Get to know GHF teachers offering amazing classes for the gifted learners you love.
Lindsey Nelson, Education Chair
Lindsey Nelson holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Engineering Education, and is the Education Chair for GHF. Lindsey loves engaging gifted and twice-exceptional learners with big, juicy questions and believes that the best classes are fueled by students’ curiosity. Lindsey’s classes rely heavily on discussion and frequently incorporate video resources to allow learners to see engineering design in action. Lindsey uses open-ended homework challenges (such as “Design your own ultimate writing tool”) to offer students an opportunity to 1) use engineering design processes, 2) think outside of the box, and 3) pursue creative solutions.
Beth Mai is a teacher from Ontario, Canada. With over 20 years of experience working with curious students ages 5-19, Beth enjoys creating interdisciplinary challenges that are rich, stimulating, engaging, and rewarding for learners.
Beth started her adult life as a public school teacher but now homeschools with her own gifted kids. Beth is also the director and lead teacher at Stanton Academy, a not-for-profit democratic microschool for bright, gifted, and 2e learners. Publicly, she is also a passionate advocate for gifted and 2e children and their needs.
Beth was a curious kid and is still curious as an adult. When not teaching, volunteering her time somewhere, or hanging out with her boys, Beth can be found trying out new recipes, reading a good book from her stack, or trying something that leads her just outside her comfort zone. Always on a new adventure, Beth is excited to be teaching with GHF.
Hosanna Patience is a writer, teacher, and editor. She is a graduate of The New School’s MFA program. She was a recipient of the AWP Writers’ Conferences & Centers scholarship for an emerging fiction writer, the Pearl Sperling Evans Prize for most promise in fiction, and she was a nominee for the anthology, Best New American Voices. She was the recipient of the award for most outstanding work in the Department of English.
- Creative Writing Labs
- GHF Teen Literary Journal
Mr. John McDonald lives in Portland, Oregon (home of Powell’s- the world’s largest book store!) and spends his days writing plays, baking from vintage cookbooks, and absorbing the unique visual art of his city. He has a BA from Portland State University and a variety of plays and screenplays in his repertoire for use at a moment’s notice. He’s a fan of Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Vincent Price. Mr. McDonald is a big believer in the creative process as a unique entity for each creative person and likes to push students into working to find their voice at the moment in which they live.
Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 35 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th – 12th graders through MIT’s Educational Studies Program. He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students, either at home or institutionalized, for school districts in several states. He was the headmaster of a small 7th – 12th grade alternative school in Boston for gifted “disgruntled” students. In addition to teaching and consulting, Josh currently organizes the Beyond IQ conferences near Boston and serves on the board for Hoagies Gifted. He’s more fun than this makes him sound!
- Games for Thinking While Playing
- Worldbuilding for Young Learners
- Worldbuilding for Teens
- Worldbuilding Lab
Lisa Fontaine-Rainen has been teaching gifted children in the public school system and working with homeschoolers for 18 years. She earned her MA in Gifted Education from William and Mary in 2001, and has been lucky to be able to work with these amazing young people ever since. Lisa relocated with her family to South Africa in 2014 and When she’s not teaching she loves to read, play games, do puzzles, and experiment in the kitchen with her two year old and five year old. Both children have been largely unscathed by this so far. Teaching and learning are passions – schooling is not.
- Puzzle Masters
Maria Johnson graduated with a degree in Humanities and Cultural Studies with Honors distinction. She primarily studied critical analysis of literature, specializing in Early Christian literature and Latin. Her research in literature has been published and presented at conferences. She has been teaching Latin and English online for over five years.
- Animals in Wonderland
- The World of Benjamin Franklin
- Writing Bravery in The Hobbit
Melissa Travis is a Classicist with a B.A. in Latin from Tulane University. She studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, Italy. Ms. Travis has tutored and taught Latin for almost 25 years. Her experiences in teaching range from the inner-city schools in New Orleans and Atlanta to private and charter schools in North Carolina. Melissa has also taught all grade levels in the public school system. She has also been a teaching assistant in Latin and Greek for the Center for Talented Youth. Ms. Travis enjoys teaching students who want to learn about the present and future from studying the past. Her hobbies include reading, arts and crafts, cooking, and digital art. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and cat named Cleopatra. Ms. Travis is very excited to be working with GHF.
- Latin in Harry Potter
- Pompeii: The Day a City Died
Dr. Sabrina Weiss specializes in developing theoretical models that represent the ethical and social dimensions of issues at the intersection of science, technology, and society. Topics of interest include media studies, gender and sexuality, discourse theory, bodies and cyborgs, bioethics, food ethics, and innovative pedagogies, as well as the institutional and change dimensions affecting those areas.
Dr. Weiss earned a B.S. from Stanford’s Science, Technology, and Society program, an M.S. in Bioethics from Albany Medical College, and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a former U.S. Naval Officer (ROTC) who served overseas in Japan and at the Office of Naval Research. An interdisciplinary and international scholar, Dr. Weiss has taught at Rochester Institute of Technology, which houses the National Institute for the Deaf, and at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. Dr. Weiss is a coauthor of Worlds of ScienceCraft: New Horizons in Sociology, Philosophy and Science Studies (2009).
- Debate Basics: Research, Framing, Argumentation
- Food: Ethics, Health, Justice
- Project Planning in Minecraft
Samantha Star is a teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She holds a BEd with Distinction, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English Second Language and a Certificate in Experiential Education. Samantha is fluently bilingual in English and French while also studying Italian. She is currently completing her MEd at McGill University. Samantha understands that learning needs to be student-centered and teachers need to be flexible in order to bring out the best in students.
- Exploring the Louvre
- The Psychology of Learning
Susan Lanigan received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Tulane University, and wrote her Honour’s Thesis on funerary and mortuary practices. She earned her MA in Bioarchaeology (also from Tulane University) in 2013, completing a thesis on paleopathology of Neolithic populations in North Africa. When she is not teaching, she works at archaeological sites as a bioarchaeologist (in countries including Egypt, Peru, and India) and has worked with police departments (in Louisiana and California) as a forensic anthropologist to help identify victims of violent crime. She has also worked in conjunction with public health organizations to determine risk and prevention of disease.
When Susan is not adventuring, she is passionate about comic books, video games, and her two dogs, Dormammu (a Siberian Husky) and Fuego (an Alaskan Malamute)!
- Magic, Science, and Religion