Volunteer Spotlight on Jeanne Faulconer

Photo courtesy of Maggie Selph Moore

“She was the spark that ignited the flame.”

 

Jeanne Faulconer of Stanardsville is widely known as a writer and speaker on homeschooling issues, and she has devoted most of her homeschooling life to VaHomeschoolers.

“Are there enough superlatives to adequately describe her?” asks Theresa Munt, current board member. “VaHomeschoolers is lucky to have many great people working for the advancement of the organization. Jeanne is right up there among the most capable and effective.

“Jeanne’s all about finding solutions. She’s optimistic. She’s a great and conscientious communicator. In the midst of huge projects, pressing deadlines, and being pulled in many directions, Jeanne always manages to have a positive attitude. Jeanne is so generous with her time and her caring–caring about the organization, the issues, and the people she associates with.”

Jeanne has worn many hats during her long years of service with VaHomeschoolers. Besides serving as a board member, she has been the featured speaker at our events, and she drafted a handbook for planning future conferences. For a long time, Jeanne was VaHomeschoolers Voice’s editor-in-chief and helped transition it from a black and white newsletter to a single-tone journal to a full color magazine, as it stands today. One of her greatest contributions has been how well Jeanne represents VaHomeschoolers in the press, giving interviews to journalists of all stripes and even being featured in TIME magazine!

“Jeanne is the top reason I decided to join the VaHomeschoolers Board of Directors several years ago,” writes Karen Phaup. “I still remember the first time I heard her speak at a VaHomeschoolers conference years and years ago. I remember leaving her session feeling so inspired and comforted knowing that my homeschool could be successful even if it didn’t look like a traditional school environment. She was the spark that ignited the flame for me to do schooling differently. I had wanted to do so, but didn’t have the courage until I heard her speak about unschooling. What was so helpful was that she had actual success stories (her older sons) that she could share that gave me the encouragement I  needed. VaHomeschoolers has found a gem in Jeanne and I feel privileged to know her and be able to work beside her.”

Government Affairs Director Amy Wilson agrees: “Jeanne has been an anchor and an inspiration to me since I first began thinking about homeschooling. The first time I heard her speak, she made me feel like I could do this. Jeanne also has a nuanced understanding of the broader homeschooling landscape, politically and socially, that never ceases to amaze me.”

Volunteer Coordinator Ann Clay says, “The first VaHomeschoolers conference I attended featured Jeanne as speaker. I was blown away that this organization could provide such a professional presenter. It was several years before I realized that Jeanne was actually a longtime Virginian and a member of the organization. I had thought she was some professional speaker who had been hired from out of state. She’s one of the main reasons this organization comes off as being so professional, especially in our publications and other communications.”

VaHomeschoolers Vice President Leslie Nathaniel says, “I first read some of Jeanne’s articles in parenting magazines when my older daughter was a tiny infant; those articles brought me much comfort in the those early days as our family began our journey down the less-traveled path of a home-centered life. As that same daughter approached school age, I began to seek out home education resources and was delighted to recognize Jeanne’s name in the VaHomeschoolers magazine (back then, our organization was called VHEA and the magazine was a newsletter). Jeanne’s words helped me have the confidence to begin this homeschooling journey that has so enriched our family.

“Jeanne’s support and work for VaHomeschoolers encouraged me to add my own labor to help support and grow this organization that offers so much to Virginia’s homeschooling families,” Leslie continues. “Jeanne brings her intelligence, good cheer, wisdom, common sense, inclusive spirit, and leadership to everything she does. Her efforts as editor were instrumental in bringing our original newsletter to the high-quality, full-color, full-size magazine it is today. Her sessions at our conferences are among the most sought-out and people leave those sessions feeling inspired and encouraged. Her professional skills have helped shape VaHomeschoolers into an organization that can help to support, empower, and protect the many Virginia families that chose home education. Working with Jeanne is a delight and I always discover I have learned something of value for myself and for the organization.”

VaHomeschoolers president Parrish Mort concludes, “Jeanne is a tremendous asset to VAHomeschoolers. She brings 17 years of experience homeschooling in three states, a passion for homeschooling and supporting others, and an ability to engage and educate everyone from prospective homeschoolers to skeptics to reporters.

“As Voice editor, she took the publication from a black and white newsletter being produced by four people to a full color magazine with a staff of writers, copy editors, associate editors, feature editors and more. It is through her nurturing and ability to inspire others to give that she was able to make such remarkable changes in just a few years. Thanks to Jeanne, VaHomeschoolers can now boast to having one of the best (if not the best) written and designed homeschooling magazines in the country.”

So here’s kudos to you, Jeanne! You’re very much appreciated and loved. VaHomeschoolers would never be today what it is without you.

 

We need more people like Jeanne (or even just a tiny bit like her)! Do you have a simple skill, something you really enjoy doing? You’d be surprised at how much you can help us out, even by volunteering only an hour here and there. Please email Volunteers@VaHomeschoolers.org for more information. Please check our volunteers page and scroll down to the Help Wanted listings at http://vahomeschoolers.org/volunteer/.

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