Veritas In Academia

Serving homeschoolers through Catholic tutors.

VIA Tutors' Biographies

       Christy is a wife and mother to 4, soon to be 5, beautiful children.  Every day she realizes the call to love unconditionally, through the beauty of her vocation. She earned her Masters degree in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas. During her time at St. Thomas she had the amazing opportunity to study in Rome at the Angelicum. This experience provided her the opportunity to immerse herself in the Italian culture, walk in the footsteps of the great saints that have gone before us, to meet Pope John Paul II, and sit in a class with Auxiliary Bishop Cozzens. Teaching is one of her passions, she has taught Middle School and High School students in the parish setting while being a Youth Minister and Director of Religious Education and has taught adults in the RCIA program.

       Julia Johnson has a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Language Arts. After years of teaching Catholic elementary school, Julia taught preschool so she could stay home with her growing family, almost full-time. Being with little ones and home educating reminded Julia that our Catholic faith and character development are more important than the pages between textbooks. Language Arts is Mrs. Johnson’s favorite subject because written and oral words make us think and often smile; especially children’s words. She and her husband, Eric, have six children. Getting identical, twin  boys to survive toddlerhood was Julia’s claim to fame, years ago, and now she is excited to teach your children!

       Mr. Joshua La Fond earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from Magdalen College in and has various musical experience leading personal voice training, formal cantor training, children’s and youth choirs, academy choral programs, sacred scholas, chant workshops and scholas, polyphony choirs, full adult choirs including a men’s choir, performance choirs, and drama musicals. Well aware himself of the dry mouth, sticky palms and sheer panic which comes with performing music, Mr. LaFond’s ease with the human voice makes him easily help the inner singer come out!  Spreading the joy of the heart through music is a delight to him, and is evident in the students he teaches. He has yet to meet a truly “tone-deaf” student who cannot learn to sing beautifully.  His six children and wife all love to sing and offer a personal testimony to his love of the human voice lifted in song.  Mr. La Fond often quotes Saint Augustine’s phrase “He who sings, prays twice!” as well the music of King David in Psalm 98:  “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth: break forth into joyous song and sing praises!”

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

       First and foremost, Robin is a Catholic daughter of God, wife, and mother of 6 here on earth and 2 little ones in Heaven. Not very long ago when she was young, she was inspired to teach Math after having had excellent examples of teachers in both high school and college. Math could actually be fun! She also liked that it was objective--no opinions about 2+2=4.  Truth is truth when one is seeking the true, the good, and the beautiful! She earned a B.A. in Mathematics with minors in Secondary Education and Business Management from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, and held a Secondary Math Education teaching certificate. She also taught a year of fifth grade at a parochial school in Virginia and privately tutored several students in various Math subjects over the years. When God called her to the vocation of marriage and motherhood, she stayed home to raise her kids. When she is not homeschooling her younger kids or taking care of the rest of the family and home, she assists in bookkeeping for the family business, because she can't get enough of numbers. To balance the right and left brain, she enjoys reading and discussing books with her Well Read Mom friends and, well, just socializing in general!

       Jenna grew up in a homeschooling household. She is the middle (and best) child of the Leighton family. In 2010, Jenna earned her B.A. in Theology and Catechists with a minor in Philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville. During her college years she had the opportunity to study abroad in Austria, to join a women’s faith community called Madonna of the Streets, and to serve as the president of the Students for Life club on campus. She is currently serving at the Church of St. Henry in Monticello as the Director of Youth Formation and Ministry (6th-12th grade). In addition to ministry, Jenna loves adventuring outdoors, sewing and paper-crafting, and most of all being a daughter, sister, and friend. 

