Maine Homeschool Exchange

2024 Event Speakers and Presenters

Kim Mazone

Kim has a passion for teaching and building community relationships with people of all ages. She has a diverse background in education and health. Kim has experience teaching elementary school, consulting with homeschooling families, providing personal fitness training and health education, teaching childbirth education classes from a Christian perspective, and supporting birthing couples as a doula. She currently homeschools 6 teenagers in addition to her son and recently started back to school herself to study midwifery. Kim and her husband, Zach, are part of the Homeschoolers of Maine leadership team.

Michelle Collomy

Michelle is a veteran homeschool mom of twelve children. She and her husband are HOME Regional Representatives who have been homeschooling their children for 25 years. Their children currently range in age from 30 down to 12. They are active in their church, their hometown of Hiram and in the homeschool community. Michelle's greatest joy is spending time with her eleven grandchildren!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Trish Hutchins

Trish is a veteran homeschooling mom from the Belfast area. She is a Homeschoolers of Maine regional representative for Waldo, Knox, and Lincoln counties. Trish has homeschooled her sons from kindergarten through high school, and both boys are currently in college.  

Carolyn Simonds

Carolyn is a veteran homeschool mom and long time HOME Leader. She has finished homeschooling her own children but still has a passion for helping new homeschool families by providing support and encouragement whenever she can. She is actively spending time with her grandchildren, whom she cares for several days a week.

Jessica Leavitt

Jessica grew up in the Midcoast and has lived in Maine most her life. After teaching in public schools for over a decade, she is now in her eighth year homeschooling her two children. Jessica is an Early Learner coach for Homeschoolers of Maine and enjoys providing parents encouragement and guidance for their homeschool journey. She loves children’s literature, camping with her husband and kids, and spending time outdoors. 


Cherie LaFlamme

Cherie LaFlamme is passionate about special needs children and homeschooling. She has two grown daughters whom she homeschooled for 11 years and one teenage granddaughter whom she has been homeschooling since the spring of 2020. She and Tom have been married since 2005 and we live in Lewiston with their dog Oreo.


Professionally, Cherie was once a special education teacher and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2012. She has worked with children with developmental disabilities since 2000, first as a 1:1 Ed Tech/BHP in special purpose schools, then as a special education teacher, and now as a BCBA. For 4 years she helped build autism programming in public schools.  She currently works for an agency that provides home and community support for children with autism and developmental disabilities and on the side she provides private consultation, mostly for preschool aged children through CDS. In her free time she loves to encourage parents and grandparents who want to homeschool their differently abled child. 

 Hal Shurtlefff

Hal is a husband, father of five and grandfather of two. He and his wife Maura homeschooled their children.  Born, raised and up until 2020, lived in Boston, Hal now resides in Alton, NH. Hal is a U.S. Army veteran who did a tour of duty in West Germany and the 101st Airborne Division. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, co-founder and director of Camp Constitution, a New Hampshire charitable trust, host of Camp Constitution Radio, and writes for The Boston Broadside and Weirs Times. Hal and Camp Constitution won a victory for free speech and religious rights with the U.S Supreme Court's 9--0 ruling "Shurtleff vs. Boston."

Lisa Beal

Lisa is a wife, homeschooling mother for 20+ years, and co-founder of Roots by the River here in Maine. She enjoys teaching her children, writing to encourage other mothers, singing with her family, and studying French.

Andee Reardon

Andee has been homeschooling for 12 years and was also a homeschooled student herself. She owns and operates East Coast School of Safety, an education business specializing in teaching women, children and families safety skills like first aid, self-defense and firearm safety.


Andee has 10 years' experience teaching self-defense and has multiple certifications to teach emergency 1st aid and firearms through the NRA and the USCCA. She teaches SAFE Kids, a class for kids and their parents to prepare them for the dangers kids face today. She also founded A.W.E  (Academy of Women Empowerment) which provides scholarships and training opportunities for women and girls to empower them and give them the tools to survive any emergency.

Kelsey Fortin

Kelsey is the Education & Outreach Coordinator for Maine Agriculture in the Classroom. Her work is focused on providing resources to schools and educators on how they can incorporate more agriculture into their classrooms and programs. She has a degree in Community Health from the University of Maine at Farmington. Kelsey works to promote agricultural literacy and the importance of knowing where your food comes from.

Laura Oliver

Laura is an 11th generation Mainer and homeschool mom of two daughters, Adelaide and Eve. She and her husband Jacob were married in 2007 and both grew up, and continue to live, in the Midcoast. Laura loves Maine history and learning alongside her daughters. She has a passion for living books and creating a home library that will be a resource for generations to come. She uses Charlotte Mason's methods in their homeschool and believes that spending time outside is vital to children's development. She loves to share great books, interesting Maine historical facts, nature finds, and field trip ideas on her Instagram page, @ourmaineideas and she would love to connect with you there!

Jake Oliver

Oliver Investments, LLC is owned and operated by Jake Oliver.  Jake grew up in this community on a small farm in Nobleboro, Maine.  After returning from Eastern University where he graduated with a BA in Business Marketing and minor in Business Management, Jake worked locally in sales and eventually as a manager at a local business. He decided to return to his true passion of helping others and became a full-time financial advisor. Jake loves to help clients devise a plan for their future and is passionate about financial education.


