MEET OUR SPEAKERS

(Who We Are)

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Trina Ferguson

Author, Speaker, Founder of Trina Cares, LLC

Trina R. Ferguson is a New Jersey native who resides in Maryland with her husband of 20 years, her three children, and their dog. For over 12 years, Trina has homeschooled their children and has recently graduated their first born. Through the many ups and downs in her homeschooling journey, she realized that homeschooling her children was God's way of growing her up. So, she wrote the book, Lessons Learned From My Homeschool Day: Learning from the Good, the Bad, and the Icky Lessons to help you through the day for those who needed a bit of encouragement and a transparent story to help them mature along the way as well. In 2020, the world took a crazy turn and we all found ourselves home. This was difficult for the not so home homeschooling family. Trina was encouraged by her cousin to rebrand her business, Ferguson Family Values, and present to the new and veteran homeschool community the love and care she has for people and sports. Trina Cares, LLC was created to encourage students and families to have fun while living, learning, and loving through academics and sports' opportunities.

 

She started with her very first student-athlete client - her son. For the past two years, Trina has dedicated her time to learning about the sports' recruiting process beyond what she already knew from walking alongside her son. Through webinars, classes, talking to coaches, parents, student-athletes, and professionals, Trina has begun to help other student-athletes walk through the process of being able to achieve their goal of playing sports on a collegiate level one day. Trina also finds time to tutor in group class settings and help homeschool parents with the behind the scenes responsibilities of the college sports recruiting process. For more information about Trina Cares, LLC please email trinacaresllc@gmail.com.

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Carla Fuller

High School Educational Consultant

Carla Fuller is an HSLDA High School Educational Consultant with over 17 years of experience in the homeschool community as a mom, teacher, and support group administrator. With two master’s degrees, Carla incorporates her expertise in Marriage and Family Therapy. She brings a wealth of experience from her work with children, teens, and families in crisis seeking to help them live out God’s best for their family. She and her husband, Charles, homeschooled their two sons through high school. Their sons are currently attending college.

 

Carla enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, cooking, and watching or reading a good story.

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Anita Gibson

Author, Speaker, & Educational Strategist

Anita Gibson is an author, speaker, educational strategist, HSLDA High School Educational Consultant and Team Leader. She develops academic success strategies for students and organizations, including educational programs, training sessions and academic support. Anita’s book, STAR Finder, assists parents with finding their children’s strengths, talents and abilities and offers resources to discover their future potential.

For the past 20 years, Anita has served as the director of SHABACH Christian Academy’s Homeschool program that assists families with all aspects of the homeschool journey. She is the liaison to the state of Maryland for the program’s oversight families.

Anita Gibson resides in Maryland with her amazing husband, Glen. They homeschooled three awesome children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Their oldest daughter is a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State and she has earned a bachelor’s degree in international marketing and a master’s degree in international affairs. Their youngest daughter is a middle school science teacher who also teaches high school chemistry, biology & physical science to homeschool students. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bowie State University. Their son chose the entrepreneurial route and currently owns a lucrative photography and videography business. He also works as a Production Manager, full-time, in a large church media ministry using his gifts.

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LaNissir James

 HSLDA High School Consultant

A homeschooling mom and leader, LaNissir has a passion to serve the home-educating community. For the past ten years, she has provided social, spiritual, academic, and supervisory support for Maryland homeschool families at Calvary Gospel Home Educators. She encourages and equips homeschool graduates to transition into colleges, careers, and vocational schools.

As an HSLDA high school consultant, LaNissir loves speaking to parents to encourage and support their homeschooling with empathetic, engaging, and practical wisdom. She says, “The joy of helping a family feel confident that they can homeschool is priceless.”

She earned her BS in journalism from the University of Maryland College Park, is Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certified, and is pursuing a master’s degree in biblical studies.

LaNissir is wife to Lorenzo, who also serves the homeschooling community through sports programs, photography services, and photography classes. She is the mother of seven beautiful homeschooled children (five girls and two boys) with ages ranging from kindergarten to young adult. They enjoy road schooling and outdoor education. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, photography, and kayaking.

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Natalie Mack

Author, Speaker, & Veteran Home Educator

Natalie Mack is an author, speaker, veteran home educator, and HSLDA’s Outreach Coordinator to the Military- with over 21 years of service and leadership within the military homeschooling community. She is known for her words of encouragement and advocacy for homeschooling, particularly during the journey from high school to college. Natalie is a mom of five with three college graduates, one college junior and a rising 10th grader. She is a very newly retired Navy Chaplain’s spouse after serving alongside her husband for 34 years of military service.

 

Natalie currently serve as President of Belvoir Home Educators, an active large military homeschool support group in northern Virginia and owns Natalie Mack, LLC which provides mentorship to homeschoolers, advocacy for military homeschooling, and homeschool consultations for military-connected educational and DoD organizations. She’s written for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, sharing her perspective on military life with the article “Fair Winds and Following Seas” and on the sandwich generation with “5 Tips for Living Life in the Middle”. Natalie is currently writing two soon to be released books entitled “101 Tips for Homeschoolers” as well as an informative journal entitled “Homeschooling on the Move: Military-Style”.

 

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Nicole McNeil

SCA Head of School, Educational Coach, & Speaker

Nicole McNeil is considered an authority on the application of brain research to organizational health. A skilled coach of educators, parents, and both school and business leaders, she has presented workshops and keynote addresses throughout the United States for ten years and has worked internationally. Nicole served as CEO for an educational consulting firm for six years, after having been a trainer since 1995. 

Nicole began her career as a classroom teacher in Brooklyn, New York.  She has also taught in North Carolina and Missouri.  Considered a Master Teacher, she has been instrumental in effecting successful comprehensive school reform at both the elementary and secondary levels. This former member of the Board of Directors for Communities in Schools of Federal Way, led the way in implementing programs that serve at-risk youth in Federal Way, Washington.

 

Nicole brings almost 30 years of experience to SHABACH! Ministries, Inc. Currently, she is responsible for the day to day operations of the education division and she is responsible for providing training and coaching for the SHABACH! staff.  In addition to the services she provides to SHABACH! Ministries, Inc., she consults for both school and business leaders, nationally.

Nicole is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.  She is passionate about service and is committed to the notion that children are empowered when the adults that affect their lives are strengthened. She serves as Lead for the FBCG International Missions Education Team in Huaral, Peru and as the Director of Parent Academy.  Nicole has a Master’s of Secondary Administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she relocated to the area after having lived in the Seattle area for eight years.

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Rochelle Somerville

President & CEO of EFM Educational
Consultants

Dr. Rochelle Matthews-Somerville is the President and CEO of EFM Educational
Consultants and HSLDA'S Special Needs Team Leader. She has been homeschooling, with her husband, Nate, their 6, uniquely designed children for nearly 15 years. She has dedicated more than 25 years to helping individuals with disabilities become confident, life-long learners prepared to lead healthy, productive lives. She has served as a university professor, special educator, county-wide autism specialist, mentor teacher, and educational consultant. Dr. Somerville has a deep passion for education and supporting families with identifying community resources that, cultivates the whole person and prepares them for the future.

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Vicki Tillman 

Coach, Curriculum Developer, & Podcast Team Member 

Vicki Tillman homeschooled her five kids through graduation and has served for years as a local and digital homeschool coach. She is a member of the Homeschool Highschool Podcast team while creating curriculum for homeschooling high schoolers. She shares how-to posts at 7SistersHomeschool and National Homeschool Advocacy.