The Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Alliance Board of Directors is comprised of individuals who love homeschooling and want to help others on their homeschool journey.

 

Board members are all volunteers — and are fitting in this volunteer commitment as they homeschool, work, raise families, and maintain other relationships — just like you. If you’d like to learn more about serving on the MHA Board, please consider attending a monthly board meeting or talking to a current board member.

 

According to our bylaws, the board shall consist of  3-11 members, and all board members should be current MHA members. Officers of MHA shall be elected by the Board annually at the last meeting of each calendar year and effective immediately; or midyear, as needed to fill vacancies. The term of each director shall be three (3) years and expire on Dec. 31. Directors may serve three consecutive terms. The officers of Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Alliance shall be President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors, and terms will expire at the first board meeting of each calendar year. Officers are encouraged to serve one three-year term, but may serve up to two.

 

Board meetings are typically held once a month, on the Fourth Monday, at the Coffee Shop Northeast, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and they’re open to the public. But you might want to email mha@homeschoolers.org to doublecheck that the meeting hasn’t been moved that month before arriving.

 

Current Board Members include:

President Tesha M. Christensen Pettit (to Dec. 2018), Vice President Maria Almli (to Dec. 2019), Secretary Amy Pass (to Dec. 2019), Treasurer Aza Donnelly (to Dec. 2018), Ellen Crain (to Dec. 2022), and Ann Klein (to Dec. 2018).

MHA Board members, left to right, Tesha M. Christensen Pettit, Amy Pass, Ann Klein, Maria Almli and Ellen Crain. Not pictured: Aza Donnelly.

MEET YOUR BOARD MEMBERS

MARIA ALMLI
City of residence: Hopkins/Minnetonka area
Ages of children: four children, ages 15, 13, 8, and 5.
# of years homeschooling: We have been homeschooling for an entire decade (when did that happen?!).

Describe your homeschooling philosophy/style: Our style is eclectic, as is wont to happen over 10 years and 4 children. We especially enjoy project based learning, good books, and field trips.

What drew you to MHA as a board volunteer: I officially got involved with the MHA board in 2016 when the Science Fair needed new leadership.

Fun facts:
1) I have a degree in Philosophy.
2) My children play the four instruments that make up a string quartet-viola, cello, and two violins. I had nothing to do with this (they all chose on their own).
3) Both sides of my family have somehow managed to be pen pals with their relatives in Europe for 100 years or more! I am not a particularly stellar correspondent, however.
4) I have worked as a radio reporter and producer.
5) I run a homeschool book club. My favorite genre is historical fiction, but we read all kinds!
6) Hobbies include knitting, singing, writing, swimming, camping, and cooking food from works of fiction.
7) I love going to live theater but am totally incapable of acting.
8) If architecture could be a hobby, it would be my favorite.

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN PETTIT
City of residence: Minneapolis (formerly of Cambridge, Minn.)
Ages of children: My daughter is age 8, and my son is 5

# of years homeschooling: We have always homeschooled. I was also homeschooled for most of my K-12 education along with two siblings.

Describe your homeschooling philosophy/style: I hesitate to put a label on my philosophy, as I pull in whatever is useful from everything I read. I appreciate the tactile approach of Montessori and the nature focus of Charlotte Mason. I value classic literature, and seek to instill a love of learning in my students. As a journalist, I place a high value on free speech, and I appreciate that we’re able to exercise that as homeschoolers and show democracy in action every day with the choices we make. I love that we’re able to follow the passions and interests of my learners, and that we can drive home education with field trips and games that they (and I) enjoy.

What drew you to MHA as a board volunteer: I enjoy being an active part of my community, and appreciate being around other homeschoolers, so it seemed like a natural place to volunteer.

Fun Facts about you:
1) My Canon Rebel T2i is one of my most prized possessions.
2) I had two home births with the same wonderful midwife.
3) I converted the grass in my front yard into a garden with mostly native plants. It’s still a work in progress!
4) My favorite holiday is Christmas and I have an extensive Christmas earring collection.
5) I learned to crochet in fourth grade, taught a friend, and then forgot again until she returned the favor and retaught me at age 34. Now we help run Team Yarn – Head Huggers together, making and distributing hats, shawls, blankets and more to those fighting cancer and chronic illnesses.

ELLEN CRAIN
Information coming

AZA DONNELLY
City of residence: Columbia Heights.
Ages of children: 3 kids, 24, 11 and 9.
# of years homeschooling: We decided to homeschool when our 11 yr old was a baby.

Describe your homeschooling philosophy/style: We are what we call atypical unschoolers. Although I geek out on curriculum and learning styles.

What drew you to MHA as a board volunteer: I am drawn to the MHA board because I want to create a bridge between the special needs community and the homeschool community. While we are not super active in the homeschool community, I find it so accessible for families with special needs as well as all other families!

Fun Facts about you:
1) I have worked in the disabilities community for 25 years, currently I am a advocate, self advocate, disability services specialist and a support planner.
2) I’m a gentle parenting advocate.
3) I have two cats.

ANN KLEIN
City of residence: Minneapolis
Ages of children: 7 (b/g twins)
# of years homeschooling: always have homeschooled

Describe your homeschooling philosophy/style: eclectic mix (child-led, games, projects, sit down work, and hours of reading aloud)

What drew you to MHA as a board volunteer:I wanted to be more involved in the homeschooling community

Fun Facts:
1) I grew up in the Minneapolis Metro
2) I minored in music in college. I was a classical singer
3) I enjoy working out at the Y several times a week
4) I love reading historical fiction.
5) I think riding a bike is really fun

AMY PASS
City of residence: Minneapolis
Ages of children: 26 & 15
# of years homeschooling: 10-ish

Describe your homeschooling philosophy/style: We’re a bit eclectic. We *do* use curriculum, but we choose curriculum based on what works best for us and what sparks our interest. We’ve gotten more structured over the years, and I think that has suited us well. We don’t tend to run on a strict schedule – more of a general idea of what we want to get done each week.

What drew you to MHA as a board volunteer: I love talking with new homeschoolers about all their options, and I really appreciate what a large and vibrant homeschool community we have here in MN. I want to continue to see options for homeschoolers to build community (picnics, conferences, etc…), and I’m interested in how I can help make that happen. I believe that MHA is important as a non-sectarian, inclusive resource for homeschoolers in MN.

Fun Facts about you:
1) I LOVE to camp!
2) I have a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy.
3) I co-founded a small organization in 2013 called Team Yarn, making handmade knit and crochet items for people with cancer and chronic illness.
4) I often dream of Tiny House living or selling everything and living in one of those big vans.
5) I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.