For The Glory Of God A distinctive Christ-centered education

Faculty & Staff

JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN:

Dawn Holmes: Mrs. Holmes has been part of the Live Oak community for the past 15 years. She is in her 11th year of teaching at Live Oak, and in her 6th year of teaching Junior Kindergarten. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Baylor University with certifications in both Elementary and all-level Special Education. Mrs. Holmes taught in elementary schools in Austin, in preschool and preschool ministry in Dallas, has completed course work at Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently enrolled at Truett Seminary. She is married to Christopher Holmes, who serves as the General Counsel at Baylor. The Holmes have four children who have all attended Live Oak: Elise (class of 2015), Ridley (class of 2016), Celia (class of 2018), and Clara (Logic II).

Email: dholmes@liveoakclassical.com

Tammy Garst: Mrs. Garst grew up in Virginia and received an associate degree from Piedmont Virginia Community College. She and her husband of 31 years, Eddie, have 3 sons (Zach, Ben and Luke) who have each graduated from Live Oak and continued their education at Baylor University. Tammy has been employed at Live Oak for 7 years. She has found her happy place in Junior Kindergarten as the aide for both classes.

Email: tgarst@liveoakclassical.com

Sarah Kelly: Mrs. Kelly is in her second year at Live Oak. She attended Baylor University where she received her Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in Great Texts and English. She loves stories, classical education, and children, and loves teaching in Junior Kindergarten where all these come together with students who have a natural and enthusiastic curiosity for the world around them. Sarah is married to Colt, who is a commercial real estate agent for Kelly Realtors. They are fairly new to Waco, but looking to put down roots and make this place home. In her spare time Sarah enjoys good books, old movies, and long walks. Sarah loves being a part of the Live Oak community and is excited to start another year teaching Junior Kindergarten!

Email: skelly@liveoakclassical.com


KINDERGARTEN:

Atalie Kroll: Mrs. Kroll is in her sixth year of teaching Kindergarten at Live Oak and is thankful to be a part of the Live Oak community. She attended the University of North Texas where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree, with a concentration in Art History and French. She holds a Texas Teaching Certificate in EC-6th grade. She is married to Brad, a local engineer. They have a daughter named Claire, who is in Junior Kindergarten here at Live Oak. Mrs. Kroll enjoys spending time with her family and friends, teaching children, reading, camping, hiking and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Email: akroll@liveoakclassical.com

Meredith Snowden: Mrs. Snowden is in her third year of teaching at Live Oak, after having taught pre-school for several years in Mississippi. She has a special love for pre-school and kindergarten students! When she is not teaching, she will more than likely be reading a good book or playing outside with her family. Mrs. Snowden’s husband, Matt, is the pastor of First Baptist Church Waco. She has two children: Molly Katherine, a Logic
II student, and Wesley, a Logic I student. Mrs. Snowden earned a B.A. degree in English with a minor in Religion from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She loves teaching at Live Oak and at her church.

Email: msnowden@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR 1:

Terri Cluck: Mrs. Cluck is in her second year of teaching Grammar 1 at Live Oak. She taught for ten years in Aspen, Colorado in both Kindergarten and 1st Grade and spent one year as a Reading Specialist helping Kindergarten-4th grade students. Mrs. Cluck earned a B.A. in K-12 education from Colorado Mesa University and holds a Master’s degree in teaching Reading and Writing. She is married to Bobby, a financial planner and software developer, and they have three wonderful children: Trey (Grammar 4), Caroline (Grammar 3), and Savanna (Grammar 1). Mrs. Cluck enjoys children, reading, watching football, solving word puzzles, spending time with her family and escaping to the mountains as much as possible!

Email: tcluck@liveoakclassical.com

Tish Tucker: Mrs. Tucker has been teaching at Live Oak since its opening in 2004. Her loves are children, nature, and great literature. Mrs. Tucker earned a B.A. in Christian Education from Ouachita Baptist University, an M.A. in Christian Education from Southern Seminary, and an M.A. in Teaching from Spalding University. She holds a Texas teacher’s certificate for grades K-4th and has taught Pre-Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. She and her husband Dennis have three daughters.

Email: ttucker@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR 2:

Michele Jackson: Mrs. Jackson is in her ninth year of teaching at Live Oak. She taught for seven years in Alabama before moving to Texas, and has taught Pre-Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. Mrs. Jackson earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Auburn University. She is married to Chad, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance at Baylor University. They have 2 horses and 2 cats. Mrs. Jackson enjoys teaching at Live Oak, reading, gardening, cooking, antiquing, being active in her church, and attending Baylor athletic events.

Email: mjackson@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR 3:

Lindsay Hunter: Mrs. Hunter grew up mostly in Massachusetts, where she graduated from Gordon College and met her husband, Thomas. She has been teaching for the last nine years, and is certified to teach ELAR 4-8 and 8-12, and EC-6 Generalist. After 4.5 years of running the Ready Bodies Motor Lab at Live Oak, she is currently teaching Grammar 3. She is also the mother of the splendidly handsome and clever Andrew Lawrence, age 3.

