Bridges’ Instructors

Mary Ellen Abood

Mary Ellen Abood attended Kent State University as an Exercise Science major. She has worked for the Portage County Department of Children’s Services as well as several physician practices, including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Vascular Surgery. She was also the office manager for several outpatient physician practices for Robinson Health Affiliates. Mary Ellen has also served as a board member for a local chapter of the American Heritage Girls in a variety of roles including service project coordinator, treasurer, and fundraising chairperson. She has been a volunteer coach in her community for girls fastpitch softball for the past 8 years. Mary Ellen lives with her husband Dan and their four daughters in Suffield Township. She has homeschooled their four daughters for 14 years. She has previously taught Junior High science and High school health at Bridges. She looks forward to teaching at Bridges again this year. 


Mrs. Abood will be teaching Health.



Ami Adams

Ami Adams received a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis on Language Arts and Social Studies from Malone University and her Master of Arts in Education from Muskingum University. She is dual-licensed in Middle Childhood Education (4-9) and as an Intervention Specialist (K-12). She completed additional coursework to graduate with her Reading Endorsement certification and has earned HQT (Highly Qualified Teacher) status in the fields of math and science. Since her graduation from Malone, she has worked as a community educator for the Domestic Violence Project, a volunteer coordinator for Community Hospice, and as a teacher for the Stark County Educational Service Center and Plain Local Schools. Ami has lived most of her life in the Canton area where she currently resides with her husband, Jared. She finds joy and beauty in reading with a cat on her lap, spending time with friends, teaching kids, listening to music, and watching films.


Mrs. Adams will be teaching Introduction to Writing.



Emily Berg

Emily Berg received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Adolescent/Young Adult Language Arts Education from the University of Akron. She embodied the entirety of the English department at Heritage Christian School in Canton for two years – teaching Bible, Speech, 9th grade Language Arts, World Literature, American Literature, and British Literature – before becoming a full-time mom. She is currently a wedding planner and coordinator, and this is her second year teaching at Bridges. She loves to teach whenever she has the chance – including in various church capacities and while her kids are trying to have fun, much to their chagrin. She believes that no matter what you most love to learn about, you can’t do so without language; words (and putting them together effectively into sentences!) are power! Emily loves the Harlem Renaissance, semi-colons, gardening, tea, traveling, and meeting new people. She lives with her husband Andrew, a pastor, and her two ornery, opinionated children in North Canton.


Mrs. Berg will be teaching Language Arts and 9th & 10th Grade Literature.



Amy Borland

Amy Borland received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.  Her roots are from Carrollton, Ohio, but she has lived in both Wisconsin and Indiana where she taught in a public-school classroom.  For the previous thirteen years, Amy lived in Arkansas, beginning to homeschool when her firstborn daughter began kindergarten.  She has continued to homeschool for the last fourteen years, adding another daughter and three sons into the mix.  Her oldest is now completing a very successful freshman year at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas.  During her time in Arkansas, Amy was very active in her homeschool community and co-op.  She has recently had the opportunity to return to live in the great state of Ohio, near her family.  Amy teaches ESL and tutors online part time. She enjoys hiking, running, spending time in nature, and laughing with her kids.      


Mrs. Borland will be teaching Physical Science.



Ashley Cole

Ashley received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Spanish Education from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. Mrs. Cole taught for five years at Chapel Hill Christian School before deciding to stay home with her kids. During this time at home, she has maintained her Ohio teaching license. Ashley and her husband have two boys whom she has homeschooled for the past seven years. As a family, they enjoy spending time reading, traveling, camping, soccer, and exploring new places. Mrs. Cole has traveled to many different countries all over the world and even studied abroad in Costa Rica. She loves making learning fun, experiencing different cultures, and teaching many different subjects. It is a joy for her to see and learn how God’s hand has been evident throughout the history of the world. 


Mrs. Cole will be teaching 5-7th Grade World History.



Brittany Dowler 

Brittany Dowler received a B.A. in English from Kent State and her M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition with a concentration in Literature from the University of Akron, with hopes to go on teaching college writing and literature. God had other plans for her and she began working at a law firm right after graduation. She worked as a paralegal for years until starting her own business five years ago writing and editing written content for other small businesses. Brittany has homeschooled her two kids since the beginning and wouldn’t have it any other way! She absolutely loves teaching and inspiring others! In her free time, you can find Brittany curled up with a good book and a hot cup of coffee, tending to her garden, working on handmade crafts, or going for a run around her neighborhood! Brittany loves all things related to health + fitness! Her family enjoys walking and biking the towpath near their home, being in nature, playing games, boating, reading good books, and working on puzzles.


