HuckleBerry Teachers

HuckleBerry Center for Creative Learning Instructors include these highly qualified professionals:

SBerry2010_181Executive Director and Founder of HuckleBerry Center for Creative Learning

Founder & Executive Director of HuckleBerry. A home schooling educator for many years, Stephanie Berry has taught classes in many subjects.  Her first love of teaching resulted in her becoming a reading tutor which quickly expanded to many other subjects.   After teaching in her home and with other educators in their homes, she felt it was time to get these wonderful teachers together in one place to help our community of homeschoolers have more access to fabulously fun classes.    Her philosophy in education is that kids need to be in an environment where learning is fun to become self-learners and that making mistakes is part of that fun.   She likes to use lots of games and projects to encourage kids to explore subjects more deeply.   Hearing kids say “Aha!  I get it!” is the best part of her day!    Prior to embarking in the educational arena, Berry was a software and business consultant. She has developed both in-house and commercial grade software and holds two patents on algorithms and software designed to help find the causes of human diseases.


Jennie Andrews has many years of teaching experience having taught first, fifth and sixth grades in both the Downey and Sulphur Springs School Districts respectively.  She enjoys teaching with a hands-on approach where the kids are learning through doing. After having her first son, she stepped down from teaching full-time and taught English as a second language to adults.  She is a substitute teacher, an instructor Peak Adventures, and is now excited to teach at HuckleBerry! Jennie has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a CLAD emphasis. She is married with two sons.

Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LynnetteBAlthough Lynnette is a new staff member at Huckleberry, she is not new to the Huckleberry community.  She homeschooled her now young adult children for nine years using an eclectic mix of independent study and charter programs, local homeschool classes and workshops, and community resources in thSanta Clarita valley. Lynnette recently completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, is currently enrolled in the Master of Teaching program at USC and has completed the Credentials to teach Social Studies for Secondary Education. Her educational philosophy - if a child knows how to learn and think critically, he or she will be able to master anything that life presents.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



TcrFBrowne300Frank Browne (Acoustic and Electric Guitar) has been teaching & playing guitar professionally for over 25 years. He moved to Southern California after earning his Bachelor of Music from the University of Miami School of Music. His versatility allows him to teach a variety of musical styles from rock, jazz, & blues to folk & classical. In the past he has performed for President Clinton, has played live on Fox Sports Net TV with his swing band, Zoot Suit Revue, and has been heard on jazz radio stations throughout the country. His current band, Sylvan Street, is signed to Summit Records, and has released two cd’s which have garnered Grammy consideration.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Josh Cabitac

Josh Cabitac was raised in the Santa Clarita Valley and is currently an undergraduate student at College of the Canyons. He appreciates learning through experience and play, both of which are incorporated into his interactive classes. Regardless of the subject of study, his aim as a teacher is to impart to his students the ability to make practical sense of the world around them. When outside of the classroom, Josh enjoys being outdoors and playing music with friends and family.


KChae172Karen comes to Huckleberry with a love for learning and a love for children.  Having taught 2nd grade for 3 years in the public charter schools, she has developed a knowledge and understanding of how different children learn in various ways and capacities. She professional teaching career began as she attended UCLA for her undergraduate degree.  There she worked as a preschool teacher for all 4 years of her undergraduate years.  From there, she attended Cal State Fullerton where she received her CA Multiple Subject K-8 Teaching Credential as well as a Master's in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction.  Upon getting her credential and Master's, she began as a teacher at CHIME Charter Elementary School teaching 2nd grade.  At CHIME, she learned to creatively develop her own curriculum to meet the learning need and abilities of all students and continues to love to differentiate her instruction.  At home, she enjoys cooking, sewing, crafting, and playing instruments.  She has been married to her husband for 6 years and they have 2 beautiful daughters ages 2 and 3 months.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

DGallarza172My name is Danielle Galarza.  I am a mom of two amazing children as well as a kindergarten teacher in a job share position at Tesoro del Valle Elementary school.  I have chosen to continue my job share position so that I can be an active part of my children’s lives at home as well as be the best, most engaging teacher I can be.  I have held my position with the Saugus School District for the past 12 years, fully credentialed.  I have had the amazing pleasure of teaching grades k through 3 as well as holding several leadership/mentoring roles in my tenure for both my current district, as well as Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Charter School in San Fernando where I started teaching 15 years ago.

