MEET OUR TUTORS

Trish Akouka

General Science, Geography (High School), Geography (Elementary/Junior High), Zoology 1

I enjoy partnering with parents and tutoring students at SCCC!  It is a blessing to be a part of the student’s learning process!  My goal is to make my classes FUN and encourage the love of learning.  

A little more about me: I grew up in Satellite Beach in the 70’s and 80’s. I  graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Communicative Disorders.  I worked for several years in Rehabilitation Centers. I also, became certified as a personal fitness trainer.  I enjoy living a healthy lifestyle and spending time the beach.

I married my husband, David in 1996.  We have three sons.  After our first son was born, I became a full time wife and mom.  I also help my husband with his Personal Fitness Training Studio.

In 1994, I made the decision to start living my life for Jesus…each day, I try to be more like Him and LOVE others like He LOVES me 🙂

Jason Brown

Guitar 1, Worship Team/Guitar 2, Survey of Old Testament, Survey of New Testament

Pastor Jason grew up in Long Beach, CA. He has been in full time ministry since 1996. He currently serves as the lead pastor at Suntree Grace church. Jason graduated from Grace College (Winona Lake, IN) and received his MDiv from Liberty Seminary in Lynchburg, VA.

He enjoys teaching through the Bible so that others can share in God’s Truth. Jason has also been playing guitar, playing in bands and working with youth groups to create worship teams for nearly 20 years (and even had an album or two out in the 90’s).

He loves surfing and hanging out with his wife Andrea along with their four children.

Sonia Clarkston

Intro to Digital Photography, Digital Photo Lightroom Editing, Photo Composition

Sonia has been living on the Space Coast since 1993 (not including an 18-month “extended vacation” to the Washington, DC area). She began homeschooling the first of her six children in 1999, and has recently graduated her fourth, homeschooled all the way through. Although her Bachelor’s Degree is in Human Factors Psychology (Wright State University, Dayton, OH), she began her journey in photography in 2011 when her oldest daughter was in her second year of dancing competitively and said, “Mom, you need to get a better camera so you can get decent dance pictures this year.” Little did she know, the theater was one of the most difficult environments in which to photograph, and the learning process began with her first DSLR camera. Since then, she has taken various classes, read many books and articles, forged friendships with professional photographers, and watched more YouTube and online tutorials than she can count. While her favorite style is natural light portraits, she enjoys the challenge of learning how to capture a great photo wherever she is and whatever the subject might be. You may have seen her at one of the co-op dances in years past with a camera strapped to her all night. (And who knows…she might make another appearance…or THREE…at this year’s dances as well!)  Last year, she finally took her hobby to the next level, and had a number of Senior Portrait sessions.  She enjoys helping others understand the things she has learned over the past seven years. Her goal is to light a fire, so that one day she will have students who can come back and teach HER more about photography.

Marie Darling

Mixed Media Art

 I am so excited to be able to share my love for art, creativity, and imagination with the students at Space Coast Christian Co-op.  Art has been a passionate part of my life for as long as my memory allows. As a child of two very creative parents, I had the opportunity to learn the value and importance of art expression at a young age. These skills have followed me, both personally and professionally, throughout my life. There is not much of God’s creation in which I do not see a beautiful form of art!

I have taught art and self-expression to a variety of ages, in a variety of settings. I began my career in the field of behavioral science, teaching in hospitals, home health and private mental health facilities. This was extremely rewarding, because through art my patients were able to express and explore their world in a very non-threatening and therapeutic manner.

Although I enjoy working in the clinical setting, my favorite is teaching students in primary and secondary school.  I thoroughly enjoy teaching and helping  students learn to value, appreciate, and create art from items that typically are overlooked as junk, garbage, or useless items! Through this process students learn a multitude of transferrable skills that will help them be creative problem solvers in life!

I am from Savannah, GA and my husband (Troy) and daughter (Kayla) moved to the Space Coast last year.  We are loving the Florida life! In our leisure time we enjoy kayaking, bicycle riding, creating a variety of art projects, playing with our dogs, going to the beach and exploring new places!

I am a certified teacher and a nationally certified recreation therapist (CTRS). My undergraduate degree (B.S)  is in recreational therapy, masters (M.Ed.) in special education/behavior disorders, and educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree is in curriculum and instruction.

Jenny Dixon

Saxon Math 6/5, Saxon Math 7/6, Saxon Algebra ½ (Pre-Algebra)

My name is Jenny Dixon and I will be tutoring the middle school math classes.  I am the mother of two girls and have been homeschooling for 9 years.  I have a degree in Math Education from Oklahoma Christian University and I have worked with students of all ages from preschoolers to college students.  I have a passion for mathematics and my goal is to prepare middle school students for upper level math classes and to lay the foundation for them to be successful in the STEM fields.  I look forward to working with you and your student to achieve their dreams.