Mrs. Dowler will be teaching College Prep Writing.



Erica Fill 

Erica Fill received a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Bowling Green State University for grades K-12. Mrs. Fill taught art for three years at Waterloo Local Schools before her girls were born. She enjoys learning about health and fitness and is constantly looking for ways to improve the health of her family. She is currently teaching flag classes through Simply Praise, a dance company she started with a friend. She and her husband, Dan, have two daughters – Jocelyn graduated in 2021 and Mischa will graduate in 2023!  She enjoys being outside, spending time with her cat, Linnycat, and doing crafty things like card making. This is her eighth year being a part of the Bridges Co-op. She looks forward to getting her students to move!


Mrs. Fill will be teaching Physical Education.



Nathan Jarosz

Nathan grew up as a Christian homeschooler from Kindergarten through high school. He has earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in General Management from Thomas Edison State University and his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Malone University. Nathan is an Eagle Scout, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), and an international leadership trainer. Nathan runs a nonprofit called LITE: Leadership Influencing Teen Empowerment that provides leadership development training and emotional intelligence training in-class to students. Nathan has served over 3,000 students in Summit and Portage Counties in the last 4 years with his programs. Nathan has trained leadership skills across the country and in China to both youth and adults for about 14 years. Communication and Public speaking skills are a major part of leadership. He looks forward to working with Bridges and the students each year.


Mr. Jarosz will be teaching Speech.



Michelle Kennerk

Michelle Kennerk received a BFA in Art History and Studio Art from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. She moved to Chicago to pursue a career in textile design. After ten years in Chicago, she and her husband moved to Northeastern PA for three years of study at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. Since coming to Canton, she has been involved with Connect and Bridges Co-ops, and has loved every minute of working with her students. Her favorite motto is “Draw what you see, not what you know.”


Mrs. Kennerk will be teaching Elementary Art.



Kim Krajci

Kim Krajci has lived long enough to know that she will never, ever use the quadratic formula, nor will the “tone” of a piece of literature ever impact her life, but she is convinced that public speaking is the one thing she learned in high school that she uses daily.  A graduate of Malone University with a BA in Communications, Kim coached and judged high school speech and debate for 10 years, coaching one student to the NSDA National Speech and Debate Tournament (2013), and two to the OSDA Ohio State Tournaments (2011, 2012, 2013).  As a 17-year veteran homeschooler, she has taught speech in homeschool co-ops in years past, and is currently in a speech club herself – Toastmasters International.  She has achieved the level of Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest award given by this international organization which promotes public speaking and leadership skills.   If you communicate, you are perceived as a leader.  If you want to be a leader, you must be able to communicate – Kim Krajci


Mrs. Krajci will be teaching Debate.



Catherine Marx

Catherine Marx received a Bachelor of Arts in Finance with an emphasis in Accounting from Malone University.  She was employed by ComDoc, Inc. and Diebold, Inc. as a purchasing agent before leaving to stay home full-time with her children.  After two years of being home, her husband thought it would be fun to start his own business.  Mrs. Marx kept the books, ran payroll, invoiced customers, and handled taxes for that business and to this day she does similar bookkeeping work for another small business. She and her husband, Derek, have four amazing children and they have been homeschooling for 10 years.  This is her fourth year as part of the Bridges co-op and her third year teaching.  She looks forward to teaching her students financial responsibility as good stewards of all that God has given.   


Mrs. Marx will be teaching Financial Literacy.



Julie Moledor

As a former missionary kid, Julie Moledor lived in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, Africa until the age of 20; thoroughly enjoying any adventures the continent had to offer such as scuba diving, hiking, safaris, camp-outs on the beach, outdoor markets, and most importantly the opportunity to serve others. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Malone University. She has worked in a variety of hospital settings, including medical surgical, admissions, and the emergency department but is currently a stay-at-home mom. Julie and her husband Joel have four boys and have been homeschooling for ten years.  She enjoys exploring the outdoors with her boys, and nurturing their love for science and the Creator of the world around us.  She loves tea, all things health and fitness, and experiencing other cultures. This will be her sixth year teaching at Bridges and fourth year as a Bridges administrator.


Mrs. Moledor will be teaching Biology and Elementary Science and is the Bridges’ Executive Director and Communications Administrator.



Caleb Norrick

Caleb Norrick received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Sport Management from Malone University as well as a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. Caleb spent five years as the Assistant Athletic Director for Operations at Malone where he oversaw all 18 varsity sports, including their home games, travel, equipment, and budgets. Caleb currently works at Faith Bible Church where he oversees the student ministries and helps with missions and operations. He is well-traveled and enjoys visiting new places, reading a good book, and trying his best to play along with Jeopardy! He has a passionate interest in history and government and enjoys a good discussion about them. His favorite books are historical biographies and memoirs, especially those on post-World War II American leaders. Caleb and his wife Lexy live in Plain Township and enjoy traveling and hosting friends and family. 