       John earned his bachelor's degree, master's degree, and PhD with Electrical Engineering as a major for all degrees and with Physics as a minor for his graduate degrees. John then practiced engineering as his first career designing semiconductor processes, devices and circuitry for the disk-drive industry as well as designing focal plane arrays and developing image processing algorithms for the infra-red camera industry. John is a named inventor on multiple patents. John graduated from Hamline School of Law in 2010 and shortly thereafter embarked upon his second career practicing patent law. John first began practicing law at Thompson Patent Law and now has joined the team at Kinney & Lange. In his spare time, John loves being husband to his beautiful bride and being father to his adorable children.
Julie Leighton is a homeschool mom of five children. She has a degree in Elementary Education and Studio Arts. Before homeschooling, she taught at St. Vincent de Paul and St. Stephen’s Catholic schools.  Her passions include drawing, painting, teaching, and being a mother, grandmother, and wife to her adoring husband.

        Ana Grace is a native Spanish speaker, born in San Jose, Costa Rica. She earned a Master of International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. She has traveled throughout five continents, visited 26 countries, and enjoys learning about other cultures. She is the mother of six children (one in heaven) and has been homeschooling for 10 years.

       Susan Robinson has homeschooled for the past fifteen years and is excited to return to VIA this year as a science tutor. She has worked for several major universities and has additional experience as an exercise rehab specialist, corporate health coach, first aid/CPR instructor, elementary physical education and health teacher, youth sport
coach, consultant, and presenter. She currently serves as the Buffalo Hospital/Allina Health Heart Safe Communities Coordinator.

       Susan continues to grow in her desire for all that is good, true and beautiful and hopes to inspire her students to do the same through a catholic classical education. She is passionate about seeing each student’s gifts and potential, then watching them work hard to achieve their goals. Susan has a B.S. in Education (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and an M.S. in Health & Physical Education (Virginia Tech), with concentrations in Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation. With several graduate classes completed in the field of counseling psychology, she brings an understanding of the whole person to her students and is able to meet them where they are and inspire them to attain their goals. Susan loves to have fun in her classes, so games, jokes, challenging “thinking” activities, and even “body breaks” (because movement is good for our body, mind and soul) are often included!

       Susan loves life and see it as an exciting journey with all its twists and turns, and especially enjoys family time, recreation in nature (hiking, biking, walking, canoeing, you name it!), music, reading, crocheting, cooking, gardening, and just being. Prayer and experiential learning with students of all ages is the fuel that keeps Susan moving.
       Karyn grew up in a family of ten, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, Catechetics, and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH in 2010.  In 2018, she received her Masters degree in Education from University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.  During her studies she spent an extended period of time living in Argentina and Chile, as well as visiting over 15 other countries along the way.  She taught middle school Spanish for one year prior to having children and she now stays home with her three little ones and enjoys learning and implementing the Montessori Method with her children within the home, aa well as speaking Spanish to them from the very start. In addition, Karyn loves staying active and learning about healthy eating and she enjoys cooking everything from scratch.
       Susan earned her B.A. in Classics from Gustavus Adolphus College. She has a love of all things ancient and spent seven months in Greece during college, studying and working on an archaeological excavation in Athens. After graduation, she taught Latin, Greek, Ancient History, Art History, and other fun topics at Trinity School at River Ridge before marrying her husband and happily settling into her role as the wife of a dairy farmer. She kept her connection with education through substitute teaching at a number of Catholic schools in the western metro area. When her daughter entered first grade, Susan decided to direct her passion for teaching at her most important students: her three children. She and her husband have discovered that homeschooling is a perfect fit for a farming lifestyle. A parishioner at Sts. Peter and Paul, she feels blessed that God has given her the opportunity to share her excitement about Latin with the students at VIA while still being able to home school her children. When not teaching, working in the barn, or taking care of her family, Susan writes a column for The Dairy Star, and loves to garden, read, hike, and dabble in sewing.

       Mrs. Weber earned her BA in education, is certified in all three levels of Montessori Training: Level I (ages 3-6), Level II (ages 6-9), Level III (ages 9-12) and in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Levels I and II. She has many years of experience teaching in public Montessori grade schools and Catholic schools.  Currently she homeschools her sons and is passionate about teaching Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and being in The Children's House.