THEA 2020 Outstanding Students

Outstanding homeschool students are honored each year as part of the THEA Capitol Hill Rally and Reception Day event with their pictures and the bullet-point listing of their achievements in our Rally Day Program Booklet which we present to our all Tennessee Legislators and our Governor.  These outstanding students are engaged with their family, their community, participate in a myriad of activities and projects, while they are completing a rigorous academic program designed by and in consultation with their parents to prepare them for their uniquely planned future.  Each chapter of the Tennessee Home Education Association annually selects up to two outstanding students. They are recognized and honored during our Rally in our Capitol’s House of Representatives Chamber. Sadly, THEA was not able to honor these fine young people in person as our 2020 Capitol Hill Rally and Reception Day was cancelled because of Covid. Now you can meet the THEA 2020 Outstanding Students here on our website, see their bullet point bios and read the contents of this year’s unique Rally Day Booklet.


SMHEA, Smoky Mountain Home Education Association



Daughter of Katherine and Timothy Hall

Clinton, Anderson County


  • Faithful, Optimistic, Quick Thinking, Articulate, Thorough, and Generous

  • Perfect 4.0 GPA, including Dual Enrollment at Pellissippi State Community College

  • Regional Winner and National Competitor in Speech and Debate

  • Speech and Debate Coach and Regional Rep of National Student Advisory Council

  • Historical Reenactor with Tennesseans’ For Living History for 4 Years

  • Meta-analytical Research Assistant for Florida State University, Evaluating Research on Hormonal Stress-Response in Avian Species

  • Volunteer for over 222 Hours at Clinton Public Library

  • Assistant to Director for Oak Ridge Branch of Operation Christmas Child

  • Volunteer Caregiver in Church Nursery for 4 Years

  • Academic Tutor in Multiple Subjects for Children, including Autistic Student

  • Accepted to the University of Tennessee, ETSU, and Covenant College

  • Plans to Earn a Degree in Communications


CCT - Christian Communicators of Tennessee



Daughter of Vikki and Brad Lemmon

Centerville, Hickman County


  • Diligent, Hard Working, Organized, Musical, Thoughtful, Persuasive

  • Honors Participant in National Association of Music Teachers Association

  • Scores of Distinction by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music for Theory and Performance

  • National 3-Year Competitor in Multiple Speech and Debate Categories

  • Regular Yearly Volunteer at “Remembering WWII” Re-enactments – Building Props, Sewing Period Costumes, Hosting, Singing, Acting, Fund-raising

  • Invited Participant in Henry Ford Museum’s Dearborn Michigan Annual Living History

  • Weekly Adult Choir Member, Assistant to Director of 1,000 Voice Choir for International Conference at Bridgestone Arena

  • Consistent Visitor and Friend to Elderly Neighbors and Nursing Home Residents

  • Dining Hospitality for Varied Events such as 10-Course Formal Dinner, including Advance Meal Prep, Head Server, and Clean-up

  • Exemplary Employee, Receiving Local and Regional Commendations



Daughter of Kimberly and Matthew Farley

Spring Hill, Maury County


  • Insightful, Articulate, Compassionate, Responsible, Balanced, Devoted

  • Perfect 4.0 GPA, including College-level Courses

  • Classical Pianist, Superior and Superior Plus Ratings by National Piano Guild

  • Invited Participant to Union University Scholars of Excellence

  • Champion Speech Competitor in 12 Categories

  • Tournament Winner in Two Types of Debate

  • 5-Year Competitor in National Invitational Tournament of Champions

  • Volunteer Speech and Debate Coach for Peers

  • Mentor and Tutor with Image Builders

  • Part-time Employee as Barista

  • Top Academic Scholarship at Union University, Communications Major

  • Goal to be Spokesperson for a Non-Profit Organization


MHEA - Memphis-Area Home Education Association


Daughter of Mandy and Mark Hall

Arlington, Shelby County


  • Ambitious, Determined, Intelligent, Altruistic, and Disciplined

  • Perfect 4.0 GPA, including Dual Enrollment College Courses

  • 5-Year Officer of MHEA Chapter, Eta Sigma Alpha National Honor Society

  • Chair of Fund-raising and Silent Auction for MHEA Elementary Field Day

  • Charter Member Local HOSA – Future Health Professionals Club

  • HOSA State Voting Delegate, Regional 1st Place in Medical Terminology

  • Regional Precalculus Exam, TN Mathematics Teachers Association

  • Participant in St. Jude Science Scholars of Tomorrow Program

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital VolunTeen, Shadowing Medical Professionals