Email: lhunter@liveoakclassical.com

Lisa Sutherland: Ms. Sutherland has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Kansas State University and holds Texas certificates in Core Subjects (K-8) and English, Language Arts and Reading (4-8). A mother of eight, she spent 17 years homeschooling using Charlotte Mason’s methods in Germany, Korea, and the United States. Ms. Sutherland joined the faculty at Live Oak in 2017. She is happy to be a part of this community along with her daughter, Margaret Sutherland (who also teaches at Live Oak), and her children George, Annie, and Duncan. She loves gentle books, hot tea, and singing old hymns to new babies.

Email: lsutherland@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR 4:

Becky Kahle: This is Mrs. Kahle’s eighth year of teaching at Live Oak. She moved to Waco from Houston, Texas, where she worked for five years teaching dance, drama, and music to children at The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs. She is originally from New England where she attended Gordon College to earn her B.A. in Youth Ministries with minors in Music and Bible. In 2012, Mrs. Kahle completed her EC-6 teaching certification in Texas. She is married to Dr. David Kahle, a professor in the Statistics department at Baylor University. They have a 5-year-old daughter, Adelaide, who loves to read, sing, and go for walks with their dog, Figaro; Zoe, a spunky 1-year old who loves dancing to Baby Shark; and a third daughter on the way in early 2020.

Email: bkahle@liveoakclassical.com

Christina Johnston: Ms. Johnston is in her eighth year at Live Oak and teaches Grammar 4 math. Prior to coming to Live Oak, she worked for Waxahachie Preparatory Academy as the Elementary Spanish Teacher and volleyball coach. Ms. Johnston earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Dallas Baptist University, and she holds a Texas teaching certificate for EC-6 Generalist. She loves to travel, play the guitar, read books, and write.

Email: cjohnston@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR 5:

Jennifer Eberlein:Mrs. Eberlein came to Live Oak in the fall of 2006 with her three children: Andrew (Live Oak class of 2012), Nathaniel (2013), and Annalee (2015). She has taught Grammar 5 core classes as well as worked in the Grammar Office as an administrative assistant. She currently teaches Grammar 5 history and is a teacher aide to Grammar 4-6. Mrs. Eberlein attended Baylor University, where she earned a degree in secondary education with a focus in English and art, and a master’s degree in educational psychology. She has earned her certification in elementary education as well. She resides in her childhood ranch home outside of Gatesville where she enjoys a variety of pets and being outdoors. Her husband is Christopher Eberlein, a Midway High School vice-principal, who is very tolerant of his wife’s love of animals.

Email: jeberlein@liveoakclassical.com

Christina Johnston: Ms. Johnston is in her eighth year at Live Oak and teaches Grammar 5 science. Prior to coming to Live Oak, she worked for Waxahachie Preparatory Academy as the Elementary Spanish Teacher and volleyball coach. Ms. Johnston earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Dallas Baptist University, and she holds a Texas teaching certificate for EC-6 Generalist. She loves to travel, play the guitar, read books, and write.

Email: cjohnston@liveoakclassical.com

Amanda Kirklin: Mrs. Kirklin is in her second year of teaching at Live Oak. She graduated from the Ball State University Honors College with a B.A in French Education with a minor in Math Education. Mrs. Kirklin has taught French (and tutored math) in public school, and is currently teaching Grammar 5 and Grammar 6 math in addition to Rhetoric I Geometry/Trigonometry.

Email: akirklin@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR 6:

Troy Beaudry: Mr. Beaudry is in his second year of teaching at Live Oak. Originally from Pittsburgh, Mr. Beaudry earned a B.A. in History with a minor in Classical Christian Education from Grove City College in western Pennsylvania. He was a 5th grade teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia before moving to Waco. His wife Anna is pursuing her graduate studies in Literature at Baylor. Theatre, specialty coffee, good books, fishing, and playing guitar are just a few of his passions.

Email: tbeaudry@liveoakclassical.com

Natalie Friesen: Mrs. Friesen teaches Grammar 6 Science. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University, where she received a B.S. in Education. She is passionate about teamwork, fitness, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying nature. Her hobbies include weightlifting, hiking, cooking, and reading.

Email: nfriesen@liveoakclassical.com

Missy McReynolds: Mrs. McReynolds is new to Live Oak this year, having taught everything from 3rd to 8th grade in public and private schools for 21 years. She received a bachelor of science degree in education from Baylor University.  She has been married to Dan McReynolds for 28 years, and they have 2 sons (Grayson, who is in dental school in San Antonio, and Case, a senior at Baylor) and 3 spoiled dogs (Henry, Jackson and Dak). Mrs. McReynolds enjoys cooking and traveling.

Email: mmcreynolds@liveoakclassical.com

Haley Tomaszewski: Mrs. Tomaszewski considers it a joy to teach Latin and Bible to Grammar 6 students. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois, but considers herself a lifelong student who wishes to bring the concept of “Renaissance woman” back into style. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, baking, traveling, and debating with her philosopher husband.

Email: htomaszewski@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR FINE ARTS:

Jeanenne Bezerra:Mrs. Bezerra teaches the Grammar School music classes to students in Junior Kindergarten through Grammar 4, directs a handchime choir for Grammar 5 students, and coordinates music for Grammar Chapel services. This is her tenth year at Live Oak, but she brings many years of music teaching experience to the classroom, including general elementary music as well as elementary and high school choirs. She received her music degrees at Baylor University. In addition to the vocation of teaching music at Live Oak, she teaches private piano.

