Over half of Hilger Higher Learning’s faculty and staff have over ten years of teaching and administration experience at Hilger Higher Learning!  In addition, our faculty and staff have well over 275 years of combined teaching and administration experience, in private schools, public schools and at Hilger Higher Learning. Our faculty and staff’s consistent longevity and experience teaching homeschool students demonstrates why our program is considering the premier homeschool tutorial in Chattanooga.  Our teachers and administration consider it a privilege and honor to teach students and work with families who are in the process of homeschooling. While most of our teachers have vast teaching experience, many of our faculty and staff have also homeschooled their own children, so they understand how to best help homeschool students in the learning process. Teachers provide weekly accountability of assigned and turned-in homework, as well as feedback on graded assignments.  Also, tests and quizzes taken in the classroom are graded and handed back with comments. Our teachers love helping students learn and fully understand what is being taught in and out of the classroom! We invite you to learn more about our faculty and staff by reading over their short biographies.

Eddy and Carlee Hilger: Administrators
Eddy and his wife, Carlee, are the founders of Hilger Higher Learning, Inc. In 1995, Eddy graduated from Covenant College, with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, with emphases in Biology and Physical Education. After helping start Clumpies Ice Cream Co., he coached the cross country team and worked in the admission’s office at Covenant College. In 2004, Eddy realized his life-long dream of becoming a professional athlete when he signed his first contract to race as a professional cyclist. After riding for 3 professional teams and racing in 10 countries around the world, he retired in 2007. His foresight and academic vision for the homeschool community aided Carlee in the development of Hilger Higher Learning since its inception. Over the years, Eddy’s desire to serve the homeschool community has grown more and more. Now he serves full time as the President and head administrator for Hilger Higher Learning.
Email: [email protected]

Carlee Hilger: Biology and Anatomy and Physiology Teacher
In 1995, Carlee graduated magna cum laude from Covenant College, with a B.A. in Natural Science. For the next three years, she taught high school science and coached both basketball and tennis at Landmark Christian School in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon her return to the Chattanooga area in 1998, she created what is known as Hilger Higher Learning.  Her passion for homeschooling, her out-going personality, and her love for teaching Biology and Anatomy was the catalyst behind HHL. After 23 years, her goal is still the same as it was at the outset: to offer quality education classes with a biblical worldview to homeschooled students…and to make those classes FUN! Eddy and Carlee have 4 children: Jackson (18), Kenzie (16), Brooks (13) and Kervens (12).
Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Lois (5)-68Lois Anderson: Administrative Assistant to Administrator and Visitor Coordinator
Lois was born in Mexico City and lived there for 10 years, a daughter of missionaries. In 1975, she graduated magna cum laude from Biola University, La Mirada, California. While in college, she traveled extensively overseas with evangelistic drama teams. She has also served as secretary for evangelistic broadcasters, pastors, missionaries, hospital administrators, and lawyers. She is married to Dr. Ken Anderson, who served as music professor at Covenant College for 11 years. Lois home educated their six children for over 25 years, and has been teaching and assisting at HHL for many years. A few of their children have taken classes at HHL at the high school level. She loves to serve others, encourage young people to learn and grow and likes to help keep things organized and efficient. Her listening ear, care, love, experience, and gentle spirit are a delight to have at Hilger Higher Learning.
Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Bacon (1)-120Tamela Bacon: Spanish I and II
Tammy is a 1995 graduate of Covenant College. She spent several months living and studying in Central America. While she was there, she had the opportunity to volunteer at an orphanage in Costa Rica. After returning from Costa Rica, she acted as a translator on a mission trip to Mexico. She taught Spanish I, II, and III at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada from 1996-2002. Tammy began teaching Spanish at HHL in 2002 and has played a vital role in providing Hilger students with an excellent Spanish curriculum. Her excellent teaching style, eagerness to improve, and care for students are but a few of her traits. Her desire to see students understand the Spanish language and culture are other wonderful attributes she brings to the Hilger family. Tammy and her husband, Mike, who is a teacher at Chattanooga Christian School, have 4 children.
Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Bingham (7)-278Julie Bingham: Physical Science and Chemistry
Julie graduated from Covenant College in 1995 with a B.A. in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. During college, she worked as a chemist at Taylor Laboratories. Upon graduation, she was offered a position as a research and development chemist at Alco Chemical Company where she worked for four years. Julie came on board with Hilger Higher Learning in 2001 and has steadily improved our Physical Science and Chemistry classes. Her experience as a chemist and almost 20 years of teaching enables Julie to teach her students the practical side of these rather challenging classes. Along with teaching at Hilger, Julie is an adjunct chemistry professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she teaches chemistry labs. Julie and her husband, Keith, who is also a teacher, have two children.
Email: [email protected]

