Meet Our Staff

Aspire Academy has been blessed with Tutors who are passionate about partnering with our families and helping to provide the individual needs each family has. While they are professionals with a plethora of knowledge in their fields, at Aspire Academy YOU are still the official Teacher and Record Keeper of your family. Our staff works to encourage, equip, and support each family and their unique needs. We are excited to be a part of your team!

Teachers

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I grew up in St. Louis, MO and have a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tulsa. My love of learning and teaching started in 2008 when I realized the Lord was calling me to homeschool. I spent 11 years homeschooling my two children. I taught various classes from preschool to high school in two different homeschool co-ops. Most recently, I work as a private tutor, teach Chemistry out of my home to homeschoolers, and teach at a small private school in Bixby. I love creating relationships with students as they learn new things, stretch outside their comfort zone, and build confidence.

Eileen Bader
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Sheldon Clark has been teaching in the Tulsa/Owasso area for 14 years. He began playing guitar at age 8 and has been playing with local bands, solo at weddings and special occasions, and for the last 12 years with an acoustic duo playing one to three shows a week. Sheldon also gives private lessons at home and in Owasso with Foyil Music Studio. He has been teaching group lessons for Heartland and The Group homeschool co-ops for the last 6 years. At the beginning of 2019 he also began work at The School of Rock were he is the lead show director. Sheldon Clark sheldonclark2001@yahoo.com (918)260-3244

Sheldon Clark
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Nicole Crandell has been teaching at Aspire for three years, and homeschooling for five years.  Her first students gave her the nickname Mrs. Doodle, and that is how she has been known ever since. Her favorite subjects are science, technology, engineering, math, art, history, and pretty much everything else.  She loves reading, making/crafting, cooking, music, and Legos.  Her family includes a fantastic husband David, amazing kids Micah (10), Joseph (7), and Emmy (5), and a menagerie of pets including puppy Xena, Snakey McSnakerson the snake, Mr. Rainbow Fish the Beta fish, and a partly tame yard squirrel named Blue.

Nicole Crandell
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My name is Brittney Crumb.  Born and raised in Tulsa, I have been here all but the 2 years I lived in Stillwater as a student/newlywed. I went to college but never settled on a degree. Since being a student wasn't a career option, I stopped after 105 hours of mainly math and science courses. The plan was always to return once I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up, but the Lord still hasn't led me down that path yet. I have worked at 3 different elementary schools as a paraprofessional. I also worked as a CNA and a nurse tech but after kiddo #2 made his appearance in 2010 I have stayed at home. I am a wife to Michael and mom to 7 kids. 

Life is perfectly chaotic. We chose to start homeschooling in 2013 when my oldest was starting 3rd grade.  Aspire has been a new adventure we started in 2019 and we all love it!

Brittney Crumb
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I’ve spent over 20 years in photography. My experience includes traditional film shooting and processing in a darkroom; digital photography using a wide array of cameras, lights, and editing tools; and training others, from beginners to professionals. I’ve had the opportunity to express my passion for photography in professional studio settings, on commercial film sets, and as a freelance photographer. I’ve also had extensive experience in digital editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop where I’m a Certified Expert, and also newer online and mobile-based tools. Though the technologies and methods of image capture and editing will continue to change, the fundamentals of great photography will always be in the subject, lighting, and composition. I live in Broken Arrow with my husband of 17 years, our two daughters, all of whom have served as models and photo assistants through the years.

Melissa Davis
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Melissa has an extensive professional and educational background in early childhood development. It is not just a job but a passion of hers to provide a safe, fun & loving environment for young children to learn and grow in a way that meets their own individual needs. She has been a teenager working in the baby room of a daycare, a nanny, a daycare owner & operator for several years, a children's ministry leader, a mom for 22 years and a homeschool mom for the past 6yrs.

She is often enrolling in college courses pertaining to early childhood education as a way to ensure that she is up to date in her area of interest and expertise.

