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Tutor Biographies

K.E.Y.S of Arizona is honored to work with dedicated tutors who truly care about your children. They provide a fun yet challenging classroom experience for your homeschooled students. Click on the names below to view the K.E.Y.S. of AZ tutors' biographies.

 

Megan graduated with two Bachelor's degrees in Communication and in Psychology from The University of Colorado. In the past few years, her family has expanded quite a bit to include two grandsons and two granddaughters and a new little nugget on the way.  Her oldest son is the worship pastor at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship and married to his beautiful bride of five years and her middle daughter which many of you know as Mrs Rivera graduated from GCU and has been married to an amazing man for almost six years. Finally, her youngest daughter graduated with her master’s from GCU and is an addiction counselor at Crossroads Recovery Center.  Twenty-six years ago, she and her family left their home in Colorado to move to Phoenix and enter full time ministry. Her husband, Bryan, is the Executive Pastor at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship.  Since the age of eighteen, Megan has been involved with youth.  She has worked as a youth group leader and has been involved with organizations such as Young Life, FCA, and Campus Crusade for Christ.  She desires for all to understand the faithful hand of God as seen throughout history and in our daily lives.  Megan has a passion to equip young people to know who they are in Christ. She hopes to inspire each student to find their God designed purpose and calling.  As a pastor’s wife, she has noticed that many do not have an absolute standard of truth.  This realization has become a passion in which she desires to encourage students to stand firm in Christ as they purposely go into the world to share their faith.  

Kaylee Collin has earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education from Grand Canyon University. Kaylee is a graduate of K.E.Y.S. where she was an integral part of Student Leadership and planning K.E.Y.S. events. For 3 years, she has taught elementary students at a private Christian school in Phoenix both as a substitute and full-time classroom teacher. Last year, Kaylee returned to K.E.Y.S as an instructor and she couldn’t be happier! She enjoys using variety of methodologies to motivate students and help them grow in their knowledge and skills. Her goal is for students to develop a love of learning and passion for Jesus!

Mrs. Collin is the founder and director of K.E.Y.S. of Arizona. MaryKay earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Grand Canyon University and a Masters degree in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University. She homeschooled her three children successfully through high school. They have all since graduated with honors from Grand Canyon University. Before homeschooling, she taught elementary, middle school, and high school students in the public-school system. She also worked as a Support Specialist, coordinating multidisciplinary teams to meet the needs of individual students. In addition, MaryKay attended the Interpreter Training Program at Phoenix College and worked as a sign language interpreter for the deaf. MaryKay has a passion for teaching and building relationships with homeschool parents and students. She desires to guide and support parents as well as help teenagers see beyond the classroom by developing a zeal for their faith and a vision to become leaders who will impact the world for eternity.

Mrs. De Vries graduated with a BS degree from Central College of Pella, Iowa, where she majored in Elementary Education and minored in Math and Science. She loves science and is thrilled about having the opportunity to share her love of God’s Creation with its mysteries and marvels to students. Bev has been involved with children in one capacity or another for more than 25 years. She is currently employed by the children’s department of Christ’s Church of the Valley, where she uses her teaching abilities and enthusiasm to bring the love of Jesus to young people. Bev has taken advantage of her teaching experience by homeschooling their four children, Zac, Beth, JD, and Jaaz for more than fifteen years. She enjoys every part of the learning process as seen through the eyes of the young people she touches in the classroom.

Mr. Fooks is currently employed by Rogers & Kirby, Inc. which is the Dave Ramsey ELP (Endorsed Local Provider) for financial services in the Phoenix area (www.DaveRamsey.com). Brent currently holds an Insurance license in Arizona and is Securities Licensed as a Registered Representative with United Planners Financial Services. Brent graduated with honors from Gospel Temple Christian Academy in West Greenwich, RI. His entrepreneurial spirit started at age 13 when he started his own landscaping business. By age 16, he was managing a company of 8 employees with a gross yearly income of over $100,000. At the age of 21, he obtained his Real Estates sales license. For the next 17 years Brent built a Real Estate practice that was consistently ranked in the top 5 in the State of RI. His numerous ministry and teaching experiences include Youth Leader, Children’s Pastor, Deacon, Worship Leader, and Mission’s Director at 2 different churches in RI. Brent and his wife have homeschooled their four children. Their oldest son Aaron, has graduated from BIOLA University and now lives in Denver with his wife Laura. Their second son Cole, is currently working in the Phoenix area in specialty coffee. Their adopted duaghters are involved in volleyball and dance, and they currently attend Christ’s Church of the Valley.

