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Conference Speakers

Kelli Christenberry



Kelli has been involved in the Charlotte Mason Community for over 15 years. She currently facilitates the Peoria area Charlotte Mason Study Group and enjoys studying and discussing those vitalizing ideas on education and life.  She is also privileged to be involved in a few Charlotte Mason Institute projects and is excited about all the research, development, training and support that CMI brings to our communities! She has a passion for sharing the beauty and breadth of ideas in a Mason educational approach with others through speaking, mentoring, consulting, and supporting educators.  Through God’s abundant grace, her children were home educated through high school graduation and are currently university undergraduate or graduate students.  In her studies over the last few years, she has been encouraged and challenged to consider the magnitude of this relational education, ‘a liberal education for all’, that Mason aims to place before children with ‘minds astonishingly alert’.


Nancy Elliott



Nancy Elliott was introduced to Charlotte Mason by a friend while her eldest son was still a toddler.  She and her husband fell in love with Mason's philosophy and decided to educate all three of their sons at home.  Though not always an easy road, the past nine years of homeschooling have been deeply enriching and highly rewarding for her boys, her husband and herself.  After being inspired at the CMI conference in 2014, Plutarch has developed into a beloved subject and is one of her favorites to teach in the Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Co-Op she is a part of in Los Angeles.  


Naomi Goegan



Naomi Goegan is a homeschooling mom who lives with her husband and four children in Mission Viejo, California. Naomi has been homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method for ten years and has facilitated a Charlotte Mason reading and discussion group in Orange County for eight years. Naomi also serves as an Auxiliary member for AmblesideOnline.com and blogs at www.livingcminca.blogspot.com


Shannon Goods



Shannon Goods was formerly a high school chemistry teacher, who found the answers she was searching for about education in the philosophy of Charlotte Mason.  She now homeschools her three children in the Los Angeles area and is passionate about sharing Charlotte Mason’s ideas with others.  She hosts a monthly discussion group and helped to begin a Charlotte Mason co-op that has now been going strong for three years.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, knitting, spending time in nature, and learning Latin.

Nancy Kelly



Nancy Kelly lives in a little town on the prairie called Windom, Minnesota. She and her husband Kent have home-educated their six children for over 20 years using the principles and practices of Charlotte Mason. Nancy has helped build a thriving educational community in southwest Minnesota that continues to learn and grow.  She administrates the Parents’ Midwest Educational Union (PMEU), a parents’ book discussion group; Truth, Beauty, Goodness (TBG), a student learning cooperative; the teacher-training Awakening sessions; and the Living Education Retreat, now in its 12th year of sharing and spreading the ideas of Charlotte Mason.  Speaking, consulting, and mentoring are three of her favorite things to do. A trip with Kent and dear friends to Ambleside, England in 2014 forever changed her understanding of Mason’s teacher training and deepened her love for Mason’s relational philosophy.  She is a current board member of the Charlotte Mason Institute and writes at her CM-inspired blog, Sage Parnassus. Her newest project, Living Education Lessons, is an online mentoring community.  She enjoys family, 'bright eyes', flower gardening, collecting vintage honeypots, exploring the flora and fauna of new places, and of course...books. You can contact her at kellynk@msn.com.


Dick Keyes



Dick is the Director of L’Abri Fellowship in Southborough, MA, where he has worked with his wife, Mardi, since 1979.  He holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University and an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.  Dick worked for L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and England, where he also served as a pastor in the International Presbyterian Church in London.  He has been an adjunct professor at Gordon Conwell Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary, and is the author of several books, including Beyond Identity, True Heroism, Chameleon Christianity and Seeing Through Cynicism.  He has also contributed chapters in anthologies such as No God but God and Finding God at Harvard.

Art Middlekauff



Art and his wife have been home educating their three children for more than a decade. Over this time, Art has been studying Charlotte Mason's writings and attempting to apply her living ideas to his family's homeschool. In this course of time Art has written several essays about Charlotte Mason's theology and philosophy which have been published in the two volumes of Essays on the Life and Work of Charlotte Mason, published by Riverbend Press. Art also blogs regularly about Mason's theory of education at CharlotteMasonPoetry.org. Art walks in Mason’s theological tradition as a member of an Anglican church near Detroit, Michigan. Outside of the home, Art leads product engineering for a Chicago-based software company.

Andy Smith



Over the decades, Andy’s work outside the home has included teaching English as a Second Language to adults, training children and adults with vision problems to get around their communities, planning CM conferences, and helping with curriculum. Her work with visually impaired students from preschool to high school took her into regular and special ed classrooms in 20 or more school divisions in three states. Seeing so many kids disengaged and bored with work sheets, she would come home and groan to husband Carroll how much an educational revolution was needed. She is so thankful the ideas and methods of Charlotte Mason are gaining wider acceptance and practice. During her children’s younger years, Andy tried to homeschool her two children with CM methods but, to her overwhelming disappointment, found that “air traffic controlling” all those layers were beyond her personal limits.  At the time, she did not understand her attention deficit issues, and knows how dealing with executive function deficits can be mistakenly attributed to moral failure. When she started exploring attention issues, because she did not fit the typical profile generally understood at that time, she was told by a special education teacher, “You can’t be ADD because you have a master’s degree.”  So she began self-educating by reading everything she could find on ADD and in her 40s God brought her insightful, competent people who understood attention deficit disorder to help her make radical, life nourishing changes.  Introduced to a relationship with Christ in college, Andy is grateful to God for the tremendous stability and blessing that walking with Christ has brought to all of life. In learning to steward the neurochemistry she has been given, Andy is also grateful to God for the added blessings that understanding and applying executive function strategies bring.


Dr. Carroll Smith



Dr. Carroll Smith was introduced to Charlotte Mason many years ago through Mason’s book An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education.  From there the seeds of ideas given by Mason in her various books have slowly taken hold and have grown year by year as Carroll worked as a middle school teacher, a principal and a college professor.  He founded the educational nonprofit, The Charlotte Mason Institute, to promote the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason and cherishes the relationships that have gown over the years through a collective camaraderie with people interested in seeing education from a very different paradigm.  He enjoys reading, gardening and discussing ideas with friends.  He and his wife, Andra live in Roanoke, VA.


Dr. Jennifer Spencer



Dr. Jennifer Spencer has been an educator for eighteen years in public, private, and home schools. She obtained an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, a masters in Elementary Education, and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She was lucky enough in 2009 to be part of the team that digitized the Mason archives for the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection. In 2011, she helped found Willow Tree Community School in Shelby, NC, where she worked as teacher and principal for four years. Jen currently works from home as an independent education consultant, researcher, and sometimes-blogger at Cuppa with Jen. In the past she has served on the Board of Directors at the Charlotte Mason Institute. Jen enjoys hiking, reading, and supporting her two children in their musical endeavors. She lives in Gaffney, SC with her husband, Wes, the kids, Drew and Marley, and one sweet, spoiled, and ill-mannered lapdog, Buddy.


Amber Vanderpol




Amber is a mother to six children, ages 15, 11, 8, 5, 3 and a baby on the way.  She has homeschooled from the beginning, but began following Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy of Education about six years ago.  Amber particularly enjoys rambling outdoors with her kids, reading worthwhile books, backpacking, and a variety of handcrafts.  Amber and her family live on 10 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in a home she and her husband largely built by themselves.  She blogs about her homeschool and Mother Culture at Flare of Light. http://flareoflight.blogspot.com


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