Emily Bianchi

  • The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Human Body Part 2

  • Medieval Times

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

  • Art - Exploring Color Theory & Famous Artists

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 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 value of non-traditional education!

Katie Brauer

  • Little Seeds Play School

  • Spill the Ink: Poetry Analysis through Writing

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.

Emily Franz

  • Animal Crackers Mixed Media Animal Art

  • Kaleidoscope Colors & Collage

  • Art Heist

  • Art Like An Egyptian and Prehistoric Man

Emily is a lifelong artist who loves painting, collage and art journaling and is the proud owner of Bloom Art Studio in Mokena. She has been conducting art classes for 6.5 years and loves sharing the healing properties of art and witnessing the joy it can bring. Emily is married and the mom of 5 grown children. Besides making art and teaching it, she loves to read and spend time with her family and golden retriever, Wrigley.

John Garcia

  • Gym Class

Hi, my name is John Garcia and I am a child of God, a US Navy veteran, the owner/director of G2 Volleyball club in Mokena and also a Senior Technical Analyst at Advocate Aurora Health. I have been coaching/playing different sports since I was in high school and have been involved with computers and information security for about the same amount of time.  I have a Masters degree in Information Security from Lewis University. 

Heather Giertuga

  • Sign with Me!  ASL 1 and 2

  • Look to the Skies!

  • Musical Theatre Dance

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. www.HeavenlyHarps.net

Liz Hetue

  • smART creations

  • Rhythm and Rhyme -- 2

I taught 1st and 2nd grades for 7+ years before staying home with my own kids. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an Elementary Education degree, pre-K through 3rd grade and received my Reading Specialist-type 10 certificate, K-12 from Lewis University. I have created and taught art, literacy, science and musical theater classes, and I tutor students one-on-one and in small groups.   I have loved teaching and getting to know some of the families at Roots and Wings since 2019 and am excited to start a new semester!

Chef Jessica Jackson-Nyarko

  • Breakfast Club

  • Kids Culinary Academy

  • Kids Baking Academy

Chef Jessica is a pediatric nutritionist with a Masters in Holistic Nutrition/ Culinary Nutrition teach a variety of cooking technique of all types of cuisines with a healthy twist in her cooking classes. She has a passion for teaching children healthy eating and providing nutritional education, as well as connecting biblical principles to lesson so students are empowered to make their own healthy choices. She is also passionate about teaching students with allergies how to enjoy tasty food that is also safe for them.

Alisha Kaplan

  • Storybook Dance

  • Shall We Dance?

Hello! My name is Alisha Kaplan, and I am currently a stay at home mom to my three children. I have degree in Psychology from Saint Xavier University, and a background in teaching, dancing, and preforming several partner dances around the Chicago land area. I truly believe in the power of dance to teach emotional and social awareness, discipline, focus, creativity, and self expression. I look forward to sharing my passion, and nurturing these skills that can be carried over in all areas of life.

Ava Lord

  • Cupcake & Cake Decorating

I have been a homeschool student since 5th grade and have been a student at Roots & Wings since then. I am currently a Junior in high school. I have been taking cooking and baking classes for years and have recently worked at Farmhouse Academy. Some of my passions are art, music, baking, and gaming. My mom Kristin will be supervising my class, but I will be doing the teaching and am so excited about it!

Kristin Lord

  • Yearbook

  • LEGO Robotics

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

  • Repurpose & Reuse Crafting Class

I am mom to Poppy & Caleb and dog mom to Captain Coconut. I love sports, nature, Jane Austen books, Marvel movies, and kids of all ages. My greatest hope is that I can always be a testimony of God’s grace and that everyone I meet will see Jesus in me. 

Liz Majerczyk

  • Math Plays : Preschool

  • Fractions and decimals and percents, oh my!

  • Basic Geometry

  • Convert those Units!

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.

Carollyn Mushro

  • Intro to Spanish

I am a wife & homeschooling mom of two children. Prior to starting our family's homeschool journey, I was a high-school Spanish teacher for more than a decade. I have a B.A. in Spanish Education, M.A. in Educational Administration and M.A. in Linguistics. My passion is in holistic wellness, and I now teach families how to swap potentially toxic home products for safer alternatives for a living. Getting outside to go hiking or biking with my family is where you might find me in my free time!

Dana Rangel

  • Makerspace

  • Gameschooling

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. 

Annemarie Stone

  • Sign of the Beaver Novel Study

I am a wife, mom, and Reading Specialist. My hope and focus, as a mom and an educator, has always been to cultivate a love for learning and the joy that can be found in reading into the children I work and volunteer with. I have taught and tutored kids with many different ability levels ranging in grades 1st through high school. I believe in teaching to each individual child and being sure he/she has what they need to grow academically and functionally, including the confidence to realize they can succeed. I try to see the world through the eyes of children as I plan lessons and activities to be sure they are not only learning, but having fun. 

Gina Tanke

  • Be the Light

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!