2015 AFHE Convention Speakers
and Workshop Information
We have a great line-up of speakers with workshops covering a wide variety of topics. We have invited speakers who have a message of hope and encouragement with plenty of practical ideas and insight to help you as you nurture, develop, teach, disciple, and unfold the gifts in your child. We pray that you come away refreshed, re-energized, strengthened, inspired, and full of fresh ideas for the year ahead.
We encourage you to review the schedule ahead of time to get an idea of what's being offered and to help plan which sessions you'd like to attend.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (pdf)
2015 workshop descriptions will be posted before registration opens March 6.
Exhibitor workshop schedule and descriptions will be posted in May.
Visit the Resounding Voice booth inside the exhibit hall (#901) to purchase CDs or MP3 recordings of this year's featured speaker workshops. Workshop recordings can also be purchased through the website following the convention.
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and one grandson! The St. Johns' children range in age from under five to adult. They have homeschooled the kids all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.
Dr. Brian Ray is the president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) and founding editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal Home School Researcher (est. 1985). He has published numerous journal articles (e.g., Peabody Journal of Education) and books, been repeatedly interviewed by major media (e.g., NBC Today Show), served as an expert witness in many court cases on homeschooling, and testified to legislatures regarding educational issues. Dr. Ray is a leading international expert in research on homeschooling. In addition, he is a former classroom teacher and a university professor through the graduate level. He earned his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University and his M.S. in zoology from Ohio University. Brian and Betsy have been married for 36 years and have eight children (all of whom they have home educated since birth) and seven grandchildren. They live on a small farm in western Oregon.
Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, are the founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. They have a passion for equipping parents and grandparents with a heart-based approach to parenting that revolutionizes the family. Dr. Scott Turansky and his wife, Carrie, have five children and four grandchildren. Dr Turansky is a pastor, author, parenting coach, and nationally known speaker. He has dedicated his life to studying God’s Word and the parenting process, and has developed many practical tools that equip families for success. Scott and Carrie homeschooled their five children and have equipped many homeschool families with tools and strategies over the years. Mrs. Joanne Miller and her husband, Ed, have two grown sons. Joanne is a pediatric nurse, author, and speaker. She loves to provide parents with strategies that reach the hearts of their kids. Ed and Joanne homeschooled their children and have a passion for equipping homeschool families with the keys for success, both academically and in their relationships together.
Andrew is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW®). Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills. Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan (Suzuki Method) and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his beautiful, heroic wife Robin are parents of seven, grandparents of five, and educators of their two youngest children at home in Oklahoma’s Green Country.
Heather Haupt's homeschool journey began after it appeared she was going to fail first grade at a traditional school. She flourished at home and, from an early age, advocated for homeschooling in radio, TV, and newspapers. Heather pursued a degree in biology and taught students of all ages, from hands-on preschool nature classes to college biology. She graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University in 2001, a year after marrying the love of her life, Rich. Since 1997 she has encouraged families through her workshops. Drawing on her unique perspectives in biology and as a homeschool graduate who is now in the trenches educating her four children, Heather inspires parents to pursue a loving, holistic, and developmentally appropriate approach to education. Her heart is to encourage and equip parents towards intentional parenting, pursuing God, and delighting in the adventure of learning. She is the author of the book The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks. Heather and Rich have served on the AFHE Board since July 2012.
Linda Crosby is gifted at transforming the daily God-moments from her life into unforgettable, hilarious, practical lessons that people can relate to. She has a heart for God and a desire to encourage other mothers to laugh in the center of the chaos and noise that children create. She considers motherhood the most important calling on earth. Linda is a writer and speaker for women’s events, mom’s clubs, and homeschool groups. She has written two books: Laughing in the Midst of Mothering and Laughing in the Midst of Marriage. Linda and her husband Rick have four children they have been homeschooling since 2001. Rick and Linda joined the AFHE board in 2011, and they are happy and humbled to be able to give back to the homeschool community.
