Staff & Faculty
Rhetoric School (Opening Fall 2022)
Jack Hummel | Co-Founder, Head of School, 7-8 Teacher
Jack, a Lansing native, has a B.S. in Economics with a minor in Math from Hillsdale College. Jack has previously worked at the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency, Cornerstone Schools in Detroit, and Auto-owners Insurance. Jack and his wife, Caroline, have been working to open Cedar since the end of 2016. They have four children.
Stefan Hull | Dean of Faculty, Humanities Teacher
Stefan has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan. She has previously worked as a foster care social worker and a publication designer for a non-profit public policy firm. She was a homeschooling mom for seven years, increasingly influenced by a classical philosophy of education, until she joined Cedar as a founding teacher in 2019. She and her husband, Joshua, have five children.
Amber Knapp | Math, Science, & Logic Teacher
Amber has a B.A. in Secondary Education Mathematics/English from Spring Arbor University and a M.Ed. from Marygrove College. She is currently working towards a Masters Certificate in Mathematics. Amber has previously taught secondary mathematics for a public high school, a few community colleges, and several online academies along with homeschooling. She and her husband, Jesse, have five children.
Jen Simon | 5-6 Teacher
Jen has a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Tulsa. She has grown in her love of classical education over the past 12 years of homeschooling her own children. Teaching her own children classically gave her a passion to encourage other moms and students in their love of learning, which led her to teach in a homeschooling co-op in the St. Johns area before joining Cedar Classical Academy. Jen and her husband, Craig, have six children.
Amelia Stieren | Dean of Students, 3-4 Teacher
Maria Berggren | 1-2 Teacher
Maria has a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish from Hillsdale College, where she was a participant in the Teacher Apprenticeship Program. She and her husband, Vins, live in Lansing.
Gwen Hummel | 1-2 History & Phonics Teacher
Gwen began a 25-year career of homeschooling in 1990 when her oldest son was ready for school. Throughout those years she has taught in co-ops, Sunday schools, and a Karenni Kids Club for refugee kids in Lansing. She loves studying the Word, teaching, discipling young people, gardening, canning, swimming, being outdoors, and hanging with the grandchildren. Gwen and her husband, Scott, have four grown children and 15 beautiful grandchildren.
Sydney Ackerman | Dean of Parents, Kindergarten & PE Teacher
Sydney has a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Hillsdale College, where she played softball and fell in love with classical education. In her free time, she loves to read, write; and play tennis, guitar, and card games with her husband Christopher.
Kyria Beals | Art Teacher
Kyria has a B.A. in Arts, with a concentration in painting, from Spring Arbor University. She has previously worked at the University gallery and has taught in TA, daycare, and co-op settings before joining Cedar as a founding teacher in 2019. She and her husband, Charlie, have one child.
Christin Peng | Music Teacher
Christin has a B.A. and M.A. in Music from Pensacola Christian College. She has previously worked at an after-school piano program of Trinity Episcopal Day School in Baton Rouge, LA. Since providentially stumbling upon classical education, she has had the joy of homeschooling her children for the past 10 years and tutoring for Classical Conversations in Lansing. She joined Cedar as a founding teacher in 2019 and is currently pursuing her Kodály certification. She and her husband, Timothy, have three children.
Emily Zuiderveen | Facilities
Emily has a B.A. in Communications from Grand Valley State University. She has previously worked as a secretary at DeWitt Middle School and the director of a day care center before staying home full time and homeschooling. Emily and her husband, Shane, have five children.
Caroline Hummel | Co-Founder, Advancement
Caroline has a B.A. in Politics from Hillsdale College in the Honors Program. Caroline has previously interned in grantwriting and education policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council on their Education Task Force and worked in sales and community relations at a start-up Detroit e-commerce school supply company. She is mom to four children.
Interested in joining our team?
Governing Board of Directors
Josh Hull | Chairman
Joshua Hull has a B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Michigan. He is currently a Senior Developer for Kunz, Leigh and Associates in Okemos, MI.
Timothy graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a B.A. in Pastoral Ministries, and from Calvin Theological Seminary with a M.T.S in Historical Theology. He served six years as pastor of the English congregation in the Chinese church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before serving as the Senior Pastor at Lansing Chinese Christian Church in 2010. Timothy enjoys spending time with his family, listening to classical music, and reading books on history or philosophy.
Emma has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Arizona and Michigan State University. She has previously worked as a research scientist for a large diagnostics company and for a start-up company. She and her husband, Nick, have four children.
David, originally from the Cincinnati area, has a B.S. in Physics from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis. He now teaches Physics and Integrated Science (the latter especially for Education majors), and is also faculty chair of the Physical Science program, at Lansing Community College. He was named the 2020 College Science Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Science Teachers Association. He recently finished a term on the executive board of the Michigan section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. David is married to Rebecca Shane, a diagnostic research scientist at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams in East Lansing.
Colleen Puuri | Parent Representative
Colleen and Josh have been married for nine years and have three kids, two of whom will be attending CCA this year. Colleen works part-time in the evenings as an RN at a nursing home on the west side of Lansing. The Puuris like to read, go to parks, and play outdoor sports together. Colleen is excited to serve as the Parent Representative on the CCA Board this year and hopes that she can work to help parents feel involved in the school culture and connected to one another.