Kim Brock: Elementary History and Bible and Elementary Math Grade 3 & Grade 4
Kim came to Covenant College from her hometown of Memphis, TN in 1994.  While at Covenant, she played soccer all 4 years, met her husband of 23 years, Marshall, and she also played 1 year of basketball with superstar teammate Carlee Hilger. She majored in Biblical Studies where her love for history and her knowledge of God’s Word grew as she learned from incredible professors. She was also a bookkeeper for her family business for a season of life, which enhanced her love of numbers and math.  She has homeschooled her six children at various times throughout their school years. She is well suited to teach all kinds of personalities as she has five boys and one girl who are very different learners. She has coached hundreds of kids (both boys and girls) in soccer over the last 20+ years. She is thrilled and honored to begin teaching history, Bible and math at Hilger.
Email: [email protected]

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Kim Crossman: Beginning Elementary Science and Elementary Science (Grades 3-4 & Grades 5-6)
Kim graduated magna cum laude from Covenant College in 1987 with a Biology major and Chemistry minor. After college, she worked at Erlanger hospital and as a chemist for the City of Chattanooga. For over a decade, she has been teaching and developing the science curriculum for the Mother’s Day Out Program at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. Kim’s favorite aspect of teaching science is watching children’s eyes light up as they learn about God’s world. Kim came on board with Hilger Higher Learning in 2009.  She is incredibly nurturing with our elementary students, and her love for children is very evident. In addition, she creates a positive classroom environment with encouragement, excitement, control and a good listening ear. Kim and her husband, Brian, who is a professor at Covenant College, have three children.
Email: [email protected]

Stephanie Dunn (4)-150Stephanie Dunn: Middle School Latin and Front Office Staff
Seeking to deepen her understanding of the Bible, Stephanie graduated cum laude from Austin Peay State University in 2010 with a B.A. in Classics and a minor in History. She came to HHL in 2014 after teaching High School Latin, Mythology and Etymology for 3 years at Riverdale High School. She has served extensively in youth, music and mission’s ministries since she was a teen. The Lord has brought opportunities to travel internationally with the purpose of enriching her studies of the ancients visiting Britain, Germany and the cities of Corinth, Athens and Mycenae, Greece. Stephanie has a passion for ancient languages, youth ministry, Biblical studies, music and missions locally and internationally. She seeks to inspire students to delve deeper into the Word of God and as a result, gain confidence in knowing who they are in Christ. Email: [email protected]

Pam Fields: Government, Economics, World Geography, US History, and World History
Pam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with certifications in both Special Education and Reading. She has 35 years’ experience as teacher and educational diagnostician, including 10 years homeschooling her 2 daughters. Pam began teaching at Hilger Higher Learning in 2004, and has helped develop nearly all of our Social Studies and History classes. Pam also is on the staff of Signal Mountain Christian Homeschool Co-op, where she teaches History, Latin, English Grammar, Writing, and Study Skills for a group of Middle School students. Additionally, Pam continues her part-time private practice as a Learning Specialist and Educational Diagnostician. Further, Pam was recently awarded the Chattanooga Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Distinguished Teacher Award. Actively involved at her home church of Signal Mountain Presbyterian, Pam leads a weekly women’s Bible Study on Thursday evenings and teaches Confirmation/Disciple classes each winter/spring. She also serves on the board of Student Venture, the Middle and High School Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru). Pam and her husband Jim have been married for over 30 years and have two grown daughters, Emily and Catherine. Pam enjoys reading, hiking, travel and discipling girls and young women. Her family shares a passion for missions and evangelism.
Email: [email protected]

