Kentucky History, Senior Seminar, Government
Billy and his wife, Brenda, were both part of the original group of college students who planted Lexington Christian Fellowship from a Bible study that started in 1974. Today, they still work with the same group of friends to give vision and direction to the CF congregations. Billy also the headmaster of Mars Hill, where he teaches Kentucky History, government and Senior Seminar. He and Brenda launched the cooperative when their children reached middle school. He recently completed the Master of Arts (Christian and Classical Studies) program at Knox Theological Seminary.
History Department Head
Western Civilization I and II, Worldview, 8th Grade American History
Since receiving his history degree at the University of Kentucky, Chad Grissom has continued his education through classes on Biblical languages, geography and archaeology of the Bible, and personal study of the Bible, theology, history and philosophy. These studies have taken him to California and Israel. He is committed to life-long learning that spills over into his classes. He is also the pastor of Trinity Christian Fellowship and gives pastoral direction to a local pre-school-6th grade cooperative.
William J. John, MD, FACP
Science Department Head
Basic Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics
Dr. John, who has held the science department to high standards since Mars Hill’s inception, is currently a lead drug developer for AbbVie pharmaceuticals. He received his medical degree at UK, then after post-graduate training in medical oncology, he became the associate medical director at the Markey Cancer Center. He and his wife, Catherine, have had 8 children graduate from the Mars Hill program, with their youngest still enrolled.
Melissa Pittard, PhD
Math Department Head
Dr. Pittard is currently a senior lecturer in statistics at the University of Kentucky. She has been teaching math at Mars Hill since 1996. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Potsdam College in New York State and earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Kentucky. She also homeschools her own five children as well as teaches at a Mars Hill Primary co-op.
Dan Sheffler, PhD
Trivium Department Head
Logic, Latin III
D.C. native Dan Sheffler received his M.A. in Classics and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Kentucky. His professional area of specialization is ancient philosophy, primarily the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle, but he also has written in philosophy of religion, free will and metaphysics more generally. In addition to Mars Hill, he has taught several courses at UK, Asbury University, and Georgetown University.
English Department Head
10th Grade English, 11th Grade English/Rhetoric
Ben Hughes has taught at Mars Hill since 2007 and currently serves as chair of the English Department. A Mars Hill alum, he majored in English at Asbury University (class of ’08), and there discovered a love for both studying and writing poetry. His favorite poets are Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Milton, T. S. Eliot, and Seamus Heaney. He was ordained as the pastor of Emmanuel Christian Fellowship in the summer of 2017.
Michelle Cochran has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. She has discovered a love for teaching from homeschooling her three children for fifteen years, two of whom are graduates of Mars Hill. She also teaches high school math at Bluegrass United Academic Center’s CORE Program. She has a passion for helping students to understand math concepts and to see the beauty of how math applies to science.
Marilyn Campbell, PhD
Marilyn Campbell received her B.A. in Exercise Science from Asbury University and her M.S. in Nutritional Sciences as well as her Ph.D. in Exercise Science from the University of Kentucky. Her research is focused on nutrition and exercise interventions to mitigate and prevent chronic disease, especially cardiovascular disease. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Promotion in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, where she teaches various nutrition- and exercise-based courses.
Kate Flannery, MAT
11th Grade American History
Kate Flannery, who teaches U.S. History and Art History at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, received her bachelor’s in Secondary Social Studies Education from Asbury College and her master’s in Educational Leadership Studies from UK. Mrs. Flannery has also studied and developed a lecture series on the philosophy of modern education.
Kenton Sena, PhD
Kenton Sena earned a B.A. in Biology from Asbury University and a M.S. in Forestry and a Ph.D. in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Kentucky. His research is focused on restoration ecology—restoring high-quality ecosystems on highly degraded sites. He is currently a lecturer in the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches the honors foundations course (HON 101), as well as interdisciplinary courses in ecology and the environment. In his spare time, he enjoys time in the forest with his wife Susanna and son Silas.
Shannon Grissom, SLP
8th Grade English
Shannon Grissom received her bachelor’s in Communication Disorders and her master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Kentucky. She worked as a speech pathologist for the Jessamine County School system and for the University of Kentucky teaching undergraduate Speech Science and as a supervisor for graduate level student clinicians. Currently, Mrs. Grissom homeschools her six children and works with Mars Hill primary students, as well as teaching 8th grade English at Mars Hill.
Kelly Hahn, MDiv
9th Grade English
Kelly Hahn is the associate director of communications for the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University in 1997 and a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2008. He and his wife, Dawn, have four children: Samuel, Carter, Ian and Emily. Kelly has taught at Mars Hill since 2006.
7th Grade English
Rose is a Mars Hill alum—one of eight (and counting) from the John family, longtime members of the CF community—who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Kentucky. She is married to Trivium Department head Dr. Dan Sheffler, and they have three children.
Rodney Johnson, CPA
Born in Costa Rica, Rodney Johnson primarily lived in the Dominican Republic where his parents serve as missionaries. Rodney has served in 27 countries around the world sharing the gospel alongside his family. He received his bachelor’s in accounting from Asbury University’s Howard Dayton School of Business as well as a minor in Spanish. He is currently employed with Edward Jones Financial Investing, a Fortune 500 company.
C. Andy Martin, MSCS, BSCS, BSEE
C. Andy Martin has been a principal engineer at Badger Technologies since 2017. Previously, he has been a firmware engineer at Lexmark for 10 years and prior to that as a software engineer at Lumenware for 3 years. He received his master’s of science in computer science, bachelor’s of science in computer science and bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from UK. He also minored in mathematics and graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors in the Honors Program.
In addition to volunteering as the long-time administrator for Mars Hill, Susan Vogel also teaches pre-Algebra. She and her husband, Tom, were among the families who founded Mars Hill, and all five of her children have graduated from the full program. Susan earned an associate’s degree in secretarial science from Ball State University Indiana.