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BHEA is now open for membership renewals and new member applications for the 2020-2021 academic year!


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors serves to govern the affairs of BHEA as a non-profit organization. The Board currently consists of eight members, each of whom coordinate various functions within our group. Board members are volunteers and serve for a term of three years.

Melanie Hoffman
President of the Board of Directors
Ministry Coordinator

Melanie joined the board in June of 2017. She began homeschooling in 2005, when her oldest child started kindergarten. She's been a BHEA member for 11 years. She and her husband, Mark, have two children. Morgan is 16 and Meredith is 12. They make their home in Alcoa and attend Everett Hills Baptist Church. Melanie says, "I am so thankful for the support and encouragement I've received through BHEA. The biggest blessing has been the invaluable friendships made by our whole family. In the same fashion, it is my prayer that I will be able to minister and support others while serving in this capacity.

Laurie Leslie
Vice President of the Board of Directors
Communications Coordinator or

Laurie is in her 17th year as a member of BHEA. She and her husband of 26 years, Glen, have three boys. Tristan, age 23, and Grant, age 20, have both graduated from BHEA and gone on to college. Devon, age 13, is an 8th grader. Both Glen and Laurie have served in leadership of BHEA in the past. Laurie was the voice at the other end of the info line for many years, helping prospective and new homeschoolers get the support they need. Empowering parents to take charge and bring their families home again is among her greatest joys. She has also served BHEA as the newsletter editor, webmaster, instructor, and more. 

Rebecca Sardella
Treasurer of the Board of Directors

Rebecca joined the board of directors as Treasurer in June of 2017 with 6 years of homeschooling experience under her belt. She is married to Jeff and they have one daughter named Marianne. Rebecca is an instructor in BHEA's Enrichment Program. She describes herself as a "history nerd to the core"!! Rebecca has served as treasurer in various other organizations in the past. We are thankful for Rebecca and her willingness to serve. We are excited about the wisdom, experience, and enthusiasm she brings to this role.

Carrie Hessick
Secretary of the Board of Directors
Membership Coordinator

Carrie and her husband, Rick, have been members of BHEA for five years. For four of those years, Carrie has been an instructor in our Enrichment program. Twins, Ben and Maya, are high school freshmen and Leo is in 5th grade. Both boys are in BHEA Scout Troop 442, and the twins are on a high school swim team.  Leo plays football and basketball. The whole family loves the BHEA Musical Theater class! The Hessicks live in Vonore and have a small back yard farm with cows, chickens, and a garden. 



Kelli Jernigan
Teen Coordinator

Kelli has been a member of BHEA since moving to Tennessee in 2011. She and her husband, Michael, have two children, ages 16 and 13. They began homeschooling in 2010. Kelli is also a co-leader for the Stars and Stripes Patrol for American Heritage Girls.




Kristy Chudley
Enrichment Team Coordinator for High School (Wednesdays)

Kristy Chudley, High School Team Leader (Wednesdays)

Kristy Chudley has been a member of BHEA for eight years. She and her husband Keith have been homeschooling for 13 years. They live in South Knoxville and have three boys ages 17, 15, and 14. 





Linda Holder
Activities Coordinator

Linda is eager to continue to help BHEA as she has done for several years in her capacity as an instructor in the Enrichment program. She joined BHEA when her oldest started kindergarten and has been a member for 6 years. She and her husband, James, wanted to raise their children in a homeschooled environment. They have 3 children: Karly, age 10, and 2-year old twins, Katie and Colton. The Holders have lived in Seymour for 18 years and attend the Church of Latter Day Saints in Maryville.

Jennifer Shaw
PreK-8 Enrichment Team Leader (Mondays) 

Jennifer Shaw is married to Jason Shaw and mother of Michael (9th grade), Abigail (6th grade), Rebekah (1st grade) and Patrick (1st grade). In the past, she taught special education in a public school in Florida and Kindergarten at Maryville Christian School. The Shaw Family is entering their 5th year of homeschooling and being members of BHEA. Jennifer enjoys being with her family and being in the mountains. The Shaws are members at Foothills Church were they serve in Kid Street, Food 4 Kids, and they lead an adult small group.