Email: jbezerra@liveoakclassical.com

Christina Johnston: Ms. Johnston is in her eighth year at Live Oak and teaches Grammar 6 guitar. Prior to coming to Live Oak, she worked for Waxahachie Preparatory Academy as the Elementary Spanish Teacher and volleyball coach. Ms. Johnston earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Dallas Baptist University, and she holds a Texas teaching certificate for EC-6 Generalist. She loves to travel, play the guitar, read books, and write.

Email: cjohnston@liveoakclassical.com

Emily Knighton: Mrs. Knighton has been teaching Grammar Art at Live Oak since 2013, and is currently teaching Junior Kindergarten-Grammar 2 art classes. She graduated cum laude from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art. Before coming to Live Oak, Mrs. Knighton worked as an Art Director, as well as an international tour guide, leading Christian high school groups around Italy, England and Scotland, providing mixtures of art history and Christian teachings. In addition to teaching art, she enjoys continual learning, creating personal artwork, reading books, and playing with her son, Eli.

Email: eknighton@liveoakclassical.com

Sean Oswald: Mr. Oswald is an artist and educator who grew up in Toledo, Ohio. This is his first year at Live Oak Classical School, where he teaches Grammar 3-6 art classes. Before coming to Live Oak, he worked in the arts and arts education field for ten years, most recently at MCC. Mr. Oswald holds a B.A. in arts education from Miami University (OH) and an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Cincinnati (DAAP). He loves spending time with his beautiful wife Hilary and their sweet two-year old girl Beatrice. The Oswald family loves living in Waco where they have found a lovely home and a vibrant community.

Email: soswald@liveoakclassical.com

Margaret Sutherland: Ms. Sutherland is in her third year at Live Oak, teaching Grammar 4 Latin, Grammar 5 guitar and choir, Grammar 6 choir and drama, and Logic/Rhetoric choirs, handbells, Chapel music, and serving as the Fine Arts chair. She graduated summa cum laude from the Attebury Honors Program at West Texas A&M University with a degree in music composition, and moved to Waco to be near family. Music is her driving passion; she has worked and performed as a pianist, singer, accompanist, private teacher, composer, lyricist, and arranger. She also enjoys working as the Assistant Choir Director for the Youth Chorus of Central Texas.

Email: msutherland@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR SPANISH:

Christina Johnston: Ms. Johnston is in her eighth at Live Oak and teaches Kindergarten-Grammar 2 Spanish. Prior to coming to Live Oak, she worked for Waxahachie Preparatory Academy as the Elementary Spanish Teacher and volleyball coach. Ms. Johnston earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Dallas Baptist University, and she holds a Texas teaching certificate for EC-6 Generalist. She loves to travel, play the guitar, read books, and write.

Email: cjohnston@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR P.E.:

Chris Eikenhorst: This is Coach Ike’s third year at Live Oak. He and his wife Jennifer, along with their four children, moved to Waco in June of 2017. Coach Ike brings 14 years of teaching, coaching and administrative experience. As a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, he earned his B.A. in General Studies with a focus on Small Business and Sports Management. He enjoys spending time with his family, running, reading, cooking and collecting sports memorabilia.

Email: ceikenhorst@liveoakclassical.com

Georgia Redding: This is Coach Redding’s second year at Live Oak and sixth year of coaching and teaching. She and her husband Dylan have been married for 5 years and have lived in Waco for the last two years. As a graduate of Baylor University, she received her B.S. in Exercise Physiology. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and being active!

Email: gredding@liveoakclassical.com


GRAMMAR STAFF

Brooke Moore: Mrs. Moore has recently joined the Live Oak community as a Reading Interventionist for the Grammar School. She has five years of experience working with struggling readers in public schools and in the community, both in small group settings and one-on-one. Mrs. Moore is certified as a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist through the International Dyslexia Association, and is working on her Masters in Reading Science through Mount St. Joseph University. She is married to Adam Moore, who serves as the Assistant Director of Student & Alumni Initiatives in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. They have two daughters: Ivy (12) and Lila (10), and two cats. The entire Moore family are avid readers, and Mrs. Moore still reads aloud to her daughters regularly. When she is not reading (or reading about reading!), she enjoys spending time outdoors, doing yoga, napping, and spending time with family both here in Waco and in Austin.

Email: bmoore@liveoakclassical.com

Natalie Rainey (Grammar School Librarian): Natalie grew up in Houston, Texas and Lakeland, Florida. She graduated from Texas A&M with a B.A. in English Education. Her teaching career includes 3rd grade at Brazos Christian School in College Station, 4th grade Language Arts at Presbyterian School in Houston and Grammar 3 at Live Oak. After a decade stint as a stay-at-home mom, Natalie was thrilled to step into the part-time position of Grammar School Librarian. Natalie is married to Craig, a family doctor with Waco’s Family Health Center. They have 3 children: Adelaide, Jack and Rhys, all proud Live Oak students.

Email: nrainey@liveoakclassical.com


LOGIC I

Jennifer Bankhead: Mrs. Bankhead teaches Logic I Literature and Composition and serves as the Assistant Dean of Student Life. She earned a B.A. in Literature from Baylor University in 2006 and a master’s degree in educational leadership from West Texas A&M University in 2018. She holds a Texas secondary certification in English and educational administration. Prior to serving at Live Oak, she spent eleven years in public education. She and her husband Michael have three children: Ian (Grammar 3), Ezra (Kindergarten) and Samantha (2-years old). While this is only her first year working at Live Oak, she has been a part of the Live Oak community for the past four years through her children.