Susan Evans is a lively homeschool conference speaker. She has been an educator for two decades, first as a teacher, and now as a homeschool mom. She runs a huge unit studies membership site for homeschoolers. It includes thousands of video demonstrations, downloadables, and hands-on learning articles. She also teaches creative writing classes on DVD, where she wears costumes for different time periods to teach historical fiction writing. You will find hundreds of free hands-on learning articles and videos on Susan's website.
Kim Kautzer has a heart to inspire and equip homeschoolers—and she loves to help you feel more confident about teaching writing. When blank paper, reluctant child, and insecure parent come together, failure often feels close at hand. Kim helps you see that teaching writing is more objective than you think, and with the right tools, you can guide and motivate your struggling writer. Kim and Jim homeschooled for 15 years, graduating their youngest in 2003. Though their kids are scattered around the globe, the Kautzers have stayed put in Southern California, where Kim enjoys writing, tinkering with the Sunday crossword, drinking English breakfast tea, and hanging with their seven grandkids. Award-winning WriteShop, her unique and successful writing program, has been honored as one of Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
Dr. Lainna Callentine is a physician, homeschool mom, instructor, author, speaker, coach, and creator/founder of Sciexperience. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and earned a full athletic scholarship in basketball. She is a former classroom teacher with a master’s in education and completed her M.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. She is a trained pediatrician. Dr. Callentine continues to have wonderment for the beauty of God's creation in the human body. She still practices her hobby of medicine as a missionary doctor volunteering at a Christian clinic in the Chicago suburbs that cares for the uninsured. She is passionate about the biological sciences, children, education, families, and the God who created all things. With great excitement, in collaboration with Master Books, she announces a new hands-on series on the human body called God’s Wondrous Machine.
Colene, with her husband Tom, homeschooled their daughters through high school in a home where learning was a joy and a way of life. Earning scholarships, each girl excelled at college in biology, engineering, English, and law. More importantly, all three women are walking with the Lord and raising their own families. Colene has a deep passion for homeschoolers. Alongside her husband, she served on the AFHE Board for over 13 years. During that time, she became a sought-after speaker, speaking at numerous conferences including the National English Teachers Convention and the AFHE Home Education Convention. She is the co-author of Russia: The Land of Endurance, published by KONOS. Presently Colene works for the Alliance Defending Freedom and spends most other moments with her husband, daughters, sons-in-law, and nine delightful, rambunctious grandchildren.
Jim Hodges is a committed Christian, husband to Monica for 33 years, father of three grown homeschooled children, and Navy retiree. Monica once asked what his dream job would be. He answered, "I'd record books." And so began Jim Hodges Audio Books, producing unabridged recordings of the G. A. Henty historical novels, children’s books, overtly Christian titles, and classic literature. Jim has exhibited at hundreds of homeschool conventions around the country and speaks on "How Henty Helps With History, Geography, Language, and Character", and "You Can Be Self-Employed."
Katherine Loop is a homeschool graduate who has been ministering to homeschool families since her graduation in 2003. She has written three books on teaching math from a biblical worldview: Beyond Numbers, Revealing Arithmetic, and Principles of Mathematics. She has spoken for a variety of groups and conventions on both math and homeschooling topics, and has ministered to homeschoolers abroad. Her heart is to point people to "seek the Lord, and His strength" (Psalm 104:4) in everything.
Patrick Nurre is from the beautiful state of Montana where he spent many of his Saturdays as a young boy rockhounding near the Big Horn River. This early interest led him to a lifelong study of the world of geology. His experience has included field study in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and Plains states, the Southwestern U.S, and Israel. Patrick conducts classes and seminars in Seattle and speaks at numerous homeschool conventions on geology and our young earth. He leads a variety of geology field trips every year, including one to Yellowstone Park where he helps families discover the Biblical geology of Yellowstone. Patrick is the driving vision behind Northwest Treasures, a non-profit ministry devoted to producing fine geology specimen kits and curricula from a young earth perspective. September 2012 saw the opening of his Geology Learning Center in Seattle. Patrick and his wife Vicki live in the Seattle, Washington area.