Teaching for me is truly a passion. This is the greatest job on earth because it allows me to challenge myself to know every child in my class each year and teach them at their level with their interests and strengths in mind.  Differentiating curriculum and making subjects come to life are my favorite things about teaching.  What other job enables you to be creative and analytical and touch people’s lives so profoundly?  I feel so lucky to be a teacher and see the smiles, interests and talents build all year long.

I am extremely excited about having an opportunity to work with the families at HuckleBerry Creative Learning Center as a teacher this year. This experience has me so enthusiastic about the amazing possibilities in working with families that share my passion for helping all children be lifetime learners and find that learning is an active, fun process.  I too firmly believe that having strong communication and supporting families at home helps learning transcend classroom walls.  This is going to be a fantastic year.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

AHoffman172Andrea is an internationally inspired artist. Born and raised in Germany, she was influenced by her father's talents as a painter, writer and composer. Her early drawings at age four blossomed, refined and became the inspiration for her artistic achievements in adulthood. She is an accomplished professional in cartoon illustration, story boarding, painting and other art forms. Her work has been featured in many film productions, advertisements and publishing companies in Germany.

Before moving to the Santa Clarita Valley in 2004, Andrea created, managed and taught at her own successful multi-age art school in Munich, Germany. She has applied that experience to The Art Production where she provides private and group instruction to budding artists of all ages. As an art teacher, she emphasizes authentic expression that reflects the artists' emotion, tells a story and integrates technical understanding.

Andrea earned a bachelor of fine arts in communication design for the University of Applied Sciences in Augsburg, Germany, and a post graduate degree from the Private Art School Hans Seeger in Munich.

She enjoys sharing her passion for art with her own three children and volunteers in their classrooms regularly, offering art support to the teachers.

email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it     


Leonardo Krotser is a graduate from the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts.  He has more than 7 years experience teaching art to children.  His artwork appeared on-screen alongside John Malkovich in the feature film Art School Confidential.  Recently, he has been helping elementary school children produce short animated films using a method called "stop-motion."  This method involves the construction of small sets and the careful manipulation of dolls or toys.  Some popular examples of stop-motion animation include The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline.  He has created a YouTube channel called "MrLeo4GenArts" that showcases the films his students have made.

Devin Lytle is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) with a degree in English Studies. She has been a proud member of Team Starkid, and her work in performance has resulted in a young but strong career in Los Angeles. She extensively studied Shakespeare at Cambridge University in England as well, and has been a tutor to home-schooled students in the Los Angeles area for the past two years. Her work in Harry Potter-specific education has earned praise from educators and parents alike!




Much Ado About Shakespeare!

 Much Ado About Shakespeare, LLC is a professional educational program that brings the joy of theater and William Shakespeare’s works to homeschool students.  In the Shakespeare programs, Much Ado combines technique workshops in areas such as stage combat, Elizabethan dance and acting with rehearsal classes focused on selected Shakespearean plays.  Most of these programs then culminate in student Shakespearean productions for the community. Much Ado also offers programs in Playwriting, Improvisation and Commedia dell’Arte, as well as workshops in performance skills like Stage Combat, Voice and Acting.

We are process-focused, rather than product-focused.  Although our programs involve performance, our emphasis is on the students’ classroom experiences of learning and discovery as they encounter the world of classical theatre.  We design each class to educate the students about not only acting and the theatre, but also the particular skills and knowledge involved in bringing Shakespeare’s plays to life.  Our classes favor physical movement and active learning over traditional lectures.  The richness of the lessons lies more in the doing and feeling than in the intellectualizing of material. 

            We feel that classes/rehearsals should be fun and engaging for all types of learners.  We value the fact that each student learns in his or her unique way and therefore, do everything possible to meet the individual needs of each student.

            Much Ado’s mission is to create in each class a student ensemble that explores the world of the theatre and the works of William Shakespeare in a fun and non-competitive environment.

Our Story

At its beginning, Much Ado was then what it continues to be now: people coming together to share and learn from the theater’s wonder, excitement and understanding. Eleven years ago, a season of outdoor Shakespeare productions brought together a group of committed, professional actors looking to share and develop their skills beyond the level of stage performance.  With each actor bringing a passion for teaching and a love of learning, this team brought their talents and commitment to the homeschool communities of Ventura and Simi Valley for a season of student Shakespeare productions. Growing from the seed of these early programs, Much Ado has flourished through the support of the wonderful families in each community we encounter. Almost entirely due to word of mouth, Much Ado is now offering theater arts programs throughout Southern California in such areas as: Ventura, Simi/Conejo, Camarillo, Santa Clarita, La Crescenta, Westchester; with a new program beginning in Orange County. As Much Ado has acquired new, brilliant and multi-talented group of teachers, they have expanded from their Shakespearean foundation to offering theater arts programs across the spectrum of theatrical performance skills (Playwriting, Improvisation, Stage Combat, etc.).  Much Ado is so proud to see all their students growing in self-expression, confidence, teamwork and understanding from their journeys in the theater and their love of Shakespeare.  Much Ado is ever thankful for our grand theatrical family and look forward to watching it grow.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Lego Pre-Engineering
  • Lego Engineering

