Angela Adams

– Sewing

CONTACT INFO: ~ (540) 664-7388 

Angela Adams of Sew Fun Sew Cute! I graduated from UCF with a degree in communication. Homeschooling my 4 children for 7 years, I have a passion for teaching this age group and have taught Geography, Kitchen Science, Entrepreneurship, and Sewing Classes.

Pedro Arize

– Guitar & Ukulele


National University of Costa Rica

Bachelor degree in Music with emphasis on teaching and guitar performance

Graduate in November 2011

Assigned to Department of Public Education of Costa Rica in position: PETP MUSICA category VT-5 Music, I have been a member of the Ensemble of guitars of the Conservatory of Fine Arts of Cali Colombia, has performed as a soloist and performed in groups in different venues in Colombia, Puerto Rico, Florida (USA) and Costa Rica, acting as representative of Colombian music and Different genres of world music.


Pamela Armel

– Gymnastics



My name is Pamela Armel and I coached competitive gymnastics for 23 years until last year when I decided to stay home to homeschool my children. I really enjoy encouraging and teaching kids in the sport to help them build confidence and enjoy being active. . I look forward to meeting soon.

   Malissa Benade

– MS Drama


Malissa is a proud mom of two incredible boys and a wife to her husband Jason, whom she met while dancing on Carnival Cruise Lines. From musicals, to music videos, to opening a CMT award show in Nashville, she has traveled the world dancing and singing as she goes! Though, she feels her purpose on earth is to inspire others, especially kiddos. Tampa Bay Heat is making this possible for her to share many of her talents of singing, dancing, and theatre to kids as Director of  the Middle School. 

Erin Benik

– Photography & Editing



Since before she can remember Erin has had a love for photography. She has always loved looking at and producing photographs. Dreaming to one day own her own photography business, Erin studied digital graphic arts in collage and began her career at Sears Portrait Studio. Over the next few years, between starting a family, she had the opportunity to work in a darkroom and the retouching department of Bryn-Alan Studios. She is now the proud owner of Emagine Photography and specializes in fun, creative portrait photography. Erin’s favorite thing about her job is getting to capture the special moments of her clients lives and helping to tell their story with the portraits she produces.

When she is not behind the camera, or talking about herself in third person, Erin likes to spend time with her family, go for a long run, or make a batch of homemade jam. She is a homeschooling mom, a Starbucks junkie and really hates frogs. In her spare time Erin enjoys sharing her passion for photography with others and helping them to take better pictures. She currently oversees the Tampa Bay HEAT’s Yearbook Club and teaches several classes. 

   Maria Bermudez 

– HS Spanish


Maria A. Bermudez. Homeschool mom, has been teaching her kids to talk, write and read Spanish since preschool. Born in Venezuela, Spanish is her first language. She has been living is the US since 2003. Studied Journalism in Venezuela, which gave her more in-depth grammatical knowledge of the language. Later, earned a master’s Degree at Florida International University in Miami. During the last 8 years she has taught Spanish (private and group lessons) for elementary, middle, and high school homeschoolers.

   Stephanie Bridges 

– Cheer


My name is Stephanie Bridges and I am a homeschooling mother of two girls. My career before homeschooling was in the culinary arts and food safety management. I also have experience in recreational cheer, cheer-nastics and have worked with girls trying out for competitive cheerleading. I have over 10 years of experience and am certified in youth cheer safety. I am passionate about working with children and teaching the importance of team work and confidence. 

   Ashley Bueno 

– Elementary Classes


My name is Ashley Bueno and I have 3 elementary aged kids. I grew up in Wisconsin, but have lived in many states from the East to West coast, and settled here in 2016. In 2018 we started our homeschooling journey and have been loving it. Prior to becoming a parent, I spent 13 years serving in the military in the United States and abroad. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from University of Washington. I gained teaching and leadership skills in the military and in college through various clubs and internships. I enjoy planning classes, events, and hangouts to enrich our homeschool lives. I strive to teach fun, hands-on learning experiences to encourage lifelong learning! In my spare time I enjoy hiking, exploring with my kids, and working in my garden.

