Lauren is crazy about her husband, Wyatt, and her two Golden Retrievers, Peach and Daisy. You can find her golfing, hiking, hunting, fishing, or reading in her spare time. She is excited to be part of the EMERGE team!

Tasha Oard

Math 6, 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Interval Training

Tasha is a mom, wife, former kindergarten teacher and report writer for a small college, and current grad student at Sioux Falls Seminary. No matter how varied her interests, fitness has always been part of her adult life. A certified personal trainer with a variety of group exercise certifications and experiences, Tasha loves to help people stay healthy and do things they thought were impossible. Her absolute favorite things are time with loved ones, sunshine, and climbing to the top of a mountain; all of those at once means a total home-run.

Colleen Olsen

Business Writing & Public Speaking

Wouldn't you agree that a sermon should never be boring?! Mrs. Olsen would be the first to say that collaborating with pastors on their sermons makes her heart sing! Mrs. Olsen has a BA in Speech Communication and an MA in Human Resource Management. She taught Public Speaking at Montana State University, owns multiple businesses in the Gallatin Valley, started the Gallatin Christian Homeschool Co-op and co-founded EMERGE. In addition to her love for Jesus, she is crazy about her husband and her four children. In Mrs. Olsen’s spare time, you will find her enjoying the great outdoors, whether on land (biking and hiking) or in water (skiing, swimming, and body surfing).

Katie Ristow

English 6, 7 & 8

Katie Ristow wanted to be a singer and writer at a very young age, and that is exactly what she ended up doing with her life! She earned a Social Science degree and a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential at Simpson University. Though she went right into teaching middle school English and Grammar early in her career, she has spent the bulk of her adult life raising and homeschooling three awesome kids, leading worship in churches in several states, and volunteering alongside her amazing husband. Life has been quite an adventure! She is passionate about appreciating and harnessing the power of words, whether that be through singing, reading, or writing. She is currently the worship director at Alliance Fellowship here in Bozeman.

Charity Ross

Forms of Government, Montana History, World History, World Geography & Culture and US Geography & Culture

Charity Ross has lived in Bozeman since the early 1980s and is privileged to be the oldest daughter of eight children. She is passionate about history, and cannot tell you where learning ends and teaching begins. For her, it all runs together. Mrs. Ross has created curriculum and has loved teaching history, Bible, geography, and government classes for the past 10 years. She loves to inspire children to seek truth and to witness how the Light of God has neither ceased to shine in the darkest corners of the earth nor in the darkest of times. In her free time, Mrs. Ross loves to quilt and crochet lace.

Joy Sander

Spanish (all grades)

Joy Sander has been described as an Extrovert (with a capital E)! She is a lover of life and happiest when surrounded by friends and family. A Montana native, she graduated from Montana State University in 2007 with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. Since then she and her husband have served with Youth With a Mission in Lakeside, MT and also in the Dominican Republic, where they lived for two years. Since returning to the States five years ago, Mrs. Sander has poured herself into raising her five fabulous kiddos. She is extremely excited to enter into teaching again, where her passions for Spanish, creativity, and encouraging young people will be blended and grow together. A fun fact about Mrs. Sander is this: She took her first missions trip when she was six! It was to Mexico, with her family, and she vividly remembers sharing Spanish and English words with a little Mexican girl she met there. Perhaps that is where her story really began!