I love helping kids learn! I love to let students sit with new concepts and ideas for awhile so they can really work them around and make them their own. I try to facilitate learning in a relaxed, conversational environment where exploration and rabbit trails are encouraged. I embrace arts, crafts, glitter, mess, and chaos, because I believe that’s where memories made and the best learning happens. As part of the leadership team at IfSpace, it’s my mission to make sure that our environment is encouraging, inclusive, stimulating, and respectful.
James is a computer engineer who loves to share his enthusiasm for creating things with his kids. He’s a tenacious problem solver, and loves to dig in to new design and engineering challenges. James helps his children make cool stuff, whether it’s working together to make a laser maze or helping them set up the website for their own bakery just shy of their 10th birthday, he’s always at their side asking, ‘How can I help?’ James loves science, particularly physics and astronomy, and has a particular talent for making complicated concepts sound simple and unintimidating. He couldn’t be more thrilled for the opportunity to share his boundless enthusiasm for science and engineering with a wider audience.
A graduate of Champlain College in Vermont, Keri-Anne has a long career of being present with young children at the moment of discovery. Experienced in both the Waldorf and Montessori approaches to education, Keri-Anne has recently found herself frustrated at the developmentally inappropriate pressure creeping into preschool classrooms. She is committed to maintaining an age-appropriate, play-based learning environment where art, music, and hands-on learning are a priority instead of a distraction. Keri-Anne is excited to be a part of IfSpace!
Leigh-Ann is an experienced teacher, having taught multiple subjects in classrooms around the world. A homeschool mom to Levi, 8, she’s combined an unschool mentality with project-based and unit-study style learning to create the ideal learning environment for her family. Leigh-Ann is an experienced and accomplished seamstress, and also enjoys teaching art and hosting social learning opportunities for students in her home. Leigh-Ann blogs about her recent sewing projects, along with her homeschooling activities, at The Little Sewing Shop.
When asked how to describe herself, Desiree Ackerman is most likely to say she’s an enthusiast. An avid lover of exploring new paths, she enjoys music, art,theater,travel, exercise, reading, writing, and bridge building. In her adventures, she’s earned a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies (concentration in social sciences), a 1st degree Black Belt, 2 fitness certifications, and certification in public speaking. Desiree has taught art (elementary level) within the homeschool community, as well as recreational drama, music, history, math, and fitness classes. Not one of those things will ever match the excitement of creating safe space for adults and children to create their path and share their stories.
Lily Sullivan moved to Brevard from Arkansas in 2014 after graduating with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a BS in Anthropology and a minor in Business Management. While at UALR, she enjoyed the opportunities offered to her through thought-provoking classes and wonderful professors, and is looking forward to sharing those gifts with others at IfSpace. Lily is passionate about reading, learning, family, and trips to Disney and Universal! She homeschools her 7-year old son, and enjoys exploring all of the wonderful things Florida has to offer.
Dana has been playing the violin for 30 years, beginning her musical studies at age seven with the piano, and discovering the violin at age nine. She attended the University of Florida on a music scholarship and began playing viola as a secondary instrument while at the University, becoming the Principal Viola of the University Orchestra her junior year. Dana graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Certificate in Violin Performance.
Upon graduation, Dana moved to the Melbourne area and established a private studio, where she has sent several students off to college with music scholarships. Dana performs with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and other groups in the Central Florida area. In addition to pursuing her Masters in Violin Performance at UCF, Dana is an adjunct professor of chamber music and violin/viola at Florida Tech. She is also a touring professional, playing backup for many acts such as Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, Rod Stewart, and Sting, among many others.
Jessicah Nichols is an experienced teacher in various settings, including public school classrooms, small homeschool groups, and as a private tutor. She has been passionate about the written word since she was a young child. Believing that the love and appreciation of a subject is the key to excelling in it, Jessicah uses her enthusiasm and knowledge to create a fun, safe, and open environment that fosters confidence in young people, allowing their inner writers to come out. Jess has a Bachelors in Education, and continues to stay abreast of the current writing standards through her volunteer work on the board of several local charter schools.
Hello! My name is Lonna McTaggart. I’ve been interested in Japan ever since I was a teenager. After I got my bachelors, I taught English in Japan for four years. I learned about Japanese culture, language and food. I would love to share what I’ve learned with you! Please bring all of your questions with you to class! o(^▽^)o