2017 Latter-day Learning Retreat Presentations

Meet Our Events Director Angela Davidson

Angela is the Community Relations & Events Director for American Heritage School, Latter-day Learning, the Lyceum Orchestra Program and the American Heritage Youth Chorus. She loves to bring people on campus, and enjoys helping with AHS events. Mrs. Davidson graduated from Southern Utah University (SUU) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a double emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising, and now serves on the SUU National Alumni Advisory Board.

Prior to joining AHS, Mrs. Davidson worked as an IT Business Analyst for clients across the U.S. and Canada. After being a Program Manager for the Washington DC Girl Scouts Resident Summer Camps, Mrs. Davidson served as a counselor for CES at the Academy for Girls program.

Mrs. Davidson is a member of the LDS Church and served an LDS mission in Nebraska (Omaha). She enjoys sharing her testimony at every opportunity. Mrs. Davidson and her husband Mike love being parents to their sons Jasper and Henry. Their family moved to Highland from the island of Newfoundland so their children could attend AHS. The Davidson family are all avid readers and also enjoy playing board games and exploring outdoors, including hiking and sledding. Mrs. Davidson loves all water activities, including swimming, creek-hopping, canoeing, windsurfing and running through the sprinklers with her boys. Mrs. Davidson’s greatest happiness comes from her family.


Meet American Heritage School Principal: Grant Beckwith

Mr. Beckwith joined American Heritage School as principal in 2005. In addition to serving as the head of school, Mr. Beckwith also serves as the director of the school’s Family Education Center and enjoys teaching a high school seminar each year entitled “Principles of Leadership.” Mr. Beckwith serves in a number of volunteer organizations including on the Board of Governors of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools and the Board of Directors of the Younique Foundation. Mr. Beckwith is an active member of the LDS Church and a life-long member of the Boy Scouts of America. Prior to joining American Heritage School’s administration, Mr. Beckwith was a practicing attorney for the Washington D.C. office of Nixon Peabody LLP. A member of the Utah Bar, the Virginia Bar, and the District of Columbia Bar, Mr. Beckwith is a graduate of the BYU Law School and also holds bachelors and masters degrees in accountancy and information systems from the BYU Marriott School of Management. Mr. Beckwith served an LDS mission in Russia (St. Petersburg) from 1993-1995. He and his wife Candice live in Alpine, where they are raising four children, goats, chickens, ducks, snakes, dogs, and cats. The Beckwiths are deeply honored and grateful to be involved with the mission of American Heritage School, and to associate with the many extraordinary families who are drawn to it.


Keynote Presenter: Avalie Muhlestein

You Are Enough: Motherhood Myth Busting

Am I enough?  Do I really have what it takes?  What if…?  All parents have questions, worries and doubts about parenting, and some lead to great personal revelation and learning.  But some fears and “myths” come from the Adversary and play like a broken record over and over in our minds.  These myths can disrupt our ability to fulfil and have joy in our roles as parents, teachers, and leaders.  Come join us as we examine the myths of Motherhood and give you the tools and inspiration you need to experiment upon the word to bust these myths.  Whether you’re a mother, father, homeschooler, private or public school parent, professional educator, community leader, or grandparent, you’ll be prepared to shake off the Adversary and team up with the Spirit to fulfil your role and your mission as a teacher and guardian of the chosen generation.  Understanding how to bust the myths of motherhood will empower you to make positive, mission-driven change in your world.  We’re not just going to tell the myths, we’re going to put them to the test.