In 2007 Jake married his amazing and beautiful wife Laura. They spent the next five years building a home in Nobleboro with lumber they sawed themselves on the family sawmill. They homeschool two bright and talented girls, Adelaide and Eve, and have a black lab named Timber. Family is the backbone of Oliver Investments, LLC, and we hope to call you a part of our family soon.  

Jake also holds an Associate Broker Real Estate license and still enjoys helping his clients find and sell homes across the state of Maine.

Molly Mayo

Molly is passionate about storytelling, writing, and the powerful influence of scripture in stories and is a homeschool graduate from Maine. She first dipped her toes into the waters of writing local stories for the Bangor Daily News Weekly, but God quickly led her to write full-time for Ministries. It is there she has been incredibly delighted to be part of the Lamplighter Theatre and Publishing team—learning alongside Master Teachers such as Mark Hamby, Kathy Buchanan, and Phil Lollar. Her greatest desire is to love Jesus with all her heart and to inspire others to love Him through writing, speaking, and storytelling!

June O'Donal

June is from Denmark, Maine and homeschooled her two children from preschool through high school. Now a retired museum educator, she taught hands-on history to hundreds of visitors from preschool through adults. As an active board member of the Fryeburg Historical Society, she writes their quarterly newsletter and designs and implements educational programs for the public. She has written a series of Christian historical fiction, The Fryeburg Chronicles. The first five of the series have been completed and she is currently researching book six. Her husband has recently begun a Brain Injury Support Group at Journey Church in Conway, NH. Both are active members in their church.

Carolyn Hughes

Carolyn holds a Master's Degree in Elementary Education as well as a Post Masters Certification in Early Childhood Education. She currently works as a Reading and Math Interventionist (K-5) and has for the past 7 years. Carolyn loves children and helps children learn by using fun, hands-on discovery.

Cathy Dionne

Cathy has been with the Autism Society of Maine for 27 years serving the last 11 years as the Executive Director. She is a parent of a 29-year-old autistic son, Ben, and a 31-year-old daughter, Ashley.  She lives in Greene, Maine with her husband of 36 years, Rick. Ben was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18 months, and her family’s journey began at that time.  

Joanna Martel

Joanna is a life educator and passionate project manager. Her 30 years in education have led her to intentionally gain the skill needed to execute these professions, work wherever and whenever these tools are needed, and strive to continually model a learning-from-mistakes mindset.


Her education includes an EdD from Northeastern University in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, an MSEd from the University of Southern Maine in Educational Leadership in Curriculum Coordinator and Building Administrator, and an MS from Gordon College in Biology and Secondary Education.


Her work has led her to serve and work in homeschooling, non-profit, and public sectors and for the last 20 years run a consulting company, Martel Learning Group, LLC which strives to improve lives and opportunities for all through vision, planning, and execution of innovative educational ideas. She proudly serves as the president of Amagara Marungi: A better life 501©3 which works to improve the lives of rural African communities. Whether it is project management, teaching of all ages, identifying and overcoming barriers, writing or managing grants, or building curriculum, Joanna strives to help others grow through organization and innovation.


River Radley

River is a mom of six kids that range in age from 15 to 2. She has been homeschooling for the past eight years and loves learning right alongside her kids. Her goal is to always display a sense of wonder and awe when it comes to exploring a new topic. God has created so many wonderful things for us to discover and history has so many treasures to unearth!


River previously worked as an art teacher and school administrator before focusing on her calling as a homeschool mom. River loves the Lord, good books, and good coffee. She is regularly including warm drinks like tea, cocoa, or coffee into her family's learning time. She believes a cozy environment does more for learning than all the curriculum in the world.


Currently, River and her family are living in St. George and serving in their local church. She and her husband, Jerry, lead the youth ministry on the peninsula. She is also the Troop Shepherd for their local American Heritage Girls group. River has a heart for missions and seeing the name of the Lord be glorified.


Molly Sparling

Molly has homeschooled for over 10 years and has enjoyed homeschooling in high school and helping her kids find their calling. Molly is a coach and spiritual director with Soul Shepherding Ministries and serves as Chairman of the Board for New England Bible College & Seminary. A Dartmouth College graduate (and alumni interviewer), Molly worked in neuroscience research at Dartmouth Medical School and Walter Reed Army Medical Center before transitioning out of the workforce and into ministry while homeschooling her 3 children. She is passionate about encouraging parents to steward their homeschool kids well through high school to pursue their calling in Christ.

M. J. Claus

M.J. Claus and her husband share insight from sixteen years spent homeschooling their two children in New Hampshire. She has served many homeschool organizations, including the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition, and supported Moms in Prayer International. Currently, she is a member of two writers groups and manages two businesses with her husband Craig. Visit her website for more information or to find out where to order a book. 

Janice Rockwell

Janice Rockwell holds a BA in English and Speech from the University of Maine Orono. She has been teaching in public and private schools since 1965, as well as in Good News Clubs, Sunday School, youth groups and women's Bible study. She received training at GFA headquarters in Texas and has presented seminars and workshops at homeschool and Christian school events in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In 2013, she visited the mission field in India. Janice continues to speak at churches, mission conferences, Christian schools, homeschool conferences and to women's groups.