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Meet Our Teachers

Elaine Grove (elainegrove015@gmail.comElaine Grove has been a teacher at The Regent Academy since 2013 where she teaches geography/world cultures, art, study skills and character education. She has been a homeschool parent since 2008. She has 15 years of experience as a school psychologist in the Orange County Public Schools working with students 3 through 21 years of age. Mrs. Grove has extensive training in evaluating a student's cognitive and academic potential, teaching social skills and learning strategies, and behavior modification. She teaches a variety of self-empowerment and creative arts camps at St. Luke’s Lutheran School each summer, and Mrs. Grove also offers private behavioral coaching to students throughout the year thru Empower Me! Kids. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and an Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology from the University of Central Florida - School of Graduate Studies.

Terry Hamilton (

Mrs. Hamilton has been a home educator and teacher since 2012. During that time, she has taught or tutored many students, both privately and through participation in local cooperative schools. Among the subjects she has taught are geography, writing and grammar, and Florida history, a subject she has spent several years studying.  A lifelong resident of Central Florida, Mrs. Hamilton has a love of history, and a particular passion for Florida’s unique history. She enjoys sharing interesting and obscure bits about Florida that are not widely known, even by lifelong and long term residents of the state. She is a graduate of Valencia College and also holds a certificate as a Certified Copy Editor which she earned at the University of Central Florida. Among her hobbies are reading, cooking, and exploring and hiking Florida’s state parks with her husband and kids.

Amber Kest (

Mrs. Kest has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Human Performance from UCF.  She discovered her love of teaching in 2017, when she began teaching high school Anatomy, Biology, and Kinesiology classes in the private sector.  Mrs. Kest has 15 years of clinical experience as a licensed massage therapist, personal trainer, and clinical director of a physical therapy practice. This background allows her to integrate practical applications into the content of her classes.  She and her husband, Michael, have 3 children (Kody11, Isabel 8, and Michaela 5).  Aside from teaching, she and her family enjoy being outdoors, scuba diving, playing sports, snowboarding, and exploring new places.   

Virginia Knowles (

Virginia Knowles started homeschooling her own 10 children in 1992 and continues with her youngest teen. She has taught English and social studies in various co-op and private school classrooms, written books on homeschooling, and presented numerous workshops at the Books and Beyond literature conference. Virginia earned her MA in Ministry from Asbury Seminary in 2021, especially enjoying a class on Transformative Teaching. She is still a course assistant there, presenting occasional lectures and coaching student writing projects. She is currently researching and writing a book on spiritual growth, and also works part-time for a local community crisis helpline. Ms. Knowles teaches high school English and middle school language arts for TRA. She absolutely loves talking about literature and creative writing, especially with such themes as wisdom, integrity, and compassion. She integrates her lessons with historical poetry, speeches, music, and art. Critical thinking and clear communication skills are also a core part of her teaching. She hopes to instill a lifelong love of learning in each of her students.

​Lori Mauter​​​​​​​​​​​ (​

Mrs. Mauter has been teaching science classes with TRA since 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University in Elementary Education with an Endorsement in Middle Grade Science. In addition to this undergraduate degree she also holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University, Ashland, OH as well as a Specialist of Education in Math and Science Education from Brenau University, Gainesville, GA. Currently, she holds a Georgia State Teachers Certificate and has nine years of public school teaching experience. She and her husband are the proud parents of two grown children.

Angie Mendez(
Mrs. Mendez earned a  B.A. in English with a teaching certificate from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, then taught English/Language Arts in the public school system for 8 years at the middle (Southwest Junior High) and high school (Oviedo High School) levels.  She homeschooled her three children beginning in 1998 and graduated the youngest in 2017.  She has been teaching Honors English, Advanced Middle, and Elementary Language Arts for TRA since 2011 and has served as school administrator since 2012. One of her greatest joys is guiding students from elementary to high school into the GREAT CONVERSATION through literature and teaching them to be competent, gracious communicators via the written word.  She is happily and gratefully married to Eric Mendez, who is retired from 34 years teaching band in Orange County, and now is the Geneva School band director. She's mom to Zachary Mendez, Hannah and Aaron Jenness, and Claire Mendez.  She is Gigi to Jackson and Isla Jenness, which is by far her favorite role.  

Dan Moury (

Mr. Moury received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University in 1998. He worked as a design engineer for a custom machinery firm in Lancaster, PA for ten years. Dan also completed seminary and earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 2007. He served as a pastor for seven years, some of which were in a bi-vocational setting where he continued working as a mechanical engineer. Since 2011, he has merged his backgrounds in both technology and communications and serves as a videographer, editor, and photographer for Wycliffe Bible Translators here in Orlando. Dan and his wife, Melinda, have homeschooled their four children since their oldest entered first grade. Beyond assisting with his children’s education, he also served for two years as a Challenge B director (8th grade) in a Classical Conversations community in East Orlando. Mr. Moury’s began teaching Physics and Chemistry at TRA in 2019. He looks forward to not only teaching the concepts involved in these courses of study but also highlighting the practical applications of this information in a way that engages students and inspires them to consider how God might use this knowledge to lead them into their future professions

Melinda Moury (

Melinda Moury and her husband, Dan, have home-schooled their four children for the past 12 years. Melinda earned an Associate of Science degree from Lancaster Bible College in PA. She also attended school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked at a family medical practice. Through her involvement in Classical Conversations for the past 8 years, she tutored a Foundations class for 5 years. In addition, she is currently in her fourth year tutoring an Essentials English grammar and IEW writing class. She and her husband serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators where she volunteers occasionally at their on-site medical clinic. Melinda looks forward to using her nursing and teaching background to lead students in their study of biology.

Laurie Niblack (

Mrs. Niblack received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from UCF in 1985 and continues to hold a valid Florida Teaching Certificate.  She has experience teaching in both public and private schools as well as private teaching, tutoring, and counseling families through annual homeschool evaluations. She homeschooled her own children from Kindergarten through 12th grade and understands both the blessings and challenges that come with homeschooling.  Mrs. Niblack has tutored secondary math since 1995 and has been teaching Pre-Algebra and Algebra I at TRA since 2010. She enjoys the challenge of making difficult concepts easier to understand for her students and seeing them master concepts they thought were beyond them.

Benny Phillips (

Benny Phillips earned a B.A. in History from George Mason University and has recently retired from close to 50 years in pastoral ministry.  He's a former administrator and teacher(2003-2011) with The Regent Academy, where he was able to merge his love of God's word, history and philosophy, and hopes to do so again!  He's been married to his high school sweetheart, Sheree, for almost 50 years, and they share 7 children and 20 grandchildren.  He and Sheree also lead Redeemer Counseling Group, a local Biblical counseling ministry.

Rebekah Phillips (
Rebekah Phillips is a homeschooling mom who has a gift for math and has tutored high school math in the homeschool community since 2000.  She is happily married to Jesse Phillips and mom to Samuel, Isaac, Josiah, and Liberty.


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