Convention Speakers

Keynote and Featured Speakers and Presenters for 2017 (so far!)


Darren Jones


A homeschool graduate, Darren Jones received his J.D. from Oak Brook College of Law. While enrolled in law school, he first worked for Christian Solidarity International, a human rights organization assisting persecuted Christians around the world, and later came to work for Home School Legal Defense Association as a legal assistant. Today, as a litigation attorney, Darren assists HSLDA's Jim Mason in preparing cases and defending members who are experiencing legal difficulty. 


Darren and his wife Sara were married on September 30, 2000, and they have four children, Adelaide, Stuart, Daphne and Phillip. They "officially" began homeschooling in April 2005.


Andrew Pudewa


Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students' skills.  


Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan (Suzuki Method) and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him "the funny man with the wonderful words." He and his wonderful, heroic wife, Robin, have homeschooled their seven children and are now proud grandparents of eight, making their home in Northeastern Oklahoma's beautiful green country.


Jean Burk


Author Jean Burk is a homeschooling mother and creator of the revolutionary and award-winning College Prep Genius curriculum which has helped thousands of high school students prepare for the SAT & PSAT/NMSQT. Her expertise has been featured on FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, Forbes Living TV, UShopTV, and The Homeschool Channel. She has been a keynote and featured speaker at numerous homeschool conferences, schools, clubs, college nights, etc. Jean currently travels across the United States speaking about how to go to college for FREE!


As a homeschooling mom, Jean did not have the financial resources to send her children to college. When she discovered the SAT & PSAT were the keys to getting huge scholarships, she began to research the tests to understand how to prepare her children for them. She discovered that these tests could be taught! They weren't IQ tests, but rather critical thinking exams. After both her children received full-ride scholarships, Jean began teaching these secrets to other homeschool, public, private and charter school students. Her program College Prep Genius is the culmination of more than a decade of research, classroom experience and SAT expertise. Her daughter also Earned free grad school and her son earned free law school! 


Linda Hobar


Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a genuine "people-person", and a fan of comfortable high-heels. Through homeschooling her children, and service as a missionary, she discovered a deep love for world history where famous and infamous men and women have left their mark on time through the sovereignty of God. In the year 2000, Linda sensed a clear call to write The Mystery of History series for her children, grandchildren, and generations to come that they might know "the mystery of God . . . in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col 2:3)  


In its 13th year of worldwide circulation, The Mystery of History has been well received by all ages. While fact-filled and historically accurate, Linda's writing style remains warm, personable, and thought provoking. The "Chronological, Christian, Complete" program is user-friendly and includes activities for multiple ages, timeline work, mapping exercises, quizzes, literature recommendations, audio books, and much more to fully engage students of all learning styles.  The Mystery of History series has been awarded "Best Homeschool History Resource", Cathy Duffy's "100 Top Picks", Mary Pride's "Practical Homeschooling Reader Award", and The Old Schoolhouse "Excellence Award."


Michael Ramey


Michael is the Deputy Director and Director of Communications & Research for He holds a B.A. in Foreign Language with an emphasis in Spanish from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Ramey honed his communication skills through 13 years of church ministry before joining the staff of Michael lives in Winchester, VA, with his wife Rachel and four beautiful children.


Beatrice M. Szantyr, MD, FAAP


Dr. Szantyr, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and member of the American College of  Physicians, has been board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. She graduated magna cum laude in an honors program from Fordham University, received her doctorate in medicine from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at St. Louis University Hospitals and Cardinal Glennon Memorial Hospital for Children. Dr. Szantyr came to Maine 29 years ago serving a commitment to the National Health Service Corps. She maintained a solo private practice for a number of years. She remains the physician consultant to RSU 67.


Dr. Szantyr’s interest in Lyme disease and related tick- borne disorders has resulted in thousands of hours of continuing education and investigation. She has lectured throughout Maine and New England to both professional and community groups. She recently helped develop curriculum for and participated as faculty in the Fundamentals of Lyme Disease course offered at a national conference. Dr. Szantyr is a member of Maine’s Vector Borne Disease Work Group, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, and Maine Medical Association. She is the medical adviser to MaineLyme, a non-profit dedicated to decreasing the occurrence of tick borne diseases through awareness, prevention, education and advocacy. 


