MEET THE ILUMENED ACADEMY TEAM
Chief Executive Officer
A successful pastor, church and school planter and ministry entrepreneur, Jeff Keaton has spent his adult life believing that through Christ anything is possible.
As the founder and CEO of Renewanation and iLumenEd Academy, Renewanation’s virtual school, Jeff now works across the United States and Canada to help awaken the church to the great need to give every child a biblical worldview. Jeff is the author of “The Life of Radical Faith.” He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Michele, for 33 years, has two married daughters, Julianna and Heidi, and one grandson, Marshall.
Chief Operation Officer
Ron brings strong education and corporate executive experience to the cause of iLumenEd Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and an MBA from Virginia Tech. Ron spent 22 years in the corporate world, leading manufacturing organizations, managing numerous multi-million dollar projects, and building cross-functional teams. He currently leads Renewanation's Christian School Division as well as iLumenEd, while also shepherding overall operations.
Curriculum & Instruction Director
With over 26 years of combined experience in public, private, and homeschool education, Tonya is blessed with an extensive and unique perspective on pedagogy. She has served in various educational roles, including teacher, state SOL auditor, assistant principal, academic dean, and homeschool tutor/educator. With a deep passion for providing children with a biblical worldview and supporting Christian educators, Tonya serves as the Director of RenewaNation’s Educator Advancement Program (REAP) and iLumenEd Academy's Curriculum and Instruction Advisor. Tonya and her husband, Ron, live in Roanoke, Virginia, and are blessed with three amazing children, Caleb, Jacob, and Gracie Kate.
iLumenEd Academy Administrator
Gretchen joined Renewanation in July of 2021 after 25 years both in the classroom and as an Administrator in faith-based schools. Her passion for seeing children around the world approach learning and life with a biblical worldview formed early in her own life, causing her to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies at Cedarville University and Columbia International University from which she received degrees in Education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Intercultural Communication. She has served as a short-term missionary in Indonesia and Kazakhstan where she taught English as a Second Language and in the Dominican Republic where she coached teachers on instructing with a biblical worldview. Today Gretchen considers every classroom a mission field on which children may receive excellent academic instruction rooted in sound biblical principles while being loved with the love of Christ.
Dr. Brian Mashburn
Brian has 25+ years of experience in business technology implementations across the industries of Education, Health Care, Financial Services, and Direct Marketing serving as Board member, Chief Innovation Officer, and Technology Director for a K-12 school system, Director of Software Development for a national health care operations software vendor, and Professional Services Technology Consultant for Fortune 500 Financial Services corporations. Brian has faculty experience at both the collegiate and secondary levels providing experience and insight into the academic and customer service needs of the successful virtual student.
Rachel Wilson graduated from Liberty University with both her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Elementary Education. Rachel has experience teaching in many different schools including a Christian co-op, Christian school, online school, at a University, and in a number of public schools. Her passion lies in teaching students to love and know God while they explore the world He created.
Rachel was born and raised in Florida and moved to Virginia for college where she met her husband, Jeff. Jeff and Rachel got married in 2018 and have lived in both Florida and Virginia. During her free time, Rachel enjoys playing sports with her husband, taking her dog for walks, biking, flipping houses, traveling, and learning interior design.
Heather Borntraeger holds a teaching certification in grades 1-8 and has taught Middle School Math, Science, and Bible for iLumenEd Academy. She also holds a M. Ed. as a Reading Specialist. She enjoys teaching children to read and spell using Orton-Gillingham methods through the pedagogy of the Rigg’s Institute. In addition, she encourages students to love the written word through Italic handwriting using Getty-Dubay resources.
Heather and her husband Rick were married in 1989 and have two adult children, Tyler and Haley. The Borntraegers live in Louisville, KY where they serve in the worship ministry of their local church, and in assisting parents to give their children a biblical worldview. Heather’s favorite book is the Bible and she is involved in mentoring other women to follow Christ. Since 2000, Heather has taught in private Christian school settings and in cottage schools, having homeschooled their own children for over two decades. One of her favorite pursuits has been spending time encouraging homeschooling families as well as in creative pursuits like consulting, singing, calligraphy, and baking.
Middle School ELA
Ethel Harris comes to iLumened with over 34 years teaching experience, including positions at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Master's Academy in Birmingham, Alabama, and New Life Academy in Lanesville, Indiana. Ethel is a registered instructor with the Institute for Excellence in Writing and has taught the IEW method to hundreds of students ranging in age from 3rd grade to high school.
