The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers is governed by an all volunteer Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Directors are elected annually by the VaHomeschoolers membership and serve a term of two years.
2016 Board of Directors
Karen Skelton, Annandale – President Karen was reelected to a second term. She currently serves as president of the board and as director of Government Affairs. She oversees production of Voice magazine in the role of publisher, is a Helpline respondent, and fields requests from the media. Karen feels that serving on the board gives her the opportunity to give back to an organization that has an important mission and is of such great value to homeschoolers in Virginia. She pays it forward through helping to recruit, mentor, and manage new volunteers for the long-term sustainability of the organization. Her two children are homeschooled graduates, now in their early 20s, who were grateful for the experience, and who recommend homeschooling to others without hesitation.
DeeDee Sauter, Catlett – Vice President Newly reelected to a second term, first joined the board of directors in 2014. She is serving in three major roles, all a far cry from her many years in the field of nursing: vice president of the board, chair of the annual conference, and overall financial director. DeeDee is deeply committed to the inclusive mission of VaHomeschoolers, to providing a valuable conference each year, and to ensuring that homeschoolers across the state have the support and resources they need. She has been homeschooling her two sons since 2011 and is the new proud mama to a brood of Golden Comet hens.
Lisa Jones, Carson – Secretary Was appointed in October 2015 to fill a board vacancy and the officer position of secretary. Within two months she became a committed conference supporter, offering her assistance wherever it was needed. She is wellknown as someone who has a way of coloring outside the lines and doing whatever it takes to get a job done, be it procuring projectors, delivering frozen yogurt, or serving as the master of ceremonies for a talent show. Lisa is an Army veteran; a government background investigator; a wife; the mother of two amazing girls; and the servant to her three cats, two dogs, and eight accidental goats. She brings a sense of humor and sarcasm to her duties on the board and enjoys being part of the larger team.
Jean Byrd, Alexandria Joined VaHomeschoolers after finding it via an Internet search and appreciating the wealth of information provided. She soon volunteered to assist with maintaining and updating the website. When she and her family attended their first conference, she knew she wanted to be further involved in helping the organization. A year later, she ran for the board of directors, and began her first term in January 2014. She has applied her extensive technical background to meeting the organization’s other online needs, which include the conference website and registration system, membership database system, and new website hosting. Jean volunteers her time and expertise to VaHomeschoolers because she feels it provides essential information and resources—for those who are homeschooling and also for those just thinking about it and filled with questions. She resides in Alexandria with her husband and two children, ages 4 and 6.
Kathryn Ridings, Crozet Has been homeschooling with her three children—all teens now—in central Virginia for 12 years. She is amazed at the wonderful opportunities and experiences that homeschooling allows in each stage of a child’s development. And she is grateful for the many ways that homeschooling has been a positive and influential part of her family’s life. Kathy was elected to the board in January 2014, and oversees our Regional Coordinator program. She looks forward to continuing to serve in the coming year and assisting VaHomeschoolers in its important work of supporting and advocating for homeschoolers in Virginia.
Robin Martin, Annandale Was appointed to fill a board vacancy in April 2016. She was already wellknown to the board via her position as coordinator for VaHomeschoolers Helpline, where she manages an amazing team of helpers who advise homeschoolers across the state with all manner of homeschooling issues. Previously, Robin was an editor and author for the VaHomeschoolers blog, “Connections.” Robin homeschooled her son from elementary school through high school graduation this past May. She has taught physical science, biology, chemistry, and environmental science at home and in their academic co-op. She has also been an active member in her local homeschool group. She is an advocate for child-led, passion-based learning who brings her love of learning, organizational skills, and an understanding of how kids learn to VaHomeschoolers.
Tricia Wankum is also newly elected to the board. She has served as our Vendor Keyleader for both the 2015 and 2016 conferences. Tricia’s background is in political fundraising, both at the national and local levels. After growing up with learning disabilities, she has embraced homeschooling her own children, who are ages 9, 7, and 3. She loves the relaxed lifestyle that has allowed her children the space to thrive and to learn at their own unique paces. Tricia is looking forward to serving the VaHomeschoolers community as a board member as well as a key conference volunteer.
Stephanie Jones-Carlson, another new board member, also came to VaHomeschoolers by way of many late nights spent searching for information about homeschooling as an alternative to the public and charter schools her family had tried. It was not long before those searches led to VaHomeschoolers, which became her goto source for accurate information and support. As a result, she feels that VaHomeschoolers offers a critical and necessary lifeline, and she has taken on the role of Helpdesk Manager to provide that lifeline to others. Stephanie truly enjoys talking about homeschooling with anyone who is interested; as a board member she looks forward to being able to represent our positive, inclusive organization to the public. She homeschools her children, ages 8 and 5, and is foster mom to a rotation of aging or ill dogs.