Mark Leslie


The winner of six national magazine writing awards, Mark Alan Leslie has written three historical novels, Midnight Rider for the Morning Star

True North: Tice's Story and The Crossing, as well as two modern-day mystery/thrillers, a devotional and a Christian self-help book. 


Leslie's career as a newspaper and magazine editor and writer spanned 30 years before he began writing books full-time — all from a Christian worldview. He was the founding editor of Golf Course News (now Golf Industry), which became a leading golf-industry publication in his 12 years at the helm, and has written to golf books filled with quotes and stories from his interviews with icons like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Patti Berg, Kathy Whitworth, Gary Player and Ben Crenshaw. The books, available online, are entitled Putting a Little Spin on It: The Design's the Thing! and Putting a Little Spin on It: The Grooming's the Thing!


Taryn Friedman (a.k.a. Lightning Lucy) 


“Lightning Lucy” can be seen performing Mad Science Shows and facilitating Science workshops all over Maine! She has been Co-Owner of Mad Science since 2010 with “Nitro Nikki”.  She graduated from Union College in 2002 with her degree in English Literature and a minor in Biology.  Taryn has an extensive background in experiential and environmental education.  She has worked as a wilderness therapy guide with teens at the Summit Achievement Academy in Stowe, ME, a snowboard coach for Gould Academy in Bethel, a kayak guide in Casco Bay for Rippleffect, an environmental educator aboard the Schooner Adventuress in Puget Sound near Seattle, WA, and a direct support professional for teens and adults with special needs at Creative Trails in Portland, and of course a Mad Science Instructor teaching science enrichment programs while also fulfilling her duties as the Program Director of Mad Science.  Taryn has always had a passion for science and loves getting kids excited about chemical reactions, Newton’s Laws of Motion, robots, electricity, and more!  


Sam Howes


Sam has lived in Maine for most of his life and earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, graduating in 2012.  He then earned his Masters in Archives Administration at Aberystwyth University in Wales, graduating in 2014.  He has been an archivist at the Maine State Archives since November of 2014 and recently earned a Genealogical Research Certificate from Boston University.

Heather Moran


An archivist at the Maine State Archives in Augusta, Heather Moran has a Master's Degree in Library & Information Services with a concentration in Archival Management.  Prior to moving to the State Archives, she was Director of the Edward J. Walsh History Center at the Camden Public Library from 2008-2016, where she specialized in genealogy and local history. 


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, and plays a leadership role in a number of HOME events and endeavors.


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.

Chris Wilcoxson

Chris and his wife, Tiffany, are founders and pastors of Life Source Ministries in Brunswick, ME. They have served within HOME's ministry as coordinators in various areas for a number of years, and currently serve as HOME Board Members. For Chris and Tiffany, homeschooling was a decision of faith made together before having children. They have a heart for helping families build healthy homes, as well as fighting for parental rights. Chris and Tiffany reside in Georgetown, ME with their seven children. 

Raylene Hunt Kane


Raylene has been homeschooling since 2001, when she withdrew her oldest child, now a homeschool graduate, from public school. Raylene continues to homeschool her teen-aged son. She has been serving within HOME's ministry since 2005 in a variety of capacities. Currently, she is a local homeschool group leader and serves HOME as a Virtual Office Assistant, helping to coordinate many projects.  Raylene is also the founder and lead educational facilitator of Creation Exploration Ministry. Raylene resides in Camden, Maine, with her husband, Dr. Thomas Kane and her son.


Bill Clarke


Bill is a homeschool dad, member of the HOME Leadership Team, a software entrepreneur and technology enthusiast. He and his wife, Ruth, reside in Greene, Maine.


2017 Ongoing HOME Events

Group Portfolio Reviews

6/23 Bridgton

8/17 Camden

8/3 Lewiston

8/16 Preque Isle

8/23 Augusta

8/24 Rockland

Summer Playground Days

6/27 Brownfield

7/18 Fryeburg

8/15 Brownfield

8/29 Bridgton

9/26 Brownfiled

Monthy Sports & Fitness Activities 

6/22 Monthly Hike, Belfast  

10/6 Monthly Skate, Portland  


Upcoming in 2017

Upcoming in 2018