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Established in January 2016 when Holly Jones and Katie Knickrehm wanted better options in the area of STEM for their homeschooled children.  Holly stepped down in May 2017 as Co-director since both of her children were enrolled in school.  Holly was pivotal in the success of STEM Classes of the Triad.


STEM Advisory Board

Director: Katie Knickrehm

Katie spent five years as a high school special education teacher in a public school, and eight years in the corporate world as a pharmaceutical sales representative.   After moving to North Carolina in 2007, Katie and her husband Mark made the decision to homeschool their six children. STEM grew out of an educational need for her children to take quality, hands-on classes that inspire!  She loves spreadsheets, horses, and tries to stay active.

Angela Dierking

Angela earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology. She worked at an consulting engineering firm before choosing to stay home with her children. She and her husband, Dan, have ten children whom they have homeschooled from the beginning.

Amy Garner

Amy Garner enjoys majestic views, thunderstorms, coffee, good books, history, and trees. She is a native of western Kansas and grew up playing in wheat fields while listening for rattlesnakes and watching for tornados.
Amy earned a BA in Speech, Language, and Hearing from the University of Kansas. She has been married to Laird for 31 years. They have homeschooled their eight children, ages 15-30, from the beginning. In recent years, they have added three son-in-laws and several grandchildren and are enjoying this new phase of life.

Laurie Mulqueeny

Laurie graduated from Meredith College in 2006 with a BS in Exercise and Sports Science and earned a BS in Chemistry with a Forensics certificate from Kennesaw State University in 2012. As a former student-athlete, she loves to coach.  Currently, she serves as an assistant coach on the Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School Women’s Basketball team (2006-2008, 2013-present) and volunteers with the Winston-Salem Stealers basketball program. In addition to coaching, she enjoys traveling and outdoor adventures with friends and family. She is wife to Ryan and mother to three children.  As a young homeschooling family, Laurie is excited to be involved with and serve in the STEM community.

Emily Neel

Emily Neel is a software engineer who grew up in central NC and graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She graduated with a BS in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina in 2004. She and her husband have been homeschooling their 2 children since 2013. Emily is passionate about software and efficiency, but when she's not on the computer or driving, you can probably find her making something with yarn or fabric! 

Shannon Wooten

Shannon Wooten, instructor and board member at CENTRAL STEM, has been teaching with STEM now for 3+ years, director and instructor for the AIM program for three years, and has been homeschooling her three children for five years. She has worked in children’s ministry for 20+ years in various roles such as children’s church, VBS, youth group, etc. and just all around has a love for children. A people person, who comes alive in the classroom, she gets great joy from the opportunity to come alongside parents in their homeschooling journey. 

She holds an AAS in Healthcare Management Technology and most recently graduated with her BSBA in Business Administration and Law from Western Carolina University. She plans to continue her education having realized that she is a lifelong learner and is always looking for something new to take on. 

Shannon, her husband of 17 years, and their three children enjoy spending their time outdoors exploring new places. She loves spending time with friends, reading, and a good cup of coffee.