Rhetoric Teacher Bios

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Debbie Gottlieb, Dean of Rhetoric, Literature Teacher

Mrs. Gottlieb has been with the Greenhouse since 2006, and with the Rhetoric program since its inception. She began serving as Dean of Rhetoric in 2017. She has a B.S.Ed. (K-12/Special Education), as well as graduate work in Curriculum and Supervision, and has taught in a wide variety of public, private, and collegiate venues. She and her husband, Steve, have five adult children, all homeschooled grades K-12. Mrs. Gottlieb loves teaching students to read, discuss, and write about literature and life from a Christian perspective.  When she is not at the Greenhouse, you are likely to find her reading, gardening, or playing with her seven grandchildren.  She is a member of Wheaton Bible Church, serving with children and the deaf.


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Dr. Lainna Callentine, Biology & Advanced Biology

An author, national speaker, pediatrician, homeschool mother, and missionary doctor, Dr. Callentine has more than 23 years of teaching experience at all levels of science from elementary to postgraduate. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University in Human Development and Social Policy, while on a full basketball scholarship. She completed her M.D. and residency training in pediatrics. Dr. Callentine left formal medicine to homeschool her children. She is the author of a new book series and hands-on curriculum for children showcasing the human body called “God’s Wondrous Machine”. She attends Gospel Fellowship Church. She started teaching at Greenhouse in 2016.


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Len Chandler, Physics

Mr. Chandler is a homeschooling father with one son currently enrolled at Greenhouse. He has previously taught math, science, and history in various home-school groups. His passion is in teaching math and physics at the high school level. His greater passion is in equipping young Christians to face and affect the world around them. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian with a minor in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


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Trish Megchelsen, Chemistry

Mrs. Megchelsen taught Chemistry for several years at the Greenhouse before going on hiatus to assist her pastor husband in moving their church to a new building as well as moving their home to be nearby the new church. With degrees in both Biology and Physical Therapy, Mrs. Megchelsen works part time as a therapist at Ivy Therapy in Sugar Grove.  She has taught high school sciences to home school students since 2008. Mrs. Megchelsen and her husband, Jim, have four children whom they have home schooled. Their family ministers at the Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Elburn.  Mrs. Megchelsen inaugurated our Advanced Biology program in 2012 and also taught Chemistry from 2014-16.


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Joy O'Reagan, Literature

Mrs. O'Reagan has been teaching at Greenhouse since 2014. She graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Christian Formation & Ministry. Mrs. O'Reagan loves talking with students about life and faith. When she's not at Greenhouse, she loves to travel, sing in the choir, and take long walks on the Prairie Path. She attends Church of the Resurrection with her husband and daughter. Mrs. O'Reagan was homeschooled herself.


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Dr. Grady Parker, History

Dr. Parker began teaching at Greenhouse in 2007. He holds a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College in Music History and Literature, an MA in Intellectual History from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D in Modern British History from Trinity College Dublin. Besides his work at Greenhouse, he previously taught early modern and imperial British history at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests include 19th century British domestic politics and foreign policy. When he isn't teaching, Dr. Parker enjoys travelling and collecting antiquarian and rare books. He attends College Church in Wheaton. Dr. Parker was himself homeschooled.


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Jodi Polender, Literature

Mrs. Polender was first introduced to the Greenhouse when her daughter began attending in 2017.  The next year, she joined the faculty teaching American Literature at the Rhetoric level.  Mrs. Polender studied Literature and Secondary Education at Wheaton College, and later earned her Masters as a Reading Specialist through Benedictine University. While she enjoyed teaching English in the public schools for almost 15 years, she is now gratified to teach and discuss literature from a Christian perspective! Going on rollicking outdoor adventures with her husband and three girls is one of her favorite pastimes along with semi-successful gardening, sitting around campfires in the backyard and reading excellent books aloud to her family.  Mrs. Polender and her family attend Bethany Chapel in Wheaton where her husband serves as pastor.