As active members of their local church, Ethel and her husband Dave share a passion for teaching Christian principles to youth in a church setting as well as the classroom. They have three sons, all homeschooled from birth through high school, one of whom will soon receive his PhD in mechanical engineering. The second son has finished his B.E. in mechanical engineering, while the third is training as a pilot to begin missionary aviation work. Ethel enjoys playing her cello, reading great books, and more than the occasional cup of coffee.
Middle School ELA
Rae Thompson received an undergraduate degree in English and a Masters in Teaching from the University of Louisville. Born and raised in south Louisiana, she currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky. She has 18 years of teaching experience ranging from 11 years in public high schools in Louisville and California, as well as eight years in Christian middle and classical schools in Louisville. After volunteering with her home church’s middle and high school students, it’s been refreshing to have a teaching position where she can teach God’s word and encourage the next generation to stand firm in their Christian faith.
Rae has been married to Matt since 1995 and has two adult children. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, singing, walking, learning about alternative health and nutrition, and teaching indoor cycling. She is passionate about standing up for the life of the preborn and committed to developing the skills needed for the next generation to “run the race set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Heather Walton is a certified teacher, with a Master of Arts in Teaching from Bellarmine University. She has taught in both public and Christian school and founded a K-12 Christian school. Additionally, Mrs. Walton leads a large Christian homeschool organization in her area, assists homeschool families through her private business, and homeschools her school-age children. Prior to her educational career, Mrs. Walton worked as a journalist for a large weekly newspaper and in the U.S. Army. Because of her broad educational experiences, Mrs. Walton has a passion for equipping families to disciple their children according to a Biblical worldview.
Heather and her husband, Terry, have 8 children, and 2 grandchildren. They live in Louisville, KY, where her husband, Terry serves as a pastor in a local church. Mrs. Walton enjoys blogging, singing, and women's ministry. She is a lifelong learner in a variety of areas, including natural health, homesteading, constitutional law, and piano.
High School Physics & Calculus
Having spent almost 5 decades in Christian education as both teacher and administrator, Dr. Smith now brings his experience to us as physics and math instructor for over 30 of those years at both the HS and college level. He holds advanced degrees in both education and in Christian ministry as well as graduate work in math.
His love of Jesus and life are reflected in his passion for Christian worldview education and his hobbies of flying, golfing, gardening, and traveling. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife of 51 years, a retired Christian counselor, and has four children, ten grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He says that his primary life-focus is loving Jesus more daily.
High School Math
Catrina Sikes graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce with a BS Interdisciplinary Studies and with a MS Mathematics. She has taught mathematics courses ranging from middle school to college level in Public Education since 2014. She loves sharing her love of mathematics and its true origins to her students. She is excited to begin her first year at iLumenEd.
Catrina lives in Waxahachie (rhymes with rocks-a-hachie), Texas with her three children, 160lb dog and rescue cat. She is beginning her second year homeschooling as well as her second year in online teaching. In her spare time, she enjoys road trips, tent camping, and hiking.
High School Math
Lynn Williams received her Kindergarten through undergraduate education in Christian schools. After teaching in the public schools since 2004, Lynn chose to go back to her roots of Christian education and teach students the biblical basis she received and has lived by.
She has been teaching since 2004 primarily in the field of mathematics. She received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics education from Oral Roberts University in 2004 and her Masters of Science in educational technology from Oklahoma State University in 2009. In her classroom, she has a passion for teaching students the integral design of mathematics and the complexity at which God created it. She hopes they leave her class with an appreciation for mathematics and a better understanding of it.
While not teaching, Lynn enjoys running, reading, and chasing after her twin daughters with her husband David in the Kansas City area.
High School Science
Sarah Mereness received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Master of Education in 6-12th grade education from Arizona State University. She has spent over a decade teaching nearly every type of science course taught at those grade levels, including chemistry, biology, oceanography, astronomy, and more. In 2019, Sarah graduated from Liberty University with an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction, where she learned to hone her ability to write curriculum that is engaging, meets students needs, teaches practical skills, and helps develop biblical understandings and godly character.
