To know God and to make Him known.

Speakers Bureau

You have decided to homeschool. You know it’s a calling. You know it’s right for you and your family. But you might not know exactly where to start. We can help. 

Your children are in middle school. Their needs are changing. Your homeschool is changing. You need new skills, new tools for discussion, new books to read, and new teaching methods. We can help.

Your children are in high school. You are in the home stretch. Once you again, you need new skills, new tools for coaching your child, new books to read, and new teaching methods. We can help.

You want to grow as a tutor or as a community leader. We can help. Contact us at

Lisa Bailey

Amanda Butler

Jennifer Courtney

Marc Hays

Heather Shirley

Shelly Stockton


Meet our Speakers

Lisa Bailey, veteran homeschooler and conference speaker, loves challenging students (and parents!) to think, and loves to engage them in dialogue about great ideas. She lives in Stokesdale, North Carolina with her pastor husband, where they enjoy lively discussions about language, music, politics, and culture. She and her husband have graduated both daughters through the Challenge program, and love to see the influence of the classical model on their own children.  Currently serving as the Practicum Speaker Trainer for Classical Conversations, Lisa has spoken to groups in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, and California. 
Amanda Butler and her husband Ryan live near Austin, TX with their children, Emily and Isaac.  After discovering Classical Conversations during a dinner party in 2008, the Butlers have made Classical Conversations the core of their homeschool.   Amanda began her tenure in CC as a Foundations tutor and has continued serving as a Challenge A director for the last eight years.  In addition, Amanda has served as the Challenge A Academic Advisor for four years and now administers academic development and change management for CCMM as well as leading an academic cohort.  In 2016 Amanda graduated from the CiRCE Institute’s apprenticeship program.  One of Amanda’s favorite things about Classical Conversations is that homeschooling families are rightly recognized as image-bearers of God and accordingly encouraged and equipped to better know God, themselves, and the world around them via ongoing conversations with one another. Her personal motto is:  "Empower, encourage, and equip parents and students for the purpose of impacting the world for God's glory."
Jennifer Courtney is married to her high school sweetheart Tim. They have home educated their four children for ten years. Jennifer has served Classical Conversations during those ten years, serving as a Foundations director, Essentials tutor, Challenge director, and State Manager of Oklahoma. She currently serves as the Parent Education Director and Curriculum Writer for Classical Conversations MultiMedia. In 2016, Jennifer earned the CiRCE Master Teacher designation for Christian classical education. She graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English literature and a minor in French. Jennifer’s hobbies include piano, needlework, and reading 19th century British fiction. She is passionate about helping parents to give their children a Christian, classical education and enjoys training and speaking to parents around the country.
Marc Hays has been married to Jamie for 18 years. They have 6 children: a single, a double, and a triple. Yep, that’s right—triplets and twins. They have been home educating since 1999 and a part of Classical Conversations since 2010. Marc serves as the Academic Director for Classical Conversations. He also directs a Challenge III program in middle Tennessee. Marc enjoys his morning rituals of drinking coffee, reading books, and peeking in on the kids while they sleep. His favorite coffee is Costa Rican; his favorite author is C. S. Lewis; and his favorite kids are currently six in number. His lifetime aspirations are subsumed under one prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” A secondary goal is to be his great-grandchildren’s Challenge director. He is confident that the primary goal will come to pass. He hopes he is blessed with the secondary one as well.
Heather Shirley, her husband Ed, and their three children have been involved with Classical Conversations since 2003. Heather began her Classical Conversations journey tutoring abecedarians with Leigh Bortins as her assigned mommy-helper. She has tutored every year since, and insists that CC tutoring has afforded her a real and robust education. Currently, Heather tutors Challenge III at her local community in Greensboro, NC. Heather believes learning is for a lifetime and inspires other parents across the nation to believe the same. In 2014, Heather was awarded CiRCE's Master Teacher certification for her years of learning in the CiRCE Apprenticeship. Every year that Heather tutors Challenge, she insists that she learns something new and discovers wider relations of truth. Her learning motto for life is: “A learning life is a life in lessons on humility.”
Shelly Stockton and her husband Greg have home educated their five daughters for the past twenty years.  Shelly has served Classical Conversations in the role of Essentials tutor, Challenge Director, and Midwest State Manager.  She currently supports the Academic Team as Team Lead.  Shelly graduated from Emporia State University with a degree in Music Education and Composition.  She and her family enjoy hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains and kayaking in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.