Meet the Homeschool Iowa Board

Your state homeschool organization, Homeschool Iowa, is led by a terrific team of dedicated board members. 

Since its inception in 1992, Homeschool Iowa (NICHE) has been served by an amazing roster of homeschooling parents who were willing to offer their time and talents to promote and protect home education in Iowa. 

Our current board members are dedicated to continue and build upon those past high standards of service. 




Joe and Elizabeth Bailey have been married since 2012 and have five children. Joe was homeschooled K-12 and was involved with his local homeschool choir, volunteering for Homeschool Iowa, 4-H, First Lego League, and running his own lawn care business. Elizabeth was homeschooled 3rd-12th and was involved in TeenPact, volunteering for Homeschool Iowa, 4-H, and working as an Iowa Capitol Page during high school. Joe went on to receive his B.S. degree in Mechanical and Welding Engineering from LeTourneau University. Elizabeth earned a B.A. degree in Social Sciences from Thomas Edison University, using the accelerated distance learning approach to college. Joe now works as a weld engineer at Vermeer Corp., while Elizabeth works as a stay-at-home mom. Elizabeth enjoys serving on the Homeschool Iowa Capitol Day committee, and Joe is currently serving as Homeschool Iowa President. They are both passionate about securing homeschooling freedoms for their own children and for future generations.



Pastor Brad and Sarah Dittmer have been married since 1993.  They have homeschooled all 10 of their children, with three having graduated with NICHE.   The seven remaining children range from high school down to pre-reading age.  If youth volunteers are needed by Homeschool Iowa, a Dittmer child can be depended upon to fill the role. Brad has served for a number of years as Homeschool Iowa vice president. And when proofreading skills are needed, we rely upon Sarah, a court reporter, and her "eagle eyes." The Dittmers' passion for homeschooling is to ensure that our freedoms stay intact for future generations. 



Jill Oppman and husband, Darren, have been married since 1985. They have four adult children who were all homeschooled, and they are also the proud grandparents of two of the cutest little boys! 
When their oldest child was nearing kindergarten age a seasoned homeschool couple approached them and asked if they had ever considered homeschooling. They had never even heard of homeschooling!  With direction from this veteran couple, they jumped in and never looked back! 
One of t he greatest blessings of homeschooling was the closeness it brought to their family. 
Jill enjoys sharing her homeschool experiences with others as a way to encourage and help them navigate their own journey.  The Oppmans have been volunteering for Homeschool Iowa in a variety of ways for many years, and Jill currently serves as our Capitol Day Coordinator and is a Homeschool Iowa Regional Representative. Darren served on the Homeschool Iowa board for three years and retired in 2020. 



Daniel and Erin Watkins have been married since 2013. They have not been blessed with children at this time, but look forward to the day they can participate in raising the next generation to know, love, and serve the Lord! Daniel was born and raised in Minnesota where he was the first in his family to be home educated from K-12. He volunteered with the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators' annual conference for several years. Erin grew up in Iowa and was homeschooled for the majority of her education. She has served in various capacities with Homeschool Iowa over the past 15 years, from volunteering at the conferences and other events, to being involved with coordinating the Homeschool Iowa graduation for several years. Daniel and Erin are excited about the opportunity to help encourage home education in Iowa. One area they are excited to work toward is fostering stronger relationships between homeschoolers and their churches.



Bob and Cathy Sorensen have been married since 1983  and homeschooled two children K-12 who are now both college graduates, married, and enjoying their careers. Bob has a technology background and has served in leadership positions on small business, non profit and ministry boards.  Together they have served together on the HEED Board, a local homeschool group and The Network Board in the Des Moines metro area. Cathy has also served as a HEED president twice and as  Mentor Mom for 20 years.  She is currently our Homeschool Iowa Regional Representatives and Special Needs Advisors coordinator. Bob is the Homeschool Iowa Board Vice-President. 



George and Kim Blom have been married since 1993  and homeschooled four children K-12, all of whom have now graduated. Two of their children are married, and Kim and George now have a grandchild as well. They have served  served in leadership positions in their local homeschool group in Pella and taught courses in a local homeschool co-op. George serves on the Homeschool Iowa Board Executive Committee and Kim is the Homeschool Iowa Conference Coordinator. 



Aaron and Emily Forsyth are our newest Homeschool Iowa Board members. They've been married since 2003 and have four school-aged children. Aaron is a software engineer and Emily has served in leadership for her local Classical Conversations group for over a half-dozen years. 

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