Donna Szumila

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“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.” Socrates said these now immortal words over 2000 years ago, and I couldn’t agree more. I am a permanent student having earned certificates at the Alliance Francaise in Paris, France and the University of Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria. I was a Pre-Law student studying Political Science with minors in Western European Studies and English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh when I met my husband of now 27 years and started our family. I continued my studies at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the University of Houston and currently at Dallas Baptist University. I believe in being a student of life. God has graced me with a passion for communication and a love for teaching it. Having been a state and national champion in speech and a college debater, I coached my son as well as my daughter and several of their friends privately through their high school years in both speech and debate. I reside in Plano, TX with my husband and four adorable cats. My son attends Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, studying Physics and Geology. My daughter, who has earned two bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is working on her PhD in Nuclear Physics at Old Dominion when not serving her country as a Medivac Pilot in Afghanistan. My son-in-law, a graduate of ERAU as well, is a Black Hawk pilot with the 82nd Airborne Unit out of Fort Bragg and is currently working on a Masters Degree from Penn State University. When I am not working my favorite hobby is running, hiking and playing Sudoku.

Beverly Stewart

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Public school, private school or homeschool?  What will it be?  Having teaching experience in all three has been a blessing that I love to share with others.  Sometimes it feels like I have been teaching all my life–and maybe I have.  Playing school was my favorite game when I was a kid.  Teaching experiences filled my teen years with meaningful activity.  I taught in Bible clubs, worked in day care, and started substituting while I was still in college.  (Dad was principal of a big Christian school, so I had an inside track on that one.)  My Bachelor of Science in Education (cum laude) comes from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.  As a Texas certified teacher I taught for 7 years in San Antonio public schools.  Those public school teaching experiences include 4 years in remedial reading programs (though I don’t call myself a reading specialist) and 3 years with gifted/talented language arts.  I was Teacher of the Year for my school for 2 years and runner-up for Teacher of the Year in my district one of those years.  Those awards recognized my habit of trying to make the subject meaningful to my students.

The next twenty years since were the richest and most rewarding of my teaching career–I raised and homeschooled my two children–giving me a variety of wonderful “aha” moments as well as my most challenging teaching experiences.  My son is a graduate of Bryan College and happily married with one child. My daughter graduated from Biola University. Both are doing well in the careers they chose to pursue. Both are active in their churches.

During those homeschool years I developed a passion for teaching history and government. When there was a need, I started a homeschool group in Alabama which called me leader for 6 years before my husband’s work moved us to Florida where we joined another homeschool group and I got familiar with yet another way of doing things.

I began teaching Starting Points at a co-op in the north Dallas area when we moved here in 2004.  Starting Points combined my love of history, literature, and Bible knowledge, so it was a good fit.  My daughter and I went through David Quine’s World Views of the Western World three year curriculum at home. That eventually transitioned into teaching World Views when THEO began.  Putting my favorite subjects together in a new format has been a challenge I have enjoyed (emphasis on the CHALLENGE.)  This is the most difficult subject I have ever taught—and the most rewarding.  Since 2004, I’ve been taking notes on world views and apologetics topics and putting them to use in the classroom. I would love to teach your child, as I taught mine to “Live with your brain turned on.”

Please click on the links below to view Mrs. Stewart’s videos.

Meet Beverly Stewart
Tour the classroom
About World Views

Paula Smith

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Back in the early days–before homeschooling was completely legal in Texas–I homeschooled my three children and graduated my youngest child in 2000.  While working as a nurse, I began teaching science classes in 2001 one day a week and now consider it a blessing to teach full-time at THEO.

Meet Mrs. Smith to learn more about her classes!

Mrs. Smith’s Classes

In addition to earning a BSN from Texas Tech, I have graduate hours from West Texas A&M.  My husband and I have owned a homeschool bookstore and a mail-order science business (Science Labs in-a-Box) which allowed our family to spend many summers traveling to homeschool book fairs across the country as exhibitors. Teaching is my spiritual gift as well as my passion – my desire for my students is that they see God in the universe around us and see and follow His plan for their lives.

One of my greatest joys is to bring science to life for the students with weekly hands-on experiments, thus our name Science Lab Tutorials.  Students most often learn best when they can see and do, not just read!

Yidan Rogers

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I was born and grew up in Beijing, China. I have a BSc. degree from Peking University. Then I went to Canada for graduate study. I earned a in Physics from the University of British Columbia and a MSc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. My husband and I moved to Plano due to his work.

I have been a teaching assistant and tutor during the time in the graduate schools, and I also taught ESL and high school math in Toronto.

I like to draw, watercolor paint, and Chinese paper cutting.

Mindy Piehler

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Mindy Piehler

Mrs. Piehler earned a B.S. in Education with a specialization in English from Baylor University. Following graduation she taught in Richardson I.S.D. She began teaching at a homeschooling co-op in 1996 and feels blessed to continue to do so. She has been happily married for over 30 years and adored homeschooling her own four children. They now have a psychiatric nurse practitioner, an MSU grad working in Plano as a consultant, a golf and ice hockey player at Bethel University, and a student at the University of Arkansas. In the summer of 2020 she is excited to add two daughters-in law to the Piehler Pack. Mrs. Piehler loves teaching, cherishes her students, and makes learning a delightful adventure. She would be honored to have your student join her!


Literature for 5th – 6th Grades

Junior High Literature

Debbie Oberste

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One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6…. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps”

Teaching is one of my passions, yet I did not realize the extent of this passion until the Lord directed me to home school our six children over 20 years ago.   Three have graduated and I still have five more years until the youngest graduates.