Melissa enjoys spending her down-time with her husband who she is very proud to also name as her best friend! They enjoy wine-tastings, watching movies or documentaries, cooking, playing board games with the kids and being outside as much as possible.

Melissa F. Davis
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Hi there!  My name is Tricia Dillon, and I’m thrilled to be apart of the Aspire family!  I was born and raised in Bixby, OK, and I graduated Jenks High School in 2002.  I got my bachelors degree from the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!) in Political Science with a French minor.  While at OU, I spent a semester abroad.  I lived and went to school at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne in Bordeaux, France.  After receiving my bachelors degree, I moved on to pursue and receive my Masters degree in International Administration from the University of Denver.  This Oklahoma girl was offered a job in the big city of Washington D.C. to work for the Federal Aviation Administration in their International Affairs Office.  While in Washington D.C., God allowed me to meet my future husband, start a family, and He paved the way for us to move back to Oklahoma.  Teaching has always been a passion of mine, whether it’s teaching kiddos the Word of God at church on Sundays, or teaching my own kids how to add two digit numbers!  I love the Lord, my husband of 10 years, and my 4 kids.  When I’m not teaching, you can usually find me at an area playground with my kids, or at the zoo.  We love being outside!

Tricia Dillon
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I grew up in Picher, OK and graduated from Picher-Cardin High School. I attended NEO in Miami, before transferring to NSU in Tahlequah, where I earned my B.A. in Education (Speech Language Pathology and Learning Disabilities).  I later returned to NSU earning my M. Ed in Special Education and School Administration. I have completed registry training in Autism, Other Health Impairments and Traumatic Brain Injury. After 36 years of teaching in public education, I recently retired.

Kevin and I have one son, Skylar.  When we aren't watching Skylar play his guitar, we enjoy going to car shows or cruising in Kevin's classic car.

My passion has always been working with special needs children.  I try to live by my favorite quote, "If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we teach the way they learn."

Dana Eakle
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Born in San Diego, CA to a then-Navy family, raised in the Oklahoma City area.  Married to my wife Barbara for almost 43 years, 2 adult children (a daughter Christy and a son Jason), with 3 step-granddaughters and for now, a foster child being cared for by our daughter and who calls me Grandpa.  My mother still lives in the same house I grew up in.

Studied at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.   Earned a degree in Electronics Engineering Technology (EET).

I worked for 38 years in the oil and gas industry, first for Phillips Petroleum as a field service tech in Chromatographs, then in Research & Development as an RF Electronics Technician.  Eventually earned the title RF Electronics Engineer, a job that involved design and redesign of radio systems used in the search for oil.   As the OPSEIS product line evolved and was sold to Sercel (a French/European company), I moved with the product and spent 4 years in Houston and 1 year in France working on a special project.  Travel was often, too many places around the US and the world, including Canada, Mexico, France, and China, often to refineries and manufacturing plants, or field locations where our radio products were being used.  When that system was eventually shelved and family duties called, I found myself back in Oklahoma where I worked at ABB as a Senior Engineering Tech until my retirement in 2015.

I started teaching as a side interest in 1985, teaching Electronics to adults at the local vo-tech through their evening classes program.  I continued that until 1995 when the school ended the program due to changes in their education programs.  In 2014, they restarted their Adult Electronics program and I once again began teaching.   With my retirement from the Engineering world, I really wanted to continue imparting my knowledge to a new generation and hopefully spark some interest in the Technical Sciences, where a great future can be had for those willing to follow that path.  When the opportunity came along to teach through Aspire, I gladly accepted.  I look forward to hopefully inspiring all who come through my classroom.

Mike Eaton
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Valerie lives in Tulsa with her husband and their three boys. She enjoys reading, going to the gym, and going to parks.

