Designed for a Purpose, Living with Purpose
H.E.A.R.T. has an outstanding team of dedicated teachers, all of whom are dedicated Christians, passionate about their subject area and determined to help students learn and grow.
AM Nursery Director | Pre K-K Art
Rachael has been married to the love of her life, Bobby, for nine wonderful years. God has blessed them with their two greatest gifts, Grayson and Annie. Rachael was called to homeschool two years ago and is thankful to God for showing her this path. In addition to reclaiming her own education and spending quality time with her children, homeschooling has brought some amazing people into her life, many she didn't know she needed until they were there. In her free time, Rachael enjoys running, reading, and playing board games with her family. Rachael will be joining the HEART staff this year as the AM Nursery Director.
Sherry Boyack has been married to Bob since 1990 and has four grown children, Katy, Cami, Jeff, and Mike, and one son-in-law Kevin, who is married to Cami. Her children attended HEART in their elementary years when she previously taught science and kindergarten at HEART. Sherry has a K-9 education degree from Taylor University and is also a certified nursing assistant. She has taught kindergarten through fourth grades. Sherry will be teaching science for grades one through three and hopes to help the students see the glory, order, and creativity of God in all areas of science. She loves to keep students actively involved in their learning, encouraging creativity and exploration. Sherry, Bob, and their son, Mike, worship at The Chapel Grayslake with the Wamsley family. She loves to travel, spend time at the beach, and enjoys kayaking in her free time.
Survival and Outdoor Skills | Healthy Living for Life
Michael Buettner is dad to three amazing kids and husband to a very patient wife. He and his wife have been homeschooling since 2014 and have been a part of HEART since 2015. Michael believes it is our role as parents to disciple our children, develop their strengths, and identify and equip them for God’s calling on their life. He truly enjoys helping kids find the confidence and joy that comes from discovering new talents and abilities through conquering challenges.
Primary Art | Watercolor
Steffanie Culp has a BA in Art History with a Minor in French from Il. State University with a few years of grad school learning about Architectural History at UIC. She has been married to Dr. Todd Culp since 1995 and they have three daughters they have homeschooled from the beginning. The eldest two have graduated and Steffanie is seeing the end of her homeschooling parent career coming quickly! She has taught art at several homeschool co-ops in the past 16 years. Steffanie believes that creativity is one of the aspects of God that kids should be encouraged to explore. Steffanie loves teaching art to the younger kids as they are fearless in trying new things. It is fun to work with older kids as their skills and ideas are more developed and complex.
My name is Brittany Gutierrez. I have a dedicated husband and three outgoing children. Two years ago, we took a leap of faith and began homeschooling our children. That leap brought us to HEART. We witnessed God growing a community that we wanted to be a part of. We jumped in with both feet. My husband, Fernando, and I began teaching Spanish together. When an opening for a Kindergarten teacher arose, I couldn’t hold myself back. I have such a passion for the foundational joy of learning at this age. I love praising and glorifying God through glitter, glue, and giggles with these amazing littles. I am so humbled to be teaching your Green team students and watching them grow together.
Fernando Gutierrez is a husband to Brittany, and a father to Evalina, Aviel, and Arieh. He grew up in Elgin and spent his summers in Mexico as a child. Fernando grew up in a Spanish-speaking home with his parents, who helped him become a fluent Spanish speaker. After having children he wanted to have his children learn his language too. He learned to incorporate Spanish into their everyday lives and make it fun for their children to learn. The Gutierrez family decided to begin homeschooling in 2020, that choice brought them to the HEART program. Fernando and Brittany started co-teaching a few of the Spanish classes that year. God has taken what Fernando learned as a child and has built an opportunity to share it with your children. He has grown into the teaching role and enjoys sharing his knowledge with them. His taco parties and “sweet” encouragement bring excitement to his classes. Mucho gracías a Díos.
