ARE GROWING TOMORROW'S LEADERS
Eliza Hardin - Director
Eliza holds dual degrees in English from King University and in Elementary Education from Western Carolina University. She is also a certified teacher in the State of North Carolina. She taught for three years in the public school system and has been homeschooling for eight years now. She has 3 boys, Ezra, 18, Cyrus, 14, and Jonah, 12. Prior to Classical Scholars, Eliza ran Classical Foundations for three years, where she offered classes two days a week to homeschoolers in grades 3-5. She is also a native of Hendersonville, and when she isn't teaching she enjoys reading, knitting, and spending time with her family.
With a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and 20 years of design work of various types, Ashley has a love for visual communication. She has worked in advertising, product development, packaging design, brand identity, event planning, and taught graphic design/art at the college level. She loves planning and research, and making things beautiful. Ashley grew up moving frequently, and developed a love for travel and discovering new people and places, and she delights in sharing the wonder of our big world with students. Ashley and her husband Ethan are homeschooling their three children as they work with a local church.
Rebekah Byrd, RN
Rebekah Byrd has been married to Eric for 26 years and they are blessed with four children, Ethan (22), Isaiah (20), Abigail (16), and Chloe (14). The Byrd family has homeschooled for 17 years and been a part of cooperative instruction for 14 of those years. Rebekah has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Her Latin instruction came from her eldest son, Ethan! Theater became a passion for Rebekah way back in 7th grade. She is passionate about all things to do with her family, Shakespeare, Monarch Butterflies, Latin, Quilts, and her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Virginia Cooter has a BS in General Science (East Tennessee State University) and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction (Texas A & M). Recently retiring after 38 years of full time teaching in 6th grade thru college classes, Ms. Cooter has teaching experience in Physical Science, Earth Science, Environmental Science, General Science, Pre-algebra, Algebra, and Science Methods. She has coordinated and/or directed science fairs in Tennessee, Texas, and Nebraska. Although she has been awarded several honors, including Earth Science Teacher of the Year for the Southeastern United States, her greatest pleasure is developing an awe in students as they observe God’s world.
Cybele Hetherington has 20 years of experience as a homeschool educator, organizer, and mentor. Her educational philosophy is firmly rooted in self-discipline and personal responsibility, with the goal of preparing students to be ready participants in the tradition of enlightened inquiry. Undergraduate: College of Charleston and Tulane University. B.S. In Anthropology with focus in Linguistics. Minor in Classics. Graduate: Duke University PhD. Program. Course work toward degree in Linguistics
Cindy Hyde has become focused on teaching chemistry and physics, but she has experience in cardiopulmonary technology, nursing, homeschooling all twelve grades, tutoring dyslexic students, and achievement testing. She has degrees in biology, nursing, and education but continues to learn something new every day! She is married to Kevin and has two grown children that received full academic scholarships. James is a bioengineer for Gore in Flagstaff AZ, and Bethany is a data scientist for Johnson & Johnson in Somerville NJ. See for more details and contact her at
Anne is a mother of 3 children with 11 years of homeschooling experience. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Applied Communication with a minor in Technology focusing on pottery and woodworking. She worked as an event coordinator before becoming a mom. Anne’s passion for art began as a child and continued as she studied art throughout all her years of education. She has taught private art lessons and enjoys inspiring the love of art in others. She has taught Introduction to Art, Master Artist Study, Middle Ages History and Shakespeare Design Team.
A small town girl transplanted to Asheville almost 20 years ago! My husband, Josh, and I have been married for 18 years. We have four children: Madison, Zoe, Eli, and Levi. I love being in classroom with homeschoolers teaching a variety of courses including Government and Economics, American History, and Public Speaking. Most afternoons I can be found either on the football field or basketball courts of Asheville Christian Academy coaching cheer for private and homeschool students. In any spare time I have, you can find me outside, usually with a great book!
