We love our instructors! Whether you are looking to foster a love of music, art, science or literature in your student you will find amazing partners in our instructors. We match our courses and our instructors carefully to provide both an academically rigorous but also fun and hands-on environment. Below you will find some information about our great teachers!

Amanda Stegner

Amanda has a BA in Education from Smith College. She taught elementary school for five years before beginning work at a public library. She loves the challenge of finding someone a book they will love. When she isn't working or volunteering, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Berry Shakarian

Strawberrious "Mrs. Berry"  Shakarian is a homeschool mom of three children and has enjoyed teaching her own children and others for over 10 years.  She is a natural born communicator who loves meeting new people and learning languages.  Her experience with American Sign Language began at 11 years old, when she found a sign language book for kids and began learning and using the signs with her friends.  ASL would later come in handy when raising her children.  Strawberrious found that teaching them to use basic baby-friendly signs before they could speak cut down on tantrums and helped them express their needs.

Brett Massey

Brett has been teaching with Harbor since 2019. With a background in teaching cosplay, animation, juggling, and technology, Brett brings a wealth of diverse skills to the classroom. He incorporates interactive and engaging activities, ensuring that every student is fully immersed in the learning experience. Outside the classroom, Brett is a talented performer who delights audiences with his captivating performances at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Whether juggling with flair or showcasing his cosplays, he never fails to entertain and inspire those around him.  With his dynamic approach to education and his ability to seamlessly blend technology with the arts, Brett is shaping the minds of tomorrow’s innovators and creators. 

Catherine Young

Catherine is a certified elementary teacher with a proven track record of commended performance teaching grades K-12.  She loves children and has a passion for educating and an unwavering commitment to motivating students toward success.  Catherine has a particular passion for the arts and has been teaching art in some form or another since 1989.  Catherine's Ceramics classes are in high demand and they end up wait-listed every semester.

Christie Swift

Christie has been with Harbor since 2022. Her teaching experience goes beyond that as well. She has an Elementary Education degree from Michigan State University and she educated her  five children at home over a 25 year time period. Now that her children have grown and moved on (her last son graduated in 2022), she has enjoyed teaching your children at Harbor. She hopes to continue their educational development alongside your efforts to the best of her ability.

Crystal Barnes

Kyo Sa Nim Crystal Barnes is a certified instructor and a 3rd degree black belt in the art of Tang Soo Do. She has been instructing for many years at her own karate school location that she runs along with her husband and two daughters. They too, are 3rd degree black belts. Boosting peoples’ confidence, while teaching them how to defend themselves through the art of Tang Soo Do is a passion of hers. As a parent of former Harbor students, she is excited to be able to give back as a new Harbor Instructor!

Holly Moody

Holly Moody is  a mom of three children.  She used to be a first-grade teacher until she had kids and started on her  homeschool journey for the past eight years.  Now she enjoys teaching children at Harbor along with homeschooling her own children.  She looks forward to getting to know all her students and families.

Jim Ockers

Jim has BS and MS degrees in Engineering. He has worked as an Engineer for 29 years. In his spare time he is a Maker who loves to tinker with projects. Along with 3D printing he has tried woodworking, blacksmithing, and raising quail. He is a bicycle repair enthusiast who loves going on long rides. He and his wife have 3 children that have been homeschooled and Harbor students.

Joseph Deller

Joe received his BMA in Violin Performance from Hope College in 2003. He currently works as a freelance musician in the Detroit Metro area and has performed with many regional orchestras. (Dearborn, Detroit Opera, Oakland, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Flint, Adrian, Kalamazoo, International Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic) He serves as Conductor for the Dearborn Youth Symphony and teaches violin, viola, and piano privately at his home in Dearborn.

Kim Smith

Kim has been a Registered Nurse for 29 years and recently furthered her education with a BS from Eastern, graduating summa cum laude. She is the Children’s Ministries Director at her church, where she teaches character development to kids on a weekly basis. She has experience with writing an original children’s musical, performed by an entire cast of kids. She herself is a musician and has over 20+ years of experience playing a variety of instruments. For the past 18 years, Kim has taught music and conducted a local Homeschool Children’s Recorder Band. Kim has a love for homeschooling families and has homeschooled both her daughters from preschool through high school before they went on to very successful college careers.

Kelly Petrie

Kelly received her BFA at Wayne State.  Her experience as an actor, singer, and teacher has brought her to such cities as Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Volterra, Italy and Frankfurt, Germany. In LA, she became a long-standing company member at the Knightsbridge Theatre, where Kelly directed and appeared in many productions. Her film career includes an award for best actress in the film Click Three Times from the New York Independent Film Festival. As an educator, Kelly has taught Shakespeare, Commedia dell’Arte, Improvisation, Dance, Musical Theatre, Creative Writing, and Film Production classes in over 50 schools and home-school groups in Los Angeles.

Lindsay Steves

Lindsay is a home educating mom to three girls and teaches a variety of very popular classes at Harbor.  She has been teaching at home for five years and within the Downriver community for three.  She is a fan of Classical Education and also the Charlotte Mason “gentle art of learning” philosophy of education.  She enjoyed her time at university taking classes in education and the visual arts. In her spare time she is usually seen reading or working in her nature journal.

Matt Cripps

Matt is the chess teacher at Harbor School. Matt developed his joy for chess while competing with his dad during his teenage years. He was born and raised in Southwest Detroit. He is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees since his early age. Matt has been married to Danielle since 1998 and have six amazing daughters.  Matt serves as the lead Pastor of Metro Life Church and Executive Director of Good News Gang in Detroit.  Matt enjoys his time interacting with the students at Harbor School.

Nicole Montgomery

Our Science-loving Lab instructor, Nicole, received her BS in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from the University of Michigan. She also earned a Master of Science in Medical Physics from Wayne State University.  Nicole has been homeschooling her own children for several years and enjoys sharing her favorite subjects with her kids:  Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology!

Sarah Andrews

Sarah Andrews was formerly a nurse and comes to Harbor with 14 years of homeschool experience, as well as 8 years of co-op leadership and teaching. She enjoys finding ways to bring science and other topics into hands on learning. She has a special interest for out of the box or struggling students.

Sophia Pompino

Sophia has received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Kendall College of Art and Design and continues to work in her field as a freelance illustrator as well as an art educator. She has been teaching for roughly 8 years and loves taking a one-on-one approach with her students to help students find their individual strengths and style. Sophia believes that art is an important outlet for creativity and that anyone with a willingness to learn can create art-no experience necessary!

Sylvia Casterton

Our piano instructor, Sylvia Casterton, holds her BA in Music Education.  She has taught in multiple settings including public schools, private schools and through private lessons.  She has performed in The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Michigan, Seaway Chorale, and many church choirs.  Besides piano and voice, she also teaches and plays the violin.  Students of all ages can learn with Ms. Casterton!

Valerie Hudec

Valerie has been working with children for over 20 years, as a teacher, class aid and nanny. She recieved a bachelor's degree in elementary education from EMU in 2008, and began homeschooling in 2016. Valerie joined the Harbor family in 2018; first as a class aid, and then, as an instructor. She has truly enjoyed her experience here at Harbor, and looks forward to enjoying more adventures here in the years to come!

We are always looking for qualified instructors to add to our team.  Click the button below to apply to our team!