The Learning Team

We know what it takes to help each unique student grow academically and emotionally. We pair each student with the right coach and create supplemental educational programming that makes a difference in their learning ability and success.

Our team members develop a personal relationship with students and their families which can include collaborating with their teachers and school.

We’re not simply “tutors”… we provide academic coaching. We provide enriching solutions with tangible results to meet each student’s broad-spectrum of learning needs.

Ashlee Grove

B.A., M.A.
Team leader

Ashlee Grove is a native of Memphis attended Christian Brothers University and Memphis State University, graduating in 1991 Cum Laude with a B.A in English and History. After working in the community for several years, Ms. Grove returned to the University of Memphis in 1996 and completed the Master of Art in Teaching program, earning her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1998 with certification in English and Biology.

After graduation, Ms. Grove began her teaching career at Lausanne Collegiate School, where she taught 7th grade Life Science and Technology Integration in Lausanne’s middle school. After three years in the classroom, serving as her teaching-team leader, Lausanne promoted Ms. Grove to Head of Middle School; a position she held for 5 years.

In May 2006, Ms. Grove started her own educational consulting firm: Ashlee Grove & Associates, Inc. She is an academic coach and learning specialist with advanced training in several specialty areas concerning students with specific learning needs. Her certifications include associate level Orton-Gillingham training and Lindamood-Bell. Her firm understands the intricate balance between meeting a family and child’s broad spectrum of needs: social, emotional, spiritual, and educational.

In 2008, Ms. Grove relocated to Huntsville, Alabama where she extended her network and relaunched Ashlee Grove & Associates, Inc. She first partnered with Greengate School for Dyslexia where she worked as the technology integration specialist and after school program director. Since moving to Huntsville, Ms. Grove has expanded Ashlee Grove & Associates, Inc. to include consultants who provide additional services for standardized testing, student psychological services, foreign language tutoring, reading specialists, advanced placement coaching, and a deep network of subject-matter specialists.

Ms. Grove’s coaching expertise lies in her highly individualized, research-based approach to meeting the needs of the student, parents and school, through rich collaboration and intensive mentorship and training. She works closely with Randolph School in Huntsville and networks throughout the educational systems of Huntsville, Birmingham, Memphis, and Nashville.

Ms. Grove is involved in the Huntsville Track Club, Spring City Cycling Club, and Sierra Club. She has completed numerous half marathons, duathlons, and triathlons and considers health and well-being to play an integral roll in the overall performance of the brain. She mentors her students on the benefits of sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and quality of life. She is not just a “tutor”  – she is an academic coach, who provides enriching solutions with tangible results to a student’s broad-spectrum of learning needs.

Jane Anne Carlton

B.A., M.Ed.

Jane Anne Carlton grew up in North Alabama, rather an anomaly in Huntsville with such a
diverse population from around the globe. She earned her undergraduate degree from Samford University majoring in English and Mathematics with an emphasis in secondary education. From there she went straight to Vanderbilt University for a Master of Education in Math Education. Mrs. Carlton has taught in public schools in several major cities (Nashville and Dallas), small towns (Sheffield, AL) and rural communities (Laceys’ Spring, AL). Locally she taught at Bob Jones High School until taking off for “mom time” when her son was born. Eventually, Mrs. Carlton joined the faculty at Randolph School where she taught until deciding to focus on family while tutoring math and being a community volunteer.

Beyond the traditional classroom, Mrs. Carlton has experience teaching home school, tutoring private and public school students, and serving as a math interventionist. She holds professional certification in middle grades and secondary mathematics spanning grades 4-12.

Kathy Emmerson

B.S., Ph.D.

Kathy Emmerson earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Psychology from University of Dayton and a Ph.D. in Nutrition Science from Ohio State. She was a research fellow and assistant as well as teaching Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada for several years before raising a family.

She is an Orton-Gillingham trained language (2011 and 2018) and elementary multisensory math tutor (2018). Through homeschooling her son from seventh grade through high school, she became involved in teaching algebra and science courses to middle and high school students at STEM Homeschool Collaborative and Morningside Homeschool Co-op. She has taught and tutored various homeschool, public, and private school students in language, math, and science.

