Ed and Dena Bless
In addition, both Ed and Dena have a strong interest in missions and have served separately and together on several short term missions around the globe. Ed runs a solar energy company and is hoping to be able to do more missions work with it also. They are both very involved in their home church in several capacities, from worship to children’s ministries to facilitating financial and marriage classes. Having a heart for families and being sold out to the benefits of private, Christian home education, they are excited to join with CHEA in this capacity as members of the Regional Advisory Board.
Jeff and Kerry Byers
Jeff and Kerry Byers have been homeschooling since 1987. Four of their children have already graduated from private Christian homeschooling. Their youngest is 17 and will graduate this June. They said, “We learned ALL about homeschooling, family, marriage, and so much more through CHEA’S Conventions. Without them we would have been lost. We have faithfully attended CHEA’S Conventions ever since CHEA was four years old and haven’t missed one Convention.” Jeff and Kerry started a support group in the 80’s, started a private school satellite program in the 90’s and currently run PSP Sports And More for all private Christian schools, especially for private Christian homeschoolers two through adult which offers a variety of classes and sports throughout the school year. After serving for 30 years as a firefighter (now retired), Jeff is now the Senior Pastor of God’s Word Church where Kerry leads worship. Their church’s biggest outreach ministry is PSP Sports And More ministering to about 200 families. Their oldest daughter, now 26, serves with them in our church and outreach ministries. They have four grandchildren, and their greatest joy is serving God by serving others.
Chuck and Pam Geib
In 1982 while driving home from work in Orange County, Chuck listened to Dr. Raymond Moore being interviewed on a popular talk radio program. When he arrived home he told Pam he found the answers to education he had been looking for, and shared the idea called homeschooling. Pam, like Abraham’s Sarah, laughed. She worked full time and made more money than Chuck at the time. The thought of staying home and teaching her children sounded ridiculous. Nevertheless, she promised to listen to Dr. Moore the next morning when he was to be interviewed on Dr. Dobson’s radio program “Focus on the Family.” Just as God, through Dr. Moore the day before, spoke to Chuck’s heart He also spoke to Pam’s heart. Their youngest was just 2 and the decision was made to wait until he was closer to school age to begin.
In 1984 Pam was able to quit her job and she took a year (1984-1985 school year) to read books and attend conferences on home education. During that year, the Geibs attended several homeschool conferences including the 2nd Annual CHEA Convention at Melodyland in Orange County. In September 1985 they decided to pull their 10 year old son out of public school and teach him at home (their youngest still a year away from beginning school officially). By the end of the first week they knew they could do what God was calling them to do.
In 1993 they graduated their first home educated student and then their final student (who was home educated his entire life) in 1998. They have held leadership positions with four different home school support groups. Pam co-authored the book Help! I’m Homeschoolingwith her friend Debbie Castaneda in 1989 (currently out of print). They speak at conferences and conventions, and have written many articles.
Their first homeschooled graduate is now homeschooling (with his lovely bride) his own children and making both sets of grandparents very proud.
Brian and Winnie Sato
Los Angeles County/North Orange County
Brian and Winnie have been married for 25 years and actively serve in their church. Brian currently serves on the Church Council and Worship team and is a district elder. Along with Winnie, they lead a short-term mission mobilization ministry called Hope 4 China, a discipleship-focused ministry working with several house churches in Beijing.
They have served in various leadership capacities of their PSPs, Hope Chapel Academy (HCA) and South Bay Faith Academy (SBFA). Brian served a term on the school board of HCA. Winnie served as coordinator for HCA’s co-op program (EXTRA) and Vice-Principal of HCA and oversaw the successful merger of HCA into SBFA in 2017. She currently serves as the director for SBFA’s extension school, a program offering high school-level classes to junior and senior high school students.
Their adventure in homeschooling started prior to the adoption of their daughter Darynne in 2002. Seeing the direction of public school education, they felt led by God to seriously consider homeschooling. This was confirmed when they attended a class at their church and through God-ordained circumstances sat next to the then Vice Principal of HCA, Penny Ross. Through this meeting and the instrumental support of CHEA, Brian and Winnie have been able to navigate through the peaks and valleys of homeschooling and are close to graduating their daughter.