Free Form Fun
Katrina Cardella is a mother to four children and enjoys reading or sleeping in her free time. Together, they enjoy going on nature walks, playing in the mud, having dance parties, reading stories or creating obstacle courses to tire each other out. Working as a teacher or caregiver since 2006, she looks forward to all the laughing and learning they’ll do together in free-form fun.
Leadership | Physical Education
Deb Hayashi received her Masters in Arts Degree from Loyola University, Chicago. God has blessed Deb with her husband Brad and four wonderful children. Deb's second career in life has been an adventure of being a CEO, CFO, Executive Chef, Head Maid, Lead Landscaper, and Child Behavior Researcher of Hayashi, Inc. In addition in 2012, Deb felt called to start homeschooling her children. Deb accepted Christ as her Savior in March 1997 and is continually trying to strive to live a Christ-centered life.
Chrystal Holden has been married to Matt since 2007, and they have two daughters together (Evolette and Cecily). She has always been passionate about the sciences, arts, and engineering. After college at Virginia Tech, Chrystal started her engineering career in the pharmaceutical industry, while dabbling on the side with home remodels and interior design. In 2017, she felt God put it on her heart to start homeschooling her oldest, Evolette, for her kindergarten year. Chrystal had never imagined she would quit her job and start homeschooling, but her family has been on this amazing journey ever since. Chrystal loves having the opportunity to teach through the lens of the Gospel and to connect with the remarkable HEART students.
Annie and her husband, Wes, have been married since 2009. They have two boys and a girl. Annie loves supporting her husband in his position as the Youth Pastor at the Village Church of Barrington and living everyday adventures with her small children. Before this season of life, Annie graduated from Trinity International University in 2007 with a Communications and Literature degree. Annie has taught multiple classes at H.E.A.R.T., including: Drama, Musical Theater, and Improv, from 2012-2019, and multiple high school classes with Christian Youth Theater.
Script Writing | Improv
The pandemic pushed me into homeschooling and I stuck around because I found it to be such a blessing to our family. I have an Associate's Degree in Applied Sciences from Young Harris College where I was heavily involved in the Theatre Department. I then attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy for a year before working as an actor in NYC, Florida, and Atlanta. While in Atlanta I was signed with Houghton Talent Agency and worked with Broadway director, Kenny Leon. I later received a B.S. in Psychology from Brooklyn College with a minor in Jewish Studies and Hebrew. After many years working as a fitness instructor and acting coach, I decided to stay home and make disciples. I am married to Ryan and we have three lovely kiddos. I am a member of The Bridge Community Church where I serve in the kid's ministry as well as leading a weekly women's Bible study.
Speech and Debate
Beth Kuzel pursued an elementary education degree at North Central University in Minnesota. In furthering her education, she received a degree in Theology and certification in Classical education. Though thankful for her educational experience, her missionary roots spark and shape her teaching. She counts it an honor to share God's word and her faith with others. It is not uncommon to see her discipling young people, speaking to crowds of various sizes, crossing cultures, and training leaders. In 2008, she married Frank. They have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn and Grace. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking new adventures, reading a good book, and kickboxing.
Cooking Around the World | Project Club | Study Hall
Kara graduated college in 2006 with a Psychology degree and a minor in Bible. She got married right after graduation to her husband Mark and they now have 3 beautiful girls. We have had our children in public school, private and now homeschool since 2020. We have absolutely fallen in love with homeschool and the chance to learn alongside our girls everyday! I understand firsthand the challenges of children with different emotional needs and that not every child is made the same. My goal is to get the kids to have fun while learning and for them to flourish in their giftings God has given them. I’m looking forward to start teaching this fall at HEART.
Erica is a homeschooling mom to Olivia and Charlie. She attends Village Church of Barrington with her husband Scotty and also volunteers in the nursery and AWANA. She previously taught first grade for 7 years and has also taught kindergarten and preschool. She earned a teaching certificate for k-12, as well as a Masters in Reading. She believes in building rich classroom community and making learning fun!
