The Writers

Shilo_BShilo Bartlett:

Shilo Bartlett is a super organized, over reaching, strong-willed mother of three. She loves having the hands-on time with her kids that homeschooling and The Garden School have allowed her. She grew up in the Colorado River Valley, and went to public school until 6th grade. Her mother homeschooled her and her three siblings through high school, and then she attended CMC graduating with a degree in Applied Science in the Veterinary Field. She has always read voraciously, and written throughout her life for many publications. Her family is her passion. Her driving motivation is to encourage a love of learning.

Monica Cappelli

Monica Cappelli:

Monica Cappelli is a wife and the mother of four wonderful children. Over the years her family has had home, public, private, and parochial school experiences. This has given Monica an appreciation for the strengths and challenges of the various educational choices available to families. Her preference is homeschooling, whenever feasible, but she believes a successful experience is possible in any of these situations when parents, children, and schools work together prayerfully and diligently.

Learning at home never ceases, and one of Monica’s passions has been incorporating travel, books, curriculum, games, and other learning experiences to broaden her family’s educational horizons. Monica strongly believes that parental expectations in academics, service, autonomy, and character development set the stage for a young person’s successful entrance into adulthood. Encouragement and preparation in these areas are important parts of prayerfully helping children to prepare for and pursue their life passions.

Patrick K.

Patrick Koschak (Periodic guest writer):

Patrick Koschak has enjoyed more than 15 years of marriage with his high school sweetheart, Rachael, and they share three children, ages 9-13. Patrick studied Biblical Studies and Greek at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon.

Mr. Koschak has been teaching Humanities since 2008 at the Garden School, where he is affectionately known as “Mr. K.” Mr. K’s teaching is occasionally unorthodox, often cerebral, but always heartfelt.

“Teaching has been one of the deep joys of my life. I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to influence and inspire these young leaders. I am very blessed.” – Mr. K

Dawn Lamping (Periodic guest writer):

Dawn Lamping didn’t see much of fifth grade recess because she was held in to try and “catch up” in fractions. That experience cooled any interest she had in mathematics until she started her family in 1994. Through the journey of homeschooling two children, Dawn discovered the “blueprints of Creation” within mathematics. She feels blessed to share the joy of math and enjoys exploring and mastering numeracy in the classroom through hands-on experiments, fun drill games, geometry, and art. She holds an Honors Degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri and completed teacher training at Arizona State University.

Jennifer Marvin:

With a degree in Modern Languages and Bilingual Education, Jennifer has taught Spanish, Russian, Latin, and Bible, coordinated weekly chapel, and tutored Hebrew at The Garden School.  She homeschooled her son before sending him to Sarasota Christian School, and is an avid advocate of home cooking, home remedies, home birth, and home death as well.

Dave Miller:

A professional educator since earning his teaching credentials at San Diego State in 1985, Dave’s 26-year teaching career has been both challenging and rewarding, often in the same day. He and wife Renee have lived and taught in San Diego, Germany, and Colorado, traveled to dozens of countries and are still raising six great kids. Along with his role as Guidance Counselor at The Garden School, Dave has been reinventing himself as a work-at-home dad and recently promoted to Vice President at Lightyear Wireless. Now he gets to teach people how to live the life of their dreams.

Renee Miller:

Renee is the founder and director of The Garden School and Cornerstone Classical School (as well as “The Miller Family School”). Though trained in the public school model–she has taught everything from first grade to junior high science–Renee’s first foray away from this system resulted in The Garden School. Her desire was to create a place for her own children to learn. Since a school like that did not exist locally, she, husband Dave, and a stalwart group of parents nurtured The Garden School into existence. Now sixteen years later, the school is thriving with over 100 students. Renee’s heart continues to be to provide viable educational alternatives for families and students.

The need for an “up-valley” school was all the impetus Renee needed to establish Cornerstone Christian Academy. Located in Basalt, Colorado, and now in its fourth year, Cornerstone Classical School has an enrollment of nearly 50 students and a strong core of committed parents. Following the Garden School model, Cornerstone offers our up-valley families a chance to benefit from a classical Christian education.

Not many people know this, but Renee also founded the Rifle chapter of MoPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) when her children were, you guessed it, preschool-aged. Now that three of her six kids are entering their college years, don’t be surprised if a new classical Christian institute of higher learning crops up somewhere close!

Renee holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning from Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego. She is a strong advocate for classical Christian education and an accomplished public speaker.

The Millers currently live in a busy multi-generational household immersed in classical and Christian ideals and a whole lot of love.

Elizabeth V. PicElizabeth Veldboom:

Elizabeth Veldboom is a 2009 graduate from The Garden School, and a student in Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She has previously been published in places like Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters, and She has a huge heart for homeschooling families and would love connecting with you, so visit her blog anytime at


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