Convention Speakers

 

Click on the speaker below to read biographies and topics:

Steve & Annette Economides

E. Lee Felder, Jr.

Valerie Felder

Doug Flanders

Jennifer Flanders

James R. Glenn

Mary James

Lyndsay Lambert

Tim Lambert

Dave Nutting
Shelia Pradia
Krisa Winn

Click here for a complete workshop schedule.


Steve & Annette Economides
Steve and Annette Economides (Econo mee' dis) were married in 1982. At that time, Steve worked as a graphic designer earning $6.50 per hour, while Annette stayed home to figure out how to stretch their pennies until they begged for mercy. In just nine years, on an average income of just $35,000 they purchased and paid-off their first home. They have also paid cash for all of their cars, taken fabulous debt-free vacations, spent only $350 per month to feed their family of seven, and put their kids through college without any school loans. Steve and Annette became frugality experts out of necessity, but it has now become a game for them to get the best quality products for clearance-sale prices.

In 2004 the Economides family was invited to appear on Good Morning America, it was then that host Charlie Gibson affectionately dubbed them America's Cheapest Family. This appearance led to the publishing of their first book, "America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money."

Steve & Annette are NY Times Best Selling authors of three books and are recognized internationally as family finance experts. They have appeared on many national TV shows including: Good Morning America, The Today Show, ABC's 20/20, Fox TV's Your World with Neil Cavuto and The Dr. Phil Show. They are regularly quoted on radio, in newspapers and have been featured in magazines such as Good Housekeeping, People and Real Simple as well as profiled on Yahoo and MSNBC (more details here).

Their expertise encompasses helping families get out of debt; debt-free living; finding deals on almost every household expense; saving huge amounts of money on groceries; teaching kids to be financially independent; paying for college without student loans or debt.  

Steve and Annette’s interview style is down to earth and easy to understand. They’ll show you how they’ve done it, step-by-step, and how you can you too. If you follow their advice you’ll experience financial freedom, more money in the bank, debt-free living, better family times and lots more laughter.

Topics:

  • Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half - Without Extreme Couponing
  • Debt-Free College: Fantasy or Reality?
  • Get Right on the Money with America’s Cheapest Family
  • Raising Real Kids for the Real World
  • Teaching Kids About Money Isn’t Kids’ Stuff 
  • When is Enough . . . Enough – Finding Contentment Living Like a King

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E. Lee Felder, Jr., Major (Ret.), USAF, CM, SPHR
E. Lee Felder, Jr. is a homeschooling father of 9 for over 22 years and is an instructor/stewardship committee member for his local church, a Director of Human Resources for a school system, an Adjunct Professor for Houston-based San Jacinto College, a Texas A&M University Learning Assistant, and a primary reviewer for Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Honors Program.

Mr. Felder has served on several homeschool boards to include the Brazos Valley Christian Home Educator’s Association, the Aggieland Homeschool Association, and is a founding member of the National Black Homeschool Educators.  Homeschooling nationwide and overseas, Mr. Felder has been a member of numerous home education groups to include FEAST and is a current member of the Texas Home School Coalition.  He was ordained as a lay minister in the mid-80s, is a certified educator, and speaks at numerous local/national homeschool community and men’s discipleship events.

Consummate homeschoolers, Mr. Felder and his wife notably this year have two recent Texas A&M Business Marketing graduates (one in the Air Force), one at Sam Houston State University, and one entering Baylor University this fall.  A veteran U. S. Air Force officer and Bryan, Texas native, Mr. Felder’s two decade plus career included tours in Mississippi, Alabama, San Antonio, the Pentagon, Oklahoma, Greece (NATO), and at Baylor.  While on active duty, he was an Adjunct Professor for Webster University, UTSA, the University Southern Mississippi and University College/University Maryland.  Beyond the military, Mr. Felder was a Mays Business School Recruitment and Retention Program Coordinator/Lecturer and Texas A&M’s Associate Director of Human Resources/Texas Higher Education Resource Association board member. 

With a BS in education from Texas A&M and a MS in human resource management from Troy University, he’s a Senior Professional in Human Resources and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, a Salvation Army board, and the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators board.  Mr. Felder continues to support the U.S. Military on Congressman Bill Flores’ Service Academy Nomination Board.  