Meet Avalie Muhlestein

Avalie Muhlestein is a former public-educator who embraced the world of homeschooling in 2010. She graduated from BYU and then earned her Master’s in Education at Pacific University (Oregon), specializing in curriculum development. Avalie worked as a Reading Specialist in Hawaii, a Seminary Teacher in Oregon, and a dance teacher in Utah. Avalie is now grateful to be a full-time homeschool mom and foster-adopt parent with seven exceptional children (ages 9-16). She strives to provide fun and meaningful learning for the children in her home, some who have significant learning challenges. After searching for three years, she was delighted to discover The Family School Curriculum. Avalie loves teaching one quality lesson each day to all seven of her children. Avalie is humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work with LDL to provide resources for early, emergent, delayed, and kinesthetic learners in what is now called the “Observer” level. Avalie is currently serving as a Co-Mentor for Quest (formerly TJYC) at a local homeschool commonwealth, facilitates a local homeschool friends Facebook group, and works to support and inspire other homeschool parents.  Avalie loves cooking, traveling, waterskiing, temple service, dates with her husband and curling up with a classic book.  The Muhlesteins currently reside on a hobby homestead in Utah County with a flock of chickens and a dairy cow named Peaches Von Cream.

Presenter: Dr. Wendy Ulrich

Sitting With God

Have you ever felt like you are caught in the middle of a struggle between what you feel God is expecting of you and your daily list of things to do? Take a deep breath and a moment to listen to this story from Wendy Ulrich. We hope it allows you the space and freedom to think about your relationship with God and your role as mother and teacher.




Meet Dr. Wendy Ulrich

I’m Wendy Ulrich, a psychologist and founder of Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, LLC, a group of mental health professionals committed to building the emotional and spiritual resilience of LDS women and their loved ones (see sixteenstones.net). I received my Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and an MBA from UCLA, then for many years I was part of a private practice in Ann Arbor, where my husband Dave and I raised our three children. Because he is a professor at the University of Michigan, we had the flexibility to trade off school, work, and childcare when our children were young, giving me the rare privilege of giving birth to our third child in the middle of finals week at the end of my first year as a doctoral graduate student (not recommended).

Presenter: Brett Gerlach

Inspired Councils and Unique Missions

When we see other homeschooled children developing impressive talents, we often want the same talents and accomplishments for our children, which can leave us feeling like we don’t measure up.  This brief presentation will help you to avoid the trap of chasing others’ accomplishments and to instead seek to understand your child’s unique mission and your role in preparing them.  We’ll also discuss how to use councils to overcome stubborn problems in your home.


Meet Brett Gerlach

Brett Gerlach is a devoted father of many children, and happy homeschool dad. Brett is also the Founder and current President of Brevium, a patient reactivation software company. Prior to founding Brevium, Brett developed software at Microsoft for 13 years as a project manager and QA manager, and led projects ranging in size from 6 to 200 engineers. He was the lead project manager on Systems Management Server, a $300 million enterprise product made by Microsoft. Brett played a significant role in feature definition and algorithm design on a number of other Microsoft projects. He holds two software patents, with four more pending. Brett holds an MBA from The Wharton School. He graduated with the highest honors as both a Palmer Scholar and recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Award for outstanding scholarship. He also holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Washington.


Presenter: Nancy Willis

Remember, You’re Teaching Children, Not Curriculum

In this presentation we will explore why we choose to teach our children at home and the importance of focusing on who we teach as well as what we teach in our labors of love. We will look at examples from the Savior and His teachings to guide us in our efforts to plan, prepare, and teach our children one by one.



Meet Nancy Willis

Mrs. Willis has over 30 years of experience teaching kindergarten through fourth grade children in public, private, and homeschool. She grew up in Provo, Utah, where she attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. After serving an LDS mission and getting married, she and her husband moved to Alaska where she lived for the next 24 years until moving back to Utah in August of 2008. She taught Kindergarten for two years at American Heritage School and began teaching Elementary Science in the fall of 2010. She and her husband have eight children and eight grandchildren. In her spare time, Mrs. Willis enjoys spending time with family reading, going for walks/hikes, playing games, doing family history research, baking, playing and listening to music, and traveling. She has a love of nature and a deep love and appreciation for its Creator.

Presenter: Jenet Erickson

Teaching Your Children How to Stand Up in a Politically ‘Correct’ World

At some point, all of us will be called upon to defend our beliefs about religious freedom, gender, marriage, and the family. We can strengthen our children in defending these truths by teaching them reasoned responses that can be confirmed by the Holy Ghost. The purpose of this class is to discuss effective ways of reasoning for each of these issues, and the importance of tone and spirit in how they are discussed. Disciplined responses taught from a humble heart can enable all of us to be “firm in information and soft in spirit” as we seek to understand and persuade with meekness on these issues that matter so much to us.

