Meet Our Instructors

Our instructors are uniquely qualified to lead their classes.  Each instructor has a degree in the subject being taught, significant work experience in the subject, or a teaching certificate in the subject, and sometimes all three.

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Karly Johnson - Art 
Karly is a musical theatre major at gulf coast state college. She was born and raised in Panama City. In her free time she enjoys singing, dancing, and painting. 
Jana Camperman 
Janna grew up in Panama City and earned her BS in Computer Engineering from FSUPC. She has been teaching with Arete since January 2019. She is passionate about teaching math and science and instilling a love of these subjects in others. Janna and her husband David welcomed their son Simeon in November 2019.
Jodie Kirk 
Jodie Kirk has a BS in Biology from Hawaii Pacific University and a MSEd in Secondary Science Education from Lehman College, a senior college of The City University of New York. Her teaching experience is diverse and rigorous--she taught elementary science at a private school in Hawaii,  middle school science at a public school in the Bronx, NYC, and most recently she was the biology and physical science teacher at a Christian hybrid school in Colorado Springs. Jodie is very passionate about teaching, learning and applying science  in a way that glorifies our Creator, God!
Stephanie Howland- Arete Board 
Stephanie earned a degree in Elementary Education from Berry College in Rome, GA and then a M.ED. in Reading Instruction from the University of West Georgia. She taught first grade in Georgia public school for 8 years before starting a family and moving to Florida. She has been homeschooling ever since. Stephanie and her family volunteer with the Friends of Camp Helen State Park, the Lake Powell Community Alliance, Audubon Society  and the South Walton Turtle Watch.
Kim Hentz
Kim Hentz is married to Kit, and they have 6 children. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2004 with a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. Kim worked as a Kindergarten teacher for 3 years and has been homeschooling for the past 11 years. She is the wife of a pastor and supports him in ministry, while also serving in the children’s ministry at her church. Her greatest joy is being a mom and homeschooling her kids. She loves time with her family and friends, and reading a good book on the back porch.
Derek Carlson
Derek is a joyful follower of Christ, husband, and father of three.  He has a degree from Virginia Tech in Wood Science and Forest Products Marketing and owns and operates Carlson Forst Products, a wholesale lumber company.  His teaching experience includes teaching Children’s Church at First Baptist of Panama City for 12 years as well as adult Sunday School.  He is a self-described “Wikipedia nerd”, is passionate about History, and loves learning new things. 
Heather Magnuson- Arete Board 
Heather has a degree in Plant Science from the University of Missouri and a master's in Bilingual/ESL Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She has taught dual-immersion 1st grade, Spanish, and ESL.  She has classically home schooled her two boys for the past six years. Heather is fluent in Spanish and has lived in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Japan.  She is passionate about literacy and languages.  Heather enjoys tutoring ESL students.

Kristina Berry 
Kristina Berry has her BA in Psychology from University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and her MA in Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary. Her passion is for those she works with to receive freedom in the area of both mental and spiritual health. She has a history of having worked in the school system, a local male prison, outpatient and inpatient behavioral health hospital, and has maintained a private practice for the past 9 ½ years offering individual, marital and family counseling. She counts it a joy to work with young people, as youth ministry was her passion prior to the counseling field.

Mary Randall
Mary was born and raised in Panama City.  She married her high school sweetheart, also a Panama City native.  She has been homeschooling her four children for over seven years.  She has been directing choreography since high school and teaching dance for many years.    
Cynthia Hazard
Mrs. Hazard has a BA in Latin from Baylor University and an MA in Latin from the University of Florida. She has taught Latin for over 35 years. She was the Teacher of the Year for Bay High School and awarded the Henshaw-Whitley Award. Mrs. Hazard received the distinguished sponsor recognition from the Classical association of Florida and the American Classical League. Mrs. Hazard wrote the proposal for AICE Latin for the U.S., half of each year's tests, and graded all of them for over 15 years.
Andrea Whitaker
Andrea is a Panama City native. She has a degree in Elem. Ed from FSU with additional certification in Math 5-9. She taught 5th grade at Hiland Park Elementary from 2004-2009, until starting her family and becoming a stay-at-home mom. During her time as a stay-at-home Mom, she has been a private tutor, substitute teacher, and has also served in children's ministry at her church.
 
Christy Ward
Christy is a military spouse and was born and raised here in Panama City.  She has four children: 1st grade, 5th grade, 9th grade and 11th grade.  She has a degree in elementary education from Midwestern State University in Texas and taught public school for a few years.  Christy is in her 11th year of homeschooling.

 
Kate Paxton
Kate is a British teacher who moved to Panama City in 2018. She graduated with a bachelors degree in Acting and a Post Graduate degree in Classical Acting. After acting professionally for a number of years she gained her Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She has lived in many countries, loves traveling and has a life long love of acting and teaching. Alongside 14 years of teaching experience she has been a substitute teacher and a private tutor. Kate is an avid fan of the stage and has acted in, directed and watched a number of shows and musicals.
 
Brittany Whittaker 
Brittany grew up in Southern California and moved to Washington State in 2004. She attended Tacoma Community College for her Associates in Science, where she met her husband Victor in Oceanography class. They got married the following year and started their family. They have 3 children and have been married 14 years now. They chased sunshine and moved to Panama City Beach, FL in 2013. Brittany has homeschooled her children for the last 6 years and was homeschooled herself from K-12th grade! While homeschooling her children, she also became a licensed Realtor in Florida in 2016. Fun facts about Miss Brittany: She did martial arts for just shy of 8 years and earned a first degree black belt. She may have once been your server at Texas Roadhouse when they first opened in PCB. She loves to jump in and swim with dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. 
Regina Smith - Arete Board
Regina Smith and her husband, Gregg, live in Panama City Beach with their children Saylor (a student at Valdosta State University), Zeke (Arete student), and Nora (Arete student). She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Elementary Education.  Regina was an educator in Walton County School district, teaching for seven years at Bay Elementary School, where she also had the honor of being awarded teacher of the year.  After the birth of her son, she resigned from public education system to be a full-time mom.  This is her fourth year homeschooling, second year as a part of the Arete family, and her first year being an Arete instructor. Regina also enjoys being an active part of both the children’s ministry and the worship ministry at her church, The Rock of Bay County. 
Gina Granville 
Gina Granville graduated with a bachelors degree in Nuclear Medicine from Indiana University, but set her career aside to take on a much more awesome calling of home-education.  She has graduated three students successfully from home education, and her youngest will graduate next year.

One of Gina's favorite things to do is to educate and encourage other homeschooling moms. Last year she created a course on homeschooling through high school.  If she is not teaching at home you will find her exercising, educating people on health & wellness or spending time with her family. 

Gina is super excited for the opportunity to teach History!  Growing up and going to public school, she really did not enjoy history--in fact, she found it quite boring.  But in 2006 she began teaching history to her own children and other students classically. Now History is one of Gina's very favorite subjects.