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Our Staff

Our teachers are dedicated Christians who seek to live their faith as they serve their students with compassion and justice.

Kim Torquato | Terry Gilleland | Shirley Rodriguez-DeCicco | Alba Lucia Thomas
Patricia Storey | Eleanor Braun | Dr. Keith Gammon

Kim Torquato
Director of Stone Hill Learning Center
Kim Torquato graduated with a BS degree in psychology from Syracuse University. She worked for several years at a Christian counseling agency in New York before returning to school to study computer programming. She received a postgraduate certification in computer programming and taught several classes in programming as a teaching assistant at North Carolina State University. While working on her master's degree in computer engineering, her first child was born. Mrs. Torquato and her family moved to Princeton in 1992 where her husband took a position as Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University. Their second child was born in 1993, just after Mrs. Torquato began teaching at Westerly Learning Center. She currently serves as the Director of SHLC and is the science education coordinator.

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Terry Gilleland
Algebra Teacher
Terry Gilleland received a Masters in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1995. She tutored physics and engineering classes throughout her college years. She worked as a research scientist in the Princeton area for 13 years before becoming a stay-at-home mother of a son and daughter. In 2011 Terry began homeschooling her children and continues to discover the joys and challenges homeschooling families experience. Terry is excited to teach math at the Learning Center and hopes to infuse mathematics instruction with examples from science and engineering.

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Shirley Rodriguez-DeCicco
Junior Level Teacher
Shirley Rodriguez-DeCicco is originally from Costa Rica, where she studied English Literature and Linguistics at the University of Costa Rica. In Costa Rica she worked as a translator for World Vision and later as a Spanish Professor at the Spanish Language Institute. Besides receiving training in teaching Spanish as a Second Language, she has had extensive training and experience in Cross Cultural Communication. She has also taught English as a Second Language to children kindergarten to 4th grade in Turkey as well as in Costa Rica.
Her homeschooling journey started when her oldest son, now in college, was in second grade, 12 years ago. She and her family have enjoyed homeschooling very much ever since.

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Alba Lucia Thomas
Spanish Teacher
Alba Lucia Thomas is a native Spanish-speaker who was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She was awarded a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in 1987 in computer science. In 1989, she earned her Master’s degree in computer science from The University of North Carolina. She worked at Telcordia Technologies for more than 12 years, having the opportunity to travel to Central and South America as a Business Developer. She homeschools her four children; two in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school. Alba Lucia has been teaching Spanish in New Jersey for many years. She has taught ESL at the Plainfield library, Spanish at the Montessori school in Bridgewater, Salta Jump into Spanish in Princeton , and to the Homeschool community at HSN (Home School Support Network) in Lawrenceville. For the past two years, she has helped to lead a missionary team in Colombia, from Tenth Presbyterian Church, in Philadelphia, instructing children and women. She is passionate about teaching others.

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Patricia Storey
Art Teacher
Patricia Storey is a teacher who is Certified by the State of New Jersey in Art Education- Preschool through grade 12. She earned her Magna Cum Laude Degrees in Art Therapy, Art Education and Elementary Education from the College of New Jersey. Mrs. Storey has taught in public schools, homeschool groups as well as workshops and private lessons. Some of you may know her as Mrs. Melton from HSN, Plainsboro Preserve, and also Westerly Learning Center. She was a homeschool mom for over 13 years. She enjoys the process of exploring art with her students by teaching them to expand their abilities and creativity.

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Eleanor Braun
Writing, Grammar, and Literature Teacher
A native of New Jersey, Eleanor Braun grew up in the Princeton area. She received her BS degrees in Elementary Education and Bible from Clarks Summit University (formerly Baptist Bible College). After teaching at Phillipsburg Christian Academy, she attended Rider University, taking graduate-level teaching courses and obtaining her NJ teacher’s license. She taught third grade at Tewksbury Elementary School before leaving her position to begin a family. Along with her husband, Tim, she embarked on a grand adventure of home educating their three children. As part of a local home education support group in Hunterdon County, she and her husband served as HCCH group leaders and also founded the HCCH Service Club. The Service Club quickly blossomed into a group of 25-30 teens who regularly served their community, local ministries, Newark Christian Academy, and causes that reached beyond New Jersey borders. Later, she led the HCCH Literature Club from her home in Delaware Township. These positive opportunities to interact with and serve the youth of HCCH caused her to develop junior high and high school writing and literature courses which she taught as part of the group’s co-op. Her experience as an educator spans all grades (Preschool-12) and presently includes substitute teaching in Hunterdon County. She has a passion for writing, grammar, and literature and enjoys passing that on to her students.

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Dr. Keith Gammon
biology Teacher
I was born and raised in Madras (now called Chennai) South India in a Christian home. My father passed away when I was two years old, and I grew up with my mother and an older brother and sister. I had a firm foundation in Christian teaching with regular church, choir and youth group participation, where I learned about the love of Jesus and I saw my own need for salvation. My early education was in Christian schools; from boarding school for my elementary years and then a Christian day school for High School in Madras. During my high school years, I participated in several social service projects through our church in Madras, led by the Rev. Samuel Kamaleson. He had been my first mentor and was a great role model. He also later conducted our marriage ceremony. He arranged for me to work with a local physician from our church who was doing medical work in a local village. This was the inspiration that eventually led me to study at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, in South India.
Upon completion of medical school, I fulfilled my scholarship obligation by working at a Methodist Mission Hospital for three years. I was then free to pursue Post Graduate studies, and was selected by the department of General Surgery as a resident which eventually became my future career.
I was invited to join the staff of General Surgery at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, and held several different positions, from Registrar to Associate Prof. in Surgery. My family and I then moved to the city of Madras to continue to work in Mission Hospitals prior to moving to the USA.
Since being in the US, I have been employed by the Somerset Orthopedic Associates where I worked as Surgical Assistant for 9 years. I taught anatomy, physiology, and pathology at Dover Business College and Raritan Valley Community College. I also worked at the GastroEnterology Associates, in Bridgewater, NJ.
I am privileged to be able to share my extensive knowledge and expertise with the students at Stone Hill Learning Center, hoping to inspire the next generation of young people to understand and explore science.

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