Current Board Members
Rachel ColemanCo-Founder, Executive Director, and Director of Research
Rachel Coleman is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Indiana University. Rachel was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school in Indiana, where her parents were on the board of a regional homeschool organization, the Southwestern Indiana Home Educators Association. In 2010, Rachel completed her M.A. thesis at Ball State University, titled “Ideologues, Pedagogues, Pragmatics: A Case Study of the Homeschool Community in Delaware County, Indiana.” In early 2012, Rachel was invited to be present at the founding of the International Center for Home Education Research. In 2013, deeply moved by several high profiled deaths of children in homeschool settings, Rachel co-founded Homeschooling’s Invisible Children with Heather Doney. Rachel is currently working on a dissertation on the role of children and childhood in the rise of the Christian Right.
Kathryn BrightbillLegislative Policy Analyst
Kathryn Brightbill was homeschooled from the start of formal schooling in 1st grade through graduation from high school. She is the second of four children and the first in her family to be homeschooled all the way through school. Growing up in a politically active family, at one time Kathryn was the youngest ever precinct committeewoman elected to her county Republican Executive Committee. She has a B.A. in Information and Computer Science from Covenant College, a graduate certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, and her J.D. at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Prior to law school, Kathryn dabbled in several different fields, including spending time on the English faculty at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi, VN, where she taught reading and writing for international relations to foreign affairs and international law students.
Kierstyn DarkwaterTech Director
Kierstyn Darkwater was homeschooled “K-12” and is the oldest of 8. They “graduated” at age 15 and spent much of their time taking care of the rest of their siblings. In high school they were actively involved in NCFCA, Generation Joshua, and TeenPact; campaigning for conservative candidates in the 2004 and 2006 elections. They taught themselves HTML and CSS and have been creating websites since 2005.
Ryan StollarBoard Member
R.L. Stollar is co-founder and Community Coordinator at Homeschoolers Anonymous, a cooperative online project by former homeschoolers. He is also a founding board member of Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving homeschooling communities for future generations by educating homeschooling families about mental health and child abuse. Ryan was homeschooled from preschool through highschool. He spent his highschool years as a speech and debate competitor in the HSLDA-created National Christian Forensics and Communications Association and was one of the original student leaders for Communicators for Christ, now the Institute for Cultural Communicators. Through highschool and college, he taught speech and debate to thousands of homeschool students across the nation with CFC conferences, a HSLDA National Leadership Retreat, Cedarville University, the University of Oregon, and elsewhere. He has a B.A. in Western philosophy and literature from Gutenberg College in Oregon and a M.A. in Eastern religions from St. John’s College in New Mexico. Ryan is the former volunteer News Editor of Eugene Daily News, a hyperlocal community news source in Oregon.
Alisa HarrisBoard Member
Alisa Harris was homeschooled from kindergarten through twelfth grade. As a homeschooled graduate who had a positive experience, she is passionate about working to ensure that all homeschooled children have access to a quality education. She has worked on a wide range of causes as a nonprofit communications professional and a volunteer: economic and social rights, addiction treatment, mental health, early childhood education, child abuse prevention, and women’s rights. She received a Feminist Leadership Award from the National Organization for Women–NYC for her participation in the Activist Alliance, a year-long fellowship for young women leaders. Alisa has a B.A. in English from Hillsdale College and is currently attending Boston University School of Management to complete a Master of Business Administration. She is the author of Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics.
Giselle PalmerBoard Member
Giselle Palmer attended private school during kindergarten in New Hampshire and first grade in Virginia. Because of her family’s frequent moves, she began homeschooling in Alabama in 1985. Other than a few months of sixth grade and her eighth grade year (both in private schools), Giselle continued to be homeschooled in Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee until graduating in 1996. She was part of the ATI program beginning in ninth grade and continuing past graduation until she began college at the age of 21. Giselle has an Associate of Science Degree from Chattanooga State, a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Lee University, and a Masters of Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Giselle has focused much of her research on issues related to students with behavioral challenges and the particular struggles faced by minority students. She has been teaching in the public school system since 2005, and has taught at two different magnet schools in Tennessee. She is currently working in a low-income neighborhood teaching a group of adorable, hardworking, and enthusiastic students who truly believe that education is the key to a successful future.
Rachel LazerusDirector of Operations and Research Analyst
Rachel Lazerus received her MPP at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago with a focus on educational policy. She has previously worked for Brown University, the Urban Institute, and the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and has consulted on projects for Chicago Public Schools, the Urban Education Institute, and the Wyman Center. While she was not homeschooled herself, she attended both public and parochial schools.
Chelsea McCrackenSenior Research Analyst
Dr. Chelsea McCracken grew up near D.C. and attended high-quality public schools K-12. She has a BA in math and a PhD from Rice University in social science, including graduate work in statistics. She is familiar with a variety of qualitative and quantitative social science research methods since her dissertation involved several years of fieldwork, research, and analysis. She lives in the midwest with her spouse and their two fur babies.
Brenna FrederickNews and Social Media Director
Brenna was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school graduation. Despite feeling isolated by homeschooling, she discovered community through internet platforms and online friendships, and has followed those passions ever since. In addition to her social media work for CRHE, Brenna runs a thriving personal YouTube channel & is pursuing an education in social media management & photography.
Heather Doney is the eldest in a family of 10 siblings, was homeschooled in an educationally neglectful setting until the age of 12, and then intensively tutored by concerned grandparents who then had her placed in a public high school at age 14. After a rough transition and intensive academic effort, Heather completed high school and then obtained a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of New Orleans in 2006 where she double majored in English and Political Science. She graduated with university and departmental honors in Political Science, writing an undergraduate honors thesis entitled “The Role of Birth Order in Political Efficacy.” She has worked in tutoring, nonprofit administration, and completed an AmeriCorps VISTA year of service. She also earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management in 2012, where her concentration was in poverty alleviation policy. Her interest in homeschooling policy led to her capstone paper entitled “The Wild West of Homeschooling: Bringing Adequate Oversight to Parent-Educated Children and Youth.” The idea for CRHE sprung from this policy research, and in the course of writing about homeschooling-related issues for her personal blog, Becoming Worldly, Heather connected with the rest of the advocates who would soon make up the CRHE team. Heather parted ways with CRHE in May of 2014.