Mike Smith is the President of Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization which he has been involved with since its beginning. HSLDA was established to protect the right of parents to teach their children at home, and now represents over 80,000 families. Mike became involved in defending homeschoolers after he and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to homeschool their children. Mike has been doing keynote speaking to homeschool conferences for over 30 years. His desire is to communicate the benefits of home education and his belief that God has raised up this movement for a special purpose at this time.
A CLASS Services trained speaker, Kim Endraske delights in sharing her experience as an “evangelical atheist” turned "evangelical Christian." Kim is committed to encouraging the weary, discipling the next generation, and sharing the hope of the gospel. The wife of one very patient husband (Bill) and mother of four unique children (two homeschool graduates, a high schooler and a middle schooler), Kim has homeschooled since 2001 and made the mid-South her home since 2006. She is excited to be back at the Mississippi Homeschool Conference again this year.
Following the loss of her unborn baby after in-utero surgery, Kim wrote, “A Child of Promise: A Bible Study for Parents Facing a Poor or Fatal Prognosis for their Unborn Child” and founded the “A Child of Promise” ministry. Kim's testimony of coming to faith out of atheism has been viewed over 27,000 times on YouTube. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube (FormerAtheist58) or check out her blog at www.TeachWhatIsGood.com
The Generation Joshua team turns government into a full-scale interactive learning process. We go beyond simply lecturing, and we utilize hands-on learning and critical thinking. It is common knowledge in the homeschool community that children learn best by employing all of their senses. So, in each of these courses, the teens actually get to practice the material they learn, not just read about it.
The Generation Joshua staff focuses on how the Christian worldview affects decision making in intense political situations and shows students the implications of their decisions and responses. Students learn why politics works the way it does, why it’s worthy of involvement, and how to be a consistent advocate for Christian principles.
MUSIC YOUTH TRACK
Laurie and Stephen Pace currently homeschool their three children ages 12, 10, and 7. Laurie holds degrees in Choral Music Education from East Central Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. Laurie taught choral music to her favorite age group (middle school) for 4 years before the Lord blessed her family with children. Laurie currently leads various homeschool choirs and is trying to develop a network of choirs across the state in the hopes of creating opportunities for homeschoolers to participate in choral festivals and clinics throughout their middle and high school years.
SCIENCE YOUTH TRACK
The Science Youth Track is offered by Dr. Leslie Burger, Assistant Extension Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University. A former home-educator, Leslie has been the wife of Dr. Wes Burger for the past 32 years and is the mother to three homeschool graduates, Justin (27), Wesley (25) and Ryan (23). After working at the Missouri Department of Conservation for 5 years, Leslie “retired” to stay home with her babies and homeschool her children. She returned to work in 2008, started a doctoral program in 2010, and graduated in 2014 with a PhD in conservation education. As a former homeschool mom, Leslie understands the unique position of home-educators and has designed a workshop sensitive to the needs of parents and children.
After being overweight for most of her life, Joyce has lost over 150 pounds, and she has learned the importance of “true health” and the benefits of maintaining this healthy lifestyle. Joyce is now a Certified Personal Trainer through the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). She has also earned a Specialization in Fitness Nutrition (SFN) through the ISSA. She is a writer, speaker, and successful business owner as well as a dedicated wife to Glenn and mother to their five children (now grown), and she dotes on their nine grandchildren. She is the author of 4 books, and she has just completed her first bible study which will be published later this year.
JEFF & LISA BARBER
Jeff and Lisa Barber have been blissfully married for 27 years, and they have 5 children whom they have always home educated. Jeff is in his 33rd year of practicing law, and he enjoys Bible teaching and mentoring. Lisa is a random reader, an undiscovered writer, and an occasional bookseller. Jeff and Lisa enjoy traveling together, target practicing together, and spending time with their 5 kids and the family’s Colli-Wawa (part Border Collie, part Chihuahua).
PRESTON & JENNIFER CROWE
Jennifer Crowe received her masters in communications from Mississippi College and taught middle school, high school, and college before leaving the workforce to teach her children at home. Her husband, Preston, serves as Director of the Center for Hope and Healing at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, MS and is the current President of Global Concern, Incorporated, a non-profit created to serve “the least of these” in remote parts of Africa. Preston and Jennifer are infant foster parents and are certified respite care providers. Together they have led conferences, seminars and workshops for over 20 years.
Marilyn Easley is the wife of MHEA board member, David Easley, the mother of five, and a grandmother (Mimi) of seven. Marilyn received her degrees in Music Education from Mississippi College. The Easleys are finishing their 31st, and last year, of homeschooling this spring. The four oldest have graduated homeschool high school and also MS State University. Their youngest is finishing his senior year and is enrolled for the fall at MSU. Marilyn enjoys music, taekwondo, and family get-togethers!
Married 25 years to Marie James Kilpatrick, Danny has served in various capacities with local and state homeschool organizations. The Kilpatricks are members of the Laurel Christian Home Educators and serve as support group leaders of the Bay Springs area group. Danny and Marie have four children ranging from college to elementary-level education.
Maureen was married to the love of her life for over 33 years and helped him in full time ministry as they home educated their 13 children. By God's grace, since Randy's "promotion", Maureen continues to homeschool her youngest 3 sons. Maureen loves to spend time with her family and her 20 grandchildren. She also enjoys exercising with her kids, novice beekeeping, repurposing/painting furniture, having "Mimi School" and she especially loves encouraging others with God's Word and His "exceeding great and precious promises."
Stephanie has been described as “passionate.” Her Southern hospitality and often animated personality will make you feel instantly at home, but it’s her gift of practically applying Scripture to even the mundane things in life that will leave you transformed. Stephanie has a burden for women who grapple with all of life’s demands yet often lack true fulfillment and peace. As a wife and homeschooling mother of five children, she knows firsthand how difficult it can be to live out the relational priorities found in Scripture of God first, husband second, children third, home fourth, and ministry fifth. It is Stephanie's passion to teach women how God's design for their lives will fulfill them like nothing else in this world ever can. Stephanie is married to an amazing man named Mark, who has taught her much about perseverance, resolve, and utter dependence on God through his battle with four chronic illnesses. The Lord has grown her tremendously through suffering and taught her what it truly means to rest in her Redeemer
Amanda Scott has been married to her childhood sweetheart for 22 years. They have 8 children, which include a niece and two nephews who they were called to raise in 2013. They are also blessed with two grandchildren and one on the way. Their homeschooling journey began after a dyslexia diagnosis their son received in 2010, and now, 9 years later, they are still at it. Out of all of their children, ﬁve have now been diagnosed with dyslexia, one with Auditory Processing Disorder, and two with ADHD. Presently, they have two children attending public school and three children being homeschooled. Amanda’s experience, humor and wisdom will be an encouragement for other families walking through the challenges of raising a learning-different child.