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Bridge Academy

Psalm 32:8

Meet our Teachers!

Becky Angelilli

B.S. in Criminal Justice

Becky graduated from VCU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She worked with the Chesterfield County Police as an Evidence Technician. She was among the first civilians hired to complete the crime scene investigations for the department. Becky has lived in the area her entire life. She has two boys who also attend Bridge Academy. Becky and her family have a heart for missions both locally and internationally.  They have been traveling to Nicaragua for the past 6 years, where they have made lifelong friendships.

Teaching: Forensic Science, Environmental Science & Social Director

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Sarah Tarabocchia 

Sarah Tarabocchia is a Midlothian, Virginia native and attended VCU School of Nursing, but it was her love of the creative arts that drew her to become a professional photographer and studio owner. Sarah has over 20 years of photographic experience in both film and digital media. While her professional experience has focused mainly on weddings and portraits, she has also taught
high school students digital photography since 2015 and home educated her three children since 2007. For her, teaching the fundamentals and art of photography has allowed her to share her passion with the next generation of photographers. Currently, she owns Sarah Chase Photography and resides in Midlothian with her husband, three teenagers and two dogs.

Teaching: Photography 
Contact at: 

Alicia Collins

Owner/Administrator of Bridge Academy 

Alicia’s work with children began as a volunteer teacher for an inner-city program for under-privileged children.  After marrying her dream fellow, Steve Collins, and moving out of state, she began working for KinderCare Child Care Center as a preschool teacher.  She was promoted quickly as a Health and Safety Coordinator, and finally to the Center Director position, where she developed and implemented the center’s first curriculum.  After the birth of her daughter, Emily, she felt led to stay home with her, followed by her son, Carter, a few years later.  Alicia and Steve have lived in Chesterfield County since 2004 and served in the home-school community since 2006 by tutoring in local co-ops as well as individual students. She began homeschooling Emily in the 5th grade and Carter in the 2nd grade. Emily graduated from Liberty University at 20 years with a History degree shortly before she married the love of her life, Austin Kirtlan. Carter is currently a junior at Liberty University with a declared major in Project Management and a minor in Graphic Design.  

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Paul Cochran

B.M. - Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance

M.C.M - Masters in Church Music 

Paul has grown up in Richmond, Virginia where he attended Virginia Commonwealth where he received an undergraduate degree in piano performance and then a Masters in Church Music from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Paul has happily served as the Worship Pastor at Ironbridge Church since 1998. He and his wife Sarah have schooled their boys, Paul and Thomas, at home for the last 14 years and enjoy giving back to the homeschool community by teaching at Bridge Academy. Working with students to encourage them to grow not only as Christians, but also as musicians has really been a blessing in his life.

Teaching: Beginner Guitar and Worship Band
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Lilly Da Silva

¡Hola! My name is Lilly Da Silva, I was born in Nyack, New York, but was raised in San José, Costa Rica for 15 year where I learned my Spanish and accent. I have being married to my best friend and hero Kenneth for 26 years. I praise the Lord for the honor to have homeschooled our 3 children, Bryant, Brendan, and Bianca for 17 years. I have tutored Spanish at home, co-ops, private tutoring, and have translated for clients and staff as needed at the PRC. As a former youth minister, I mentored them to reach out to others and to also be still and hear God’s heart beat. I have volunteered at the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol at the Southside Composite Squadron, as the squadron photographer and closet manager which gave me the opportunity to work with cadets. I’m excited about the 2019 - 2020 school year at Bridge Academy!

Teaching: Spanish I

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Sarah Cochran

B.A. in Psychology 

Sarah was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She attended both the University of Richmond and the University of Louisville, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology. She and her husband, Paul, live in the Chester area with their two sons, Paul, Jr. (18) and Thomas (12). Sarah has been homeschooling for 13 years and has been part of Classical Conversations as well as other homeschool co-ops in the area. She has always loved working with children through the years in AWANA, Bible Fellowship classes, and summer camps. She and Paul have enjoyed their ministry at Ironbridge Church for 20 years now and look forward to teaching at Bridge Academy for years to come.

Teaching: Science 5, Science 6 and 5th/6th History 
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Elisabeth Fiordelise

B.S. in Education

Elisabeth Fiordelise holds a degree in Elementary Education and taught 2nd and 4th grades prior to choosing to stay home and homeschool her children. She has enjoyed working for Classical Conversations for the past several years, tutoring both Foundations and Essentials (a writing and grammar program). Music has been a constant part of her life. She studied piano for 15 years and has spent her adulthood accompanying choirs, playing in worship bands, and directing children’s musicals. Elisabeth has taught private piano lessons for the past 14 years, which combines two of her favorite things – children and music. Her husband Pat pastors Kingsland Baptist Church, and she enjoys supporting his ministry by directing the children’s ministry and playing the piano in the worship band. They have 3 children - John (15), Alyssa (13), & David (9).