  • Christian Brothers University STEM Program Science Intensives

  • Student Leadership University III Grad: Orlando, Washington DC, and Europe

  • Ministry Providing Baby Dolls to Children in Distressed Situations

  • Medical Triage Clerk for Mid-South Mission of Mercy Free Dental Care

  • Accepted to University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center for B.S. in Nursing

  • Goal for Career in Pediatric Surgical Nursing, Specific Interest in Pediatric Oncology



Son of Denise and Billy Roberts

Oxford MS, Lafayette County


  • Versatile, Artistic, Musical, Digitally Savvy, and Goal-Oriented

  • 4.0 GPA, including College-level and Very Advanced Honors Courses

  • 6-Year Officer of MHEA chapter of Eta Sigma Alpha National Honor Society

  • Vocalist, Bass and Section Leader, Shepherd’s Horn Honors Choir

  • Award-winning Artist, Visually and Musically

  • Performer in Various Local Theatre Venues and Musical Theatre

  • Certified Community Emergency Response Team Member

  • Captain and Chaplain, Local Competitive Baseball Team

  • VolunTeen Recognized for Service Hours at Local Public Library

  • Accepted to the University of Mississippi School of Engineering, Dual-Majoring in Computer Science and Computer Engineering with a Minor in Business.

  • Invited to Prestigious Ole Miss Provost Scholars Honors Program

  • Goal after Completing Grad or Law School to Establish own Computer Business and Impact his Community through Collaborations with Local Schools


WTHEA - West Tennessee Home Education Association


Daughter of Tracie and Keith Eason

Bells, Haywood County


  • Mature, Humble, Generous, Organized, Hard Working, and Astute

  • Very High GPA with 6 College Courses Earned at Jackson State

  • Member of JSCC Arts and Sciences Honors Program and Phil Theta Kappa

  • Member of National Society of High School Scholars

  • Mock Trial Team Regional Champion and State Sportsmanship Award

  • 4-H Leader, Officer, County Reporter, Competitor in Numerous Categories

  • Volunteer over 200 Hours for Local High School Football Team

  • Children’s, Youth Ministry, and Nursery Worker for Many Church Activities

  • Assistant to Crockett County Schools Director of Technology for 2 Summers

  • Co-Owner in Family Cattle Business since age 13, taking out Agricultural Farm Loan to Buy First 3 Cows and Paying off Loan a Year Early

  • Accepted at Jackson State to Earn Associates Degree in Applied Science with Concentration in Physical Therapy.

  • Goal to Specialize in Children’s Physical Therapy



Daughter of Christine and Mike Mutter

Pinson, Madison County


  • Practical, Conscientious, Perceptive, Musical, and Down to Earth

  • Fluent in American Sign Language

  • Talented Musician, Singing, Composing, and Playing Guitar

  • First-place Winning Choir for Two Years

  • First-place in State Singing and Songwriting Competition

  • Awarded Scholarship by the Jackson-area Plectral Society for Preservation of Old-Time String Music for Further Guitar Study

  • 4-H County Talent Contest Instrumental Winner

  • Singer and Guitar Accompanist for Children’s and Adult Worship

  • Red Cross, Local Hospital, and Nursing Home Volunteer

  • Wildlife Aficionado, Raising Chickens and Pet Squirrels, Enjoying Hiking and Fishing

