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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.

Pastor Matt Bell was born and raised in Arizona. He earned a B.S. in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English and minor in Bible from ACU as well as a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Purdue University Calumet. During his time in the public schools, he taught upper elementary through High School English. In addition to teaching, he took on many additional roles including assistant wrestling coach, student council advisor, PLC lead, intervention coordinator, peer mentor, student council advisor, and writing professional development presenter. In 2012, he was awarded the “Teacher of the Year” by the VFW Post 10695. During his years as a teacher, he kept volunteering in the youth ministry for his church and felt the call to go into full-time ministry. Matthew joined the staff at Glendale Christian Church in June of 2016 as the Associate Pastor for Family Ministries and was ordained on December 13th, 2016. Matthew is currently working on a Masters of Divinity with the emphasis on Biblical and Theological Studies at Phoenix Seminary. He is eager to share his knowledge of writing and literature as well as his passion for God’s Word with his students.

Larissa Bloom graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Psychology with a minor in Biblical Studies from Colorado Christian University. Larissa recently obtained a Master’s degree in Addictions Counseling from Grand Canyon University. Larissa graduated from K.E.Y.S. where she was heavily involved in Leadership. In college, Larissa served as a Resident Assistant and Assistant Resident Director helping her peers through mentoring, event planning, crisis management, and conflict resolution. Larissa works as a Resident Director at Grand Canyon University and is in charge of 600 college students. After working with students for 5 years, Larissa is passionate about helping adolescent’s feel safe to question the world around them, find out what they believe, and further their education.

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 a granddaughter 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 four 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 five years. Finally, her youngest daughter is graduating with her master’s from GCU this April and will be teaching some early morning classes here at KEYS. Twenty-five 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.  

<pKaylee 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 the past two years, she has taught elementary students at a private Christian school in Phoenix. 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 a co-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. Two of them have graduated from Grand Canyon University, and the third will graduate in December. 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 20 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. She and her husband BJ are also small group leaders and hosts for CCV’s at home Bible studies. Bev has taken advantage of her teaching experience by homeschooling their four children, Zac, Beth, JD, and Jaaz for more than ten 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 ( 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.  The oldest is graduating from college this year!  They currently attend Christ’s Church of the Valley, and have recently adopted two daughters.

Ginger Gillespie has been studying music since childhood and formally studied music theory and music education at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. She also played in the concert band, 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.

Mari Landreth is an Arizona native and has been involved with homeschooling for many years. Mrs. Landreth formally studied education at Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Landreth is heavily involved in the community through volunteering. While homeschooling two high school students, Mrs. Landreth volunteers several days a week at Christ's Church of the Valley and weekly at the Pure Heart food pantry. In addition to homeschooling her own children, Mrs. Landreth has partnered with local elementary schools and libraries to teach various art classes and an Art Masterpiece class designed to teach children about art history. Mrs. Landreth is a passionate about education and enjoys taking leadership roles for planning and organizing student and school activities and events. Mrs. Landreth has a heart for Jesus and is very dedicated to ensuring students put God first and find their unique gifts and talents and use them to please God and serve the community.

Mike Landreth has lived in Arizona since 1985 and is married to his high school sweetheart. Mr. Landreth has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Park University and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Landreth is also working on his dissertation in pursuit of a Doctorate in Business Administration at Grand Canyon University. He is a private pilot and has a passion for airplanes. This passion fueled his career of software and systems engineering in the aerospace and defense industry. Although a career engineer, Mr. Landreth is also an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. Mr. Landreth is active in the community and volunteers weekly at Christ’s Church of the Valley. He enjoys teaching and is passionate about learning. He enjoys math and science and hopes to be able to serve his students by helping them learn new things while exploring how God’s beauty can be found in the areas of science and technology.

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 Radiant Church in Surprise; she remains active in group 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, 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. Both of their children currently attend universities in Arizona. 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 20 years working with 4th-12thgraders, 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, who are now 16, 12 and 10. Homeschooling has been Erin’s biggest blessing. This year, God showed Erin it was time to step out of fulltime ministry to focus on her first disciples, her three children at home. Erin is still writing and passionate about helping young people follow God in all areas of their life.

Mrs. Rivera graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis in Youth Ministry from Grand Canyon University. She was in one of the first graduating classes at K.EY.S. where she was involved in Student Leadership. Throughout her high school and college years, Hannah volunteered in the youth ministry at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship. During that time, she found her passion for mentoring youth and helping them discover their identity in Christ. Hannah recently became a mother to a handsome little boy in January of 2015. Mrs. Rivera desires to live a life dedicated to furthering the Kingdom. Hannah is eager and excited to connect with students and encourage them to find their identity in Christ and to have the skills to share their faith in a world in desperate need of Christ.

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 always homeschooling her two girls. One of her favorite things to do is to collect and play as many instruments as she can get hold of. Her most recent acquisition is an accordion with which she performed in a (forgiving and friendly) home school recital. She currently performs weekly on the electric bass in the praise band at Heritage Presbyterian Church.  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.

Mrs. Vandenboom has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Ed 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, a preschool 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 children's ministry, youth ministry, creative arts 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.