Kris “Tanto” Paronto

South Carolina Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention

Kris Paranto is an American Hero… and is also a Homeschooling Dad. It is truly an honor to welcome Kris as our Grand Finale speaker for the GHC regional Carolina Homeschool Convention at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, South Carolina (March 21-23, 2019), and for the GHC regional California Homeschooling Convention at the Ontario, California Convention Center (June 13 – 15, 2019)

Kris Paronto – “Tanto” as he is affectionately known in security contracting circles – is a former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and private security contractor who has deployed throughout South America, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa. He also worked with the US Government’s Global Response Staff conducting low profile security in high threat environments throughout the world.

Mr. Paronto was part of the CIA annex security team that responded to the terrorist attack on the US Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, September 11th, 2012, helping to save over 20 lives while fighting off terrorists from the CIA Annex for over 13 hours. Mr. Paronto’s story is told in the book “13 Hours” written by Mitchell Zuckoff and his five surviving annex security team members.

Mr. Paronto was born in Alamosa, Colorado and obtained his Associate Degree from Dixie College (now Dixie State University) in St. George, Utah, Bachelor’s Degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado and Masters Degree from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. He served 4 years in the US Army and an additional 4 years in the US Army National Guard reaching the rank of Sergeant then becoming a commissioned officer in 2003. He started contracting for Blackwater Security Consulting in 2003 and continued to deploy on various security contracts, to include the Global Response Staff until 2013.

Mr. Paronto has been involved in security operations in hostile environments for over 10 years. His team’s involvement with the September 11th, 2012 attack on the US special mission in Benghazi, Libya was paramount in the saving of US lives and assets. He is a proven leader, teammate and friend to those who have deployed with him, and a devout father to three children.

AUTHOR OF THE RANGER WAY
Thousands of people have heard Kris “Tanto” Paronto speak about his experiences in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. But before he was a security contractor, Tanto was a US Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. Rangers are trained to lead by being pushed to their physical and mental limits so that they can perform against impossible odds in punishing situations.

In THE RANGER WAY, Tanto shares stories from his training experiences that played a role in his team’s heroic response in Benghazi as he explains the importance of demanding excellence when you commit to improving your life. He shows you how to define your mission, set goals that are in alignment with your values, and develop a battle plan that will maximize your chances of success. You will learn why you should never quit and why that is different from never failing. Tanto uses his experiences in Basic and Ranger Training to explore how to deal with mistakes and disappointment like a leader, accept responsibility, and turn every obstacle into an opportunity for growth. You will learn why being of service to others, and being willing to sacrifice, will help you succeed, and how the power of humility, strength, faith, and brotherhood will sustain you on the road to accomplishing your mission.

John 15: 13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Sarah Mackenzie

Sarah Mackenzie

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

Sarah Mackenzie is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Read-Aloud Family: Make Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids and Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace. She is the host of the immensely popular Read-Aloud Revival podcast, which has been downloaded over 4 million times by families all over the world.

She lives in the Northwest with her husband, Andrew, and their six kids, where she loves to make sure they are well-stocked in the best books she can find. Connect with Sarah at readaloudrevival.com

Andrew Pudewa

Andrew Pudewa

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

Andrew Pudewa is the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and a father of seven. Traveling and speaking around the world, he addresses issues related 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 and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, PA, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his wonderful, heroic wife, Robin, have homeschooled their seven children and are now proud grandparents of ten, making their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kathy Koch

Dr. Kathy Koch

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

Dr. Kathy Koch (pronounced “Cook”), the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, and other events. Her practical, relevant, results-oriented concepts and engaging, honoring, and humorous speaking style draw enthusiastic reviews from children, teens, parents, and educators. They leave her events armed with new beliefs, attitudes, practical tools, and increased hope to make appropriate changes, establish healthy relationships, and increase success in family, life, and school.

She is a regular presenter for Great Homeschool Conventions, Hearts at Home, Care Net, many pregnancy resource centers, and churches. She is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio and other radio talk-shows. She has authored six books including four published by Moody. Her newest two are Eight Great Smarts: Discover and Nurture Your Child’s Intelligences and Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World.

Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University. She was a tenured associate professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, a teacher of second graders, a middle school coach, and a school board member prior to becoming a full-time conference and keynote speaker in 1991. She has loved Jesus for years and her faith and desire to serve and glorify God is the foundation of her ministry.

Dr. Christopher Perrin

Dr. Christopher Perrin

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

Christopher Perrin, a former homeschooling father and headmaster of a classical school, is the CEO and publisher at Classical Academic Press. He is a nationally-recognized leader, author, and speaker for the classical education movement. Christopher serves as a consultant to classical Christian schools and homeschool co-ops in the United States and overseas. He is the director at the Alcuin Fellowship and is the vice chair of the Society for Classical Learning. His countless articles and lectures are also widely used throughout America and the English-speaking world.

Christopher received his Ph.D. in Apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in California, and a B.A. in history from the University of South Carolina. He was also a special student in literature at St. Johns College in Annapolis. He has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary.

Christopher is the author of the books An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents, The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, and Greek for Children, and co-author of the award-winning Latin for Children series available from Classical Academic Press.

Classical Academic Press brings to market across the globe classical, creatively-taught K–12 curricula and media including Latin, Spanish, French, grammar, writing, logic, and rhetoric (among other subjects), as well as a live online academy for grades 3–12, a self-paced online classical education training site, and many other classical education resources.

Christopher has a passion for classical Christian education and a love for truth, goodness, and beauty wherever it may be found.

