David Watkins earned a BA degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and went on to receive his Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 1982. He has pastored Heritage Baptist Church in Blaine, Minnesota, since 1982. He and his wife Linda began home educating their eight children in 1986, just before the Minnesota homeschool law was passed by the legislature. David had been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of MÂCHÉ for seven years before becoming the Executive Director in 2011. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership (ALLIANCE), which is a national organization that serves state and provincial homeschool leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. David and Linda see the eternal benefits of Christian home education and the importance of encouraging and equipping younger home educating families. Their desire is to mentor a second generation of homeschoolers who are willing to take the baton and run well. In his spare time, David enjoys hunting and playing with his twenty-five grandchildren, all of whom are being homeschooled.
Board of Directors
Jim and Ruth Brinker
Jim and Ruth live in the Twin Cities where they home educate their three daughters. They love homeschooling because it provides more time together as a family and the flexibility to educate their children as God leads them. The Brinkers enjoy traveling around the United States learning about history and geography and trying regional restaurants. Jim grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. He is an account manager for an electronic distributor. In his spare time, Jim likes to cook, read, do household projects and volunteer in grassroots politics. Ruth has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Northwestern College in Roseville, Minnesota. Besides being a homeschool mom, she loves volunteering with the girls’ activities and serving as a children’s ministry coordinator at their church. They are members of a local support group, Northern Lights Home School Association, where Ruth served previously as director. The Brinkers joined the MÂCHÉ Board of Directors in fall of 2009. They are excited for the opportunity that God has given them to serve other homeschoolers and learn from them. Jim and Ruth enjoy working with MÂCHÉ’s social media, commencement and support group encouragement.
Doyle and Amity Fritts
Doyle & Amity live in Ham Lake, Minnesota with their four children. After sending their two daughters to public school, they decided to bring them home to begin their homeschooling adventure, where they could learn together as a family and provide them with a Christian worldview. Homeschooling has allowed them the flexibility to teach according to the needs and interests of each of their children and tailor their learning experience to their specific gifts. In addition to homeschooling they enjoy travelling, camping, and boating - when schedules allow. Doyle works in the security software industry as a pre-sales engineer. Amity chose to leave the education workforce and apply her elementary education degree to teaching their children and others at their homeschool co-op. All of the family serves in their local church in a variety of ways including nursery, sound/tech, kids programs, and setup. They are the newest members of the MÂCHÉ board.
Kion and Eileen Hoffman
Kion and Eileen met in Bemidji, Minnesota, where they both attended Oak Hills Bible College and Bemidji State. Kion is a Family Practice Physician in Deer River, Minnesota. Eileen has a Bachelors of Science degree in Applied Psychology. When their first child was born in 1985, they began homeschooling and have homeschooled all five of their children through high school. In 1996, they helped start and lead the Pioneers Homeschool Support Group in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Kion and Eileen joined the MÂCHÉ Board of Directors in 2012, after serving as the Northeastern Minnesota Liaisons for five years. They have a passion for discipleship and the Word of God. Homeschooling is the natural outworking of that passion in their family. They desire to encourage the next generation of homeschoolers to make Jesus Christ the firm foundation of their families and their homeschools. They live in northern Minnesota and attend the Grace Bible Chapel in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Kion enjoys pheasant hunting and white water canoeing with their children; Eileen enjoys everything history, reading, and quilting. Their family is now entering its second generation of homeschooling.
Jerry and Molli Ophoven
Jerry and Molli met when Jerry was a police officer and Molli was an RN. After 8 years of marriage and 10 years as a law enforcement officer Jerry graduated from William Mitchell College of Law. When their first child turned three in 1994, they were invited by a friend to attend the MÂCHÉ conference and to consider homeschooling. Inspired, they took up the call to disciple and educate their children at home and have been blessed to graduate all four from homeschool high school. They were founding members of the Pioneers Homeschool Group in Grand Rapids and Molli currently co-leads an outreach support group. Jerry has served as MÂCHÉ’s legal advisor for the past 6 years and Molli has served as assistant conference director. Both are passionate about encouraging homeschooling and believe it to be the best way to disciple children in the principles of the Word of God as well as encourage family unity. They live on a lake in Northern Minnesota and enjoy all things water. Molli loves to garden, bike, read, and play piano. Jerry likes to fish, hunt and walk with their English golden retriever.