Meet Jenet Erickson

Jenet Jacob Erickson is a graduate of American Heritage School and former member of the board of trustees where she chaired the curriculum committee. Her educational background includes homeschooling, private schooling at American Heritage, and public high school. Prior to becoming a mother she was an assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, where she researched the power of ordinary family practices, and factors influencing maternal well being. She currently does editorial writing for the Deseret News on family issues. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Family Social Science and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University. Jenet and her husband Michael are the parents of a six-year old daughter and a three-year old son.
Presenters: Bret and Kate Grow

Unity Through Common Realms

Snag the principles and actionable TOOLS that make it EASY to experience success and happiness through UNITY as a homeschool husband and wife couple. Come and get what you need to take your homeschool to the next level! Bret and Kate Grow will share their #1 Diamond – their secret sauce – that is the principle and tool that they use to get great results. If you find yourselves struggling to communicate and want to be really happy in your relationship, attend this presentation. Experience great success as a couple and a homeschool family. *Note: These same secrets will help you in your business, calling and in relationships with friends!

Meet Bret and Kate Grow

Bret and Kate Grow are on a mission to make the world a better place within their sphere of influence. They’ve been married for twenty years; fifteen of which they have been the proud owners of LinkTrust. Both are graduates of BYU Idaho and BYU Hawaii. Bret studied Information Systems and Kate rocked Organizational Behavior. Mentors, business owners, educators, parents and relationship experts; this successful power couple is dedicated to helping you win!


Presenters: Peter Knecht and Angela Davidson

The Family School: All you Need to Know

In 30 minutes, Peter and Angela are going to give you the grand tour of what TheFamilySchoolOnline.org is, our highest recommendations for how to use it effectively for your specific homeschool needs, and why it is one weapon that you will want to have in your quiver to fight the battles of the homeschool journey.

Meet Peter Knecht

Peter is the Business Director of Latter-day Learning. He came to AHS in 2011 with extensive background in new business development. While attending BYU business school, he started his first online subscription service for college students, which he sold. Then he moved on to building various sales companies for a number of telecommunications companies around the country. After visiting with a friend and Board Member of the school in 2011, Peter began volunteering his services in hopes of helping AHS develop a way to export their unique curriculum, mission, and methodology to LDS homeschool families. Six months later, he was hooked and officially joined the school. During his first year he helped to rebrand distance education as “Latter-day Learning” and launched the first version of The Family School in August 2012. He continues to put his experience to work for this essential outreach.

Peter and his wife Amber stay busy in their house of four boys, and “book-end” daughter. Of all the things they enjoy, working, playing, learning, serving, and simply being together as a family has always been their highest priority and greatest joy. Whether at a soccer match or church activity, working in the garden or hiking up and mountain or through a canyon—family time is sacred time for the Knechts!

Meet Angela Davidson

Angela is the Community Relations & Events Director for American Heritage School, Latter-day Learning, the Lyceum Orchestra Program and the American Heritage Youth Chorus. She loves to bring people on campus, and enjoys helping with AHS events. Mrs. Davidson graduated from Southern Utah University (SUU) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a double emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising, and now serves on the SUU National Alumni Advisory Board.

Prior to joining AHS, Mrs. Davidson worked as an IT Business Analyst for clients across the U.S. and Canada. After being a Program Manager for the Washington DC Girl Scouts Resident Summer Camps, Mrs. Davidson served as a counselor for CES at the Academy for Girls program.

Mrs. Davidson is a member of the LDS Church and served an LDS mission in Nebraska (Omaha). She enjoys sharing her testimony at every opportunity. Mrs. Davidson and her husband Mike love being parents to their sons Jasper and Henry. Their family moved to Highland from the island of Newfoundland so their children could attend AHS. The Davidson family are all avid readers and also enjoy playing board games and exploring outdoors, including hiking and sledding. Mrs. Davidson loves all water activities, including swimming, creek-hopping, canoeing, windsurfing and running through the sprinklers with her boys. Mrs. Davidson’s greatest happiness comes from her family.

