WHO Board Members
Chair – Amy Beckstead-Leonard
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.
Secretary – Holly Ramsey
My homeschooling journey started in 2001 when I pulled my then 5 year-old out of private school. We have never regretted that decision. I now school two boys, ages 15 and 9. In addition, I have the privilege of teaching writing and Spanish in an academic co-op in Puyallup. My family is also very involved with the Mel Korum YMCA homeschool swim & gym program. Educating my children at home has allowed me to meet their unique needs and tailor programs that focus on their strengths and support their passions. It has also allowed us to build very strong family relationships. Throughout the last 10 years, I have become a strong advocate for homeschooling and my membership in WHO reflects my interest in keeping independent homeschooling available for future generations.
Advocacy Chair – Jen Garrison Stuber
We fell into homeschooling in 2003, when my then seven year old became a second-grade drop-out. It was a bit of an adjustment for both of us, as my daughter had been at the school for just over 3 years, and I was making a radical transition from college professor to homeschool mom. But after those initial bumps, we haven’t looked back. Homeschooling has allowed us to provide an education uniquely suited to our daughter’s mismatched collection of strengths and weaknesses, catering to the former while mitigating the latter. Along the way, I became a vocal advocate for independent homeschooling, run a local support group (in Spokane, on the sunnyside of our state), and joined the WHO Board in January 2010. I serve as the Advocacy Chair and teach WHO’s Parent Qualifying Course at Convention.
Member-at-Large – Pam Kindle
We came to homeschooling by default, but it became a way of life. We took our vacations in the off-season, learning wherever we went, whatever we did. And frequently our travels inspired new subjects to pursue further on return. I wanted more… more positive influence, more educational options, more time with my kids… than my local schools – public or otherwise – could provide. And I wanted to instill in my kids a life-long love of learning. Homeschooling provided a way to do all of that and more. We ended up homeschooling our four boys for fourteen non-consecutive years, spanning pre-k to high school.
I continue to stay active in the homeschool community because education is too important to leave to a one-size-fits-all approach and because homeschooling is still one of THE very best all-around options out there. It was there for my family when we needed it, and I want to make sure it’s there for others when they need it too.
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.
Member-at-Large – Nickie Ament
I am a married mom of 3, one of whom is special needs, from Spokane. We’ve been homeschooling that kiddo for 2 full years now and love the freedom that it allows our child to grow from. I love my job as a caregiver in home health, and have been doing this kind of work for 15 years now. I’m also in school myself, getting my Master’s degree in psychology so that I can continue on and advocate for those who need me (I haven’t picked an area I want to go into, yet). I’m so honored to have an opportunity to help the WHO board in any way I can.
Member-at-Large – Maria Andrews
Maria Andrews is a newcomer to the WHO board. She’s a single parent, homeschool parent of three children, and the 2018 Realtor of the Year for the Lewis County Chapter of Realtors. She is active on multiple professional committees and believes serving others is important. Maria credits her success to her family’s teamwork, a flexible career schedule, and strong community support. Her family’s core values include making joy a priority. Maria resides in a small rural town near the mountains.