The CMEC (Charlotte Mason Educational Center) began in the Philadelphia area in 2010 as a few families learning and studying Mason’s philosophy together. From that sprung our blended-model learning program, The Mason Academy, which has served many families in both Philadelphia and in Princeton, where we began a second learning community. A few years ago, we decided to expand our membership to include families across the country and world. We now develop our own full curriculum, provide the support necessary for its implementation, and offer ongoing education and training for teachers and parents.
A robust, experienced team of mothers and teachers collaborate in this work under the guidance of the CMEC Leadership Team, and now hundreds of homeschooling families and classroom teachers have joined us in bringing Mason’s ideas into their homes and to the larger educational community.
The CMEC Leadership Team
With a graduate degree in literature from the University of California-Irvine, Amy Snell taught in a variety of classroom environments. She then discovered Charlotte Mason, whose philosophy quickly convinced her to begin homeschooling her five children. As her family thrived using Mason’s methods, Amy wanted to share and learn more about Mason’s philosophy with others, including speaking at national conferences and local retreats, hosting Mason book discussions and workshops for parents, running a Nature Study Club, facilitating Truth, Beauty, Goodness afternoons, and creating the Mason Academy as director, teacher, and parent. Amy now serves as the Board President of the Charlotte Mason Educational Center and heads our curriculum team and community projects. You can find Amy on Instagram @learninghowtolivecm.
Erin Daly lives near Philadelphia, PA with her husband and two daughters. In 2012 she was introduced to Charlotte Mason and the work of the PNEU. Since then, she has studied Mason's life-changing ideas with a wonderful community of fellow homeschoolers. Erin and her family run the publishing company Riverbend Press, providing notebooks and artist prints to the Mason community. Erin is the Director of The Mason Academy which provides weekly educational programs for homeschool students in grades K-12. She has degrees in economics and political science from Grove City College. Prior to staying home with her children, she worked as a Treasury and Finance Consultant, which equips her as the CMEC’s overall administrator.
Celeste Cruz lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their ten children. With a a graduate degree in English with a background in European humanities and art history, she has taught literature and writing in classroom and small group settings. She discovered Charlotte Mason before her children were born and has enthusiastically studied her philosophy ever since. But her most humbling and rewarding experience has been putting those principles into practice with her own children at home. Besides helping run a local Mason group, she shares the joys of home education at Joyous Lessons and @celeste_cruz, collects Mason-style notebook work @keepingcompanycm, and speaks at retreats and conferences nationwide. Celeste serves in a variety of ways for our community, including building website content and acting as our managing editor.
More of Our Team Members...
Judy Clark has four children and has been learning alongside them since her oldest two were in 5th and 3rd grade. When she and her husband found themselves passing twin girls around the high school homeschool table, she knew she was in for the long haul. Meeting Amy Snell, joining her Nature Study Club, and being introduced to Charlotte Mason began a wonderful new adventure in homeschooling that has completely changed her and her family’s life. She and her family are delighted to be part of the CMEC. Judy has an undergraduate degree in biology and a graduate degree in computer science and also helps her husband run their two comic book and game shops. Judy assists us as a membership administrator.
Cassie Detwiler is a mother of three and teaches at The Mason Academy, where she also serves as the Assistant Director. Cassie was introduced to Mason's philosophy after graduating from Eastern University's Templeton Honors College where she studied philosophy, politics, and economics. She enjoys working with high school students, especially reading Shakespeare, Plutarch, and Plato alongside them. She and her husband are raising their family in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Cassie manages our Instagram account @the.cmec and assists with member communication and events.
Dawn Duran lives in Maryland with her husband, who serves in the U.S. Army, and their two sons. She has undergraduate degrees in physical education and physical therapy as well as a graduate degree in health sciences. Her pre-motherhood career choices were influenced by her experience as a Division I athlete, and she worked as a physical therapist full time prior to taking on her most prized roles of stay-at-home wife and homeschooling mother. Dawn feels blessed to have encountered the philosophy of Charlotte Mason prior to her children reaching school age and has been immersed in Mason’s methods for nine years. Dawn has created Swedish Drill Revisited to assist homeschool families effectively embrace a forgotten form of physical education and she enjoys offering a local class in order to facilitate the study of Plutarch and Shakespeare in community. She also writes for Common Place Quarterly and teaches classes online for Purdue University Global. Dawn draws on her experience with her local group to assist us with our Plutarch and Shakespeare guides.
Camille Malucci is a homemaker and home educator using the Charlotte Mason method since the middle of her first son's first grade year. She earned a Bachelor's in Business Administration and worked as a Buyer and Planner in the fashion and home goods sectors, but is glad that when family life called she was able to pursue the life long learning beside her children. A lover of good books, beautiful architecture, travel, and fiber crafts, the Mason method was a good fit from the get-go. She lives on a small hobby farm in the heart of the nation with her husband, daughter, and (soon) five sons amidst a small collection of sheep, ducks, and chickens. Camille curates our list of historical supplements each year.
An Ohio native, Renée Ricou moved to Philadelphia to attend college and received a BS in Biology and Chemistry and a Master of Science in Education from Drexel University. She studied French in high school and college and lived in Nantes, France for two years, first working in a university laboratory, then as a student of French studies at the University of Nantes. Renée met her husband there and they return to France about once a year to visit family and friends. Renée designs our science curriculum and teaches science and French to all Forms at The Mason Academy.
Andrea St. Amour has been homeschooling for over 20 years, first in North Carolina and now in Pennsylvania. Of her six children, four have graduated and continued their educations through college, graduate school, and lives full of learning. The two youngest participate in The Mason Academy, where Andrea is the High School Coordinator. She is lucky to have a community of Charlotte Mason moms, dads, and now young adults to support continued understanding and refining of the methods that have brought a revival to her homeschool and her home. Of course, there are several challenges that have formed her homeschool experience: Mom is the only one in the household who is a morning person; a household with several adults working from home means that morning school often gets interrupted; one child has severe dyslexia and another has an even more serious reading disability due to a brain injury. Her husband Paul, a philosophy professor, says that he enjoys the folksongs and hymns that he overhears the kids singing in the shower and the “SLNs” (spontaneous lengthy narrations) on long car rides. Andrea heads our high school curriculum team.
A lifelong bibliophile, Emily Sullivan is a graduate of the Great Books Program of Thomas Aquinas College. When she was a young Mom she began reading Mason in Amy Snell's Princeton reading group and felt certain she had found a true kindred spirit. Emily and her husband Joe now reside outside of DC with a house full of girls and a yard full of animals. In addition to teaching her own daughters, Emily also leads a Mason co-op that gathers weekly for TBG and Nature Study. Before becoming a homeschooling Mom, Emily taught theology and philosophy at a classical high school outside of Manhattan and has written and lectured for a variety of catechetical non-profits. When she's not pre-reading for the upcoming term, she's happiest spending time over tea with old friends...like Aristotle and Aquinas. Emily uses her experience as one of our guide writers.
Amber Vanderpol graduated from UC Davis with a degree in history but often feels her real education began when she started homeschooling in 2007. Amber and her husband Matt bring Mason's philosophy to life in their family not only through the morning lessons, but also by reading, narrating, and discussing Shakespeare and Plutarch as a family in the evening and nature journaling together. While their eldest graduated from their homeschool in 2020 and is thriving in college, they are looking forward to sharing this life-giving education with their five younger children, ranging in age from 3-15, for many years to come. Amber and her family live on 10 forested acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, where they enjoy participating in the life of their church, spending time outside, and reading good books. Amber is a consultant for our high school program.