2019 Conference Speakers
Dale McGowan has one foot in arts, the other in sciences, and the other in nonreligious life. He double-majored in music and evolutionary anthropology at UC Berkeley.
While an associate professor at St. Catherine University, Dale taught music theory, music history, and orchestration, as well as interdisciplinary courses centered on writing and critical thinking,.
Dale has written extensively about science, music, parenting, and the interface between religious belief and unbelief. His books include Sharing Reality, Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, Voices of Unbelief, Atheism For Dummies, In Faith and in Doubt, and the satirical novels Calling Bernadette’s Bluff and Good Thunder, and his articles have appeared in venues including the Huffington Post and Washington Post online. Dale’s perspectives on nonreligious life have been featured in the New York Times, NPR, USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, Salon, CNN, and the PBS News Hour. He was named Harvard Humanist of the Year in 2008 for his work in nonreligious parenting.
Beginning in 2006, Dale served as US Communications Coordinator for Nonviolent Peaceforce, a global civilian peacekeeping organization. In 2009, he founded the humanist nonprofit Foundation Beyond Belief.
Today Dale is managing editor of nonreligious writers at Patheos, the world’s largest website for multi-belief opinion. He
and his wife Becca, an award-winning elementary teacher, live near Atlanta with their three children.
Ashley Wiggers grew up in the early days of the homeschooling movement. She was taught by her late mother, Debbie Strayer, who was an educator, speaker and the author of numerous homeschooling materials. It was through Debbie’s encouragement and love that Ashley learned the value of being homeschooled. Currently, Ashley is the Editor-in-Chief of Homeschooling Today magazine, Public Relations Director for Geography Matters and the author of the Profiles from History series. Ashley makes her home in Somerset, KY, with her husband, Alex, and their faithful Golden Retriever, Mandy.
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar is a dynamic homeschool speaker and author of Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships and The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships. She is an expert on how to craft a winning homeschool transcript and get the big scholarships. Lee understands what it takes to graduate homeschool students who are fully prepared for college and for life. Her practical advice and organized presentations have helped thousands of homeschool parents muster up the courage to complete their homeschool journey. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. You can sign up for her free monthly homeschool e-newsletter at www.HomeHighSchoolHelp.com, where you can also get a daily dose of high school help. Check out the freebies on the website, with training materials, free classes, and ebooks available for homeschool parents, “Free Homeschool Training.” You can also find Lee on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHomeScholar.
Ed Zaccaro is a teacher and a popular presenter at math and gifted education conferences around the country. He has taught students of all ages and abilities and has been an advocate for gifted education as a parent, teacher, and school board member. His students will testify to his ability to make math fun and challenging for them as well as his unique sense of humor, which comes through in his classes and workshops.
Ed has an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College, a Masters degree in Gifted Education from the University of Northern Iowa, and is the author of six math books for mathematically gifted children
Nicholeen is a worldwide phenomenon and leader when it comes to parenting, – and for good reason! Her proven system based on Four Simple Skills transforms even the most out-of-control teenagers and homes from chaos to calm within days. Though she’s an international speaker, author, mentor, former foster parent of many difficult and troubled teens, and even President of the Worldwide Organization for Women (an approved consultant for the United Nations), Nicholeen spends most of her time at home with her husband and four children, which she knows will be her greatest impact and legacy. The fact that she has such an international influence while still being a stay-at-home mom is evidence of the effectiveness of her teachings. Learn more about her mission and methods at www.teachingselfgovernment.com.
Tom Hoyle has a PhD in Christian Apologetics from California Graduate School of Theology, and is a full colonel in the United States Air Force Reserves. Dr. Hoyle is the founder of the Bible and Science Ministries which is headquartered in Tacoma, WA, and has been actively involved in creation science missions for over 20 years.
He has spoken over 3400 times in almost 500 churches, schools, home schools, and conferences in 47 states and countries, and also broadcasts often via Christian radio and television.
Dr. Hoyle is committed to the absolute authority of God’s Word, and to the crucial truth of Biblical creation. Consequently, his ministry is endorsed by numerous pastors, teachers, scientists, and laymen.
Robin Bond began homeschooling her children shortly after receiving her BA in chemistry from California State University, Los Angeles. During this time, Robin tutored math and science; she also taught other homeschoolers how to teach science to their children via both spoken and written words. When her children were older, Robin returned to graduate school at the Colorado School of Mines and earned her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary geochemistry program. She’s now a faculty member who teaches chemistry at The Evergreen State College, which she considers the best college for formerly-homeschooled students! Even after many exciting science adventures (like going to sea and studying astrobiology), Robin still thinks homeschooling her four boys was one of the best things she’s ever done.
Carole Van Kleek
Carole Van Kleek began home schooling in 1986. She homeschooled both of her children through high school. During that time she also served in various positions on the WHO board and local support groups as well as doing some public speaking at many support groups and the WHO conventions.
Her daughter is now a second-generation home schooler of her own 5 children.
Carole has learned various ways in which she, even from a distance, as a grandparent, can support and enhance her grandchildren’s homeschooling experience.
Amy Beckstead Leonard – WHO Chair
Due to my positive experience as a homeschooled child, I decided to home-educate my own children long before their birth. Today, I’m part of a never-quiet household of five children, ranging in ages from twelve to one. I love the challenges of homeschooling, which I face daily, as I adapt to the needs of individuals at all different levels while trying to remain in one piece. In 2003, I began a homeschool co-op, Families Homeschooling for Excellence, and I enjoy the companionship of other families on their own educational journeys. I have served as the Treasurer of WHO for the past several years. I continue to volunteer on the Board to help ensure that homeschoolers in Washington retain the opportunity to homeschool independently, and to help them value this privilege.
Jennifer Loveless- WHO Board Member
Our family has homeschooled since day one, when we decided we didn’t want to begin sending our oldest off to school all day long just as her little sister was born and I was quitting my full-time job. It was undoubtedly the right decision. Not only have we been able to give our children a great education tailored to who they are, but my children, though far apart in age at 13, 8 and 4, really know each other and our family is closer as a result of our homeschooling. It has also given our family a chance to travel a lot in the off-season and given the kids the chance to pursue their passions (so far I have a very talented singer, an aspiring artist and a little guy who never met a ball he didn’t love, so I think we’ll be adding serious athlete to the list!) We also enjoy gathering with our small co-op and I love to talk homeschooling with pretty much anyone, anywhere. I’m excited to be part of the WHO board so I can continue to educate, serve and advocate for homeschoolers across the state.