Vincent172While teachers vary for these classes, we have been lucky enough to usually have Mr. Vincent. At Play-Well TEKnologies they strive to build problem-solving skills, provide an opportunity for creative expression, foster a greater appreciation of how things work, and encourage the qualities of inquisitiveness, self reliance, and self confidence in children. They do this in the context of fun-filled engineering and architectural projects, activities that both the children and the instructors enjoy!


2011TQuick172Tracy Quick has always loved helping people, especially kids. As a child she dreamed of one day becoming a teacher, getting married, and having a large family. Today she’s “living the dream”, as her husband always jokes. Tracy is a New York native, with her B.S. in Education from Boston University. She taught grades K-12 in Massachusetts public schools, until pregnant with her third child. After moving to Santa Clarita, and experiencing the public schools here, she and her husband decided to homeschool their children. She currently homeschools her four youngest children, who LOVE attending HuckleBerry. She likes being busy, loves learning and sharing new things, enjoys the freedom and flexibility that homeschooling offers, and is excited about being more involved in the wonderful HuckleBerry community.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

My interest in robotics as a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) course is to increase interest and awareness in science among today’s youth. My computer/robotics club at LA Mission College demonstrates robots for the Cesar Chavez day in San Fernando and Dia de la Muerta at the college campus. I helped start an annual summer robotics project for LA Unified in conjunction with CSUN, Project Grad middle schools, and Los Angeles Mission College. These LAUSD schools are in a high drop area, however, this program in math and robotics boasts a near 100% attendance. Participating students pass algebra the first semester with comparable scores to their college bound peers. I am currently working to create a college level robotics course at LA Mission College. When I was in middle school, before the PC revolution, programmable calculators were just being introduced. Through the mentoring of a family friend who provided me with access to his engineering calculators, I was inspired to pursue a career in technology. I work for LA Mission College as a computer and network specialist, and I teach computer science on weekends and evenings. My favorite classes are web programming, computer networking, and Linux. I have been employed at Mission College for roughly twenty years. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from the University of Redlands. I live locally in Stevenson Ranch with my wife Nina and my two sons Sasha and Misha. My sons are excelling in their high school Pre-Calculus and Calculus classes and are technically minded. They did it themselves, but I like to think I influenced them. I look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge with the students at HuckleBerry.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

PSande120Penny Sande has a passion for making music. As an accomplished violin and viola player, her playing credits date back to the mid 70's. At the request of a local elementary school, she began teaching students to play violin and recorder. Sande has a loyal following, and soon added cello to her repertoire, and is the current director for 2 local string orchestras. Sande's peformance groups have performed at many weddings, charity & local events, including being a featured playing group at Universal City Walk during 2006-08 Holiday seasons. Her group regularly performs at Barnes & Noble, the Farmer's Market and other local events.  She is both a dedicated homeschooler, and a well loved private string teacher.

Her background in advertising, and a decade of working the renaissance faire and love of cooking are some of her interests she is willing to share!

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

HollyVanHouten172Holly Van Houten holds a Masters degree in English and American Literature and is ABD (All But Dissertation) for her Ph.D. in English Literature from USC. She has taught courses in literature and writing at USC, Pepperdine University, CSUN, CSULB and other Los Angeles area colleges. She is currently the Dramaturg for the Mountain Shakespeare Festival where she also serves on the Board of Directors. She currently homeschools her two daughters and loves watching their love of literature grow year by year.

