Title Bio Workshop Title
Misty Stromme

Misty has taught at Village Home since 2007 and there is no place she would rather be. Misty has a BS in biology and three years of formal teacher training. She currently works as a private tutor, in addition to her work at Village Home. She specializes in biology, chemistry, and advanced algebra, with a little bit of statistics. Misty loves nature and is passionate about teaching! She is currently obsessed with model rockets and toy dinosaurs, but her dream is to one day establish a complete outdoor education program for homeschooled children and their families. She recently led an expedition to eastern Oregon with two Village Home families to search for rare birds. As Baba Dioum said, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught."

Chemistry Wizards
Kristen McKee

Kristen has assisted learners in groups of various ages and sizes for the past 25 years in both English and Spanish. She is the mother of three homeschooled lifelong learners. Kristen is both university- and self-taught in communication, teaching, language, and general studies. She enjoys teaching because every encounter is a chance to connect with the individual person on their learning path and to create beautiful and surprising possibilities. Kristen is currently teaching Spanish and Sing, Dance, and Play! at Village Home Education Resource Center.

Magical Forest, Rainbow Time
Whitney Johnson

In addition to being an avid coffee lover, maker of things, and haver-of-fun, Whitney is a performer, writer, teaching artist, and improviser. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theater/Opera in 2002 and her Master of Science in Speech Communication: Performance Studies in 2008 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Before joinging the Village Home faculty, she directed plays for the The Young People’s Theater Project. She worked as an instructor and Regional Director for Trackers Earth, an outdoor education organization. Whitney has directed theatrical productions at Village Home Education Resource Center for more than seven years and she's loved every minute of it. She is currently a cast member at The Brody Theater, a member of Brainwaves improv troupe, and a member of the Portland Center Stage Improv All Stars. When not on stage, Whitney enjoys playing the role of Mama to her delightful three-year-old, future Village Home learner Lila.

Yes! Improv!
Jesse Hampton

Jesse has taught OMSI outreach programs for the past ten years, and joined the Village Home faculty five years ago. He teaches everything from astronomy to forensics, but his specialty is in physics and using science to solve everyday problems. Jesse is a fun, enthusiastic science teacher, who keeps learners busy. His interests and hobbies are too many to count but they include board games, wildlife photography, and building model rockets.

Take Flight!
Lise Gervais

Lise's teaching style is relaxed and positive. She shows the students her enthusiasm for the subject, displays some of the things they can make with the medium, demonstrates a particular technique, then sets them free with materials and guidance to express their ideas. She likes helping student artists turn their ideas into objects, and often happy accidents occur along the way. It is great to see how much students learn from each other and what kids come up with when given freedom to be creative. Lise has a BFA in Painting and Sculpture from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Lise teaches art at Village Home Education Resource Center,and has also taught calligraphy, painting, costume design, printmaking, and arts-and-crafts classes in the teen and adult programs at Mt. Scott Community Center, as well as teen activities at Southwest Community Center and Mt. Scott Community School.

Clay Creations
US World Class Taekwondo

Mr. Tatum is the owner and chief instructor at US World Class Taekwondo-Aloha. 

He started his martial arts training in 1996. He has a varied and impressive list of life experiences including serving in the US Army for eight years, and graduating with honors when earning his BA degree. His taekwondo school received the "Best School Award" at the 2012 Pan Am Jr. International championships.

He and his wife are currently homeschooling their children.

Camp Style Activities
Homeschool Graduate Panel

This panel will include several recent homeschool graduates who will share their experiences and advice.

Homeschool Graduate Panel Discussion
Susan Shomali

Susan Shomali and her husband have been married for over 29 years. Together they have three daughters ages 24, 21, and 14 and have been a home-educating family since the beginning. The two eldest attended Portland Community College from the age of 17, and both went on to receive their Bachelor of Science degrees from Oregon State University. The eldest daughter will begin pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at St. Georges School of Veterinary Medicine this August. The middle daughter is currently pursuing a Doctor in Dental Medicine degree at Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry. Their youngest continues homeschooling, plays softball, and enjoys web-based programming and building her own Lego creations. She was an award winning Lego designer at Bricks Cascade 2016, in Portland. Susan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Restaurant management and founded Columbia County Homeschoolers in 2003. She is currently working as a Personal Educational Counselor and Mentor for teens and young adults. 

Focusing on the Future: Moving Beyond Grades and Curriculum
Gwen Montoya

Gwen Montoya is a single, unschooling parent of two and an entrepreneur. She started her business specifically so she could continue to homeschool her children even as a single parent.

Unschooling and the Single Parent
Scott Noelle

Scott Noelle is an author and life coach dedicated to supporting parents who have rejected control-based parenting methods and embraced an approach he calls PATH Parenting, based on Partnership, Authenticity, Trust, and Heart. A father of two self-educated teenagers, Scott also advocates for and writes about self-directed education. He shares practical parenting wisdom through his book and blog, The Daily Groove, online at

The Art of Parenting Self-Directed Learners
Deborah Taylor-Hough

Deborah Taylor-Hough has homeschooled all three of her children from preschool through high school graduation. She is the author of the new book, A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason's Timeless Educational Ideas, and publishes the Charlotte Mason eMagazine. Debi's also the author of the bestselling Frozen Assets cookbook series.

