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The 31st Christian Home Educators Convention

Speakers Biographies


Kirk CameronKirk Cameron

Kirk is best known for his memorable role of "Mike Seaver," a cultural icon of the 80s, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks. More recently he enjoyed much success with the #1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental. His company, CAMfam Studios, has released his latest film, Unstoppable. Kirk's speaking tour, "Love Worth Fighting For," is a marriage event held in churches and has been hosted in more than 150 cities.

Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat ( Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.

Steve Annette ConomidesSteve and Annette Economides
America’s Money Smart Family

Steve and Annette Economides (Econo mee' dis) were married in 1982. In just nine years, on an average income of just $35,000 they purchased and paid-off their first home. They have also paid cash for all of their cars, taken fabulous debt-free vacations, spent only $350 per month to feed their family of seven, and put their kids through college without school loans.

They are New York Times best-selling authors of three books and are recognized internationally as family finance experts and America’s Cheapest Family. They have appeared on many national TV shows including Good Morning America and The Today Show. Steve and Annette’s style is down-to-earth and easy to understand. They’ll show you how they’ve done it, step-by-step, and how you can you too. If you follow their advice you’ll experience financial freedom, more money in the bank, debt-free living, better family times, and lots more laughter.

Dr. Brian RayDr. Brian Ray

Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., founded the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) in 1990 as a 501(c)3 non-profit research organization, and is the president of the institute. He holds his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, his M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and his B.S. in biology from the University of Puget Sound. Dr. Ray has been a middle school and high school classroom teacher in both public and private schools, an undergraduate college professor, and a university professor at the graduate level. He is a leading international expert on homeschool research, executing and publishing research, speaking to the public, testifying before legislators, and serving as an expert witness in courts.


Andrew PudewaAndrew Pudewa

Andrew Pudewa is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students' skills.

Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan (Suzuki Method) and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him "the funny man with the wonderful words." He and his beautiful, heroic wife Robin are parents of seven, grandparents of five, and educators of their two youngest children at home in Oklahoma's Green Country.


Susan BeattyRoslyn Ballard

Roslyn Ballard is a former homeschool mother of three high school graduates. She currently lives and works in Redondo Beach where she has served as the junior high and high school principal at South Bay Faith Academy for nine years. Additionally, she is the parenting coordinator for the Crenshaw Pregnancy Clinic in Los Angeles where she encourages at-risk parents to work through crisis situations as they provide safe environments and unconditional loving care to their children.

Susan BeattySusan Beatty

Susan Beatty and her husband Larry began homeschooling their three children in 1982. They graduated all three children from high school at home. Susan is the co-founder of CHEA of California, a member of its Board of Directors, its communications director editing CHEA's digital magazine, The California Parent Educator, and the author of An Introduction to Home Education manual. Susan is a professional writer/journalist with a BA degree (1971) from Cal State University Los Angeles, and a graduate of CLASS seminars.

Scott BrummettScott Brummett

Scott and Karen have been homeschooling for 15 years now. They have homeschooled their four children from their first days of school. Two of their children have graduated from high school, Kristen is currently a sophomore at La Sierra University with academic and athletic scholarships and Matthew, a history major, is a sophomore through College Plus. Jacob is a junior and their youngest, Nathan, is in 5th grade. Scott and Karen have been an integral part of California Home School Sports (CHSS) for 11 years in various capacities such as coaching and athletic director of many events.

Kerry ByersKerry Byers

Kerry Byers is the mother of six children and has three grandchildren. She has been homeschooling since 1986, graduating three of her children so far. She is the worship leader and co-founder (with her husband Jeff) of God’s Word Church, located in Apple Valley. Kerry has been involved in Christian home education for years wearing many different hats, among them support group leader and private homeschool administrator. Currently she is a Regional Advisory Board member with CHEA and runs the homeschool support organization, PSP Sports and More, with her husband and family.

Thomas Clark

Thomas Clark is a life-long teacher of mathematics with experience at all levels. He is convinced that everyone can understand mathematics and has focused on developing programs that challenge traditional instruction, by concentrating on the “why” of mathematics. He has further directed his attention toward helping homeschooling parents become more effective instructors, and is a popular presenter at homeschool conferences. He is the author of Algebra: A Complete Course, and Geometry: A Complete Course, both available in hard copy and online. He is the president of VideoText Interactive, a company that specializes in bringing textbooks to life through technology (

Kristi EskelundKristi Eskelund

Kristi Eskelund is the spouse of an active duty Marine and a former public educator who has homeschooled for the last 15 years in a variety of states due to military transfer. She has five children, two of whom are now homeschool graduates. Kristi is delighted to be a conference speaker after years of receiving inspiration and encouragement from the conference environment.