Mrs. Reed is a recent graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary where she completed studies on education, religion, and culture. A lover of literature, language, food, travel...Kelsey has a difficult time narrowing her field of interest. Instead, she enjoys feasting at the smorgasbord of human expression in this world, wondering in awe at the magnificent mind of the Creator. Her delight is to both “affirm and challenge” what can be observed in the world through a Christian framework and to help others to do so as well. God created man and all of this universe, naming it as “very good”; where have we strayed from his goodness to try to redefine it on our own terms? What does it look like to faithfully pursue the pathway back to his good design? Kelsey also teaches and tutors at Blue Ridge Community College at the Transylvania County Campus. She lives in Brevard with her husband, Chip, and three daughters, with whom they seek to share their passion for learning and delighting in this diverse world - and particularly in the One who made it.
Mark Watman: BA psychology, BS physical education, MA psychological counseling Before moving to the Asheville area, Mark was a high school teacher and college instructor. At his high school he taught Psychology, AP Psychology, Health Education and Physical Education. As a college instructor he taught a variety of undergraduate psychology courses as well as sociology and education classes. He also designed and taught 2 psychology courses for the OLLI program for seniors. Mark also coached high school gymnastics and fencing. (a number of his fencers were home schoolers who trained and competed with his high schoolers). Currently Mark is a substitute teacher in the Buncombe County Schools (all grades and classes) as well as at Art Space Charter School and French Broad Academy for Girls. Mark has been married to his wife Beth for 46 years. They have 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren. They have traveled extensively throughout the US and internationally.
Michelle graduated cum laude with a B.S. from North Carolina State University and obtained her Associate and Advanced Level Orton-Gillingham certification from Key Learning Center in Asheville, NC. God has blessed Michelle with two wonderful children, each with their own learning styles. Her daughter was diagnosed with Auditory Processing and Expressive Language Disorder, which led her to teach from home. Using her training in OG gave her the awesome opportunity and knowledge needed to teach her daughter, as well as her son, who also benefited from a multisensory structured approach to learning. Now, after homeschooling for the past six years, Michelle looks forward to using her experience to teach others. Along with teaching, she works part time at their family jewelry business handling the finances. When Michelle is not teaching or working, she enjoys spending time outdoors or curled up by the fire reading.
Katie Dugdale - Co-Director
Katie holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. She taught for 4 years in the public school system and has been homeschooling for 12 years. She has four children- Elijah (16), Abigail (14), Selah (11), and Tybi (9). Katie served on the Henderson County Homeschool Association for six years as Activities Director, Treasurer, and Secretary. She has taught through HCHA's Enrichment Classes for many years. Katie and her family live in Hendersonville. She works with the youth at Grace Blue Ridge Church and also loves coffee and chickens!
Ethan Brown has been in ministry for 19 years, and is currently the pulpit minister of the Hendersonville Church of Christ. He earned a B.A in Theater from Harding University, a Masters of Arts in Ministry and Master of Divinity from Harding School of Theology, and Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton Massachusetts. Ethan thoroughly enjoyed the five years he was an assistant professor in the department of Biblical Studies at Lubbock Christian University before moving five years ago to be among family and live near the mountains. He and his lovely wife Ashley have been married for 20 years, and they have three children: Gillian, Isaac, and Silas.
Natalie Callahan holds degrees from St. Louis University (BA) and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (MA). Currently, she is an MFA student in the low-residency writing program at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Natalie has lived in Hendersonville, NC, since 2011. During the past decade, she was a homeschool parent to her youngest son (now a junior at NCSSM) and has been active in serving the community as a volunteer liaison and board member at Flat Rock Playhouse, a volunteer tutor for Blue Ridge Literacy Council, and a volunteer in various capacities at her church. Fun facts—Natalie apprenticed for a few exciting months with a chef, earned a yoga teaching certificate, and frequently talks to her two pugs who appear interested.
Traci Fleming has a BHS in Health and Nutrition. She is a Registered Dietitian and has worked at AdventHealth for 15 years as a Clinical Dietitian. Traci started homeschooling her oldest son 10 years ago and has been homeschooling in various capacities since then. She has taught in may different settings both professionally and personally, from cardiac rehab classes to homeschool enrichment classes. She has 4 children, Elijah (16), Anna (14), Jude (12), and Lucy (10).
Andrew has lived in Asheville since he was 11 years old. He grew up homeschooled and was a particularly high performer in high school Latin classes. In 2014, he graduated from Union University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Music. Currently, he also works part-time at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Asheville. He has taught homeschool classes since 2016.
