Being a native of New Mexico, Valerie Hernandez-Hansen never envisioned living in the DC area. Her family has been stationed in the Northern VA area twice, and she is proud to be a military spouse. She is married to her loving and supportive husband, Justin, an Army officer who currently works at the Pentagon. They have three children. Their oldest son, Jacob, attends the University of Arizona whereas Jarren and April are currently homeschooled.
Valerie holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Before God called her to homeschool, she was pursuing her passion of medicine and science. She held a dual fellow appointment at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Her research studies focused on identifying and modulating signaling pathways in immune and cancer cells using gene expression profiling as well as biochemical, imaging, and flow cytometric technologies. Because her husband received military orders to relocate their family, she reluctantly left the research field. However, God had a better plan, for she was expecting her third child, and she would be blessed with more time with her family.
Throughout their military journey, Valerie and her family have served with various homeschool co-ops and communities including Grace Group where she co-taught science and cooking classes. During the past five years, her family has been part of the Burke Classical Conversations community where she tutored Foundations and Essentials. Last year, she and her family joined STARS which blessed them greatly. A scientist at heart, Dr. Hernandez-Hansen discovered an appreciation for writing and grammar while learning alongside her children. She is excited to embark upon a new adventure—teaching at STARS where she can help foster a love of learning!