For more than a decade, Stephanie Elms served VaHomeschoolers as Website Administrator and was instrumental in the redesign of www.vahomeschoolers.org in 2012. For over eleven years, she regularly contributed articles and photography to what began as VHEA/VaHomeshoolers Newsletter and then transformed into a full-color magazine VaHomeschoolers Voice. Stephanie served on the VaHomeschoolers Board of Directors for more than ten years, first holding the office of Secretary and later as Vice President for much of that time.
In addition to writing website content, Stephanie took a lead role in communication via the
VaHomeschoolers Email Announcement List. She publicized events like seminars and conferences, and disseminated important information such as updates on homeschooling legislation.
Stephanie was a well-known speaker, conveying her empathy for those who were just starting out on their homeschool journey or struggling to choose whether to begin. Her talks on “Beginning Homeschooling” and “What Do I Do on Monday?” became the traditional opening day sessions for each annual VaHomeschoolers Conference for over ten years. She spoke at seminars hosted by VaHomeschoolers and also at events put on by regional homeschooling groups throughout Virginia. She gave generously of her time to answer questions individually as well, staffing the VaHomeschoolers exhibit booth at regional homeschool resource fairs, and also taking turns with other volunteers answering the VaHomeschoolers toll-free telephone helpline.
In addition to her roles as speaker and writer, Stephanie supported VaHomeschoolers in ways that were less visible also, but every bit as important. For over ten years, she was a generous financial contributor. She also used her I.T. experience to implement ways for organization volunteers spread across the state to work efficiently together online, such as central data storage and document-sharing.
When not directly representing VaHomeschoolers, Stephanie’s hobbies reflected her passion for homeschooling. Back in the days when blogs were just becoming popular, she began a widely read personal blog Throwing Marshmallows, and was a contributing author to the Life Without School blog. For several years she moderated the homeschooling email list, VaEclecticHS. Posting on various national email lists (ancient form of social media), Stephanie encouraged those who were considering homeschooling, and promoted VaHomeschoolers as a resource. More recently, she was a moderator for VaHomeschoolers Facebook community for five years.
For the past 20 years, Stephanie has been an engaging and empathetic ambassador for homeschooling. She has given her time, talent, and spirit to make VaHomeschoolers an effective source of support for Virginians who want to homeschool.