Taylor G. Cauley

– MS Math, Pre-Algebra 


Taylor G. Cauley is a homeschool mom and former high school math teacher. She taught high school math for 2 years in Beaufort South Carolina. She is currently homeschooling her 2 young children. She attended the University of South Carolina Beaufort and received her B.S. in Secondary education of Mathematics. She went on to receive her teaching certificate in the State of South Carolina to teach 6-12th grade math. She loves and has a passion for not only teaching math but showing students how it is necessary and applicable in life beyond school.

  Nicole Cohn

– Art, Home Ec, STEAM 


Hi, my name is Nicole Cohn, I have one daughter, and we have been homeschooling the last three years.  Most of my career has been spent in Veterinary, Phlebotomy, and Emergency Medicine field.  In my spare time, I have a crafting, refinishing furniture, and apparel business, where I get to show my creative/artsy side.  I also loved hosting the Middle School Girls group at the HRC.  I am so excited to start teaching for Heat, and I hope to make our classes fun and educational.

  Amy Crosby

– Piano & General Music CONTACT INFO:

Hi! I’m Amy Crosby and I’ve been teaching private piano lessons for 30 years. I’ve ALWAYS loved music and playing the piano. I attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN to study Piano Pedagogy before transferring to the University of Florida where I earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Elementary Education. In 2013, I began home schooling my children. Now my oldest daughter is a Junior at USF and my youngest is a junior in high school. When I’m not teaching piano lessons in my home studio, I also work as a College Writing Tutor through Smarthinking. My philosophy about piano lessons is that they should be FUN. I strive to keep the atmosphere relaxed and encouraging. Students are rewarded for their personal achievement and encouraged to develop positive practice habits that will lead to a well-rounded music education.

   Karen Frederick



My name is Karen Frederick and I will be teaching American Sign Language, also known as ASL – a beautiful and expressive language which I hope you will come to love as I do! After Bible School, my husband (of 48 years) and I served as missionaries for 17 years in Ciudad Juarez/El Paso, and with the Navajo in Farmington, NM. Then I went back to college and finished my teaching degree. I have taught deaf children for many years in NM, TX, and here in Florida at FSDB (Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine) and at Brandon High School. I have also taught ASL to many different groups, including First Responders. I earned my BA in Deaf/Elem Education at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and my MA in Secondary Education – Advanced Studies at UNF in Jacksonville. I currently help to homeschool my six grandchildren and they take classes here at HEAT as well!  

   Mabel Fredman

– History, Geography, Health

CONTACT INFO: ~ (813) 300-0876

I am a Jesus loving, softball / baseball / football mother of 4. We made the decision to homeschool our daughter (now 16) at the age of 4 after much research and prayer.I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting but realized quickly home is where I wanted to be. I have taught Classical Conversations as well as in several co-ops through the years. I am excited to be teaching again (outside the home). 

   Hal Granholm   

– Jr Drama, HS Drama


Hal has been directing the HEAT Drama teams for 11 years now.  He is also involved with several local community theatres, as an actor, director, stage manager, and assistant director. Most recently he played Monsignor O’Harah in Plant City’s Sister Act. 

   Rebecca HartleyWoods

– Misc Classes


Rebecca Hartley-Woods is a Jesus loving, crazy plant and chicken lady, with 5 homeschooling wildlings who believes in learning by doing, reading books should be for fun and you’re never too old to play dress up and pretend.

After returning to Florida from service in the US NAVY, Rebecca attended Liberty University’s distance learning program to major in Human Services while beginning a career in public health. As a Maternal Health Specialist and Mental Health Advocate Rebecca has spent years learning various teaching strategies for children and adults of all ages and stages. Rebecca enjoys making classes a fully immersive experience and encouraging students to “Take chances,  make mistakes and get messy!.”


  David Hirschfeld

– Coding, Robotics, Engineering


David Hirschfeld relocated to Bradenton, Fl. from Memphis, TN. While in Memphis he owned and operated Bits, Bytes & Bots Computer Adventures, the leading provider of technology classes for children and teens in the Memphis area. He presently teaches at various home school groups, after school programs and camps. When he is not sharing his love of technology with others he can be found playing softball.   