  • Self-Taught Field Dresser for Wild Game and Preparer of Venison Jerky

  • Employee at Historic Casey Jones Museum, as well as Baby and Dog Sitting

  • Prospective Worker as a Sign Language Interpreter

  • Plans to Attend Bible College, Majoring in Music Education

  • Goal to Work in Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, or Cattle Ranching



MTHEA - Middle Tennessee Home Education Association


Son of Shawn and Christopher Buford

Nashville, Davidson County


  • Bright, Diligent, Competitive, Ambitious, and Service-Oriented

  • Excellent 4.0 High School GPA with College Dual Enrollment

  • Accepted to Honors College at Nashville State Community College

  • Inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success

  • Regular Participant in Toastmasters Leadership Program

  • Varsity Basketball for the Nashville Central Christian Warriors

  • Participant in National Summer Transportation Institute

  • Summer Intern at Barge Design Solutions, Nashville

  • Member of National Kitchen and Bath Association

  • Media, Seasonal Food Distribution, and Room in the Inn Ministry Assistant

  • Volunteer at YW Domestic Violence Shelter, United Way Annual Stuff the Bus

  • Volunteer at MTHEA Curriculum Fair and Graduation Ceremony

  • Goal to Earn University Degree, Majoring in Architecture



Daughter of Pendrell and Steven Cannon

Franklin, Williamson County


  • Effective Leadership, Ministry Oriented, Talented, Vibrant, Personable

  • Above 4.0 GPA with Credits Earned at Columbia State CC and Asbury University

  • Williamson County Public Speaking Competition Runner-up

  • President Williamson County 4-H Club and Officer of 4-H Horse Club

  • Member of Williamson County 4-H Honor Club and Jr. Fair Board

  • 4-H Portfolio State Finalist for 2 Years, Numerous Additional 4-H Awards

  • Superior Vocal Performances and Large Youth Worship Team Annual Winners, National Competition for District Assemblies of God Fine Arts Festival, Nashville

  • Top 10 in MTSU Horse Judging Competition, Individual and Team Placement

  • Winner of Williamson County Hippology Competition and Horse Bowl Runner-up

  • Winner of Williamson County 4-H and Ogilvie Family Scholarships

  • Volunteer at County Fair, Franklin Rodeo, Agriculture Fun Day, Nashville Zoo, More

  • Children’s VBS Volunteer Locally and in Shuar Village of Ecuador

  • Student of Tennessee School of Ministry for Credentialed Assemblies of God Minister

  • Goal to Earn Ministry Degree from Asbury or Southwest Assembly of God University


CSTHEA - Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association


Son of Missee and Craig Prus

Cohutta, Georgia


  • Scholarly, Mature, Determined, Dedicated, Thorough, and Well-Rounded

  • Unweighted 4.0 GPA, Maintained throughout Four Major Surgeries

  • Earned 45 Hours Credit at Dalton State College during High School

  • Published Research in Dalton State Exemplar, showcased in Research Symposium

  • Principle of Second Violins, Chattanooga Symphony, Opera, and Youth Orchestra

  • Winner of Chattanooga Regional Spelling Bee, Competed Nationally

  • Competed 3 Years on CSTHEA Mock Trial Team

  • Performed two lead roles in Hilger Higher Learning Dramas

  • Weekly Volunteer at Hamilton Medical Hospital

  • Plans to Earn University Degree with Double Major in Music and Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology; Earn Medical Degree Specializing in Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Goal to Serve his Community as an Orphopaedic Surgeon



Daughter of Tracelene and Jeffrey Skillman

Chattanooga, Hamilton County


  • Fun-loving, Intelligent, Athletic, Artistic, Diligent, and Caring

  • 3 Years of Dual Enrollment at Chattanooga State CC

  • Inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at CSCC

  • Varsity Soccer Player, Senior Captain of Patriots Soccer Team

  • Soccer Referee for Chattanooga Youth

  • Winner of Youth Art Competitions

  • Volunteer for 3 Chattanooga Iron Man Competitions

  • Volunteer with Food for the Hungry and Set-Up for J-Fest

  • Shadowed Non-Operative Specialist at Center for Sports Medicine

  • Plan to Earn Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

  • Goal to Earn Master’s Degree as Nurse Practitioner, Specializing in Orthopedics


