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Grammar School

Maggie Boyd


Bio coming!

Patricia Espedal

Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Mrs. Espedal is excited to join the CCA staff this year as the Kindergarten aid. This year will be the 6th year she has been part of Charis as a co-teacher to her three girls Jolene, Lucia, and Ira. Her and her husband, Jordan, just celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary this year (August 8th). She has been a wedding and family photographer for the past twelve years. She is also an avid gardener with a 40×40 garden space in a community garden where she grows as many vegetables and flowers as she can fit within the space, her favorites being Carmen peppers and dahlias.

Brenda Boese

1st Grade

Bio coming!

Grace Hobert

1st Grade Teaching Assistant

Bio coming!

Abbey Moore

2nd Grade

Mrs. Moore is thankful to return to 2nd grade this fall. Abbey graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education, and taught in elementary classrooms until God blessed them with 4 babies in 5 years! She has been married for 19 years to her husband, Chris, who is a Lieutenant for the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office. They live in DeForest with their 4 children: Cael, Tessa, Dane, and Livia. The Moores attend Christ Fellowship Church in Sun Prairie, and enjoy leading worship with their church family. Abbey enjoys family time, volunteering, and a strong cup of coffee! The Moores were excited to learn about Charis in its earliest days – its mission as a school matched their goals as a family: to be gospel-driven and committed to quality education. Their family has thoroughly enjoyed having their children learn & grow at CCA.

Jessie Sadler

2nd Grade Teaching Assistant

Mrs. Sadler is grateful for the opportunity to join the CCA staff this year as the 2nd grade aid. This is her 6th year as a co-teacher to her two daughters. She is married to Tim who is Lead Pastor of RChurch in Madison. 

Jessie has previously worked at a preschool in Madison, where she taught 4K for 10 years. 

The Sadler family enjoys playing softball, hiking, music, trying new restaurants, local events, and spending time with friends and family.

Katherine Borkovec

3rd Grade

Katherine Borkovec will be teaching 3rd grade this year. She has taught at Charis in various capacities including 2/3rd Grammar School teacher, Joyful Discovery, P.E. and substituting. Mrs. Borkovec graduated from UW Madison in 2005 with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Unsure of what was next after graduation, she worked in California at an outdoor science school teaching Outdoor Ed. Realizing that teaching was a passion, Katherine then returned to Wisconsin to earn her teaching certification through Concordia University. Mrs. Borkovec is also a mom to three daughters: Mari, Olivia, and Jo Jo and wife to Brian. When she isn’t co-teaching or teaching, she loves to check out children’s books at the library, camping with family and friends, and cooking.

Ksenia Sokor

3rd Grade Teaching Assistant

Mrs. Sokor is excited to begin her first year at Charis as a Teaching Assistant (3rd grade). Her husband, Peter, and three daughters Yeva (7th grade), Maria (6th grade) and Sara (3nd grade) have recently moved to Wisconsin from Ukraine.

She and her daughters were homeschoolers for 4 years and for 1 year they joined New Generation Christian School back in Kyiv. Ksenia had been teaching Ukrainian history with the middle schoolers and technology with the primary school. As a family, they are adjusting to new life and are thankful for being a part of Charis.

Jen Pohl

4th Grade

Mrs. Pohl is thankful to be leading the 4th grade classroom this fall! She lives in a small community north of Madison with her husband, Travis, and their two children: Mac and Maisey. Mrs. Pohl received her undergraduate degree in Archaeology (it hasn’t yet come in super handy!). She began her teaching career as a Teach For America corps member teaching in Charlotte, NC and has been engaged in the field of education for nearly twenty years. She is eager to join the vibrant Charis community and to partner with parents to build each student’s capacity to know God and his supreme creation by exploring, wondering, and pursuing all that is good and true. The Pohl’s are members of Grace Presbyterian Church, and Mrs. Pohl enjoys reading (and collecting!) great and living books, nature jaunting, bird watching, camping and playing any and all games!