Teaching: Math 5, Math 6, General Music, MS History and Geography

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Virginia (Jenny) Flores


MM (Masters in Music)

Jenny Flores has taught high school and middle school levels of Spanish in both private schools and public schools for the past twelve years. Jenny perfected her Spanish while working as a volunteer teacher at orphanages in Honduras during the summer months. A home-school graduate herself, she earned her master's degree in music and has twenty years of experience as a music teacher and violinist. Jenny lives with her husband, Andres (whom she met while volunteering at an orphanage in Honduras) and their two toddlers, Teresa (3) and Diego (2) in Chester. She loves spending time running and hiking in the beautiful parks and trails around the James river. She is excited to join the Bridge Academy family!

Teaching: Spanish I, Spanish II & Spanish III

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Jackie Fowler 

B.A. English

BA (Bachelor of Arts- Radio, TV & Motion Pictures)


Jackie graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in English and Radio, TV and Motion Pictures. After graduation, she worked as a writer for the 5:00 and 10:00 newscast at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC. She decided to leave her job at the TV station to pursue her desire to teach and became certified in English Education. She has taught middle and high school English, honors English, Political Economic and Legal Systems, music and drama while in the classroom. She also holds a Master's degree in Library Science and was a school librarian before leaving to homeschool her first child. Her husband is a military Chaplain and they have five children. She loves spending time with her family and is thankful the Lord used the Army to bring her to the area.

 Teaching: Environmental Science, Basics in Literature with Composition, Foundations in Literature with Composition, American Literature with Composition, British Literature with Composition and Study Hall monitor

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Kim Halquist

Kim graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was a crisis counselor for the Richmond city schools for three years and then decided to go back to school to work on her nursing degree. Kim worked at Chippenham Medical Center in the Cardiac ICU for ten years before deciding to become a stay at home mom with her two children at the time. She and her husband Matt have been married for nineteen years and have three children Brennan , Riley and Londyn . Kim has been homeschooling for ten years. 

Teaching: Study Hall Monitor 

Aimee Harrison

B.S. in Psychology

Aimee graduated from VCU with a Bachelors in Psychology. She has worked with children who have had mental, physical and emotional disabilities in a couple of different fields. She worked on Ft. Lee at Army Community Services as a domestic victim advocate. After being employed there for a time, she then worked in the Hopewell Police Department as a victim witness advocate. When Aimee had her second child she was able to stay home with both of her girls. She has been married to her husband, Joel, for almost 20 years and has two daughters. Her oldest daughter, who is 18, will be attending Christopher Newport University in the fall of 2017 and her youngest, 14, will be attending Bridge Academy. They decided to homeschool after her oldest daughter finished second grade. She has always loved to bake, starting in her mom's kitchen as a little girl. Her love for baking has challenged her to expand her knowledge for cooking and learning how to eat healthier. She has always said, "When I "grow up" I want to have my own bakery". 

Teaching: MS Culinary Arts and HS Culinary Arts

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Julie Hobbs

B.S. in History & Political Science w/ concentration in International Affairs

Julie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science 

from Samford University with a concentration in International Affairs. During her 14 years of home educating her children, she has taught 

at Classical Conversations, as well as high school history, 

government, economics and British Literature. She has 4 children 

and her oldest has graduated and is attending Samford in 


Teaching: American Military History, World History I, American History & Government/Economics 

Contact at:

Ellen Kelsey
B.S. in Biblical Studies
Masters in Theology 
Ellen Kelsey graduated from International Seminary with a Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts in Theology. She has served in many positions over the years in ministry ranging from music to Christian education for adults and children. Teaching the Word of God is Ellen’s passion and God has opened many doors for her to use her gift in the classroom, as well as writing curriculum. Ellen has worked in early childhood education serving as an administrative assistant and bus driver for two local daycare facilities. She homeschooled both of her children, who are now grown with children of their own. Ellen and her husband enjoy playing golf and serving in their church on leadership team.

