Meet Our Teachers

Highlands Latin Nashville is a curriculum-centric tutorial. At the heart of HLN is our faculty of teachers who teach this curriculum. Masterful in the classroom, they are knowledgable, enthusiastic, and prepared.

2023-2024 Teachers

Scroll down for teacher pictures and bios.

Kindergarten through Second Grade Primary Classes:

  • Kindergarten: Whitney Mathis
  • First Grade: Kari Essenpreis
  • Second Grade: Valerie Lomax
  • Primary Assistants: Anne Villas & Whitney Hunt

Grammar and Upper Classes, Third through High School:

  • Latin
    • Prima Latina: Beth Frazer
    • Latina Christiana: Angel Pregont
    • First Form: Nicole Risner
    • Second Form: Sarah Bell Earley
    • Third Form: Jessica Phillips
    • Fourth Form: Lauren Cardwell
  • Classical Studies
    • Greek Myths: Beth Frazer
    • Famous Men of Rome: Lee Ann Hill
    • Famous Men of the Middle Ages: Tamra Boyce
    • Famous Men of Greece/Horatius: Nicole Risner
    • Book of the Ancient Greeks/Iliad/Odyssey: Sarah Bell Earley
    • Book of the Ancient Romans/Aeneid: Alicia Jones
    • Greek Tragedies: Lauren Cardwell
    • Cicero Political Philosophy: Chris Bradstreet
    • Classical Metaphysics: Chris Bradstreet, not offered in 2023-2024
  • Literature/Poetry
    • Literature A (Charlotte’s Web, etc.): Beth Frazer
    • Literature B (Lassie, etc.): Lee Ann Hill
    • Literature C (Robin Hood, etc.): Tamra Boyce
    • Literature D (The Hobbit, etc./Horatius): Nicole Risner
    • Literature E (Treasure Island, etc.): Jennifer Avrit
    • Literature F (Beowulf, etc.): Sarah Bell Earley
    • Literature G (Mockingbird, etc.): HIRING
    • Literature H (Tale of Two Cities, etc.): not offered 2023-2024
    • Literature I (Divine Comedy): Lauren Cardwell
    • Literature J (Anna Karenina, etc.): Katie Zimmerman-Clayton
  • Classical Composition
    • Intro to Composition/EGR: Beth Frazer
    • Fable: Tamra Boyce
    • Narrative: Lee Ann Hill
    • Chreia/Maxim: Nicole Risner
    • Refutation/Confirmation: Jennifer Avrit
    • Common Topic: Alicia Jones
    • Encomium, Invective, Comparison: Michael Milovancev
    • Characterization/Description/Thesis/Law: not offered in 2023-2024

Thursday courses for sixth through twelfth grade:

  • Mathematics (additional classes may be offered if there is sufficient interest)
    • Understanding Math: Nicole Risner
    • Mastering Mathematics: Nicole Risner
    • Pre-Algebra: not offered 2023-2024
    • Algebra 1: HIRING
    • Algebra 2: not offered in 2023-2024
    • Geometry: not offered in 2023-2024
    • Pre-Calculus: not offered in 2023-2024
  • Science (additional classes may be offered if there is sufficient interest)
    • Trees/World of Biology: Tamra Boyce
    • Earth Science: Tamra Boyce
    • Physical Science: Michael Milovancev
    • Introductory Physics: Michael Milovancev
    • Chemistry: not offered 2023-2024
    • Biology: not offered 2023-2024
  • Traditional Logic I & II: not offered 2023-2024
  • Material Logic & Classical Rhetoric: Michael Milovancev
  • U.S. History: Chris Bradstreet

HLN’s Teachers

Jennifer Avrit HLN Photo

Jennifer Avrit

  • Lipscomb University, BA English Education & French
  • ESL Certification

Jennifer has lived in the Nashville area since she graduated from Lipscomb University in 2015.  After graduation, she taught 9th grade English at Hillwood High School for two years.  Today, she stays home with her two children, teaches English as a second language online, and helps write and coordinate lessons for the children’s ministry at her church.   

