STELLA Academy Faculty

Victoria Kofman

Victoria Kofman is one of the founders of Stella Academy.


A Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Weizmann Institute of Sciences, Israel and two master’s degrees:  an MS in Physics and the Teaching thereof with a minor in Math), from the Moscow State Open Educational University, Moscow, in the former USSR. Her second master’s degree, an MS in Secondary Education is from DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

In addition, Victoria took several classes in early education, computer programming, etc. and had two Post Doctorate studies – one was at the National Magnetic Lab, Florida and the second was at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.


Victoria is a brilliant, successful scientist with publications in physical chemistry. Since 2000, she has been pursuing a second career in the field of education.

It took her six years of teaching mathematics and science in the Chicago area public schools to understand the problems with current American education and to start developing her own math program, Math and Logic.

In 2005, Victoria founded an organization, which promotes engineering-centered education: Quality Engineering Education, Inc. with the Vika School Learning Center, which provided remediation and enrichment classes.


Now, Vika School became affiliated with the Blooming Minds Academy, and … the Stella Academy was born.

Olga Khamichonak

Olga Khamichonak is a founder of Blooming Minds Academy. Olga has graduated from Minsk State Pedagogical College and Minsk State Linguistics University with Bachelor’s degree in Teaching and Master’s degree in the Linguistics of the English Language. Olga began her career as a teacher of English in Minsk, Belarus. For almost 20 years Olga has been teaching and tutoring children and adults of various ages and levels. In addition, she successfully led training and educational programs with strong focus on Quality Improvement and student knowledge improvement.


When Olga’s son was born, she realized that American childcare system did not always include foundational education that children usually received in Belarus. She was highly concerned that children were not adequately challenged intellectually at the early age, when their brains were most flexible. As a result, a center for early intellectual development – Blooming Minds Academy – was born. Today, over 100 children, ages 1 through 14 receive a strong foundation in Math and Language by attending a variety of play-based age-appropriate educational programs.


Olga is genuinely passionate about education. She is a strong believer that all children should have access to high-quality education to realize their life purpose.   Today, after recognizing that there is a gap between school curriculum and rigorous requirements of colleges and universities, Olga moved further with her programs, to include children of school age. Especially, she sees the areas of improvement in teaching such disciplines as English and Math. In 2015, Olga has decided to partner with Vika’s School to provide school-age children with high-quality education in the areas of Mathematics, English, Engineering, and Technology. STELLA Academy, a full-day private Math and Engineering school was born. Today, STELLA is enrolling its first students and hopes to see them succeed in their future endeavors.


Alex works for Stella Academy for already … years teaching “Math and Logic” for the students of ages 5 – 18.

He came to Stella Academy while studying to be an engineer and presently, has 68 credit hours in engineering and general sciences finishing his associate degree in Engineering.

Alex developed his interest in education and plans to combine his Engineering profession with education.

Alex thoroughly learned Stella Academy Math and Logic curriculum, went through a period of assisting and became an experienced teacher in our school.


Paul Denisenko

Paul works for Stella Academy for already 4 years teaching “Math and Logic” for the students of ages 5 – 20.

He came to Stella Academy while studying to be an engineer. After having 50 credit hours in engineering and general sciences, Paul decided to undergo a career change and become a teacher.

Recently, Paul started taking classes in education to pursue a carrier of a teacher. In addition, Paul thoroughly learned Stella Academy Math and Logic curriculum, went through a period of assisting  and became an experienced teacher in our school.


Rhonda Nagler

Rhonda received her degree in elementary education and in special education from National Louis University. Afterwards, Rhonda taught a self- contained fifth/sixth classroom of kids with learning disabilities. When her children were born, she left the classroom and became a tutor, and have been tutoring for over twenty two years.

She have also taught music and language development classes in a daycare for seven years, as well as mom/tot gym and swim classes. Rhonda has four sons and loves reading and walking!

Jacob Kozer

Tutoring and enrichment – Math, Chemistry, Science, English

Jacob works for Stella Academy starting the end of 2015. He is a senior in Illinois State University getting education as a Chemistry teacher.

Meanwhile, in Stella Academy, Jacob learns our Mathematics Program and is in a process of moving from assisting level to the level of an independent instructor in several areas of Vika-Math.

In addition, Jacob teaches English as a second language for our bilingual children.

Besides all of this, Jacob participates in creating science-curriculum for the new school year.

Information / Tour

Jacob Kozer

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