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Emily Bianchi

  • LEGO Robotics Lab

I am a homeschooling mom of three boys. My husband, Joe, and I decided that homeschooling would be the best option for our family when our oldest son entered 2nd grade . I have a Bachelor of Science and an Master's degree in Elementary Education and am continually learning new things as I homeschool my boys. I am very happy to be a part of Roots and Wings. I am thankful for what it has offered for my family and for all of the homeschoolers in our community.  

Angela Bougher

  • Exploring Art - Inspired by Nature 2

Angela graduated from Christ for the Nations Institute in 2000. She has co-pastored alongside her husband for 20 years and has experience in administration, leadership, teaching, & public speaking. She currently assists in pastoring and leading at Thrive Church in Lockport, IL. Over the years, she has worked with children and youth of all ages, teaching dance, drama, history, and the arts, with an emphasis on God's creativity and love for us. Angela, a mom of 5 energetic, passionate children, has been homeschooling for 18+ years and believes wholeheartedly in the values that non-traditional education can provide!

Katie Brauer

  • Weather, Climate, and Natural Disasters, Oh My!

Katie Brauer is a homeschooling mama of two kids who taught English and Reading at Lincoln-Way for 10 years before beginning her homeschool journey. She has also privately tutored kids in literacy and writing since she graduated with her degree in English and Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University Chicago. Her belief that every child deserves to learn and grow at their own pace with loving, supportive guidance pointing them toward God has fueled her desire to homeschool, tutor, and teach.

Alex DiMarchi

  • All God's Creatures

Hello! My name is Alex DeMarchi. I am currently a college student that is studying Early Childhood Education. I also am the owner of Earth Moving Animals, an educational animal show. I love teaching children about animals in hopes that I can help develop a respect for and love of animals in others. I am the proud owner of over 80 pets, many that are rescues. My ultimate goal is to own my farm and create my own nature based daycare and preschool program. I have a lot of experience working with young children because my mom has run an in home daycare out of our home for over 13 years. I have always loved helping my mom with her daycare. I was also homeschooled and highly believe in homeschool for children.

Emily Franz

  • Creative Drawing Lab - Beginners

  • Creative Drawing 2.0

  • Davey Jone's Paint Box - Beginning Watercolor

Emily is an artist and owner of Bloom Art Studio in Mokena. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Columbia College Chicago and has been instructing people in art for over 7 years. She is a mother of 5 adult children, a wife of 37 years, a dog lover and an avid reader.


Heather Giertuga

  • ASL 2, 3 and 4

Miss Heather had a passion for sign language since she was in grade school. A certified teacher in both elementary & special education, she worked as a sign language interpreter for deaf & hard of hearing students in many different schools. After deciding to stay home and raise a family, she missed teaching and created virtual sign language classes and now teaches families across America.
Miss Heather recently opened another kid- friendly business in Tinley Park in which sign language is interjected as well!
When she's not working, her most favorite time is spent with her children at home!


Morgan Grutzius

  • Music Lessons: piano, flute & harp

Morgan is a 21-year piano veteran as well as 18 years in harp performance and flute. She is a 2015 graduate of the Chicago Conservatory of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Harp, Piano, and Flute performance. She has been mentored by the prestigious Lillian Lau, principal harpist of the Lyre Bird Ensemble, and Kathy Hoster, founder of Hoster Piano Studio. Morgan is also a Certified Clinical Musician and received her Master’s in Therapeutic Harp Music in December of 2020. She has been teaching professionally for 9 years and is a member in good and regular standing of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association. Apart from teaching, Morgan performs music at corporate events, weddings, and community concerts through the family music business, Heavenly Harps.


Julie Hansen

  • Spanish 1 (Fall Cohort)

  • Tu Y Yo: Parent/Child Spanish

¡Hola! I am a former Spanish and bilingual, English as a Second Language teacher. I have taught children as young as 3 all the way to adults. I live in New Lenox with my husband, two sons, my daughter, a couple fur babies and a flock of chickens. Reading, writing, playing pickleball and traveling are some of my favorite things to do. I am very excited to be returning to Roots and Wings as a Spanish teacher. 