Introduction to Charlotte Mason
Rosalyn Newhouse

Rosalyn has been actively involved in homeschooling with her own children as well as teaching, facilitating, and tutoring other homeschoolers, for over 20 years. She is especially interested in discovering paths to literacy and ability for children of all ages, through traditional and non-traditional methods.

Homeschooling the Littles
Sean Gallagher

Sean Gallagher is extremely proud of his role helping young people in his 20 year career as an educator. Currently, he is the principal at Summit Learning Charter

Partnering with Charter Schools
Lori Walker

Lori Walker is passionate about the idea that learning is a natural process, and is an inherently fun process. Lori is the founder and Executive Director of Village Home Education Resource Center, a learning community built on choice and autonomy for learners. Lori earned BA degrees from SMU in Business Management and Psychology, with an emphasis in child development, graduating summa cum laude with distinction and honors,.Prior to founding Village Home in 2002, Lori was the Director of Training and Curriculum at Learning Forum, based in California, where she designed academic and life skills curriculum, trained teachers, and facilitated programs for teens. Lori has over twelve years of experience teaching and training adults and children in a variety of subjects. Lori’s two daughters provided the initial inspiration for Village Home, and her job as mom is the best job she will ever have. She lives in Beaverton with her daughters, husband, and assortment of four-legged animals.

Motivating Your Homeschooler
Sue Haynes

Over the past thirty years Sue has taught in a variety of classrooms, including adult ed, high school, elementary schools, College of the Atlantic, and tutoring in her home. With Masters degrees in Special Education (Wheelock College) and Literacy (University of Maine), she particularly values her experiences with at-risk learners, often with the labels of AD(H)D and/or LD. Through reconceptualizing them as creative learners, she has developed empowering approaches for working with them. Sue has explored these experiences in chapters in several education publications (including The Indigo Children Ten Years Later by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober) as well as her book about creative learning. Two years ago Sue moved across the country from Bar Harbor, Maine to Portland. As she reseeds her life in the Pacific Northwest, she has established a private tutoring/consulting practice in the St. Johns neighborhood. Sue also gives presentations on her book, Creative Mavericks: Beacons of Authentic Learning and networks with progressive Portland educators and parents.

Creating Mavericks: Beacons of Authentic Learning
Tamra Orr

Tamra unschooled all four of her children birth through adulthood and is the author of six books on homeschooling, and numerous non-fiction books for young people and families.

Research Tricks and Tips
Aria Leighty

Aria Leighty is the founder of Art ala Carte, a unique art studio concept that makes art accessible to all ages. Aria is a passionate artist who brings education and awareness to the value of process-based art. She has trained parents, educators, and daycare providers to provide valuable art process for their students and children. Aria will bring fun and exciting hands-on projects to explore the fun of process-oriented art.

Enjoying the Process of Art
Bethany Gardiner

Bethany Gardiner, M.D. was a board-certified pediatrician until she left private practice to homeschool her three children. She turned to writing as a career and has published two books including the award-winning Highlighting Homeschooling. Currently her oldest is a research scientist having graduated from the University of Washington last year, her middle child is in college, and her youngest is a senior in high school.

Avoiding Burnout
Christine Engelke

Christine is a former software engineer and bookkeeper, and now an enthusiastic homeschooler and tutor. Her 10- and 13-year-old children enjoy quiet days learning at home, using an eclectic mix of curriculum, classes, and learning from life.

Homeschooling In Oregon: How to Get Started
Tara Atkinson

Tara has been a homeschooling mom in Oregon for the last twenty years. When her four sons were young, they followed an unschooling or kids-interest approach to learning. As the years went on, the educational style, life, and kids all evolved together. For the last decade, Tara did her best to balance homeschooling as a single mom while working as a yoga therapist and mindfulness instructor. This past year, for the first time ever, all four of her boys were in school. The oldest is now a sophomore at University of Oregon, the second a freshman at George Washington University in Washington DC, and the two youngest a junior and freshman at their local high school. With her extra spare time, Tara is devoting herself to growing the therapeutic side of her business, bringing mindfulness tools to young and old. Her favorite work is with families.

Helping Kids Find Their Passion, The Superpower of Mindfulness, Eliminating the Constant Homeschooling Concerns
Leslie Wagner

Leslie Wagner is an experienced homeschool mom who directed her children's learning from kindergarten through high school. She began homeschooling in 2000, and is currently guiding her youngest child as he completes high school studies through community college. She is now working on sharing her knowledge and experience with other homeschooling families. Leslie administers a website (Homeschool Helping Hand) where parents can find learning resources. She also has a degree in Music Education and enjoys directing her church choir.

Jeopardy for Newbies