Carolyn Forte

Carolyn Forte is Principal of EIE Academy and owner, with her husband Martin, of Excellence In Education Resource Center in Monrovia, California. She earned a BA in music history from Whittier College. From 1982-1994, she directed elementary Sunday school music at the Crystal Cathedral. For five of those years, she was also co-director of the elementary Sunday school. She holds a life teaching credential for California and has taught grades K, 1, 2 and 6 in public and private day schools. For 14 years, she homeschooled her two daughters, now age 33 and 35. Over the last 20 years, she has spoken at numerous conventions and homeschool groups throughout California.

Martin ForteMartin Forte

Martin Forte, with his wife Carolyn, is the owner of Excellence In Education Resource Center as well as the administrator for their PSP, Excellence In Education Academy. Martin has been very involved with the homeschool community in many capacities including writing articles for various publications, speaking at homeschool conventions, and appearing as a guest on several radio and TV shows including the Glen Beck Show. Martin and Carolyn are considered to be pioneers of the modern homeschool movement.

Dr. Joe FrancisDr. Joe Francis

Dr. Joe Francis is the chairman of the biological sciences and physical sciences department at The Master's College as well as an adjunct professor for Liberty University Online. He has taught biological science for more than 22 years at the college and high school level and has developed numerous online courses. Dr Francis is a board member of the Creation Biology Society and is also the editor of the Journal of Creation, Science and Theology. He and his wife Rebecca taught their four boys at home and all have recently attended or graduated from college.

Chuck and Pam GeibChuck and Pam Geib

Chuck and Pam Geib have been involved in home education since 1985. First they were involved by homeschooling their two youngest sons. They also served on many home education leadership boards throughout California. They are now grandparents to six spectacular grandchildren whose parents are homeschooling them. Chuck and Pam are always honored to speak to groups and/or individuals when requested. Currently they serve on CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board.

Frank Guliuzza, PhDFrank Guliuzza, PhD

Frank Guliuzza is the Dean of Academic Affairs at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, where he is professor of government. He also serves as the College’s pre-law adviser and coaches the college’s mock trial and moot court teams (the latter along with PHC Chancellor, Michael Farris). Dr. Guliuzza received his doctorate from the University of Notre Dame after previously earning his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Wyoming, and a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Seminary. He came to Patrick Henry after teaching at Weber State University, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Vassar College, and Wheaton College. In his academic career, he has been recognized four times for "Outstanding Teaching in Political Science" by the American Political Science Association.

John HellriegelJohn Hellriegel, Jr.

John Hellriegel is a Bible teacher at Mariners Christian School. John is an author and conference speaker, has a MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, and has taught apologetics at schools, churches, and small groups for more than eight years. He is the founder of www.Biblelessons4youth.comand will be teaching an apologetics and worldview training class for homeschoolers in coming months. John and his wife Julie have been married for 15 years and have two children, Shane and Tessa.

Pat KnepleyPat Knepley

Pat Knepley is the Master Artist for the See the Light DVD art curriculum, and has been drawing and painting since she was able to hold a crayon. Pat has a degree in Art Education, and currently teaches art to kids ages 5 and up in Los Angeles. Pat also writes the Art Matters column for Home Educating Family print magazine, and writes the Artistic Homeschooler column for the digital magazine The Old Schoolhouse.

Rebecca KocsisRebecca Kocsis

Rebecca Kocsis and her beloved Ed homeschooled their 5 children for 22 years, graduating their youngest in 2006 from their homeschool. They are now the proud grandparents of four boys and three girls. Rebecca served for 15 years as a PSP administrator and for several years on CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board. In addition to serving on CHEA’s Board of Directors she is also Support Network Director. She is the author of the devotional booklet Let Not Your Feathers Be Ruffled.

Jason LisleJason Lisle

Dr. Jason Lisle is a Christian astrophysicist who writes and speaks on various topics relating to science and the defense of the Christian faith. He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University where he double-majored in physics and astronomy and minored in mathematics. He then earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Dr. Lisle specialized in solar astrophysics and has made a number of scientific discoveries regarding the solar photosphere, including the detection of giant cell boundaries using the SOHO spacecraft. He also does theoretical research and has contributed to the field of general relativity.

Naci L. LynchNanci L. Lynch, MA Special Education

Nanci Lynch is married to Tim Lynch, a business owner and non-traditional pastor. They have seven children, two in college and the other five still being home educated. Nanci has a BA in liberal arts, two teaching credentials, and a Master's Degree in special education. She has taught in numerous classroom settings including public, private, Christian, church, camp, missions and ministry. She loves the Word of God and the Savior who is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Natalie LyonsNatalie Lyons

Natalie Lyons was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school graduation. She then went on to California State University, Fullerton where she received her Bachelor’s of Music in keyboard performance. More recently, Natalie went on to pursue and earn a teaching credential in English and a Master’s Degree in digital teaching and learning from Azusa Pacific University. For nine years, she has taught full-time at Whittier Christian Schools, spending a year in fourth grade, three years in sixth grade, and five years in the junior high. She is currently the seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher.

