Ms. Marissa

Marissa attended Indiana Wesleyan University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English Education. During her time at college, Marissa volunteered for two years as the Art Director of an after school program. Her summers were spent teaching primary aged children at a tiny sleep-away camp in the Adirondack mountains. 

After graduating, Marissa landed a job teaching high school English in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she taught for three years. Within three weeks of starting, Marissa began an after school literature/writing club. Her efforts garnered her a nomination for Teacher of the Year in 2016. 

When not inspiring young minds, Marissa can be found at the dog park with her two dogs, Jack and Molly. She is married to her college sweetheart.

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Instructor, Writingdiane p
Ms. Page

Founder of Parenting without Fear: Behavior IS the messenger, Page is skilled at observing and understanding children, seeing what parents don’t yet see.

Page started observing behaviors as a window into personalities and emotional well-being, in her mid-twenties, when she began to ride and work with horses. After having her own children, she left her career to be a stay-at-home-mom. Using behavior observation, Page sot to understand “Why” her children were acting certain ways; letting the child guide her in how to raise them individually. Learning challenges lead Page to homeschool her children from a cosmopolitan perspective.

For over 20 years while raising her children, Page worked with dozens of children and their families in a wide variety of activities. During that time, many parents told her "we can't do what you do." It has taken her many years to figure out what they meant. What she had learned how to do was how to listen to the child's behavior and read what they were not able to say. She let the children teach her how to support and facilitate their journeys of self-discovery and their individual paths towards finding their own interests and strengths.

Today, Page shares what she has learned as a dynamic, inspiring, story-telling speaker and author. In 2016, she was named one of America’s PremierExperts. Page co-authored, with Brian Tracy, an Amazon best-selling book, in 3 categories, titled: “Success Manifesto”. Page is also honored to be listed as one of the 2017 top 100 Authority persons in Influence Magazines.

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Instructor, Public Speakingdiane p
Ms. S (Connie)

Connie Sponheim has been a theatre educator, director and actress for over 30 years from California to Washington. She holds Life credentials at the elementary and secondary levels, as well as ESL certification and a Master's in Theatre Arts. Having directed and acted in over 80 plays, as well as commercial, film and voice-over work her expertise and imaginative methodology create lasting joy and valuable memories for her students...of all ages.

TESTIMONIALS:

Children's classes and productions:

"Thank you so much for being our teacher. We really love to act and being in your class made it even more fun"....Kali and Sterling, drama students

"Thank you for being a great drama teacher, and for being patient with us." ...Sarah, drama student

"I'm in awe of the work of the students. Thank you for your professional work! This night will be a great memory forever."....AnnRene, administrator


Teacher class: Drama Across the Curriculum

"I cannot remember the last time I have been so impacted by a class. I am eager to implement these activities into my curriculum and enthusiastic with how much I know my students will respond positively. Thank you Connie!....Bryan, teacher

"I feel truly blessed and extremely fortunate to have been in this class. It has made my summer!" ...Karen, teacher

"I really appreciate how talented and understanding you are. I'll use the activities and techniques that I learned from you for years to come! Thanks a million!...Charlene, teacher

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Ms. Penny

Ms. Penny has over 30 years of experience teaching students in the public, private, non-profit, and homeschool settings. She was a Seattle Public School teacher for 11 years before homeschooling her own four children through high school. Penny enjoys helping students connect writing with all subjects. She encourages students to not only write effectively but passionately. Penny holds a Master of Arts degree in Educational Technology and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Language Arts and Elementary Education. Penny is excited for this opportunity to be working with Writing Symphony and its community.


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Ms. MJ (B)

M.J. grew up in Gresham, Oregon. She’s a graduate of Wellesley College and has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Program. She’s taught creative writing to all ages from Lakeside Middle School to Bellevue College, and volunteers at the Hugo House. Her previous novels are Primavera, Dark River, and The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters. Dark River is an Edgar Award Honoree. Primavera and Dark River are Indie Next Selections. Useless Bay is the winner of the Washington State Book Award for 2017.

She loves spending time with her husband, two teenage children, and three large drooly dogs.

Her husband and children don’t drool.


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Ms. Kristi

With over ten years of teaching experience, Kristi has taught all subjects to special education students of all ages from Kindergarten through twelfth grade.  She has worked in public and private schools both as a classroom teacher and as the director of education at a local private school.  Kristi holds a master’s degree in special education from the University of Washington, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a Washington State teaching certificate.  Having taught in classrooms with diverse ages and abilities, Kristi deeply values the opportunity to work with students individually and in small group settings.  Of all the subjects she has taught, language arts been her favorite and she is delighted to teach at Writing Symphony.  Kristi is passionate about motivating students to become lifelong learners and providing them with the skills necessary for success both in school and beyond. 

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Ms. Lisa

Lisa has taught middle school English Language Arts for four years. She graduated Magna Com Laude from Dixie State University with a Bachelor's of Science in English Secondary Education in 2015. At Dixie State University, she was named "Student of the Semester" twice. Lisa also holds a current level II teaching license from the Utah State Office of Education. In her career, she has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students with all different challenges, skills, and abilities. She has helped reluctant readers discover the importance of reading and has helped advanced students reach new heights. Lisa is passionate about writing and views good writing skills as the key to unlocking opportunities for her students.