To read more about Holly's fascinating story, here is a link to the autobiography she prepared for our HuckleBerry Teacher Focus.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Karen Baughn is a Los Angeles based teacher, actor, improviser, and playwright. A high school apprenticeship with the Idaho Shakespeare festival sparked passion for the theater, which brought her from her hometown of Boise, Idaho all the way to Occidental College in the heart of Los Angles where she earned her honors in Theater. She went on to study at The London Dramatic Academy, Improv Olympic Chicago, UCB, The Groundlings, and Bang Comedy Studio to develop her skills as a character actor and director.  In the midst of her studies, Karen was also teaching. After three years of teaching for Occidental Children’s Theater, Karen successfully partnered with OCT and UCLA to bring her own curriculum to a local high school to teach underserved teens the positive influence of improv. In addition, Karen is currently teaching youth and adult improv classes at Bang Studio, acting classes with City Hearts, and directing the spring production at "A Time To Dance."  She is honored to be a working with Much Ado About Shakespeare teaching Shakespeare, Comedia Del Arte, and Tumbling. She looks forward to every class working with Much Ado performers because they commit to bringing their very best to the classroom and the stage. 

MBradbury172For the past 12 years, Marsha Bradbury has taught classes for homeschoolers in the subjects of reading improvement, math, and grammar & writing in the Monrovia/Pasadena areas. After receiving her B.A. in Liberal Studies at CSUN many years earlier, she returned to school in 2003-04 to obtain her Preliminary Clear California Teaching Credential in Multiple Subjects and within five years earned her Professional Clear. In addition, she is recognized by the Institute for Excellence in Writing as a Registered Instructor.  Marsha has five children, all of whom she has homeschooled, with the youngest at age 15 still in the midst of being educated at home.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

JBurch172Jesse Burch has been part of the HuckleBerry community for three years as a homeschooling dad. In addition to teaching his two children (ages 10 and 6), he has been a professional actor and voiceover performer for 13 years, working in television, film, commercials and video games. He has most recently been featured in A Good Day to Die Hard and What to Expect When You're Expecting

Jesse earned a BA in Theater from Occidental College and has returned to his alma mater to teach workshops on the business of acting to current students, some of whom he mentors. Jesse has also directed a number of plays onstage and is currently writing a play about World War I, a fascinating subject he has been researching for the last three years. Jesse's interest and love of history started in high school, inspired by an excellent teacher, and he hopes to inspire his students by making history come alive from the detailed perspective of the ordinary people;caught up in historical events.

Professor of Biology at LA Mission College.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

J.D. Durkin is a teacher and comedy writer who recently finished a year of work for the Getting Out Staying Out program in Harlem, New York City. He has an English degree from Villanova University, and also earned additional credits in Irish Studies and Africana Literature during his time there. He began tutoring in the Philadelphia school system in the Fall of 2005, developing an outreach initiative for inner-city students in the fields of Engineering and College Admission Essay writing. He most recently has written comedy for Off-Broadway theater in New York and is currently an assistant-tutor for Kumon learning centers in Los Angeles.

LisaHuckemeyerLisa Huckemeyer comes to us as a graduate from the University of WI – Madison, earning degrees in both business and child and family studies. After working in the business arena for 10 years, she is now a mother and considers herself the primary educator of her two boys, ages 8 and 14. Lisa has worked with HuckleBerry since it’s inception. Lisa’s philosophy on education is that if it’s not creative and fun, we’re not learning! Lisa also owns her own children’s business and is an active member in our local community.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

While still in high school, I took a job at Michaels crafts store where they suggested I try teaching a kid's art class.  I wasn't sure what to expect but the response was so overwhelming that I ended up having to split the class into two.  As my number of students grew, I expanded to teaching at four Michaels locations in the area and truly enjoyed seeing the incredible work the kids were doing.  After receiving a scholarship to study illustration at the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, OH,  I continued to teach at numerous craft stores in the area.  After finishing school I returned to teaching and also began working as a freelance graphic designer.  I eventually moved out to California where I immediately found the nearest Michaels in Santa Clarita and helped make their class program the most successful of all the stores in Los Angeles County.  I taught every type of art imaginable including drawing, painting, sculpture and cartooning to children of all ages and eventually teens.  This opened many more doors for as my clients began to invite me to come to their homes to teach private lessons to their children and led to me teaching numerous art classes to three different home school groups.  In addition, I was instructing with SCV Arts, a private art studio which led to several opportunities teaching with the City of Santa Clarita through their Parks & Recreation program.  It was then that the school districts came calling and I began a wonderful after school enrichment program for many of the schools in the Santa Clarita Valley.  I had such a great experience creating a fun and comprehensive art curriculum for the kids that participated in the program because many of them weren't receiving their art education during normal school hours.  It was through this program that I became involved with Peak Adventures and they helped me expand into subjects I never imagined I be teaching such as marine biology, chemistry, science, Lego engineering as well as many others.  It also got me involved in various camps covering an array of exciting topics and the kids have a blast participating during their winter, spring and summer breaks.  And it's been through Peak that I've had the opportunity to fill in for various classes at Huckleberry and have enjoyed their program immensely.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Heidi Marino

Heidi Marino has been an educator since 1992.  She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies.  She received her teaching credential from Chapman University where she became especially interested in early childhood literacy.  After being in a traditional school setting for eight years she started to work in a personalized learning environment because it allows her to work with the same children year after year and really understand their strengths and weaknesses.  She enjoys exercising, going on long walks, camping and dirt bike riding (Yes you read that right!).  She lives in Santa Clarita with her husband and two boys.