Presenter: Annette Fugal

Presentation #1: The Art of Masterly Writing, For ages 8 to 18

This class is for the average Joe and Janette who incorrectly think writing well is a talent. Some people are born to write; true. Most are not; also true. Fortunately, writing well is not “a mysterious gift reserved for the lucky few” (Payne, The Lively Art of Writing, 60.) Robert Benchley, a famous American newspaper columnist, reportedly said, “It took me 15 years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” First, Benjamin Franklin counseled that we should “do something worth writing,” and then, Ernest Hemingway said, “you just sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” A little overstated, perhaps, but in forty-five minutes you can learn a handful of strategies that, coupled with practice, will ensure that you and your children move beyond texting and become writers in the old fashioned sense!

Presentation #2: Don’t Worry, You Can Go to College

…with the emphasis on “don’t worry!”

As people in media and government circles toss around ideas about education, and local districts across the country flaunt banners promoting “Schools to Careers” and, more curiously, broadcasting a particular school as merely “Proficient,” you may be confused about the purpose of education and consequently worried about the future of your children. Are you doing enough? Are you doing the right things? Is your curriculum academically rigorous? Will your child be one of the 1,000 out of 1.8 million takers who gets a perfect score on the ACT? Why have they added a writing portion to the BYU application anyway? How will I know that my child will come out on top? And the finances… don’t even think about that! This class will pragmatically* focus on the “don’t worry” part of the title. First the proper definition of education will be restored, and, through examples and good sense, you may discover you are, or soon will be, on a right (and totally doable) track.

*in a sensible and realistic way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations

Meet Annette Fugal

Annette Brady Fugal is still a homegrown Idahoan (and happily so), and did return to Kentucky (the home of her ancestry) as quick as she could! The Fugal-path includes thirteen children, homeschooling in three states, sending children off to college in five states, and, with husband Jens, watching the family grow and scatter across the country and beyond. After thirty-two years, Annette happily retired from homeschooling (and early morning seminary) only to be “re-hired” by a teenage grandson from Germany. Already gifted and competent in math and science, the wish for his semester abroad was specifically to expand his English vocabulary and learn to write in English–IN AMERICA! Authoring Latter-day Learning’s high school Written Portfolio lessons seemed the perfect preparation. Hmmm…. Thanks. Why is writing so important in the Fugal home? Here’s why. Oldest son Jacob, attended a college lecture by a world famous, ultimately successful physicist. After the presentation, Jacob earnestly asked the man what made him different from the thousands of undistinguished physicists in the world. The answer was simply, “I can write.” Who can beat a second witness like that! Experience testifies that able writing and a good life go hand-in-hand. So, come along and let’s learn to write!

Dr. Pablo Riboldi

Practical Keys for Effective Teaching at Home, School, and Church

Do you want to be a better teacher at school, home, church? In this class you are going to learn how to apply the best instructional theories to be a better teacher in easy-to-understand, practical-to-use ways. You will be able to answer the following questions:
• What are the three most important questions every teacher should answer about their students every day?
• What is the most important type of learning and how should I teach it?
• What are the different types of learning outcomes and how do I recognize them?
• What are the best instructional strategies to teach each type of learning outcome?

Meet Dr. Pablo Riboldi

Pablo Riboldi is one of the authors and online teachers for The Family School High School. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Instructional Science, where he also earned a B.A. summa cum laude in Information Management. Pablo graduated from the “Escuela Superior de Comercio” High School Rosario Argentina. After two years of college in Buenos Aires and two years serving his mission in the Argentina Cordoba Mission, he migrated to Utah with his family to pursue his education. He worked as a private tutor and taught at the Provo Missionary Training Center and there developed the first version of the Technology Assisted Language Learning system (TALL v1.0). Pablo has worked professionally for EduQuest, IBM; American Stores, TestOut!, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in various capacities as instructional designer, business analysts, software developer, solutions manager, and database engineer. He has also worked as an Adjunct Faculty for the Educational Technology department at the University of Utah teaching courses on Learning Theories and Instructional Development and currently at the College of Business Management at Argosy University teaching several courses.  He has taught community classes on Euclidian Geometry for homeschooling families. He and his wife, Heidi, have eight children and they love hiking, sailing, cooking, reading, and raising their children together.