Topics:

  • Dog Days of Discipline

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Valerie Felder
United States Air Force Captain (veteran) Valerie Felder is a home schooling mother of 9 in the family’s school, the Vallee Christian Academy.  She is also President and CEO of VALSpeaks, a personal empowerment company providing expertise on matters pertaining to Family, Fitness and Focus.  In addition, she is a certified natural childbirth instructor and breastfeeding counselor as well as a communication skills trainer, writer, speaker, and nationally certified personal trainer.  Currently president of the City of Bryan Toastmasters club, Valerie trains students and adults in public speaking skills for effective communications.  Furthermore, she is founding member and on the board for the National Black Home Educators as well as being a seasoned speaker with the National Speaker Association.  

A native of Atlantic City, New Jersey and reared in Covert, Michigan, Valerie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Michigan and received a commission in the US Air Force.  She earned her Masters of Science in Personnel Management from Troy University while on active duty.  Her military duties were    largely headquarters assignments addressing technical training/education strategies for the Air Training Command.  Acknowledging her speaker acumen, Valerie functioned as a communicator on the Air Force Standard Systems Center Intermediate Headquarters briefing team.  She and her family have resided in various locations to include the Pentagon area in D.C to San Antonio, Texas; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Larissa, Greece. 

Valerie’s passion is being mother and teacher for her 9 children, now ranging in age from 7 to 25.   Currently in her 22nd year of home schooling, 4 children have graduated high school, with 2 earning business marketing degrees from Texas A&M University, one attending Sam Houston State University, and a fourth to attend Baylor University.  Having been a military family that relocated over 11 times in 23 years, she advises home school families facing challenges. 

Valerie is married to E. Lee Felder, Jr. of Bryan, Texas.  Their children are Eddie Lee III - currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Damani Bryant, Miriam Mariama, Valeria Ayanna,  Eann Arthur, Janaya Jessalyn,  Josias Hakeem,  Nikolos Elias, and Jubilee Rose.

Topics:

  • A Place Called Home
  • Out of Time at Daybreak!

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Doug Flanders
Dr. Doug Flanders graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School in 1992. After completing a residency in anesthesiology, he moved to Tyler, Texas, where he now serves as Chief of Staff for the region’s Level 1 Trauma Center.

When not at work, Doug enjoys spending his free time with his family, including his wife of twenty-six years, twelve children, and five grandsons. The Flanders' older kids, having already graduated from home school, are following their father into medical fields: one is in nursing school, two are in dental school, and one is in medical school. This can make for some harrowing conversations over the dinner table!

Doug enjoys writing whenever time allows. Drawing on his experience as a father, a physician, and an Army Reserve officer, he published his first fast-paced, family-friendly adventure novel, The Prodigy Project, in 2010.  You can read more from him at his blog, All Truth is God’s Truth.

Topics:

  • Five Essentials of Effective Fathering
  • Instilling a Life-Vision and Learning to Let Go
  • Twenty-five Ways to Show Love to Your Wife

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Jennifer Flanders
Jennifer Flanders holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Dallas Baptist University, where she met her husband in 1986. She completed two years of graduate work at Southern Methodist University in the same field before they began their family. As the mother of twelve, her specialty is (obviously) multiplication, but her educational background has also come in handy while teaching her children everything from counting to calculus.

Jennifer is passionate about strengthening marriages and encouraging families, and most of her writing is directed toward those goals. She is a popular speaker and has published several books, including 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband. Be sure to check out her blog (Loving Life at Home) where she writes about marriage and motherhood, or visit the family website (www.flandersfamily.info) for tips on homeschooling, organization, and saving money—plus lots of free printables. 

Topics:

  • Don't Stress Out: Help for the Harried Home School Mom
  • Target Practice: The Art of Setting Attainable Goals
  • Twenty-five Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband

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James R. Glenn is a teacher at heart who homeschooling his six children with wife Jennifer. He has studied and worked alongside families as a ministry program leader, mentor, speaker, author and counselor for the last 18 years. James has a unique presentation style that is sure to keep you engaged and As Midwest Regional Admissions Director for CollegePlus, he is able to pursue his passion of helping students make wise decisions, find their calling and become the best they can be.

Topics:

  • Equipping Your Child for a Focused Future
  • Guiding Your Child through Discovery, Direction and Decision

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Mary James lives in Bastrop, Texas, and is the mother of eight children. She began home schooling in 1989 and expects to be home schooling for many years to come. In 1999, Mary founded Smoothing the Way, a non-profit organization which seeks to meet the needs of new home schoolers. In addition to serving as president of Smoothing the Way, Mary serves on the Texas Home School Coalition Board of Directors and continues her popular speaking ministry at several home school conferences each year. In her workshops, Mary draws not only from her personal experience as a homeschooling mom, but also from her many years of working with those families new to this lifestyle. Speaking from her heart with warmth and humor, she encourages her listeners to face the often daunting task of educating their children at home. For more information, visit www.smoothingtheway.com.