Gerald McKoyGerald McKoy

Gerald McKoy migrated to the United States from Belize with his family. Christ changed his heart as a teenager growing up in South Central LA. He married his wife Cecily in 1994 after they survived the Northridge Earthquake together. Attending his first CHEA Convention where he made the decision to become a naturalized US Citizen changed his life. Gerald is self-employed as a technology consultant and custom software developer. He and his wife have five sons including a set of twins. They knew from conception that homeschooling was the right choice for them, and they plan to homeschool their children through high school. They run a PSP and Considering Homeschooling Support Group.

Anita MillerDr. Anita Miller

Dr. Anita Miller has a doctorate in Christian education and is a certified reading specialist in the states of California and Arizona. She holds teaching credentials in the state of California and Arizona as well. She holds the following Master's Degrees: Reading and Curriculum, Special Education, and Educational Administration. She specializes in dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, and Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. She homeschooled all of her seven children, for a total of 32 years. She currently has her own business which specializes in teaching and helping children with learning disabilities, especially in the areas of reading and mathematics.

Angela MillsAngela Mills

Angela Mills is the writer behind Homegrown Mom, where she encourages moms in homeschooling, marriage, and homemaking while admitting she isn’t quite a domestic diva herself. As a mom of two girls, she is learning alongside her daughters as she teaches them what it means to be a godly homemaker and wife. Angela has been involved in ministry with women and children for 13 years.

Toni MuusToni Muus

Toni Muus is the first in her family not to complete college, but she has successfully homeschooled her three children from K-12th grade. All three children have gone on to college with two graduating and one in the process. Toni has directed the Whittier Christian Satellite Program since 1999 with a passion for encouraging moms in the endeavor of educating their children to live for the Lord. Toni resides in Whittier with her husband of 38 years, Jerry Muus.

Cheryl NesbittCheryl Nesbitt

Cheryl Nesbitt, homeschool mom of four, lives and works in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. With her third child graduating this year, she is in the home stretch of her career teaching her own children. Cheryl instructs American and world literature and Spanish language classes at the South Bay site of Biola Youth Academics. Cheryl has enjoyed studying literature since her high school days when her honors English instructors inspired her to pursue truth through the study of great books. She holds a BA in Spanish, a BA in Asian Studies (Japanese), and a Masters in Pacific Rim International Affairs.

Jeff PatersonJeff Paterson

Jeff Paterson is president of California Home School Sports (CHSS) and has directed homeschool sports programs since 1995. Jeff and his wife Sue, home educated their four children for 21 years and are still supporting home education in many ways. Jeff has a BS in physical education and a masters degree in educational administration. He has used his education in teaching physical education for 30 years and since 1995 has coached and administrated home school sports programs. CHSS is an organization formed to help all home educators have a competitive sports league. The many volunteers of CHSS have helped others start sports programs that have helped home educators teach a biblical worldview through athletic competition.

Nathan PierceNathan Pierce

Nathan was homeschooled kindergarten through high school and received a BA in political studies from The Master's College in Santa Clarita, California. Early on, while homeschooling through high school, he decided he wanted to cut firewood for a living. God had other plans. A back injury led Nathan to realize God’s call on his life to pursue a college degree and a career in politics. Nathan now works full-time for Family Protection Ministries where he began as an intern in 2002. He is the office manager and legislative liaison for private homeschooling and enjoys speaking at conferences to both homeschool parents and teens. He and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and homeschool their own children. Nathan has worked full-time to protect private homeschooling in California since 2004.

David QuineDavid Quine

David and Shirley Quine, parents of nine children, began homeschooling in 1980. David is the author of many popular homeschool curriculum as well as Let Us Highly Resolve. The focus of their writing and speaking is to equip the next generation to stand upon the biblical worldview.

Les W. RoodLes W. Rood

Les and his wife, Claudia, have home educated for 28 years, with all nine of their children. Les has been involved with sports as an athlete, a coach, an official, an administrator, and a director. God has used sports in many ways to help the Roods in discipling their children to Jesus Christ. Without exception, each one of the Rood-crew has had sports aid them in their development for their adult life and calling, aiding them in their focus, teamwork, perseverance, and other life disciplines. In God’s Word, He uses the sports of ‘running’ and ‘boxing’ as word-pictures for us in living the Christian Life and staying in preparation for its trials.

