OUR PEOPLE Renew Christian Academy Renew Christian Academy Staff Shannon Carpino, M.Ed. Director Bio Catherine Rozenboom Administrative Assistant Bio Renew Christian Academy Faculty Dr. Brett Armstrong AP European History, US History, World History Bio Shannon Bain Theatre I, Theatre II, Speech and Debate Bio Cindy Buss 8th and 10th grade English Language Arts Bio Olivia Blandin Art I and Art II Bio Lindsey Conner Life Skills, Geography and Culinary Bio Jay Austin Apologetics Bio Tiffie Rosen AP US Government, Standard US Government, Personal Finance Bio Joselyn Zepeda Spanish I, Spanish II (possible Spanish III) Bio Jenny Narciso PE and Lifetime Wellness. Bio Melissa Austin Music teacher Bio Denise Van Burkleo 6th Grade ELA, 7th-8th Grade Science, Color Guard/Winter Guard Bio Susan Snowdon 7th Grade ELA, 6th Grade Science, Geography Bio Nancy List 6th-8th Grade Social Studies Bio Diana Plantier 9th, 11th, and 12th grade English Bio Whitney Williams 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Math Bio Dr. Jamie Stanford High School Biology and Chemistry Bio Dawn Gauthier Anatomy and Physiology Bio Jim Hayson Algebra 1 and Geometry Bio Geoff Smith Music Teacher Bio Dawne Johnson Algebra II and Physical Science Bio Shannon Carpino, M.Ed. Shannon has been involved with education since 2006. With a background as a public school teacher, Shannon began teaching at homeschool tutorials after her last child was born. During this time, she continued her education and earned her Masters of Education-Administration and Supervision degree. In 2014, Shannon expanded her teaching experience from children to adults. She has written two books and a teaching curriculum focused on empowering women to overcome difficult life circumstances through finding their identity in Christ. She has contributed to various blog posts, podcasts, radio shows, live speaking events, Featured Contributor to Keep the Faith Radio, is currently a contributor to LifeWay’s Homelife magazine, and more. Shannon continues to devote time to local prison ministries where she teaches women in the prison and mentors those transitioning back into the community. Shannon is thrilled to be a part of Renew Christian Academy! She is passionate about equipping students to become leaders who are strong in their faith and confident about heading out into the world. RCA’s mission to provide a college-prep academic experience with a focus on discipleship is a unique one that will have a lasting impact on students, families and the community. Shannon is honored to be part of the Renew Christian Academy family, and is eager to see the amazing things the Lord is going to do those that walk through the doors. Catherine Rozenboom Catherine has been married to her husband, Michael, for 22 years, and she has been his real estate assistant for 16 years. They have three teenage children, whom Catherine has homeschooled all the way through, so far. She enjoys reading, puzzles, and going on walks or hikes. Dr. Brett Armstrong My name is Dr. Brett Armstrong and I am married with three children. Our two oldest are now in college and our youngest son is a junior in high school. I graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. with a degree in Economics and Business Administration. After college I worked in youth ministry for several years in my hometown of Atlanta. It was there that I realized that I loved teaching young adults. I went back to school, earning a M.A. in European History from Georgia State University in Atlanta. We then moved to Nashville, where I completed my Ph.D. in European History at Vanderbilt University. I taught at Trevecca Nazarene University for 15 years before moving to Utah to serve as the principal of a small Christian k-12 school in Salt Lake City. I’ve been a high school and college teacher and soccer coach for the past 20 years and I’m happiest when I’m hiking, camping, and fly-fishing, especially in the mountains of the western U.S. Shannon Bain Shannon has been a professional actor, theatre director, producer, and teacher for the past 20 years. He recently graduated (2019) from the M.F.A. program at The University of Southern Mississippi where he studied under Lou Rackoff (NYC’s Public Theatre). Before The University of Southern Mississippi, Shannon completed his undergraduate degree in speech and theatre (with an emphasis in performance, education and child drama) at Middle Tennessee State University. After graduation Shannon taught music and theatre at NYC’s Manhattan Christian School for two years. Shannon did some off Broadway work as an actor including the role of the preacher in St. Vincent’s Players’ production of “Footloose”. He also founded The SlapDab Theatre Company, an off Broadway theatre company that produced the works of Southern playwrights. Shannon’s directing credits include Ken Ludwig’s “The Three Musketeers”, Tennessee Williams’ “The Night of the Iguana”, “Bulrusher”, and most recently The Watershed Theater Company’s production of “Alice in Wonderland”. Some of his favorite acting roles include Uncle Ernie in “The Who’s Tommy”, Scanlon in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, Satin in “The Lower Depths”, Mr. Mulleady in “The Hostage”, and his Dove Award nominated turn and the originator of the roles of Devlin and also The Crippled in Eddie DeGarmo (yes, there is a connection with him and our very own Ms. Shannon DeGarmo-Carpino) and Bob Farrell’s “Hero: The Rock Opera”. Shannon also served as a theatre consultant and did some staging of the actors for that production. Shannon is incredibly excited for this next chapter of his journey as a teacher at this brand new school that is sure to be a life changer for all involved. Cindy Buss I am excited to be part of the Renew Christian Academy family. While I have taught every grade from first to twelfth, I feel at home in the junior high/high school classroom. I have taught in private schools in New Orleans, Memphis, and Nashville. