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Bozeman Homeschool Teachers

Meet EMERGE teachers/administrators

Justin Ahrendes

Skill Games, Paraprofessional

Brian Alaman

Vehicle Maintenance

Mr. Alaman is a self taught mechanic with over 10 years of experience repairing and maintaining vehicles. He previously worked as a full time mechanic at a local non-profit doing car work for people who could not afford to pay someone to do it, or were unable to do it themselves. Mr. Alaman is passionate about teaching others how to keep vehicles in good working condition. He is constantly making connections between the brokenness of cars and the brokenness of this present world. He enjoys that we get to play a role in making old things new, just like Jesus does with us. When he isn’t working on cars, Mr. Alaman is the assistant pastor of Venture church.

Kate Balian

Life Science

Mrs. Balian loves being with people, and enjoying their God given personalities. As a nurse, she also enjoys listening to what's going on inside her patients lungs, heart, stomach...and caring for them as they are sick. Mrs. Balian believes God put amazing things inside all his creation, therefore learning about the human body, plants and animals is like a treasure hunt to learn these amazing things. She has a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a Bachelors of Arts in Biblical Studies. She has worked as a Whitewater Raft Guide, Wilderness Medicine Instructor at Aerie Backcountry Medicine, EMT on an ambulance and most currently as a Registered Nurse. She lived overseas for 5 years, and dearly loves her husband and 3 kids.

Rachelle Black

Montana History, United States History, United States Geography & Culture

Mrs. Black’s love of historical fiction novels sparked her interest in history. While she was growing up in Belgrade, it was rare to find her without a book nearby. She graduated from Montana State University with a degree in History and a minor in Museum Studies. During her studies she had the opportunity to help catalog Yellowstone National Park’s collections as well as assist the park historian with research for his books. After marrying her love, she lived in Livingston and then in Colorado; exploring, learning, and raising her two cute kids. She is excited to be back in the Gallatin Valley, where roots run deep, and is looking forward to being in the classroom.

Mandy Bowker

Administrator: Bookkeeper, MS & HS Academic Advisor

Delaney Fellabaum

2nd-3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Fellabaum is passionate about making student learning hands-on, engaging and fun! This is her second year teaching at Emerge and her first year teaching the 2/3 class. After moving from Colorado to Bozeman in 2016, she graduated from MSU with a bachelors in Elementary Education K-8 with an emphasis on reading teaching. Even from a young age, Mrs. Fellabaum knew she wanted to be a teacher and she is so thrilled to be living out her childhood dream! When she is not teaching you can find her enjoying time spent in the mountains (hiking, biking or skiing) or on the golf course with her husband, Henry.

Anne Gee

Eng IV: Creative Writing, Pre-Algebra

Mrs. Gee is wife to a wonderful husband and mother of three children. She earned her bachelor's degree from Purdue University in Audiology and Speech Pathology, and it was in graduate school where she first realized that she loved teaching while a T.A. for undergraduate students. However, this love did not manifest itself until many years later while homeschooling her 3 kids. Since homeschooling, Mrs. Gee has been a teachers aide, substitute teacher and has taught children privately in a home setting. While she has a passion for writing, and all things "words", she also loves to teach middle school and upper elementary math. Accredited with the Institute for Excellence in Writing, she is eager to share her enthusiasm for producing excellent written work, and believes that “Creative Writing" does not just involve fanciful and entertaining stories but learning to draw from the mind individual invention, which can facilitate exemplary compositions in any genre. Mrs. Gee became aware that she loved teaching math while homeschooling her children, as well as in school settings when she was blessed to see lightbulbs come on with students who had been stuck and lacked confidence. In her spare time, Mrs. Gee loves hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, finding humor in everyday life and continuing to learn to swing dance with her husband. Most importantly, she strives (but sometimes forgets) to wash in the cleansing blood of the Lamb DAILY, being grateful for the incredible grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jon Goodman

English I, Personal Finance I & II

Shawn Gray

Civics, Forms of Government

Sarah Hay

Art: Drawing, Printmaking, Watercolor Painting, Cook Like a Chef, Graphic Design I & II, Yearbook 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.