Teaching: Apologetics (Defending Your Faith), Survey of the Bible-Old Testament & Survey of the Bible- New Testament 
Contact at:

Allison Kincaid

B.F.A. in Arts

Allison is a graduate of Colonial Heights High School and had an interest in art at an early age.  With the support of her high school art teacher, who was instrumental in her life, she was given the opportunity to have her work displayed at the Virginia Art Museum. After graduating, she attended John Tyler Community College and VCU.  After graduating from college, she worked in the Richmond area as an interior designer where she had the privilege of being on the design team for the Richmond Capitol renovation project. She became a stay at home mom after having her children  Jordan, age 22 and a current VCU art student, Jonathan, age 18 and a student at VCU, and Landon, age 14 and a sophomore at Bridge Academy.  After teaching elementary and middle school art at a private Christian school where her children attended, she decided that she and her family needed a change and joined the family of home schoolers.  It's one of the best decisions she ever made.  It opened the opportunity for her to spend quality time with her family to share her passion for art with area children.

Teaching: 1st-2nd Art, 3rd-4th Art, 5th-6th Art, 5th-7th Art and 8th-12th Art

Co-leader of the Yearbook Club

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Jordan Kincaid 
B.A. Communication Arts
Jordan graduated from VCU in 2016 with a B.A. in Communication Arts. She is currently a freelance Illustrator and is contracted with Owl Crate Worldwide and McGraw-Hill and has most recently joined the Bridge Academy family.  Bridge Academy students will be very pleased with the most up-to-date and fresh ideas she plans to present in her classes: Drawing, Graphic Design, and Digital Design. She and her mother, Allison Kincaid (also teaches Art at Bridge Academy), will be co-leaders of the Yearbook Club. Jordan is so excited to a part of the Bridge Academy family!  
Teaching: Animation, Graphic Design, and Digital Design 
Co-leader of Yearbook Club
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Ashley Knickerbocker

B.S. in History 
Ashley began teaching at Bridge Academy in 2016. She was raised in Chesterfield County, and now enjoys life with her husband, David and their three boys, Nathan (13), Justis (11) and Joshua (5). She homeschools her children, who attend Bridge Academy. She has a history degree from VCU and a certification in personal training. Her teaching experience began at ICCS Preschool during college and she has continued teaching both at home and in classroom settings since then. She taught art and PE as an enrichment course for Classical Conversations for 6 years and served as a CC lead teacher for 2 years before coming to Bridge Academy. She worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for eleven years at Chester Fitness. Both she and her boys love Bridge Academy and look forward to being a part of this coop for years to come!

Teaching: 1st-2nd History, 3rd-4th History, 3rd-4th English, 1st-2nd P.E. with Health, 3rd-4th P.E. with Health and Latin II
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Theresa Krebs  

B.S. in Chemistry & Biology w/specialization in Biotechnology  Masters of Science in Microbiology

Masters Ed in Exercise Physiology 

Theresa Krebs attended George Mason University, where she earned undergraduate degrees in both Chemistry and Biology, with a specialization in Biotechnology. She went on to pursue post-graduate studies at Northwestern University and finished her work at the University of Virginia, earning a Master of Science in Microbiology and a Master of Education in Exercise Physiology. She has taught as a graduate assistant at the University of Virginia in both Nutrition and Microbiology, as an Adjunct Professor of Biology at John Tyler Community College, and as a teacher in Richmond area homeschool co-ops in both math and science.  She currently lives in Chesterfield with her ruggedly handsome husband, Martin and their five children.  Ironically, Theresa’s childhood dreams were to have a career through which she earned lots of money and to have no children. (Incidentally, Martin says that his dream as a child was to crush the dreams of others.) In 2007, after much deliberation, prayer, and resistance (kicking / screaming), Theresa and Martin accepted God’s calling to home educate their children. They are truly grateful for the privilege and for yet another reminder that God's ways are so much higher than ours. She has learned to fully immerse herself in the home-educator lifestyle, achieving mastery of both the laminator and Ford E350 (respect the van). She is still in the process of learning as she asked her husband to write her bio for her.

Teaching: Chemistry (lecture) and Biology (lecture) 

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Melissa Mathes

Melissa pursued her nursing career while still in highschool through the Hermitage Technical Center and Graduated from St. Mary's School of Practical Nursing in 1999. She has worked in the pediatric nursing population for more than 20 years specializing in children with disabilities as well as acute care. She works at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU and has been a homeschooling mom of 3 since 2007. She has a 16,14 and 12 year old who have been homeschooled since the beginning. Melissa, alongside her husband Shawn, has a love for learning different types of self defense and holds a degree in both Taekwondo and Krave Maga. She has taught at two different co-ops in the Chesterfield area and has come to love teaching and has a heart for children of all ages.

Teaching: 5th - 8th Physical Education

Jenny Matthews

B.A. in French 

Jennifer graduated from Meredith College with a Bachelor of Arts in French. She taught for four years in international baccalaureate school in Raleigh, NC, and Prince George, VA. She and her husband Steven have been married for twenty years and have four children: Jacob, Loren, Natalie and Madilyn. She has been homeschooling for four years and recently joined Bridge Academy. 