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in teaching from Concordia University Chicago and a Master of Teaching degree from Aquinas College. In my spare time, I enjoy quilting, do-it-yourself projects, and “junkin’”. Needless to say, I am passionate about reading and writing, and am looking forward to providing my students with the skills necessary to succeed at whatever they choose to do in life. Olivia Blandin My name is Olivia Blandin, and I am so excited to be joining the Renew Christian Academy team! I am a spring 2020 graduate of Lee University. I graduated with a BA in Studio Art, emphasis in painting. As well as painting, I have a background in other art mediums such as drawing, mixed media, graphic design and ceramics. Since graduating, I have been working as a freelance designer for a high-end consulting firm, as well as, working on various commission work. In my spare time I love reading, spending time with friends and family, visiting local coffee shops, and have recently been learning to roller skate! I am passionate about art and the way it can serve as both a means of self-expression and worship. I am excited to share my passion and love of creating with my students. I look forward to the coming school year and all the things that the Lord has in store! Lindsey Conner What an opportunity to be a part of Renew Christian Academy! I have a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing from Harding University. I have homeschooled my 14-year- old son and 11-year-old daughter for 7 years. We also foster two toddlers that we are hoping to adopt. Equipping children for life past high school graduation, practical skills, the opportunities of learning-by-doing, has birthed two of the classes I teach: Life Skills and Culinary Arts. In addition to Life Skills and Culinary Arts, I will be using my experience I’ve gained in teaching Classical Conversations to offer Geography, as well. In my spare time, I enjoy projects on our property, tending to my flock of chickens, gardening, cooking and baking. I’m looking forward to the fun hands-on-learning experience we will have at Renew Christian Academy. Jay Austin Minister, author, speaker, teacher, and family life coach, Jay Austin, has been married to his wife Melissa for more than 26 years and is a father of two boys, Isaiah and Josh. Jay is the Family Discipleship Minister at Harpeth Christian Church. With more than 28 years of teaching and ministry experience, Jay has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Christian Education, an honorary D.D., and is a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPC) and a Certified Youth, Parent, & Family Coach (CYPFC). Tiffie Rosen My name is Tiffie Rosen and I look forward to joining the staff of Renew Christian Academy. I am a wife and mother of three, mostly grown, children; our youngest is currently a junior at Franklin High School. I received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, with a major in Government, from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Political Science from Vanderbilt University, both in the early 1990s. My experience in education, prior to starting a family, include substitute teaching in Davidson County Schools, tutoring at Sylvan Learning Center, and teaching classes at a correctional facility. After many years home with my children, I spent the past two years (Fall 2018 – Spring 2020) teaching History and World Geography classes at Franklin Christian Academy. Currently, I am busy tutoring and substitute teaching in Williamson County Schools. During my free time, I love reading nonfiction, walking with friends, putting together jigsaw puzzles, going to jazzercise, and knitting (just learned but truly enjoy it). I value public discourse and am passionate about engaging high school students in mature discussions about the way our government works and the gifts of freedom and liberty we not only possess, but steward, as American citizens. Joselyn Zepeda My Name is Joselyn E. Zepeda and I was born and raised in Mexico. I am a disciple of Christ and I am passionate about discipling/mentoring teens as I walk with God. After college,I met my husband Adam and we have been married for 12 years. We have a son, Jonathan, who is a joy to be around. Our household is bicultural and love that we can teach our son 2 languages and cultures. I came to the USA to earn my degree in Psychology with a Minor in Youth Ministry from Harding University 2005. Since, I have done all kinds of things: I’ve taught English at middle and high school levels in Mexico. I have worked as a ELL teacher’s aid in Oregon and I have been a substitute teacher in NM and TX. I am excited to teach and share my native language and culture with our students! Jenny Narciso Physical activity and sports have been a big part of my life. I grew up playing softball, basketball and soccer. Soccer is what eventually stuck and I played competitively through my sophomore year in college before transitioning to intramural sports. I have a Bachelor’s degree in recreation and spent most of my career prior