I was born in Lafayette, TN and lived in Red Boiling Springs for 13 years. My family moved to Nashville in 1963 and I graduated from Donelson High School in 1968. I attended George Peabody College for Teachers and earned a BS in Mathematics in 1972.
My name is Karen Finchum, and I am incredibly excited to join PLA this year! I have been married to my amazing husband Michael for 18 years and we have twin boys, Riley and Grayson, who are 10 years old.
My educational experience began with working in the children’s ministry at my church as a teenager and I moved into a teaching role about 20 years ago.
Bob Gerstenberger (also known as Pastor Bob) is a graduate of Oliver Nazarene University.
He began his teaching career at a Christian school in Aurora, Colorado where he taught general music, speech and drama, instrumental music, and directed musicals such as Annie, Fiddler on the Roof and Sound of Music, just to name a few.
My name is Rachael Hassler. I have spent most of my life in Middle Tennessee. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in 2010 from TN Tech University. I am a mom to 4 great kids and wife to an amazing husband. I have been working with children for the past 10 years and I am excited to join the PLA family this year.
Husband, Father, Son, Entrepreneur, Author, Innovator, Coach, Mentor, Friend, Teacher, Child of God.
There are many words that can be used to describe what I am. But who I am, is a deliberate leader intent on speaking into the lives of those I come into contact with. After 25-years in the private sector, most of those at the helm of companies I have ran, God has shifted my focus and told me, quite bluntly, to go teach.
I am extremely excited to be returning to PLA for the upcoming school year. This will be my fourth year to be involved with this awesome organization. I have been actively involved in drama and theatre for approximately 30 years.
Hi, my name is Laura Motok and I have been blessed to be part of our home school community for many years. My husband Jim and I have enjoyed 32 years of marriage and we have 11 children, ranging in age from 28 to 10. Each one has been home educated from Kindergarten all the way through High School. I currently have five left that are school age.
I earned my Bachelor's degree in Psychology for Universidad Cristiana de Honduras and have been working in the education field for 15 years. In addition, I am certified as an ESL Teacher and have experience teaching English online.
Most of my experience is focused on kindergarten, elementary and middle school, however, I have also been a psychology teacher for high school students.
One of my passions is languages. I am currently learning Chinese, Korean and Japanese on my own.
Larissa Reed has served as Administrator and lead teacher for the Creative Clash visual art camp for Carpe Artista since its inception in 2011. She has taught art classes in drawing, acrylic, pastel and watercolor for Carpe since 2011.
She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Belmont University with a minor in Art, studying Photography, Painting, Drawing, 2D design and 3D design with emphasis on sculpture.
She taught art at the Legacy Christian Tutorial and now teaches at Priest Lake Academy homeschool tutorial. She is also a floral designer at Tom’s Florist in Smyrna.
My name is Jessica Sauer, and I am excited to join the PLA team this year! I have been an educator for 16 years, and the majority of those years were spent teaching at another tutorial school for homeschool students in Nashville. Most of my teaching experience has been with middle school and high school English/Literature. I have also taught Journalism, College Readiness, ACT prep, Wilson Reading Program, S.P.I.R.E., and Creative Writing. I love reading and all kinds of writing! My top three favorite books are “Lord of the Rings”, “Selected Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson”, and “Ishmael”, and my favorite writing is poetry.
I am so excited to be returning to teach at PLA! I homeschooled my children for 18 years, and we were blessed to have additional educational support through PLA classes. I enjoyed teaching choir and drama for several years in the earlier days of PLA. I am now homeschooling my son, who is special needs, and using all my educational training to help him succeed academically
My family was blessed to be part of PLA many years ago, and I am looking forward to returning this year as a tutor! I am a native of middle Tennessee and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from TSU in Nashville. My husband and I have 9 children, ages 12-20, and we have homeschooled for the past 15 years. I love science, all kinds of art, reading historical fiction, and of course spending time with my family.
I’m thrilled to be back at PLA this year! I love teaching, I love ALL children and PLA has been a blessing in my life and my family’s. I was born in Fairfax, VA and grew up in Chantilly, VA. I’ve also lived in Texas before moving to Smyrna, TN 15 years ago. I attended George Mason University in VA and studied Elementary Education.