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: jbankhead@liveoakclassical.com

Jeff Platt: Mr. Platt is in his 31st year of teaching and this is his first year at Live Oak, teaching Logic I History. He also teaches gifted and talented students at Hillcrest PDS in Waco ISD. He is a Baylor Bear alum and his blood runs green and gold. He is passionate about his students and he advocates for the educational opportunities to which all students are entitled. He is a life-long learner and encourages his students to be as well. He loves to travel overseas with students and expose them to all of the wonders of the world that are at their fingertips. His wife Amy is an educator in Midway ISD. He has two beautiful children: daughter Gracie is a high school senior and son Hage is a high school freshman. When he and his family are not attending Baylor games, you’ll catch them traveling around the United States, attending famous baseball parks (his love for baseball runs deep). His life motto for his students, his family and himself is #safe#responsible#respectful.

Email: jplatt@liveoakclassical.com


LOGIC II


LOGIC III

Eric Sagué: Mr. Sagué is in his fifth year at Live Oak, serving as our Logic/Rhetoric History Department Chair and teaching Early Modern Literature/Composition and Early Modern History to Logic III students. Originally from Dallas, he lived in exile for nearly a decade, earning graduate degrees (in Divinity and Christian Education) from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey and studying English Literature and Philosophy at Taylor University in Indiana.

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: esague@liveoakclassical.com

RHETORIC I

Nik Pontasch: Mr. Pontasch teaches Rhetoric I Literature & Composition. A double graduate of Baylor University, he received a B.A. Honors degree in Great Texts and French, and an M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. As an undergrad, he was selected to represent Baylor for the CUPA-Paris student exchange program. Following college, he interned and worked at University High School in Waco as a reading intervention specialist and English I & II teacher. A dual citizen of the United States and Austria, Mr. Pontasch has a passion for WWII history, as both of his grandfathers fought in the war on opposing sides. He also enjoys playing violin with his wife Jessie (a fellow Live Oak teacher), writing, mushroom hunting, cooking or discussing anything pertaining to France or Austria.

Email: npontasch@liveoakclassical.com

Chuck Vanek: This is Mr. Vanek’s third year at Live Oak, where he teaches Rhetoric I Modern History. He received his B.A. in History from Baylor University in 2015. Mr. Vanek has a passion for history and research, especially Colonial America and the American Civil War. In his spare time he enjoys long distance running, visiting museums, volunteering at animal shelters, and working with his local charity for sick children, Heroes They Deserve.

Email: cvanek@liveoakclassical.com


RHETORIC II

Steven Tyra: Mr. Tyra grew up in the Sacramento area of northern California, where he attended UC Davis for his undergraduate studies in English literature. After completing two master’s degrees at Fuller Seminary, he went on to serve as a youth pastor in the Seattle area for four years. Mr. Tyra and his daughter arrived in Waco in summer 2016 when he was accepted into the PhD program in Religion (Church History) at Baylor University. He is currently hard at work on a dissertation on John Calvin’s theology while also teaching Rhetoric II Literature and History, Latin II, and additional electives at Live Oak. Apart from his academic pursuits, he enjoys jogging on Waco’s bike trails, obsessing over J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, and being a dad.

Email: styra@liveoakclassical.com


RHETORIC III

Aly Barnes: Dr. Barnes is delighted to be in her seventh year of teaching at Live Oak. She teaches AP English and two courses in formal rhetoric, and she serves as the chair of the Logic/Rhetoric Literature and Composition Department. After earning a PhD in Rhetoric in 2014, she published two high school textbooks: Rhetoric Alive: Principles of Persuasion and Rhetoric Alive: Senior Thesis Student Workbook. Her husband Steve teaches English at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and their three lovely daughters attend Live Oak.

Email: abarnes@liveoakclassical.com


CHRISTIAN STUDIES

Jeremy Crews: Mr. Crews is in his fifth year at Live Oak and teaches Text and Tradition for Rhetoric I and Christian Theology for Rhetoric III. He grew up in Anniston, Alabama before going to college at the University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. He graduated in May of 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, and minors in English and Philosophy. He moved to Waco in August of 2013 to pursue a Master of Divinity in Theology at Truett Seminary. Jeremy is married to Katie Crews of Katie Beth Photography. Jeremy enjoys good books, strong coffee, meaningful music, and the joy that comes with being with friends.

Email: jcrews@liveoakclassical.com

Adam Stanley: This is Mr. Stanley’s eleventh year to be with Live Oak. He serves as our Logic and Rhetoric Christian Studies Department Chair and teaches Biblical Survey in the Logic School, Introductory Logic for Logic I, and Christianity Among the World Religions for Rhetoric III. Mr. Stanley earned a B.A. in Christian Studies from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a Master of Divinity from Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary. He is married to Kelly, and they have 2 beautiful boys. He enjoys time with his family, theological study, playing video games and watching the Houston Rockets.

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: astanley@liveoakclassical.com


CLASSICAL STUDIES

Aly Barnes: Dr. Barnes is delighted to be in her seventh year of teaching at Live Oak. She teaches AP English and two courses in formal rhetoric, and she serves as the chair of the Logic/Rhetoric Literature and Composition Department. After earning a PhD in Rhetoric in 2014, she published two high school textbooks: Rhetoric Alive: Principles of Persuasion and Rhetoric Alive: Senior Thesis Student Workbook. Her husband Steve teaches English at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and their three lovely daughters attend Live Oak.