Ginger Gillespie has been studying music since childhood and formally studied music theory and music education at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. She has also played in the concert band, the jazz band, and jazz combos at Glendale Community College where she learned if you play a wrong note once, it’s wrong - but if you play it twice, it’s jazz! She has enjoyed leading choirs and vocal teams at various churches both as a volunteer and as a church staff member. A unique forte she discovered while serving at Christ’s Church of the Valley is an ability to determine how each individual learns music and tailor her approach to better suit the student. She currently has the privilege of serving as the vocal director and working in the Technical Arts Ministry at Pure Heart Church, which she has called her church home since 2006. She has a special passion to encourage students in their interest in arts ministry. Ms. Gillespie strives to instill in students a desire to know God, to explore and develop the gifts He has given them, and to use those gifts to serve Him.

Melanie Ketterling earned her BA in Elementary Education from Ottawa University. Melanie is AZ certified, with a full SEI endorsement, and is highly qualified in Language Arts. She has had 20+ years working with children birth-8th grade in preschool and classroom settings. She spent 9 of those years in the classroom, at a local private Christian school, as either a full-time/lead teacher or a substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, Melanie has done DIBELS/PELI testing for reading flunecy for grades PRE K-5, planned chapels, developed Economics lessons for K-4th grade, and assisted with annual speech meets. Her passion for learning and teaching kept growing through attending and leading professional developments. She has led professional developments on topics including: brain friendly teaching, phonics, data binders, cooperative learning, and math journals. Four years ago, Melanie decided to step away from the classroom and homeschool her own two children through their high school years. Her son, Kyle, will be attending GCU this fall, and her daughter, Kaitlyn, will be attending K.E.Y.S. classes starting in the fall. Melanie has such a passion for students, and she cheers them on as they grow both spiritually and academically!  

For Patty Larson, two of her heart-felt passions combine when she teaches art:  Jesus and creativity.  Mrs. Larson originally hails from Chicago where she received a full ride scholarship to the Art Institute.  While there, she founded the Plainfield Art League of Illinois.  She and her family moved to Arizona in 2007.  Shortly after moving to Arizona, the Larson family began attending a large Church in Surprise; she is currently a very active member of Reclaim Church in Peoria; she remains active in groups an coaching, women’s and student ministries to this day. Because of her creative gifts and her passion for teaching, Mrs. Larson has always combined the two areas whenever possible.  She has years of experience in teaching art and Jesus to young people as well as adults.  Her students range in age from five to eighty!  Working with students of all types and in every sort of educational setting, Mrs. Larson instills an awe for the Creator in her students as she strives to bring glory to God in all that she creates.  Presently, she runs a home business, called Artistic Creations, teaches art classes, is a member of the WHAM Art Association (West Valley).  She has juried numerous shows, worked on demonstrative events, and painted murals for both WHAM and EMAG (El Mirage Art Group.)  She has juried Art is Alive in Surprise, which is an annual student art show, and directed an art and poetry show each year since 2008.  Throughout her career, Mrs. Larson has been the featured artist at various galleries in Arizona and in Illinois. She believes teaching is exciting and rewarding because she loves that moment when she sees the expression on her students’ faces as they realize that they used their own hands to create their own art work!  Happy to be a part of the K.E.Y.S. family, Mrs. Larson graduates her youngest son from homeschooling in May 2017, and she looks forward to sharing her passion for art and Jesus with her new students.

Mrs. Penrod holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Psychology and Development from Utica College of Syracuse University, as well as a minor in science. While attending college, she tutored fellow students in science and writing, and worked for the school newspaper. She is also certified both as a Grief Group Facilitator through Hospice of the Valley and in Child Life Psychology (working with children who have various medical/developmental needs). She has 26 years of experience working with children and young adults, eighteen of which are in tutoring and education. She has worked with gifted, regular, and special education students. She especially enjoys encouraging students to reach their full potential with creative and engaging educational approaches. She and her husband, John, were called to homeschool their own children in 2003. One child graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019 and the other is still in college.. The Penrod family enjoys church services at CCV, Scottsdale location.

