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Board of Directors

Joanne LaSpina, Board Chair, first became involved with Family and Home Network as an avid reader of their monthly magazine, “Welcome Home” (no longer published). Joanne had her first piece of writing published in Welcome Home in 2004, which led to a run of articles published in a variety of magazines and online sites on many topics related to parenting. When FAHN put out a call for volunteers several years ago, Joanne became involved in their social media efforts, and ultimately a member of the Board. Currently Joanne has her own college consulting practice, My College Helper, in which she puts her counseling skills to work helping students and parents navigate the college admissions process. Joanne is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and the Higher Education Consultants Association. Now that her own kids are of college age, Joanne’s hobbies include traveling to visit college campuses, baking (especially anything involving chocolate!), reading and writing.

Karen Skelton subscribed to Welcome Home in the mid-1990s for some much-needed support of her new role as a mother, after leaving her position as an Air Force intelligence officer. "Transitioning Home" was a reality, and one that ultimately led to homeschooling her son and daughter all the way to graduation. When Karen learned of an opportunity to serve on the board of Family and Home Network in 2011, she was happy to return the favor and support. Since 2014, Karen has also served in multiple leadership roles for the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. She is also a dedicated genealogist and social historian. She and her husband, Rob, live in Annandale, VA, while their son and daughter now live on opposite coasts of the U.S. where they continue to travel, grow, and explore the world. Karen says, "As parents, we gave them roots but we also gave them wings."

Tom Mayer started staying home three days a week when his son Liam was about six months old. In August of 2003 Tom resigned from his job as a Research Psychologist at the U.S. Bureau of the Census to stay home full time. That’s about the time he began volunteering for FAHN, contributing articles and book reviews to Welcome Home as well as lending his expertise as a psychologist to the design of FAHN’s Transitioning Home workshop. Tom and his wife, Laura, moved the family to the Richmond, VA area in 2005. He continues to enjoy being an at-home Dad for Liam (16) and Danny (11). Tom enjoys cooking, woodworking and playing music with his friends.

Michelle Rief is the mother of three children, ages 11, 7 and 5. She is active in her local Parent Teacher Association, Holistic Moms Network, and serves on the board of the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington. Michelle teaches history part time at Northern Virginia Community College, and enjoys reading and visiting historical sites.

Jeanne Faulconer was an at-home parent and homeschool mom to her three sons, now grown. She is a popular speaker at homeschooling conferences, business groups, and parents’ groups, and she homeschooled her three sons in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia for 20 years. Frequently having combined volunteering and part-time professional work with at-home parenting, today Jeanne is a homeschool coach for Brave Writer and writes for Her column “Ask Jeanne” addresses homeschooling and parenting questions from readers. Jeanne conducts portfolio evaluations for Virginia homeschoolers for evidence of progress, and she coaches parents and teens in Virginia on interest-led learning as prep for life, work, and college. She was a college faculty member, a long-time La Leche League Leader, editor of Home Education Magazine and VaHomeschoolers Voice, and an NPR-member station news correspondent. Her website is

Executive Director Catherine Myers first volunteered for FAHN in the mid-1980s and has served in many roles since. In 2005, she enrolled part time at George Mason University and in 2012 completed her Bachelor of Individualized Studies in Human Development, Parenting and Policy. Her academic studies were inspired by and informed by her involvement in FAHN. Cathy and her husband Fred homeschooled their children in Northern Virginia until they went to high school. They live now in Durham, NC, close to their daughter, her husband and two sons (ages 8 and 11). They enjoy frequent visits with their son and daughter-in-law and one-year-old grandson in New Orleans.