to having children managing youth sports associations. I have four wonderful kids and have spent the last 12 years at home raising them and partnering with my husband in youth & young adult ministry. Now that my youngest is in school full-time I am eager to join the RCA team teaching PE and Lifetime Wellness. I am also a certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer and lead classes at Burn Boot Camp in Franklin. Melissa Austin My name is Melissa Austin, and I’m thrilled to be a part of Renew Academy. I have been married to my husband Jay for 26 years, and we have two amazing young men who attend Lipscomb University. I have been on the teaching staff at Franklin Classical School for the past eight years, where I currently teach music, chorus, and theatre. I have also been an interim chorus teacher at Father Ryan High School and an adjunct professor at Belmont University. One of the things I enjoy most is teaching private vocal students, which I have been doing for more than 20 years in my home studio. I am passionate about helping young people develop their skills and confidence so they can honor God through the performing arts. I graduated from Belmont University with a BA in Music, and I’ve had a long and varied musical career. I was an Opryland USA performer in the late eighties, and I had the privilege of eventually moving on to the Broadway stage as “Cosette” in Les Miserables. I have also enjoyed performing roles in musicals with local theatre companies, including Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Cumberland County Playhouse, and Circle Players. I toured with the Amy Grant Christmas Show, and was honored to sing with Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, and others. My most recent performances have been a one-woman show called Early One Morning, written by Broadway musical director Ron Melrose, in which I tell the story of redemption through the eyes of Mary Magdalene. Denise Van Burkleo Denise is blessed to be on a mission for God at Renew Christian Academy. She has two sons in their early twenties and a sixteen-year-old daughter at Summit High School. While you can’t take the Texan out of the girl, Tennessee has become her new home the past fifteen years. Teaching has been Denise’s life career. Her passion for teaching began at an early age in the garage with a huge blackboard and a class full of stuffed animals. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a specialization in music from Sam Houston State University in Texas. Denise has twenty-one years of public school education experience. Five years of music and sixteen years in grades first through fourth. Denise enjoys spending time with family and friends playing games, going to concerts, crafting, and Kayaking. For the past eight years, she has spent most weekends as a band and color guard mom. Denise is looking forward to continuing to serve the community in which she lives and inspiring a life of learning with a Godly world view. Susan Snowdon Susan is blessed to pour Christ centered academics into the Renew Christian Academy students and build ‘community’ with them. It is a privilege to equip students to a Christ centered life experience and foster a passion for lifelong learning. Her love of teaching has taken her on a more than 30-year journey. While she began a career in Social Work and Psychology after graduating from Freed-Hardeman College (University) with her Bachelor of Science degree, God knew that the gift of teaching needed to be her focus. She continued her education to receive her Master of Education and Special Education from the University of Houston. It was a privilege to join the U of H team as adjunct professor for a period of time prior to working in public education. As her journey in education continues with RCA, she is blessed to provide course work in Science and Geography. Presently, Susan enjoys partnering with the community to work at the Well of Spring Hill, being on the Worship Team of her home congregation, and she is honored to care for her mother and son. Her son’s pet dog Tulio keeps her busy and is teaching her what it is like to be a joyful grandmother. A final living word to share is the scripture text of Jeremiah 29:11-13 that Susan’s family has leaned into. This scripture has given them a strength and belief in God’s plan for them. She too believes that God knows the plans He has for the RCA students. He will guide them as they venture into the depth of learning that is at their fingertips. Nancy List I am so excited to be a part of Renew Christian Academy and the Biblical education it will be pouring into our students! I am a follower of Jesus, an experienced musician, a wife to Frank, and a mom to two teenage boys. My oldest is 18 and is a pilot working on his IFR certificate; my youngest is 16, loves anything Science- or computer-related, and is a junior in high school. I worked as a substitute teacher in Rutherford County for two years. Following that, I worked in 4th and 5th-grade classrooms for six years as an Educational Assistant with Special Ed students in inclusion classrooms. In 2015, for reasons I’d love to share over a cup of coffee anytime, I decided to go back to college and finish my education. