Gerald Huebner lives in Manitoba, Canada and is a charter member of the GHEC board.Gerald and wife Bev home educated their two now adult children through all fourteen great education years to graduation and now are enjoying four homeschooled grandchildren. Gerald and Bev have spent over 30 years in leadership of home education organizations and Gerald serves as the board chair of HSLDA Canada and the Canadian Centre for Home Education. Gerald worked for over 37 years in senior management of the agriculture department with the provincial government in the province of Manitoba. Gerald and Bev have shared their journey and experience with parents, government officials and others in over 12 countries around the world.
Betsy DeVos serves as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 7, 2017 after being nominated by President Donald J. Trump. Secretary DeVos has been involved in education policy for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. She is especially passionate about reforms that help underserved children gain access to a quality education. DeVos’ interest in education was sparked at an early age by her mother, a public school teacher. It grew when she sent her own children to school and was confronted with the reality that not every child in America is granted an equal opportunity to receive a great education. DeVos saw firsthand the work leaders in her hometown were doing to increase educational opportunities for students and choices for parents, and she has been involved in the fight to provide better educational options across the nation ever since. For 15 years, DeVos served as an in-school mentor for at-risk children in the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public Schools. Her interactions there with students, families and teachers, according to DeVos, “changed my life and my perspective about education forever.” A leader in the movement to empower parents, DeVos has worked to support the creation of new educational choices for students in 25 states and the District of Columbia. As secretary, DeVos will work with President Trump to advance equal opportunities for quality education for all students. DeVos firmly believes that neither the ZIP code in which a child lives nor a child’s household income should be the principal determinant of his or her opportunity to receive a world-class education. As secretary, she will advocate for returning control of education to states and localities, giving parents greater power to choose the educational settings that are best for their children and ensuring that higher education puts students on the path to successful careers. Prior to her confirmation, DeVos served as chairman of The Windquest Group, an enterprise and investment management firm. In addition to her leadership in the education arena, DeVos has also served on the boards of numerous national and local charitable and civic organizations, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Kids Hope USA, ArtPrize, Mars Hill Bible Church and the Kendall College of Art and Design. DeVos is a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has been married for 40 years to entrepreneur, philanthropist and community activist Dick DeVos, and together they have four children and eight grandchildren.
Kelvin Goertzen is a lifelong resident of Steinbach and, since 2003, has had the honor of serving as the MLA for the Steinbach constituency. He was re-elected to his fifth term on September 10, 2019 and has served as the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education and the Government House Leader. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Kelvin has degrees in Economics, Commerce, and Law. In addition to working for a major financial institution and a property development company, Kelvin has extensive political experience as an assistant to an MLA, an MP, and a provincial Cabinet Minister. From an early age, Kelvin has been active in the community. He has served as Vice-President of both the Steinbach Arts Council and the Steinbach Food Bank (Helping Hands) and is currently a member of the South East Rotary Club. His community service was recognized when he received the H.O.P.E. Medal of Honour by the Lions Club of Manitoba as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada. Kelvin is married to Kim, also a lifelong Steinbach resident. Their home is made complete with their son Malachi and the family dog, Keiko.
Erika Di Martino
Erika Di Martino
- Website: www.edupar.org
Erika Di Martino, is a mother of five homeschooled children, ages 15, 13, 11, 8, 4, who has been involved in education and homeschooling in Europe for over 10 years. She is the founder of the Italian Home Education Network www.edupar.org, she is a writer and a family and educational coach. Erika has collaborated with numerous Italian and International newspapers and has participated in various television programs and events, explaining to millions of people how to Homeschool. She and her family have been inspiring and supporting parents who are embracing this educational choice, sharing their challenges, their achievements and their spiritual growth.
Canute Waswa is a homeschooling father of three. Despite studying economics in university, his early career followed a passion for nature- providing enriching outdoor activities to fellow students through the President’s Award Scheme. He progressed from there to work for Outward Bound in Kenya, Bermuda and Canada. On return to Kenya he established Outdoors Africa, a management & training consultancy with a proven record and established reputation that specializes in performance management and provision of experiential leadership and team development programs. Waswa is a Gold Award Holder of the Presidents’ Award Scheme and holds a diploma in Outdoors Experiential Education from Outward Bound. Waswa is passionate about home education. Together with his wife Beryl, they have homeschooled their children from birth. He is part of the steering committee of the East African Community of Homeschoolers and part of the African Homeschooling Think Tank of the Global Home Education Exchange. When not hiking or climbing, the father of three is part of Leadership Foundations, a global network that is dedicated to working with people in inner cities, slums and informal settlements to help them reach their full potential. Canute Waswa is an eclectic homeschooler. In that he has seen the impact of experiential schooling. –utilizing his passion for the outdoors to raise up a legacy of the next generation of African Leaders for the Continent.
Kerry McDonald is a Senior Education Fellow at FEE and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press, 2019). She is also an adjunct scholar at The Cato Institute and a regular Forbes contributor. Kerry’s research interests include homeschooling and alternatives to school, self-directed learning, education entrepreneurship, parent empowerment, school choice, and family and child policy. Her articles have appeared at The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, NPR, Education Next, Reason Magazine, City Journal, and Entrepreneur, among others. She has a master’s degree in education policy from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bowdoin College. Kerry lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and four children.
Michael Donnelly, JD, LLL.M
Michael Donnelly, JD, LLL.M
Mike is Senior Counsel and Director of Global Outreach serving HSLDA members in the states of Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, and West Virginia. And coordinates support of educational freedom around the world. He is an adjunct professor of government at Patrick Henry College teaching constitutional law.
Mike’s previous experience includes combat service during the first Persian Gulf War as a United States Army cavalry officer, private legal practice, and founding a nationally ranked internet marketing firm. He holds a juris doctorate with honors from the Boston University School of Law as a Paul J. Liacos Scholar and an LLM with merit in Constitutional and Human Rights Law from the London School of Economics. He is a member of six federal and state bars.
Mike is an internationally published writer and frequent speaker on homeschooling, educational freedom, parental rights, and human rights. He has appeared on national media and has written hundreds of articles including in The International Journal of Human Rights, Homeschooling in the 21st Century, International Journal of School Choice and Reform, Homeschooling in New View, Balancing Freedom, Autonomy, and Accountability in Education, Religious Freedom in Education, The International Journal of Religious Freedom, and Homeschooling in America and Europe: A Litmus Test of Democracy.
Tim Chen is the founder of Taiwan Homeschool Advocates (THA). Tim and his family have appeared in the media in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China to share their experience of homeschooling multicultural and multilingual children in Taiwan. Under his auspices, homeschool law in Taiwan has expanded from just one line in the Primary and Junior High School Act to three dedicated laws plus comprehensive amendments to 20 other relevant laws. Tim and his Polish wife Dorota have been homeschooling their 22-year-old daughter, Zosia since 2002 and subsequently added their 17-year-old son Jas and 9 year-old daughter Ania to their multilingual and multicultural home school—the Babel School. They have co-authored a book titled My Home is an International School – Raising Global Kids. Tim and his family are frequently invited by government agencies, universities, corporations, churches and parent groups to talk about their homeschooling experience. More information is available on the family’s blog or facebook.