meet our TEAM

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to read more about them

 

Our team has a heart to serve our families and community. 

"For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister."

Hebrews 6:10

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Mrs. Aguero has been married to Carlos for 18 years and together they have two teenagers, who she has homeschooled for seven years.  She has a BS in Business Management from Vanguard University and has had the privilege of leading, with Kelly Hart, Branches for more than six years.  Mrs. Aguero is passionate about homeschooling.  She has a desire to serve and partner with families in their own homeschooling journey.  She loves Jesus and loves bringing His Word into her lessons at home as well as at Branches.  As a former teacher at BHA, Mrs. Aguero will miss her classroom, but is looking forward with excitement to leading BHA full time as director.

Yanira Aguero

director

Yanira Aguero
Director

Monique.heic

Mrs. Nieto has been married to Fidel for 10 year and together they have two children, Mia and Micah. She grew up going to Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and is now blessed to have her whole family attend. Mrs. Nieto believes God called her to homeschooling and has been doing so since the 2019-2020 school year. Putting God first in her life has dramatically changed her and the lives of her family. She is blessed to be a part of such an amazing community here at Branches.

Monique Nieto
volunteer coordinator

Monique Nieto
Volunteer Coordinator

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Mrs. Shaffer has been married to her husband, Paul, for 17 years.  They have two boys, Jacob and Hunter and a wild Golden Retriever named Liberty. Together they attend Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and enjoy camping at the beach or in the mountains any chance they can get! Stacy has been homeschooling her boys for 3 years and has been working at Branches, as the Facilities Coordinator, for the past year. She has a heart to serve others and Branches has allowed her to use that gift. She is looking forward to another great year at Branches and cannot wait to see the great things the Lord has planned for our homeschool community!

Stacy Shaffer

events & facilities coordinator

Stacy Shaffer
Admissions Coordinator

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Magda Ayala

5th/6th Grade

Mrs. Ayala is an East Coast transplant who met her love, Fernando, shortly after moving to California. They have been married for 6 years and have 2 sweet girls. The Ayala Family attend Life Bible Fellowship Church where Magda serves as a Client Advocate for the church’s outreach ministry, Assure. The Ayalas love to travel and explore all that Southern California has to offer! Magda received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts where she majored in International Relations and minored in Portuguese. She was an executive for an international athletic brand before becoming a stay at home Mom and pursuing her passions of faith, family, and fitness. Magda has been homeschooling her oldest for the past year and a half and feels called to support Moms on their homeschool journey. She can’t wait to meet you and your children, and to experience all that the Lord will do in this new school year!

Magda Ayala
5th/6th Grade

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Tim Gruchacz

worship team leader

Mr. Gruchacz (pronounced grew-house) serves as Director of Worship Ministries and leads the Young Adults Ministry at Christ Community Church in West Covina. He has been married to his wonderful wife Aryn for 8 years, and they have 3 children plus one on the way! He received a B.A. in Music and Biblical Studies from The Master’s University, and his passion is to equip and encourage others to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), both individually and corporately. He is excited to work with Branches in preparing students to be true worshippers and faithful servants in their homes and churches.

Tim Gruchacz
Worship Team Leader

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Nadia Castaneda

performing arts

 

Mrs. Castaneda is an enthusiastic and dedicated homeschool mom to two teenagers and one tween, and a devoted wife of 20 years to her husband Abel. She has been teaching Performing Arts for over 25 years, but has never been more happy than teaching at Branches. Mrs. C is a Screen Actor’s Guild Actress and graduate from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and believes a well-rounded education includes a hands-on opportunity of singing, dancing, acting and directing. She believes opportunities in the performing arts contribute to an individual’s self-confidence, self-awareness and personal growth. Mrs. C gives her all to her students and loves to see them take the stage and shine like the stars they are.

Nadia Castaneda
Performing Arts

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Jennifer Overby

3rd/4th grade

Mrs. Overby is a wife of 12 years and mother of three kids (8, 6 and almost 1). She is a veteran public school teacher and excited to team with the families at BHA for another year creating a community of excellence among homeschoolers. As a credentialed teacher she taught high school and middle school Mathematics and AVID. Now homeschooling her own young children, she is inspired by how their curiosity naturally integrates subject matter and catalyzes a love of learning. Working with children in various age groups has cemented the truth that you learn where you are loved. She can't wait to lean into the love of Jesus this year and grow together as scholars and image bearers.