Donette Zempel

5th Grade

Mrs. Zempel is excited to return as the 5th grade teacher! She is married to Dan and mom to Elijah and Allison. She earned her degree in secondary speech education and was privileged to homeschool both of her children through 8th grade. She founded and directed a Classical Conversations homeschool community in Lake Mills for 6 years, which is where her passion for classical education was born. She attends First Baptist Church in Watertown where she serves in Sunday school, youth group, and worship team. In her free time, she enjoys drinking tea, savoring dark chocolate, reading, hosting friends and family, and taking part in various seasonal activities that Wisconsin offers.

Alli Zempel

3rd Grade Teaching Assistant

Alli Zempel is a recent graduate from Charis and is excited about the opportunity to work as a teacher’s aide this year. She loves to read, sew, crochet, and cuddle with her cats. 

Logic/Rhetoric School

Aaron Decker

Logic/Rhetoric School Teacher

Mr. Decker will be teaching mathematics, Latin, Leadership, and sundry other courses during the ’23-’24 school year. He holds degrees in Software Engineering and Mathematics from UW-Platteville and worked as a Product Lead at Epic for five years before starting his own software company, Strong Anchor Tech. He serves as a deacon at Red Village Church.

Kara Luckton

Logic/Rhetoric School Teacher

Mrs. Luckton is so excited to begin her first full year of teaching at Charis. Until last spring, she was convinced that neither the B.A. in Literature she earned in 2015 from the University of Nevada, nor her three years of studying Latin in high school, would ever come in handy. She is so grateful to God (and amazed at his providence) that she now gets to teach these subjects, along with other subjects she loves, such as the Old Testament! Mrs. Luckton has served in her local church’s youth group for the past four years and in children’s ministry for about five, and has worked with all ages from 0-18. She even had the pleasure of directing a movie made by her church’s children’s ministry called The Greatest Story Ever Told in 2018, which tells the whole story of the Bible in song. She lives in Madison with her husband Bradley. The two of them enjoy playing board games that have a lot of pieces and take many hours to play, watching goofy cartoons together, and discussing the Bible, history, and Bible-history! Mrs. Luckton loves working at Charis so far, and is thankful for this caring, gospel-centered community.

Kim Nielsen

Logic/Rhetoric Science Teacher

Mrs. Nielsen served as the founding headmaster of Charis Classical Academy and is currently the Curriculum/Teacher Development Coach. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Northern Iowa and her Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies at University of Iowa. She practiced for a number of years before accepting faculty positions at two different PA programs, where she realized her true love of teaching. After being introduced to classical education and the university model, she and her husband helped found Oak Grove Classical Academy in Albuquerque, NM. In 2010, they moved to Madison with their four children to plant The Vine Church. Kim’s passion for education, for seeing the gospel displayed in every aspect of life, and for her own family came together once again in the birth of CCA. She loves spending time with her husband and four kids, investing in their church community, reading, gardening, and re-purposing furniture (nothing better than seeing something old revitalized!).

Chelsea Peck

Logic/Rhetoric Science Teacher

Mrs. Peck is looking forward to her first year teaching science at Charis. She and her husband have lived in Madison for seven years and have three children. The Peck family is part of the Vine Church in Madison. Mrs. Peck received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and mathematics and a master’s degree in mathematics from Iowa State University. Before coming to Charis, she homeschooled her daughter for a few years and taught science at a homeschool co-op.

Valerie Gorski

French, 3rd Grade Teaching Assistant

Valerie Gorski obtained her master’s degree in Psychology from the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France. Valérie strives to enjoy every gift God has poured in her life—fellowship with Jesus Christ, her loving husband Mike, and their two children Noah and Hannah. She enjoys meeting people from all over the world here in Madison, learning to see and appreciate the worth and beauty that can be found in their diverse experiences and cultural backgrounds. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, eating good food, reading depressing French novels, watching detective shows, and talking about the beauty of Jesus with others.

Amanda Hobert

Logic/Rhetoric Language Arts & Leadership

Amanda Hobert will be teaching Grammar and Writing for the logic years and Logic this year. Amanda and her husband, Nate, moved to Madison with the Vine Church and have also planted Redeemer City Church. They have three children: Grace, Sam and Elise. Amanda received her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Northern Iowa. She received her Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. She has also worked with Navigators in college ministry. She has been a co-teacher with her own children through Charis, has taught Joyful Discovery classes, has taught Math and Language Arts for second grade, has taught 3rd grade, has served in administration roles, and now is teaching Grammar and Writing. She enjoys reading, going on walks, and having coffee with friends. She loves being involved with Charis because the school points to the Gospel and partners with parents in providing a classical approach to education.