Valerie has 12 years of teaching experience at the high school level, four of those in English and eight in special education. She has a BA in English and a M.Ed in School Administration. She has extensive training in teaching individuals with Autism and other disabilities including TEACCH training at UNC Chapel Hill.

She has a passion for special education and for helping all kids have a successful learning experience.

Valerie Hansen
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Ruthetta Henderson has taught elementary grades in private schools across the Tulsa Metro Area for over 20 years. She has also spent 7 years as a Reading Specialist for Tulsa Public Schools.  She retired in 2014, but then returned to teaching and joined Aspire Academy in 2018.  She is a favorite teacher of our elementary students and parents!

Ruthetta was married for 40 years when she lost her precious husband, Dwight, 6 years ago.  She spends her free time traveling with friends and visiting her son, daughter-in-law, and 2 sweet grandkids!

Ruthetta Henderson
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Upbeat and highly capable Elementary Educator devoted to promoting student learning and maximizing students potential. Experienced in directing classroom environments and strengthening student love for learning through positive and innovative approaches.

Alex has a history of teaching plans for 3 children from Preschool-3rd Grade.

He has experience with various educational curricula while incorporating the Word of God.

Alex Hughes
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In Progress...

Tabitha Hines
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My name is Jo Jones, and I am excited to be a new member of the Aspire family! I am an Oklahoma certified teacher of Earth Science, Mid-Level Science, Grammar & Composition, and Speech & Drama. Teaching was a mid-life career change for me, and I have loved every minute of it. I received both the Bachelor of Arts in Education degree and the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Arlington. I believe very strongly that students should be active in the classroom as often as is practical: that is, they should be learning by doing as much as is possible. I look forward to working with your students and helping them to achieve the next level, or two, or three, of success in their academic careers!

Jo Jones
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Allison Leach has a BS degree in Graphic Design from John Brown University and a MS degree in Mass Communications from Oklahoma State. She spent six years in the product packaging and design industry with Dayspring Greeting Cards and Walmart. While working at Walmart she traveled to China and saw firsthand the effects of communism and believes strongly in teaching our future generation the importance of freedom and liberty. Her career then shifted to teaching at OSU for four years as a Graphic Design assistant professor. Allison chose to leave her career path at OSU five years ago to homeschool her own children because she believes strongly in passing on Christian values to future generations and enjoys helping kids discover their own creative talents. Allison loves the state she grew up in (Oklahoma), and the free country she was born into. She has a passion to educate the next generation to see the value in preserving our land that was founded in “God we Trust.”Her passion and experience in teaching along with her creative skill sets creates an enjoyable and hands-on learning experience for your student.

Allison Leach
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Jeanette Lord is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, with a BA in Oral Communications. She homeschooled her step-daughter through the high school years and her youngest for all school years. Her family moved from Oklahoma City to Broken Arrow in 2014. She has previously led homeschool elementary and junior high co-op classes in art, geography, novel writing, and government, along with high school classes in ancient history, American history, American literature and Christian literature. Jeanette also taught AWANA counsel time for 5 years. GA’s for 3 years, and has led numerous ladies Bible studies. Along with teaching, her hobbies include sewing, scrapbooking, hiking and spending time with family and friends. Her newest addition to her family, a smooth collie/greyhound/lab male dog, gets her outside for walks and playing ball.

Jeanette Lord
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I have always had a passion for teaching. In elementary school my idea of playing was lining up all my siblings and “play” school. Of course, I was the teacher. 😊

I enjoy helping children to see their potential even when it may be hard for them to learn or even sit still long enough to learn. I want them to see how important they are and that God’s good thoughts towards them are like the sand grains on a beach, to many to be numbered.

I graduated from Kansas University. We moved to Tulsa in 1980.

We homeschooled 4 children through high school.  During those homeschool years I started a Co-op, Tulsa Academic Co-op and was on the founding board of the NOAH Jaguars homeschool sports.

 After the kids graduated, I substituted as a special education teacher and worked as a senior caregiver.