METHEA - Mid- East Tennessee Home Education Association


Son of Christy and Stephen Phillips

Riceville, McMinn County


  • Self-Motivated, Successful, Resilient, Humble, Friendly, Service-Oriented

  • Perfect 4.0 GPA including College Courses at Cleveland State CC

  • Academically Advanced, Graduating One Year Early

  • Volunteered 5 Years with Game Changers Ministry to his Community

  • Serves his Community with Hearts Aflame Ministry, Planning 2x Monthly

  • Delivers Food and Gifts to Local EMS, Law Enforcement, Hospitals, Nursing Homes

  • Specially Welcoming Greeter and Usher at his Local Church

  • Compassionate Service to Others, including Special Needs Child Weekly Class

  • Teachers Commend his Integrity, Work Ethic, Discipline, Dependable Preparation

  • Enjoys Hiking, Hunting, Playing Guitar, Singing with Friends, Making Others Laugh

  • Plans to Complete Associates Degree at Cleveland State Community College

  • Goal to Earn Degree at Tennessee Wesleyan University



Son of Kellie and Brett Yielding

Riceville, McMinn County


  • Consistent, Creative, Enthusiastic, Focused, Compassionate, Encouraging

  • Excellent Academic Achievement, Maintaining High GPA

  • Balanced Time Commitments between School and Part-Time Work

  • Owns and Operates Local Lawn Care Business

  • Part-Time Employee at Local Department Retail Store

  • Hobby of Creating and Designing Customizations for Pickup Trucks

  • Researches Vehicles and Enjoys Inserting Creativity into Video Games

  • Serves Others in Community, Elderly and Young Alike, Great with Children

  • Desire to Study Auto Mechanics at Local Vocational School

  • Plans to Earn College Degree, Possibly in an Engineering Field

  • Goal to Develop His Own Customization Business


NETHEA - North East - Tennessee Home Education Association


Son of Heather and Richard Dickson

Kingsport, Sullivan County


  • Rigorous Academics, Impeccable Character, Considerate, Brave, and Tenacious

  • Perfect 4.0 GPA, including AP and Honors Courses at Northeast State Community College

  • Member of National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars

  • MVP Goalie of Kingsport Knights and Greeneville Grizzlies All-Star Lacrosse Teams

  • Volunteer for Kingsport YMCA Leaders Club, Small Miracles Therapeutic, and the Marsh Blood Bank

  • Lifeguard at the Kingsport Aquatic Center

  • Volunteer for Christian Hospitality Network, including Service in Costa Rica

  • Twice Selected as the Employee of the Month

  • Enjoys Reading, Foreign Films, Culinary Arts, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Biking, Snorkeling, and Travel

  • Awarded Presidential Academic Scholarships by ETSU and Appalachian State University’s Watauga Residential College

  • Plans to Earn Degrees in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience

  • Goal to Specialize in Treating Post-Traumatic Stress



Melissa and Tim Pitts

Kingsport, Sullivan County


  • Dependable, Hard Working, Helpful, Kind, Charitable, and Spiritual

  • Exemplary 4.0 GPA, which includes College Courses

  • Volunteer Teachers’ Assistant

  • Recipient of Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award

  • Volunteer for 60 Hours at Holston Valley Medical Center

  • American Heritage Girls Club, all Levels plus Dolly Madison Award

  • 3-Year Varsity Volleyball Competitor

  • Leader in Exchange Place Junior Apprentice Program, Focused on Historical Lifestyles

  • Regular Volunteer for Hope House, Operation Christmas Child, Family Promise Homeless Shelter, and Preschool Children’s Classes

  • Completed American Heritage “Stars and Stripes” Construction Project – Fully Planning and Executing Major Remodel of Two Rooms at the Hope House

  • Mission Projects to Kentucky, Restoring Family Homes, and Indiana, Serving Children

  • Enjoys Hiking, Camping, Biking, and Painting

  • Plans to Earn Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at East Tennessee State University