Sherrie Forrest: Geometry
Sherrie graduated from Arkansas State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education. She taught for a few years in Arkansas before starting a family with her husband Joey. She felt called to put her career on hold to stay home with her children for nearly 20 years. After renewing her teaching certification, she took a temporary position at Ooltewah High School. Since then, she decided to homeschool her daughter and has been involved at HHL. After substitute teaching Geometry a few times at HHL, she knew she would love to teach in a Christian environment. She again has felt a calling on her life; this time to mentor students and try to foster a love for mathematics in them. She loves to teach mathematics in creative ways, always referring students back to The One who created this geometric world. She loves running, being outdoors, volunteering in the youth program at her church, and spending time with her family. She is very excited to be able to openly share her faith while teaching mathematics. Sherrie and her husband, Joey, have three children.
Email: [email protected]

Mrs. George (10)-176Shelley George: Elementary Creative Writing and Grammar, Middle School Literature & Composition, and High School Literature & Composition (English I-IV)
Shelley is a 1995 cum laude graduate of Christian Heritage College (now known as San Diego Christian College), where she was voted Female Student of the Year in 1995 and earned a B.A. degree in English with a minor in Physical Education. She has been teaching English and coaching since 1995. She was voted Middle School Teacher of the Year in 1999 at Landmark Christian School in Atlanta, GA. While Carlee Hilger and Shelley are best friends and grew up together, Landmark is where she and Carlee first began teaching together. Shelley also worked for 7 years at Providence Christian School in Dothan, AL. She served as the Girls Athletic Director, Dean of Students, and taught several English and Physical Education classes. She was voted Coach of the Year (1-3A) after her Varsity girls basketball team completed a 29-0 season in 2004. Shelley came to HHL in 2005 and has helped build an amazing English department in our Elementary, Middle and High School. Her passion to help students of all ages learn, along with her incredible knowledge and encouraging spirit are a delight. She enjoys encouraging students in the identification and development of their gifts. Shelley also enjoys any activity that is outdoors!
Email: [email protected]

Tina Holcombe: Elementary Choir, Middle School Choir, Ladies Ensemble and High School Choir & Music Appreciation
Tina received her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Temple University in 1987.  She holds a degree in Christian School Music Education and has taught music in some form or fashion ever since graduating from college.  Teaching alongside her husband for 5 years before starting a family, Tina taught at Stone Mountain Christian School as the general music teacher, private piano instructor, and band director.  The band won several awards in the state of Georgia’s Christian School Association while under her direction, as well as 2nd place on the national level.  After moving to Chattanooga so her husband could take a full time position as Worship Pastor at Grace Baptist Church, Tina created the Chattanooga Homeschool Band in 1995, and consistently has 55-60 students each year.  Tina also directed the middle and high school choirs of Grace Academy from 2001-2014, where the choir consistently received superior ratings at choral events.  Teaching music is a great joy for Tina, and after coming to HHL in 2016, she is thrilled to be working with the students at Hilger Higher Learning.  She believes that music is a beautiful creation of God that brings glory to Himself, while simultaneously blessing the music makers with the thrill of creating and participating in an art form. Tina will lead the choirs with this truth at the forefront.   She believes that singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord is an act of obedience for those who love the Lord.  Plus, it is just a ton of fun!  Tina and her husband, Fred, have three older children.
Email: [email protected]

Olivia Oster: Middle School & High School Literature and Composition (English I-II) and ACT Workshop – Rhetoric skills for English, Reading Comprehension, and Essay Writing
Olivia graduated from Covenant College with a B.A. in English in 2000. After college, she spent a year teaching English as a Second Language in China before marrying her college sweetheart and settling on Lookout Mountain. From 2001-2003 she enjoyed teaching middle school English at East Lake Academy in Chattanooga. From 2003 until now, she has taught at various homeschool tutorials, and for the past seven years she has taught her own five children at home. She has taught ESL to Chinese children online and thoroughly enjoys teaching English at Hilger Higher Learning. She loves writing curriculum and preparing for multi-sensory, interactive lessons that challenge and draw in the student. In her free time, Olivia loves to read, bake, travel, practice yoga, hike, and go on dates with her husband. She is constantly in awe of her Father God and His provision and love.
Email: [email protected]

