Convention Speakers

Keynote and Featured Speakers for 2016 (so far!)

Christopher Lowell as Benjamin Franklin


A native New Yorker, Chris has spent over 50 years as both teacher and actor.

Since 2004, he has presented Benjamin Franklin’s life and values on a full-time basis, coast-to-coast and abroad. Because Ben himself was so multi-talented, and his contributions to his community and nation so impressive, Chris has been invited to speak to an unusually wide variety of organizations, from professional associations and non-profits to law firms and school groups; from governmental agencies to libraries and health-care organizations. As Ben, Chris has given Convocation addresses, keynoted fund-raisers for state Humanities organizations, and presented Ben in French at diplomatic dinners in Paris for the French government. Of more immediate interest, he recently presented a key address as Franklin to the Southeast Homeschool Convention in Greenville, SC.


Chris’s presentations as Ben have been endorsed and praised by many, including today’s three most important Franklin biographer-historians, Walter Isaacson, Mark Skousen, and Pulitzer-Prize winner Gordon S. Wood.


Hal and Melanie Young


Fresh from a state tax audit to prove that yes, they’re all ours, Hal and Melanie Young, authors of the Christian Small Publishers Association 2011 Book of the Year, Raising Real Men, are parents of six real boys and two real girls. They have homeschooled through eight high-risk pregnancies, three re-locations, two decades, and 181 degrees of longitude.


Hal and Melanie have served on the Board of Directors of North Carolinians for Home Education for over 14 years, including three terms as President for Hal. They have published articles with The Foundation for Economic Education, Homeschooling Today, the John Locke Foundation, Homeschool Digest, TEACH Magazine, Homeschool Enrichment, the N.C. Family Policy Council, the Heartland Institute and more.


Hal and Melanie have made more than 50 media appearances in venues as wide ranging as The Jesse Lee Peterson Show and the Bob Dutko Show to Mancow’s Morning Madhouse and CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. They are sought after conference speakers who routinely draw standing room only crowds with their mix of uniquely entertaining cross-banter and practical, powerful Scriptural principles. Their dramatized audiobooks, such as Hero Tales from American History by Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge, are gaining a following across the country, as well.


Hal & Melanie have glorified the Lord through some extreme challenges recently, though, with Hal successfully fighting stage IV cancer and their youngest dealing with a life-threatening heart condition. Despite it all, the Youngs live in noisy familial bliss in North Carolina.

Zach Mazone

Dr. Zach Mazone, D.O., is a family medicine physician, who has a passion for preventing disease before it starts by encouraging individuals and families to make healthy life changing choices,  and by providing support as they implement these changes.  Zach has been involved with several Lifestyle Programs, here in the U.S. and overseas, as well as, mentoring with some of the best doctors around the country who are specializing in Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine.  He is currently providing health outreach lectures focusing on "Lifestyle Health" & "Natural Ways of Overcoming Depression".  Before God called Zach to medicine, he had careers as a U.S. Naval Aviator  and as Airline Pilot for American Airlines.  Zach and his wife, Kim, enjoy sharing the blessings and challenges of homeschooling their two wonderful children. 


Kim Mazone


Kim is a former Professional Teacher who has many passions in the area of health, family, and wellness.  After teaching school for several years here in New England, Kim moved to Florida with her husband, Zach, and became the coordinator of "The Safe and Drug Free Schools Program" for Escambia County public schools, providing consultation for teachers & guidance counselors in 37 schools.  Kim also gave family workshops on "Health"  for the low-income, high-risk neighborhoods that her grant targeted.  She also has experience as a fitness trainer/wellness educator for the YMCA organization, & has worked for six years as a doula and natural childbirth educator.  Currently she is training to become a Master Herbalist.  When Kim is not teaching her children or others, she loves gardening, cooking, and outdoor sports.  

Carolyn Simonds


Carolyn Simonds has been actively involved in HOME's ministry for many years.  She is a veteran homeschool mom of six children.  Carolyn serves as a teacher and mentor to other HOME leaders, as well as a Board Member for Homeschoolers of Maine.


Kathi Kearney

Kathi has served on the HOME Board for many years. She has worked with homeschooling families in Maine for more than 30 years, and helped to author Maine’s homeschool law. Kathi teaches gifted & talented students in Maine, is a Professional Associate with the Gifted Development Center in Denver, and teaches online courses for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Raylene Hunt 

Raylene is from Camden, Maine. She has been homeschooling since 2001, when she withdrew her oldest child (who graduated homeschool in 2010) from public school. Raylene continues to homeschool her youngest child. She has been serving with HOME since 2005 in a variety of capacities.  She is currently a local homeschool group leader, and serves HOME as a Virtual Office Assistant helping to coordinate many projects.