Adulting 101:  The Game of Life, Foundations of Algebra, Private & Group Tutoring Sessions

Caroline Allie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Bowie University in 1998. She taught special education in the PG County Public School System for several years before deciding to pursue homeschooling her 8 children. Her family is  beginning their 10th year of homeschooling. Over the last 10 years, she has taught in different settings. As a Home/Hospital teacher, she educated students who were homebound due to illness. As Culinary Instructor for End Hunger, she taught food safety and food prep courses to adults, aiding them in their future careers. Currently, she is working at Anchor as one of our Behavioral Guidance Coordinators and an accountability partner, keeping track of students' academic progress, and helping them learn to be accountable to God and to others--both academically and in how they conduct themselves. She enjoys working one-on-one with teenagers, helping them find their inner drive to be successful in life.  This year, she will be teaching our Adulting 101 class, as well as tutoring students individually and in small groups. 



Essay Writing & Analytical Literature, Essay Writing & Literature, IEW Writing classes,

Mapping the U.S. by Heart

Cathy Backhaus graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Elementary Education K-8 and a minor in Elementary Art. In addition to her ten years of experience teaching grades 3-6 in public and Christian schools in California, Nebraska, and Maryland, Cathy has many years of experience teaching Vacation Bible Schools, Sunday School, and various Bible studies. She counts it a blessing and privilege to have taught her five daughters at home from kindergarten through high school. She has had the opportunity to be involved in several home school co-ops, teaching different subjects to grades K-12, and she has worked closely with her husband, encouraging and teaching home schooling parents in two different home school umbrella schools. Cathy has been teaching homeschooled students since 1999. Having received Christ in high school, Cathy counts children as blessings from the Lord and desires to honor Him by loving and encouraging children in their learning, while assisting parents in their responsibility to teach and train up their children.


Art (MS), Fine Arts & Mixed Media (HS), Stop-Motion & Claymation 

Mary Bowen is a professional artist who lives in Southern Anne Arundel County with her husband and five children. She has been painting in oils for over 40 years and has sold her artwork throughout her career. Mary has a degree in Fine Arts, and her work has been displayed everywhere from local shops, guilds, & galleries, to the Corcoran Museum of Art in DC. She is passionate about using her gifts and talents to glorify God and desires to inspire others with her artwork!


Health & Wellness


Megan Copeland earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.  For six years, she served in the U.S. Army as a Veterinary Technician working in both emergency room and laboratory animal medicine settings.  To gain knowledge on how to care for her family holistically, she became a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) from the Holistic Massage Training Institute.  Her learning continued as she earned a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health, with a concentration in Human Clinical Nutrition, from Maryland University of Integrative Health.  Megan is a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and Licensed Dietician Nutritionist (LDN). She is currently completing Functional Medicine Practitioner Certification (FMCP) to be used within her private nutrition practice. Her eclectic background also includes homeschooling her three children (ages 14, 11, 9) for the past nine years. Megan enjoys sharing her love for learning and teaches from the perspective that our bodies are to be cared for as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). She encourages others to implement healthy lifestyle interventions to prevent disease and to discover the joy of nourishing foods along the journey. Megan has taught and co-taught several homeschool co-op classes at the Elementary and Middle School levels. She will be teaching Holistic Health & Nutrition for both Middle and High school students.


Spanish 1, Spanish 2

Ammie DeGrange is a wife and mother of eight. She has homeschooled her children for the past 16 years. Having lived in Maryland her entire life, she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Maryland. She loves to teach and be there for her students, and it has been a great blessing to her each year to share the journey of learning with them, and loving Christ. She has taught several classes in different school, co-op, and church settings. Ammie is very excited to teach Spanish this year and to help her students find joy in learning about new places, new people, and a new language.


Forensics, Foundations of Math

Melissa moved with her husband, Bruce, to Calvert County from Harford County in 2000. She has one son, who is 13, and has been married 21 years. Melissa’s undergraduate degree and graduate work is in Biology. She became a Biology teacher in the Maryland public school system in 1998 after a career in pharmaceutical sales with Abbott Laboratories. She has had a passion for science her entire life and can always be found outdoors. Melissa became aware of classical Christian education shortly after beginning her career as a teacher and has continued to use the concept of mastery as her pedagogical model for instruction. She has taught 9th and 10th grade Honors Biology, Inclusion Biology (co-taught with a special educator), 11th and 12th Advanced Placement Biology, and Environmental Science. Combining her two passions, young people and science, Melissa is thrilled to be able to serve the families at Anchor by glorifying God through teaching high school Forensic Science.  She and her family are actively involved in many ministries at their home church and love nothing more than being able to serve others in the name of Jesus Christ.


Set Design

Melissa was born and raised in Guilford, CT, and moved to Maryland in June 2000. She is a self-taught DIY’er who loves building cabinets, closets, and storage solutions. Melissa and her husband, Jason, have 4 children and run an H/VAC business together.  Melissa became as Christian in 2003 and has a desire to see and love people as Christ does.  She counts it a privilege and blessing to be able to pass her knowledge on to the next generation. She has been homeschooling for eight years and has taught Kindergarten and Pre-K in two co-op settings.  Melissa taught Carpentry for the past three years at Anchor, and this will be her second year teaching Set Design in coordination with the Drama class.  


