We are excited for all the workshop 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 May. (Click on a speaker’s photo to view the workshops they are presenting at CHEACon 2020).
Carrie De Francisco
Carrie has been married to her husband, Michael, for 25 years and has been homeschooling their two children for almost 20 years. Her daughter is a homeschool and college graduate and her son is a homeschool junior. She is the co-founder of Christian Classical Conservatory PSP in Southern California. 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!
Lenny Esposito is president and founder of Come Reason Ministries and has been a professional apologist for 20 years. He has authored hundreds of articles dealing with intellectually strenuous topics such as the existence of God, theology, philosophy, social issues, and biblical difficulties. He has debated many topics on faith and reason and the rationality of the Christian worldview, including his debate against Richard Carrier on the question “Does God Exist?”
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 26 years and has four beautiful teenage children. Damon is the creator of an online filmmaking curriculum for homeschool students called Film School 4 Teens. 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.
Carolyn Forte has been the 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, 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 28 years, she has spoken at numerous conventions and homeschool groups throughout California.
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.
Daniel E. Johnson is a scientist by profession and a philosopher at heart. For him, faith and reason are complementary, not contradictory. He currently works in the legal field in Silicon Valley, where he is the happy husband of one wife and the proud father of their homeschooled son. He speaks and writes about various topics of interest to the Christian and homeschool communities and is the author of the book Disposable: When Dating Is Not Loving Your Neighbor.
Katie is a homeschool mom to one energetic, full-of-life, pedal-to-the-metal, insanely creative second grader. She holds a degrees in Art and Education and is a self-proclaimed crafter and artist, both traits inherited by her daughter. When she’s not teaching phonics, practicing addition facts, or elbow-deep in craft supplies, she also serves as the Editor for CHEA, managing the social media accounts, website, and other communications. Katie is married to husband, John, and lives in Southern California.
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.
Nathan is now in his 16th 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 12 to baby! They are involved in their church and homeschool their own children.
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.
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.
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 member in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both Andrew and Jenny were homeschooled, and are now homeschooling their two daughters, ages eight and nine.
Jenny Vandever is the director of SELAH Christian Homeschool Support Group, a CHEA Support Network member in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also directs a Classical Conversations Foundations/Essentials program. Jenny is a certified financial coach and has been helping people achieve their financial goals for nearly 10 years. Jenny is married to Andrew (CHEA Board Member) who is her ideal Amazing Race partner and main cheerleader as she teaches their girls to write five-paragraph essays, divide fractions, and locate Paraguay on a map.
Julie Walker, the Chief Marketing Officer for the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), was a school teacher and homeschool leader for many years. She and her husband of thirty-five years provided a home education for their three sons, and after their youngest son graduated, she went back to school herself, completing her MBA at Biola University. Although she relocated with IEW from California to Oklahoma, Julie finds many reasons to go west, the latest includes visits to her two-year-old granddaughter, Lucy!