Cathy Elliott

SAT/ACT Prep & Business English, English Literature, Intermediate Literature, British Literature, Speech & Debate

I tutor English, Literature, and Speech/Debate/Civics for the Co-op. My experience also includes the following:  homeschooler, tutor for 12 years, editor, published curriculum author,  Speech/Debate/Literature judge for county tournaments, and proofreader. I am happily married with three children, two currently in college. Overall, my passion is getting children interested in writing and reading, while they grow mentally and spiritually.

Grecia Fenton

Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Pre-Calculus & SAT Math Prep, Drama

Grecia Fenton has been serving Brevard County  for 27 years as a teacher not only in her long standing  ballet company, but in several area tutoring positons ( math and science), a private Christian school ( math, science and drama), and Sunday school.  She studied classical ballet in New York and directed and choreographed for many high school theatre programs both in New York and Florida.  In college she began as a pre-med student and later changed to a double major in psychology and biology graduating with a degree in Developmental Psychobiology.

Mrs. Fenton and her ballet company travel throughout Brevard county presenting classical and childrens’ ballets in area libraries, retirement homes, and community events.  She is the proud Mom of 50 parrots, a marmoset monkey, rabbit, chinchilla, 2 dogs and 2 cats who also perform with the ballet company.  

She is married to her wonderful husband Bill and they enjoy camping together.

Mrs. Fenton believes each student has unlimited potential in God’s purpose for their life and brings that philosophy into the classroom encouraging and motivating her students to want to learn and  achieve the highest goal possible within the gifts they have been given.  It is her desire to shape and enrich the lives of her students not only academically but spiritually as well so they will better understand and serve the world they will impact.

Pamela Ferraro

American Sign Language 1

 My husband went to a Ligonier Ministry conference in the early 90’s. I stayed home with our baby. When he came home and told me about the conference, one of the things he mentioned was that during worship, there was a woman that moved her hands like a ballet to the words. I was so touched by his description of the event that I went to the local library, checked out a signing dictionary and started teaching myself to sign. My only purpose was for worship songs. I quickly discovered that this led me to study the words I was singing to God and to broaden my focus to scripture, everyday life vocabulary and teaching. This is way before “baby sign.” I also found that it helped me to remember things through visual & tactical learning. One church we attended offered classes and I took the “Joy of Signing” class, which ended in selecting a song and signing it for the class. Later, I took a class from the signing ministry “Rock the Silence.”  Also have taken ASL I and ASL II from EFSC under Sharon Good. I have attended a “silent retreat” sponsored by the Southern Baptist convention and also taken an Interpreter’s session led by Carter Beardon, a renowned Deaf Minister.  

I have been sharing my love of sign since I started learning. I have held classes for all ages in a variety of venues. I helped encourage a seniors program in Eglin AFB at Bob Hope Village for my mom. I developed and facilitate “Silent Bingo” through the Port St. John Children’s Library. Its purpose is to open awareness while having fun of sign language, its benefits and Deaf Culture. I also offer periodic classes at the library that help the students to use their skills and help volunteer in the community. Started and coordinated for many years a Signing Ministry at Coastal Community Church with the goal of blessing all people through the beautiful gift of signing and providing the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing with the option to come and receive the gospel. We have found that the signing in churches have blessed the Hearing and opened up opportunities for them to learn sign language and develop relationships with the Deaf. I organized a Signing Team, “SignOut”, for the purpose of taking that joy of signing out into the community and into the churches. It was an amazing opportunity for the students. Enabled and worked with Zenaida Astone, who is Deaf, in providing a positive environment to learn and practice signing. Every day I learn new things and it is my privilege to share what God has so graciously given me.

Michelle Forehand

American History (Elementary/Junior High), Introductory Logic

My name is Michelle Forehand and the 2018/2019 school year will be the ninth year that I will have the privilege to homeschool my two children (an 11th grader and an 8th grader).  I have an AS in Logistics from the Community College of the Air Force, an AA from the University of South Carolina, and a BS in Management of Technical Operations from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Before homeschooling, I worked for Dictaphone Corporation (now Nuance) as a National Project Manager and a Senior Recruiter.  

As a homeschool mom, I have taught middle school classes at various co-ops over the years.  Additionally, I started and directed a Classical Conversations community.  When my children were younger, I was the music leader at VBS for many years and currently work as a teen leader with our youth group.  I am passionate about making learning fun and often create classes that use a variety of resources to appeal to different learning styles.  I am looking forward to once again be teaching US History and Logic this year.

Jessica Hall

Intro to Hospitality Industry, Social Media Journalism, Health & Nutrition

Hello! I’m Jessica, and though I may be a new tutor here at SCCC, I am not new to the subjects I’ll be teaching. I graduated from UCF (Go Knights!) in 2014 with a double major in Restaurant and Hospitality Management. I’ve had the honor of working for a variety of great companies, from large hotel chains such as Wyndham Resorts to a small local bridal shop. I’ve worked in marketing, social media, restaurants, operations, bridal, and events and I love what the hospitality industry does best-serving people. My face might be familiar to you because my mom is Cathy Elliott, the resident English tutor here, and I’ve visited her classes often. I am married to an amazing man of God, have a passion for cooking, and I love the Lord. I am looking forward to a great school year!