Jennifer Overby
2nd Grade

Chelsea

Chelsea James

2nd grade

Ms. James received her Bachelors of Science in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton. Her desire to serve the Lord led her to fulfill her practicum here at Branches, and she is excited to now officially be joining the team. She attends Christ Community Church, where she serves in the 1st-3rd grade class in Children’s Ministry and in the Young Adults Ministry. She has worked with children in multiple capacities and jobs and loves doing so! Her passion is teaching, serving, and helping others, all for the glory of Christ alone (Colossians 3:23-24). Her hope is to encourage and teach children to do all things, in faith and obedience, with excellence, for the glory of God.

 

Chelsea James
2nd Grade

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Susan Ross

prek-kinder

 

Mrs. Ross loves being a Mother to her twin sons, River & Dakota. Her sons Graduated from Branches last year and loved every single minute of being a part of the Branches Community. She has Homeschooled her children since Kindergarten and wouldn’t trade that decision for anything. Mrs. Ross has been married to her Best Friend, Greg, for 22 years. Her family attends Christ Community Church in West Covina & she has been faithfully walking with the Lord for 28 years.  She received her BA in English, a Minor in Speech Communication & a California Clear Teaching Credential from CSULA. She has taught in Public Education for over 10 years and has served in Children’s Ministry capacities for 10 years. Mrs. Ross’ heart comes alive when she is interacting with children and recognizes their value in the Kingdom of God. She is passionate in investing in these young lives and looks forward to pouring into this next generation of young believers.

Susan Ross
Prek-Kinder

April Dichosa

April Dichosa

3rd/4th grade

Mrs. Dichosa has been married to her husband, Julius, for 20 years; they have three children ages 13, 10, and 7. April and her family faithfully attend VantagePoint Church in Eastvale where she serves as a vocalist on the worship team, and the coordinator for prison ministries. In addition to teaching, April also serves as the US Executive Director for a non-profit in Kenya.  She has a huge passion for both music and for missions.  April received her BA and MaEd from Azusa Pacific University.  She was a public school educator for 21 years; experience in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades.  April is grateful for the opportunity to teach at Branches and really looking forward to having a rich year with her students!  She is especially eager to teach and nurture her students from a Biblical perspective. 

April Dichosa
3rd/4th Grade

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Carla Perez

high school IEW

 

Mrs. Perez has been a classroom teacher, a college faculty member, a homeschool mom for her four sons, a curriculum writer, and a tutor for international students. She has a multi-subject MAEd., and has taught grades K-12 in four different states. Mrs. Perez strongly believes that students should know history well, and should be able to express themselves well in both speaking and writing. I Peter 3:15 urges Christians to "sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect,"  To help students achieve that goal, Mrs. Perez will be teaching writing.

Carla Perez
High School History

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Karen Sidur

high school history & ASB

Mrs. Sidur is married to her high school sweetheart, Terry.  They have two boys, Damon, 19 and Dean, 14 and attend Calvary Chapel Chino Hills.  She has been homeschooling for 8 years, her oldest now attends Colorado Christian University.  Karen attended Cal Baptist University and received her Bachelor's Degree in Education.  Although she has not formally taught in the classroom, Karen has taught her kids in all subjects and has taught many co-op classes throughout the years.

Karen Sidur
High School Yearbook

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Austin Sparks

Speech & Communications

Mr. Sparks is currently receiving his Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication Studies at California State University San Bernardino. His passion is Christ and Communication. His motivation to teach is that Christ’s perfect love compels him to serve (2nd Corinthians 5:14). He attends Christ Community Church in West Covina where he serves as the Youth intern and director of Youth Ministries. He has taught speech and communication at after school programs before, but he is excited to be working with Branches as he will teach students how to communicate to the world with the proper tools and knowledge of God and people.

Austin Sparks
High School Literature & Electives

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Jessica Wolfe

junior high

Mrs. Wolfe has been married to Tim for 18 years, together they have 3 teenage sons. As a family they attend Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. She has homeschooled all of her sons at different times throughout their education. She has found a blessed purpose in teaching at BHA while homeschooling her youngest. After 2 years of working with the admin team, Mrs. Wolfe began teaching the junior high class. Mrs. Wolfe loves teaching from a biblical worldview. Her goal as a teacher is to see her students make connections to God’s workmanship in all things. She makes it a priority that her classroom is a place of growth and grace.

