Over a span of twenty years, Jeanne Faulconer served VaHomeschoolers in several capacities, as a writer/editor/photographer, popular speaker, and board member. She began writing articles for the VHEA/VaHomeschoolers Newsletter and went on to become the editor for over six years, continuing to contribute articles and photography as well. Under her leadership in 2008, the black-and-white folded paper was replaced by a journal-style publication using offset printing in shades of blue, and the title was changed to VaHomeschoolers Voice. In 2011 it evolved into a full-color glossy magazine. At the time the new title was adopted, Jeanne adamantly requested that the magazine should never be referred to in conversation or in print as THE VaHomeschoolers Voice but rather just as VaHomeschoolers Voice, or Voice, out of respect for the fact that homeschoolers have many voices, many diverse perspectives. Under her influence, the publication maintained high standards of professionalism and reflected the organization’s inclusive values. She insisted that the photographs in the magazine always be authentic photos of homeschoolers, never “stock” photos, because she knew that members of VaHomeschoolers truly are diverse and truly do embrace a wide variety of approaches to learning, and therefore she had faith that there would be a continuing supply of photos available to prove it!
During the same time that she was editor of Voice, she also served on VaHomeschoolers Board of Directors for four years, and occasionally attended board meetings for years afterward.
Jeanne employed her talents as a writer to bring homeschooling issues to the attention of the public. For example, she authored op-ed articles published in various newspapers including Richmond Times Dispatch, promoting the idea that many states have successfully opened public school systems to homeschoolers who want to take certain classes or participate in sports. She effectively argued against the concept that homeschoolers have to be “all-in or all-out” when it comes to public education. Jeanne also wrote a significant part of the content on the VaHomeschoolers website as well as contributing photography, and assisted with the website renovation in 2012.
VaHomeschoolers is occasionally asked to provide someone to be interviewed by journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio, or television. With a degree in communications and experience as a news correspondent, Jeanne for many years was the “go-to” spokesperson for VaHomeschoolers, representing the organization in her articulate, professional, engaging manner. She even on one occasion permitted her family to be the subject of an article in Time Magazine, about sports access for homeschoolers. She has spoken to businesses, civic and political groups, and to Virginia lawmakers about homeschooling issues.
For over 20 years, Jeanne has been a popular speaker at the annual VaHomeschoolers Conference. In addition, she helped with conference preparations such as recruiting speakers. She also spoke at VaHomeschoolers seminars and coffee chats all over the state of Virginia. When the 2020 conference was cancelled due to the pandemic, she helped the organization by taking part in a series of virtual seminars. During her years of volunteering for VaHomeschoolers, Jeanne has greatly elevated the level of service provided to homeschoolers throughout the state.