HEMS 2017 Speakers

HEMS 2017 Speakers

Stephen Michaels


A homeschool dad of three beautiful children, Stephen has a passion for history and has a reputation for amazing workshops that bring history to life. Currently employed as the Director of Children’s Ministries at Stoneridge Fellowship Church, Stephen has taught in the homeschool and public/private school environments.

Stephanie Jackson


Stephanie and her husband Jeff reside in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia.  Their family has been homeschooling since 1998.  Three of their children have graduated from their homeschool and two are still at home finishing up junior and senior high. Stephanie has always developed an eclectic curriculum and is excited to watch as it grows and changes to meet the needs of each of her children.  Stephanie is the Executive Director of HEMS:helping, encouraging, mentoring, serving, and has had several opportunities to participate in the HSLDA National Leadership Conference and has worked with the Department of Education Regional Education Office to help protect the rights of home educators in Nova Scotia. Stephanie has had the privilege of meeting and learning from some very experienced homeschool leaders across North America and loves to share her passion for inspiring and encouraging families.

Kristen Habermehl

kristenKristen is a homeschooling mom of five beautiful kids. Having recently graduated her oldest, she find herself more passionate and committed the the value and vital role that homeschooling has had in their family. Sharing from simple life experience, she loves to relate to moms of all stages. 

Colleen Bowman


Colleen Bowman is an Early Childhood Educator who holds her degree in Child and Youth Study from MSVU. She has been teaching preschool for 20 years. Currently she is the director and owner of The Learning Club Preschool,  a part-day programs she teaches in her Dartmouth home.
She and her husband, Kevin have been home educating their two children for the past seven years.

Gizelle Alant

Gizelle and her husband Jacob have been homeschooling their four energetic, fun-loving kids for the last 13 years.   With a background in medicine and education, Gizelle started homeschooling in South Africa, before relocating to Saskatchewan, Canada in 2006.    In June 2015, their family moved to Halifax from Calgary, Alberta where they resided for 8 years. Through the process of immigration, and living in 3 provinces in a relatively short time, homeschooling was a lifesaver. Teaching children with diverse learning styles and abilities encouraged Gizelle to investigate homeschooling options other than set, boxed curriculum. She succeeded in building an eclectic learning program to fit the individual, unique needs of their children, and their family’s lifestyle.

Laurie Purim

Angela Smith is the Operations Manager for HSLDA Canada and is passionate about supporting homeschooling families. Angela and her husband, Calvin, have three grown children whom she thoroughly enjoyed homeschooling. Angela embraced the challenges of being a busy homeschool mother and also worked with her son who is gifted and borderline Aspergers, with a Non-Verbal Learning Disorder. Angela’s previous work experience and education shows a real heart for serving others, beginning with her work with special needs kids when she was fourteen. Her vast experience includes working in a preschool, in group homes for at-risk youth, with young mothers in needs of shelter and support, and in financial administration for her husband’s business, and with HSLDA.

Peter Lindsay

Peter Lindsay serves homeschooling families as an evaluator and High School Administrator with Tree of Life.  He has been teaching and tutoring in science, math, literature, and writing for ten years first in public schools and, after discovering Christian and classical education, in the homeschooling field.  In the last few years, he has facilitated online discussion-based courses in the Great Books.  Peter and his wife Niki are raising and homeschooling their three children (2, 5, 7) in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he also serves in his church.

Melanie Ryan

Truly living her dream, Melanie enjoys creating, researching, playing and learning with family and friends.
As a child, Melanie’s parents were discouraged by her brothers’ lack of progress in reading and enlisted her help. This success inspired Melanie to complete a bachelor’s degree at StFX and pursue a BEd.
She is a firm believer that God re-directed her path to start a family instead of pursuing a career in teaching. Briefly working in public school as an educational assistant was an eye-opener that influenced her to consider homeschooling early on. Melanie and her husband Mark are blessed with three unique sons who have both disabilities and giftedness.  They are passionate about discovering and following their God-given talents into the life He has prepared.







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