2019 Speaker Bios

We are excited for all the workshops speakers who will be joining us this year. They bring experience from a variety of backgrounds and we hope you are eager to hear what they have to share with us in July. (Click on a speaker’s photo to view the workshops they are presenting at CHEACon 2019).

Picture Kristi Clover
Kristi Clover, Emcee & Featured Speaker
Kristi Clover is a Christian, homeschooling mom to five kids ranging from teens to tots and wife to her high school “crush.” Aside from her family (and chocolate), she’s passionate about encouraging women in their faith and inspiring them in their daily lives as moms, wives, and homeschoolers by offering “simple solutions for a more joy-filled life”…well, that and chocolate!

Not surprisingly, you can usually find her at home trying to bring some order and fun into the mayhem of daily life. Kristi is a down-to-earth writer and an energetic speaker who loves to share about her adventures in marriage, motherhood, and homeschooling at KristiClover.com — and on her podcast, the Simply Joyful Podcast! Kristi is also the creator of the Ultimate Homeschool Organization Course and Meal Planning Made Easy, and the author of Homeschool Basics: How to Get Started, Keep Motivated, and Bring Out the Best in Your Kids, co-authored with Tricia Goyer.

Be sure to connect with Kristi online for an extra dose of encouragement for your day and get a free copy of her book, Sanity Savers for Moms.

Brook Wayne
Brook Wayne, Featured Speaker
Brook Wayne is a homeschool graduate and homeschooling mother of ten. She is a co-author of Pitchin’ a Fit!: Overcoming Stressed out and Angry Parenting. Brook encourages moms to love their children and connect deeply with their families, even in the midst of busy family life. She is a co-founder of Family Renewal Ministries, inspiring families to become “a people prepared for the Lord.”



SamBlack2aCropped_2Sam Black
Sam Black is a vice president at Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability, and the author of The Porn Circuit: Understand Your Brain and Break Porn Habits in 90 Days. He joined the Covenant Eyes team in 2007 after 18 years as a journalist. He has edited 16 books on the impact of pornography and how to protect our families. He has been married for 23 years and is a father of two.

TomClarkThomas Clark
Thomas Clark is a life-long teacher of Mathematics with experience at all levels, and is convinced that everyone can understand Mathematics. He has focused on developing programs that challenge traditional instruction by concentrating on the “why” of Mathematics. He has further directed his attention toward helping homeschooling parents become more effective instructors and is a popular presenter at homeschool conferences. He is the author of Algebra: A Complete Course, and Geometry: A Complete Course, both of which are available in hard copy and online. He is the president of VideoText Interactive, a company that specializes in bringing textbooks to life through technology.

Mario DeMatteo PictureMario DeMatteo
Mario DeMatteo is a storyteller, a spoken word poet, an entrepreneur, an urban farmer, and an educator. He is the co-creator and publisher of the award winning Bible-based graphic novel Paul the Apostle: A Graphic Novel. He is passionate about working with middle school, junior high, and high school students in their writing and reading educational journey. Mario received his Master’s degree is Comparative Literature & Writing from California State University San Marcos.

DeFrancisco,CarrieCarrie De Francisco
Carrie has been married to her husband, Michael, for 24 years and has been homeschooling their two children, Francesca and Joseph, for almost 20 years. Her daughter is a homeschool graduate and graduating college in 2019 and her son is a homeschool sophomore. Before homeschooling her own and teaching other homeschoolers mathematics, science, and IEW, Carrie was a private and public school teacher, an adjunct professor, a published author, STL in Bible Study Fellowship, and presenter at various homeschooling seminars and conferences. She is also the co-founder of Christian Classical Conservatory PSP in Southern California. One of Carrie’s favorite things to do is develop personalized units for homeschoolers, write Bible studies for homeschooling moms in her homeschool community, and create Sunday School and VBS curriculum for the Children’s Ministry at her local church. Carrie is a Bible-loving, born-again Jesus freak whose mission in life (after loving and supporting her husband and loving and teaching her children) is to walk alongside fellow homeschooling moms, helping them, equipping them, and encouraging them to do what God has called them to do at home!

