SCHEA Board of Directors

Rowe_ProfileJeff Rowe
Kelly Rowe, President

Kelly Rowe holds a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters in Early Childhood and Development. Twenty years ago, after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, she married Jeff, a structural engineer and business owner, and they are parents to 9 children, 2 of whom have gone on to their heavenly home.  Being a believer in Jesus, a wife, a mother, and a home schooler have been the priorities of her adult life. Beginning their home school journey 17 years ago in Charleston, SC, both had a passion for serving in the home school community.  Serving on the board of directors for their home school group and leading seminars, Kelly began to nurture others the way she was trained by godly "Titus 2" women at the beginning of her journey.   In 2013, Kelly began serving on the board of SCHEA, South Carolina Home Educators Association, the State Home Schooling Support Group.  In 2012, Kelly began teaching classes for homeschoolers through co-ops and online classrooms for high school.  She is a member of the SC Governor's Commission and Foundation Board, intermittently works for a political consulting firm, is active in her local and state Republican Party, and serves as a board member and secretary for her local Greenville-Spartanburg Republican Women’s Club.  She and Jeff serve as the Legislative Liaisons in SC for the Article V Convention of States Project and Kelly serves as the Media Relations Director for the state in that effort.  The two of them have worked together with Trail Life USA, The Boy Scouts of America, and American Heritage Girls in the past, and attend and are active in their church in the upstate of SC.  She enjoys babies and children, cooking, flower gardening, and reading.  Kelly has self-published "Homeschooling Birth - 4th Grade" and is currently working on another book, a collection of stories, anecdotes, and true-live events of the Rowe Tribe, her family.  Kelly lives, loves, laughs, cries, and writes with the Tribe in the Upstate of SC, occasionally in the Low Country, or wherever she finds herself.

SusanPicSusan Blackwell

Susan graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a Bachelors in Secondary Education, and continued working on her Master's degree at Bob Jones University while teaching at Grace Christian School in West Columbia, SC.  After 3 years of marriage to her husband Joe, they began adding 3 children to their family.  The Blackwells began homeschooling in 1993 and continued doing so for 18 years.  Their firstborn has a Master's degree in Human Services, the middle child has a Bachelor's in Youth Ministry and the youngest is a special needs child who remains at home.

After seeking the will of the Lord, Susan is currently a Special Needs Independent Consultant after serving several years as Director of a Special Needs Homeschooling Department at a local association. She finds great joy in helping families find accommodations for their students, as well as developing curricula plans, service plans, etc.  She has also been actively testing home schooled students independently and in group settings.  Her website is
Susan enjoys participating in her church as the organist, and ladies Sunday School teacher.  She joined the SCHEA board in September and loves answering the SCHEA phone and emails to assist parents on this journey of homeschooling.  Susan also speaks at support group meetings, conventions and workshops, usually on special needs topics.

DonnaCartwrightDonna Cartwright

Donna is an indigenous Pacific Islander married to Chaplain Brett Cartwright.  Although her 27 and 21 year old children have graduated, she continues to homeschool her 12 and 9 year old.

Donna is the Director of Lowcountry Homeschool Association.  She also founded the homeschool cooperative, The Learning Train offering three locations.  She was a former weather anchor and before homeschooling, she was a real estate sales agent since 1998.  She studied art, loves being with her family and traveling.  She has a heart to serve homeschoolers.

Gale_BioPicGale Farrier

Gregg and Gale Farrier began home schooling one son in NC for a year before moving to SC where they home schooled all their children from  1986 until their youngest graduated in 2005.  They helped to organize Easley Home Educators in 1991 and Gale served as President of that support group until her "retirement" in  2005.  She was on the SCHEA board in the early '90's and came back on the board in 2001 and has served continuously since then, first as treasurer, then legislative researcher, and then as President.  She is currently serving in a mentor relationship with the SCHEA Board.  The Lord took Gregg Home in 2010, but Gale remains in the home school arena on the state level.  She is enjoying her 11 grandchildren -- though she doesn't see as much of them as she would like since they are currently scattered in PA, AZ, AL and SC.

unknownDarin Gerdes

Darin Gerdes has spent his life in Christian Education. He taught at a classical Christian school for six years before becoming a professor in the School of Business at Liberty University in 2005. In 2011, he moved his family from Virginia to South Carolina to teach at Charleston Southern University where he is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Programs in the School of Business.

Darin teaches courses in leadership and management. He has earned undergraduate degrees in government and psychology from Liberty University, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Arts in Public Policy, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. At Charleston Southern, he designed the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

Darin is a homeschool dad of 6 children. While he has been politically active for 20 years, he became heavily involved in homeschool politics in 2012. Darin joined the SCHEA Board in 2015.

JenniferHarkaiPicJennifer Harkai

Jennifer Harkai and her husband, Jay, reside in Simpsonville and are blessed with 6 children here. The Lord led them to begin their homeschool adventure in 1999, while trying to find the best way to educate their oldest child who suffered from chronic health issues. Jennifer has homeschooled in 3 different states: Michigan, Wisconsin, and South Carolina. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Developmental Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. While in Michigan, Jennifer served on a local co-op board for 3 years and mentored many families beginning their homeschooling adventure. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, cooking and baking and trying new restaurants. Jennifer joined the SCHEA board in 2015, after serving on a local homeschool co-op board for over 5 years. She is serving as the National Honor Society Advisor for SCHEA.

10450628_10203821303310534_3918567305787558982_n (1)Dana Patterson

Dana Patterson is SC native who has been married for 20 years and has been blessed with 7 children to raise for the glory of the Lord. She and her husband, Chad,  have homeschooled their children since 2004.  Their oldest child graduated in 2016 and they are currently schooling their other children in grades 1 - 7 along with their 2 preschool age children who enjoy learning along with their older siblings.

When she is not homeschooling, Dana enjoys serving families within her local birth community through Cradled in Love Birth Services.  Dana is a certified birth and bereavement doula, childbirth educator, and Chapter Leader of ICAN of Upstate SC.  Dana joined the SCHEA board in 2015 and loves encouraging other homeschool families in her community and around the state.

While SCHEA members are not required to agree to the Bylaws of the South Carolina Home Educators Association, all board members have agreed to uphold them as long as they are part of the Board of Directors.