Jerry and Susan Chrisman of Piedmont, OK, have been homeschooling since 1985. They have five children and two grandsons. Jerry has been helping churches develop their worship ministries since 1972. He is an ordained minister, song-writer, and soloist, currently attending Crossings Community Church in OKC with his family. Jerry owns Chrisman Foam Products, a family business, which manufactures surgical positioning foams and other innovative foam products, and is a sales representative for Master Packaging. Susan co-directs a Charlotte Mason discussion group in OKC. She owns Lifelong Learners, a resource service company, and is a popular speaker across the state. She has recently published a homeschool resource called The Practical Planner for Home Education which is available through her website www.lifelonglearnersonline.com.
Lloyd and Heather Grissom of Oklahoma City are pleased to serve Oklahoma home educators as board members of OCHEC. They have nine children. They began their learning adventures at home in 1998 and utilize a literature-based curriculum. Lloyd’s career is in retail management, and he enjoys fishing and sports. Heather manages their home and enjoys gardening, reading, and cooking. They practice a lifestyle of learning through various activities and the practical side of managing a large family. The close-knit Grissoms are also known for their Monopoly marathons and backyard camp-outs.
Marcus & Lois Hulings of Oklahoma City homeschooled two of their three sons. Marcus is a caterer and home remodeler and has taught Financial Peace for the Next Generation as a homeschool co-op high school class. Lois is a full-time secretary at their church, Immanuel Lutheran.
Fred and Cindy Nicolai took the responsibility of educating their children at home 1996. Fred farms the land his great-grandparents homestead in 1893 during one of the Oklahoma land lotteries. He is also president of a corporation serving the oil and gas industry. Cindy serves her home in the role of Director of Domestic Affairs, and serves OCHEC in the role of Capitol Day Coordinator and works with legislative issues. She also travels as a workshop speaker to local support groups and conventions both in Oklahoma and other states. Fred and Cindy organized a local support group and directed it for 13 years. They retired from the support group during their youngest daughter's senior year to focus on her. They have 3 wonderful children, which all graduated from their homeschool. Fred and Cindy have been empty nesters for three years and have added two amazing sons-in-law to their family and are awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild.
Sam and Tina Oliphant of Oklahoma City have been married for 14 years. They have five children: Shea (35), Lauren (30), Taylor (26), Addison (14), and Kamryn (7). Tina and Sam also enjoy their first grandchild, grandson Jude (2 years old). They have been home educating for nine years. Sam is a developmental optometrist and specializes in children with vision-related learning problems. Tina is an occupational therapist who practices one day a week at their office, Advanced Family Eyecare, home educates, and is a domestic engineer for the other six days a week.
Patrick and Tracy Phillips of Oklahoma City have been homeschooling for 9 years. They are the parents of seven children to date. Patrick works for Dell in the Onsite IT Department. Tracy is a former support group leader and serves as the convention speaker coordinator for OCHEC. They enjoy a literature based curriculum and are learning along with their children. Patrick is also a part of the media ministry at their church. They are foster and adoptive parents.
Paul and Valerie Rose of Tulsa were married in 1987 and have six children ranging from 25 to 13. They have homeschooled four of their children through high school and are currently completing high school with their two youngest. Over the years, they have used a variety of techniques, curriculums and coops for a rich and rewarding experience and have met many wonderful friends in the home-school community along the way. In addition to running a generous and hospitable home, Valerie is a Support Manager and Downtown Campus Director for Classical Conversations. Paul owns his own architecture and engineering firm where he practices as an architectural and structural engineer. They have been members of First United Methodist Tulsa since they were married, but like to visit other churches to worship with friends, too. They both have been big supporters of the Tulsa OCHEC Convention and want to see the home-school community grow and strengthen in their corner of the state. The Roses are known for large family-oriented gatherings at their midtown home with a warm fire to gather around, good food, fun games, and interesting conversations into the late hours. “Our home-school adventure has blessed us with children who have a wide variety of interests, gifts, and passions and kept us all close as a family.”
Ron and Betty Smith of Duncan have been homeschooling since 1985. They have four children, ages 16-23. The Smiths are currently in the process of adopting a baby, so they will look forward to another 18 years of homeschooling. Ron and Betty have been married 30 years. For their anniversary, they bought a plaque that said, "Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be." The Smiths publish books written by Betty and her sister, Susan Mortimer, through their company, Eagle's Wings Educational Materials. They enjoy opportunities to be involved in short-term mission work around the world.
Dan and Dana Wilson of Edmond have been married since 1990, and homeschooling since 1998. They are the parents of five children, two of whom have disabilities, and foster parents to babies and toddlers appointed to their care for a season. The Wilsons are active in their local Classical Conversations community and enjoy classically educating their children and re-educating themselves as they learn and apply the tools of learning. Dan is Chief Executive Officer at ClearSight Center in Oklahoma City, and Dana is a parent mentor with Oklahoma Family Network, Oklahoma’s non-profit Parent-to-Parent mentorship and referral network, empowering families who are raising children with special health care or disability needs.
Robin and Julie Zwirtz of Oklahoma City have been married for 20 years and have eight children, six boys and two girls, ranging in age from 17 years to 1 year. They have been homeschooling nearly 14 years. Robin owns BirdDog Software, a software development company located in Oklahoma City. Their eldest son, Xavier, is enjoying an apprenticeship education under his father's tutelage, while the rest of the children are continuing their basic education under their mother's supervision. Robin and Julie are entering their fifth year as leaders of LIGHT, a south-Oklahoma City homeschool support group. Robin is an Elder at Berean Family Fellowship, a family-integrated church in south OKC. Affectionately dubbed The Flying Zwirtz' by a family member, they enjoy the general circus like atmosphere of their busy household. Between the marathon gaming sessions, tree-climbing, fort-building, lego masterpieces and the continuous flow of art-work, there is truly never a dull moment "under the big top."