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western Governors University in December of 2018. In 2019, my husband and I began visiting and performing music for residents in local Assisted Living and Memory Care communities. This is a beautiful ministry the Lord laid on our hearts and we are so grateful! We also play occasionally at local restaurants and coffee houses and in a rock and roll band for fun! Late in 2019, I felt the Lord guiding me toward ministry as a career and he led me to Dallas Theological Seminary where I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Christian Education online. I look forward with great anticipation to what the Lord is going to do in and through Renew Christian Academy!! Diana Plantier Born on the porch of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home in Great Neck, New York, seemed to seal my destiny as a writer and English teacher. I graduated from Valparaiso University with a BA in English/Education and an MA from Long Island University. Both along with extensive world travel and clubs/sports provided me with the needed credentials to embark on a long and glorious career as an educator, club advisor, and coach. Once I retired from the public school systems of New York and New Hampshire, I was free to pursue my passion for writing books and scripts. This has enabled me to blend my strong Christian convictions with my love of all things English! So, I took the experiences I garnered from my high school Public Speaking elective, which included a popular comedy show, to birth a ministry in California called Christian Comedic Performing Arts. It showcased my biblically inspired comedy skits to entertain and inspire. I recently moved to Franklin to be near family. My son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons live in Nashville. My son has been waiting for me to move here and start my “Ministry of Athleticism” (as he calls it!) with his two boys! I enjoy basketball, baseball, golf, softball, skiing and tennis…and of course writing, producing, and directing to honor my Creator!!! Whitney Williams My name is Whitney Williams and I am so excited to be part of the Renew Christian Academy family! I am originally from Florida and relocated to Tennessee three years ago. I have a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Elementary Education, from the University of Central Florida. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology I have worked in education for the last eight years. In the public-school setting, I worked as a substitute teacher and a kindergarten teacher. I have also worked as a private teacher to upper elementary and middle school-aged students. My passion for teaching developed while working with the non-profit organization Friends of Refugees, in Clarkston, Georgia. During this time, I led summer camp activities and facilitated learning for students in grades 1-8. Something that is very important to me is my relationship with God. I believe that true joy comes from a life that is led by Jesus. I am so excited about an opportunity to lead youth in their relationship with Christ and to help them become great lights to the world around them. In my free time, I enjoy doing embroidery work, reading and playing with my cat! “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:9-11 Jamie Stanford Jamie Stanford grew up in middle Tennessee and committed her life to Christ when she was 16. She attended East Tennessee State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005 with a B.S. in Biology. She continued her education at the University of Kentucky (UK) where she graduated with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. During her years at UK, she served as a teaching assistant and research lab mentor for high school and undergraduate students. She returned to Tennessee in 2010 as a postdoctoral research fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) where she conducted research at the Ingram Cancer Center. During her time at Vanderbilt, she mentored graduate students and received a VUMC certificate in college teaching. Dr. Stanford took a break from academia to enter the nonprofit world by joining the scientific staff at Susan G. Komen in 2014. Prior to leaving Komen in 2021, Jamie was overseeing management of Komen’s portfolio of research grants. Playing to her strengths, she was also heavily involved in educating the public about key scientific discoveries – taking complex scientific ideas and breaking them down so the average person can understand them. Jamie is a member of Harpeth Christian Church and has served as a volunteer in children’s ministry for approximately 5 years. By joining the teaching staff at RCA, and with guidance from the Holy Spirit, she hopes to equip students with the knowledge and skills to courageously face the challenges of college and beyond without losing sight of Jesus. Jamie resides in Franklin with her husband (Matt) and their 3 children (RJ, Margaret, and Lizzy). She enjoys quality time with her family – spending time outdoors, playing games, and the weekly family movie night. She also enjoys reading, writing, worship music, arts and crafts, and a good cup of coffee. Dawn Gauthier I am originally from near Atlanta, Georgia, but have lived in Tennessee most of my life. I moved to Nashville in 1999 to attend college at Lipscomb University. I began as an education major, but discovered I had a passion for Sports Medicine and changed my major to Athletic Training. I graduated from Lipscomb in 2003 with a BS in Athletic Training and Exercise Science. After graduating I went to work for Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance where I worked for 16 years, and also attained my master’s degree from MTSU in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. While working for