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Ms. Ginna

With her bachelor’s degree in literature and creative writing from the University of Montana and Master’s in Fine Arts from Goddard College where she studied poetry and literature, Ginna Luck has more than six years of teaching essay and creative writing experience and over ten years of writing, editing and publishing experience. Nominated for two Pushcart Prizes as an author, Ms. Ginna has been published in many magazines and journals. While travelling all over the world as a student of literature, she taught one year of ESL at the college level. She is a mom of three boys: eleven, thirteen, and twenty-one. Along with teaching and writing Ginna is also a caretaker for typically developing and disabled kids and finds she has the patience and kindhearted demeanor that children are drawn to. With all the children in her life, she is continuously building her knowledge of children’s fiction, non-fiction and picture books. She works daily to build the reading and writing skills for the youth in her life. Writing and teaching are her passions, something she takes very seriously as an art.

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Ms. Patience

Patience is passionate about education: both as a teacher and as a student. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, with honors, from Arizona State University. She earned her post-baccalaureate teaching certification during her first year teaching full time in a 6th grade Language Arts classroom. This trial-by-fire experience proved to Patience that she was destined to be an educator. Nothing else could explain how she was able to successfully juggle being a full-time teacher, full-time student, and full-time parent simultaneously! 


After receiving her Secondary Language Arts certification she moved on to graduate school. Grand Canyon University awarded Patience a Master of Arts in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education in 2018. She currently holds a Standard Professional Teaching Certification in Language Arts with endorsements in Reading and Structured English Immersion. Her entire formal teaching experience has been in classrooms where the majority of the students are English Language Learners.
In addition to her wide variety of post-graduate work in Language Arts, Patience is a published author. She currently provides ghostwriting services to anyone who wants their story told in compelling and dynamic prose. She also has had multiple articles published on the subjects of parenting, education, and living your best life. 

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Ms. Erin

With over ten years of teaching experience, Erin has taught middle school language arts, high school English, and entry-level writing courses through Ashford University.  Along with her experience in the school setting, Erin also developed and pioneered a writing program for elementary to high school students through a local homeschool cooperative. Erin holds a master’s degree in secondary education, a bachelor’s degree in English, and a Washington State residency teaching certificate. An avid writer herself, Erin is a frequent contributor on the WACAP Now Blog. Erin is passionate about helping learners of all ages achieve their potential and hopes to instill her students with confidence and skill as they strive to improve their writing. 

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Instructor, WritingWS Assistant
Ms. Katie

Katie graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Integrated Studies in Special Education. Following graduation, Katie moved back to Richmond, Virginia where she began working at a Special Education Collaborative Teacher in Henrico County Schools. She taught collaboratively in both 1st and 4th grade while working in Henrico. In 2015 she accepted a position at XZone as the Education Coordinator. Currently, Miss Rhodes spends her time developing interactive lessons in all content areas, including character-based principles. She also gets the joy of teaching her interactive lessons to her middle and high school students. Miss Rhodes began working with Writing Symphony in the Fall of 2018. She is enjoying developing relationships with her students both here in the United States and in China. She believes all students are uniquely made and teach her as much as she teaches them.

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Mary Jeffery

Wendy Howard brings over 10 years of teaching experience, working with students of all ages in both education institutions and homeschool cooperatives. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Language Arts. She seeks to instill confidence in each of the students she works with, giving them to tools they need to express themselves well. Wendy brings a passion for teaching the fundamentals of grammar and language arts to students of all ages.

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Ms. Jackie

Jackie speaks to, trains, and mentors teams, individuals and youth. Jackie’s influence has left its mark on audiences throughout the world in the following ways: as a local director of the largest communication-focused non-profit organization in the world – Toastmasters International from 2009 to 2013, as a 2015 semi-finalist in The World Championship of Public Speaking – putting Jackie in the top 98 speakers of 33,000 competitors, as a facilitator of communication/leadership workshops for youth ages 8-17.

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Ms. Jenna

Jenna has been teaching for six years now. While her classroom experience has primarily been in the fourth grade, she has taught public, private, as well as gifted education. She currently teaches at Eastside Christian School in Bellevue, and absolutely adores the culture and setting she works in. Eastside Christian allows her to teach in smaller classrooms, as well as get to know her students and families on a deeper level. She is incredibly excited to begin teaching at Writing Symphony, where she will again be given an opportunity to work with a smaller group of kids and help to cultivate a greater appreciation and love for writing. 

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Ms. Janey

Janey brings a background in writing and English Language instruction, academic research and business communications. As a former copywriter and certified ESL instructor, she has helped many students boost their academic performance in Reading, Writing, English Language Arts and SSAT/SAT verbal test preparation.


She began her teaching career as a writing tutor at the University of Washington and later as an English Language Instructor at a top-tier private school abroad. Janey has also worked as a business consultant and researcher for major nonprofits such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UW Center for Human Rights. As an instructor, Janey enjoys working with all age groups and brings a teaching style that is engaging, and personable. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Washington.

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Ms. MJ

Amazingly energetic and driven, MJ quickly became one of the most beloved instructor by parents and students at Writing Symphony.  She assists hundreds of students with the development of skills in reading, grammar, vocabulary and speech to build a solid foundation for high-school, university and workplace English communication.

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Ms. Wendy

Wendy Howard brings over 10 years of teaching experience, working with students of all ages in both education institutions and homeschool cooperatives. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Language Arts. She seeks to instill confidence in each of the students she works with, giving them to tools they need to express themselves well. Wendy brings a passion for teaching the fundamentals of grammar and language arts to students of all ages.

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