Topics:

  • Top Ten Homeschooling Myths
  • Understanding Your Child
  • Which Way Do I Go?

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Lyndsay Lambert
Lyndsay Lambert, a graduate of Texas Tech University, home schooled her four now-grown children for sixteen years. She has assisted Tim, her husband of more than forty years, in serving the home school community, first in helping to start and lead their local support group and then, from 1990 to 2013, in running the Texas Home School Coalition, the statewide organization committed to serving and protecting Texas home schoolers. She retired in 2013 to have more time to be a grandmother to her five grandchildren and to be the “older woman” that she believes God has called her to be. Check out her blog, www.FromAnOlderWoman.com.

Topics:

  • Confessions of an Organizationally Challenged Home School Mom
  • Home Schooling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Tim Lambert
Tim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition, has been involved in home school leadership in Texas since 1984. He and his wife Lyndsay taught their four now-grown children at home for sixteen years, graduating the last two in 2000.

As the head of the state organization for the leading home school state in the country, he is recognized as an authority on home education issues in Texas. In this capacity, he has testified before numerous Texas legislative committees on issues related to home schooling. He often deals with state government agencies, including the Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, on home education issues and has served as an expert witness on home education in a number of court cases. He has often addressed such conferences as the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers on the topic.

Tim holds a BA in political science from Texas Tech University and is active in the political arena, having served eight years as Republican National Committeeman for Texas. He is dedicated to serving the home school community and protecting the fundamental constitutional right of parents to direct the care, control and upbringing of their children.

Topics:

  • Home Schooling and the Law - Know Your Rights, Protect Your Freedom
  • Restoring Parental Rights in Texas: A Hands-on Opportunity for Good Citizenship

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Dave Nutting is the Co-founder and Director of Alpha Omega Institute. He is currently spearheading a 1-year specialized gap-year and beyond Discover Creation Training Institute meant to fortify students with the Truth as well as equip, and send out students, into creation and apologetics ministry. He is a former evolutionist who "evolved" into a creationist after studying the scientific issues. Dave has been giving creation seminars at churches, universities, public and private schools and homeschool conferences for 30+ years, with audiences ranging from young children to groups of medical students and doctors. He holds M.S. degrees in mathematics and geology and has taught both on the high school and college level. Dave is noted for his understandable, non-abrasive, down-to-earth teaching style, and high-quality visuals that make programs easy to understand even for children. Dave & his wife, Mary Jo, are veteran homeschoolers.

Topics:

  • A Creationist Tour of Our National Parks: Time is Not the Hero of the Plot!
  • It's a War Out There: The Battle For Our Children's Hearts and Minds
  • Lessons from Nature
  • Refuting Compromise

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Shelia Pradia
How do you instill a passion for learning in your children? Shelia Pradia, a veteran homeschool mother with over 25 years of teaching experience, will share some of the ways she raised her children to be voracious readers, with a variety of interests including music, education, journalism, computer technology, wildlife management, emergency medicine and midwifery, to name a few. Shelia will tell you how she encouraged her childrens' interests by surrounding them with mentors who were passionate about their areas of expertise and how she taught her children to see learning as an adventure. Join Shelia as she talks about practical steps for building a healthy educational environment, in any home, where your children will be encouraged to grow and blossom. She and her husband, Tony, a retired Air Force Lt Colonel, have been married for 32 years, and God has blessed them with 9 children, aged 9-28, one handsome son-in-law, and one beautiful grandson, born in April.

Topics:

  • Instilling a Love of Learning in Your Children

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Krisa Winn holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Arkansas State University, and an associate’s degree in Practical Theology from Christ for the Nations Institute. For more than 20 years, she has been a classroom teacher in both the private Christian school and public school settings. She has also worked as a private tutor and early childhood intervention specialist. Throughout her career, she has had many opportunities to work with children with various special needs, and loves helping children and parents discover the key to unlocking the door to learning. Krisa joined the HSLDA family in 2012. Besides teaching young children, Krisa enjoys singing, playing piano, leading worship, blogging and taking walks. After almost 23 years of marriage, Krisa and her husband were blessed with the birth of their first child, Grace. Three years later, their second miracle baby, Karis Joy, was born. Krisa, Byron, Gracie and Karis make their home in Winchester, VA.   

Topics:

  • Developing and Drafting SEPs (Student Education Plans)
  • Keeping Perspective on Progress,
  • Tackling Tricky High School Issues: Practical Help and Guidance for Homeschooling High School Students with Special Needs
  • Teaching Struggling Learners At Home: Nuts and Bolts for Success

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