DennisEastmanDennis Eastman
Dennis Eastman spent 15 years serving in multiple roles in the field of education (Social Studies teacher, coach, Athletic Director, and Director of Faculty Induction) before becoming the principal of Nova Academy Early College High School, in Santa Ana, California. During his tenure as principal, U.S. News and World Report recognized Nova Academy with a Bronze Medal ranking as one of the most improved schools in California. Dr. Eastman is currently serving Biola University as the Director of Secondary Education and Associate Director of Biola Youth Academics where he is able to combine his faith, expertise and enthusiasm for teaching and coaching into preparing the next generation of high quality educators. Dr. Eastman is a frequently invited to speak at public, private, and homeschool events, equipping educators to meet the academic needs of all students.

Damon Evans photoDamon Evans
Damon Evans can be described as a “renaissance man”. He’s an actor, filmmaker, entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and Christ follower. He is married to his lovely bride of 25 years and has four beautiful children including three teenage daughters (who are all pursuing a fine arts education) and a 12-year-old son (who likes Cheez-its.) Damon is the creator of an online filmmaking curriculum for homeschool students called Film School 4 Teens which is exploding around the world. As a former stand up comedian, he is full of laughs but also full of depth, especially following his recent battle with a deadly illness. He is passionate about helping students grow in their faith as they pursue their artistic interests.

Teresa Foltin Headshot 2017Teresa Foltin
Teresa Foltin has a B.A. in English Literature and an M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Previously the Director of Student Activities at an American University in Germany, she is now a homeschooling mom of five and has been using RightStart™ Mathematics since 2005. She is interested in adoption, travel, horses, gardening and reading.


Picture Carolyn ForteCarolyn Forte
Carolyn Forte has been Principal of EIE Academy since 1992 and owner, with her husband Martin, of Excellence In Education Resource Center in Monrovia, California. She earned a B.A. in Music History from Whittier College. From 1982-1994, she directed elementary Sunday School music at the Crystal Cathedral. For five of those years, she was also co-director of the Elementary Sunday School. She holds a life teaching credential for California and has taught grades K, 1, 2 and 6 in public and private day schools. During the 14 years she spent homeschooling her two daughters, she volunteered for eight years with Valley View Vaulters, an integrated handicapped/able bodied therapeutic riding organization. She is a Certified Learning Success Coach through the Learning Success Institute in Ventura, CA and has had training from the Karyn Purvis Child Development Center at Texas Christian University. Over the last 27 years, she has spoken at numerous conventions and homeschool groups throughout California. She is the author of The Game Curriculum as well as numerous magazine, online and newsletter articles.

Martin ForteMartin Forte
Martin Forte, with his wife Carolyn, is the owner of Excellence In Education Resource Center as well as the administrator for their PSP, Excellence In Education Academy. Martin has been very involved with the homeschool community in many capacities including writing articles for various publications, speaking at homeschool conventions, and appearing as guest on several radio and TV shows including CNN and the Glen Beck Show. Martin and Carolyn are considered to be pioneers of the modern homeschool movement and have successfully homeschooled two daughters, now happily married adults with three children each.

Jones,PhilipMcKenziePhillip & McKenzie Jones
Phillip and McKenzie Jones were both homeschool students. They met while serving in ministry in Portland, Oregon in 1997. Shortly after marrying, in 1998, they started a family and have three boys: Levi (19), Noah (18), and Luke (14). In 2007, Phillip became lead pastor of a church in Georgia; and in 2016, God led the Jones family to Los Angeles to launch a new church, Crosspoint. This family loves homeschooling, and they are especially passionate serving the Lord as a team.