Along with teaching my own children, the Lord has provided opportunities for me to teach others.

  • I served at N-TECH in the startup years both on the board, in the Nursery, and as a teacher.
  • I have been teaching Sunday School so long that the children who were just starting school are now adults and graduating college.
  • I have been a mentor to the youth and have served as a leader in our churches youth group over the last 14 years.
  • I headed up our church’s VBS program a couple of years.
  • This year as an “older” woman, I started mentoring a small group of women from my church.

In 2010, I was blessed with the ongoing opportunity to travel to different Home School Book Fairs representing a curriculum I have used with my children.  It gives me great pleasure to encourage and help parents in their homeschooling journey.  I also give presentations at the conferences and during the off-season, I give weekly webinars.

Before having children, I did get in two years of college and earned an Associated in Applied Arts. Once I started teaching my children, I started learning how to learn.  My desire is to instill a love of learning in others.

Leslie Nychka

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God has blessed me with a genuinely adventurous and fulfilling life. I was born and raised in Texas and currently live on a farm, raising animals and all kinds of food in my garden. I love to travel, but mostly, I love to learn about God and His world.

Growing up, I had a wonderful mom and dad who taught me that I could achieve anything I wanted if I was willing to work for it. They also placed no restrictions on what that anything was. Those encouragements combined with a strong faith that God had a purpose for me led me to realize that I should never be afraid to attempt new endeavors as long as those endeavors didn’t conflict with His desires.

My first career choice was music, but God had different plans for me. Though I didn’t pursue a degree in the field, my time spent studying it left lifelong impressions on me. It gave me confidence in public speaking, an appreciation for artistic pursuits, and an ability to correlate life lessons with educational lessons.

From music, I moved to a second career choice of math and science, which culminated in a computer science degree from UTD. Programming was fun, somewhat like fitting puzzle pieces together, and led to meeting my husband. He has since been one of my lifelong encouragers. Together, he and I have successfully raised and homeschooled three beautiful kids. Our third is currently finishing her high school experience at THEO. Our primary focus of homeschooling has always been STEM, as we felt it gave our kids, given their inclinations, the most options when it came to higher-level learning.

My perspective on teaching is that all kids can learn anything: they need only prayer, patience, and encouragement. Prayer because God can handle anything. Patience because all kids have their own timeline. Encouragement because students need to know that it may take work, but they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.


Bachelor of Science, Computer Science from University of Texas at Dallas


Picasso Software Solutions – 4 years

TwinStar Semiconductor – 1 year (FUN, but too many hours!)

Homeschooler – 20+ years

Children’s Ministry teacher/volunteer/coordinator – 15+ years

Robotics club leader/coordinator – 4+ years

Alicia Loran

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I taught for seven years in the public school system before staying home with the kids.  We started homeschooling after a year in public school and never looked back. God has taught me so many lessons throughout this experience.

We have now been homeschooling for 11 years and at THEO for four years.

Mrs. Loran’s Classes

Education –

Texas A&M University – Class of ’96 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies specialization in Reading/Language Arts
University of North Texas (Denton) – started working on my Masters in Elementary Counseling

Experience –
4th/5th grade Reading/Writing Teacher Irving ISD 4 years
6th grade whole class Richardson ISD 1 year
4th grade Reading/Writing/Texas History McKinney ISD 2 years
Elementary Grade Level Coordinator – PATH Co-Op
High School Grade Level Coordinator – PATH Co-Op
Taught several classes at PATH including: High School IEW, Pre-Algebra, as well as many elementary classes
9th Grade Girls  Small Group Leader at Chase Oaks Church Plano
Private tutoring from my home

Karrie Looney

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Bachelor of Science in Education; Baylor University, 2002

Master of Science in Middle Level Math Education; Stephen F. Austin, 2005

Master of Educational Administration; Lamar University, 2009

Teaching Experiences

Apollo Junior High Mathematics Teacher, Richardson ISD                                    2002 – 2009

7th grade, 8th grade, 7th grade Pre AP, and 7th grade block math

Math Support Specialist Richardson ISD                                                             2009 – 2015

Facility Teacher Training, Curriculum Writing, Teacher Coaching for 7th-8th grade teachers

Math Tutor                                                                                                       2015 – present

Working  with kids in 4th grade – Algebras II

Women’s Adult Bible Study Leader at Messiah Lutheran Church                          2015 – present



I am a wife to my wonderful husband Jason Looney since 2008. I have three wonderful children Emma(11), Avery(8) and Parker(5) and a sweet rescue dog named Whitney. In my free time I enjoy running and training for half marathons and watching my kids in their various activities.


This will be my first-year teaching at Theo and I am so excited to see what God has instore for me this coming school year.

Debi E. Jones

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BS (cum laude) in Education from Angelo State University, 1988

About Mrs. Jones


My family started our homeschool journey in 2005 and we have never looked back.  We found THEO when someone told my elder son about it.  We were very new to homeschooling and it almost sounded magical!  My son participated in the band that year and then I started teaching at THEO the next year for just a few hours each week.  Now, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and/or SAT Math Prep at THEO for more than 13 years.  I LOVE the consistency and absolutism of high school math.

Additionally, I served as the Nursery Director for 19 years at a local church before stepping down last year to focus on other areas of service.


I have been married to my wonderful husband Dan for more than 30 years.  Our oldest son graduated in UTD in 2015 and now lives and works in OKC.  Our daughter graduated from OSU in 2018 and is now in her second year of medical school.  Our youngest son will be graduating from homeschool in 2021 and pursuing a degree in…something, although we don’t know what that is yet.  My personal interests include gardening, cooking, sewing and playing the piano.