Teaching: French I & French II


Shirley Musik 

B.S. HSC & A.S. LA / Certified in CI and IC/TC


Registry of Interpreters fro the Deaf

VA Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

Richmond Metropolitan VA Registry of Interpreters for Deaf 

Mrs. Musik is a nationally certified interpreter with The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. She has taught Sign Language at the university, community college, high school levels as well as community classes at a variety of churches. She has been in the field of Deafness for more than thirty years and loves to teach willing minds. She was married for 35 years and looking forward to joining her husband one day in their heavenly home. The mother of three sons, seven grandchildren and one great-grandson…so far. She is excited and looking forward to working with the Bridge Academy faculty, staff and students.

Teaching: American Sign Language I & American Sign Language II

Contact at: 

Chris Palmer

B.S. Education

MAR Church Ministry

MDIV Leadership 

Chris, a graduate of Liberty University, became the Pastor to Students at Ironbridge Baptist Church in February 2010, and has most recently accepted the Lead Pastor position at Second Branch Baptist. Chris and his wife Dee have four children.  Chris is very serious about the Christian life, and his heart’s desire is to see God change the world that he lives in. As a former youth minister, Chris led his youth to become “world-changers” just as the disciples were used by God to change the world. He continues to speak at youth camps, colleges, retreats, conferences, public schools, churches, and more, as well as serving his own congregation of Second Branch Baptist.  

Teaching: Speech

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Renee Plummer

B.A. Business Administration 

Renee graduated from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN with a degree in Business Administration. After working for 7 years in the finance and mortgage industries, she and her husband, Jonathan, were blessed with a daughter. Shortly after her birth, the family relocated from Baton Rouge, LA to Chester, VA where they decided she should be a stay-at-home mom. In 2003, as their daughter began to reach school-age, they felt lead to homeschool and have since continued to do so for both their daughter and son. During this wonderful journey of homeschooling, Renee has participated in many co-ops, including a Latin co-op which she began in her home, which continued for 8 years.

Teaching: Latin I and Personal Finance

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Pastor Lenny Ports

A.S. in Engineering

B.S. in Mathematics 

Lenny graduated from the University of New York at Stony Book with a degree in Mathematics in 1985. Two weeks after graduation, Gerri and Lenny were married. Although Lenny thought he would be a math teacher, his professional career of over 30 years was in insurance underwriting and account management. in 2009, God called Lenny and Gerri to pioneer a church plant, Encounter Christian Church. Their five children and three grandchildren are all serving the Lord. They have a heart to reach every generation with the love and good news of Jesus. 

Teaching: Precalculus & Physics 

Contact at:

Debbie Reed 

B.S. in Biology 


I am originally from the actual center of the universe (sorry, Ashland); East Aurora, NY, home of Motorola, Moog, and Fisher Price. I graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a biology degree and SUNY Buffalo School of Pharmacy with a pause in between to join the Air Force. I moved  I’ve been homeschooling at least one of my three sons since 2006. Much to their dismay, I could happily spend the entire day doing math problems. I’ve tutored for classical conversations for 6 years. We’ve been at Bridge academy for 4 very blessed years. As homeschoolers, we’ve built things, broken things, blown stuff up, and even did an unintentional genetics experiment with gerbils (evidently misidentified as two females). I currently work part time at St Mary’s as a pharmacist. I totally love my job and encourage you to join the Air Force and go to pharmacy school. I expect a wonderful year as I add an additional role as part of the Bridge Academy family!

Teaching: Chemistry (labs) and Biology (labs) 

Contact at: 

Jenny Smith

B.S. in Biology

Masters in Education 

Jenny Smith grew up in Bon Air, Virginia. From a young age, she enjoyed playing sports, but found a passion playing field hockey with her older sister. Jenny went on to play field hockey at Lynchburg College where she received a B.S. in biology. After graduating, Jenny found herself working in a fast-pace pharmaceutical industry in Philadelphia, but decided to move back to Richmond where she grew up and go back to school at VCU for her masters in teaching. Soon after returning, she fell madly in love with Cam Smith, who she met while attending Lynchburg College several years prior. Jenny and Cam not only found each other, but their relationship helped them both find a greater purpose in life, serving the Lord. Both Jenny and her husband Cam have recently been blessed with their first child, June Bea. Jenny noticed during her teaching tenure in Chesterfield County Schools that she wanted to empower the students with not only the subject matter she was teaching, but more importantly, the responsibility, morals and values learned in the Bible.


