Congratulations to the 2019 Support Network Leader of the Year, Judy Hadfield of Cornerstone Christian School. Judy retired from her leadership role at Cornerstone after serving for many years.
Judy was presented her award during the Luncheon at the 36th Annual Leadership Conference in Pasadena on July 11, 2019.
Each year CHEA honors one leader from a Support Network Group who has made an indelible impact on the lives of the families served. Leaders are nominated by individuals within their group.
Judy began homeschooling in 1986 after attending a women’s retreat. During the weekend, she recalls an hour they were challenged to find a place outside and spend that time at the feet of Jesus. She spent much of that time in prayer for her daughter, Darci. It was during this time that the Lord called her to homeschooling for all three of her daughters.
Homeschooling in the 80’s was nothing like homeschooling today. According to Charity Silvers, Judy “had to learn the ropes on her own because everything that is available to homeschoolers today wasn’t even thought of back then.” In 1994, after a few short years of filing her own affidavit, she stepped into co-leadership of Cornerstone Christian School. “She and [her co-leader] Laurie prepared forms and procedures to keep the records for each family and student in the school and those same processes have stood the test of time as they are still used today. If she didn’t know how or what to do, she would seek answers until she found them.”
During her time as administrator at Cornerstone, Judy was involved in a variety of programs the school offered. Michele Danielson shared, “she led a support group for moms with special needs children and it was a blessing to have other moms to talk with who were going through the same struggles. She was always there to answer questions, as she too is a mom of a special needs child.” Rebecca Metcalf shared that her “happiest memories are all the wonderful field trips organized by Judy as well as Dean’s & Judy’s coaching the original Eagles team and then Stallions. In those early years we did soccer, volleyball and softball.” She continued, “I wouldn’t have the interest in architecture and art history that I have now if it wasn’t for her class and her passion for the stuff!”
In addition to the hands-on tangible things Judy was involved in, she also exhibited love and leadership through character to the families God entrusted to her care. “Judy is the ultimate servant leader and that is what is so greatly needed when ministering to homeschool families. No task is too menial for her as she does what is needed to make things happen,” shares Lori Noel. She continues, “Her wisdom in dealing with all the situations that can arise in the lives of families in a PSP is amazing. She knows the right thing to say or do to make things better…She is understanding when life happens and helps us to understand that homeschooling is not just academics and teaching our children about the Lord, but it’s how we respond to life that speaks volumes to our children and families about our faith in our Lord and Savior. She keeps reminding us that our efforts are worth every bit of time we invest in our children, as we faithfully bring them up in the Lord.”
Not only was Judy active in her own homeschooling group, but she was an advocate for private home education and the organizations that support parental choice. Rebecca Metcalf commented, “ her tireless service and diligence to lead us according to state requirements have helped give legitimacy and acceptance of our homeschools in our community.” Lori Noel explains, “She fully believes and advocates for homeschooling every chance she gets, and it is her passion to see families choose biblical homeschooling versus the many alternatives out there…she is at the CHEA Convention and leader sessions every year and encourages us to go for our own rejuvenation and to be uplifted as we get ready for another school year. She advocates for CHEA membership, HSLDA, Roy Hanson, and keeps us updated on what is happening in each of those areas. She exudes homeschooling and its benefits. She honestly has to be homeschooling’s biggest cheerleader I know.”
As she reflects on her years homeschooling and leading Cornerstone Christian School for 25 years, Judy shares, “It has been an amazing journey. Our purpose for CCS has been to base education on biblical principles. Deut 6:5-7 has been the foundation for our school. “You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” As administrators of CCS, our purpose has always been to come along side each family to encourage their education endeavors and to help them to teach their children in the ways of the Lord.”
While Judy has stepped down from her Administrator position at Cornerstone, she and her husband Dean have remained on as Board members and officers of the non-profit. Families in Cornerstone are grateful for their continued involvement, but their presence in the day-to-day running of the PSP will be greatly missed.