1st & 2nd Grade Children's Literature, Photography

Tina Jenkins is a Maryland native and has lived in Calvert County for 26 years.  She graduated from the University of MD with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology. She has had a life-long passion for photography, which began in high school, as she learned to process and print 35mm film by hand in her school dark room.  She taught many people to use their cameras while working at a lab during her college years and is blessed to be able to share her love of the art of photography with her clients at Retrospective Images. She and her husband have been homeschooling for over 20 years.  Their 11 children, through birth and adoption, range in age from 10 to 28 years old, with 6 homeschool graduates. Tina has taught in many homeschool co-ops over the years, sharing her knowledge of an eclectic variety of subjects, including history, science, art, and photography.  She feels blessed for the opportunity to teach and enrich the lives of our students here at Anchor.


Physics & Engineering

Robert Kendall has a passionate love of learning and teaching. Having been homeschooled K-12th, he understands homeschooling strengths and weaknesses. He is passionate about equipping people with the skills needed to thrive in all of life—most importantly knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and knowing ourselves. He loves challenging students to learn, write, research, collaborate, consider their future career, and develop other life skills so they might experience all that God has to offer them in life. He has a BA from Bryan college, an MDiv from Capital Bible Seminary and a DMin from Southeastern. Married to his best friend, he currently has five amazing kids and pastors Friendship Community Baptist Church in Dunkirk. In his spare time (ha!), he enjoys reading, running and remodeling.


MS Literature & Composition

Gayla Kingston is a homeschool mother of three.  She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a Master of Arts in Education and Leadership. She is an 18-year veteran of the United States Army, still serving in a Reserves capacity. She also enjoys coaching gymnastics, and has done so for five years. 


Biology, Chemistry, Algebra 1

Dr. Trisha Pellegrino was a research scientist at Georgetown University School of Medicine for 14 years before leaving the professional world to become a full-time homeschool mom. While working at Georgetown, Dr. Pellegrino co-taught an undergraduate neuroscience course and tutored graduate students.  As a scientist, Dr. Pellegrino was involved in the study of a variety of drugs of abuse, including opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol, and prescription drugs.  Since becoming a homeschool mom, she has taught courses in Advanced Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Drug & Alcohol Awareness, General Science, and Physics to students of all ages in a variety of homeschool settings. 


Choral Ensemble, Drama Production

Raised in north-central Pennsylvania, Liesl Schiavone moved to Calvert County 8 years ago after receiving her Bachelor of Music from Grove City College and subsequently accepting the position of Director of Choral Activities at Patuxent High School in Lusby, MD. While at Patuxent High School, she increased enrollment in the choral program by more than 100%, created and directed the Patuxent High School Glee Club, took an active role in the school’s Musical and Theatrical productions and qualified for two State Festivals with her Chamber Choir.  After the birth of her daughter in 2013, Liesl decided to leave the classroom temporarily and open a private music lesson studio in her home. She is the Conductor of Calvert Choirs for the Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir and spends her days with her 4 children, Cecilia, Oliver, Penelope, and Teddy. She is excited to share choral music and drama with the students at Anchor Christian Collaborative!  After all, in Scripture the Lord urges us to praise Him with music!


Cartooning & Character Design, Screenwriting, Stop-Motion & Claymation

Cody Slaughter is a homeschool graduate and self-taught artist, who is currently working on his Associates Degree in Illustration.  ​One of his favorite things when it comes to art is creating and developing his own characters with their unique personalities and stories. Cody is excited to pass along many of the things he has learned over the years about the process of creating cartoons.


General Science

Kim Stolarik is a curriculum development specialist and former elementary school teacher.  After earning her undergrad degree in Early Childhood Education, she went on to earn her Masters in Curriculum Development and Technology.  She taught kindergarten for 8 years in the public school system before leaving to homeschool her two children.   She has taught and co-taught several

homeschool classes at the Elementary and Middle School levels, including Anatomy & Physiology,

Biology, Botany,  General Science, Middle School Physics, and Children's Literature & Writing. 



Kayla Thompson graduated in 2004 with a degree in nursing. She is the mother of three children and has lived in North Dakota, Colorado, Hawaii, and now Maryland. She became a personal trainer in 2014 and has worked with all ages--young children up through the elderly population. She has a passion for teaching young people the importance of exercise and giving them tools to have fun with physical fitness, so the desire to be fit sticks with them for life.


MS U.S. History, HS U.S. Government

Becky Van Rees has taught in a co-op setting for 13 years. She also had the pleasure of running  Friendship Community Baptist Co-op. She led courses in Art Appreciation, World History, and a Socratic Seminar for middle and high school students. As a teacher, she is very excited to have the opportunity to teach HIStory. There is nothing more important to her than her relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is her desire to have her students see history from a Godly perspective. Her goals for her classes are to give students a love for history and learning in general, sharpen their knowledge about their nation and world, and know that God has a purpose and a plan for His world and His people.


Story of the World

Denny Wayson earned her B.S. in Education from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1999. She taught 4th and 6th grade Language Arts in the public school system before leaving her career to become a stay-at-home mom after the arrival of her first daughter, Devon. The Wayson family has grown to include four children and several chickens and cows. Denny has homeschooled her children for the past 11 years. She has taught many classes at various home school cooperatives and tutorial services, including pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, science for grades 3-5, and Story of the World and Art at Anchor for the past four years.

Anchor Christian Collaborative
Serving the Homeschooling Community of Southern Maryland

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