Liz Hetue

  • Rhythm & Rhyme - 2

  • Science Soup

  • Good Game!

Liz Hetue is a former 1st and 2nd grade teacher with a preK-3 Elementary Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Reading Specialist certificate K-12 from Lewis University. She taught for 7+ years before staying home with her own children, tutoring and teaching classes in between visits to the zoo, parks, and going to the lake with her family. This will be her 5th semester at Roots and Wings, where she has taught literacy, art, musical theater and science classes. She loves teaching and getting to know families at Roots and Wings and is excited to start a new semester! 


Amanda Insalaco

  • Dr. Seuss on the Loose!

  • Nature Crafts

I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom of 2, both who are enrolled here at Roots and Wings. We've been attending for the last 2 years and my kids are absolutely in love with all those they have met and all they have learned so far. Seeing my children thrive and knowing how far they have come made me want to get involved as a teacher. I've always been a crafty person and often feel my best when I get to create something, especially with the kids. In my free time I most enjoy time spent with family, creating something (anything!), reading, and being outdoors. Our family travels from Saint John, Indiana each week to be a part of something so amazing and special to us.

Chef Jessica Jackson-Nyarko

  • Intro to Pastry Arts - Part 2

  • Kids Baking Academy - Part 2

  • Cooking Around the World - Part 2

Chef Jess of Kidinary Cooking is a pediatric nutritionist with a Masters in Culinary Nutrition that has taught students about nutrition and the culinary arts for over 4 years. 


Brad Kleine

  • Injury Management

Brad Kleine, ATC, PES, CKTP, GTS is a certified and licensed Athletic Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist, certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner, Graston Technique Specialist. Mr. Kleine has worked for Athletico Physical Therapy for over 20 years and is the head athletic trainer at Homewood Flossmoor High School. As an athletic trainer, he provides health care to the student athletes at HF that are injured while participating in sports including emergency medical management and injury evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation.

Kristin Lord

  • LEGO Robotics Lab

I am a mom to 2 high schoolers and live with them along with my husband and dog in Frankfort. My youngest will be returning to the public school full time this year and still homeschool my oldest. I am a previous elementary teacher and accountant. I have been home with my kids for the last 10 years and recently took a job at a Christian non-profit ministry serving children. I love to craft, organize and be creative in my spare time. 

Sharon Mahalick

  • Everyday Debate

Hi, my name is Mrs. Mahalick, or Ms. Sharon, mom to Poppy (14) & Caleb (10) Mahalick. We are an outgoing family who love some friendly banter and debate. I’m excited to teach this Everyday Debate class for the teens at Roots & Wings. I believe it’s more important than ever to instill confidence and teach critical thinking to our children. In a world full of “Keyboard Warriors” and “Social Media Trolls,” I hope we can raise kind and eloquent adults who can find common ground without sacrificing their values.

Liz Majerczyk

  • Basics of Fractions

  • All about unit rates, ratios, proportions, and percent of questions

After spending a few years teaching a variety of grades and ages, I decided to open up Math Plays. At Math Plays, I strive to help kiddos have a more positive attitude toward math. When not teaching, I enjoy traveling, hiking/walking, and reading.

Katie McClain

  • Reading Is Thinking! Author Study

  • Novel Study: Heartwood Hotel

  • All About Animals

Hi! My name is Katie McClain and I was a first grade teacher before staying home with my four wonderful daughters. I love to read, teach early readers, and dig into amazing books with awesome kiddos! I am so excited to be in the classroom with you this year!!

Allison Meyer

  • Art Through the Ages

Allison holds a Master’s degree in elementary education and taught first grade for 7 years prior to staying home with her children. She has found great joy in homeschooling her three children and desires to cultivate an atmosphere of creativity, curiosity and life-long learning in her home and Roots and Wings classroom.

