What we do and who we are! 

Deanna Heikkinen
Co-founder and

Director of Education

Deanna Heikkinen received her Doctorate of Education from California Lutheran University and also holds Master’s Degrees in History and in Anthropology. She taught humanities and history at the community college level for over ten years before co-founding the Pisan Academy. Deanna also has a background in Egyptian archaeology, early Christianity, and art history. Her decision to start Pisan Academy was inspired by her love of classic literature and spurred by finding that many of her former college students were never exposed to the
classics in their K-12 education. Deanna is the Director of Education. 

Joel Marquez
Co-founder and 
Creative Director

Joel Marquez received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Humanities from Seattle University before going on to further his education in film. After nearly thirty years in the software industry, Joel has returned to his passion for the humanities. His work in the software industry has enabled him to develop content and teach front-end users in person and online. Over the last two decades, he has developed his knowledge of philosophy, directed plays and short films, and is currently working on writing projects. Joel is co-founder of the Pisan Academy and serves as Creative Director.

Darci Heikkinen
Director of Operations

Darci Heikkinen received her Master’s of Arts degree in Anthropology and has a minor in history. She has taught on the college level for over ten years in math, English, and history. In her tenure, she also served as lead instructor, general education curriculum lead, and most recently, Academic Dean. Her background includes Medieval through Renaissance history, Russian literature, and archaeology. Darci joins the Pisan Academy as the Director of Operations. 

Our Social Media community is called Passionate Homeschooler! Pisan Academy focuses on creating Literature Plus curriculum but because we wanted to foster a larger sense of community within the Homeschool network, we created the Passionate Homeschooler to provide a free community and resources for parents who homeschool or who are deciding whether they should homeschool or not.

We hope you will take a look and share our Instagram and Facebook pages with other homeschool parents you know.


We regularly post content that is designed to be useful or interesting to homeschool parents. In addition, we have an open Facebook group for parents interested in teaching literature as well as a closed Facebook groups for our subscribers.


We provide regular content on our YouTube channel for homeschool parents. From cooking up recipes mentioned in classic literature to offering some fun activities for your family, we create new videos every week for you to enjoy.


We have a weekly podcast, Literature for Homeschoolers, where we talk with homeschool parents, literature experts, and writers about topics relevant to teaching literature to children, classic literary works, and the value of literature.


Our Instagram feed is designed to inspire homeschool parents through images, quotes, and interesting facts about literary figures and history. We also post special offers for our followers.