Email: abarnes@liveoakclassical.com

Justin Rosolino: Mr. Rosolino teaches Rhetoric III Moral Philosophy. Born in Long Island, New York, Justin graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia, where he studied political theory, philosophy, history and music. An accomplished guitarist, singer and songwriter, Justin worked for ten years as a professional musician. He has performed in over forty states and composed television and radio commercial jingles for ABC primetime television, J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and Pulse Media. Justin also played guitar and led worship at Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010, Justin completed a Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt University, where he was awarded the Tillet Prize for Theological Studies by the faculty. He has since lectured at conferences for the American Academy of Religion on diverse topics including modern theology, philosophy of mind and interreligious dialogue. Formerly, Justin served as chair of the History Department at Brentwood Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, where he taught classes in World History and Religion. He and his wife currently reside in Woodway with their 2 adorable boys.

Phone: (678) 665-2627
Email: jrosolino@liveoakclassical.com

Adam Stanley: This is Mr. Stanley’s eleventh year to be with Live Oak. He serves as our Logic and Rhetoric Christian Studies Department Chair and teaches Biblical Survey in the Logic School, Introductory Logic for Logic I, and Christianity Among the World Religions for Rhetoric III. Mr. Stanley earned a B.A. in Christian Studies from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a Master of Divinity from Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary. He is married to Kelly, and they have 2 beautiful boys. He enjoys time with his family, theological study, playing video games and watching the Houston Rockets.

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: astanley@liveoakclassical.com

Carolyn Still: Mrs. Still is one of the three founders of Live Oak and serves as our Logic/Rhetoric Classical Studies Department Chair as well as our Senior Thesis Director. Through the years she has taught in the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric schools in various subjects, from music to Literature/Composition to history to Bible, and most recently the Senior Thesis class. She also served as the Dean of Academic Life in the Logic and Rhetoric Schools for seven years. Mrs. Still earned her B.S. in Education from Baylor University and her M.A. in Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before her work at Live Oak, she taught 9th grade English in the Dallas area and 6th-10th grade English in Glasgow, Scotland. Carolyn is married to Dr. Todd Still, Dean of Baylor’s Truett Seminary. They have two sons who both graduated from Live Oak: Samuel (Class of 2014) and Andrew (Class of 2017).

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: cstill@liveoakclassical.com


MATHEMATICS

Meg Bierwirth: Mrs. Bierwirth serves as our Logic/Rhetoric Math Department Chair and teaches math in the Logic and Rhetoric schools. She has a B.A. in Mathematics and History from Trinity University, a M.A. in Teaching from Trinity University, and a M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has Texas secondary certification in mathematics and history. Previously, she taught Business Calculus at Baylor and Algebra at UAB. She and her husband Matt, a local pediatrician, have four sons. Mrs. Bierwirth is a life-long learner and loves to read and to travel.

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: mbierwirth@liveoakclassical.com

Jennifer Chakmakjian: Mrs. Chakmakjian is in her sixth year of teaching Logic/Rhetoric math at Live Oak. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in math from Baylor University and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Texas Tech University. Mrs. Chakmakjian earned her teaching certificate in secondary mathematics in 2000 and has taught high school mathematics in both public and private schools in Texas and Arkansas. She and her husband Stephen, is a local pediatrician, have three children: their twins, Katie and Caleb, are in Rhetoric II and their youngest son, David, is in Grammar 5.

Email: jchakmakjian@liveoakclassical.com

Amanda Kirklin: Mrs. Kirklin is in her second year of teaching at Live Oak. She graduated from the Ball State University Honors College with a B.A in French Education with a minor in Math Education. Mrs. Kirklin has taught French (and tutored math) in public school, and is currently teaching Grammar 5 and Grammar 6 math in addition to Rhetoric I Geometry/Trigonometry.

Email: akirklin@liveoakclassical.com


SCIENCES

Natalie Friesen: Mrs. Friesen teaches Rhetoric Anatomy/Physiology. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University, where she received a B.S. in Education. She is passionate about teamwork, fitness, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying nature. Her hobbies include weightlifting, hiking, cooking, and reading.

Email: nfriesen@liveoakclassical.com

Martin Graham: Mr. Graham teaches Physics in the Rhetoric School. This is his eleventh year of teaching at Live Oak. Mr. Graham received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics/Physics/Philosophy from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan. He has taught every graduate of Live Oak, from 6th grade math to AP Physics. He also is the IT Director for the school.

Email: mgraham@liveoakclassical.com

Steve Howard: Mr. Howard teaches Rhetoric Anatomy/Physiology, having coached and taught in Texas public schools for over 30 years here in the Central Texas area. He is married to Karen, and they have three grown children and eight grandkids (who are spoiled rotten). Mr. Howard loves to scuba dive, travel and do anything sports-related. He loves Southern Gospel, traditional country and bluegrass music. He also loves to read and study anything involving apologetics, early American Indian culture (specifically the Comanche and Apache people of the Texas Panhandle where he was raised), WWII, church history, and anything involving saving/spending/investing money. He is in his 39th year of education.

