MAKE A DIFFERENCE
upper academy – staff
Dr. Amy Wickstrom
Dr. Amy Wickstrom, Director
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.
Ms. Su Shea
Ms. Su Shea, Administrator
History, Discipline and Guidance
Mr. Ross, History, Discipline and Guidance
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.
Dr. Andréa Grandstedt
High School Science
Dr. Andréa Grandstedt, High School Science
Mrs. Leslie Barron
6th – 8th Grade Science
Mrs. Leslie Barron, 6th – 8th Grade Science
Mrs. Jessie Slupik
Mrs. Jessie Slupik, English
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. Carolina Umana
Mrs. Carolina Umana, Spanish
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.
Ms. MaryAnn Spoon
Mrs. MaryAnn Spoon, Math
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.
Mr. Steve Lutton
Mr. Steve Lutton, Security
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.