Dena joined the CHEA Staff in 2020. Being married over 25 years and homeschooling both their daughters all the way through high school graduation, Dena Bless hopes that her experiences can be used to encourage and support others. She and her husband, Ed, are also the Bay Area/Nor-Cal RABs, and Dena is taking on leadership of the PSP she belonged to for several years. Having a heart for families and being sold out to the benefits of private, Christian home education, she is excited to support and mentor others in any way possible.
Portia and Mike operated a PSP in Long Beach for 24 years. She taught group classes in Latin and computer literacy. They began attending CHEA conventions in 1986 and were part of CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board for the greater Los Angeles Area. Portia has been the Education Consultant for CHEA since 2014. She has a BA in Business Administration/Management.
Portia is grateful for many years of homeschooling with the assistance of CHEA and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Her goal, with God’s help, is to encourage and provide information to those seeking Home Education.
For homeschooling help, call Portia Monday through Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. or Saturday 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at 562-544-7875.
She first worked for CHEA when she was 14 years old and her mother was on staff. She grew up attending CHEA conventions. Over the years she has volunteered for CHEA in a myriad of positions. Jessica is also the Controller for Orange Coast Musical Arts, a music program for homeschool families.
Communications Manager and Editor
Katie Julius joined the CHEA staff in April 2018. She is married to her husband, John, and has been homeschooling their only daughter since 2017. She serves on the board and leadership team of her homeschool support group, LIFE Homeschool in Pomona, CA. She has a passion for helping guide homeschool families on their journey, especially those just starting out.
Katie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design from Azusa Pacific University while also serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook. She then earned a Master of Arts in Educational Counseling, also from Azusa Pacific University. She taught graphic arts, photography, and yearbook, and then worked as an administrative assistant for four-and-a-half years before making the decision to stay home to raise her then 15-month-old daughter. In addition to her work for CHEA, she continues to use her design and administrative talents as the Troop Coordinator for her daughter’s American Heritage Girls troop.
General Manager and Support Network Director
She first began serving CHEA while it was still a fledgling organization in 1986 by opening mail and filling requests for information and materials. As her family grew, both in size and number, she could no longer cover the mail and materials requests, though the whole family remained involved as Annual Convention staff running the Used Curriculum Exchange.
Rebecca served for 15 years as a private school satellite program (PSP) administrator and several years on CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, she currently serves as General Manager and Support Network Director overseeing CHEA’s statewide network of homeschool groups, writing a bi-monthly newsletter for leaders, and organizing leadership conferences that are held in conjunction with our Conventions. Rebecca is also the author of “Let Not Your Feathers Be Ruffled” a devotional for homeschoolers. She counts it a privilege to still be serving the homeschool community after all of these years. Yes, once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler.
Nathan was homeschooled kindergarten through high school. He literally “grew up” with CHEA, attending his first convention in a stroller. As a teenager he volunteered at CHEA conventions as often as possible and dreamed of a time he could take on a larger role. After graduating from high school he went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in political studies from The Master’s College. While in college, he was asked to intern under the founder of FPM, Roy Hanson. He realized his passion for public policy, homeschooling, CHEA, and the families of California was God working to prepare him for the mission of advocating on behalf of private home education through the ministry of FPM. He now has over 17 years of experience doing advocacy work at the State Capitol. He works behind the scenes at the Capitol, meeting with legislators to advocate on behalf of private homeschoolers. Nathan currently serves as FPM’s Senior Legislative Liaison and Director of Operations.
Nathan Pierce met his wife Betsy while attending The Masters College and they were married in 2004. She also has a homeschooling background and carries a passion for supporting the families of their local private home education support group, of which she is a co-leader. They are blessed with seven children and have considered themselves homeschooling parents from the day their oldest was born! Their family enjoys spending time exploring lakes and rivers in the Sacramento area, as well as board games, family singing around the fire pit, and serving together in their local church.
When asked why Nathan and Betsy love homeschooling their own family, this was their response: “Homeschooling allows our family to live every day pursuing knowing who God is and what it means to think biblically. The Christian worldview instructs and guides our children’s education and allows us to consider the unique individuality of each child while educating them and training them in character and knowledge for the good work that God has prepared for them to do. (Eph 2:10.)We want to consider first of all that which is of first importance: the gospel message that Christ died for our sins, was buried and raised according to the scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4.) We can’t imagine any other life than this crazy, busy, sleep-deprived and wholly parent-sanctifying lifestyle where every moment of mayhem is a learning opportunity.”
Susan K. Beatty
CHEA Founder, retired
“I had no idea that when God called me to begin homeschooling and establish CHEA of California, I was embarking on a life-long career,” Susan said with chuckle about her 35-year involvement with homeschooling and CHEA of California. “It has been an honor and a blessing to be called to the Lord’s homeschooling ministry.”
But in March 2017, God finally called her to retire from CHEA and the homeschooling community and on to a new ministry.
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 write An Introduction to Home Education recently renamed The California Homeschool Manual.
They graduated all three children, the last child in 1998, and Susan continued to be an integral part of CHEA, as a member of the Board of Directors, general manager, and events manager, for 19 more years.
As a spokesperson for the home education community, Susan was often interviewed for radio, television, and print media, and, along with her husband, were founding board members of The National Alliance for Christian Home Education Leadership, a ministry to statewide homeschool leaders.
Susan’s new ministry involves writing contemporary Christian fiction and using her expertise in event management to be a staff volunteer for two Christian writers’ conferences.
“People often ask me how I’m enjoying retirement. I’m only retired from a pay check! Retirement for a Christian only means a new direction in ministry. I am excited to see what the Lord has planned for my ‘sunset years,’” Susan said of her retirement.
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).