Academic Mentors


Ashley Graham
Creative Writing

Ashley Graham is the founder and CEO of Lift Bridge Publishing and Generation Write Now. Lift Bridge Publishing is a publishing house established in 2014 that assists authors in the writing and publishing process. Graham is the host of a podcast and book writing course, "Finish Your Book Already" a writing camp for adults, and she's an author of two poetry books and one children's book. Her passion is witnessing a young person find their voice and use it in a creative way.

Mark Halverstadt

Mark Halverstadt works as an engineer, but he's been playing chess for a long time. In high school, chess was a fun way to make friends and helped him excel at math. In college, chess helped him become the student body president as a freshman. In 1987, he won the Florida Chess Association's amateur champion trophy. "Mr. Mark" loves helping kids learn chess strategies that can also help them excel at school and in life.

Teisha Chaney


Teisha Chaney is a certified middle school science teacher with years of teaching experience in the states of Florida and Georgia. She has always volunteered in numerous community organizations that focused on the development and well-being of children. As a military spouse and a mother of three, she has taken the past few years off to discover life as a stay-at-home mom. With more time to focus on her own children, she has decided to venture into the world of homeschooling. She loves to learn new ways to empower and inspire a love of learning by sparking curiosity and encouraging exploration into the wonders of our world. 

Heather Halverstadt

Heather Halverstadt is a homeschool mom, science fiction writer, and former GIS analyst.  She's also a casual chess player who is usually beaten by her chess-loving husband and son. She's the one in the family with the best organizing skills, though...just think of her as the Chess Secretary.
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Tyronda Boone


Tyronda Boone has been in education for almost 20 years in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area.  With a Master's Degree in Education and Finance, her passion has been community empowerment.  She believes that this empowerment starts with educating and supporting youth.  As a single mother, she is dedicated to this cause and hopes this book will start a dialogue among families that will lead to long-term wealth and generational success.

Nature Studies

Our Nature Studies series will be presented by Brenda Nairn-Davies, Rebecca Turner, and Lynne Wheeler, official members of the Southern Maryland Audubon Society.