We've got some phenomenal speakers lined up for this year's conference! From pastors to scientists, moms and dads to homeschool grads, college professors to business professionals, we've got it all at the 2014 Finish Well Conference. We want to equip homeschooling high school families, and our speakers share this vision.
Israel Wayne is a homeschooled graduate who has a passion for defending the Christian faith and developing a Biblical worldview. He is the author of the book Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview and has been a regular columnist for Home School Digest and Brush Arbor Quarterly, published by Wisdom's Gate. Israel's family began home educating in 1978 and has been featured in national and international publications including TIME Magazine, The Arizona Republic, The Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal.
Israel desires to see God's people learn to think and live Biblically. Aiming for both the head and the heart. In his words, "God's Word applies to all areas of life. There is not one facet of our existence which does not fall under the direct claim of Lordship by Jesus Christ. This includes how we spend our money, what entertainment we consume, how we educate our children, how we use our time, etc. All of life must be understood from within a Biblical worldview."
Felice Gerwitz has spent much of her adult life as a homeschool mom with an outreach and ministry to homeschool parents through her webinar the Ultimate Homeschool Expo. She is a wife and mother of five totally homeschooled children. Two are adults and she schools the younger three. She is an author and publisher, and owns Media Angels, Inc. Her latest venture is fulfilling her life-long dream of Christian ministry with her site, Homeschooling with Proverbs, a family Bible course with an emphasis on the Scriptures, praise and listening to the Lord's leadings. The Gerwitz family lives in Ft. Myers Florida.
Cheryl Bastian and her husband Mike have been married 24 years and have seven children, ages twenty-three to eighteen months. Homeschooling since 1993, Cheryl co-founded and led a support group for nine years, creating the organizational framework, planning monthly meetings, scheduling educational opportunities for families, and developing an enrichment cooperative for upper elementary through high school. Cheryl remains active in the homeschooling community as an evaluator, consultant, mentor, and conference coordinator. As an author and speaker, Cheryl encourages parents to embrace the education and training of their children as they journey through life together. In addition to penning articles for The Old Schoolhouse and Homeschooling Today, Cheryl is the author of six books and two unit studies. Her resources are available at www.cherylbastian.com and www.cherylbastian.blogspot.com .
Marti Pieper's passion to read, write, and pray has yielded all kinds of adventures-homeschooling, writing, and otherwise. Her favorite roles are that of wife to Tom, a worship pastor, and mom to five amazing children who continue to educate their teacher. Marti also works from her home in Mount Dora, Florida as a writer and editor. In addition to various book projects, she writes and edits for Sisterhood magazine (Christian teen girls) and teaches at writers' conferences across the country. Find her at www.martipieper.com.
Meredith Curtis, pastor's wife and homeschooling mom of five amazing children, has been married to her college sweetheart for 28 years. She loves Jesus, leads worship, homeschools, writes, mentors ladies, and, sometimes, even cooks dinner! She is the author of Joyful and Successful Homeschooling; Teaching Literature in High School with Classes You Can Use; Jesus Fill my Heart and Home; Economics, Finance, and Business Class; God's Girls Talk about Boys, Courtship, Dating, and Marriage; and numerous other books and articles. Meredith wants to encourage homeschooling families to be joyful and successful in their homeschool adventures, all the way to high school graduation
Mike Curtis was a youth pastor for 10 years before starting Powerline Community Church some 16 years ago in the Lake Mary/Sanford, FL area. The atmosphere at Powerline reflects his passion for disciplesip, the local church, training leaders and the next generation, worship, and evangelism. He started T4 as a local college campus ministry that focuses on apologetics, challenging students to consider the radical claims of Jesus Christ and pursue Him alone. He is married to Meredith, the woman of his dreams, and has five incredible children, whom he confesses regularly teach him the simple love of Jesus.
Laura Nolette, married for 24 years to her beloved Donald, is a homeschooling mother of four fantastic children. She has worked with computers for even more years while raising her children in a Christ-centered home. Laura plays the bass and the flute on the worship team. Her own passion for learning has led Laura to teach Math, French, Science, Government, Computers, Art, and Music to her own and many other students. In her spare time, she loves to use painting and creating new recipes to bless those around her and bring glory to her Lord Jesus Christ. Laura is the author of Web Design Class which she hopes will help parents and students be able to share their faith on the World Wide Web in many visually stunning and creative ways. She has already graduated two sons, one of whom is at Stetson with their Presidential Scholarship. She is looking forward to helping you get your high schooler across the finish line well!
