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:

• Crystal Barnett
(American Government)
B.A. in Government, UVA; Master’s in Education, Regent University; J.D., Regent University School of Law
Crystal practices as a franchise attorney in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Regent University School of Law where she teaches Constitutional Law, Business Entities, and Legal Research and Writing for the Master’s in Law program.When she is not working, Crystal enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family. She is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

• 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.

• Carrie Donley
(American Literature, British Literature)
B.A. American Studies, Mary Washington College, M.A. Urban Planning, Old Dominion University.
Mrs. Donley has three children and has home schooled 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 seven 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.

• Sara Garner
(Introduction to Expository Writing & Literature, Public Speaking, HS World Geography)
B.S. Communication Arts;  James Madison University
Before homeschooling, Mrs. Garner had a busy career in corporate marketing with a Fortune 500 energy company.  Since trading meetings, heels, and suits for diapers, sneakers, and jeans, she has employed her skills variously, serving on the boards of local arts and Christian mission organizations, and writing and designing publicity, web content, newsletters, and other publications. She also proudly volunteered as Troop Shepherd of her daughter’s AHG troop. Mrs. Garner has enjoyed 35 years of marriage, and has two delightful children.  Her son is a 2017 GMU graduate, and her home educated daughter starts Bridgewater College in the fall.  When not grading papers, she enjoys exploring local parks and gardens, and pricking her fingers on her newest hobby, embroidery.

• 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.

• Allison Pasquine
(Chemistry, Physics)
B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Medical Technology from Geneva College.
Allison has homeschooled her 3 daughters for 14 years. She loves teaching the Sciences and laboratory skills and making difficult concepts more manageable and accessible for students.   Some of her favorite things are fixing up old houses with her husband, Fred, and sitting around a table talking with friends and family. 

• 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. Currently, she also oversees the student-edited YMV Yearbook in addition to serving as YMV’s Academic Director.