Susan Beatty, co-founder and general manager of CHEA, was honored recently at both the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership Conference’s September event in Asheville, North Carolina and the Home School Legal Defense National Christian Leadership Conference the same week.

Mike Smith, president of HSLDA, gave a speech honoring her, telling attendees of Susan’s contributions to the homeschool community at large over the past nearly 35 years. Susan received a standing ovation when she went forward to receive her award.

img_1468Smith’s speech told the audience about Susan’s co-founding the Christian Home Educators Association of California and her influence on the homeschool movement nationwide. He said that homeschoolers today owe her a debt of gratitude for her pioneering work in homeschooling. She thanked her for authoring An Introduction to Home Education manual that has helped so many. He also acknowledged how Susan personally encouraged his wife, Elizabeth, to stay the course in homeschooling.

The plaque she received is inscribed: Susan Beatty. Thank you for your longstanding service to the homeschooling community. HSLDA National Christian Leadership Conference.

Susan plans to retire in February, after nearly 35 years at the helm of CHEA. CHEA will celebrate 35 years in August of 2017.

Susan’s History with Homeschool
Susan and her husband Larry began CHEA of California and started homeschooling their three children in 1982. In addition, Susan ran a private school satellite program from 1985 to 1998. She even found time to co-author An Introduction to Home Education manual.

They have graduated all three children, the last child in 1998, and Susan has continued to be an integral part of CHEA, currently as a member of the Board of Directors, general manager, and events manager. As general manager, she directs the office’s day-to-day operations on behalf of the entire board of directors. She also directs the planning of the Conventions, and was longtime editor of the California Parent Educator magazine.

She writes and speaks at workshops and conventions on home education, annual national leadership conferences on homeschooling, and is a founding board meimg_1465mber of The National Alliance for Christian Home Education Leadership. As a spokesperson for the home education community, Susan is interviewed for radio, television, and newspapers.

Rebecca Kocsis, CHEA’s Support Network Director, had this to say of Susan:
“To quote Israel Wayne, Susan Beatty is ‘one of the Generals’ of the modern home education movement. She has sacrificed much in that she could have had a lucrative career in the editing world. I’ve no doubt that she would have been successful. Yet she chose to set all of that aside in order to homeschool her children and establish a non-profit organization to advocate for homeschoolers. She acknowledges that this has been the Lord’s plan for her life, even though she had no idea that founding and leading CHEA would become a life’s work.

Over the years, Susan has become a trusted mentor. I don’t know whether she realizes that or not. I have come to appreciate the wisdom that comes from her years of experience. She leads by example. She is thorough even though some aspects of her work can be painstaking and the temptation would be to rush ahead. She shows great patience with those who need coaching and direction. Her integrity and that of CHEA is of paramount importance to her.

After countless hours working side by side, she has also become a trusted friend. I know the Lord has put me under Susy’s leadership. I consider it an honor, and for that I will always be grateful.”

The Future?
Susan is a professional writer/journalist with a BA degree (1971) from Cal State University Los Angeles and a graduate of CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speakers Seminars].

After retiring, Susan plans to pursue a career writing  fiction. She is also very active in several Southern California writing groups and is also involved in the organization of two writers’ conferences as well as a national editors’ conference.

Photos by Rebecca Kocsis, CHEA Support Network director.

An Introduction to Home Education

God’s Homeschooling Tapestry: A Memoir, by Susan Beatty