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Secondary School

6th-9th grades

Meet your teachers for the 2023-2024 school year!


Sheryl Owings

English, M/W

My husband, Rich, and I have been married for 32 years and have four amazing children (and spouses): Blake (married to Maddie), Morgan, Alexis (married to Nate), and Addison (all adults now).  I had the great privilege to homeschool them all for more than 16 years.   I also have two delightful grandsons, Forest and Fox.  You can often find me on the Turnpike on my way to visit them in Topeka.  My family has been blessed to be a part of Christian Performance Theatre (formerly Christian Youth Theater) for many years.  I was the Show Coordinator for 8 years and my girls performed in over 20 shows.  In addition to homeschooling my own children, I have also taught Language Arts privately for other homeschool families.  I love going for walks, lounging by the pool or reading a good book.  I also enjoy cooking and watching classic tv shows.   I am excited to be a part of what God is doing in LIGHT Academy!

Lili Berning

Math/Science, M/W

My husband, Nolan, and I have been married for three years. We are expecting our first little one any day now! Nolan works in Marketing at the Wichita State Foundation. We are both from Wichita and we met several years ago in a campus ministry while attending Wichita State. I graduated from Wichita State with an education degree this past May and have worked in public schools for almost five years. I love spending time outside and with friends, running, biking, and reading. I can often be found working or reading at a coffee shop and I'm known to go a little stir crazy when it's been too long since I've travelled. I am new to the homeschool world and so excited for this school year!


Sandy Schwemmer

Math, T/Th

I have been married twenty-six years to my husband, Kevin, who works at Textron Aviation. We have four lovely daughters, Faith, Sarah, Hannah, and Ruth, whom I have had the privilege of homeschooling these past 18 years. (We just gained a son-in-law, Jake, this summer.) Prior to staying home with my children, I taught high school mathematics for 6 years. For the past 10 years I have been teaching high school science and math classes privately for homeschool families. Our family has attended River Community Church for twenty-six years. Studying God’s Word, meeting for chats and coffee, sewing quilts , and taking scenic walks are a few of my favorite pastimes. I am excited to embark on this new opportunity for teaching at Light Academy.

Jimi Nickel

English, T/Th

I'm Jimi (given name is Jalizabeth) and I  have been married to my husband, Phil, for 22 years. We have four children. Christopher is the oldest and has been married to his wife Lizzy for almost 4 years. We adopted Christopher through foster care, when he was 8 years old. We also have 10-year old twins, Wyatt and Hattie, and an 8-year old, Hazel. I have worked part-time at my church, West Ridge Community, for the past nine years and recently completed my Master's in Spiritual Formation and Leadership. I am an avid reader and writer, and am excited to teach Middle School Language Arts for the first time and to incorporate what I have learned about helping people become more like Jesus.


Chloe Kelley

Science, T/Th

On most days, I can be found grading or lesson planning at our local coffee shops/bookstores – if you see me in the wild, please come say hi! Otherwise, my ideal days are spent at home, during thunderstorms, drinking coffee and reading with my kitten, Valon. I enjoy all aspects of academia which I attribute to my love of learning: great teachers come from life-long students.


Before joining LIGHT, I spent the last 4 years working with middle, high school, and college students. Being a homeschool graduate myself, I greatly appreciate the relationship of co-teaching between parents and instructors for the ultimate benefit of students. While my background as an instructor varies from sciences to worldviews to essay composition, my most memorable class was the semester I spent as a student studying cadaver dissection! The best part about teaching is helping students to connect the dots between the nature of God and His creation. Soli Deo gloria!

Abe Deaver

Math, T/Th

My wife, Ashley, and I have been happily married for 16 years.  Together, we have been blessed with 3 children: Ruby (12), Myles (10), and Violet (7).  I received my Bachelors in Education from Kansas State University and my Masters in Special Education from the University of Kansas.  I’ve spent the last 16 years teaching at the secondary level in Kansas City, Wichita, and Augusta. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my teaching experiences and value every relationship that I’ve built along the way. 

My relationship with Jesus is everything to me. One of my life verses, Matthew 25:40, comes from the parable of The Sheep and Goats.  This verse has been a guiding factor in my teaching career.  I have lots and lots of interests and hobbies.  Here are just a few of my hobbies: drinking coffee, disc golf, Younglife, Wyldlife, collecting, gaming, throwing a pigskin, biking, walking, garage sales, flea markets, eBay, StockX, Whatnot, Poshmark, sneakers, coins, Pokemon, basketball cards, atvs, drums, guitars, DJing, music, etc….



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