Academic Teachers

Teachers at Young Musicians of Virginia must have degrees in their area of application or have adequate experience and be able to demonstrate a level of excellence in that area.  Several have Masters and PhD’s.  Check out our awesome academic teachers below:

• Marlene Berkley
(Spanish I, II, II and French I, II)
B.A. in French from UNC Chapel Hill and continuing education at Old Dominion University.
M.A. ESL, English and B.A. in Spanish from Old Dominion University
Marlene Berkley has taught English as a second language to students of all age groups and countries, including two years teaching in Japan and one year as a volunteer High School English teacher in Israel. She has lived and worked in French-speaking Switzerland for many years and first studied Spanish at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland when she worked in the Latin American Department of the International Organization for Migration. She has studied intensive Spanish in one month courses in Spain and Mexico. She is pleased to be teaching at YMV and enjoys the Christian environment.

• Deirdre Blumenthal
(Christian Worldview and Apologetics)
B.A. Public Relations, Rowan University
Deirdre is the mother of three children, all of whom attend YMV. She started her homeschooling journey in 2014. Her experience and background is primarily in vocational ministry with a history of serving on staff with Young Life as well as Chosen People Ministries. Today, she serves alongside her husband, the associate and future senior leader of Beth Messiah Messianic Congregation in Norfolk, VA. She has taught at homeschool co-ops, youth events, women’s events, YMV chapel services, and more. She enjoys gardening, laughing till it hurts, fawning over her labradoodle (Luna), and spending time with her family.

• Carrie Donley
(American Literature)
B.A. American Studies, Mary Washington College, M.A. Urban Planning, Old Dominion University.
Mrs. Donley has three children and has homeschooled for ten years. She has always enjoyed each stage of life, participating in her church’s AWANA program for nine years, being Director of Creation Explorer’s co-op for two years and working in various roles with the YMV staff for almost ten years. Two of her three children have graduated high school and are furthering their studies at Liberty University and Bob Jones University. She enjoys hiking, the outdoors, reading, writing, and music.

• Veronica Dowdell
(General Science, Physical Science)
B.S. in Science Education, East Carolina University
Mrs. Dowdell has been a part of YMV for nearly 15 years, mostly as a homeschool parent but also working in the office. Prior to YMV, she taught at Tidewater Classical Academy teaching General Science and an Omnibus class for 5 years. She has also taught science (Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science, Life Science and Earth Science) overseas at Naples International School. A mother of four grown (or nearly grown!) children, she enjoys cooking and Bible study.

• Kimberly Haggard
(British Literature, High School Writing)
B.A. in English Linguistics, Old Dominion University; M.A. in Human Sciences, Regent University
Kimmy has been involved with music since she was five years old, starting with violin and closely followed by piano and voice. She was homeschooled through high school at Young Musicians of Virginia. Kimmy is a five-year chorus member with the Virginia Symphony Chorus and continues to play piano for fun. She has had several literary pieces published in her college magazine and journals, and is constantly coming up with plots to develop at some point. She has taught high school English and British Literature at various homeschool co-ops. She started working with the Crisis Pregnancy Center as a Patient Advocate during her final semester at Regent, where she learned valuable life skills in compassion, empathy, patience, and what it takes to do what you love. Since then, she has professionally edited several published works, including novels and memoirs. Kimmy has a passion for music and writing and has sought to use her skills to help others discover and develop theirs.

• Nickie McCreary
(Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, PreCalculus)
B.A. Math, College of William and Mary, M.A. Education, Regent University
Nickie is a homeschooling mom to two boys. She started out as a high school math teacher with Chesapeake Public Schools and taught several semesters of math at Tidewater Community College. In recent years, she has helped manage a local homeschool co-op of about one hundred students. When she is not crunching numbers, she can usually be found making a quilt or sitting in the sun at the beach.

• Christi Monti
(Middle School Writing, Latin)
B.M., Cleveland Institute of Music
Mrs. Monti is a homeschooling mom to four children; previously, she was a professional orchestra French horn player in and around Cleveland, OH. Since moving to Virginia Beach and having children, her passion (in addition to loving and serving Jesus) has been classical education and redeeming her own education. After receiving certification, she has taught English grammar and writing within the Classical Conversations program, in her own homeschool, and through private tutoring since 2014. In 2016, she began learning Latin with her oldest son, and she has taught and studied Latin (Henle 1) since 2017 within the context of the Classical Conversations Challenge Program (Levels A and B). Additionally, during the summers, she offers the Memoria Press Form Series to homeschoolers both locally and online. Mrs. Monti loves helping students learn and find joy in learning, as well as hiking in the mountains, traveling, baking, landscape designing, and painting in her spare time.

• Mrs. Courtney Rollick, LMT
(Chemistry)
Mrs. Rollick is a mom to a toddler and two cats and is a life-long learner. She has two consistent passions – teaching and science. She currently employs both as a holistic health practitioner. She’s excited to combine those two passions and share that excitement with her students as they learn about our Creator through His creation.

• Mrs. Yetta Roy
(Biology, Advanced Biology)
B.S. Nursing, St. Olaf College
Mrs. Roy is a skilled nurse and Air Force Veteran. She loves serving the Lord and is married to a USMC Marine.

• Mrs. Dee Williams
(Math Skills; Pre-Algebra; Personal Finance; Elementary Science)
Mrs. Williams and her husband, Robert, have been married over 32 years and have three home-schooled children who love music and attended YMV. Their family has been part of YMV for over 17 years.