Trista Plantholt (8)-7Trista Plantholt: Our “Catalyst”
Trista Plantholt was born in Memphis, TN, but lived most of her life on the Emerald Coast in Northwest FL. She graduated from the University of West FL with a B.S. in social work/counseling. Shortly after graduation, she and her husband, Mike, were married. Trista worked as a youth counselor for foster care teens until she and her husband were blessed with two children, at which point she became a stay-at-home mom. In 2007, Trista and her family moved to Chattanooga, TN. She began homeschooling the same year. Both of her children attended HHL for high school. She plays a key role in managing her father’s ministry, Billy Gray Ministries. She has co-authored, and edited several books with him. Trista has been a part of the HHL staff since 2013, serving as study hall monitor and an extra hand to Lois Anderson. She has loved every minute of getting to be a part of the Hilger students’ lives. Although she started as merely the Study Hall Monitor, she has stepped into many roles and has amazing rapport with students, faculty and parents.
Email: [email protected]

Rachel Scott (2)-170

Rachel Scott: Algebra I and Algebra II
Rachel grew up in Cleveland, Tennessee, and graduated summa cum laude from Tennessee Technological University in 1995 with a BS in Civil Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. After teaching a year of high school math near Nashville, she and her husband relocated to Ohio with his job, and she worked with a mutual fund company. When her first child was born, Rachel stayed home to be a full-time mom and began homeschooling five years later. For more than 15 years, Rachel has been homeschooling her three daughters and tutoring many students in math. Since coming to teach at HHL in 2012, it has been evident that Rachel’s desire is to help students learn and understand math, while seeing the orderliness of God in His creation. She and her husband Brian attend church with their family at Woodland Park Baptist Church, where Rachel serves in their youth and student department.
Email: [email protected]

Emily Ann Simpson: Elementary, Middle School and High School Art
In 2nd grade, a peer asked Emily Ann Simpson what she wanted to be when she grew up. As she was putting the finishing touches on a “Rainbow Fish” art project, she said, “An artist, of course!” Her love for the arts became more apparent as she drew in the dirt on the softball field instead of playing short stop, and sang My Heart Will Go On from Titanic on the soccer field instead of playing defense. In high school, under the instruction of Sandra Kandros, she was challenged to push past her comfort zone with new materials and ideas. She and Kandros shared a faith in Christ, love for art, and love for people.  Kandros was ultimately the one who challenged Simpson to become an art teacher – an idea she had never considered. In 2012, Emily Ann traveled to NYC for 3 weeks on the NYC Tribeca Arts Summer Project where she realized her passion for the integration of art and faith.  Post-summer project, the hunt was on for ways to use her art to share Christ with others. The art department quickly became her mission field as well at Life Care Center of East Ridge, where she worked as an Art Therapy intern. In 2014, she graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Art Education from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.   Over the last three years, Emily Ann has taught art at Barger Academy of Fine Arts and Normal Park Museum Magnet. Now, in her 6th year of teaching, she is excited to make a mess and have fun with Hilger students.  She is eager to nurture and guide students as they play a part in the redemption of creativity that the world has so skewed. She hopes to inspire a love of art in her students and to show them how it can be used in relating to and glorifying God.  She is also looking forward to helping students see the power that art has in helping us to understand the Bible, and how art can be a tool in sharing the good news.
Email: [email protected]

Natalie Slaton: Middle School Science (Wednesdays)
Natalie graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1998 with a lifetime teaching certificate in Texas for grades 6-12.  While her husband was in seminary at Reformed Theological Seminary, she also earned several Bible class credits with him. Since then, she has taught 9th, 10th, and 11th grade in numerous contexts. She spent 12 years at home raising children and partnering with her husband in ministry, mentoring students and teaching Bible studies. Relationships are Natalie’s passion, no matter the teaching context. She loves learning about God’s creation, the miracle of the human body and the math that unlocks many of creation’s mysteries.  In teaching science, she hopes students become more amazed by our Creator, who made all things, and leave her class with a desire to learn more about God’s creation.  She is thrilled to make relationships with the middle school students and invite them into greater awe and wonder of our God through the study of science.  Natalie and her husband, Benjie, who is the lead pastor of Grace + Peace (PCA) Church in Ooltewah, have three children.
Email: [email protected]