Pam Barnhill

Pam Barnhill

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

Pam Barnhill believes that you don’t have to sacrifice relationships to homeschool strong.

An award-winning educator, former journalist, and now homeschooling mom, she has a knack for breaking down big tasks into small, manageable steps and getting to the heart of the stories her listeners want to hear.

She is the host of three popular homeschooling podcasts:

She also wrote Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace.

Pam lives in the Deep South with her husband of twenty-three years, three (mostly) awesome kids, and a passel of family dogs. You can find her online at pambarnhill.com.

Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

About Andrew Peterson

For more than twenty years now, Andrew Peterson (a homeschooling dad) has been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments. In the city of Nashville—where music is an industry in the same way that fast food, generic greeting cards, and bumper stickers are industries—Peterson has forged his own path, refusing the artistic compromises that so often come with chasing album sales and radio singles and instead has created a long line of songs that ache with sorrow, joy, and integrity, and that are, at the end of the day, part of a real, ongoing, human conversation.

Andrew is also the award-winning author of The Wingfeather Saga, a four-book fantasy adventure series for young people, described as The Princess Bride meets The Lord of the Rings. The books are currently being produced as an animated film, which is terribly, wonderfully, indubitably exciting.

Schedule

Andrew Peterson will be performing in concert on Friday evening at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. Don’t miss this special concert!

Brian Wasko

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

Brian Wasko has worked with teenagers his entire adult life. He taught public high school English for ten years and served as youth and family life pastor for more than twelve years. He has been a wrestling coach, a summer youth camp speaker, and—believe it or not—a rapper with two professional recordings (in the early 90s)! He currently directs the Home School Enrichment Program for Sovereign Grace Church in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he also teaches weekly literature, grammar, and/or logic classes. He is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com, a revolutionary writing skills development program serving middle and high school students around the world. Brian has also worked as a freelance writer, is the author of WriteAtHome’ s proprietary curriculum and manages the WriteAtHome blog. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 with a B.A. in English and a Virginia teaching certificate. Brian’s personable, humorous, and enthusiastic speaking style is popular with audiences young and old. Through his speaking, Brian is able to communicate his infatuation with words, his passion for learning, and his love for teenagers.

Brian currently lives in Virginia Beach with his wife Melanie and his four home-educated teen and tween-aged daughters Stephanie, Taylor, Kerri, and Madison.

Colleen Kessler

Colleen Kessler

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention New York Homeschool Convention Florida Homeschool Convention

Colleen Kessler is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, and is the founder of the popular blog Raising Lifelong Learners as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children.

The author of more than a dozen books for teachers, parents, and kids, Colleen left teaching after more than a decade to write and speak about parenting, education, giftedness, and hands-on learning and play. Homeschooling is an adventure she hadn’t planned on, but she has embraced the opportunity to learn alongside her kids every day, and is inspiring other moms and dads to do the same.

Her recent book titles include Super Smart Science: 180 Days of Warm-Ups and Challenging Activities (Prufrock Press) and Real-Life Science Mysteries (Prufrock Press). Watch for Gifted Kids at Home: Everything You Need to Know to Understand Your Quirky Children and Help Them Thrive (RLL Media) and The Coolest, Dirtiest, Creepy-Crawliest Backyard Nature Science Activities for Kids (Page Street Press/Macmillan) coming soon!

You can find more about her, upcoming projects, and where she’ll be speaking in the coming months at RaisingLifelongLearners.com and connect with her on social media @ColleenKessler.

Daniel Huerta

Daniel Huerta

Texas Homeschool Convention South Carolina Homeschool Convention Missouri Homeschool Convention Ohio Homeschool Convention California Homeschool Convention

Daniel Huerta is the vice president of the Parenting and Youth department at Focus on the Family. In this role, he oversees Focus’ initiatives that equip parents to disciple and mentor the next generation, so that they can thrive in Christ.

Huerta is a bilingual licensed clinical social worker. For many years, he has provided families with practical parenting advice. He specializes as a counselor and spokesperson in the treatment of disruptive behavior disorders, conflict resolution, self-esteem issues, and anxiety and depression in adolescents, children, and their families. He can also discuss how to talk with kids about trauma and healthy sexuality.

Born in Mexico City, Huerta also understands firsthand how intercultural differences affect relationships and can help families learn how to navigate challenges in this area well.

Huerta’s heart for counseling took root in college when he taught youth sports with a special needs individual at a YMCA. Despite severe disabilities, the young man’s joy and skills inspired Huerta to help people become the best they can be and live the best they can.

After the shooting tragedies in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT, Huerta took on dozens of radio and TV interviews, giving advice to parents on how to talk through the tragedies with their kids and teens. He’s also been a guest on the “Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast,” “Focus on the Family Weekend,” and “Focus on the Family Minute” radio features.

Before joining Focus on the Family in 2004, Huerta worked as a social worker for the Harrison School District in Colorado Springs. He also supervised a mentoring program for at-risk youth and served as an adjunct faculty member at Pikes Peak Community College.

Huerta was a contributing author for The First Five Years of Marriage, The Smart Groom’s Answer Guide to the First Year of Marriage, and The Savvy Bride’s Answer Guide to the First Year of Marriage.

Huerta earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. He’s currently working on his doctorate in clinical psychology at California Southern University.

He maintains a private practice in Colorado Springs and served as a board member on the El Paso County Mental Health Association for almost four years. He is also a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist.

He and his wife, Heather, have been married since 1998 and have two children, Alex and Lexi.

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