Phone: (254) 654-0996
Email: showard@liveoakclassical.com

Melinda Johnson: Mrs. Johnson teaches Logic I Earth Science, Logic II Biology, Logic II Pre-AP Biology and Rhetoric II and III Environmental Science. She has been teaching science for the past 13 years, and has been a part of the Live Oak Science department for the past 4 years. She loves the opportunity to inspire students in a love for God’s creation. Mrs. Johnson also organizes those involved in Science Fair as they seek to compete at the local, regional and state level. She sponsors the Eukelle Club as well as the Robotics Club. She received a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Baylor University and her teaching certification in Science from McLennan Community College. Her passions are children, all things science, running, traveling, coffee and the great outdoors. She and her husband have lived in Waco for 27 years and have three grown children.

Email: mjohnson@liveoakclassical.com

Katherine Pitts: Mrs. Pitts serves as our Logic/Rhetoric Science Department Chair and has taught at Live Oak Classical School since 2008 as well as helping to establish the high school science curriculum. She currently teaches Chemistry, AP Chemistry and AP Biology in the Logic and Rhetoric Schools. She graduated with a B.S. in Science Education from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. Her first teaching position was at University High School in 1987, where she taught physical science, physics and chemistry. She also taught physical science, pre-AP biology and AP biology at R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, Texas. While at R. L. Turner she was involved in ESL, academic decathlon, and Odyssey of the Mind programs and helped to establish the Biomedical Academy, a magnet to introduce children to studies in healthcare and biomedical research. During those years she took a year off from teaching in which to pursue graduate studies in chemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is an active member of NABT (the National Association of Biology Teachers) and the AACT (the American Association of Chemistry Teachers). Katherine and her husband Bill have 3 children: twins Will and Emma, and Ellie.

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: kpitts@liveoakclassical.com


LOGIC/RHETORIC LANGUAGES

Nik Pontasch: Mr. Pontasch teaches French to Rhetoric I, II, and III students. A double graduate of Baylor University, he received a B.A. Honors degree in Great Texts and French, and an M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. As an undergrad, he was selected to represent Baylor for the CUPA-Paris student exchange program. Following college, he interned and worked at University High School in Waco as a reading intervention specialist and English I & II teacher. A dual citizen of the United States and Austria, Mr. Pontasch has a passion for WWII history, as both of his grandfathers fought in the war on opposing sides. He also enjoys playing violin with his wife Jessie (a fellow Live Oak teacher), writing, mushroom hunting, cooking or discussing anything pertaining to France or Austria.

Email: npontasch@liveoakclassical.com

Haley Tomaszewski: Mrs. Tomaszewski considers it a joy to teach Latin to Logic I students. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois, but considers herself a lifelong student who wishes to bring the concept of “Renaissance woman” back into style. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, baking, traveling, and debating with her philosopher husband.

Email: htomaszewski@liveoakclassical.com

Allison Trumble: Ms. Trumble serves as our Logic/Rhetoric Foreign Languages Department Chair as well as currently teaching Latin III. She has a B.A. in English from Ouachita Baptist University, where she also studied Latin and Spanish for her language concentration, and she completed coursework for an M.A. in English from Baylor. Before coming to Live Oak, Ms. Trumble taught in both public and private high schools and for six years taught both of the freshman composition courses at Baylor. She has also taught piano lessons after school at Live Oak for several years. Ms. Trumble is in her 14th year at Live Oak.

Phone: (254) 714-1008
Email: atrumble@liveoakclassical.com

Steven Tyra: Mr. Tyra grew up in the Sacramento area of northern California, where he attended UC Davis for his undergraduate studies in English literature. After completing two master’s degrees at Fuller Seminary, he went on to serve as a youth pastor in the Seattle area for four years. Mr. Tyra and his daughter arrived in Waco in summer 2016 when he was accepted into the PhD program in Religion (Church History) at Baylor University. He is currently hard at work on a dissertation on John Calvin’s theology while also teaching Latin II at Live Oak. Apart from his academic pursuits, he enjoys jogging on Waco’s bike trails, obsessing over J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, and being a dad.

Email: styra@liveoakclassical.com

Nathan Wade: Mr. Wade has taught for 19 years in private and public schools in Oklahoma and Texas. He teaches Latin in the Logic and Rhetoric schools, and holds Texas secondary certification in Latin, History, Mathematics, English, and Social Studies Composite. He has a bachelors degree from Baylor in secondary education (Latin and History) and a Master of Latin degree from the University of Florida. He is an avid supporter of Live Oak athletic teams. He has one son, whom he adopted from Guatemala as a single parent, who also attends Live Oak.

Email: nwade@liveoakclassical.com


LOGIC/RHETORIC FINE ARTS

Patrick Contreras: Mr. Contreras is the Yearbook advisor. He is a graduate of Baylor University with a Fine Arts degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in graphic design, and currently runs a successful graphic and web design company. Mr. Contreras is originally from Waco, and has coached all levels of basketball since 1998. He is developing a new club focused on developing individual abilities through one-on-one and camp instruction. He and his wife Delsia have two daughters: Eliah and Elaina. Mr. Contreras looks forward to inspiring students in the classroom and through basketball.