Over the years she has enjoyed working with children of all ages from preschool through young adulthood as a Girl Scout troop leader, Sunday school teacher, and bible study children’s leader.

Maria Jenkins

Maria Jenkins

B.S., Elementary Education/Foreign Language

Maria Jenkins earned her undergraduate degree from Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the first student to graduate from the Teacher Education Program at Boyce and had the opportunity to work alongside the State Board of Education to develop the program entirely. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she spent one year teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand, where she learned to speak Thai and established an English curriculum for Sripatum University. She also spent one-semester backpacking in rural China to map villages for the International Mission Board.

Before college Maria spent her childhood, living in multiple countries around the world with her military family. She was homeschooled through high school and worked with her mother to develop her personalized education plan. Developing this plan sparked a passion for education in her from an early age.

Since graduating from Boyce, she has gained a variety of educational experiences. Before moving to Huntsville in 2016, she worked in Birmingham, teaching 6th grade at Chelsea Middle School and later as a behavioral specialist at Impact Family Counseling. At Impact, the student population usually included kids removed from the traditional classroom; Maria worked one-on-one with these high school students with the goal of preparing them to return to their previous school.

She now works for The Learning Team full-time. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree from Troy University.

Rhonda Lisaukis Ashlee Grove and Associates

Rhonda Lisauckis


Rhonda Lisauckis graduated cum laude from Pan American University in Texas with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Rhonda began teaching biology at Covenant Christian Academy in 1990. Over the year’s she has added classes to include physical science, chemistry, marine science, and earth science.

She won the Educator of the Year Award from the National Space Club of Huntsville in 2013 and the North Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair Legacy Award in 2016. She loves teaching and inspiring students to excel in the sciences.

Nancy Ordway

B.a., M.ed.

Nancy Ordway graduated from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill with a History degree and no intention of teaching. However, after a meaningful volunteer experience with an adult literacy program in Tuscaloosa, she became enamored with the individualized approach to teaching inherent in adult education, and taught for the Tuscaloosa County Schools’ adult learning program. In time, she earned a master’s degree in Special Education in the area of Specific Learning Disabilities from Alabama A & M University. Nancy received extensive training from LIndamood-Bell Learning Processes in reading and writing intervention. She served as the Resource teacher at Holy Spirit Regional School for several years before undertaking to tutor students privately.

Nancy works with students of all ages in the areas of reading, writing and language arts, from early literacy to college prep. She has a keen interest in the area of testing and evaluation, and administers academic testing to provide tutors, parents and students with data used to make individual learning plans and to measure progress.

Daniela "Dani" Peele

B.a., Communications
office/project manager

Dani grew up in Huntsville and is happy to be back “home” after life moved her away for several years. A Sparkman High School graduate, Dani earned her BA in Communications – Public Relations from Berry College in Rome, GA and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Dani’s career began in the aerospace and defense industry supporting business development and project management. She has served several small businesses as a Quality Manager, Project Analyst, Proposal Manager, and Program/Project Manager. In 2015, Dani took her years of management and marketing experience into the local church as she followed God’s call and life’s opportunities to work full-time in ministry. During this time, she taught small groups and preschool chapel, preached, and supported administrative functions.

As a member of The Learning Team at Ashlee Grove & Associates, Dani is Office/Project Manager. In this role, she works alongside our team to develop schedules, sessions, as well as identifying resources and tools to support client success while completing administrative tasks and needs of the firm.

Elizabeth Simmons

B.s., Secondary Science education

Elizabeth Simmons graduated from Auburn University with a BS in secondary science education, with concentrations in physics and biology. While attending Auburn, she gained her first teaching experiences as a physical science lab instructor for non-science majors. Since then, she has enjoyed teaching for 30 years. At Huntsville High she taught a wide range of courses, including physics and physical science, general chemistry, forensic science as well as general, honors and AP biology. At the middle school level, she taught Earth, life and physical sciences at Holy Spirit School.

Outside of the classroom, Elizabeth worked with NASA MSFC solar scientists as a teacher consultant in the design of educational materials and co-authored and received a NASA IDEAS grant endeavoring to increase the appreciation of astronomy in Girl Scouts. She has also worked as an AP biology teacher presenter for A+ College Ready, teaching Saturday study sessions throughout North Alabama.

