Our Staff

April Thome

Founder and Consulting Director

April Thome earned a B.A. in history education from the University of Washington and completed her fifth year at Central Washington University. Additionally, she completed training as an educational therapist through the National Institute for Leaning Disabilities located in Norfolk, Virginia, and special training in study skills through the National Institute for Secondary Principals in Boston, Massachusetts. April taught 5th grade for 5 years in the Selah public schools and worked for 11 years at West Side Christian School; serving 6 years in the classroom and 5 years as elementary principal. In 1997 she founded the private program called “HomeLink Yakima” that offers once-a-week classes for home-schooled students of all ages.

Dr. Jon Fassett

Education Director/Business Manager

Dr. Jon Fassett received his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 2001 from Oregon State University and taught at the university level for 19 years. His research interests are in topology and dynamical systems, with a special focus on fractal geometry. Jon has given several talks on fractals to audiences ranging from 3rd graders to research mathematicians and is known for always finding a way to insert a discussion of fractals into every math course he teaches. Over the years Jon has worked as high school teacher, community college instructor, actuary, university professor, and chief compliance officer – in that order. He recently has decided to return to his “first love” of teaching mathematics. Jon and his wife Emmelia have nine children and began homeschooling over 25 years ago.

Silvia Johnson

Administrative Assistant

Silvia attended Texas Tech University and was a home schooling mom for seventeen years. She was very active in her local home school support group and began working with HomeLink in the 2006. She’s the voice on the phone and the first face you see at the front desk. Email: sjohnson@narhs.org

Steve Bernard

Computer Apps & Speech Advisor

Steve Bernard has competed in local, area and district level speech cornpetitions, reaching the level of Advanced Communicator Gold in the Toastmasters Organization. His teaching experience includes 10 years at YVC in the computer science department. He has also taught Leadership and Public Speaking at West Valley Junior High School.

Janene Cardon

Great Literature Advisor

Janene is a mother of 8 children who has been homeschooling for the last 17 years. She loves to hike, garden, snow and water ski with her family and read good books. She hopes to inspire thinking, sharing, and a love of great literature from the students who join her in this class.

Shannan Golladay

Science Advisor

Shannan Golladay graduated from Azusa Pacific Univ. with a degree in Life Science. She served as a Young Life volunteer for eight years and worked as the Young Life middle school coordinator in the Yakima Valley for six years. Shannan has been with HomeLink since the beginning and has taught middle school and high school science classes for over 20 years.

Diane Hanks

Basic/Advance Steps Advisor

Diane Hanks received her teaching degree from Central Washington University and taught in public schools for four years. She has 20 years of homeschooling experience.

Stephanie Hart

Theater Arts Advisor

Stephanie spent the majority of her childhood engaging in community theatre on and off stage and graduated from the Seattle Film Institute. Her studies included scriptwriting, directing, casting, and working with actors. She has worked the last 5 years in HR and Administration and is excited to revisit her love of the arts.

Rachel Hawkins

Historical Theater Advisor

Rachel Hawkins graduated from WSU/ICNE with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2000, then worked as a school nurse for a few years. It was at Shiloh Bible Camp where she had the opportunity for a couple summers to direct teens doing drama to teach Bible lessons, the story of Pilgrim’s Progress, and stories of Christian missionaries and martyrs under the “world changers” theme. She has continued to be involved working with kids at Shiloh and her church since then as a cabin leader, speaker, and director of Music/Drama Camp. Rachel Hawkins has been directing the middle school theater since January developing the play written by the middle school class Around the World in 80 Days. Next year, she will direct the middle school students for the Christmas play “Prince of Peace” and then the year-end play featuring the class-written adventures of Marco Polo and Genghis Khan.

Alyssa Hodson

Spanish Advisor

Alyssa studied Spanish Education and has taught both public and private classes for the past seven years. She and her husband, Bryce, are both born and raised in the Yakima valley where they now raise their three young children. Alyssa enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and gardening.

Shirley Lynch

Math and Science Advisor

Shirley attended high school in Zimbabwe, Africa and attended the University of Louisville in Kentucky, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology. Before moving to the Northwest, Mrs. Lynch finished what she needed for a chemistry degree. She began homeschooling her four children in 1994.

Katie Meinzinger

KATS Elementary Advisor

Katie attended George Fox University earning a BA in Music-Pre-teaching and MA in Teaching. Prior to moving to Yakima she taught K-12 music in Oregon. Katie has been teaching music, theater, math, science, and now, history, with HomeLink and Montessori School of Yakima for more than 10 years, and also homeschools her own children.

Pia Morris

High School Art History & Calligraphy

Pia Morris is the name behind the friendly face you have seen working at the HomeLink office for a couple of years. Pia grew up in the South and graduated from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Next year, Pia will offer a high school art history course that proved to be an interesting study for her family during her homeschooling years. The course will be enriched with the study and practiceof Italic calligraphy.

Sarah Morris

Middle School Art & Elementary Science

Sarah Morris, daughter-in-law of Tom and Pia Morris, grew up in Lake Chelan, Washington. She attended college at Dordt University in Sioux Center, IA, graduating with a degree in Agricultural Business. Sarah previously taught at Immanuel Classical School in Yakima, before she and her husband David were blessed this spring with a baby boy, Maverick. For the 23-24 HomeLink year, Sarah will be teaching middle school art and elementary science in the KATS theater program.

Tom Morris

World Cultures, Geography & Comparitive Governments Advisor

Miranda Reimer

Photography Advisor

Miranda is the mother of 6 children and has been homeschooling for the past 8 years. She has additional experience with special needs and learning disabilities. Miranda has always had an eye for photography and has been working as a photographer and digital editor for the past year at HK Photography.

Debbie Sandlin

Structured & Creative Writing

Debbie Sandlin graduated with a masters degree in English and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. She has experience teaching middle school and high school ELA in Washington, in Pennsylvania, and internationally. Debbie currently takes guitar lessons once a week and looks forward to working with students on improving their writing in the current school year.
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