Meet Our Teachers

Grammar & Upper School Teachers

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Amy Abell

  • 17-18 Third Form Latin, Aeneid/Ancient Rome, Pre-Algebra
  • 18-19 Third Form Latin, Iliad/Odyssey/Ancient Greece, Pre-Algebra, Understanding Mathematics
  • San Francisco State University, BA Humanities/Liberal Studies
  • Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, K-12 (California)
  • Tennessee Educator License, K-6

Amy has lived in California, New York, and several southern states.  Mother of four children, she is a veteran of home schooling after 18 years.  In addition, she has tutored students individually and taught in public and private schools and church classrooms.  Amy enjoys reading, quilts, and traveling.  She is committed to following Christ in the pursuit of knowledge, faith, love, and service.

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Shelley Armstrong

  • 18-19 Classical Composition: Refutation/Confirmation, Traditional Logic
  • California State University, Northridge, BA and MA English Literature

Since relocating from Los Angeles to Nashville in 2006, Shelley Armstrong has taught courses in Composition, British and American Literature, Introduction to Rhetoric/Logic as well as poetry at Columbia State Community College, MTSU and Vanderbilt University. She holds a B.A. and Masters Degree in English Literature (2005) from California State University, Northridge. In addition, she has taught at many homeschooling tutorials through the years. Mrs. Armstrong enjoys being in the classroom with students exploring and discussing the deep thinking literature, writing and language provide. 

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Tamra Boyce

  • 17-18 Earth Science
  • 18-19 Famous Men of the Middle Ages, Literature C (King Arthur, etc.), Earth Science, Trees/Exploring the World of Biology
  • Southeast Missouri State University, B.S. in Education, History minor

While not exactly “Wonderwoman”, I am a woman of wonder, for I love to connect with God by discovering His wonders!  Sharing those discoveries, or helping others discover them, too, is such a blast; hence my new position of teaching Earth Science this year.  I’ve been teaching for years in many forms, from Girl Scouts and children’s church, to public and private schools, and now in homeschool tutorials.  My husband of 33 years and I have three daughters and three grandchildren.  

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Lauren Cardwell

  • 17-18 Second Form Latin
  • 18-19 Second Form Latin, Greek Tragedies, Literature H (Pride & Prejudice, etc.), Classical Composition: Narrative
  • The University of Virginia, BA English and French
  • New York University, MFA Poetry Writing

I am over the moon to be teaching Latin, literature, writing, 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 enjoyed teaching creative writing, theater, literature, and language in a variety of settings. More recently, I have been working as a mother of four, a doula, a childbirth educator, and a writer. Life is abundant these days, and I find that a good run, spiritual time, playing with my kids, and hanging out with my husband help to keep my head clear and my heart light.

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Lee Ann Hill

  • 18-19 Literature B (Lassie, etc.), IEW All Things Fun & Fascinating/English Grammar Recitation I
  • Middle Tennessee State University, 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.

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Dr. Matthew Huddleston

  • 18-19 Introductory Physics
  • BA, Greenville College, 1994
  • MSc, Rice University, 1999
  • PhD, Vanderbilt University, 2003

 

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Caleb Obregon

  • 18-19 Biology, Algebra II
  •  In progress: Lipscomb University, BS Molecular Biology

Caleb Obregon was born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida and is currently pursuing a Molecular Biology degree from Lipscomb University. Growing up bilingual in English and Spanish imparted Caleb with a deep seated appreciation for language learning leading to his studies in German and Italian. Caleb also enjoys playing Alto Saxophone with various local groups, a hobby that often serves as his creative outlet. Caleb spends his weekends volunteering as a Sunday school teacher for 7th graders at his local church. Above all else, Caleb wishes to be known as a follower of Jesus Christ, a journey that his been enriched by the works of C.S. Lewis and Ravi Zacharias. 

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Jessica Phillips

  • 17-18/18-19 First Form Latin, Greek Myths, Director
  • Lipscomb University, BA Bible, Greek and English Double-Minor

Beginning our ninth year homeschooling, I have particularly enjoyed the last six years delving into classical education with my children using Memoria Press.  I am thrilled to have another opportunity to introduce students to two of the strongest undercurrents of Western civilization: the Latin language and Greek Mythology. I love etymologies, reading, connecting people, trees, and helping students fall in love with Latin. My husband and I live up on a wooded hill outside of Nashville with our four children. 

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Angel Pregont

  • 17-18/18-19 Latina Christiana, Literature 3 (Farmer Boy, etc.), 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.  

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Nicole Risner

  • 18-19 First Form Latin
  • 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 a little over three years ago.  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. 