Presenter: Diann Jeppson

Conducting Your Homeschool, Versus Playing All the Instruments

This class will teach you how to approach homeschooling with a fresh perspective – that of the orchestrator of your family’s education, rather than seeking to teach every subject to every child. You will receive tools to assist you with three tasks as a homeschooling parent: 1. Identifying what is to be taught, 2. Determining which subjects you want to teach directly, 3. Orchestrating the rich variety of people, resources and opportunities available in your community and online, to support and contribute to your children’s education. Homeschooling is a huge task, and there are a host of opportunities available to you, to help you achieve your vision, regardless of your budget. If you have been struggling with “playing all the instruments” and feeling overwhelmed by the task of teaching  every subject to every child, come learn how to “conduct your homeschool” as you become the orchestrator of your children’s education by tapping into the wealth of learning opportunities available to your family.


Meet Diann Jeppson

Diann Jeppson is wholeheartedly engaged in the grand adventure of family centered education. She is the owner of FamilyEducationCoach.com, creator of the Family Builder Program, Liberty Girls Clubs and Retreats, and Simulations Week events for youth. She is a parliamentary procedure trainer and consultant. She enjoys her work as the High School Program Manager, and Parent and Co-op Training for Latter-day Learning, the worldwide outreach of American Heritage School . She and her husband Adam live in Mount Pleasant, Utah and have four daughters, two sons-in-law and five grandchildren.


Presenters: Ed and Brooke Rowe

Making your Home an MTC: Memoirs of A Returned Mission President

Every home is an MTC. Prophets counsel us to prepare our children for full-time missions. This session illustrates prophetic and practical principles with personal anecdotes to help you and your children become capable, loving, dedicated, prepared, and confident full-time missionaries.



Meet Ed & Brooke Rowe

Ed Rowe recently joined American Heritage as the Director for Institutional Advancement. Prior to joining American Heritage, Mr. Rowe was a partner at international law firms in Washington, DC where he focused on international dispute resolution, foreign investment and government relations. He took a leave of absence from his law practice to work for the LDS Church’s Humanitarian Department for one year to help develop and implement international humanitarian projects. He has also served as a board member of different organizations, including related to education, and he and his family have been involved in developing many international humanitarian projects. Mr. Rowe is a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Law School and received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in philosophy, where he was a student athlete. He and his family have lived abroad in Russia, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, and Croatia, and he has worked in other parts of Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. He and his wife Brooke have five children. Brooke Rowe has served as a Primary pianist and is a former counselor in a ward Primary presidency, Young Women adviser, ward and branch Young Women president, Primary teacher, Relief Society president and ordinance worker in the Provo Utah Temple.

Presenters: Jane Mack and Nannette Wiggins

Foundations: Start Right,  to End Right!

Perhaps the most important week of your homeschool journey is the first week. In this session Jane and Nannette will introduce The Family School Foundations Guidebook and the Foundations Week lessons. Foundations Week consists of five lessons to be taught at the beginning of each new school year. These five lesson plans provide a rich opportunity to lay Christ at the foundation of your school year and to introduce or review (for returning children) some of the most important methods you and your children will apply throughout the year. This session will help answer many of your questions about the Family School lesson format, and help you gain an understanding of the powerful teaching methods that set The Family School apart from other good curriculum.

Meet Jane Mack and Nannette Wiggins

Jane Neubert Mack is a native of Orem, Utah. She and her husband Spencer currently serve together in local branch presidency. They have 7 children and 25 grandchildren. Jane enjoys a good road trip, being with her family, gardening, doing family history work. Jane homeschooled her children for 22 years.