   Jen Holmstrom

– Drama, Show Choir, Archery

CONTACT INFO: ~ (714) 606-9813

Miss Jen is a mother of 3 and has been unschooling for 10+ years. She has a lifelong background in musical theatre and performing arts as a singer, dancer, and actor.  She has enjoyed participating in many choirs over the years and enjoys all types of music. Miss Jen has experience as a director, choreographer, and film producer for Hollywood music videos, community stage productions, and short films. In other miscellaneous fields, Miss Jen has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, 3 years experience as an insurance fraud investigator, 7+ years as a pre-school/daycare teacher, and is skilled in computers and technology. She has a passion for learning about all subjects, but a special interest in the arts.”I believe performing arts are a gift from God and a powerful form of artistic expression.  My hope is to inspire everyone to enjoy and develop their artistic abilities regardless of skill level.”

Cyndi Davis Ivery

– General Music


I’m Cyndi Davis Ivery, a semi-retired music educator/music therapist. I worked in the fields of music education and therapy for over twenty years. Master’s prepared in both Piano Performance and Music Therapy, I served in several facilities including short and long term hospitals, medical facilities, and as Fine Arts Director of a Christian School in Rome, Georgia. My love for teaching music with a Biblical Worldview began while teaching at Unity Christian School, an ACSI accredited school, in Northwest Georgia. My sons attended the school as well, and to this date it is notable that their worldview was greatly impacted by the Truth integrated into each subject they studied at Unity. I look forward to coming alongside homeschool families who desire to shape their children’s worldviews by integrating Biblical Truths into each aspect of their learning. My desire, God willing, is to provide a Biblical foundation for each music lesson I offer. Preschool through elementary age, I offer general music, ukulele classes, and I hope to create an elementary chorus! Curriculum I offer is unique, Biblically based, and easily adaptable depending on class size and situation.


   Lori Leichssenring

– Writing 


I am a former elementary classroom teacher and I love working with children of all ages. I am also an experienced tutor and tutored with Sylvan Learning Center, University of Central Florida, and privately. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from University of South Florida and a Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership from The University of Oklahoma. My family and I are celebrating eight years of homeschooling.


   Amy Loesch

– Writing, History, English, Public Speaking 


My name is Amy Loesch and I will be teaching English 101, 201, Creative Writing, Public Speaking, World Religions, Old Testament, New Testament, and History. I graduated in 2009 with a BA in Religious Education. I continued my MA in Teaching in Secondary English, but had to stop shy of my semester of student teaching due to deployment. Since then, I’ve been a substitute teacher at Providence Classical Christian Academy in St. Louis, MO, have been homeschooling my four children since winter of 2016, and have taught numerous classes with the HEAT program. My philosophy is that no student learns exactly the same as another and that learning should be hard work but FUN!

  Kelly Mamott

– HS Math 

CONTACT INFO: ~ (239) 628-6973

My name is Kelly Mamott. I am a Christian, and former homeschooling mom. I graduated in 1988 from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Mathematics Education. I was certified in Florida for Mathematics Grade 6-12. I taught in a public Middle School until my first child was born in 1993. We began our homeschool journey in 2002. I have homeschooled our 4 children. During these years, I also taught several homeschool classes, including Algebra, Geometry, and Chemistry as well as a variety of co-op style classes. I have privately tutored students in various high school math classes. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach high school level math courses with the Tampa Bay HEAT. This will be my fourth year with the HEAT. 

Noah Manganello

– Engineering, Fencing, Chess, STEAM 


Rachel Melendez

– Art, Sewing, Elementary Spanish 


Hola my name is Mrs Rachel Melendez. I have been a Spanish interpreter and translator for more than 20 years. I still volunteer as in interpreter for conferences and event. I have translated book and legal documents from both Spanish to English. I can’t wait to teach a new way to communicate with your scholar.


Tanci Mishler

– Minecraft Classes 


Tanci Mishler was a children’s librarian who has worked in libraries from the age of 13. She worked for the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative for 8 years. During that time, she taught classes for homeschoolers for 6 years on a variety of subjects including history, science, public speaking, technology, and literature. Inspired by the wonderful families she met during her classes, she left the library a few years ago to teach her own children. She continues her work with libraries by providing thematic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programs and writing for the Collaborative Summer Learning Program, a national organization that provides summer reading programs and materials.