Chris Bradstreet Headshot

Chris Bradstreet

  • Grove City College, Philosophy & Theology
  • University of Pittsburg School of Law

Chris Bradstreet Esq. is an entertainment attorney and principle at Street Talk Media, a personal management and music marketing firm based in Nashville. Chris majored in Philosophy & Theology as an undergraduate at Grove City College, focusing most on Political Science, before attending the University Pittsburgh School of Law. He has practiced law in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Tamra Boyce Headshot

Tamra Boyce

  • Southeast Missouri State University, B.S. in Education, History minor

Teaching at Highlands is such a privilege, and such a joy!  Having taught in a number of settings, I find this place uniquely wonderful!  I get to teach about things I love: creation, history, writing, and literature, and I get to teach interesting young people who love to learn.  We’re a great match!  My in-between times are often filled with family.  My husband of over 35 years and I have 3 daughters and 4 young grandchildren.  I also enjoy outdoor activities like grilling, gardening, star-gazing, and bird watching.


Lauren Cardwell

  • The University of Virginia, BA English and French
  • New Your University, MFA Poetry Writing

I am over the moon to be teaching Latin, literature, and classical studies. Having experienced the fruits of classical education during my secondary and university years, I knew I wanted to take a classical approach when I began homeschooling my own children in 2013. Over the years, I have taught creative writing, theater, literature, and language in a variety of settings; worked as a doula and childbirth educator; and written poetry and essays. As a mother of four, life is abundant. Reading, running, hiking, and playing soccer and board games with my family help to keep my head clear and my heart light.


Sarah Bell Earley

  • Brown University, BA Environmental Studies
  • Trinity School for Ministry, MAR Biblical Studies

I am a North Carolina native who has now experienced two tornadoes, a 500+-year flood, and six years of homeschooling in East Nashville. I love learning, reading, writing, creative projects, color, new recipes, visiting new places, and making lists. I’m looking forward to this year at Highlands! 

Kari Essenpreis

  • Union University, BS Nursing
After serving as a missionary in Uganda, working as a critical care nurse, and moving around the southeast, Kari has found being a home educator and learning alongside her daughter to be one of the most rewarding life experiences. Kari volunteers as an ESL teacher to local refugee women and enjoys home decorating, propagating houseplants, playing strategy board games as a family, and trying new ethnic foods.

Beth Frazer

  • Western Kentucky University, BA Sociology 
  • University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, JD

I worked as a civil litigator for 10 years before deciding it was more fun to hang out with my kids!  From there, my own love of learning and our family’s love of time together made homeschooling our three children an easy choice. We were blessed to find Memoria Press early in our homeschooling journey and fell in love with its richness. You’ll often find us chasing waterfalls or on some other outdoor adventure. I love finding new places to explore, reading good books, and cheering for my kids’ sports teams. 

Lee Ann Hill headshot

Lee Ann Hill

  • MTSU, BS Theatre with Journalism Minor

Growing up in West Tennessee, I did not realize my grandmother’s bookshelf was leading me towards the love of classical education. My college degree in Theatre with a minor in Journalism is hardly used. And after traveling around the country, I found myself working as a children’s librarian in Nashville. Children’s literature is my favorite. Having read all the old classics and some new ones, I am excited to be teaching about them. This will be my 6th year homeschooling. I enjoy swimming, nature, reading, and book clubs.


Alicia Jones

  • University of Mississippi, BA Education, Minors English and Social Sciences
  • RYT 200 Yoga Alliance

Alicia has been living in East Nashville since 2008 and joyfully homeschooling her two daughters since 2015. She is the bookkeeper and co-owner of Jones Tree Care.  Alicia enjoys yoga and exercise, knitting, reading non-fiction books, and playing tennis with her husband.

Valerie Lomax

Valerie Lomax

  • Ball State University, BS in Dietetics

Hi, my name is Valerie Lomax. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and “Checed” (my grandmother name, which means “lovingkindness” in Hebrew.) I love life! Making up motions to the Word and watching children grow are two of my favorite things in life. God has saturated our home with life!  My husband, Tom, and I are the grateful parents of ten children, ages 15 to 34 and four grandchildren.  We have homeschooled our children with the focus of “when I am weak, He is strong” and “love never fails.” And Jesus has never failed us!  I am honored to teach your children this year at Highlands Latin Nashville.