Currently, I tutor 4 of my 11 grandkids and use Zoom distance learning for science, history, reading and writing  classes for those living in Florida.

I love to explore life and the world through learning, teaching, and traveling. I currently partner with Go Global travel as a travel organizer /ambassador for homeschool students and their family. I plan Travel Studies trips for domestic and travel. I look forward to introducing Aspire students to travel thorough Aspire Abroad and being an Aspire tutor for elementary core subjects and electives.

Candy Matheny
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Jessica Miller is excited to be rejoining the Aspire team this coming year. Jessica has three years teaching experience in the Christian private school environment. She obtained her Bachelors in Russian History from the University of Tulsa, and is certified in secondary education by ACSI International.  Outside of teaching Jessica is a 14 year tenured realtor with Waterstone Realty, LLC where she enjoys educating clients on the intricacies of real estate.

Jessica Miller 
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Roger Nimmo taught High School Science for 21 years. He taught AP Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Earth Science, General Science, and Anatomy/Physiology.

He has a passion for this topic and has spent about 4,000 hours studying the evidence for and against the Theory of Evolution. Mr. Nimmo believes everyone who takes this class will increase their faith in God and His Word. The knowledge they gain will keep them from the unbelief they might pick up from the secular education they receive from the world.

Roger Nimmo
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Sheri has been married for 26 years and has 5 sons, 3 daughters, and 2 daughters-in-love. Sheri has volunteered in Children's Ministry for over 30 years, taught preschool for 8 years total between Small World Learning Center and First Baptist Church. Currently, Sheri is on staff at First Jenks United Methodist as the Children's Minister and is attending Oklahoma Wesleyan University pursuing a degree in Ministry & Leadership, specializing in Families and Children.

Sheri Osborne
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My name is Pam Searcy. I am originally from Wisconsin, but 24 years ago, I met a handsome Okie in uniform that convinced me to follow him wherever the Army sent him. We’ve been married for 22 years now and have four pretty amazing children. I have been homeschooling for 13 years and, this year, we will be graduating our first child. We moved to Broken Arrow seven years ago and Aspire was one of the first homeschooling groups we reached out to. I am incredibly thankful to have found this amazing community that has helped my children transition to their final move ‘home’. I am an avid reader and a huge math nerd. Though my degree is in Early Childhood Education and Development, I have found as I have gotten older that I really love teaching the older kids. This year at Aspire I will be teaching some of the Jr. High Math classes, Algebra 1, and several Literature classes. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your children.

Pam Searcy
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Hello, Aspire families!  My name is Amy Shipman.  I am excited to be joining Aspire Academy as a tutor this year!

A bit about me:  I have been married for almost 23 years to the most wonderful (and patient) man.  We have one daughter (22 years old) and two sons (15 & 11 years old).  We will soon be welcoming a new son-in-law.  Additionally, we are a foster family.  We have 2 dogs, 1 turtle, 5 chickens, and 3 ducks.  

I am a licensed Paramedic and Registered Nurse who spent 13 years in prehospital, emergency room medicine, and EMS education before deciding to stay home full time to homeschool our two youngest children.  Our children’s school journey has incorporated every “type” of school available (public, private, university-model, and homeschool).  We passionately believe that each child is different, and each year is a new year.  And even though my first attempt at homeschooling was a disaster, I tried again and have found such joy in this educational journey!

I LOVE life-sciences, anything medical and English-grammar!  I also have a significant LIKE for coffee dates, hot tea, journaling, chocolate, baking, and all things organizing.  I have danced and taught dance most of my life, so I am naturally expressive and dramatic.  I am a recovering Type-A, Enneagram 8 who truly wishes I could love well and still stay organized and clean ALL of the time while constantly pursuing justice, always.  However, I have decided that the greatest of these is LOVE, and so I concede and try to make each day fun in some way.  