Nannette Neubert Wiggins also lives in Orem, Utah. She is the mother of 5 and the grandmother of 19. She and her husband have served as missionaries in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program and currently serve as missionaries in the BYU Idaho Pathway Program. Nannette graduated in elementary education from BYU. She loves to bike, swim and walk along the river, write, and sing. She has been involved in Homeschool for over 30 years.

Together Jane and Nannette have great passion for home education. They desire to help others have the same wonderful opportunity to teach their children “family style,” using gospel principles. Jane and her sister Nannette are currently helping to homeschool their own grandchildren. They have teamed up to write the Family School Geography lessons and are also the content editors for all of the K-8 Family School subjects. They feel very blessed to be part of such an amazing team, who are moving this great work forward at American Heritage School. It is surely a dream come true!

Presenter: Dr. Mark Basil

Health and Happiness Start Here—No Surprise for Latter-day Saints

Come learn about the keys to optimal health and happiness as it relates to our body. We will cover topics like sleep, nutrition, hydration, physical activity, and breathing. We will tie them in to how this affects our bodies and our spirits.


Just Take a Deep Breath…Literally!

Come learn how breathing can affect everything from anxiety and depression, to relationships, and anger management.  It can help with performance anxiety, testing anxiety and much, much more! This is life changing!

Meet Mark Basil

Mark Basil was born in Southern California and grew up with a love of sports, exercise, and fitness. These loves led him to become the youngest nationally certified personal trainer in the nation. Mark went on to train for and manage some of the largest health clubs in the country and is a former Strength and Conditioning Trainer for BYU. Ten years of college taught Mark one thing – keep learning! He is certified in Post Rehabilitation and is a Corrective Exercise Specialist. He loves to travel just trying to learn from the best minds in the world on health, nutrition, anatomy, and biomechanics. Health and fitness are his passions.

We first met Mark when is wife, Stephanie, started using The Family School and became a member of our Latter-day Learning worldwide family. They continue to homeschool their five children in Alpine, UT. The Mormon Channel recently posted some health advice regarding sleeping on their blog. You are in for a treat with Mark!

Presenter: Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

5 Simple Secrets to Raising Healthy Families Today

Do you want to have a healthy family, but you never seem to have the time?  Does healthy eating sound too expensive?  Are you frustrated trying to figure out which things will make the most difference?  As a busy mom and dentist, Dr. Michelle Jorgensen has had all of those same struggles.  She would love to share with you some of what she’s learned and uses every day.  Come learn:

  • How to be healthy on a budget
  • Easy to make nutritional powerhouse foods that kids love
  • When organic matters and when it doesn’t
  • Basic homemade medical remedies no home should be without
  • How to avoid sick days, all year long

Meet Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

Dr. Michelle Jorgensen is a mom first, and a dentist second.  In twenty years of practicing dentistry, she has discovered a love for helping families lead healthy lives- along with filling teeth!  She is a Therapeutic Nutritional Counselor and an avid learner about nutrition and health.  She teaches classes on Holistic Dentistry, Gardening, Healthy Food Preservation, Permaculture, Self Sufficiency and Garden to Table Cooking.  Her favorite class to teach is Real Food for Real Families.  She lives what she teaches, as a busy working mom feeding nine hungry people each day.  You will enjoy her passion for helping families, and you will learn things you can take home and start doing tomorrow!

Presenter: Nicholeen Peck

A Class for Parents With “THAT” child…In Other Words…All of Us!

Even though children and parents are unique, we all need to know how to help ourselves have a change of heart. How to be okay with life doesn’t seem okay and how to calmly problem solve during disappointment and emotional hard times.  If you teach a child how to govern his own behaviors, you will teach him how to change his heart. This change of heart is more important than any behavior change. Additionally, a change of heart promotes self-mastery, confidence, good communication and overcomes bad behaviors. This class will help you prepare your homeschool environment for unity and personal freedom.