ScottJulianScott Julian
Scott has been in full-time ministry since 1992, when he developed a vibrant youth ministry at a new church plant in the Seattle area. That ministry grew and many youth developed committed relationships with Christ through a strong discipleship program. In 2006, God called Scott and his family to full-time ministry in the Los Angeles area. Scott has been thrilled to see God revitalize a church on the Westside of Los Angeles and is humbled by the fact that God would use him to be a part of that work and to have him serve with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Through his down-to-earth teaching style, many new believers are being reached and lives are being changed. Scott has a passion for the family and knows that the only way for the family to be strong again in our culture is to bring families back to the Word of God, specifically with challenging men to rise up and be the leaders of their families. Scott and his wife, Jenny, consider it a huge blessing to minister to and disciple their children and have been blessed by the freedom to homeschool their three kids. The oldest is in seminary and the younger two are now in Bible College.

Rebecca KocsisRebecca Kocsis
Rebecca and her beloved, Ed, homeschooled all five of their children, graduating their youngest in 2006 from their homeschool. They are now the proud grandparents of an ever-growing tribe of energetic boys and girls (11 to date) who are their greatest delight. Rebecca served for 15 years as a PSP administrator and for several years on CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board. In addition to serving on CHEA’s board of directors she has also serves as General Manager. She is the author of the devotional booklet Let Not Your Feathers Be Ruffled.

Cindy Lange, MA CroppedCindy Lange
Cindy Lange is a fourth generation native Californian with B.A. degrees in Literature and Education from Westmont College, a CA Life Teaching Credential, and an M.A. in English. She has both developed curriculum for and taught at live online schools for the past decade. In addition to working for many years with gifted and special needs students in public and private venues, she has taught literature at all levels in Christian schools and at the college level. She has also been the principal of a Christian school. Cindy homeschooled her own five children in the classical manner. She loves all things literary, and her literary zeal dovetails with interests in history, solo singing, writing, and wide-ranging theological discussions with her physician husband, John.

Picture Nanci LynchNanci Lynch
Nanci has been married to Tim Lynch for 27 years. They have seven children, five of whom are still being home educated. She worked in special education for 10 years and has been home educating her own family for the last 20+ years. Through the years Nanci has served as a pastor’s wife, worship leader, and chaplain engaged in prayer ministry, mentoring, and teaching. Nanci has a B.A. in Liberal Studies, two teaching credentials, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has taught in numerous classroom settings – public, private, Christian, church, camp, missions, and ministry.

Besides home educating Nanci has recently been serving as an educational consultant, inclusion specialist for Whittier City School District, and speaking with her husband at conferences and retreats. Nanci enjoys being used of God in the role of encourager to moms, families, homeschoolers, and special needs situations.

Processed with VSCO with  presetZsanae Miller
Zsanae and her husband, Kevin, have been married for over 21 years and have three beautiful children. They enjoy helping shape their children as they watch them grow in Christ – fulfilling their callings and purposes for His glory. Zsanae has been homeschooling for the past eleven years (and has even graduated her oldest) and she is devoted to encouraging other homeschoolers in their journeys. As co-host of Homeschooling With Purpose, Zsanae desires to create community – one where like-minded parents/homeschoolers can learn from one another and spur each other on along the way. Zsanae is also passionate about encouraging women to live out their callings, as they look to Jesus (not their roles or circumstances) to find their identity. She loves to remind them of who He is and who they are as daughters of the King!

PatrickNurrePatrick Nurre
Patrick Nurre, speaker and author, was in the second grade when he made his first big find – a large dinosaur bone in the alley behind his house! That was the beginning of a love for geology. This early interest led him to a lifelong study of the world of geology. Patrick was trained in secular geology, but after becoming a Christian, he began to seriously reevaluate his previous evolutionary beliefs, and became, instead, a young-earth creationist.
Today, Patrick conducts geology classes and seminars in the Seattle area and speaks at numerous homeschool and church conventions on geology and our young earth. He also leads a variety of geology field trips every year where he helps families discover the biblical geology of the National Parks. Patrick is the vision behind Northwest Treasures, a 501(c)3 corporation, devoted to creating excellent geology kits, curricula, and education for all ages. Patrick has written 17 books on geology and is certified as a Biblical Creation Ministry Professional. In addition, he draws on over 40 years of pastoring experience. Patrick and his wife, Vicki, have three wonderful children and two grandchildren, and live in Bothell, WA.