Brian and Winnie are honored to have been considered for this role and look forward to serving the families of CHEA and its leadership in promoting private Christian, Bible-based homeschooling.
Brad and Michaela Roekle
Brad and Michaela are California born and raised, celebrating 20 years of marriage and entering into their 12th year as homeschooling parents this fall. The couple have three children; their eldest a high school senior graduating this year, their middle an eighth grade graduate, and their youngest a kindergarten graduate. Michaela was homeschooled herself, beginning in first grade and through high school graduation, and remembers attending CHEA conventions as a child with her parents.
Brad and Michaela always purposed to raise their children in the ways of the Lord, with a bible-based education. In 2009, they began working in homeschool ministry, becoming leaders as their church opened a homeschool program. In 2013, they felt the Lord call them to open their own Private School Satellite Program, Grace and Glory Academy.
Michaela manages the record-keeping and family counseling of Grace and Glory, enjoys speaking at homeschool events, and planning field trip adventures. In 2017, Michaela led her first CHEA Annual Convention workshop session and was a speaker at the 2018 CHEA Leadership Conference. Brad maintains the Grace and Glory web, email, and promotional matters while also working for a Technology Group as an IT manager.
It has been a blessing to experience CHEA through all of the stages; as a homeschooled student, a homeschool mom, a group leader, and now a CHEA volunteer. Their family is passionate about private, Christian, home education and consider it an honor to serve on the CHEA Regional Advisory Board. CHEA has something for everyone and they chose to serve to ensure there are hands reaching out to the families in every area of the state. They consider CHEA a wonderful resource and treasured friend for the homeschooling journey…with many active years left to come!
John and Fern Sikich
South Central Coast
John and Fern lead their local support group, Santa Barbara Christian Homesteaders Inc. and have served for more than ten years as RABs for the South Central Coast. They enjoy networking with the area groups as well as helping at the Annual CHEA Convention. John is a controller for a custom home builder in Santa Barbara, and Fern has a busy schedule of teaching and tutoring: writing, spelling, and reading. They both are very active in their church, serving in the Awana Clubs and music and worship ministries, as well as being involved with Bible Study Fellowship. They homeschooled all three of their grown children from K-12 and are excited to see their two young granddaughters begin the homeschooling journey.
Scott and Mary York
San Diego and South Orange County
Married in 1979, Scott and Mary promptly joined the DINK generation, dual income no kids. Five years into their marriage they came to a saving knowledge of their Savior and in 1987 became the proud parents of the first of seven wonderful children. Mary left the corporate world to be a full time mom, and their journey towards home education began.
When their first-born, Scotty, reached school age they enrolled him in a lovely private Christian school. His younger brother, Russell, counted the minutes every day until his brother and best friend returned from school. He could not wait until he was old enough to join Scotty in school thinking that they would be together again. However, it tore at Mary’s heart knowing that once Russell started school the boys would be on different schedules and still not “together.” Tipped off by a mom at church, she looked into Christian home education and liked it. Scott was skeptical, so she arranged interviews with two different homeschooling families in order for him to evaluate the viability of home education. As a result of these interviews they decided to try it for one year. They have never looked back. This school year marks year number twenty-two in Christian home education for the Yorks.
Along this 22-year adventure they have successfully graduated five of their children from high school, having two still at home. Mary jumped right into leadership with the private school satellite program (PSP) they joined and has spent the last 10 years as the principal of the school managing all of the responsibilities that go into administering a 400-family homeschooling support group.
When the kids hit their junior year in high school they were enrolled in competitive speech and debate, and that extracurricular activity became the family sport. When the need arose, Scott volunteered to start a national speech and debate league for Christian homeschoolers, a project that covered a span of four years. Scott and Mary’s motto is “If you want your children to grow up to be leaders, be a model of leadership.”
They consider it an honor and a privilege to work alongside the CHEA leadership and its members in the call to promote Christian home education.