  Courtney Mitskewicz

– HS Science 

CONTACT INFO: ~ (813) 484-3414

Hi, my name is Courtney Mitskewicz, and I am a FL certified teacher in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. I have over 13 years of teaching experience teaching Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science, and Earth Science for Grades 9-12 at Bloomingdale High School. I have always been rated as a Highly Effective teacher by the state and have been the recipient of numerous merit awards for my teaching. I made the decision to resign from my full-time teaching job after the birth of my third child to focus on raising my three small children. My son and two daughters, ages 4-12, joined HEAT in 2020 after embarking on the homeschooling journey and have enjoyed the many programs, activities, and opportunities the HEAT has to offer. I have a passion for teaching science and am known for making the intimidating sciences easy for anyone to understand and to have some fun along the way. This will be my second year teaching with HEAT. 

Kelly Nelson

– Legos, Robotics 


My name is Kelly Nelson and I was born and raised in Riverview, Florida. I have a B.A. in Elementary Education and my M.A. in Educational Leadership. I’ve taught in Hillsborough County public schools for ten years and have currently been teaching Lego & Robotics classes for the Tampa Bay H.E.A.T for six years, as well as, Health & Nutrition for S.T.E.A.M. 

My teenage son has been virtual/home-schooled for the past seven years and is actively involved with high school sports for the H.E.A.T. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with children creating Lego masterpieces, and watching the joy in their eyes of the accomplishments they have built is priceless. The pictures of their finished inventions are wonderful reminders of the fun the students have experienced and a testament to their tenacity and creativity!  My classes are very hands-on and range in ages from six to thirteen years of age. Each child is encouraged to bring a tablet and downloads appropriate for the class  they have selected. They will be provided handouts throughout the class that they will utiize to help build/create models.They will also be provided with benchmark handouts for your records if applicable to the specific class. I look forward to to working with your sons and daughters in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year! Educationally yours, Kelly Nelson

   Rafael Ramirez

– Violin, Viola, Mandolin 


Dr. Rafael Ramirez, is a music educator and an active performer (Viola/Mandolin), and is the Founder of Music Educational Tools, he has created didactic materials to aid string performers to acquire the necessary skills to develop technique.

Ramirez born in Caracas Venezuela, where he began musical studies through El Sistema (famous Venezuelan music program) in 1992.

After immigrating to the United States, he studied at the New World School for the Arts/University of Florida where he earned his Bachelor degree with honors, following his studies afterwards, Ramirez now holds a Master Degree from Florida International University, an Artist Diploma and a Doctorate in Musical Arts from University of Miami. Rafael Ramirez is also the Artistic Director of Tampa Bach Society and principal violist at Imperial Symphony Orchestra.

Kylie Sikhakhane

– Reading 


Professionally I have served in Elementary Education for 17 years. Ten of those years were spent as a Reading Coach and Intervention Specialist with the other seven years in the classroom. I have been blessed with the opportunity to be highly trained in the area reading. My training has not only allowed me to learn the “why” it has also allowed me to put into practice the “how” to deliver the lessons. Personally, we have homeschooled our children for the last 11 years. Being involved in both environments has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience. 

   Jon Touchton

– Paladin Karate 


Jon was a Tampa street cop for over 25 years and has taught martial arts and self-defense  for 30. He is a 4th-degree black belt in American Karate and has black belts also in Krav Maga and jujitsu, and that training and the experience that came from a number of real fights while working as a police officer has given him a perhaps rare outlook on reality-based self-defense.

In college he earned bachelor’s degrees in history and physics and a Master’s in history, and after graduation he served with the CIA overseas in undercover capacities.  Following that he taught and tutored mathematics while also instructing karate.  He then settled down for a career with the Tampa Police Dept where he often dealt with dangerous criminals and thugs, from those encounters getting shot on duty in a gunfight and having staples in his head twice from two head injuries. Such experiences over the course of 2 ½ decades not only honed his personal skills but shaped his outlook on what other people would face in a perilous world, and those real-life lessons are inherent in the Paladin Karate curriculum.

Paladin Karate is an amalgam of styles, a mix of traditional taekwondo and karate (with forms or kata and board-breaking, e.g.) and modern reality-based self-defense (such as grappling and escapes). Everything in it, even the ‘old’ traditions, apply to real-life use.  It is taught in an eclectic, fast-paced, and hopefully fun way and is good for everyone, for all ages, abilities, and for families.  It is taught under an umbrella of Christian ethics and philosophy without any mysticism.  Students will learn how to handle and escape from threatening or violent encounters of various degrees and how to fight effectively if necessary, while knowing that we are the good guys and don’t start fights but end them.