Beyond IQ

Teacher Bios

Meet our Instructors and see where to find them.

Allison Stieger
is a mythologist, writer, speaker, and teacher. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing, and an MA in Mythological Studies. She was one of the first teachers at GHFOnline in Spring 2013, teaching "Beyond Percy Jackson: Real Stories of Greek and Roman Myth," with more myth classes added later. She stepped away from teaching a couple of years ago to deal with some health issues, but now she's very excited to be back at GHF.

When she's not teaching myth classes online Allison leads workshops and retreats worldwide, lectures and writes on topics related to mythology, and consults with individuals and corporations on how to tell their stories more effectively through a deeper understanding of myth and archetype.

Allison lives in Seattle with her family, including two gifted but not homeschooled sons.

Hosanna Patience
is a writer, editor, and teacher. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in English. As an undergraduate, she was awarded, “Most Outstanding Work in the Department of English.” Her fiction was nominated for the anthology, Best New American Voices. She is the recipient of the Pearl Sperling Evans Prize for “Most Promise in Fiction,” and the AWP scholarship for an emerging writer. She was the copyeditor for Connor Coyne's lauded novel, Urbantasm: The Dying City and has worked as editor for numerous online and print publications. Hosanna was a gifted student herself, and a participant in California’s G.A.T.E. program and she has years of experience challenging gifted students both in and out of the classroom.

John McDonald
's writing journey started in the summer of 2007 with a long winded and not very good Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction. From those first few pages, he learned that expressing himself as a writer would take much more than just a good idea. In 2017, he earned his Bachelors degree from Portland State University, where he majored in theater and took a variety of writing courses- where he learned about adaptations, mask work, and non-prescriptive editing. He was inspired and challenged by mentor Karin Magaldi into rethinking what the fields of writing and theater were to him and now has a growing portfolio of screenwriting and plays under his belt. John writes narrative fiction with a focus on less represented characters and most of his writing has a fairy tale aspect to it. John believes literary art relies on community engagement and inspiration from other artists in order to grow a person's craft (and yes, that inspiration can include even surprising things- like the ride queues at Disneyland). On his dvr, you will currently find Planet Earth episodes, The Great British Bake-off, Legion, and The Good Place.

Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 35 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th – 12th graders through MIT’s Educational Studies Program. He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students, either at home or institutionalized, for school districts in several states. He was the headmaster of a small 7th - 12th grade alternative school in Boston for gifted "disgruntled" students. In addition to teaching and consulting, Josh currently organizes the Beyond IQ conferences near Boston and serves on the board for Hoagies Gifted. He's more fun than this makes him sound!

Lisa BabaCPCC, is a self-taught artist and mother to two gifted kids, one of whom is twice-exceptional. Through her blog Artisan of Creative Miracles and as the co-founder and current leader of the Facebook group Brilliant Chaos, Lisa impacts others by inspiring them to create. She also has a passion for helping gifted people understand themselves and setting their brilliance free. When she doesn't have her arms up to her elbows in paint, you can find her teaching Taekwondo or Nia, a dance fitness program. She can be found on Twitter and Google Plus.


Lisa Fontaine-Rainen has been teaching gifted children in the public school system and working with homeschoolers for 18 years. She earned her MA in Gifted Education from William and Mary in 2001, and has been lucky to be able to work with these amazing young people ever since. Lisa relocated with her family to South Africa in 2014 and When she's not teaching she loves to read, play games, do puzzles, and experiment in the kitchen with her two year old and five year old. Both children have been largely unscathed by this so far. Teaching and learning are passions - schooling is not.


Dr. Sabrina Weiss specializes in developing theoretical models that represent the ethical and social dimensions of issues at the intersection of science, technology, and society.  Topics of interest include gender and sexuality, discourse theory, bodies and cyborgs, bioethics, food ethics, and innovative pedagogies, as well as the institutional and change dimensions affecting those areas. 

Dr. Weiss earned a B.S. from Stanford’s Science, Technology, and Society program, an M.S. in Bioethics from Albany Medical College, and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a former U.S. Naval Officer (ROTC) who served overseas in Japan and at the Office of Naval Research.  An interdisciplinary and international scholar, Dr. Weiss has taught at Rochester Institute of Technology, which houses the National Institute for the Deaf, and at Leuphana University in L√ľneburg, Germany.  Dr. Weiss is a coauthor of Worlds of ScienceCraft: New Horizons in Sociology, Philosophy and Science Studies (2009).

Taormina (Tara) Lepore, M.S. is a dedicated science teacher and paleontologist. She has had over six years of experience teaching at public and private high schools, and is an enthusiastic field instructor of high school paleontology and field environmental science, among many other life and earth science topics. Her research experience includes the study of ancient trace fossils such as tracks and coprolites, as well as how field paleontology impacts student learning and enthusiasm for science stewardship. She is excited to join the Gifted Homeschoolers community and help students build their passion for science!

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