Nathan B Pierce 27-2Nathan Pierce
Nathan is now in his 14th year working full time at Family Protection Ministries (FPM) to protect private homeschooling in California. He was homeschooled himself from kindergarten through high school and received a B.A. in Political Studies from The Master’s College. Currently he serves as the FPM California Director, Legislative Liaison, and conference speaker to homeschool leaders, parents and teens. He works behind the scenes at the State Capitol, meeting with legislators to advocate on behalf of homeschoolers. He and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and have six children, ages 11 to baby! They are involved in their church and homeschool their own children.

Picture David Quine and wife ShirleyDavid & Shirley Quine
God has been faithful to David and Shirley for 46 years of married life. He has given them a shared life, passion, and ministry. Their passion is to equip the next generation to “stand firm” in Christ in the 21st century. Together they created Cornerstone Curriculum, a homeschool curriculum which assists parents in the discipleship of their children. David has his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction design and Shirley is an early education specialist. The Lord has given David and Shirley the reward of nine wonderful children and eight grandchildren. They enjoy reading on road trips, making pizza rolls for their kids, and experimenting to develop the ‘best’ Texas smoked brisket.

Michaela2019Michaela Roekle
Michaela Roekle was homeschooled from first grade through graduation; growing up she attended CHEA conventions with her parents. She’s been married to her husband Brad for 20 years this fall and together they have been homeschooling their children for the past 12 years. Michaela leads a non-profit homeschool ministry and private satellite school (Grace and Glory Homeschooling) in Corona, California. The Roekles also serve as Regional Advisory Board Members for CHEA and are passionate about encouraging others on this grand adventure called homeschooling!

Penny Ross picturePenny Ross
Penny Ross runs her own homeschool business, Tools for the Home Educator, in Torrance, CA offering consultations and training for homeschool parents as well as selling gently-used curriculum. She has over 30 years of homeschool experience through teaching her own three children and then serving in PSP leadership at Hope Chapel Academy in Hermosa Beach. She is happily married to her college sweetheart and loves helping homeschool parents do more than just survive homeschooling, but thrive.

Picture Cara SheltonCara Shelton
“Miss Cara” has been teaching language development and literature courses for over twenty years, ever since she realized that teaching literature is nearly as much fun as reading it! She has taught composition and literature classes in public and private homeschool groups, and she is also the co-ringmaster of that wild three-ring ​circus known as the Shelton Family! A homeschooling mom for 25 years, now “graduated,” Cara now purposes to help and equip other parents as they home educate their children. Both Cara and her husband Steve desire to plant seeds of encouragement in the lives of parents as they seek to be the spiritual leaders of their homes.

Bob Sjogren 300 dpiBob Sjogren
Bob Sjogren, married to Debby and homeschool father of four adult children, is an international speaker and author. He has also authored multiple books focusing on God’s glory and taking the gospel to all nations. Most recently, he has become a featured speaker at several state-run homeschool conventions. A new area of ministry is taking teams of homeschoolers to Africa each year to get them out of the American “bubble” and catch a glimpse of God’s heart for the world!
After Bob and Debby’s four homeschooled children went off to college, they have teamed up together to create homeschool curricula to help families not miss the big picture of raising children who glorify their Lord. Best known for Cat and Dog Theology, their material is for grades K-12 and already has a strong track-record of completely changing entire families’ spiritual DNA!

Debby Sjogren 300dpiDebby Sjogren
Presently residing in Mechanicsville, Virginia, Debby Sjogren graduated from The University of Alabama with a B.S. in Education in 1982. She has been married to author and missions speaker, Bob Sjogren, since 1986, and God has blessed them with four wonderful children whom Debby began homeschooling in 1993. Now twenty-six years later, with four home school graduates (whom are all now college graduates), God led Debby and her husband, Bob, to begin writing and publishing a new Bible curriculum for homeschoolers through the ministry of UnveilinGLORY, a home-based missions mobilization ministry. Besides publishing curriculum, Debby also mentors young mothers at her local church, co-leads mission trips with her husband to Africa each year, and loves playing with their three grandchildren.

