Meet our Instructors and see where to find them.
Anastasia Risley began teaching in high school, where she was active in Future Farmers of America and theater. In FFA, she excelled in horticulture practicums, helped manage a greenhouse, and integrated theater to teach children of all ages about agriculture, botany, and farm animals on a scientific level. Anastasia graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Environmental Studies: Ecology and Conservation from Southern Oregon University. She took great interest in Native American Ecology, community gardening, and recycling on campus, and volunteered to educate about local morphology and tectonics in public schools, ultimately designing and teaching lessons about earthquakes for her senior capstone at Southern Oregon University. She worked for the United States Forest Service in the Willamette National Forest as a field botanist where she surveyed, documented, and treated vegetation and habitat. Guiding high school students in a huckleberry habitat restoration project for weeks in this forest ultimately inspired her to pursue a life of teaching and sharing ecological and botanical knowledge. Some of her hobbies include identifying and researching plants, and creating art inspired by the vibrancy of the natural world.
Corin Goodwin did her graduate work at Georgetown University in Public Policy. Her career included stints in policy analysis and in communications at KPMG Peat Marwick, 3Com, Steelwedge, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. She served as Gifted/SpEd Advisor for the HomeSchool Association of CA. She founded GHF: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum in 2004 with a group of parents who were seeking resources and support in educating their gifted and twice exceptional children. She has been presenting on education and neurodiversity issues for many years, and her written work has been seen (with co-author Mika Gustavson) in all the usual publications, two books from GHF Press, and a textbook. Corin enjoys writing and loves geeking out on policy issues with her GHF students (or any other willing victim). She is mom to a variety of 2e young adults and is 2e herself. For fun, she and her husband beat each other and their friends with longswords.
Dori Koehler holds a MA/PhD in Mythological Studies with emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She has worked as a personal tutor for the past 10 years, both for children and for adults. Her passion for popular culture, particularly Disney Studies, led her to publish her first book, The Mouse and the Myth: The Sacred Art and Secular Ritual of Disneyland. She also writes a personal blog about myth and contemporary popular culture titled Mythicbliss. She is a published poet and a regular presenter for the Popular Culture/American Culture Association. She continues to publish academic essays, the most recent of which grew out of a paper she gave on Walt Disney as a manifestation of the trickster archetype in the American imagination. This paper was delivered at the first ever Discussing Disney conference at University of Hull in Northern England. Her most current research focuses on the phenomenon of Disney cosplay and a deconstruction/reconstruction of feminist critique of the Disney princesses. She teaches courses in the Humanities, Popular Culture, and Liberal arts at Southern New Hampshire University’s College of Online and Continuing Education. Most importantly, she is a devoted wife, pet mamma, auntie, sister, and friend who spends many hours walking, reading, and thinking together with Lucy, her cocker spaniel companion.
Jade Rivera is an educator, writer, and coach who specializes in designing innovative learning environments for gifted and twice-exceptional learners. Jade’s training in nonviolent communication and her Montessori credential inspire her educational philosophies and practices. She graduated from The Evergreen State College with a degree in chemistry in 2002. Shortly thereafter, she was awarded the renowned Fulbright Scholarship for study in Thailand. After a brief, successful, yet unfulfilling career as a chemist, she made a switch to alternative education. Jade consults with families and educators through coaching, speaking, and workshops to discuss the characteristics of neurodiverse children and how to develop strategies that best serve their education and social-emotional development. She teaches chemistry classes for GHF Online and is the author of Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget from GHF Press.
John McDonald's writing journey started in the summer of 2007 with a long winded and not very good Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction. From those first few pages, he learned that expressing himself as a writer would take much more than just a good idea. In 2017, he earned his Bachelors degree from Portland State University, where he majored in theater and took a variety of writing courses- where he learned about adaptations, mask work, and non-prescriptive editing. He was inspired and challenged by mentor Karin Magaldi into rethinking what the fields of writing and theater were to him and now has a growing portfolio of screenwriting and plays under his belt. John writes narrative fiction with a focus on less represented characters and most of his writing has a fairy tale aspect to it. John believes literary art relies on community engagement and inspiration from other artists in order to grow a person's craft (and yes, that inspiration can include even surprising things- like the ride queues at Disneyland). On his dvr, you will currently find Planet Earth episodes, The Great British Bake-off, Legion, and The Good Place.
Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 35 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th – 12th graders through MIT’s Educational Studies Program. He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students, either at home or institutionalized, for school districts in several states. He was the headmaster of a small 7th - 12th grade alternative school in Boston for gifted "disgruntled" students. In addition to teaching and consulting, Josh currently organizes the Beyond IQ conferences near Boston and serves on the board for Hoagies Gifted. He's more fun than this makes him sound!
Lisa Baba, CPCC, is a self-taught artist and mother to two gifted kids, one of whom is twice-exceptional. Through her blog Artisan of Creative Miracles and as the co-founder and current leader of the Facebook group Brilliant Chaos, Lisa impacts others by inspiring them to create. She also has a passion for helping gifted people understand themselves and setting their brilliance free. When she doesn't have her arms up to her elbows in paint, you can find her teaching Taekwondo or Nia, a dance fitness program. She can be found on Twitter and Google Plus.
Lisa Fontaine-Rainen has been teaching gifted children in the public school system and working with homeschoolers for 15 years. She earned her MA in Gifted Education from William and Mary in 2001, and has been lucky to be able to work with these amazing young people ever since. Lisa relocated with her family to South Africa in 2014 and is excited about the opportunity to teach online. When she's not teaching she loves to read, play games, do puzzles, and experiment in the kitchen with her two year old. The two year old has been largely unscathed by this so far.
Madeline Goodwin, Director of GHF Online Classes, received her Bachelor of Science in environmental studies and biology from Southern Oregon University, graduating cum laude, and earned her Master of Environmental Studies (policy track) from Evergreen State College with her thesis on Climate Change Education in the United States: An analysis of climate science inclusion in K-12 state science standards. She previously interned at the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station and the Thurston Climate Action Team and volunteers for the WET Science Center in science education. Madeline began taking university classes at 13, enrolling full-time as a fifteen-year-old sophomore in the fall of 2011. She helped found Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, taught several classes about climate change at Grants Pass High School, and has provided testimony for the Washington state legislature on proposed climate mitigation legislation and the Oregon state legislature on early college entry programs. She loves teaching and mentoring homeschoolers and young college students, especially when she has the opportunity to share her passion for science with them. She serves as Legislative Chair for GHF and recently ran for City Council in Lacey, WA. You can learn more about Madeline here. Madeline can also be found on LinkedIn and Twitter. She blogs at EcoScienceGirl.
Melissa Stepien currently teaches gifted and 2e children at Sunnyside Micro-School where she creatively contributes to a community that values cognitive diversity through growth and connection. As an educator with extensive experience integrating pedagogical philosophies that support progressive learning modalities, she views her role as one based in reciprocal reﬂection. Melissa received her BA in Humanities from New College of California, holds a Montessori Primary Teaching Credential, and has completed 28 degree hours of course work toward an MFA in Poetics.
Additionally, Melissa is a dedicated volunteer at The Marine Mammal Center, in Sausalito, CA where she passionately works as an Animal Care Technician. As a member of the center’s Education Department she highlights rehabilitation and conservation eﬀorts and inspires future ocean stewards through innovative public education programs.