Carly Mitrovic

  • The Secret to Reading Part 2

I am married to Mark, a special education teacher and we have two beautiful kids, Emmet and Hayden. We love dogs and have an Australian Shepherd and two Goldendoodles! I was an elementary special education teacher for nine years and I have been tutoring full time for one year and absolutely love it! I really enjoy learning new reading techniques and have studied the science of reading approach throughly. My husband and I love to spend our free time with family, traveling, or learning new things! 

Dana Rangel

  • Bible Memory Masters II

  • Passport to Asia

I am a licensed behavior therapist and teacher as well as a homeschool mom. I currently work with children with autism and behavior challenges teaching them social emotional skills and strategies. I have a bachelors degree in communication sciences and disorders and a masters degree in early childhood special education. In my free time, I love to read, do art, and play board games. 

Julie Renner

  • Level B The Mighty Pen

  • Level A The Mighty Pen

  • Mighty Writers

  • The Mighty Pen: Essay Intensive

I'm Julie and I have a Bachelor's degree in Special Education. After working as a teacher for elementary and middle school, I turned my attention home. I am a 20 year veteran homeschool teacher of three daughters. Over the years, I have been a director and a teacher for area co-ops with most of my emphasis on teaching writing and all things language arts! I am accredited with Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). I absolutely love working with kids on building their writing skills but also changing their attitude about writing. The best words to hear are, "I love writing now!" The IEW program does that for kids, and I'm happy to be a part of that journey.

Tina Shoemaker

  • Roots and Wings Chorale

Hi! My name is Tina and I am a homeschool mama to two boys and work part-time in children’s ministry. In my life before kids I taught high school choir at Lincoln-Way for 7 years. One of the highlights of my job was directing the annual madrigal dinners and spring musicals. I still enjoy doing clinics and judging for local high schools and love attending theatre in our amazing city. I have a Bachelors of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in voice from Bradley University and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music. I believe music is a God-given gift of expression and love to use music as the medium to experience joy, expand creativity, connect with others, and build confidence. 


Zach Shoemaker

  • Discover Engineering

Zach Shoemaker been a practicing engineer for 17 years and has a passion for mentoring and teaching students and young engineers. He holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bradley University and is a certified Project Management Professional. Zach lives in Manhattan with his wife Tina who homeschools their two boys, Henry and Luke. The Shoemakers are a proud Roots and Wings COOP family.

Mia Snowley

  • NaNoWriMo

Mia Snowley has always desired to create Christ-centered fiction that displays culturally diverse characters, stirs hope in a faithless world, and most importantly, challenges the heart. She has written two self-published books, A Kardia Surrendered and Slow to Speak and is currently working on getting her third manuscript published. She graduated from Life Pacific University in California with a Bachelors in Biblical Studies. When not writing, Mia is busy homeschooling her four children and her desire is to raise a generation of writers who will flood the market with stories that bring light to our dark world.





Gina Tanke

  • Be The Light

  • Creative Writing

I am a homeschooling Boy Mom of 3 + 4 furbabies. I have a passion for teaching & formerly taught Elementary Education, but have stayed home with my own kiddos for the last few years. I love being outdoors, reading & writing, & time spent with my family. My youngest & I have enjoyed being a part of Roots & Wings for the last couple of years. Though I have enjoyed substitute teaching here at Roots & Wings, I'm looking forward to teaching a class of my own. I can't wait to get to know your children & together use the gifts that God gave us to be the light for those who need it!

Amber Trethewey

  • Weather, Climate, and Natural Disasters, Oh My!

Amber Trethewey is a homeschool mom of two kids . She taught special education for 12 years in private and public schools before staying home with her youngest. Homeschooling allows her to use her experience as a teacher with her own kids. Amber is thrilled to be teaching at Roots and Wings!

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