Contact Info:

Karyn Sisson

B.A. in Business Administration 

Karyn graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Business Administration. She has worked in the business world as a manager, a buyer, and a bookkeeper. In addition, she has experience in proofreading and editing for a textbook publisher. Karyn and her husband have three children and homeschooled for over twenty years. Her daughter and sons are now homeschool graduates, and by God’s provision, all three received full academic scholarships to college. Karyn has tutored and taught co-op classes in a variety of subjects at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She loves teaching students at Bridge Academy!

Teaching: Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Geometry

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Krystal Sadler

Masters in Education 

Krystal graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (go Rams!) with a Masters in Teaching.  She has spent the past six years teaching for both Henrico County and Chesterfield County.  Her experience ranges from early childhood education and elementary school, to tutoring high school and college students in Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, and English.  She is passionate about supporting students both academically and spiritually, and is excited to have the opportunity to teach the whole child. Krystal has the privilege of doing life with her wonderful husband, Josh, and two beautiful daughters, McKayla (9) and Shayne (5).   While she is newer to the homeschooling scene, she is so grateful to be a part of the Bridge Academy community!

Teaching: 1st-2nd Science, 3rd-4th Science, Movies as Literature with Composition, Algebra II and World History II

Contact at:

Emily Woodworth 

BA Ed.

Emily was born and raised on a farm Waynesboro, Virginia. Her family moved to Singapore during part of her middle and high school years where she developed a love for other cultures and travel. She earned a bachelors in Elementary Education from Juniata College and the year following graduation, she served a year in Tunisia, Africa teaching 6 missionary children in an area where there was no school to serve them. Returning to her hometown to teach sixth grade math, she grew closer to an old family friend and married her best friend, Mark. After 6 years of teaching Emily decided to stay at home to be with their first born, Hayden who is now 12. Currently, Emily feels blessed to be able to homeschool their 5 children (Mary 10, Lauren 8, John 7, and Andrew 4) and serves as worship leader to children at their church. From a very young age, Emily has felt an overwhelming desire to love on and be with children of all ages. God has given her many opportunities to use her passion to serve God give Him glory.

Serving as: Study Hall Monitor

Denise Yagel
B.S. in English Education with Gifted Endorsement 
Denise Yagel is a veteran teacher with 25 years experience, most recently at the Maggie Walker Governor’s School. There she taught all levels of Honors English and a variety of electives, as well as serving students as department chair, National Honor Society sponsor, class sponsor, and graduation coordinator. She homeschooled her own daughter through late elementary school, and has taught students both at Bridge Academy and Westminster Academy. Since the dream jobs of being Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Brontë, or F. Scott Fitzgerald were already taken, she chose instead to become a teacher and to pour her love of words and writing and story into her students. Her goal has always been to model for them the personal growth to be gained from reading a good story well-told, the academic value of knowing how to write analytically, and the creative worlds available to anyone who knows to honor the transformative power of words. She finds the New Testament’s opening regarding the relationship between God and the Word to be both deeply moving and powerfully symbolic, and continues to marvel at the deep, golden threads of Biblical truth running through literature’s great classics. God, indeed, is the Word, and Jesus his Story we are compelled and graciously privileged to follow. 
Surveying the Scene: Foundations in Literature and Composition
British Literature: Devices and Revision (two sections of the same course)
American Literature: Diving Deep and the Research Process
Advanced Composition: College Ready
Contact at:

Stephanie York

B.S. in Psychology

Masters in Education 

Stephanie was born and raised in Chesterfield County, Va. She attended VCU and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education. Upon graduating she began
teaching elementary school in Chesterfield County. Several years later, she and her husband, Chris, were blessed with their first son and Stephanie left the teaching profession to stay at home. She later returned to work at her church as director of the preschool and daycare where she implemented a private Kindergarten program. As their family grew, Stephanie eventually felt led to homeschool her three boys and has been doing so for the past 11 years. Two of her boys have graduated; one is now working fulltime and the other attends Liberty University and is a member of the LU Archery Team. Her youngest is quickly approaching graduation and has plans to attend college as well. During her years of homeschooling, Stephanie has taught numerous homeschooling classes ranging from elementary age to high school at various co-ops. During the summer months you can find her poolside coaching for a local swim team or cheering on her youngest who has been involved in the sport year round for many years. She is also very active within her church and serves in leadership as the Children’s Church Director and assists with the Women’s Ministry 


5th-6th English

5th - 7th Exploring Oceans and Space

7th-8th Literature with Writing

7th-8th Advanced Literature with Composition

General Science

Physical Science 


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