Mr. Norrick will be teaching American History.


Janice Pahl

Janice Pahl graduated from Saint Anselm College with a B.A. in Natural Sciences.  While working as a medical researcher at Dartmouth College, she completed additional college courses in biology. Some of her research on peripheral nerve injury has been published in scientific journals, including Molecular Brain Research.  Throughout her thirteen years of homeschooling, she has regularly taught a variety of group science classes and nature studies.  Some of her fond memories include exploring vernal pools and blowing up water bottles with dry ice.  More recently, she has been teaching or tutoring high-school-level science courses in Physics, Chemistry, General Biology, and Marine Science.  In addition, she works at an afterschool program as the math intervention lead.  She believes games are an effective way to learn, so she tries to incorporate them whenever possible!  


Mrs. Pahl will be teaching Chemistry.



Darby Smith

Darby Smith received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Malone University for grades 1-8 and Special Education K-12 and finished her Master in teaching in June of ‘06.  Mrs. Smith taught in a Resource Room for grades 5 and 6 in Northwest Local Schools for 7 years, focusing on Language Arts and Math.  She and her husband Bruce have four children and have been homeschooling for twelve years.  During her time staying at home, she completed her Masters Degree in teaching and kept up her teaching license in the state of Ohio.  She has been involved in other homeschool groups and has taught a variety of classes.  She also meets with many families to perform their homeschool portfolio assessments each year.  This will be her fifth year teaching in Bridges.  Mrs. Smith loves to read and wants to share that love with her students.


Mrs. Smith will be teaching Elementary Literature and Jr. High Literature and is the Bridges’ Executive Director and Registrar.



Holly Swegheimer

Holly Swegheimer and her husband have homeschooled their four children for 25 years.    She has been actively involved in the homeschool community and co-ops during that time. Holly has been with Bridges since its beginning and loves supporting others in their homeschool journey. She enjoys working with the Bridges students each week. She loves to camp, garden, and be with family. 


Mrs. Swegheimer serves on the Bridges Board of Directors and is the Bridges’ Administrative Assistant.



Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas received her Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene from Stark State College. She is currently employed part time in a dental office in Akron. Valerie and her husband, Jeff, have four children and have been homeschooling them for the past 12 years. In her free time, she enjoys golfing, camping with her family, and anything outdoors. This will be her second year teaching at Bridges. Valerie has previously been involved with other homeschooling co-ops and tutoring. Science is a subject she is passionate about, and she looks forward to sharing that joy with her students each year while instilling a love for learning!


Mrs. Thomas will be teaching Jr. High Life Science.



Angie Waters

Angie Waters was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She graduated college with a BA in Interior Design. Later, she taught kindergarten in a Christian school for two years, and art and fifth grade for a year. She returned to college during that time and studied two years of Early Education until she relocated to the United States. Upon her arrival in the US, she attended college and received an associate’s degree in Art and Early Education. Upon graduating, she got married and raised her family of five children. She has homeschooled her children for 16 years. She has taught Spanish and art for ten years, seven of those years with Bridges.


Mrs. Waters will be teaching Jr. High/Sr. High Art and Spanish 1A and Spanish 1B.



Melissa Weimer

Melissa Weimer received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and an English minor from Malone University.  She has worked for The Press-News and The Repository and has held multiple corporate positions writing press releases, speeches, articles, and advertising for both radio and print.  She and her husband Jared have four children and they have been homeschooling for 17 years.  Melissa has taught a variety of classes in homeschool groups over the past 13 years, but writing has always been her passion. She believes that writing is fundamental for success in just about every subject, and thoroughly enjoys instilling confidence and developing skills in Bridges’ students.


Mrs. Weimer will be teaching two Essentials for Writing classes and is the Bridges’ Executive Director and Teacher Liaison.



Kaylene Williams

Kaylene Williams graduated from Malone University with a Bachelor of Arts in education and is licensed to teach grades 7-12 Language Arts, Speech and Drama as well as a licensed K-12 Intervention Specialist.  Kaylene has worked for Plain Local Schools, Canton Montessori, and is currently a teaching artist for Arts In Stark.  After performing with an improv company professionally in Cleveland for two years, Kaylene co-founded, directed, and performed with Canton’s professional improvisational comedy troupe, “Scared Scriptless,” for over a decade.  Kaylene is also a writer, director and enjoys creating original dramatic and comedic works for Canton First Friends Church.


Mrs. Williams will be teaching Drama.