|Meet Our Teachers|
Sandy Edwards – Consumer Math, French 1 and 2
Sandy Edwards has been homeschooling since 1999. Her son, Sam, attended CCA from 2006-2010. He then studied computer science in the Engineering Honors Program at CU Boulder and is now a software engineer in San Diego. Her daughter, Lauren, started taking classes at CCA in 8th grade, and will graduate in 2015.
Prior to her career as a homeschooling mom, she was a Certified Public Accountant, after graduating from UC Berkeley with a BS in Business Administration. She has been married for 29 years to Eric, who used to be a business financial executive, and now runs a senior home care company.
Mike Ghirardelli – Algebra 2
Mike Ghirardelli is super excited to be teaching Algebra 2 this year. He is a veteran teacher, this upcoming year being his sixth. He has taught both middle school and high school, with his current position at Chaparral High School in Douglas County. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the Ohio State University and a Masters in Education from Regis University. He is highly qualified to teach both English and math for grades 7-12 in the state of Colorado.
Mike is eagerly anticipating working with a new set of kids in Algebra 2. Together they will work in a teacher directed setting with occasional group work and individual study. Students will be responsible for math homework, building skill through repetition and practice. Ultimately the goal is to apply the skill to real world situations so that students can see how much math is used in “real life”.
Nancy Hammerland – Astronomy, English Composition, World Literature
A native of Illinois, Nancy Hammerland graduated of Western Illinois University in Macomb with a B.A. in English/Language Arts. She taught middle and high school several years before moving to Lakewood, Colorado, where she met and married her husband in 1987. They have 2 sons; Jack is 24 and just graduated from CU with a master's degree in mechanical engineering and Dan, 21, is studying physics, also at CU. She was a stay at home mom until her oldest son began driving; she then returned to teaching. Nancy has substituted and taught exclusively in Jefferson County, primarily high school English. She is looking forward to working in a home-school environment for the first time and not being bogged down with bureaucracy and the frustrations that often come with public education. Her hobbies include reading, sewing and arts and crafts.
Adrienne Hanagan – Chemistry
Prior to becoming a mother, Adrienne obtained a Chemical and Petroleum Refining degree from Colorado School of Mines. After over two years of working in the aerospace industry, she left to get her Masters' degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University. During her Masters' work, she worked at Sandoz Crop Protection. When she graduated she worked for Synergen, a small biotechnology company in Boulder, then Supragen in Lakewood, and finally at CU Health Sciences Center for the School of Pharmacy. She worked as a protein biochemist for Professor Carlos Catalano for over two and a half years. She has 8 years of experience working in the biotechnology area.
When her son was born 17 years ago, she had a very hard time giving her child to someone else to care for. She thought she would go back to work when her son was a bit more independent, say, at age 3. Well, it didn't happen. She home schooled her two sons through COVA for seven years rather than send them to the local elementary school. It was a thrill to teach her eldest how to read and to do arithmetic. She decided to try homeschooling on her own using an umbrella program. She has been doing this for the past four years. She enjoys introducing kids to science and math. She volunteers in her son's Young Marines unit as a math and science tutor. There is always one young man or woman who needs help with science and math. God is the most amazing scientist and engineer. She realized when getting her Masters' degree that God beat engineers and scientists hands down when he created the simplest bacteria.
Hilary Osborne – Cooking, Geography
Hilary Osborne has been married to Marty for 28 years and is the mother of two sons, ages 18 and 16. The eldest just graduated from CCA and the younger is a current student. She earned a B.A. in Speech Communications from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She has home schooled both boys for 14 years and has taught several home schooling enrichment classes, including a ten-week purity class for teen girls, and speech at CCA. She, Marty, and their sons relocated from Michigan to the Denver area in 2010, following God's call to new ministries, friends, and adventures. Her passion is a sound education based on the Word of God, and discovering new things about Him along with her students. Her interests are baking, reading, writing, and eating. As a native of Michigan, she will always side with the Red Wings.
David Polhamus – Bible
David Polhamus grew up in South Carolina. He was saved at the age of 16 and right away felt that the Lord was calling him to be a pastor. He graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Bible in 2010 followed by a Masters in Biblical Studies in 2014.
David met his wife Stephanie in high school and they graduated high school and college together. They got married in 2010 soon after graduation.
From 2010 to 2012 David interned at Trinity Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. In December of 2012, David came on staff as the Youth Director at Grace Baptist of Parker, CO and currently serves as Youth Pastor. Stephanie is working as a nurse at a clinic in Parker.
David has a burden for teenagers seeing that he was saved as a teenager and knowing that the teenage years are so critical in deciding the path that the individual will take the rest of their life. His burden is that every teenager would know what it is like to walk with God and live for Him.
Tahla Stephens – Fine Art, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, World History
Tahla Stephens has a passion for teaching. Before God blessed her with children, she taught in both public and private schools. She taught as a homeschool mom for 15 yrs, and in all has been a classroom instructor and/or tutor for 34 years. She has been involved in numerous homeschool programs, for which she has done administrative work and teaching. Tahla has been teaching math classes at CCA since 2005 and has recently added Fine Arts & World History to her repertoire. She is a Watercolourist and Fiber Artist but enjoys experiencing the creative process in many art medias. Tahla desires to go beyond the facts based memorization that is the emphasis of most World History classes today and challenge her students to discuss & analyze the ideas, events and cultures of the past. Tahla strongly believes in mastery of mathematical concepts or art techniques, and will work tirelessly to make sure her students thoroughly understand the material she teaches. Tahla has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from UNC with a minor in Special Education.