Stephanie Nalls - Founder, Director, Teacher, and Principal

Mrs. Nalls is a formerly certified public school teacher, a traditional homeschool parent, private school principal, and has spent many years in various areas of administration.  She has a Bachelors Degree in Education from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.  An empathic spirit with a passion for teaching, learning, and treating others well, she created Futures Academy for students. Mrs. Nalls believes firmly in trusting teachers as experts, and simply letting them teach the way kids learn.

Jessica Taylor

Sign Language


Ms. Taylor worked as an interpreter for deaf students at VISD, and she is also our Sign Language teacher!  She has taught her own children at home and worked with children of all ages in many settings, from babies in the church nursery to tutoring high school English.  Ms. Taylor's love for Jesus shows through her Biblical knowledge, volunteer work, and even her own ministries.  We are grateful to have this prayer warrior on our team!

Laurene Hornstein

Junior High Teacher

Language Arts, History

Mrs. Hornstein is a retired public school teacher with experience teaching reading and writing in elementary and middle school.  Our students have loved her bright energy and cheerful attitude since she joined Futures Academy in 2019.  This year we're pleased to have her as the Lead Teacher in junior high.

Laura Martin

Teacher and Teaching Assistant

Bible, Personal Finance

The broad experience of ordained minister and Salvation Army Maj. Laura Martin is one of our most valuable resources.  A natural teacher, she began teaching Sunday School at the age of 12, and her resume includes having "taught ages 2 to 88 - in the same room!" While raising three boys, Mrs. Martin became an expert in Business Management and Administration through her work with Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs, and many other non-profit organizations.  These and many other reasons are why she is the sole instructor for Dave Ramsey Personal Finance and other business courses at Futures Academy.

Amy Thurlkill

High School Teacher

Math, Science

Now in her second year at Futures Academy, Mrs. Thurlkill came to us with high praise from students who have taken her classes.  A Texas A&M graduate, her Wildlife Fisheries Science degree and training in numerous special learning methods lend themselves to some of the most memorable science classes your child will ever experience.  After teaching several years in public school and taking time off for her family, Mrs. Thurlkill began teaching a variety of classes to a limited number of home school students each year.  Those who find themselves on her wait list are encouraged to enroll in those Drop-In classes.

What does it mean to be Faith-Based?

A faith-based curriculum is one that teaches a Christian or Biblical worldview – creation by one God, salvation through Jesus Christ, and eternal heaven for those who accept the gift of salvation.  Individual curriculum publishers may vary slightly and include broader truths like love, acceptance, and justice, but they are all long established and widely regarded as true, accurate, and effective.  Lessons created by teachers may or may not reflect these specific ideas and often will be religion-neutral like “normal” school materials.

The first and foremost goal of Futures Academy is to educate students and help prepare them for adulthood.  We do not provide encouragement or indoctrination toward any specific belief, religion, church, or doctrine.  Part of meeting kids where they are includes helping them find their own path that works for them in their families and communities.