In addition to her life-long love of science, Elizabeth also loves being an Oma, singing and playing hand bells in her church choirs and playing cello.

Andrea Summers tutor at Ashlee Grove and Associates

Andrea Summers Wimberly

B.s., m.s.

Andrea Wimberly was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, graduating from Grissom High School. She left Huntsville to attend Florida College in Tampa, FL and earned her BS in Chemistry and Biology with an emphasis in secondary education from Auburn University. She continued her education, attaining her MS in Educational Administration at Jacksonville State University.

Throughout her teaching career, Andrea has taught Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, and Physical Science at various high schools including Lagrange (Georgia), Bob Jones, and Grissom. She currently teaches Chemistry, Computer Science, and the Entrepreneur class at Randolph School. In addition to teaching, Andrea coaches the girls’ soccer team and has experience coaching volleyball and basketball. Her involvement in sports generates a unique understanding and ability to assist students in balancing a busy schedule and focusing attention on the work required to be successful in their academic pursuits.

Andrea brings leadership experience to her academic coaching. At Randolph, she is a Lifetime Learning Collaborative Leader, conducts Professional Development Workshops, and assists the Athletic Director with various initiatives and requirements. Andrea developed the computer science and entrepreneur curriculum currently in use at Randolph School. Andrea was the recipient of the Wessel Robin Grant award twice and has received summer collaborative grants four years in a row.

Missy Walker

B.S., Marketing; B.A., M.A. Elementary Education
Certificate in Instructional Leadership

Missy Walker is a native to Huntsville, never venturing too far from home. She attending the University of Alabama and earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. After working for a year in sales, Missy decided to return to school and pursue a degree in elementary education.

After finishing a master’s degree in elementary education, Missy worked for Huntsville City Schools teaching all subjects in third, fifth, and sixth grades over a span of nine years. She taught 6th-grade math at Huntsville Middle School for the next 12 years.

In 2013, Missy left the classroom to work as an assistant principal in an elementary school. She then became the Math Coordinator for Huntsville City Schools and worked to support elementary math teachers in the system. Missy retired from Huntsville City Schools in May of 2019.

After attending Orton-Gillingham training for language in the summer of 2019 and completing Marilyn Zecher’s multi-sensory math training, Missy acquired a job teaching 5th and 6th-grade math at Greengate School where she is currently employed.

Callie Wilmer

B.A. Elementary Education
B.A. Special Education with Mathematics/English

Callie Wilmer graduated from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. She graduated with degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education with minors in Mathematics and English. She then went to the University of Alabama to complete a degree in Early Childhood Special Education with an Emphasis on Behavior.

Callie has worked for Huntsville City Schools as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher for the past seven years. She is currently working towards becoming Nationally Board Certified.

Beth Siano

B.S. Mathematics

Beth Siano graduated Suma Cum Laude from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in Mathematics. She currently works at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center as an Education Presenter for Space Camp where she teaches on various STEM and space topics. Beth enjoys working with and teaching kids of all ages. 
In her free time, Beth is heavily involved in community theatre. 

Stephanie Dwyer

B.A., M.S.

Stephanie Dwyer, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attained her undergraduate degree as a dual major in Spanish and Political Science from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and was a two-sport varsity athlete in softball and tennis. She recently earned her Master of Science degree in Teacher Leadership from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, distinguished by outstanding writing recognition.

Currently, Stephanie serves as the K-8 World Language Department Chair and 8th-grade Spanish teacher at Randolph School. She has been the head girls’ varsity tennis coach and middle school basketball coach. Presently, she leads the 8th grade House Captain program, serves as a teacher leader to the middle school student Academic Team, is a member of the Middle School Division Council, and runs regular peer workshops on integrating technology in the classroom for learning and assessment.

Stephanie has been awarded Wessel Robbins grants and multiple professional collaborative grants each summer that she has taught at Randolph School. She regularly seeks out professional learning opportunities, most recently traveling to San Diego, California for a national language teacher conference.