RMcMahan172Rick has a Masters degree in history from Cal State Northridge and is currently finishing another Masters in Educational Technology.  He aIso possesses a single subject California credential in Social Sciences.  He currently teaches 11th grade social sciences (history, government and economics) and has seven and a half years of teaching/tutoring experience at the Santa Clarita Boys and Girls Club, where he developed and taught educational programs to young people, ages seven to seventeen. This experience also entailed instruction to students with special needs.  He has served as a faculty advisor for the National Youth Leadership Forum, which is a nationally recognized program that recognizes the achievements of scholars that are entering medical school.   But most importantly, Rick has a driving desire to help students succeed academically. He says "there is no greater satisfaction than to see that light come on in my student’s eyes. I have had many young folks come up to me and say that I played a significant  part in their motivation to learn and it is for this reason that I measure my ability by my students success."  

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

AngelaAngela is the co-founder and curriculum writer for PEAK Adventures After School Enrichment and comes to Huckleberry with over 15 years of teaching experience.  Originally from Kansas City, Mo. Angela has a degree in Physical Therapy.  Her philosophy is to always be moving!  Whether learning about animals in the deep ocean or chemistry concoctions you won't be sitting still in her class.  Angela has an extensive background in the sciences and a passion for teaching in a fun, creative way.  She lives in Valencia with her husband and three children.  When she is not teaching children you can find her at The Spectrum Club where she teaches several fitness classes.

Angela Paretta - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

lpowers153Our newest Fine Art Teacher, believes that each child has the ability to be creative. She has a love for art and children and believes that the two go hand in hand.  She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising where she studied fashion illustration.  She also attended Art Center College in Pasadena and Pasadena City College studying fine art and graphic design.  She has experience as an artist, including mural painting, graphic art, water color, acrylic, oil painting and pastels.  She currently teaches in her home art studio, Creative Powers Art and has taught fine art for 8 years with Kids Art Studios.  One of her strengths is to acknowledge each child’s unique personality and expression, while providing learning tools to achieve their fine art abilities.


Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

AnnReesAnn Rees has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering. She has tutored in several math levels, including basic math, algebra and beyond for several years. Rees enjoys working with children to make math fun and to help them see connections between mathematical concepts and the real world usage of math. Contact Ann directly at her email for private or semi-private math tutoring sessions!

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LRivasLori had all the answers until 1996, when she birthed her first baby.  She has spent the last 17 years living with the depth of her ignorance, bravely homeschooling her 4 kids as a social front to educating herself.

Despite a degree from Mt. Holyoke College, a CA emergency teaching credential, and plenty of paid experience to be in charge and know the answers, it was homeschooling a Kindergartener that really drove home Lori's deficiencies.

After 12 years of homeschooling, Lori remains hopelessly clueless.

Lori has attempted to "get it together" by documenting her ignorance as the Organic Mama writer for, and as a regular contributor to Democratic Voices op/ed at The Signal.  She is a little bit of an agitator, and advocates for public libraries, being asked to present at national conferences.  She tortures her family by planning month-long camping trips in the woods, sold as a "family vacation." 

Using the excuse of "educating the kids," Lori has taught several group classes (optics, Spanish), organized events (Pioneer Day), schedules homeschool student contributions to The Signal, and has planned innumerable field trips.

Lori is still woefully dumb.

And so, she is now offering "classes" here at Huckleberry, in an attempt to broaden her knowledge, and slake her curiosity.  She welcomes your children on her journey.

Sturin200Sofiya Turin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature and Secondary English Teaching Credential from UCLA.  She also holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling from National University.  Sofiya got her start in education in 2001 as a high school English and ESL teacher and later went on to work as a high school guidance counselor.  She currently home schools both of her kids and is extremely excited about the opportunities that homeschooling brings.  Sofiya is also certified yoga instructor for adults and kids and is passionate about the practice of yoga.  Sofiya is a poet and loves working with teens.  She is extremely excited about sharing her love of literature and writing to with her students at Huck!