Non-Traditional Education

Niles Vikings

Dynamic Learners * Diverse Opportunities * Driven to Succeed

Gail Bliss
Homeschool Liaison
Family Support/Program Director
Gail Bliss     Email: gail.bliss@nilesschools.org    
                                           Contact Number: Office - (269) 262-4505    Cell - (574)340-1025
 
I am a graduate of Taylor University with a BA in Business.  I have homeschooled for over 20 years.  My husband and four children have enjoyed the wonderful experiences we have had on our homeschool journey.  All of my children have, or are pursuing higher education.  Each has been extremely individual and I have enjoyed playing a part in their journey to adulthood and beyond.  My own history included being homeschooled, attending private school and attending public school.  My experiences growing up as a Missionary Kid have ingrained in me an insight into the many ways to learn.  Nothing warms my heart more then to see people excited in their learning.  We want to help you keep that excitement in your children's learning experience.
 
I have always believed in the potential of partnerships with local school districts and was honored to be given the ability to participate in the Niles Partnership.  Each child has been created to be unique works of art and our aim is to come along side you, as homeschool parents, to help you develop your children's skills and talents. Who knows...maybe some day one of our children might discover the next ground breaking technology because of a lego robotics course they took or become the next Picasso due to an art class that introduced them to world they never even knew.  
 
Kerrie Bass
Family  Support/Mentor Teacher/Teacher of Record
                           Contact Number: Cell - (574) 238-7023 texting is best 
 
I worked in the public schools full time for 14 years before I decided to look for something different. I am happily married with two step-children and four grandchildren (that I love to spoil). I have two dogs and four cats (if my husband would allow it we'd have more animals). I'm looking forward to the opportunity to do something different in education and I'm excited to be a part of the Niles Home School.
 
Mary Landgraf
Family  Support/Mentor Teacher/Teacher of Record 
                                     Contact Number: Office - (269) 684-4480 evenings Mon-Thur 4-8 pm    
                                                                    Cell - (269)591-0360 
  • Graduated from Saint Mary's College with a BA degree with a major in Social Studies and minor in English and a secondary teaching license
  • Earned a master's degree in the Art of Classroom Teaching from Michigan State University
  • Earned her elementary teaching endorsement from Andrews University
  • Taught English and Social Science in Niles Community Schools for 34 years
  • Was the At-Risk Coordinator at Niles High School for five years
  • Has taught or is teaching at Bethel College, Lake Michigan College, and Southwestern Michigan College
  • Is the Mentor Teacher/Teacher of Record for Niles Home School Partnership
  • Is currently a teacher for the Niles Adult Education Program and the WAY program
 
Jared March
Family  Support/Mentor Teacher/Teacher of Record 
                                   
I'm a K-12 homeschool graduate who earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from WMU, and decided to come back and teach homeschoolers through West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts. At WMHFA, I teach 4 concert bands, a jazz band, 2 brass ensembles and the Northern Lights Marching Band. I also am the music director of the Gull Lake Partnership as well as a Mentor teacher for the Niles Partnership. I play keys in the indie rock band Michigander and enjoy rock climbing, biking and scuba diving.
 
Heather Krenk
Homeschool Liaison
Family Support - Field Trip Coordinator - Mid-Michigan
 
Heather Krenk earned her bachelor of science degree from Western Michigan University majoring in criminal justice and sociology. She worked as a counselor and program manager in the field of community corrections for a decade, eventually leaving full-time employment to raise her family. She is the mother of 5 children. During her time at home she owned and operated two business, volunteered for myriad organizations, and wrote four books. Currently, she has her hands full homeschooling her children and continuing her volunteer work. 
 
Nina Lilley
Homeschool Liaison
Family Support/Events Coordinator  
                                           Cell   Number: (269) 414-0957 - texting is best  
 
Nina Lilley is a homeschooling mother of three and is excited about joining the partnership team.  Nina has a passion for education and a deep desire to see students excel according to their design.  She has a long history of working with young people and looks forward to working to help make your homeschool experience a positive one.  
 
Cordelia Tomasino
Homeschool Liaison
Family Support/Technical  Support/Registrar
Contact Number: (269) 845-5408
 
The best part about homeschooling for the past 15 years has been the ability to follow my children’s and my own curiosity to new learning adventures. The early years did focus on making sure the foundations of reading, writing, and math were in place, but we also climbed mountains, raised caterpillars and other critters, read hundreds of books, filled the walls with artwork, kept the kitchen counters messy with science experiments, and made music together. As my children are entering adulthood and following their individual passions and pathways, I can see clearly now that those early years of togetherness were weaving the strands that now bind the tapestry of our family together—our “common core.”  By joining the Niles Home School Partnership team, I hope to encourage other families on their educational journeys, and to strengthen our community through broadening learning opportunities and creating greater educational opportunities for children and their families.

My educational journey includes earning a B.S. in Biology from UM-Ann Arbor and a Ph.D. in Organismal Biology & Anatomy from The University of Chicago. I had the privilege of 17 years of indulging my passions researching questions of cancer biology, reproductive biology & behavior, and endocrine physiology prior to my homeschool journey. 
 
That desire to research continues; I hope to put it to good use serving the needs of my community.
 
 
 
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