Email: pcontreras@liveoakclassical.com

Jewel Lockridge (Home Economics): Dr. Lockridge is starting her third year at Live Oak. A lifelong Waco resident, she is teaching high school Home Economics. She holds an undergraduate degree in Home Economics (now Family and Consumer Science) from Baylor University, an M.Ed. in Vocational Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. Due to a seemingly insatiable love for learning, she most recently earned a Master of Arts degree in Christian Ministry from Truett Seminary. She and her husband Vernon have two daughters: DeLeah (a nuclear engineer in Georgia) and Delsia (who recently left Live Oak to teach Culinary Arts classes at LaVega High School). Son-in-law Patrick Contreras teaches and coaches at Live Oak, and granddaughters Eliah (Logic I) and Elaina (Junior Kindergarten) round out the family.

Email: jlockridge@liveoakclassical.com

Leilani Mueller: Mrs. Mueller teaches One-Act Play and Logic/Rhetoric Theatre Arts. She is a California native and Texas transplant. One of her joys is teaching and witnessing her students’ joy and diligent pursuit of their subjects. During her undergraduate years, she studied Humanities at Biola University and Oxford University and then taught humanities at a classical high school program in California until moving to Texas. She also directed mostly-Shakespearean theater. She is married to Nathan, a Canadian, who is a PhD student in Philosophy at Baylor, and they have 3 children. When she is not teaching, you will find her reading (widely), working on her writing projects, talking to friends, playing with her children, or drinking a sweetened coffee.

Email: lmueller@liveoakclassical.com

Sean Oswald: Mr. Oswald is an artist and educator who grew up in Toledo, Ohio. This is his first year at Live Oak Classical School, where he teaches Logic I-Rhetoric III art classes. Before coming to Live Oak, he worked in the arts and arts education field for ten years, most recently at MCC. Mr. Oswald holds a B.A. in arts education from Miami University (OH) and an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Cincinnati (DAAP). He loves spending time with his beautiful wife Hilary and their sweet two-year old girl Beatrice. The Oswald family loves living in Waco where they have found a lovely home and a vibrant community.

Jessie Pontasch: This is Mrs. Pontasch’s fifth year teaching at Live Oak. She graduated from Baylor University’s Honors College in December 2013 with a B.A. in Great Texts and a minor in Music. Before working at Live Oak, Mrs. Pontasch was a 4th and 5th grade teacher for the ACE Program at La Vega ISD, and spent three summers as a reading, writing, spelling, and phonics tutor. Music is one of Mrs. Pontasch’s deepest passions; she plays violin, guitar, ukulele and loves to bring music to life in the classroom. Outside of school, Mrs. Pontasch composes pieces for guitar and violin, has movie marathons with friends and family, and hikes the beautiful trails of Cameron Park. Mrs. Pontasch is married to Nik Pontasch, who also works at Live Oak as a French and Literature teacher in the Logic/Rhetoric School.

Email: jpontasch@liveoakclassical.com

Margaret Sutherland: Ms. Sutherland is in her second year at Live Oak and serves as our Logic/Rhetoric Fine Arts Department Chair as well as teaching Logic/Rhetoric Choral Arts, Instrumental Music and Handbell Choir. She graduated summa cum laude from the Attebury Honors Program at West Texas A&M University with a degree in music composition, and moved to Waco to be near family. Music is her driving passion; she has worked and performed as a pianist, singer, accompanist, private teacher, composer, lyricist, and arranger for the last 7 years. She also enjoys teaching choir at the Youth Chorus of Central Texas and directing music at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church.

Email: msutherland@liveoakclassical.com

Michael Vela: Mr. Vela has been a part of Live Oak community since 2010, an instructor since 2012 and loves teaching Woodshop, Sculpture, and Metalworking.. He is the husband to Chelsey Vela and the proud father of one amazing daughter and 3 awesome sons. Michael earned a B.S. in Psychology‎ with an emphasis in art from Tarleton State University with the hopes of one day earning a Master and L.P.C in Art Therapy. In his spare time he enjoys playing the role of MacGyver (the original), by solving the never-ending list of Live Oak obstacles, producing minor miracles with minimal resources, repairing various items and equipment, and rescuing small children from strangers suffering from Silo Sepsis (otherwise known as Magnolia Madness); symptoms include driving while taking photographs, hiccups, the inability to notice traffic signs, overwhelming joy that blocks all other senses, and, in severe cases, dry skin. Michael finds his joy interacting with his students as they acquire new skills, increase in their capability, and create fascinating artwork. Michael’s hobbies include hanging out with his kiddos, traveling, problem solving, reading, creating, fighting crime, and lamenting the University of Baylor and the Denver Broncos football programs. His current motto is “Age is always advancing and I’m fairly sure it’s up to no good”.

Email: mvela@liveoakclassical.com


LOGIC/RHETORIC ATHLETICS and P.E.

Patrick Contreras: Mr. Contreras is the Junior Varsity boys basketball coach. He is a graduate of Baylor University with a Fine Arts degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in graphic design, and currently runs a successful graphic and web design company. Mr. Contreras is originally from Waco, and has coached all levels of basketball since 1998. He is developing a new club focused on developing individual abilities through one-on-one and camp instruction. He and his wife Delsia have two daughters: Eliah and Elaina. Mr. Contreras looks forward to inspiring students in the classroom and through basketball.

Email: pcontreras@liveoakclassical.com

Chris Eikenhorst: This is Coach Ike’s third year at Live Oak. He and his wife Jennifer, along with their four children, moved to Waco in June of 2017. Coach Ike brings 14 years of teaching, coaching and administrative experience. As a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, he earned his B.A. in General Studies with a focus on Small Business and Sports Management. He enjoys spending time with his family, running, reading, cooking and collecting sports memorabilia.

