Grammar Teacher Bios
Carol Muzzy, Dean of Grammar & LOGIC
Mrs. Muzzy attributes her curiosity and love of history to her father, Thomas M. Burton. Growing up, she cannot remember a time when he was not taking a history course. Throughout the years of homeschooling her six children, and now some of her twelve grandchildren, history and historical fiction were always the core of her curriculum. When the opportunity came to teach Grammar level History and Literature, it was a natural fit for her. She taught from 2009 to 2017. She began serving as Dean in the summer of 2017. Carol married Ken in 1973. They are members of Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton.
Kathryn Beifuss, Art
Mrs. Beifuss has been teaching Visual Arts at Greenhouse since January 2003. She studied Illustration and Fiber Arts at NIU, and has been involved in the homeschooling community for more than 25 years - teaching not only her own four children (now all adults), but also privately, and for other homeschool support groups. Recently, she returned to school to study computer-based graphic design. Married to her husband, Jim, for more than 30 years, She attends St. Mark Church in Wheaton. The recent birth of her first grandchild, Frankie, has spurred a frenzy of activity, expanding her fiber arts abilities and efforts. Her other great love is learning enough about soil microbiology and native plants to create a healthy ecosystem in her own backyard.
Wesley Brown, Performing arts
Joining Greenhouse in 2016, Mr. Brown has taught more than 40 classes and directed eight shows with Spotlight Youth Theater. He started singing at an early age, and has participated in more than 30 theatrical productions, both musical theater and opera, at the professional and semi-professional level. He has a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, with a concentration in Voice, from Wheaton College. He is a member of Church of the Resurrection, where he is involved both as a youth leader and in the church choir. Mr. Brown was himself home-schooled.
Mary Cipriano, Science
Mrs. Cipriano became associated with Greenhouse in 2005, when her youngest son attended core classes. It was while homeschooling her four sons that she developed a love for all things “science” and began teaching in various co-op settings. For over ten years, God has blessed her with the opportunity to inspire children to love science - here at Greenhouse. She has a background in physical therapy with a degree from SIU. She and her husband Gary attend Wheaton Bible Church.
Lynne Cowell, History & Literature
Mrs. Cowell began teaching at the Grammar-level in the fall of 2017. A Taylor University grad, Mrs. Cowell taught at Timothy Christian for three years before beginning her 20-year adventure of homeschooling her four children. During that time, she spent twelve years in parenting ministry. Currently, she loves teaching in the Children's Ministry of her church, Redeemer Community, Oswego. The other joys of her life are Face-timing her two grandchildren, supporting her adult children, enjoying nature, and hosting tea parties and themed parties.
Clarinda James, History & Literature
Mrs. James has taught at the Grammar level since 2009 and Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) classes since 2016. She received a B.A. in Elementary Education from Wheaton College and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from NLU. For 10 years she taught in the Wheaton school district. In 2005, Jeff and Clarinda’s two eldest children began learning at The Greenhouse; all five children have attended over the years. When she is not bringing history to life through dress-up, food, experiences, and stories, or teaching writing, Clarinda continues teaching three of her children at home, and enjoys gardening and cooking. The James family worships at New Covenant Church in Naperville.
David LaPlaca, Art
As an art director in publishing, Mr. LaPlaca designed and illustrated a wide variety of books. A father of four homeschooled children, David serves on the worship team of Immanuel Presbyterian Church and enjoys creating sacred art for the church year. He holds degrees in art and music, and discovers joy in making and restoring harps, preparing beautiful edible creations, and constructing the occasional castle or puppet theater. Mr. LaPlaca has taught at Greenhouse since 2011.
Jennifer Spacek, Performing Arts
In obedience to God’s call, Mrs. Spacek, together with her husband, Tom, conceived, gestated and birthed the vision Greenhouse, particularly influencing its ethos and emphasis on character development. With a B.S. in Biblical Studies/Christian Education from Emmaus Bible College, she has taught Performing Arts at Greenhouse since its inception, collaboratively developing curricula and working in children’s ministry, and the Greenhouse Performing Arts Program over the past 20 years. Her passion is creating and cultivating a safe climate for growth in her students hearts, souls and minds through the gift of performance.
Jennifer Wheatley, Performing Arts
Mrs. Wheatley has been teaching at the Grammar and Logic levels at Greenhouse since 2006. She knew at an early age that her life work would be devoted to children. Jennifer graduated from Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, with additional K-8 certifications in Music and the Social Sciences. She is also a Ministry Associate for Music at College Church, where she has been shaping and directing their 200-voice children’s choirs for more than 25 years. In their spare time, she and her husband, Greg, love to travel to North Carolina to spoil their four grandchildren.