Erin Rathier graduated from ASU with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She had plans to become a High School English teacher when God called her into fulltime Youth Ministry. Erin has spent the last 21 years working with 4th-12th graders, helping them to learn who they are as Kingdom builders. She has been a Youth Pastor, Children’s Pastor, has written curriculum for youth and adults, written and directed children’s musicals, and enjoyed watching young people become passionate followers of Jesus. Ten years ago, Erin and her husband, Mike, felt God calling them to homeschool their three children, one who has now graduated, a 14 year old and a 12 year old. Homeschooling has been Erin’s greatest blessing.  Erin is still writing and passionate about helping young people follow God in all areas of their life.

Mrs. Rutter has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Delaware. She taught band, orchestra, classroom music, guitar, choir, and piano classes in Christian and public schools for many years before marrying and having a family. Since then, she has been teaching private lessons and finished homeschooling her two girls who are now young adults. One of her favorite things to do is to collect and play as many instruments as she can get hold of. Her most recent acquisitions were a soprano recorder made from plant materials and an electric wind instrument which she calls her Spoboe (space oboe). She currently performs monthly on eight different instruments and in seven different groups .  Sue's second love is learning languages. She studied French for seven years in school and Latin for many years both of which she has been teaching to her children and other homeschooled students. She is eager to share her love of languages with high school students.

Patty is a veteran homeschool mom since 1987. She is an AZ Certified Teacher with a B.S. and M.Ed. and has offered classes in Geography, Government, Arizona History (4th grade), Computer Keyboarding, and Art. As a Teacher-Consultant with the AZGeographic Alliance, Dept. of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning since 1996, Patty provides geography outreach for the homeschool community throughout the state. She has received numerous awards: Great Moments in Social Studies 2002-best elementary social studies lesson in AZ, NGS AZ State Coordinator for Geography Action! 2003-2005, NCGE Distinguished Teacher Award 2004, NGS GeoLiteracy/GeoMath Grants Lesson Writer, NGS Teacher Grant Recipient 2001. She was the Youth & Government Advisor with the Glendale YMCA for 7 years and now encourages our teens to learn the Constitution as well as the legislative process. She is married, has 4 grown children (all homeschooled at various points of their education) and 2 grandchildren. Patty feels very blessed to be able to share her love of geography and other classes with homeschoolers and believes her greatest reward is being able to teach your children a Christian atmosphere using non-traditional approaches to make learning fun and memorable!

Anne began two years of her college degree as a pre-med student and after completing two years, she realized she was drawn towards the dynamics of behavior. She switched to the School of Liberal Arts and completed her undergraduate degree with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology while she minored in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. Seeing that businesses had “personalities” of their own, she pursued a career in finance. While she worked in finance, she continued her educational pursuits with an additional 2 years of business prior to enrolling and completing her Master'sDegree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton.  Anne understands that mastering subjects take a variety of methods and she decided to focus her teaching style combing auditory, visual and tactile methods.  Anne has homeschooled her oldest daughter who has graduated from ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and with the Barrett Honors Program.  Anne currently homeschools her youngest daughter, a senior high school honor student. Among her many volunteer activities, she has taught AWANA for 5 years, helped with the children’s programming at CCV, served on many boards within the various homeschool support groups and ran two homeschool networks in the NW Valley. She served as an inaugural member of the Maricopa County Homeschool Advisory Board. Anne is currently a certified substitute teacher for elementary through high school students in the state of Arizona.

Mrs. Vandenboom has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education K-8 with an emphasis on Spanish Bilingual & ESL, a minor in Spanish, and a Master's Degree in Education: Management of Programs.  She is a native of Phoenix and has been homeschooling her 4 daughters since 2001. Prior to homeschooling, she was a public elementary school teacher, a gifted education teacher and a community college teacher. She believes learning should be challenging and fun! She has spent the last 30 years working with children and youth in one way or another.  She and her family are longtime members of Dream City Church where she holds a volunteer staff position and volunteers in youth ministry, creative arts, altar prayer team and pro-life ministries. Her heart's desire is for young people to have a true and deep understanding of who God is and who He created them to be so they can fulfill the calling and the destiny He has for each one.