Home schooled from third through tenth grade, Rebekah Ricks completed her schooling at Windsor Baptist School in Bethany, Oklahoma. She attended Oklahoma Baptist College and received a B.S. in Advanced Math with a minor in History and another B.S. in Educational Leadership and Instruction with a Secondary Education emphasis. Rebekah worked at a private hospital with special needs children as a music and speech therapist aide, CNA, and EMT. She taught third, fifth, and sixth grade students, middle school English and math, and high school speech at Landmark Christian School in Haines City, Florida. Rebekah Ricks helped direct multiple productions and launched Landmark’s elementary speech and drama department.
A music teacher for over fifteen years, Lissette Cruz holds a B.A. in vocal performance from Pensacola Christian College. Lissette teaches voice and piano with a classical approach while also integrating hymn and chorus improvisation. Her dynamic style and unique teaching approach inspires students to excel in music while bringing glory to our Creator, Jesus Christ. Over the years, Lissette’s students have competed in regional and state competitions in which her vocal, piano, and choral students have placed top three in the state. Other students continue to enjoy the fruit of their music training by serving in diverse ways in their churches and community events. She has held positions as fine arts director, band director, private vocal/piano instructor, choral director, and accompanist in local churches.
Myra Cruz was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. In 2000, she received a Bachelor of Biblical Studies in Secondary Education with a major in English from Crown College of the Bible located in Powell, Tennessee. After teaching for several years in East Chicago, she accepted a teaching position in Central Florida in 2004. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, she has taught various courses including English, Bible, drama, speech, and art. Myra consistently sets a high standard for students while helping each to create and reach the highest goals — goals both academic and spiritual.
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Alesha Conklin was born and raised in Polk County, Florida, and attended both school and college in Haines City. She graduated from Landmark Baptist College with a Bachelor’s degree in Missions. Alesha is mom to Isaac, their seventeen-year-old with special needs. She and her husband Doug stay quite busy with Isaac’s homeschooling and therapies, and are glad that homeschooling provides them with the flexibility to educate their son in a way that works best for him. Over the years, Alesha and her husband have worked in numerous churches and schools. Today, we are glad to have the Conklin team of Alesha and Doug as an important part of The Homeschool Connection!
Teacher/Tutor: Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry
Cassie Pavy graduated from Warner Southern College with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in May of 2007, taking a load of eighteen credit hours of Biology courses. Upon graduation, she quickly merged into the teaching scene teaching gifted students at Dundee Ridge Middle School. Aside from Dundee Ridge, she has taught at Lake Wales High School, Winter Haven Christian School, and McLaughlin Middle School. Holding four different teaching certifications, Cassie has taught various middle school and high school science courses including Earth Space Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Biology; and, currently teaches Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry at The Homeschool Connection.
Teacher/Tutor: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry
Doug Conklin was born and raised in the Ohio/Indiana area, before relocating to Haines City, FL to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Bible, from Landmark Baptist College. He has worked at various ministries over the past 29 years, teaching, preaching and coaching. One of his fondest accomplishments was leading his boys’ basketball team to back-to-back conference championships while teaching in Palm Bay, FL. Mr. Conklin was also privileged to work at Landmark’s Freedom Baptist Curriculum for several seasons, where he served as Principal of their Homeschool Academy. Doug and his wife Alesha are parents to Isaac, a 17-year-old with various special needs, whom they are honored to homeschool. Doug teaches and tutors Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry for The Homeschool Connection.
Teacher: Jr/Sr High Math
Paula Moon earned her bachelor’s in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida and has earned (and maintains) a Professional Engineer’s License. She has also worked as an engineer for Polk County Utilities and Polk County Transportation Departments. More recently, Paula has worked as an adjunct math professor for Polk State College and has also taught middle school math at Winter Haven Christian. We were thrilled when she came onboard with The Homeschool Connection in the fall of 2018.
Teacher: Upper Elementary
Christine Jacobsen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the University of South Florida and began her career in the business world. After starting a family, she enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom. Once her youngest started kindergarten, she followed him into the classroom as a volunteer and then became a substitute teacher. She enjoyed it so much that she went on to earn her Post Baccalaureate from the Educator Preparation Institute at Polk State College along with her Florida Teaching Certification. She went on to teach full time in the Polk County Public School System for several years. She is so thankful now to call The Homeschool Connection home. Her passion is to help students become lifelong learners as they strive to be the best they can be.
Teacher: American History/U.S. History
Brittony Yates has worked in education since 2001. A homeschool graduate herself, she obtained her bachelor’s degree from Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey and later graduated with her master’s degree from Southeastern University in Florida. She has taught a variety of subjects and age groups including preschool classes, high school honors English, middle school and high school English, history, literature, and Worldview. She enjoys history, reading, and family life with her husband and their two daughters and is currently employed by The Homeschool Connection where she teaches American History.