King’s Academy Director, Dr. Amy Wickstrom, attends VLN with her husband and six children. Prior to homeschooling her kids, Amy earned a PhD in Marital and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University and a Master’s in Marital and Family Therapy from Bethel Seminary in San Diego. She worked in private practice for over a decade doing child and family therapy, specializing in play therapy with children ages two to ten. She taught at local colleges and universities, and her research is published in clinical journals. Amy also served as the Social Welfare Director at Children of the Nations, where she developed mental health programs and policies for orphaned and at-risk children in Africa and the Caribbean.
Su, a longtime member of VLN, joined King’s Academy with 10 years of homeschooling experience. The first seven years her family belonged to Saddleback Christian Academy, a 250-student homeschool community where she served as the Student Activities Coordinator, editor of the school newsletter, Assistant Administrator, and Administrator. The remaining three years, Su’s family was a member of Cornerstone Community School, a hybrid homeschool that provided three-day-a-week classes and where she served as a parent volunteer. Su was the primary educator for her son. Her prior career encompassed the fields of administration and marketing with The Marriott Corporation and The Disney Store. Post-homeschooling, Su served as the Client Services Manager for the family business, GOLD KEY Wealth Management, LLC. Su has seen the lasting benefits of homeschooling and is honored to serve the families of King’s Academy on their homeschooling journey.
Mr. Ron Ross has spent over twenty years challenging students to grow in their faith, achieve scholastic excellence, and develop practical leadership skills. His education experience includes teaching history and Bible to junior high and high school students, developing curriculum, coaching basketball, and school administration. He also organized and implemented a weekly homeschool co-op at his church when homeschooling his own children during their high school years. Mr. Ross’s previous school administration roles have included Principal of Faith Christian School (Roseto, PA), Assistant to the Principal and Academic Dean at Grace Baptist Academy (Kankakee, IL), and Vice Principal of Vineyard Christian School (Costa Mesa, CA). He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology from North American Baptist College, a Master’s of Divinity with an emphasis in Church History from Denver Seminary, and a Master’s of Education with an emphasis in Christian School Programs from Regent University. He has an All-Levels Administrator’s Credential and an All-Levels Bible Credential from ACSI. Ron and his wife live in Huntington Beach with their son and daughter.
Andréa received a B.S. in Biology from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. The subject of her thesis explored the transport of herpesviruses in the nervous system, and her experimental results were published in peer-reviewed journals. She is excited to join the community at King’s Academy, developing curriculum and teaching science for the new high school program. In her spare time, she works out at a CrossFit gym, listens to audiobooks, and plays the flute with the worship team at her church. She and her husband homeschool their five children, and they enjoy many outdoor activities together, from family bike rides to camping and hiking.
Leslie Barron completed her Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from California State University, Fullerton, with a concentration in Marine Biology. As a marine science instructor at Waterfront Education, she developed, taught, and evaluated science lessons and experiments for Pre-K through junior high school. Leslie’s experience also includes aiding in the husbandry of piranhas, as well as undergraduate research at Cal State Fullerton, where she examined the Pacific sand crab. Additionally, she worked at Prehistoric Pets as an animal handler, where she was responsible for reptile and arachnid husbandry. Leslie also served as a Veterinary Assistant and has volunteered for five years at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center to care for rescued pinnipeds. Leslie’s work in a secular environment prevented her from weaving the Christian faith into scientific coursework; therefore, she is excited to join King’s Academy and teach students about the living world as designed by God. She is passionate about making science fun and engaging for students of all ages, especially those who aren’t naturally drawn toward the subject!
Mrs. Slupik’s love for Christ and teaching has inspired her to teach English, art and literature classes at several Christian homeschooling programs in Southern California. Mrs. Slupik loves to see well-educated students live Christ-centered lives filled with purpose and meaning. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in the Fine Arts from California State University and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy of Religion from Talbot Theological Seminary. Hailing from Bakersfield, Mrs. Slupik moved to Orange County when she married her husband, Scott, who comes from a strong homeschooling family. Born and raised in a faithful Christian family, Mrs. Slupik has taught Bible study and Women’s Bible Study at several colleges, churches and Christian organizations in the Bakersfield and Orange County areas. Mrs. Slupik has been deeply involved in the homeschooling programs where she has taught, developing homeschooling curricula in English, art and literature, and organizing a variety of activities designed to enhance student and parent experience, including artistic, theatrical and musical productions. Her favorite hobbies include swing dancing and singing in a women’s a capella quintet. Mrs. Slupik always works to identify the particular needs of students in each classroom and tailors the coursework to meet those needs. Her favorite literary figures include Shakespeare, Jane Austen, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. A great proponent of learning Shakespeare through performing his plays, Mrs. Slupik recently produced and directed Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for high school performance.
Mrs. Umana has been teaching for nearly 20 years in South Orange County, CA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in History from University of Southern California. Several years ago, she started a Christian-based homeschool hybrid program with her family that served children from preschool through 5th grade for nearly a decade. She has taught every subject at every grade level. She also homeschooled her eldest daughter, who graduated from Northwestern University after having received a full academic scholarship. She was raised in a bilingual home and has been fluent in Spanish all her life. Ms. Umana and her her husband live in Rancho Santa Margarita, and they have four children. Her youngest attends King’s Academy. She is passionate about the homeschool community and has seen the benefits firsthand in her own children.
Mrs. Spoon comes to King’s Academy with over 15 years of experience in education. She holds a BS in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Mathematics from Grand Canyon University. She has a passion for Christian education and for teaching mathematics. Her daughters attended The Vine Preparatory Academy, a hybrid homeschool, where she taught math, IEW, and grammar. She then went on to teach high school mathematics at Saddleback Valley Christian Schools for 6 years. SVCS was then purchased by Fairmont Schools, and Mrs. Spoon continued teaching math for Fairmont at the middle school and high school levels. While teaching at Fairmont, she strongly missed the ability to integrate Jesus into her lessons and is happy to step back into a homeschool and faith-based setting. She also has 17 years of experience in math tutoring. She attends Calvary Chapel Foothill Ranch where she volunteers for the AV team. When not teaching, Mrs. Spoon loves to spend time hiking, gardening, and traveling to Texas to visit her 2 grandchildren.
Steve Lutton was a Marine before joining the Houston Fire Department in Texas, where he was an EMT, Engineer, Acting Captain, and Firefighter for almost 15 years. He then became a Children’s Pastor at En Agape Christian Fellowship in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, and he also did missionary work in Mexico with Iglesia Casa Del Rey. Steve became a Security Supervisor for Forged Metals, Inc, and he currently provides security for Dana Point Harbor. He and his wife attend the Vineyard Church in Laguna Niguel.
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Substitute Teacher & Playground Support
Mrs. Nasser, Substitute Teacher & Playground Support
Mrs. Nasser combines cross-cultural perspectives, a love for teaching, and whole-hearted devotion to Jesus Christ. She recently returned from the mission field in Romania, where she developed preschool and elementary programs for a Christian non-profit organization called The Mission, Inc. She also served the poorest Roma (gypsy) communities and provided relief to children who were victims of human trafficking. Prior to this, she worked in Mexico and taught all grade levels at a school dedicated to teaching missionary children. She also served as an English and Spanish translator, and she lived as a permanent “live-in” staff member at an orphanage where she coordinated activities for over 100 children. Additionally, she worked as an individual support aide at Casa Hogar “Horizonte” in Ensenada, where she developed curriculum and appropriate learning activities for special needs children. Prior to her international work, she taught preschool in Rancho Santa Margarita for 3 years.