Whitney Mathis Headshot HLN

Whitney Mathis

  • North Greenville University, B.A. Elementary Education

A North Carolina native, Whitney now resides in Kentucky where she serves her church in Ladies’ Ministry and enjoys small-town life with her husband, Greg, and three boys, Coram, Judah, and Barrett. Whitney spent ten years in the public school system as a primary grades teacher, often assigned to nurture at-risk student groups. She enjoys warm cups of coffee in the morning, reading, watching (and waiting for) the Olympics, and obedience competitions with her spirited Welsh Terrier, Lottie. The vision of HLN brought her here!

FlemingMcWilliams headshot

Fleming McWilliams

  • Belmont University, Vocal Performance & Music Business

Our family began the homeschool journey in 2014 as our son was entering fifth grade. After discovering Memoria Press, we decided to order the First Grade Classical Core Curriculum for our daughter. That big box of books changed our lives and our homeschooling experience. I am truly honored to be part of Highlands Latin Nashville. It is a privilege to spend the day with your children and witness the “lightbulbs” and connections being made in the kindergarten classroom. There is no better sound than poetry recited by a six-year-old voice! I am a private voice teacher, and director of the singing program, Girls Up Loud. In my spare time, I make music with my husband under the name Fleming and John

Michael Milovancev

  • The University of Akron, BS Physics
  • The University of Akron, MS Physics

Michael is an Ohio native and has homeschooled his three children using the Memoria Press curriculum since 2018. Having earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees, he teaches upper school and science classes at Highlands Latin Nashville. Michael is an avid reader and lover of classical Christian education, theology, and Church history. When he is not cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes, Michael loves to spend time with his wife and children playing strategy games, being outdoors and gardening, scavenging through used bookstores, and making sourdough and paper airplane creations.


Jessica Phillips, Director

  • Lipscomb University, BA Bible, Minors Greek and English
  • Memoria College, MA Great Books in progress

Jessica is a Tennessee native who lives with her husband and four children in Goodlettsville. Their family has been homeschooling since 2010 and using the Memoria Press curriculum since 2012. She is the creator of the annual Sodalitas Homeschool Conference, the annual Memoria Press training for homeschool parents. Jessica loves reading, asking you what you are reading, trees, and connecting people who ought to know one another. Her joys are her family and home. 


Angel Pregont, Director

  • University of Tennessee, BA History, Minor Business
  • Indiana University, MS Ed Higher Education and Student Affairs

Before moving to Nashville and starting a family I worked in Financial Aid at Indiana University and in Residence Life at Indiana Wesleyan University.  My love of education naturally led to a desire to homeschool my five children, which I’ve been immersed in since 2005.  I enjoy reading, being outside, and drinking coffee on my front porch in the mornings.  

Nicole Risner Headshot HLN

Nicole Risner

  • Lipscomb University, BA Bible, Youth/Family Ministry Minor
  • Lipscomb University, MA Biblical Studies
  • Lipscomb University, MEd with emphasis in Administration

I began the journey of homeschooling my two daughters in 2015.  During this time, I have enjoyed making the shift to classical education and studying Latin!  Before homeschooling I taught in public schools for five years and worked in youth ministry for ten years.  I love reading, playing soccer, and camping with our family. 


Anne Villas

  • International Academy of Design and Technology Chicago, Merchandise Management

Anne was born in the Philippines, raised in Florida, then later she spent 20 years in the city of Chicago prior to moving to Tennessee. She has been homeschooling for 8 years. Outside of nurturing young souls and homeschooling, you can find Anne at Williamson County UT Extension teaching Lego Robotics with her husband. She enjoys Scouting with BSA, all things Lego, children’s literature and historical fiction, and pouring into the communities her family is a part of.  She is extremely thankful for HLN and is looking forward to being a part of the HLN team.


Katie Zimmerman-Clayton

  • Samford University, BA in English, History minor
  • Vanderbilt University, MA in English

This is Katie’s seventh year teaching at HLN. Her teaching experience has been varied, from elementary ESL overseas to college writing courses in the US. More recently, she spent eight years teaching high school English and providing college counseling at an independent school. These days, Katie is home with her young children. She loves reading, good conversation, gardening, and the Tour de France.