Brittany Paplow

Logic/Rhetoric Math

This will be Mrs. Paplow’s sixth year with Charis. She received her undergraduate degree in math education at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and taught in the public school system for four years before coming to Charis. When not teaching, Mrs. Paplow is spending time with her family which includes her husband, Casey, and kids Oliver, Miles, and Elsie Jo.

Edward Coplin

Logic/Rhetoric School Teacher

Mr. Coplin was born on a farm in Hicksville, Ohio during the Clinton administration to two very suspicious parents. To their disappointment his promising love of reading at a young age was captured entirely by an addiction to pop fantasy. His life spiraled as he was forced to drop out of homeschool, and his Dad banned him from fiction. Desperate for swords (if not sorcery) Coplin turned to reading history where he discovered a lifelong love. Fueled by his natural aptitude for arguing, Coplin followed this love of history to a bachelors degree in history and political science from Grace College. He then followed a pretty girl to a life as a middle school history teacher. He teaches the Greek classics in Humanities I (that his parents wished he had learned as a child) as well as middle school PE and 6th grade history and literature. He attends Gateway Community Church in Middleton with the aforementioned pretty girl, Mrs. Mary Coplin.

Marion Lin

Rhetoric School Teacher

Mrs. Lin is excited to join Charis as a Humanities instructor. She taught widely across the Humanities in her 9 years with Trinity Schools in the Twin Cities and Northern Virginia, assuming leadership roles and advising on curricular development. She and her husband, along with their two young sons, moved to Madison in 2022. The family splits time between St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Madison and St. Cyril & Methodius Church in Milwaukee. In her free time, Marion enjoys running, cooking, reading, theology, art, music, and the Chicago food scene. She has her BA from Hillsdale College and her MA from the University of Chicago.

Bio Coming!

Michael Leeson

Senior Class Mentor

Mr. Leeson studied Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. Over the past twenty years, he has taught and worked in 18 nations. He serves as an elder at Damascus Road Church, and loves building up the body of Christ and teaching young people to follow the ways of Jesus. He is married to Emelina and has five children. Mr. Leeson and his family enjoy exploring the wilderness and are always scouting their next adventure.

Fridays and Fine Arts

Angela Johnson

Art Director

Mrs. Johnson is the art director and grammar teacher at CCA. She has her interior design degree from Seminole State College in Florida. In 2013, she and her husband, Casey, moved from Central Florida to Madison to church plant. They have four children: Westyn, Emmet, Clara, and Hazel. They enjoy hiking and exploring new areas and state parks, crafting, and antiquing. She always has a project of some sort going on. It could be anything from a simple sketch to painting, redesigning a room or refinishing furniture.

Hope Reed


Bio Coming!

Laura Berner

3rd Grade Fridays, Logic Theater

Laura Berner is excited to return to the CCA staff this year as a Friday course teacher. She will be teaching 3rd grade in the mornings and then head over to the other campus for Literature/Drama and Theater. New for her this year will be stepping in as Director for the Logic play. This is her eighth year as a co-teacher at Charis and all four of her children are Charis students, ranging in grade levels from ninth on down to second. She has lived in and around Dane County her whole life and currently resides in McFarland. She and her husband, Scot, celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary this past June. Laura stays busy teaching, being a soccer mom, and fellowshipping with friends and family. She loves a good audiobook and chocolate – even better if they go together!

Haley Martinson

Physical Education

Mrs. Martinson has been teaching physical education full time in public school since 2012. She decided to take her passion to Charis and make the change to spend more time at home with her two kids, Benny (almost 5) and Eli (almost 1). She has a wonderful husband who also is a PE teacher and the Martinson family loves playing outside together all year-round.

She absolutely loves what she does and finds great joy in working along side students and families to find activities that spark joy. Her professional goal is to create confident and capable movers. She hopes to help each of her students develop a love for living an active lifestyle.