Stephanie has spent her 27-year independent school career dedicated to the belief that the most effective coaching and learning take place in the context of respectful and trusting relationships. Whether as a classroom teacher or individual learning coach, she is committed to the success of each student she works with and appreciates the unique and important voice of each child.

Joy Johnson

M.S. Mathematics/Physics

Joy Johnson holds two master’s degrees: Physics and Applied Mathematics. After a career in science at NASA and in technical writing at Intergraph, she has made her home in different roles in academia beginning in 2009. After teaching part-time at the college level for many years and at various institutions, she worked as a full-time faculty member of the Department of Mathematics at Alabama A&M University for five years. Then she moved into the world of one-on-one tutoring (but maintains part-time faculty status at Calhoun Community College).

She has tutored and taught in a wide variety of math and physics courses, for example: algebra, precalculus, trigonometry, calculus, physical science, college physics, statistics, linear algebra, differential equations, geometry, engineering statistics, discrete math, finite math, and more! She also got the chance to author a companion study guide for a college-level precalculus textbook for Cengage Publishing.

Cassie Lofts Ashlee Grove and Associates

Cassie Lofts


Cassie Lofts graduated summa cum laude from the University of Memphis with a BS in Electrical Engineering and a minor in mathematics. She worked in industry as an electro-optical engineer for seven years, then homeschooled for 13 years.

She has taught STEM classes at Covenant Christian Academy since 2012. She teaches calculus, physics, electronics, geometry, and earth & space science. She spent several years developing and presenting educational programs to school groups and the public at the Von Braun Astronomical Society’s planetarium and volunteers at the regional and state science fairs. She wants every student that she teaches to grow, gain confidence, and be successful in reaching their goals.

Clifford Pate

B.S. mathematics, ms.ed. secondary ed./math

Clifford Pate is a High School Math Teacher at New Century Technology High School in Huntsville. After a successful career working in Minor League Baseball for the Huntsville Stars, he returned to get his Masters in Secondary Math Education and began teaching and coaching baseball at Sparkman Middle School. He taught for many years at Huntsville High while also leading a State Championship Golf Team and serving as Athletic Director.

Clifford has taught Algebra I and II, PreCal, Discrete Math and AP Statistics and continues to coach high school wrestling in his spare time. He enjoys working with students one-on-one and showing them connections between the curriculum and the real world problems they might see in their future careers.

Melissa Sherfey


Melissa Sherfey earned her Bachelor’s degree in English while simultaneously earning her certification in secondary education from Mount Saint Mary College in upstate New York. Upon completion of her degree, she immediately began a Master’s degree in literacy education from the same institution. Unsatisfied with the level of rigor from the Master’s program, she transferred to Georgia State University to complete her Master’s degree in literary studies.

While completing her studies, she began tutoring students in 2008. At first, she assumed the role of a peer tutor. Melissa fell in love with helping students reach levels of understanding and continued to tutor throughout all of her studies. At Georgia State University she took this love of education one step further and earned a second graduate assistantship as a teaching assistant instructing three composition courses. A post-graduation move to North Carolina allowed her to assume the role of classroom educator at a charter school in the fields of history, Spanish, English, AP Literature, and AP Seminar.

Melissa has over ten years of educational experience and loves bringing her passion with her into tutoring sessions to help students connect with their subjects. While well versed in a variety of subjects, she excels at tutoring writing skills. Facilitation is her instructional method of choice and she loves helping students reach that “aha” moment when components of an essay slide into place. Melissa comes to tutoring sessions with memorable tips and tricks to help students become independent learners with the confidence to be as academically successful as possible.

Lori Slaton

Lori Slaton

b.s., mathematics/computer science

Lori Slaton is an experienced private tutor working with students from a wide range of grade levels with a primary focus on mathematics, but experience in other subjects as well. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1989 with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. She began her career creating and writing mathematical modeling simulations in the Missile Defense contracting world.

After the birth of her special needs daughter, Mrs. Slaton chose to stay home and focus on gaining knowledge and experience in various therapies and learning techniques to provide her daughter the best educational opportunities available. She found her calling through initially volunteering in educational classrooms, then substitute teaching, and finally through one-on-one tutoring.