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Rick Stephenson

  • 18-19 Classical Composition: Fable,  Physical Science, Algebra 1
  • Rhodes College, BS Biology
  • Lipscomb University, extensive courses in MEd and Accounting
  • Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, & Certified Fraud Examiner

Rick has been a CPA in the Nashville area since 2006 and is a founding partner in Dalton Architects, Inc., a small, New Orleans based architecture firm where he serves as CFO. He studied biology as an undergraduate at Rhodes College in Memphis, and studied accounting and education as a graduate student at Lipscomb University. Rick and Julie have been married for seventeen years and have two daughters, Olivia (14) and Lillian (10). Both Olivia and Lillian will be attending HLN this fall. Rick counts photography, hiking, and, as a native of New Orleans, eating as his hobbies.

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Micah Weedman

  • 18-19 Famous Men of Rome, Literature E (Tom Sawyer, etc.), Classical Composition Chreia/Maxim Stage
  • Milligan College, BS Business/Economics, English Minor
  • Emmanuel Christian Seminary, MDiv
  • Johnson University, PhD

Micah lives in East Nashville with his family, and homeschools his children, all of whom attend HLN.  His interest in classical education is rooted in his parents, both of whom were educators committed to liberal education.  He attended a liberal arts college, and his doctoral work included work in moral philosophy and the attempt to reclaim Aristotle for contemporary ethics.  He has spent the last 10 years working full time in higher education, and continues to adjunct in undergraduate programs at Belmont and graduate programs at Trevecca.

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Katie Zimmerman-Clayton

  • 17-18 Literature 9 (Julius Caesar, etc.), Classical Composition Chreia/Maxim Stage
  • 18-19 Literature G (Julius Caesar, etc.), Classical Composition Common Topic
  • Samford University, BA in English, History minor
  • Vanderbilt University, MA in English

This is Katie’s second 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, while also running a scholarship foundation. She loves reading, good conversation, gardening, and the Tour de France. 

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Crystal Melton

  • 17-18/18-19 Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Crystal has homeschooled her son and daughter since 2009.  She was introduced to Memoria Press in 2014, and her love of the curriculum has grown every year. For the past 6 years, Crystal has served as Rapha House Freedom Stylist Director.  Rapha House Freedom Stylist is a non-profit ministry that works to prevent sexual exploitation among young women in Cambodia by equipping them with the trade of cosmetology.  Crystal has been married to Andy, her high school sweetheart, for over 17 years. They live in the East Nashville area with their two children. To be able foster a love of learning within a vibrant community is a blessing to be part of. I look forward to loving and nurturing the children of Highland Latin Nashville Cottage School.   

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Heather Lett

  • 17-18 First Grade Assistant Teacher
  • 18-19 First Grade Lead Teacher
  • Samford University, BS Early Childhood & Elementary Education

I have always had a heart and passion for education. From my days of babysitting, to mission trips, to Sunday School teaching, to formal education, my heartbeat has always been to teach and love on children.  I received my bachelors degree in Early Childhood/Elementary education from Samford University and taught first grade up until my first child was born in 2005 and decided to come home. Two additional children later I am still enjoying my time being a stay at home mother.  My husband and I felt led to homeschool our 3 this year and when we discovered Highlands Latin we immediately fell in love.  I am so looking forward to being back in the classroom!

 

Valerie Lomax

Valerie Lomax

  • 17-18 First Grade Lead Teacher
  • 18-19 Second Grade Lead Teacher
  • 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.

 

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Fleming McWilliams

  • 17-18/18-19 Kindergarten Assistant
  • 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 five-year-old voice! In addition to being a homeschooling mom, 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. Our children, Franky and Roxy, attend HLN.

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Gretchen Benko Mruk

  • 18-19 First Grade Assistant
  • Marietta College, BS Sports Medicine/Athletic Training
  • University of Alabama Birmingham, MS Physical Therapy
  • Simon School of Business, MBA

I have always loved children, learning, and sharing; so, having the opportunity to combine them at Highlands Latin Nashville is very exciting. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine and a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy. After practicing for 10 years, I went back to school for my MBA and worked as a marketing director for a medical device company that created the first device to successfully treat major strokes. Both careers have been incredibly rewarding. Now, I am embarking on my latest and most treasured career–full-time mom and homeschooler of 5-year old triplets. I have a grateful and ardent heart when it comes to HLN and all it offers our children. I am looking forward to assisting Mrs. Lett and her first grade students this year while my three children tackle Kindergarten. 

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Hannah Bader

  • 18-19 Second Grade Assistant

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Honored former HLN teachers:

Mrs. MariLynn Ross

Mrs. Audrey Crampton

Ms. Anna McCain

Mrs. Tracy Utley

Ms. Elizabeth Dowdell