Category Archives: 2013 Speakers
Erin’s introduction to grammar came in eighth grade when she had her mother, Robin Finley, for language arts. She was Erin Finley then! She learned grammar using Robin’s Analytical Grammar program and to that she attributes her thorough understanding of the subject. She had an active-duty career as an Air Force officer, where her grammar knowledge helped her produce an award-winning base newspaper. After entering the Air Force Reserves, she used the GI Bill to get her teaching credential. Following in her mom’s footsteps, she taught middle school language arts for a few years and used Analytical Grammar with great success in her classroom. She began helping her mother with the company in 2009 and has since co-written some of their newer material. Robin has since passed away; Erin now runs the company and stays home with her children. Helping home teachers streamline their language arts plans is her passion.
Marie Ballard-Blakemore has worked with hundreds of homeschooling families to set up their children for success in education. Coming from a family who homeschools because of an unshakeable devotion to their religious beliefs, she has experience with overcoming the obstacles of ignorance and misunderstanding. She has two siblings with special needs, who have flourished in the untraditional public school setting.
Kevin Spencer is widely considered one of the leading authorities on arts integration in education, especially for those with learning challenges. His ground-breaking research has been published in numerous international education journals including the JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION. His presentations at education conferences around the world have been enthusiastically received. He is adjunct faculty at the University of Alabama in Birmingham concentrating in research, continuing education, and providing parents and educators with tools to motivate and engage their students in learning.
Andrew Pudewa is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills. Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan (Suzuki Method) and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.”
He and his beautiful, heroic wife Robin are parents of seven, grandparents of four, and educators of their two youngest children at home in Oklahoma’s Green Country.