Email: ceikenhorst@liveoakclassical.com

Natalie Friesen: Mrs. Friesen is Head Volleyball coach. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University, where she received a B.S. in Education. She is passionate about teamwork, fitness, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying nature. Her hobbies include weightlifting, hiking, cooking, and reading.

Email: nfriesen@liveoakclassical.com

Brice Helton: Mr. Helton serves as our Athletic Director, Head Football Coach and Head Track Coach. He is originally from El Paso, and continues his tour across Texas after stops in Lubbock and Dallas. He is in his fourth year at Live Oak after serving at The Covenant School of Dallas for eleven years as the Athletic Director, Facilities Director, Head Football Coach and Head Track Coach. He received his undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and his Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Brice has been working in athletics for the last fifteen years including jobs with Texas Tech University and Kanakuk Kamps. He has been married to his wife Lauren for thirteen years and has three beautiful daughters.

Email: bhelton@liveoakclassical.com

Steve Howard: Mr. Howard serves as Assistant Athletic Director, having coached and taught in Texas public schools for over 30 years here in the Central Texas area. He is married to Karen, and they have three grown children and eight grandkids (who are spoiled rotten). Mr. Howard loves to scuba dive, travel and do anything sports-related. He loves Southern Gospel, traditional country and bluegrass music. He also loves to read and study anything involving apologetics, early American Indian culture (specifically the Comanche and Apache people of the Texas Panhandle where he was raised), WWII, church history, and anything involving saving/spending/investing money. He is in his 39th year of education.

Phone: (254) 654-0996
Email: showard@liveoakclassical.com

Georgia Redding: This is Coach Redding’s second year at Live Oak and sixth year of coaching and teaching. She and her husband Dylan have been married for 5 years and have lived in Waco for the last two years. As a graduate of Baylor University, she received her B.S. in Exercise Physiology. She is the Head Cross Country coach for both Junior High and High School, the Head Junior High Soccer coach, and the Head Junior High Track coach.

Email: gredding@liveoakclassical.com

Chuck Vanek: This is Mr. Vanek’s third year at Live Oak, where he coaches Junior High football, Junior High basketball and High School baseball. He received his B.A. in History from Baylor University in 2015. Mr. Vanek has a passion for history and research, especially Colonial America and the American Civil War. In his spare time he enjoys long distance running, visiting museums, volunteering at animal shelters, and working with his local charity for sick children, Heroes They Deserve.

Email: cvanek@liveoakclassical.com


LOGIC/RHETORIC STAFF:

Katy Cordell (Logic/Rhetoric Receptionist): A native of Central Texas, Mrs. Cordell was a home educator for 13 years before she and her children joined the Live Oak community. She is the founder and former executive director of SHINE, an educational non-profit dedicated to supporting local homeschooling families and providing them with supplemental educational opportunities, social enrichment, and extracurricular activities. Katy has worked for six years as a professional doula and childbirth educator, assisting expectant families through the first year of childbirth, and she also volunteers as an accredited breastfeeding counselor. She and her family enjoy pizza and movie nights, riding dirt bikes, reading, and church activities. Katy and her husband live in Gatesville with their five children.

Email: kcordell@liveoakclassical.com

Amanda Depew (Logic/Rhetoric Receptionist): Mrs. Depew grew up in East Texas. After a decade stint as a stay-at-home mom, she is excited to serve as the part-time receptionist at the Logic/Rhetoric School. She and her husband Zach relocated from Pennsylvania to Waco in 2015 for Zach’s job with Tractor Supply Company. She enjoys traveling, attending sporting events and hearing live music.

Email: adepew@liveoakclassical.com

Amber McCreery (College Counselor): Mrs. McCreery is passionate about helping students to pursue plans for the future, and for finding the right college fit! She holds a B.A. from Texas A&M University in Psychology, a M.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of North Texas, and a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. She has worked on both the K-12 side of education, as well as within Student and Academic Affairs at two- and four-year schools, and has been active in college counseling for many years. Mrs. McCreery lives in Woodway with her husband Ryan and her three children.

Email: amccreery@liveoakclassical.com


ALL SCHOOL STAFF:

Chantal Flynn (Operations Manager): Mrs. Flynn grew up in Michigan and received her B.A. in International Studies from Pepperdine University. She and her husband Carl have 2 children at Live Oak: Logan (Logic III) and Mia (Grammar 6). Her interests include U.S. and European history, fine arts, animals and nature. After seven years as the Office Manager for Logic/Rhetoric, Mrs. Flynn now serves as the Operations Manager.

Email: cflynn@liveoakclassical.com

Stephanie Harris (School Counselor): Mrs. Harris is in her third year at Live Oak. She earned her B.A. from Baylor University in the University Scholars Program. She went on to earn her Masters degree in Counseling from Arizona State University. She and her husband Tom have 4 daughters at Live Oak: Abigail (Logic I), Kaitlyn, (Grammar 5), Charlotte (Grammar 3), and Amelia (Junior Kindergarten). Mrs. Harris is passionate about the mental health of our students and helping students with learning differences understand their strengths, unique gifts, and accommodations. She loves spending time with her family cooking, reading aloud, playing games, and exploring the outdoors.

Email: sharris@liveoakclassical.com


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