Penny RossPenny Ross

Penny Ross and her husband of 35 years, Greg, homeschooled their three children from kindergarten through high school graduation: two are now engineers and one serves on the mission field. Penny runs Hope Chapel Academy, a PSP in Hermosa Beach. A former career woman who never planned on being a stay-at-home mom, Penny’s passion is to encourage others to do more than just survive homeschooling, family, and marriage, but to thrive in the midst of it.

Mary SchofieldMary Schofield

Mary and husband Paul began homeschooling in 1986.Their children graduated, married, moved into their own homes, got decent jobs, have great kids of their own, and are doing fine out in “the real world” despite the fears of homeschool naysayers. Mary wrote The High School Handbook based on years of experience, research, and prayer. She speaks at home education conventions, encouraging parents to seek God’s unique plan for their families. Mary has been enjoying her "retirement" from active homeschooling by continuing to serve on CHEA’s Board of Directors. She also found time to go back to school, get a law degree, and become an attorney, practicing in northern California and serving as “of counsel” for HSLDA.

Craig SmithCraig Smith

Craig Smith and his wife, Julie, are the parents of six children, and began homeschooling in 1990. Since 2000, they have been involved in homeschool speech and debate. After beginning as an inexperienced speech coach, Craig founded Veritas Speech & Debate club in Orange County, which is now one of the largest and most successful homeschool communication clubs in America. Craig and Julie have directed several speech and debate events, and are the directors for this year's national tournament for Stoa Speech & Debate.

J. Michael SmithMichael Smith

For the last 33 years, Mike Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, has been defending and advancing the right of parents to teach their children at home. It began when his wife began teaching their children at home in 1981 after he heard Dorothy and Raymond more explain the benefits of homeschooling on Focus on the Family radio. When homeschoolers in California found out that Mike was a homeschooling father and lawyer, he became well known as a person who could get you out of trouble for homeschooling. In 1983, he had a fortuitous meeting with Mike Farris, then a lawyer in Washington State. Mike Farris asked Mike to join him in an endeavor to make homeschool legal in America which led to the founding of HSLDA. The rest is history. Homeschooling is legal in every state today.

Marian SoderholmMarian Soderholm

Marian and her husband Erik began The Nature of Learning to provide a testing service to help parents understand both the way their students learn and how to teach to their strengths. A veteran homeschooling mom of two children, Marian has a MFT in marital and family therapy and works as a HSLDA special needs consultant.

Susan StewartSusan K. Stewart

Susan K. Stewart is a teacher, writer, and speaker. The Stewarts began teaching their children at home in 1981 and are considered pioneers in the modern home education movement. Susan is the author of Science in the Kitchen: Fearless Science at Home for All Ages and Preschool: At What Cost? She speaks at support groups, women's retreats, and conventions. She is the new early learning columnist at Home School Enrichment magazine.

Marie StoutMarie Stout

Marie Stout, married to Don for 29 years, made the decision to homeschool prior to having their first child in 1986. They have five children, all of whom were homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, ranging in age from 16-27. They have been active in the homeschooling community in various activities, including serving together on the board of their PSP, Saddleback Christian Academy since 1997. Additionally, Marie was a founding board member for Stoa, a national homeschooling speech and debate league.

Tim WalbornTim Walborn

Tim is married to Veronica and is the father of three children: Nathan, Andrea, and Jaden. Two have graduated and one is in fifth grade. He has more than 25 years experience working with youth. He currently serves as the branch director for the Ontario-Montclair YMCA, holds a Masters degree in theology, and enjoys reading, coaching, and spending time with his family.

Julie WalkerJulie Walker

Julie Walker is the marketing director for the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) and Andrew Pudewa. In 1996 she was introduced to IEW while establishing Biola Youth’s Star Academics and Torrey Academy programs for homeschooling teens. After their three sons completed their home education and graduated from Village Bible Academy, she and her husband relocated with IEW from California to Oklahoma.

Roger WheelockRoger Wheelock

Roger Wheelock is the chairman and CEO of Greater Than I Ministries, a non-profit corporation established for the purpose of providing creative worldview teaching materials to Christian churches and homeschools in America. Roger is an ordained pastor and worship leader with more than 30 years of leadership experience, producing six worship albums from which more than 20 of his original songs have been played on Christian radio stations. Over the years, he and his family have discovered that the Christian church is having little effect in the culture of America because we have not been educated and equipped to apply our Bible to all of life. Therefore, they believe it is urgent that the Church place renewed emphasis and effort upon education as the primary means of evangelism.

Sarah WinkleSarah Winkle

Sarah Winkle is a homeschool alumna and homeschool mom, and has been married to Christian for ten years. Sarah has a BS and BA from the Master’s College and a JD from Oakbrook College of Law and Government Policy, and is a practicing attorney in California. After working as a worker’s compensation a


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The 36th Annual CHEA Convention Menu

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