HomeLink has a great team of advisors and support staff waiting to serve you!



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.

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Jim Paine

Custom Education Designs   Program Administrator

Jim received a BA in Christian Education from Seattle Pacific University and served as a pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination for 30 years.  Jim and his wife, Nance, have two grown sons the youngest of which was homeschooled from 8th-12th grades.

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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.

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Rachel Bertsch

Art Advisor

Rachel Lucas-Bertsch studied art at the California College of Arts and Crafts and at YVC, and majored in Graphic Design. Mrs. Lucas-Bertsch enjoys working with many media in different formats, including pencil, graphite, chalk, oil pastels, color pencil, pen and ink, painting, watercolors.

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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.

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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.





Kari Hannan

Historical Theater Advisor

Kari Hannon grew up in an Air Force family and graduated from the U of Washington with a B.A. in Anthropology and Norwegian Language and Lit.  She earned a Graduate Certificate of Bible from Multnomah Bible College, and completed graduate level courses in Linguistics with the Summer Institute of Linguistics. She and her husband began homeschooling their four children in 2004.



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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

I graduated from WSU/ICNE with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2000.  I then worked as a school nurse for a few years.  I had the opportunity to teach some health units to K-5th grade in the elementary school I worked at.  Since then I have been a stay at home mom.  I have spent many hours volunteering at Nob Hill Elementary School in my children's classrooms, where I had the opportunity to teach some art lessons with whole classes of students, and then did some STEM lessons with a small group of the highly capable students. My husband and I have co-directed our K-5 children's program at Tieton Drive Bible Chapel for the past 22 years at our church, where I lead the sports and crafts activities for about 35 kids.  We helped lead the JR. High youth group and Sunday school for a time. We also directed a week-long summer day camp at our church for K-5th grade from 2011-2019 that had over 100 kids attending, and included some drama for the kids and teen helpers.    I spent 10 years working during the summers at Shiloh Bible Camp (2000-2010) working with Kinder-12th grade and college students in multiple roles including camp nurse, program directing, leading 3 week long teen service groups, etc.  It was at Shiloh where I had the opportunity for a couple summers to direct teens doing drama to teach bible lessons.  I was in charge, along with my husband of directing, costuming, and backdrops, as the teens acted out the book Pilgrim's Progress over the course of a week of camp.  Another summer we directed our drama group to act out parts of the book of Acts in the Bible, along with acting out short monologues of christian missionaries and martyrs to teach our "World Changers" theme.  Each week that summer culminated in a dinner theater "And the Word came with Power," that Wycliffe Bible Translators allowed us to use.  That summer I got to direct and act alongside the teens in that play.  I have continued to be involved working with kids at Shiloh and my church since then as a cabin leader, speaker, and director of Music/Drama Camp.  My husband and I currently lead the High School youth group and I teach the preschool Sunday school class.  I currently run a scholarship program at our church where elementary-high school age children come to do service/cleaning projects to earn money to go to camp in the summer.  I love working with kids of all ages, and am excited about this opportunity to be involved with drama/theater again!

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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.

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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.

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Katie Meinzinger

Elementary and Math Advisor

Katie attended George Fox University earning a BA in Music-Pre-teaching and MA in Teaching. She taught music at all levels in Oregon Public Schools for three years and has been teaching music, theater, math, and now, science, with HomeLink and Montessori School of Yakima for more than 8 years.

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.