My hope for teaching is to help students love learning.  This is the first step to creating a life-long learner.  We can learn character traits like diligence, hard work, and perseverance while still being creative and curious.  I can not wait to get to know all of our Academy families this year!  It’s going to be a great year!

Amy Shipman
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Shaina Silverman, is a Texas native, but has lived in 7 states since she wed her husband 21 years ago. She has lived in the Tulsa area for 15 of the 21 years with her husband and 3 beautiful daughters; Kenzie (14), Charli (12) & Rori (11), and has been homeschooling them for the past 6 years. This will be her 5th year with Aspire and her first year as a tutor. She received her Associates Degree in Psychology from Campbell University in North Carolina and her Bachelors in Ministry from Mid-America Christian University in Moore, OK. She has been the Next Gen Pastor for Thrive Church for 4 years. In the past she has done work for Union Public Schools as a para for ED students as well as a substitute for multiple age groups. She also worked as a tutor for the Carrera Program at the Union 6th & 7th grade Center. She is looking forward to a great year with your middle school and highschooler.

Shaina Silverman
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My name is Michael Sutton. I have lived in Oklahoma all of my life. I graduated from Glenpool High School and received my Bachelor’s in Art for Journalism from Oklahoma State University. In my distant past I worked at Ackerman McQueen in their commercial production department where we produced commercials for Six Flags, LeapFrog  educational toys, and Oklahoma Tourism.  Later I transitioned to Energy News Live, a branded internet new broadcast focused on energy news, and stock market information. Later I was employed at Winner Communications, where I worked closely with non-traditional sports (soccer, bowling, horse racing, rodeo/ bull riding, outdoor programming) on the ESPN family of networks. Currently I am the replay operator for Lucas Oil Racing Television, covering ARCA, Late Model Dirt, ASCS, and POWERi open wheel sprint race cars. I run camera and scorebug for home Oklahoma State University television sports broadcasts.

 

In my free time, I enjoy reading, collecting comic books, photography/ videography, and road trips with my wife and 3 children. I am also and avid podcast listener, and have attempted production of a Twilight Zone, and Golden Girls recap show with my nine-year-old daughter, which after only 1 episode, met rave reviews.

 

We are currently on hiatus due to my cohost’s contract negotiations.

Michael Sutton
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In Progress...

Elizabeth Walker
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My name is Jenesa Wheeler. I’ve lived most of my life in Broken Arrow. My husband, Chris and I have 3 grown children, one son and two daughters who are all married. Our son & daughter in law have 2 little girls so we are proud grand parents. Things I enjoy are spending time with my family, having game nights, going on trips, shopping, baking, watching the kids play sports, and volunteering at church. My daughter is a 4th grade teacher for Broken Arrow public schools and I love volunteering in her classroom. My niece and nephews have attended Aspire for several years now. I thought teaching at Aspire would be something I would really enjoy because I love kids. I’m looking forward to this coming school year.

Janesa Wheeler
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Hi, my name is Natalie Whitehead. I am an Oklahoma Certified teacher with certifications in Elementary Education and Secondary Education/English. I earned my B.S. in Secondary Education at Oklahoma State University. I’ve had a variety of teaching jobs over the years including full time and part time positions at public and private schools.  My favorite teaching experience was teaching 5th grade Reading, Writing, and Social Studies at Jenks. I just really love teaching and to be in a classroom full of learners. I have three kids of my own; Neely (10), Reagan, (8), and Houston (5) and have been married to Aaron for over 15 years. I’m excited to be a part of the Aspire team!

Natalie Whitehead

Administration

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Karen Cuellar

Academy Director
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Samantha Floyd

Little Roots Lead
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Brandi Bissett

Elementary Lead
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Katie Johnson

Language Arts & History Lead
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Amy Neffendorf

Math & Science Lead
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Brittany Baker

Elective Lead
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Brandi Bissett

Willows Lead
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Lori Herbal

Dept. Chair & School Nurse