Meet Nicholeen Peck

When it comes to parenting techniques, Nicholeen Peck’s influence extends to a worldwide audience. Her proven system based on Four Simple Skills transforms even the most out-of-control teenagers and homes from chaos to calm. Though she’s an international speaker, author, mentor, former foster parent of many difficult and troubled teens, Nicholeen spends most of her time at home with her husband and four children, which she knows will be her greatest impact and legacy. She is the owner of Teaching Self-Government, and current President of the Worldwide Organization for Women (an approved consultant for the United Nations). Learn more about her mission and methods at www.teachingselfgovernment.com.


 Matthew Pope

CES Global Education Initiative Reverse Panel 

Teachers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others may assist parents in teaching children, but other teachers cannot take the place of parents in their most sacred responsibility to rear children in light and truth. The family is the fundamental unit of society, the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take the family’s place or fulfill its essential functions. To prepare for this reverse panel, we created a short survey. Early survey input has contributed a remarkable number of thoughtful principles and methods for rearing children in light and truth, which we are excited to share with you! We will also invite you to share meaningful realizations, experiences, and turning points when you recognized a principle or method for supporting your children’s education.

Meet Matthew Pope

Matthew Pope is not originally from Utah which you’ll pick up when he starts speaking. He moved here a little over 7 years ago with his wife Debi and their 6 children. Since moving here they have added another child for a total of 7 – 3 daughters (ages 20, 10 and 3) and 4 sons (ages 18, 16, 14, 12). He grew up spending summers at the beach, jumping off jettys (piers) and all through his youth played basketball and volleyball.

He has worked for Seminaries and Institutes since 1997 with a few years in the middle where he pursued some other interests including management consulting in vision, mission and values planning, and corporate training in self-management and organizational skills. After moving to the USA he was drawn back to Seminaries and Institutes, teaching Seminary for a year in Orem Utah before being assigned to focus on teacher training and some other administrative functions. Now he works in the newly formed division of primary and secondary education. Part of his role sees him supporting the Church Schools in the Pacific and Mexico as well as assisting with the recently announce Global Education Initiative of the Church Educational System.

He has a Bachelor degree in middle school education. He also has two Masters degrees, one in distance education and computer based learning, the other in business administration. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Foundations.



Presenter: AnnMarie Norton

Organizing for Success: Much More Than Just Curriculum!

Let’s face it, you’re busy…really busy! Between laundry, shopping, transporting, cooking, cleaning, church responsibilities, and extra-curricular activities, adding your children’s education to the list can feel like an overwhelming and daunting responsibility. The key to effectively managing your responsibilities is to create effective systems, routines, and schedules. In this class, you will learn proven strategies, gain valuable insights, and discover tools and resources to save time, ensure that things get done in their proper order, and help you create and maintain a low-stress atmosphere of learning and growth.

Meet AnnMarie Norton

A passionate mother of seven and long time homeschooler, AnnMarie uses her organizational gift to successfully balance home, life and school. Known as “the systems girl,” AnnMarie is a master at eliminating waste, creating efficiency, and reducing redundancy—allowing more time and freedom to do the things that really matter.


Presenter Karen Arnesen  

Discovering Life in Living Books

“This is the BEST book,” I cried, lifting a well-worn copy of a book I was reading. My friends all laughed. They knew I had many best books. They had heard my “best book” line often. My library was full of such best, “living books”—books that changed me and molded me. Living Books capture our imaginations. They move us and change us, so that after reading one, we are never exactly the same again. In this class we will explore what makes a living book, how we can find them, how we can read them, and how we can make them part of our family culture.

Meet Karen Arnesen

Karen Arnesen is the mother of seven children ages 17 to 32. She learned about home schooling before she was married and fell in love with the idea. All of her children have been taught at home until high school, where they take music and AP classes, but do not graduate. She taught 8th grade in public school and at UVU (then UVSC) and worked for the Ensign magazine before she got married. She currently teaches a 5-year honors and AP Literature class in her home for a wonderful group of home school students. Karen writes the history and literature portions of American Heritage’s Family School. She loves being with her family, reading, traveling, camping and hiking, knitting, crocheting. She does not love exercising, but she does it six days a week.