Carla Stevenson: Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry, Physics and ACT Math Workshop
Carla Stevenson has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University, 1982. She taught in the Electrical Engineering Technology department at Chattanooga State off and on for 15+ years. She taught high school math classes to home school students in her home for a number of years while home schooling her own children. After teaching at HHL for a few years, she decided to take a year off, but is back with us. Currently, she is self-employed as a math, physics, and sometimes chemistry tutor. She tutors students at McCallie in the upper school learning center, and she has students from other private and public schools as well as home school students. She and her husband have lived in Chattanooga for 34 years and have 3 grown children.  They are active at Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Email: [email protected]

Lisa Tolson: Middle School Math #1, Middle School Math #2, and Pre-Algebra
Lisa graduated from Covenant College in 2000 with a B.A. in Middle School Education, with a focus on math and social studies. She taught science and pre-algebra for two years at a Christian school in St. Louis before moving to Lookout Mountain. Since then, she has taught 5th
grade, substituted in several schools, and taught elementary science for two years at Hilger before Kim Crossman! She also homeschooled her four children for eight years. Two of her favorite things are math and middle schoolers, and she is excited to have the privilege of
working at Hilger again! Lisa lives on Lookout Mountain with her kids and husband, Aaron, who is the youth pastor at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Email: [email protected]

Beth Warren – Personal Finance, Health & Wellness, Middle School Ancient Civilization, Middle School World History and Middle School American History
Beth’s fascination with people and places began early. The introduction of Ancient Egypt in elementary school, a high school class on American History and everything in between set her on a path to earn a BS in Economics and a Master in Secondary Education with certifications in History, Geography, Economics and Math. Besides a strong affection of all things “American,” such as the US Constitution, the sacrificially brave men and women from the generations who built the nation, and the beautiful land which holds the two together, Beth has a deep respect for all the created. People, their cultures, their locations, their governments and how they “do” commerce intrigue her and are the areas in which she has invested her education. During the summer of 2016, she had the awesome opportunity for the adventurous, educational and life-changing experience of traveling to Egypt and Israel basically following the journey of God’s people out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land! Further travel led her to Athens and Rome, pivotal locations of cultural achievements which laid the foundation for western civilization. After a second trip to Rome (in March 2019) with its amazing history and artifacts, a climb up Mt. Vesuvius, a visit to Herculaneum and Pompeii, Beth returned with an increased excitement for history and cultures. Her goal is to share her passion and eye-witness experiences to make HISTORY come alive!  In the 2020 – 2021 school year, besides the middle school histories, Beth will be teaching the high school electives of Personal Finance and Health & Wellness. She is excited to be going from the “big picture” perspective of history to the “individual and specific” aspects of personal finance and health. God’s Word, coupled with the lessons of human history, offers much needed guidance and wisdom as we navigate our personal lives through our culture.  During free time, Beth enjoys exercise of all varieties with an emphasis on outdoor activities. Spending time with her husband, Michael, 4 adult daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and almost 5 grandchildren complete her full and blessed life.
Email: [email protected]

Cathy Youngblood – Elementary Math – Grade 5, Elementary Language Arts, and Elementary Literature (Grades 3-4 & 5-6)
From the earliest days of her Signal Mountain upbringing, Cathy Youngblood has been drawn to children’s literature. Whether from her mother’s playful reminder from a book to be a “polite little elephant” or helping a childhood friend who insists that Cathy taught her to read when they were girls, children’s books and their influence have always been an integral part of her life. After graduating from Girls Preparatory School, that fondness only continued and thrived at Vanderbilt University where she received a BS in Education and a MEd in Language and Literacy. She has served as an elementary school teacher in Nashville and in Orlando, always aspiring, among other things, to cultivate a love of literature and reading within the children she was entrusted to nurture and teach.  That aspiration became more focused upon the arrival of her first child, when she left the classroom to stay home to nurture her family and children as a mother. Cathy is a member of Rock Creek Fellowship on Lookout Mountain where her husband, Eric, is the senior pastor. And she is the privileged mother of two boys who (thankfully) love to read. She is eager to share her joy and passion for children’s books with the elementary students at Hilger.
Email: [email protected]