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26th CHEA Bay Area Convention

Speakers Biographies


Jere AllenJere Allen

Jere’s 20+ years of teaching experience including ministering to youth; creating PE programs for elementary schools; coaching basketball, baseball, and track for middle schools. He also spent several years as a teacher at Milpitas Christian Middle School where he taught computers, math, science, literature, and Bible. His professional experience in Silicon Valley focused on training adults in various software applications for many years. Jere graduated from San Jose Bible College majoring in Bible and theology with a minor in math. He is the Co-Founder and Director of HEART Academy, a Private School Satellite Program and Co-op Program in San Jose, California.

Susan BeattySusan Beatty

Susan Beatty and her husband Larry began homeschooling their three children in 1982. They have now 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, and the author of An Introduction to Home Education manual. She is a writer and speaker on the subject of home education, and as a spokesperson for the home education community, has been interviewed for radio, television, and newspapers.

Denise BoikoDenise Boiko

Denise Boiko and her husband Ron from San Jose, California, homeschooled their two children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Now an “empty nester” with one child in college and one in medical school, Denise enjoys teaching group classes to homeschoolers in the subjects of biology, anatomy and physiology, composition, and literature. She is the author of Homeschooled and Headed for College: Your Road Map for a Successful Journey, a book designed to help families navigate the often-intimidating path from homeschooling to college.

Jon and Debra CarrJon and Debra Carr
Children's Convention

Jon and Debra Carr have been married 37 years and are veteran home educators. Their home education journey began in 1983 through 1998 when their youngest son graduated from South Bay Faith Academy’s Home Education Program. Even though their children are now adults, Jon and Debra have continued their involvement and support of home education programs. Together they’ve worked for close to 30 years serving in ministry to children and families

Daniel CraigDaniel Craig
Teen Convention

Daniel Craig serves as Regional Admissions Director for CollegePlus, and is passionate about home education, discipleship and worldview. As a first generation homeschool graduate, he completed his bachelor's degree in music in two years of study after high school for under $15,000. He has pursued seminary studies in philosophy and apologetics. With this background, Daniel has a great burden for furthering the home education and discipleship vision in the next generation. In his capacity with CollegePlus, an innovative alternative to campus-based college founded with the mission of transforming higher education from a Christian perspective, Daniel interacts closely with homeschool families and students nationwide.

Gail EftingGail Efting

Gail Efting’s purpose is to live each day as unto the Lord, doing the works He has prepared for her, in the light of God’s Word. She encourages others to consistently apply God’s truth to every aspect of everyday life. Her BALM (Biblical Application to Life Management skills) classes are an outgrowth of this mission. Gail has served as a Bible teacher and biblical counselor for many years, currently serving as librarian for the Theological Library at Peninsula Bible Church, Palo Alto, and host of Bible Dig. Gail has supported homeschooling families for more than 20 years, currently serving as director and curriculum coordinator of The King's Academy's enrichment program.

Kendra FletcherKendra Fletcher

Kendra Fletcher is the homeschooling mother of eight, from age 20 down to 4. She has never known what it means to homeschool without the presence of preschoolers, and loves to encourage other moms beginning their homeschool journeys with little ones underfoot. She is the preschool columnist for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and the author of a popular ebook about creating a circle time for your homeschool. Her homeschooling website and blog can be found at, and her personal author blog can be found at

Dawn HudsonDawn Hudson

First the homeschool student and now the educator of her own three children, Dawn Hudson sees homeschooling from both sides. This second generation homeschooler brings a “practitioners” bent into her home classroom, giving her insight into what works and what could cause unexpected problems. Dawn has worked for Focus on the Family, Christian Bookseller’s Association, and as a Colorado state legislative aide. Now Dawn works in her favorite environment: first as a wife, mom, and a homeschooling teacher; then as a voice of support to homeschooling parents. Dawn is an educational consultant for My Father’s World.

