Middle School Mentors

Chris HeadshotChristopher Jones

2019-2020 Live Program Mentor: World Literature, English: Language Arts Companion

Christopher Jones (alias Mr. C) has for several years taught classes on history, civics, and Defense Against the Dark Arts both on- and off-line as part of the growing private/homeschool movement. This will be his third year teaching full time. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Classics (Roman History) and minors in English and History, and has a lifetime in politics—including running a presidential campaign–to go with acting, singing, and writing. A sought-after speaker on education and history, he is also a working writer, with four published books, dozens of articles and essays, and a long-running popular blog. Mr. C resides in Lehi, UT with his wife Mrs. C, their eight children, two cats, and a growing flock of free-range finches.

Connie Voss

Connie Voss

2019-2020 Live Program Mentor: World History, Principles of Liberty Part II

Self-Paced Program Mentor: US History, Principles of Liberty Part I

Connie Voss graduated from Brigham Young University and New England College. Her Master’s degree is in Public Policy, with a 4.0 GPA and a perfect score on her thesis. She has many years of teaching experience, including early morning seminary. She also served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Mexico and Colorado. In addition, she keeps active in local elections and state political issues.  A native Californian, Connie successfully homeschooled five children. She and her husband Bob live in Gridley, California with their dog Odie.

Joseph RamirezJoseph Ramirez

2019-2020 Live Program: World Literature, English: Language Arts Companion

Joseph Ramirez was born in the right century, because this century has access to all of the other centuries. A self-taught historian, a driven novelist, and enthusiastic teacher, Joseph is excited to serve as a mentor for Ensign Peak Academy.

Joseph served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Atlanta, GA. For a small-town Idaho boy, used to potato fields, mountains and rural roads, metropolitan Georgia was about as foreign as it gets. He quickly connected with the South, and the many cultures from all over the world, and he still gets caught saying, “yes, Ma’am,” “yes, sir,” and “y’all.”

Joseph has been working at a charter school for the past three years. When he’s not teaching, you’ll often find him at the local library, researching and writing his next book. In his off time, he enjoys vintage swing dancing, learning historical skills, shooting firearms, playing his guitar and making things with his hands.

Joseph resides in Provo, Utah, in a cozy apartment filled with bookshelves, art and a workbench with creative projects in various stages of completion. Accompanying him is his faithful guitar, Petunia, and the friendly garden snails that come out on his walk when it rains.

Carolyn Marriott

Carolyn Marriott

2019-2020 Live Program: World Geography, Spanish

Self-Paced Program: US Geography

Carolyn Marriott has a passion for learning and teaching. Besides homeschooling her own seven children since 1993, she has years of experience teaching youth in church and academic settings. Recognizing the value of contributing to and gaining from a community, she and her children have participated in homeschool groups in Washington and Utah where she has taught a variety of topics from Spanish, to U.S. History, to Economics.

Carolyn has traveled in Chile, Central America, Europe, Canada, Argentina, Guatemala and the United States, broadening her appreciation for the beautiful world and its people. She served a mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received a BA in Spanish from Brigham Young University.

Currently, Carolyn lives with her husband and youngest daughter, Lizzy, in Wallsburg, Utah. She loves gardening, eating chocolate ice cream, reading, going on long walks; and she now understands why grandparents brag about their grandkids so much.

Leah_JeppsonLeah Ellis

2019-2020 Live Program: Middle School Music Appreciation

Leah Ellis was born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. She currently resides in Rexburg, ID where she recently graduated from BYU Idaho, with a BA in music, string emphasis, and a minor in Marriage and Family Studies. Leah enjoyed 19 years of private violin lessons, including 8 years under the instruction of Emily Day-Shumway, former member of the Utah Symphony and Concert Mistress of the Utah Chamber Orchestra. Leah performed in the Utah Youth Philharmonic for 6 years, and in the BYU-Idaho Symphony Orchestra and ensembles for 4 years, along with multiple community orchestral and choral events. Leah also performed with her family bluegrass band “The Wildflowers” as a fiddler and vocalist for 8 years. While violin is Leah’s main instrument, she also enjoys playing the piano, viola, cello, guitar, and singing in home activities and numerous events. Leah has 2 years’ experience as a private tutor in elementary level reading, literature, art and music theory, and has 10+ years’ experience teaching private violin lessons to students of all ages. She has taught two previous online Music Appreciation courses. Leah served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, Portuguese speaking. Along with music, Leah also enjoys drawing, painting with watercolors, reading, and being with her friends, family and husband Spencer Ellis.

IMG_3743Jeffrey Van Komen

2019-2020 Live Program: Science: Cells and Classification; Heredity and Genetics

Jeff Van Komen has a curiosity for learning. He earned a BS in microbiology from Weber State University, a PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Immunology at the OMRF (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation). Jeff has published articles and spoken at technical conferences on topics including: Maintaining Microbial Control in Manufacturing Processes, Bioremdiation of Mine Waste Waters, Immunology, Cell Signaling, Cellular Imaging and Microscopy, Membrane Fusion, Novel Scientific
Methods, and Yeast Genetics.

Jeff currently lives on a homestead outside of Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife, five children, 20 chickens, 3 ducks, 3 cats, a rabbit, a hamster, and 1 livestock guardian dog. By day, he works as a Senior Scientist, regularly utilizing his chemistry and microbiology. He also loves being part of his children’s education. Jeff has mentored classes in his homeschool community for the last 5 years. When not working, or helping with homeschooling, Jeff can be found indulging in his love for construction by upgrading, fixing, and running the homestead.

Rachel SniderRachel Snider

Self-Paced Program: American and British Literature, English: Focus on Language Arts

Rachel Snider has had her nose in a book ever since kindergarten. This habit led to her eventual graduation in 2001 from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She homeschools her 5 children and has taught various classes for Kaplan. She has also mentored classes at Front Range Liberty Commonwealth in Broomfield, Colorado, and acts as a writing mentor and coach whenever she gets the opportunity. She always has quite a tower of books on her nightstand which she loves to read and discuss.

Diann Jeppson Portrait 2017Diann Jeppson

Self-Paced Program: Art Appreciation, Middle School Science

Diann Jeppson is devoted to creating fulfilling learning experiences for students. Diann’s experience includes 18 years as producer of Simulations Week and 23 years as producer of the Liberty Girls program (history-based experiential learning for children) and 5 years experience teaching and directing American Youth Leadership Institute, a youth civics education organization. Diann has fulfilled numerous speaking engagements at home education conferences and seminars in the US and Canada. She has chaired four non-profit educational organizations and has 10+ years experience as a parliamentary procedure consultant and trainer. Diann enjoyed performing for 8 years in a family bluegrass ensemble called “The Wildflowers” (guitar and vocals). She and her husband Adam live on a 2.5 acre homestead in Mount Pleasant, a small Central-Utah town in a secluded high-mountain desert valley. Adam is the town gunsmith. Adam and Diann have four delightful daughters, three handsome sons-in-law and seven terrific little grandchildren.