Caroline is a multimedia artist. Most of her work current work is with digital illustration but in the past has also included videography. In the past, she worked as a graphic designer for advertising agencies and newspapers. You can see some of her work at portfoliohernasy.com She believes that all creative impulses happen because we are made in the image of the great Creator, the master Artist who wants us to flourish and embellish the world with beauty. Making art is what she loves to do most and she enjoys passing on the ability to use the tools that she uses to make art, to inspire others to see where they will take their creative aspirations. Her other favorite subjects of interest are history and Biblical studies. She has two grown sons who were homeschooled (now both in the Army). For two years her family belonged to the St Dominic Homeschool co-op and she taught history and worldview studies to high schoolers, as well as helping to paint the backdrops for the Shakespeare plays. Caroline coached her oldest son in making a National History Day documentary which placed 5th at the national competition in Washington D.C. and won the prize for best use of newspaper resources. Caroline is a self-taught digital artists who, for the “fun” of it, is working towards a B.F.A in Graphic Design at Liberty University. Married 25 years. Native New Yorker but living in NC for the past 15 years.
Lisa Nelsen has a BSBA from Western Carolina University in Financial Planning. She has been homeschooling for 12 years and had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Henderson County Homeschool Association for 5 years as Director of Enrichment Classes and liaison for FBC. Lisa has three children: Aiden (17), Kiara (15), and Robert (10). She loves spending time with her family. You will find her on a baseball field, soccer field, or football field (cheerleading), watching her kids doing what they love.
Sharman earned her Bachelor’s in Secondary Mathematics at UNC-CH. Then earned her Masters in Teaching at Appalachian State University. She taught at Hendersonville High School for 30 years. During her tenure, she taught all levels of math, primarily Algebra II and Pre-Calculus. And then taught middle school math 10 years at Immaculata Catholic School. While there, she taught 6th - 8th grade math including Pre-Algebra and Algebra I. She also taught at Classical Scholars one year. Sharman has homeschooled several students in Math I, II, and III, Algebra I and II and Geometry and continues to tutor all levels of math.
On a personal note, her husband and she have two adult children. Their daughter is a kindergarten teacher at Sugarloaf Elementary School and has three daughters ages 15, 13, and 11. Their son works at Arcadia University outside of Philadelphia. Her husband has also retired from teaching after 30+ years. They love to travel in their RV. She also enjoys reading.
After 26 years of homeschooling, Marji (& Rick) graduated the last of their six children. Marji has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Florida, graduate hours from ECU, and worked at UF as a bilingual aide to the tropical animal science programs. Her fiercest won endeavor, however, is her well-worn degree from the ‘University of Homeschooling’. For 25 years she has taught homeschoolers locally and online. She also administers the W-J Achievement test. Her study of seven languages opened the door to working in positions at UF, a public school in CA, as well as translating for several businesses. In college, she attended the Université de Dijon in France. She later spent a semester in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, traveling and building her German skills. Her first years of college included a major track in science study since she had planned to be a veterinarian. Through homeschooling she found she could fuse her love of snorkeling, scuba diving and science with marine biology. Through her work at UF with graduate students, she found she could also fuse her interests in animals, science, and foreign language. Later, her homeschooling years incited a love of history, and now she is passionate about sharing the love of learning about every facet of God’s creation and His work in His people with her students. She loves staying immersed in our wonderful homeschool community. Contact Marji at , or
Cecelia Smith holds a B.S. degree from Western Carolina University in Recreational Therapy. She worked at Advent Health for 6 years on the Gero Psych unit as a recreational therapist before becoming a full time mom. She has 2 girls, one in middle school and one in high school. She has gained 9 years of experience homeschooling them both . Cecelia has taught a variety of classes over the years in a local Henderson County association co-op and is super excited to join Classical Scholars. In her free time she enjoys date nights with her husband, reading, running and playing tennis.
Being half-Cuban, Janet Wilde grew up speaking Spanish. She earned a B.A. in Spanish Education from Clemson Univ., and a Master’s of Library Science from Univ. of SC. Janet has taught Spanish at the elementary and high school levels, and has served as a Spanish interpreter in various fields. She enjoys spending time with the Lord and her family and friends, reading and rescuing old books, blogging, cooking and baking, homeschooling her two girls, doing genealogy research, watching her girls play tennis, and leisurely perusing thrift shops and antique stores.