Elizabeth Smith photoElizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith is a veteran homeschooling mother who taught three of her four children at home for nearly fifteen years, and has seen them successfully graduate from college.  She is the wife of Michael Smith, President of Home School Legal Defense Association. Elizabeth writes and speaks at homeschool conferences, symposiums, and women’s retreats throughout the United States.  Michael and Elizabeth have appeared several times on Focus on the Family radio program. Elizabeth has lobbied on pro-family issues in her state capitol and in Washington D.C. for the National Center for Home Education since 1993.  She is on the Board of Directors of The Madison Project, Breakthrough Intercessory Prayer Ministry and is President of the Gideon International Auxiliary Ministry in her county.

Mike Smith photo 2013Mike Smith
Mike Smith is the President of Home School Legal Defense Association. HSLDA was established to protect the right of parents to teach their children at home. Mike’s desire is to communicate the benefits of home education and that God has raised up this movement at present for a special purpose.


Joshua Tallman photoJoshua Tallman
Joshua Tallman is a Regional Director with Christian Service Brigade (CSB Ministries), covering Southern California and the Southwest USA. His primary role is to equip, train, and encourage men of the church to disciple boys. Most of his time is spent building relationships with men through activity and adventure, learning their gifts and talents, and then helping them to invest those gifts serving the Lord and the boys in their community. He also teaches computer science part time at a local Christian University.

Elizabeth Urbanowicz Head ShotElizabeth Urbanowicz
Elizabeth Urbanowicz is a follower of Jesus Christ who is passionate about knowing Jesus and making Him known. Elizabeth holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Gordon College, an M.A. in Literacy Education from Northern Illinois University, and an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Elizabeth spent the past ten years teaching elementary students at a Christian school and designed Foundation Comparative Worldview Curriculum to meet a need she found in the classroom — the need to prepare children, at an early age, to recognize, evaluate, and reject the hollow and deceptive philosophies they encounter in our culture. Elizabeth now works full-time on developing comparative worldview and apologetics resources for children. Her goal is to prepare the next generation to be lifelong critical thinkers and, most importantly, lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ.

AndrewVandever picAndrew Vandever
Andrew is a computers systems engineer working at a tech company. He worked full-time for more than two years for a discipleship and creative evangelism ministry before pursuing a career in technology. His wife Jenny directs SELAH Christian Homeschool Support Group, a CHEA Support Network group member in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both Andrew and Jenny were homeschooled, and are now homeschooling their two daughters, ages seven and eight.

RogerWheelockRoger Wheelock
Roger Wheelock is the President of Greater Than I Ministries, a non-profit corporation established for the purpose of providing creative biblical worldview teaching materials to Christian churches and home-schools in America. Roger is an ordained pastor, worship leader and songwriter with over 30 years of intimate experience in Christian leadership. His burning passion is to help Christian families not only survive in our increasingly secular society, but to THRIVE in the midst of it.

Picture Jill WolfJill Wolf
“What does it mean to learn?” This question drives Jill Wolf to bring an understanding of learning to every educator, parent-teacher, and student today. Her expertise is grounded in and constantly growing through observation, study, discussion, and reflection and demonstrates her own commitment to being a lifelong learner.

Jill has spent 23 years designing and analyzing learning and assessment experiences for all ages and in all subject areas. She has coached every level and role in education from homeschool parent-teachers to superintendents and finds the same questions are being asked. How do I help a child learn? How do I get them to LOVE learning? Since learning is the key skill in the 21st century, Jill pursues the awakening and developing of confident learners who are ready and excited to learn anything they need or want to learn. Her passion is contagious. Her resolve is unwavering. And her belief that she can help every person become a GREAT learner . . . is her God-driven mission.