Tennessee Orthopedic Alliance, I was an assistant athletic trainer at Montgomery Bell Academy for 3 years; I saw patients in the physical therapy clinics; and also worked as a Medical Assistant for several of their surgeons. I enjoy caring for athletes, from trying to help them prevent injuries and teach them how their bodies work to best compete in their sports, to assessing injuries and helping them rehabilitate to return back to play. I am an awe of the human body and God’s wonderful design. In addition to my 2 collegiate degrees and being a certified athletic trainer, I am also a licensed massage therapist. I currently live in Franklin with my husband and son. I work for Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a Certified Athletic Trainer, and for Williamson County School System as a substitute teacher. On the weekends you will find me on an obstacle racing course, riding my bike, hiking with my family or in my gardens. I feel so blessed to be a part of Renew Christian Academy. Jim Hayson My name is Jim Hayson. I am married with one son who attended Centennial High School here in Franklin and recently graduated from the University of Tennessee. I have lived in Tennessee since 2008. I graduated from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado with a B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering. I have spent the majority of my life in government service, first as a US Marine and later, as a federal law enforcement agent. I first began tutoring the children of co-workers that needed help with various math subjects and found it very enriching and rewarding. It also planted the seed that teaching/tutoring could be a part of my future. After retirement from federal service, I tutored at Centennial High School for a few years in the subjects of Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus followed by teaching Algebra I and Algebra II at Centennial High School. My wife Hilda and I currently run an Airbnb on our property in Thompsons Station which allows us to meet a wonderful variety of interesting people from throughout the United States and the world. I love to travel and experience the flavor of life of other cultures. I enjoy almost any endeavor that involves a ball or a puck and the math nerd within me is attracted to card games of all sorts. I also enjoy the mental escape from reality provided by a good novel and truly admire the art of storytelling. Geoff Smith Geoff grew up in Franklin in a musical family and studied music at Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music in the early 90s. While in college, Geoff began working for Opryland/Gaylord as a theme park performer in their Nashville and San Antonio, Texas parks. Geoff moved to Europe after this and became the founding Entertainment Director for Crazy Pianos in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1997. While living in Europe, Geoff studied songwriting and studio production at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. He also is the co-founder of Rock and Roll Pianos, a live event music company (www.rockandrollpianos.com). Geoff is a session musician and educator in Nashville and was the touring bassist for the Wallflowers in 2018 and 2019. Other artists Geoff has played with include Will Lee, Phil Keaggy, Gabe Dixion, Sugar and the Hi-Lows, and more. He teaches grammar school music at Franklin Classical School and is a Music Mentor at Roots Academy. He is also a partner and the producer of www.ringtonefeeder.com – an innovative ringtone service. Geoff has had TV and commercial placement for his music (heard on the Voice, American Pickers, MTV Awards, and various ads for companies such as Blackberry and GoDaddy.) Geoff has currently produced the Original Cast Recording of the musical KINGDOM COME, by well-known CCM and Soul Musician, and his father, Moose Smith. Dawne Johnson Dawne has homeschooled for 17 years, graduated two children, and has a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old still homeschooling. After earning a degree in International Studies, she worked as a translator and then transitioned into a position as a compliance analyst. After one of her children was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2004, she started training to work with learning strugglers and has completed several nationally recognized programs. Since then, Dawne has been working with students with dyslexia, ADD, executive functioning deficiencies, as well as gifted students. She has taught in homeschool tutorials for over a decade and is currently an academic coach and ACT tutor, working with 6th-12th grade students in public and private schools, as well as the homeschooling community. She also writes and edits curriculum and ACT materials. Dawne lives in Franklin with her family, and, in her free time, she loves to read and explore new places with her children. Starting this fall, she is excited to begin pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Liberty University. Jay Austin Minister, author, speaker, teacher, and family life coach, Jay Austin, has been married to his wife Melissa for more than 26 years and is a father of two boys, Isaiah and Josh. Jay is the Family Discipleship Minister at Harpeth Christian Church. With more than 28 years of teaching and ministry experience, Jay has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Christian Education, an honorary D.D., and is a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPC) and a Certified Youth, Parent, & Family Coach (CYPFC).