Presenter: Ruel Haymond

Connecting Children to History Through Current Events

This course will focus on the importance of likening history to ourselves. This is the secret to avoiding the mistakes of the past, understanding better our purpose and our present, and preparing for a many future opportunities to be instruments in the hands of God.




Meet Ruel Haymond

All who know Ruel Haymond will tell you how passionate he is about education, principle-based teaching and the Restored Gospel. With experience as the former principal at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork, UT, and also as an instructor at Bear River High School (Garland, UT), Aspen Academy (Payson, UT) and the Founders Commonwealth (Payson, UT, homeschool cooperative), Ruel is a devoted teacher with a deep love of God, family and country. Having graduated from Utah State University with degrees in Family Science and Spanish, Ruel went on to complete a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology at USU and will soon complete his PhD in Constitutional Law from George Wythe University. Ruel is a teacher of many talents – not the least of which is his great gift for educating hearts and connecting with students on a spiritual level. Ruel and his wife Tresa are the parents of 7 children, and 2 grandchildren.

Presenter: Leland Anderson

You CAN Teach Your Child to Read

The ability to read unlocks opportunities for learning at home and in other settings. This presentation addresses the learning-to-read process from neurological, family-sociological, and practical perspectives. Examples and videos of teaching-in-action will give attendees vision and practical tips and tools for how to teach their children to read.



Meet Leland Anderson

Mr. Leland Anderson joined AHS’s administrative team in July 2008. In addition to his administrative duties as Principal of Distance Education, Accreditation Coordinator, and International Admissions Coordinator, Mr. Anderson enjoys teaching Family Science. Prior to coming to American Heritage School, Mr. Anderson graduated from Harvard University with an Ed.M. in School Leadership and received K-12 administrative licenses from the states of Utah and Massachusetts. He completed an administrative internship at Madison Park High School, the largest technical-vocational high school in Boston Public Schools. He was also a Visiting Fellow at Innosight Institute in 2008-2009 where he co-authored and published “Alpine Online School: A Utah school district’s move into K-8 online education.” Mr. Anderson taught English at Oak Canyon Junior High School and Provo High School. He earned a B.A. cum laude and with University Honors in English Teaching from Brigham Young University (BYU). He was a Trustees Scholar, ORCA Research Grant Recipient, and a Robert C. Byrd Scholar. He worked at BYU’s Center for Instructional Design. He taught Spanish at the LDS Missionary Training Center and tutored at BYU’s Reading and Writing Center. He completed a full-time LDS mission in Mexico City. He and his wife, Gina  have six children. Among their favorite past-times, they enjoy gardening, baking, reading, blogging, scrap-booking, hiking, camping, and family reunions.

Presenter: Jeff Hymas

Tips, Mnemonics, & Games to Teach Children about the US Constitution

As Latter-day Saints, we feel deeply about the Constitution and we know WHY it is an inspired document. But, what do we really know about it? When we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that we know very little of WHAT it actually says so we’re at a loss as to HOW to share those important principles with our children. But that can change! Join us to find out not only WHAT the Constitution says and means but HOW to share it with your children in a way that is meaningful, simple and fun!


Meet Jeff Hymas

Jeff Hymas is passionate about God, Family and Country. He recently launched his non-profit, In the Constitution, and has spent the last 5 years teaching thousands of people across the nation about our founding documents. He has published a book, Founders and Prophets, and has produced an adult Constitution series, a youth series, and, most recently, a Constitution Bee that has reached over 1000 youth nationwide. He can hardly believe he gets to teach at American Heritage – and all within the foundational context of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Jeff served a mission to Guayaquil, Ecuador and attended Ricks College, BYU and received an MBA from Idaho State University. He and his wife, ShaRee, are the parents of nine children. Of all the setbacks and successes in their lives, none of them has proven to be nearly as challenging nor as rewarding as their striving to raise up a family unto the Lord. They are grateful to have the full-time assistance of the committed staff and faculty at American Heritage to help them do just that and Jeff is honored to be part of a team which provides that same resource to the parents of the incredible youth he gets to work with each day.