Dr. Barbara Helmkamp earned an engineering degree in Physics from Colorado School of Mines (1986) and a Ph.D. in Physics from Louisiana State University (1995). Between undergraduate and graduate studies she worked as a petrophysical engineer for the Shell Companies in New Orleans. After graduate studies, she and her husband Bob started their family. In 1999, the Helmkamp family relocated to Houston. Barbara taught part-time (secondary science and math including Algebra I) at St. Mark Lutheran School (Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod) in Houston from 2005-2008, after her younger daughter started first grade there. Barbara also completed a course of study in theology for Lutheran school teachers, including Old Testament, New Testament and Church History, through Concordia University Texas (2007). In 2008, the Helmkamp family relocated to Parker, Colorado (southeast of Denver). From 2010-present, Barbara has taught part-time (Physics and Chemistry lectures and labs) at Credo Academy, which is a large, board-run, secondary home school co-op in Lone Tree, Colorado. She has also taught her daughters their courses in Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry, Calculus I-II, Chemistry, Advanced Chemistry, Physics and Statistics. Both daughters joined VSA’s diploma program after completing the 8th grade in Lutheran schools—Amalia graduated with Honors as Salutatorian in 2015 and is now studying violin and nursing (double major) at University of Iowa, and Sophia (class of 2017) is in the Highest Honors program with VSA and plans to study engineering, like her father and mother, and minor in music/violin. Barbara finds much joy in secondary Christian education, knowing that the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ is cherished above all by all involved: students, parents, faculty and administration. She looks for ways to have “theological moments” in the classroom (theology being the “queen of the sciences” according to Aquinas)—by opening class with a hymn to read aloud, thereby exposing students to the rich hymnody of the church, or by bringing the Scriptures to bear in the context of teaching, as time and subject matter allow. Barbara and her family particularly enjoy the out-of-doors including hiking, skiing, kayaking, snowshoeing, cycling, walking the dog, etc. Being able to teach VSA classes from the Helmkamp’s Grand Lake condo is a happy thought indeed.
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