Brad Herron

Chemistry, Physics

Mr. Herron is a loving husband and father of four. He was born and raised in Chester, MT, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics from Montana State University in Bozeman. Mr. Herron grew up playing football, basketball, running track and enjoying small-town Montana life. After college, he moved to the Gulf Coast and worked for a French industrial gas company as a performance engineer specializing in combustion turbine, aka “jet engine,” power generation. Mr. Herron’s love of science and math has led him down many roads throughout his career and ultimately enabled him to move back to Montana to raise his family and “live the dream.” His wife Lindsay is from Belgrade, and when their first child was born 15 years ago, they moved back home to raise their family. Throughout his career, Mr. Herron has lived and traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe to serve his clients. Mr. Herron has worked in the energy industry for +20 years. He owns and operates a specialized consulting firm that provides services to some of the largest energy companies in North America. Mr. Herron is a devout Christian who believes that every day is a gift from God and presents us with new opportunities to grow within our faith, relationships with each other, skill sets, and ourselves. In his free time, Mr. Herron enjoys spending time with family and friends, at the lake surfing, on a mountain skiing, camping, exercising, competitive shooting, and staying in to play board games.

Stacie Hofstad

Food and Fitness, Hip Hop Cardio, Community Service Coordinator, Facilities Manager

Mrs. Hofstad first began her official training within the health and fitness industry in 2004 by receiving her certification as a Biblical Health Coach. Her love for health and nutrition led her to become a Certified Personal Trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. One of the activities she enjoys is the study of the body, especially relating to movement. This interest naturally evolved into becoming certified as a Corrective Exercise Specialist with NASM. Over many years she has loved helping people live with less pain by assisting them in correcting postural misalignments. Additional certifications earned over the years include, TRX training, Youth Fitness Specialization, and Group Fitness Instructor through AFAA, amongst others. The mental, emotional and physical health of our youth is very important to her. This passion drew her to run a Junior and Senior Youth Groups with her husband in her hometown of Nampa, ID. Later going on to help with the Senior Youth Group at Journey Church here in Bozeman. She considers a day well spent getting out for some form of physical activity along with deep conversations with her five kids and husband of 22 years.

Savannah Jackson

Life Skills I & II, Paraprofessional

Penny Johnson

Art History, Eng II: British Literature, Eng III: American Literature, Earth & Space Science, Explorers, Inventors, & Heroes, Life Skills: Personal, and Psychology, 4-5 Grade Teacher, Elementary Coordinator

Mrs. 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. Mrs. Johnson 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

Biology, Home Maintenance, Neuroscience

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!

Ben McEntee


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.

Tasha Oard

Algebra I & II, Geometry, and Math 7

Mrs. Oard 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

Communications, Eng II: Public Speaking, & Eng IV: Business Writing, School Director/Owner

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 surfing).

Betha Pierson

K-1st Grade Teacher

Mrs. Pierson received her Elementary Ed degree from MSU Billings and has taught preschool through high school here in Bozeman. Her experience includes teaching in various Christian schools in Kansas, Nebraska, Troy, and Kalispell, MT. She has homeschooled seven children including four of her own, three of which have graduated from Emerge. She is excited to be back in the classroom at Emerge to continue her passion for education.

Katie Ristow

Choir, English 6, 7 & 8, and Worship Band

Mrs. 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.

Joy Sander

Spanish (all grades/levels)

A la Señora Sander le encanta enseñar español! Mrs. Sander first fell in love with the Spanish language on a mission trip with her family when she was 7 years old. She will tell you that Spanish is a heart-felt passion that has always been inside her. She loves to improve her Spanish skills and hopes to pass on that excitement to her students.

Joy graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish in 2007. Afterwards she and her family worked with Youth With A Mission for 3 years, participating in short-term missions trips to Costa Rica, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic. They later moved their family down to the Dominican Republic to serve (also with YWAM) for another 2 years, which is where her Spanish fluency really took flight!

Joy and her husband have 5 fabulous niños. She loves Jesus, spending as much time as possible with family and friends, and teaching Spanish at Emerge!

Josiah Shirley

Coding, Pre-calculus

Megan Stoltzfus

Music K-5, Musical

Megan was born into a life of music. She grew up outside of Nashville, her Christian parents being professional singers and her father a great songwriter. They began to recognize her passion and aptitude for music when, as a baby, she would stand up in her crib and sing at the top of her lungs. As a child, Megan aspired to grow up to be a mom and a worship leader. Voice and piano became her instruments of choice, but her calling was uncovered in worshiping God. She has been a passionate lover of Jesus from a young age, and has been leading worship in different capacities since the 1990’s. She is currently one of the worship leaders at Christian City Church in Bozeman. Megan is a mother of 5, and lives a full life with her husband and children in Belgrade, MT.

Lisa Survoy

Music Appreciation, Time Management & Study Skills

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