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” -Matthew 22:37-39

Alicia Houlberg

Chemistry
I grew up in a military family and lived in many places! My favorite memories are from the 10 years we lived in Europe. My parents did a wonderful job of making sure we visited as many countries as possible and traveling is something I really enjoy to this day.
I have an Associate of Arts from Brevard Community College (now EFSC) and also completed the Emergency Medical Technician program while there. Years later as a young mom I returned to school and completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at the University of West Georgia.
One of my greatest joys has been the privilege of homeschooling my two sons who are now grown. I enjoy encouraging other homeschooling families in this incredibly worthwhile endeavor and supporting their efforts.
Currently, I reside on Merritt Island with my wonderful husband who I met in college and married in 1996. We enjoy DIY projects and are always working on something together! I am also a Licensed Realtor, enjoy snow skiing every chance I get and road trips are my absolute favorite.
As a chemistry tutor, I get excited about sharing creation. The sciences flourished because of a Christian worldview and I believe learning about science brings us closer to our Creator. I am simply in awe (and so thankful) that the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, loves us unconditionally and unfailingly!

Lisa Liffrig

Personal Finance, Economics, Physical Science, World History, U.S. History (High School),
U.S. Government

Lisa Liffrig grew up on a farm in northern Minnesota and graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.  She is certified in Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Middle School Math.  She taught in public school in Texas until she and her husband moved to Florida in 2002. Lisa has two daughters that were home schooled from elementary school through graduation and began teaching at the co-op in 2010. She also does home school evaluations.

Lara Mashburn

Intensive Reading, Psychology, Florida History

Lara grew up in Asheville, North Carolina where she attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville majoring in Psychology and Elementary Education.  She taught primarily first grade until she was moved to fourth grade to teach a self-contained class of students that were reading well below grade level.  By the end of the school year, all of her students were up to grade level and successfully advanced to fifth grade.  Lara and her husband moved to Florida where she continued teaching upper elementary and middle school students.  Florida’s rich history became her favorite subject to teach, and she thoroughly enjoyed learning the fascinating past of this amazing state.  

After teaching, Lara also worked at a local behavioral healthcare company as an outreach specialist–providing peer counseling and mediation techniques to children throughout Brevard County, in-home and school counseling for children and families, and she served as a grant writer earning funding for substance abuse and mental health treatment for at-risk youth and their families, as well as the incarcerated and homeless populations throughout Brevard County.  Lara has been married to her amazing husband Travis for 18 years. They have two boys, Cole and Sean, and two dogs, Bowie and Annabelle.  She has been homeschooling for the past nine years, and looks forward to teaching and sharing her passion for learning with her students.

Patricia Rota

Stretch/Core Work, Spanish 1,  Spanish 2/3

Buenos dias…I began being interested in espanol when, after high school, I travelled the world for many years. It was obvious that my experience would be so much richer if I could communicate with the people of the 26 countries that speak this language! So, I graduated from UCF with a degree in elementary education and Spanish and so began my 35 years of teaching Spanish.

I have taught in California, New Orleans, and Brevard County. Most of my experience has been at renown Catholic High Schools. I truly believe that throughout the many years I have developed a very effective method of teaching Spanish so that students can learn quickly. While teaching at home school co-ops I try to offer the ability to speak along with the ability to transition into an upper level Spanish class as well, either at public school or college. I am still an accredited Spanish teacher in the state of Florida.

Florida state standards require two years of a high school foreign language to enter college. In many colleges a student does not need to take any more years of a language. So taking Spanish in this homeschool environment is not only less difficult, it’s fun! Included in creating a strong foundation (if a student choses to continue their studies) are field trips to restaurants where they order in Spanish, interviewing native speakers, puppet shows in Spanish, and much student to student dialogue. Also, this course is accredited for receiving the Bright Future’s scholarship.

Being able to speak Spanish opens many doors…I hope to facilitate you in this exciting journey!

Layla Steensma

Biology, Marine Biology, Anatomy

Layla and her husband Johannes moved to the Space Coast from The Netherlands in the summer of 1999 while expecting their first child. She then made the decision that she would not enter the work force but instead would stay home and become a domestic engineer. Layla has been enjoying homeschooling her three children since 2012. Recently she had the pleasure to graduate her first born, who transitioned smoothly from MIT to FIT. Layla’s education began at the University of Texas, where she studied pharmacy. She continued her studies in the field of medicine at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium and then earned a Bio-mechanical Engineering degree at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. Layla specialized in spinal cord curvature with her thesis and publishing focused on force distribution in the spine.