Kim GarroutteKim Garroutte

“What, homeschool? You’ve got to be kidding, God.” That was how the calling to home education started for Kim more than a decade ago. Through the struggles of leaving a career and adding extra mouths to feed, God Almighty has taught Kim and her family to fully rely on Him. The beloved wife of Shane and mother of four active teens (three homeschool grads and one more to go) this family keeps a busy schedule. An avid couponer and frugalista Kim has a heart for showing others how it is possible to survive on one income. Kim is the administrator for a support group, a private school satellite program, and a small homeschool convention.

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 seven 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.

Gerald McKoyGerald McKoy

Gerald McKoy is a Christian, husband, father of five boys, homeschool evangelist, software developer, and internet entrepreneur. Currently, he serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA of CA). Gerald created the Homeschool Netcast Network as a site devoted to supporting the existing homeschool community and evangelizing more Christian parents to homeschool their children through private school satellite programs. He does this by providing news, interviews, and inspiring stories found within the homeshcool community.

Nathan PierceNathan Pierce

Nathan was homeschooled K-12 and received a BA in political studies from The Master's College in Santa Clarita, California. 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 the legislative liaison for private homeschooling and speaks at conferences to both homeschool parents and teens. He and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and have four children they homeschool.

Penny RossPenny Ross

A former career woman who never planned on being a stay-at-home mom, Penny quit her job when she was eight months pregnant with baby #1. It turns out that God had a very different plan for her life than she did! She and her husband Greg have been blessed with three children, whom they homeschooled from kindergarten through high school graduation. She’s been supporting and encouraging homeschool families for 24 years and currently serves as vice principal of Hope Chapel Academy, a PSP in Hermosa Beach.

Mary SchofieldMary Schofield

Mary and husband Paul began homeschooling in 1986. Their children graduated, married, moved into their own homes, got decent jobs, and are doing fine out in “the real world” despite the fears of homeschool naysayers. Mary wrote The High School Handbook, a guide to home educating junior and senior high school students, based on years of experience, research, and prayer. She speaks at home education conventions throughout the United States, encouraging parents to seek God’s unique plan for their families. Mary serves on CHEA’s Board of Directors. She also found time to go back to school, get a law degree, and become an attorney with her own practice in northern California.

J. Michael SmithJ. Michael Smith

Attorney Mike Smith is the President of Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization that he helped found in 1983. Established to protect the right of parents to teach their children at home, HSLDA now represents more than 80,000 member families. Mike and his wife Elizabeth began homeschooling their children in 1981. His columns on home education appear regularly in the Washington Times, and he has been a guest on numerous television and radio programs, including Focus on the Family with Dr. Dobson and Hannity and Colmes on Fox News.

Dawna WiemeyerDawna Wiemeyer

Dawna Wiemeyer has 19 years of homeschooling experience. Scared to death to begin her first year, she considers the years in the trenches with her children as the best investment she’s ever made. She’s well acquainted with the challenges, distraction, and difficult path homeschooling parents face. She learned how to conquer fear, inadequacy, and loneliness and has become a great cheerleader for those homeschooling today. She and her husband Glen homeschooled all three of their children K-12th grade. Dawna’s mantra: “If I can do it, anyone can do it!”

Jeff BaldwinHal and Melanie Young
Keynote Speakers

Hal and Melanie Young, authors of the Christian Small Publishers Association 2011 Book of the Year, Raising Real Men, are parents of six real boys and two real girls. They have homeschooled through eight high-risk pregnancies, three re-locations, two decades, and 181 degrees of longitude. They are sought-after conference speakers who routinely draw standing-room-only crowds with their mix of uniquely entertaining cross-banter and practical, powerful Scriptural principles. They have published articles with The Foundation for Economic Education, Homeschooling Today, the John Locke Foundation, Homeschool Digest, TEACH Magazine, Homeschool Enrichment, and more.


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The 36th Annual CHEA Convention Menu

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