Dauphin Island, a beautiful autumn day, a room full of enthusiastic school administrators, Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters providing the latest update from Montgomery, a chance to make new acquaintances and enjoy some good fellowship, well, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
It was a day packed with important information, especially from our homeschool-friendly representatives on the state Board of Education (BOE). At this very moment, my wife, Debbie is at her computer transcribing the information presented by Stephanie and Betty. It should find its way onto the CHEF webpage soon. For me personally, it was a chance to introduce myself to administrators from across the state. It was a particular honor to have had Arne’ Williams and Wayne and Connie Atchison in attendance, three of the founding board members for CHEF. Yes, I will admit to some intimidation. Like many of those in attendance, Deb and I have been administrators of our group for a long time, 24 years to be exact, so we’ve seen and been through a lot. Not easily intimidated. Yet, knowing that Arne’, Connie and Wayne were trailblazers for the rest of us, meeting with lawyers and legislators to pound out a workable solution for homeschoolers in Alabama certainly brought on a fresh appreciation for their dedication and efforts.
This is what made this Administrators meeting so very significant. The state BOE is at it again, attempting to meddle and manipulate their way into private education. This past summer’s attempt by the BOE to regulate non-public schools caused a ripple effect among homeschoolers, Christian school and private educators across the state. It was like a call to arms. Our weapons of choice: veteran homeschool administrators, teaming with private schools and Christian schools, a powerful legal team from here in the state and HSLDA, and homeschool-friendly BOE members. The challenge was met and defeated but, as Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters warned at the meeting, it is not over. We will need to remain vigilant.
A special thanks to those who were able to attend this past Administrators meeting. Many of you drove long distances to be there. We are inspired by your sacrifice and commitment. There are plans to have another meeting in the north Alabama area, currently shooting for the February time frame. Details to come, so be watching the CHEF webpage.
Speaking of the webpage, we hope to have a new one up and running soon. New design and viewer-friendly. I only hope that it doesn’t crash due to overwhelming traffic! (insert winky face here)
God’s peace to you,
Recently, Deb and I had the opportunity to attend both the National Alliance of Christian Home Educational Leadership (NACHEL) conference and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) conference. Both conferences were in Maryland, just a few miles down the road from each other. NACHEL's conference began Sunday evening, September 22 and finished up on Wednesday at lunch. HSLDA's conference began that evening and concluded on Saturday night, September 28. That's right, folks. Seven straight days of attending workshops, townhall meetings and inspirational worship services. Add to that the opportunity to meet homeschool leaders from across the country and to rub shoulders with pioneers of the movement and you begin to get an idea of what our week was like. Rumor had it that the two resort areas we stayed at were fantastic and would be great places for a vacation. I'll try to remember that the next time I go to Maryland for a vacation!
I titled this article, "Taking On The Impossible", for a couple of reasons. First, having been elected CHEF President last October was unexpected and unplanned. I was preparing for retirement after 30 plus years with the Air Force and the Air National Guard. Time to take it easy for a while. Plus, who in their right mind would want to follow in Rusty Tate's footsteps, CHEF's prior President? Cool, calm, caring, charming and charismatic. (Sounds like a nice 5 point sermon!). I felt like I was taking on the impossible. Secondly, HSLDA President Michael Smith, titled one of his messages, "Why Take On The Impossible". He covered everything from the beginning of the homeschool movement in America up to the current battles that we face, not only as homeschoolers but as American citizens. An out-of-control federal government. Internal and external threats to homeschooling. An impossible situation! You can see where I'm heading with this, right? Right. II Corinthians 12:9, "...My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." He's got this. He's not hiding in some dark closet in Heaven, wringing His hands together and saying, "Wow! I didn't see this coming. What'll I do now?" Again, He's got this.
So, as we continue on as sojourners here on earth, fighting the good (seemingly impossible) fight, it's a good time to remind ourselves of God's sovereignty. "Thou dost keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee." Isaiah 26:3
Ron Landry, CHEF President