Tae Kwon Do
James is happily married to Amy for 21 years and counting with three sons: Thomas, Aaron and Elijah. He is in his 30th year of studying Tae Kwon Do. He is a regular attender and member of Village Church of Barrington. Graduated from Olivet Nazarene University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice but never pursued it as Tae Kwon Do was his first love. He is the owner/operator of the W. Kim Tae Kwon Do location in Mount Prospect, IL.
Primary Music | Music Around the World/Music Appreciation
Carolyn Sharpe, a graduate of Bethel University (BMEd) and Gordon College (MMEd), has taught music in the public schools for 24 years, ranging from infant classes all the way through graduate classes. She has a special interest in teaching kids to sing and providing every student with the tools to use their voice effectively. She and her husband Desmond have one daughter, Eleanor, who is homeschooled. After so many years in public schools, Carolyn is excited about the opportunity to work with other homeschool families and serve their students as they learn music. Soli Deo Gloria!
Sketching and Drawing
Debbie is the mother of two girls at HEART, Emma and Ava. She and her husband, Brad, began homeschooling their girls in 2020 and feel blessed with the opportunity to continue their homeschooling journey. She loves spending time with her family, playing sports, traveling, and being outdoors. Debbie retired as a commander in the Navy where she enjoyed serving her country and traveling the world. She was a professor of Naval Science at Northwestern University, where she taught Naval Engineering and Navigation. Upon leaving active duty, she joined the reserves and began a career at Westinghouse Electric Company. She became a stay-at-home mom in 2015 and founded a children’s clothing business, Fox & Heron. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Mathematics and went on to complete the US Navy’s Naval Nuclear Engineering program.
I'm a Graphic designer who lives in Gurnee, Illinois. I have been married for 29 years and have a daughter who is a senior. My passion is to take someone’s vision and ideas, and then bring them to life with a visual flair. I do this through graphic design, and some small illustrations. I have more than 34 years of experience working for churches, ministries, and nonprofits. I have been the main Graphic designer for The Chapel for the past 23 years. I started out my career right out of Drake University, working for a design firm that focused on educational game packaging. That began my love for modern board gaming and Dungeons & Dragons. I understand the importance of education being fun and engaging for kids and parents alike and part of my aspiration is to help grow the hobby by making tabletop games more accessible to people everywhere! I believe if someone says they don’t like playing board games it is because they haven’t found the right game for them. I also have an Etsy store that specializes in board game t-shirts that I design called Getting Dicey Designs.
Leadership | Cor Opus | Baking
Tracey Wamsley has been married to Jamie since 2002, and they have five children together; Jimmy, Toby, Sammy, Andy, and Charlie. Tracey has a degree in education from Lake Forest College. Prior to having kids, she taught 5th-graders in the Waukegan public school district. From the beginning Jamie and Tracey were surprised by their desire to homeschool (having come from a public school background), but they have loved the adventure of the past 9 years and wouldn’t change a thing. Tracey is passionate about seeing her kids become all God created them to be, and helping each of them to uniquely enter into all God has for them. Tracey and her family worship and minister at The Chapel, a non-denominational Christian church serving the suburbs of Chicago.
Nursery Director PM
Lauren has two children, Logan 9 and Sydney 7, two dogs Cooper and Winston (Vizslas), and one husband of 12 years, Justin. She has a B.S. in Family and Consumer Science from Ball State University and a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. She taught at Barrington High School for 10 years. Then became a stay-at-home mom while subbing at her children’s preschool. After working with younger children and loving it, she taught two-year-old preschool for a year before homeschooling her children. Logan, Sydney, and Lauren fell in love with homeschooling the first year and started attending H.E.A.R.T. their second year and haven’t looked back since. Lauren loves gardening, camping, hiking with her family, bees, reading and crafting. She truly loves being with little ones and watching them learn, explore, and grow!!!