Meet Our Faculty

Holly Wester

Hello! My name is Holly Wester, and I am happy you are here. I absolutely love learning and teaching while inspiring creativity. I strive to give my students a supportive, engaging, and laid-back environment where they are free to be themselves. I earned my Master’s degree in Elementary Education and have been teaching for over 10 years. I have experience working with children in preschool through 6th grade in multiple educational settings. After graduating, I worked as a classroom teacher for 7 years. During my time with the school system I worked on curriculum development projects, provided district-wide training and served as the lead language arts teacher for K-7. I eventually transitioned to provide instruction as a Certified Tutor and enjoy a renewed focus on my instruction practices. Writing instruction has been a passion since the beginning of my career. I frequently participate in workshops and classes to gain more knowledge and to find new ways to meet my student’s needs. I enjoy fostering creativity and building confidence through writing. I believe becoming a strong writer and finding joy in the process can greatly enhance a child’s educational experience.



G1-3 Write From Your Imagination- Create a Story Book

G1-3 We are writers- Writing Basics Level 1

Maria Golden

I have eight years of experience teaching in the classroom with a variety of grade levels. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Literacy Instruction. I have a passion for reading and writing and I love sharing my joy for literacy with students of all ages!



G4-6 The power of illustration: Picture Book Creation

G4-6 Explore creative Writing

Jennifer Beltagy

Jennifer Beltagy is an English teacher with 10 years of experience teaching Kindergarten through grade 12. She has a strong passion for language, with a particular penchant for reading and writing. A native New Yorker, she attended SUNY Fredonia for her undergraduate degree in Childhood Education and Spanish, and Canisius College for her graduate program studying Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bilingual Education. Jennifer has worked with students of all backgrounds to improve their writing for academic purposes. She has extensive experience working with high school juniors to succeed on high-stakes English Language Arts exams, as well as working with high school seniors to successfully craft college essays. Additionally, she has worked to hone middle schoolers’ writing to enable them to be high-school ready, and has expertise in facilitating the growth and development of young writers at the elementary level to build strong foundational writing skills. When she’s not teaching, Jennifer can usually be found poring over a book, usually centered around world cultures and society, or current events. She further enjoys cooking, traveling, and usually has a coffee in her hands all hours of the day. She now lives in Michigan with her husband, Ahmed, who is an electric vehicle engineer.


High School Writing Boot Camp

Middle School: You Can Be An “Influencer”, Too! The Art of Persuasive Writing

G4-6: Writing Basics level 2: Elevate Your Writing: Exploring Expository Writing

Angie Manzanares

Angie Manzanares has a master’s degree in education and bachelor’s degree in journalism. She spent six years in the newsroom as an education and entertainment reporter in the fabulous city of Las Vegas. Upon leaving the newsroom, she entered the world of middle school English, television production and journalism. She loves watching her students grow as journalists both on-screen and on paper.



Middle School- Journalism

Middle School- Public speaking

Kara Baron

I am currently a middle school special education teacher. I have 13 years experience teaching English and Social Studies in secondary classrooms. I have also advised both newspaper and television production clubs for high school students.



Middle School: Comic Book Creation Club

Jon Griffin

I am a certified teacher and administrator with over 15 years of classroom experience, but at heart I am a lover of literature and writing of all genres. This summer, I will be teaching composition and creative writing.


High school: Writing Boot Camp: Ace Your Research Paper

Creative Writing

Amanda Hsiao

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics with a specialization in TESOL, I went overseas to teach English writing, grammar, and pronunciation. I have over ten years teaching experience both overseas and in the US, and have most recently worked with middle school students to improve their grammar and writing abilities. Most often, I help students who are specifically struggling with writing to find their writer’s voice and improve the flow and structure of their writing.



Middle School: Creative Writing–From Poetry to Short Stories 

Erika Davenport

Hi there! My name is Erika Davenport, and I am a certified English teacher in Texas. I have been teaching high school English for the last 8 years, and am so excited to work together this summer.


Rising 11 & 12 graders: First step: Explore college application essay

High School: Creating your Podcast