Convention Speakers 2014
Keynote and Featured Speakers and Other Special Guests
Homeschooled himself in the 1960′s and 70′s, Kevin Swanson and his wife, Brenda, are now homeschooling their five children. Since graduating from his homeschool and then serving as student body president of a large west coast university, he has gone on to other leadership positions in corporate management, church, and other non-profits. Kevin has 43 years of experience in the homeschooling movement and serves as the Director of Generations with Vision – a ministry he founded to strengthen homeschool families around the country. As a father who wants to leave a godly heritage for his own five children, Kevin’s passion is to strengthen and encourage the homeschooling movement all over the world, and to cast a vision for generations to come. For the last 4 years Kevin has hosted a daily radio program – Generations Radio – the world’s largest homeschooling and Biblical worldview program that reaches families across the US and in over 100 countries.
Kevin has also served as the Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado for the last nine years. He has also authored several popular books for homeschoolers, including Apostate, Upgrade-10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child, The Second Mayflower, the Family Bible Study Guide Series, and others.
Kevin Swanson also serves as a teaching elder in a historical Christian church in the South Denver Metro area (www.reformationchurch.com).
Diane Kummer and her husband Tom homeschooled their two children from kindergarten through 12th grade using a variety of teaching options. The Kummers' daughter completed her master’s degree in government and their son earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications/public relations. After her children graduated from high school, Diane helped to develop HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School program and website. As an HSLDA High School Consultant, Diane regularly speaks throughout the country at homeschool conferences and one-day high school symposiums where she shares from her experiences and her imperfect (but real) homeschooling days! Diane enjoys writing articles (such as regular columns for the Homeschool Enrichment magazine), brochures on high school topics, and a monthly high school newsletter filled with helpful tips. She reviews new resources and provides personal consultation to HSLDA members by giving advice on high school planning, suggesting curriculum options, lending a listening ear, and reassuring parents they are on the right track as they head into the high school years. “The joy and grace of the Lord are available—and He has provided many avenues of care and help along the way,” she says. During her homeschooling years, Diane coordinated events, activities, and support meetings for her church's 190-plus homeschooling families while developing a program that provided evaluation of credits, diplomas, and transcripts for high school families. Along with songwriters, singers, and actresses from her church, Diane was involved in two videos created by the FunnyMoms to encourage and uplift homeschooling mothers. Her love for math is evident as she continues to teach high school-level math classes for homeschooled students.
Joel Grewe started his life as an advocate when he was in 6th grade and convinced his mother to homeschool him. In 2007, after working on Capitol Hill for J.C. Watts and then delving into the world of demographic research, Joel started training future leaders as Generation Joshua’s National Clubs Coordinator. He now serves as the administrator of all of Generation Joshua’s national efforts. A graduate of his hometown college, Eastern Washington University, he travels around the United States training youth to influence the political world for Christ. When Joel speaks, he draws on his 15 years of ministry experience and 10 years of political campaign experience to make the message relevant to a generation that he says, “Will change the world.” Living in the Washington, D.C. area, Joel, his wife Christie, and their 6—month—old son enjoy life in the fast lane.
Richard Dustin is the Boy Singers of Maine Artistic Director and Director of the Lower Octave choir. He holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Maine. He has directed the “Lower Octave” since 2010 and is music director of the choral and instrumental music programs at Yarmouth High School. Mr. Dustin has conducted, hosted and managed MMEA honors festivals. He has performed a number of times as piano accompanist for the Maine All-State Choir and is currently pianist, organist and ensemble director at Second Baptist Church in Bowdoinham.
Heidi Sampson is the first homeschooler to be appointed to the Maine State Board of Education. She is also a member of the Maine Charter School Commission. For more than 20 years, Heidi has been greatly involved with homeschooling throughout Maine, the United States and Canada as a frequent conference speaker and consultant. She continues to lead a large, active homeschool support group in the southern part of the state. During this time, she has taught a wide range of high school courses to many homeschoolers in addition to her own three children. The bustling farm she and her family still manage is an example of a homeschooling project creating a life of its own. All of her children have graduated and are eagerly pursuing their dreams. She continues to work with young people as she is the Children's Ski School Director at Shawnee Peak where she has over 70 teenage instructors working for her.
Carol Robb is first a daughter of Christ, second the wife of a wonderful husband and third a mom of three great children. She has homeschooled all three of her children, and yes her oldest child made it through collegeand is now a successful young woman in the working world. Carol loves to minister through teaching Bible studies to women and leading a local homemchool co-op. Her favorite co-op classes to teach are those in which she can design and create Lapbooks. She has developed two Lapbooks series called, "The Promise Series Bible Studies" and "God's Hand in History". Carol and her husband, Tom also fun a publishing business called Finding Christ Books, printing fiction stories that point to Christ. They also own, Finding Christ Throug Fiction, retail on-line store filled with many resources for growing in Christ, homeschooling, and for anyone who loves to read good Christian fiction. She has a heart to find godly fiction books that point to Christ.
Mayra Donnell is an elementary school teacher who reminds her students that history is as young as yesterday and as old as centuries. She teaches Social Studies with a hands-on approach, making it a "you are there" experience. In her life, prior to returning to teaching, she ran a sustainable, organic farm. Many of the farm activities that her story character Sarah would have participated in, Mayra and her family have taken part in -- storing vegetables, preserving meats, gathering berries, preparing herbal tinctures, making butter and cheeses. The Donnell's farm had goats, sheep, pigs and different types of fowl. Her husband and sons ran an antique clapboard mill that stood on the farm. Donnell lives on the coast of Maine in an old 1800's farm house where she tends her flower garden and makes rose petal jam. With her daughter, Ariadne, she has developed Mayari Inc., a nature goat's milk soap company. Mayra and Ariadne are happy to be working together again, creating their first book -- 1816: The Year That Summer Never Came.
Four Corner Association - Al Hipkin has been dancing since 1972, and has been calling and teaching dance for the past 7 years. Walter Bull started dancing and calling about 8 years ago. Grace Tudan starting dancing and calling in January 2012.
June O'Donal is a "retired" homeschooling mom and Maine author. She believes in "hands-on history."
Carolyn Simonds has been actively involved in HOME's ministry for many years. She is a homeschool mom of six children. Carolyn serves as a Regional Representative and Board Member for Homeschoolers of Maine.
Kathi Kearney serves as a Board Member for Homeschoolers of Maine and has been working with homeschool families for over 30 years. In addition, Kathi helped to author Maine's homeschool laws. She teaches gifted and talented students on a part-time basis in Maine.
Raylene Hunt is a veteran homeschooling mom of two. She has served HOME in a variety of capacities since 2005. In addition to serving homeschoolers through HOME, Raylene offers a nature study based homeschool group to families in her area.