Sarah and her husband, Ben, have been married for 12 years and homeschool their four children together. They all love music and are blessed to be able to use and grow their talents together in their local chur
High School English
Wendy Tavenner has spent the last twenty years in education, first as a homeschooling parent of two, then as an English literature instructor at the secondary level. In addition, she served as the administrator of Arlington Christian School in Arlington, Washington. She received her undergraduate degree in English and education from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and has obtained a Master of Arts in English with a Focus on Education this from Grand Canyon University.
An Air Force wife and mother of two adult children, she now resides in Western Washington. Because God chose the written word as His primary means of communication with humanity, she believes literature is one of the great methods of sharing in God’s creativity. Discerning reading, careful composing, and eloquent speech enable us to communicate God’s love and redemption to a needy world. They are truly an act of worship.
High School English
Christie McCullah graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family Relations and Child Development from Oklahoma State University (go Pokes!) Later, she returned to school to add an elementary/middle school teaching certificate from Northeastern Oklahoma State University. She has homeschooled her children, taught students from 1st -12th grades, and mentored ESL college students.
Christie is a committed follower of Christ, happily married wife, and mother of 4 beautiful daughters. She loves good conver-sations and diving into the deeper parts of life and relationships. Her passions/hobbies include sports, mentorship/teaching, all things international, travel, and good food! Christie and her family currently reside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her daily motto is a quote from Bilbo Baggins, "I think I'm quite ready for another adventure."
High School History
Wanda Johnson has had over 19 years of experience in education. She has homeschooled her two children and been a homeschool evaluator. In addition, she has taught in preschool, public and private Christian schools in grades K-12th grade. Wanda has a bachelor’s degree in Family Counseling from Messiah University and a M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University.
Wanda is driven by the desire to see students ask the right questions as they daily engage in the culture around them. Wanda has a passion to encourage students of all ages to understand the essential truth of being made in the image of God. She strives to point her students to Scripture and the freedom found in Christ. Wanda has been married for 31 years to Todd. She is the mother of two adult children and a grandmother-to-be of twin girls. She is an active member of her church and an elder’s wife. In her free time, Wanda enjoys reading, hiking and birdwatching.
Middle School Science
Cassi Scoggins received her Bachelors of Science degree from North Greenville University where she also competed in Division II softball. She has taught Biomedical Science and other general sciences for the past 6 years in a public school setting where her desire was to instill a passion or respect for science while also showing students the love of Jesus. In 2020 she completed her Masters of Science in Biological Sciences at Clemson University to deepen her science knowledge. Her passion in teaching is to build lasting relationships with students while teaching them how to analyze evidence and come to their own conclusions. She is so excited to now be able to present more Biblical evidence to students to deepen their Biblical worldview.
Cassi has been married to her husband Zach, who is also a teacher, for 5 years and reside in North Carolina. They welcomed their first child in June and love being parents! Cassi loves to read, watch movies, animals, travel, and food. Her and Zach love serving the Lord together in their church and the local FCA chapter. She cannot wait to interact with her new students as they learn new material together and how to navigate this world through the lens of scripture!
Music & Art
Kelly Beebe graduated from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Minoring in Bible and Majoring in Elementary Education. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree and certifications in teaching general education with a specialization in English, English as a Second Language, a certification in general Music, and is Little Kids Rock certified. In addition to serving in Public Education since 1998, Kelly launched a mosaic art business in 2017, Broken Beauty Mosaics, in which she sells her artwork and teaches mosaic art lessons.
“Music was always a part of my childhood home. Sunday mornings, before church, my sister would play the piano, while the rest of the family got ready. Before long, all of us were drawn into worship. From an early age, music was seen as a gift from the Lord and an act of worship. I didn’t have art lessons growing up, nor did I think I even had an ability to draw. Art was something the Lord taught me. It was there all along in my heritage, my grandmother’s on both sides of the family, my mom; but I didn’t think that it was in me. As an adult, I realize that it is part of our design and purpose. To worship the Lord with both lips and hands, to connect with our Creator who designed us to create too. I can’t wait to share Music and Art from a Biblical Worldview. To put a magnifying glass on how God designed us to connect with Him, our Creator.”
Spanish 1, 2, 3
Yaneth Hannabass graduated with a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering. She was born in Guatemala and Spanish is her native language. She has been working as a teacher for 7 years in Christian education. She loves sharing her culture and language with students. She brings her Biblical worldview to her classes.
Yaneth and her husband, Shannon, have been married for almost 8 years. They welcomed their little girl, Hazel Grace, in February of this year. Yaneth loves working in children's ministry. Yaneth is excited to start a new journey teaching online.