Jessica Wolfe
Junior High

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Naomi Cessna

ASB

Mrs. Cessna and her husband, David, have been married for close to 20 years.  They’ve been blessed with 3 beautiful children, Christopher, Caleb and Arabella.  Her family has a heart to serve and is involved in various ministries at their home church in Chino Hills.  She is grateful to have partnered with Branches through their homeschool journey and is honored to be a part of the staff.  She's excited to see what the Lord has in store for Branches.

Naomi Cessna
ASB

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Suzanne Guerin

high school science

Mrs. Guerin has been married to her husband, Kevin, for 16 years, together hey have three children. Suzanne and her family have faithfully attended Vantage Point Church in Eastvale and she has served as one of the Preschool-Kindergarten classroom leaders for the last 10 years.  Prior to being a stay-at-home mom, Suzanne was a 7th grade Life Science and 8th grade Physical Science Teacher in the Ontario-Montclair school district for six years.  She has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology from Cal Poly Pomona and a Masters in Education. Suzanne is thankful for this new opportunity to teach at Branches and she is looking forward to getting to know her students and having the freedom to teach high school students from a biblical perspective.

Suzanne Guerin
High School Science

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Robyn Zammit

S.T.E.M.

Mrs. Zammit has been married to her husband Joe for 15 years. She has 1 biological son, 1 adopted son (nephew), and 4 stepsons. They previously fostered 2 girls that have remained a major part of their lives as well. She has homeschooled their son, Tanner, for 8 years. Their family attends Yorba Linda Church of Christ where she and Joe originally met. Mrs. Zammit received her BS in Electrical Engineering in 2000 at Oklahoma Christian University with an emphasis in wireless communications. She also graduated from the University of Phoenix with her MBA. Mrs. Zammit initially worked in RF engineering for a cellular phone company. She continued on to a Dept of Defense contractor, providing the satellite tracking and communications for US Navy missile tests. Mrs. Zammit has enjoyed being a part of the Branches community for 5 years now, and is excited to be able to contribute back by offering a STEM course for the students.

Robyn Zammit
S.T.E.M

meet our 
BOARD

HOVER OVER

to read more about them

 

Our team has a heart to serve our families and community. 

"For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister."

Hebrews 6:10

Kelly

Kelly Hart

president

Mrs. Hart is a wife and a mother of three.  She has been married to her husband, Kevin, for 21 years and has been homeschooling her children for 10 years. Her passion for Christ and teaching has led her to BRANCHES.  Kelly is a credentialed teacher and has taught 3rd-10th grades over the past 21 years with a specialty in language arts at the elementary level. Kelly is the former co-administrator and teacher at BHA for the past several years. She can’t wait to see what God is going to do in her new role as president of the BHA governing board. Kelly loves the relationships that come at BHA and her family is grateful to be blessed with Branches Homeschool Academy.

Kelly Hart
President

Candice Hernandez

Candice Hernandez

secretary

Mrs. Hernandez is a wife to her outdoor loving, hydro-electrician husband, John and mother to three wonderful children. While she has enjoyed other forms of work, being a wife, a mother, a homemaker and a home educator have been some of her greatest joys and callings. She comes to us with previous experience as a board member for Love Without Borders Inc. and has taught our 1st grade students at BHA. As a BHA and former teacher, she offers great insight and is dedicated to helping BHA thrive. She believes all children are image bearers of Christ, possessing gifts and purpose. She is excited to contribute in a new way at BHA and can't wait to see what God has in store for all who call BHA home. In her words, "May the children at Branches develop deep roots in who they are in Christ. May they grow in wisdom, stature, and academically. May they pursue that which causes their minds to soar and increases their positive impact in this dark world. In short, may their lights burn all the brighter as they walk through the halls of BHA and beyond."

Candice Hernandez
Secretary

Coming Soon

Kathy Thach-Johnson

treasurer

Mrs. Johnson is an alumni of Azusa Pacific. She currently lives in Rancho Cucamonga. She is a proud wife to Navy veteran, Trenton and mother to three beautiful girls: Atarah, Aaralyn and Alina, and has been homeschooling her daughters for the last 7 years. She is also a doggie mommy to Sophia, her Pitbull Terrier rescue. She loves to do all sorts of crafts, from paper crafting to creating her own cleaning supplies. She enjoys spending time with other people and getting to know them. She attends Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. Her family has been blessed greatly Branches. She can't wait to see how God will continue to grow the program in the near future!

Kathy Thach-Johnson
Treasurer