Exhibits & Affiliates Coordinator, Office Assistant
Joined CHEA Staff: February 2023
Cathie and her husband have been married for over 30 years. They home educated their son and daughter for 12 years, graduating them both from a local PSP. Cathie taught literature and California history in co-ops and served in children’s ministry and her daughter’s drama productions.
Cathie worked as an administrative assistant and international sales administrator before following the Lord’s leading to educate their children at home. She enjoys sewing and reading but is most passionate about serving her family and serving homeschool families so that generations to come should put their confidence in God and not forget His works (Ps. 78:7).
Joined CHEA Staff: 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 have been married since 1979. They began praying and investigating home schooling when their first daughter was two. By the time she was ready for school, they knew God had called them. They home educated their four daughters through high school.
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.
Events Assistant, Advertising Agent
Joined CHEA Staff: February 2023
Katie and her husband, Aaron, have been homeschooling their daughters since 2022. She is very active in their local homeschool group and teaches classes in their co-op. She also serves in women’s ministry at church.
Katie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from San Diego Christian College. She then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California. She holds a single-subject teaching credential in mathematics. Katie taught high school math for eight years before she and her husband made the decision to stay home to raise and homeschool their children. She loves geocaching with her family, reading, teaching, and supporting moms in their motherhood and homeschool journeys.
Joined CHEA Staff: April 2018
Katie 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 Southern California. 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.
Joined CHEA Staff: Fall 2021
Angela and her husband, Scott, have been married since 1993. Shortly after their first son was born in 1994, they knew the Lord was calling them to homeschool. It took a while to answer that call, but finally, in 2002, with the promise of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” they began homeschooling. Twenty years and three boys later, they completed their homeschool journey and graduated their youngest son in 2022.
Angela loves encouraging families on their homeschool journeys. Besides working at CHEA, she is a co-administrator of Foundation Christian School, a PSP homeschool group in Southern California. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies Degree from Grand Canyon University in April 2022 and is a registered instructor with the Institute of Excellence in Writing (IEW). She loves reading, teaching, and all things related to Christian private homeschool education.
Special Needs Consultant
Joined CHEA Staff: October 2023
Melisa and her husband have been married since 2007. Their only son was born in 2017 and they have homeschooled him from the beginning. Her family is active at their church serving in the Missions Ministry. Melisa also serves on the board as treasurer at a PSP in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.
Her previous work experience is in special education. Melisa holds a clear credential as an Education Specialist from Azusa Pacific University, along with a Master of Science in Special Education in mild to moderate disabilities from National University. Her undergraduate degree is in Psychology from California State University Northridge.
Melisa is honored to have the opportunity to come alongside families with children that have special needs for CHEA of California to pray, support, and encourage them in their homeschool journey.
The promise that she’s been holding onto is from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
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, now 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 current 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).