Conniejo Brown is an emergency medicine physician who also has a bachelor’s degree in education. She specializes in homeschool science and math and has taught in a variety of different situations, including one-on-one, co-op, team teaching, and classroom settings. She has been a homeschool mom since 2001, with no end in sight as her youngest is only nine years old. Having had trouble in school herself until she discovered the wonders of science, Dr. Brown understands the difficulty in engaging children who are not interested or have difficulty learning. Through homeschooling her six children, Dr. Brown has dealt with many different learning styles and has learned how to incorporate them into her daily homeschool life. Through her experience of balancing doctor, wife, mom and teacher, Conniejo offers something for everyone!
Jon Callahan and his wife Roxanne have two children whom they homeschooled through high school. Jon is a fourth generation Arizonan and a third generation engineer. For the last ten years his work has focused on integrating and building computer hacking tools for the purpose of testing Department of Defense computer systems. Jon and Roxanne served on the AFHE Board for five years.
Jamie Mehan is the joyful but exhausted mother to five children who love to climb onto her lap, play the piano with great exuberance (aka noise) and have dance parties in the kitchen almost every night. She and her husband, Patrick, have been homeschooling for nine years and give all the credit to Jesus and copious amounts of coffee. She blogs honestly about the ups and downs and downright funnies of real life.
David Monk and Valerie, his wife of 31 years, live in Gilbert and homeschool the youngest five of their eleven children. David is a former AFHE president and he and Valerie served as board members and AFHE convention directors from 1995 through 2012. David works in the electronics industry and is a pastor at a Heritage of Faith Family Church. David is a graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in electrical engineering.
Dr. Jason Hiles has been married to his beautiful wife, Jennifer, for 20 years. They are both natives of the St. Louis area. Together they are raising Seth (14 years), Olivia (12 years), and Aiden (5 years) to love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts and their neighbors as well. Jason and Jennifer are committed to home education because they enjoy the freedom homeschooling offers to ground their children in the Christian worldview and shape their character according to biblical principles. Dr. Hiles earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2008. Upon graduation from Southeastern, he was appointed assistant professor of theology at Louisiana College and was later named Associate Dean of the Caskey School of Divinity. He and his family moved to Arizona in 2013 where he was appointed Dean and Professor of Theology at Grand Canyon University.
J.D. Wyczalek is the founder of AZ College Consulting, LLC (dba AZCollegePlanning.com). He is a published and awarded author and has been featured on local radio stations as well as T.V. programs such as Good Morning Arizona. J.D. and his family reside in Northeast Phoenix. As an 18-year homeschool veteran, J.D. noticed there are special intricacies required for admission and college scholarships for homeschool students. His daughter, who was homeschooled trhough 12th grade, is on scholarship at a private college in Washington State and he has helped countless other homeschool students attain admission and scholarships. As the founder of AZCollegePlanning.com, J.D. has helped hundreds of families learn the ins and outs of college, including helping students with career choices, majors, and college selection, as well as college financial planning for parents and how to not go broke paying for college. J.D has donated his time and expertise to community programs and homeschool sports programs that enrich our children’s lives.
Anne Fister is a certified Speech/Language Pathologist with twenty years of experience working with children’s communication skills. She earned her bachelor’s degree from University of South Alabama and her master’s degree from Florida State University. Living in the Tucson area, she is a homeschool mom of two very active boys and is married to her best friend, Mike. For many years Anne enjoyed a full-time career in speech therapy, but currently considers her primary work to be loving and supporting her family. She has always felt it is a privilege to assist children and their families through direct therapy, consultation, and training.
Tom Clark is an award-winning teacher and mathematics author. He is convinced that everyone has the ability to understand mathematics. In the last 23 years, he has focused on the development of multimedia programs that have successfully challenged traditional methods of instruction, helping parents to become more effective homeschool instructors. He is the author of Algebra: A Complete Course and Geometry: A Complete Course and president of VideoText Interactive, a company that specializes in bringing the textbook to life through technology.