Mrs. Slaton has over 10 years of experience in the educational arena. She spent the last 6 years primarily focused on one-on-one private tutoring, working with students from elementary to college age. Her mathematical expertise ranges from low-level math through Calculus AB, including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus. Mrs. Slaton’s passion is working with her students to help them build their confidence and skills, and nothing gives her more satisfaction than seeing them succeed.

Angela York Ashlee Grove and Associates

Angela York

b.s., nursing

Angela York grew up in Albany, GA and has always enjoyed encouraging others and exploring nature. She worked as a Young Life leader throughout her college years and graduated from Samford University in 1996 with a BS in Nursing. After having her own three children, Angela began to teach tennis lessons to ages 5 to 16-year-olds. Teaching tennis sparked a love of working with children to help inspire confidence and conquer obstacles.

Once her children reached school age, Angela and her husband decided to homeschool their children, and they continue to do so today. Mrs. York has taught private classes to students from elementary school through high school and finds joy in the instruction of every age group. Mrs. York’s favorite subject is science, although she has taught a variety of classes of various intensities and paces including General Science with lab, Physical Science with lab, Nutrition and Physiology with lab, and Pre-Chemistry.

Currently, Mrs. York is teaching seniors in high school Honors Anatomy and Physiology with Lab at both Veritas Classical School and Covenant Christian Academy. Angela inspires students to engage their whole self (all their senses) in their learning style and encourages them to persevere through the challenges that can come with the educational process. Seeing students capture a better understanding of the beauty around them is one of her greatest joys.

Kelly Martin

b.s., elementary education

Kelly Martin has enjoyed teaching for over sixteen years.  After graduating from Auburn University with an Elementary Education degree, her career began in her original hometown, Atlanta, where she taught fifth-grade.  In 2003, Huntsville lured her “engineer husband,” and together, they made Rocket City their home.   Kelly continued working with fifth graders at Randolph School while studying for a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Reading Literacy.

While raising three children, Kelly spent time volunteering at Lincoln Village and discovered a passion for educating even younger learners.  This led to an exciting time in her career, as she co-founded a local non-profit preschool.  Diving into the research, she was encouraged to expand her understanding of how students learn from the earliest ages.  Her work in the community continued when, in 2013, she co-founded Rocket City Scholarship Granting Organization, a local 501c3 that supports over three hundred families in the community.  It was during this time that Kelly initially joined the team at Ashlee Grove & Associates.

All of this experience, along with the learning of her own three children, led Kelly and her husband to appreciate the variation in children’s learning needs.  For a time, they homeschooled their children through Covenant Christian Academy.  Kelly is excited to return to The Learning Team!

When not working with students or at home with her family, Kelly enjoys playing tennis on local USTA teams, serving on the Board at Rocket City Scholarship Granting organization, volunteering at Lincoln Village Ministry, and serving as Storyteller with the youth at Cove Church.

Sue Verlaan

B.A., M.A., M.A.T., NBCT

Sue Verlaan graduated from the University of North Carolina, with a B.A. in economics and international relations. After a brief sojourn in the business world, where she learned of her love of teaching when placed in charge of a training program, she returned to school to pursue a teaching degree. She received her M.A. in English, with a concentration in 19th century American literature, from Georgia State University, and followed that degree with a M.A.T. from Agnes Scott College.
Sue has enjoyed 25 years as an educator, first in the Atlanta, Georgia area, and later in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she achieved certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. She has taught English as a Second Language to immigrants, high school English to at-risk students in high-poverty areas, and accelerated and AP English to gifted students who had not yet learned to trust in their gifts. In Corpus Christi, Sue was one of the founding members of Collegiate Early College High School and recognized in 2009 as Teacher of the Year. Currently, she teaches in the College of Education at UAH, where she guides future English teachers in learning their craft.
Sue brings her experience with standardized testing, language learning, and writing-to-learn to her work. She believes that students’ capacity for performance always exceeds their current achievement. She most loves helping students learn to think that their work with language, whether in reading, writing, or testing, is worth the new-found sense of confidence and excitement they grow in themselves. Learning is inherently a self-creative act, and Sue feels honored to be part of any student’s newly-developed understanding of what they can and will be able to do.