Sarah Jeffords is a recent graduate of Stetson University and has a bachelors in Communication. She has a passion for the Lord and is currently involved in the L.I.F.E. Group ministry at Powerline Community Church and until recently was also a Teen leader for more than seven years. Sarah is also a Hair Designer and loves bringing out the beauty the Lord has placed in every woman. This is why she was so thrilled to be able to co-author the book God's Girls Beauty Secrets with Meredith Curtis. She loves worship, leading Bible studies, scrapbooking and baking. Sarah looks forward to the day when she will have the joy of homeschooling her own children and in the meantime wants to continue to equip and raise up spiritual children who are passionate for Jesus.
Julianna Curtis, a homeschool grad, graduated from Stetson University in 2011, Summa Cum Laude, with a degree in Accounting Information Systems. She now works in the Health Care Information Systems field at Aon Hewitt, and is a L.I.F.E. group leader and worship team singer at Powerline Church. She managed her own college admission and her younger sister, Jenny Rose's, college admission, including numerous others along the way.
Katie Beth is a homeschool graduate with a passion for seeing young people fall in love with Jesus and never walk away from Him. She graduated summa cum laude from Stetson University with a degree in English and in Spanish in 2007 and summa cum laude from UCF with a master's degree in English. Currently, Katie Beth is in her fourth year of teaching at UCF. Katie Beth is passionate about seeing teens and college students rooted in their faith so that they don't fall away after graduating high school. To this end, she has spent the past nine years investing in teens as a teen leader and through one-on-one discipleship and just this past year started a young women's Bible study at UCF. She loves deep talks with intimate friends and will gladly draw you into one!.
Zack is a homeschool graduate attending Stetson University for a bachelor's degree in business marketing. He has owned and operated a small computer repair business and a marketing studio by the name of Haldo Studios. He loves graphic design, web development, playing music on his church worship team, and he wants to see the homeschooling high-schoolers of this generation finish well. As he helps orchestrate this year's conference, his goal is to see many homeschooling families equipped to graduate with everything they need to succeed in the world both physically and spiritually.
Mike Jeffords is a LIFE Group leader at Powerline Community Church and has a passion to see the lost won to Christ. Mike loves people and he especially enjoys discipling young men and raising them up to be mighty warriors in God's kingdom. He was recently in teen ministry for the seven years and has had the privilege of pouring his life into many young people since he gave his heart to Christ nine years ago. He loves the Lord with all his heart and his favorite part of any church event is worship. When Mike is not busy serving in God's kingdom he is serving as the Assistant Manager at Peach Valley Cafe in Dr. Phillips where God has been using him to reach the lost.
Jenny Rose, a homeschool graduate, is a senior at Stetson University and is double majoring in Spanish and Communications. The Lord has given her a heart to be a missionary on Stetson's campus. She delights in opportunities to share the Gospel and talk about the Lord Jesus with fellow students, professors, and staff at Stetson, as well as write about Truth in any college paper she can. One of her freshman research essays, Difference of Faith: Why Conservatively Religious Students Can Thrive in a Liberal Arts University, won the DuPont Ball Library Evans C. Johnson Research Prize. When it was time to go away to college, she chose to live at home and commute, though she leads a women's Bible study on campus. Not only does Jenny Rose sing on the worship team and write worship songs, but she also mentors young women in the Powerline Teen Ministry. Everywhere she goes, Rosie shares His love with others, often stopping to pray with them. If you spend any time with her, you will walk away feeling refreshed--that's what her family and friends love about her! Yet with all her spiritual depth, Rose can also be very silly. She is known in her family for her very special interpretive dances!
Marla Stevens, a home school graduate, is classically trained on the piano. She graduated from Stetson University in 2011 with her Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance and minored in Business Administration. Growing up, she has always loved playing and listening to music. Marla was also heavily involved in sports, taking her high school softball team to the national championship as pitcher. Her relationship with the Lord began to deepen in high school, and she began to see music as a ministry and a way to glorify God. Marla has a passion to see Christians, especially teens, worship the Lord through music. She loves helping lead worship on the worship team and in her L.I.F.E group. Marla is also a gifted teacher, helping others grow in their musical abilities. Worshiping has been an important and precious gift in Marla's life and wants to share it with as many people as she can!
Steven is a senior at Stetson University double-majoring in Political Science and Business Management for the attainment of BAs. His passion for The Lord leads him to a yearning to see people be transformed through The Gospel of Jesus Christ and get plugged into the local church, be that college students on campus or teenagers in co-op. Steven has also gotten creation science resources into his secular university and is active in the creation science community, helping creation science museums advance The Truth of Creation and The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Leah Brooks is a health care professional, loving wife, and homeschooling mother of two. For 12 years, she has owned and moderatored support groups for homeschooling families and for families with special needs children. Together with her husband, Stephen, they educate and encourage people to take control of their health and decrease dependence on supermarket food by gardening organically using vertical aeroponic gardens and other easy methods. They have found that by following the simple, yet wise, commands that God gives in Jeremiah 29:5 leads to many blessings.