Our Board

Our Board of Directors is made up of individuals who volunteer their time to help promote home educating and who, with the help of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada (HSLDA) protect the freedom to home educate throughout New Brunswick.

Board directors are elected by the HENB members for a term of two years and are able to be re-elected at the end of their current terms for a maximum of 3 consecutive terms.

Since 2001, members of the HENB board of directors have represented home educators in New Brunswick at the Annual National Home School Leadership Conferences which have been sponsored by the Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) and the Canadian Centre for Home Education. At these conferences they have shared ideas and networked with home educator leaders from across Canada and North America.


Treasurer: Chris (Melanie) Eigenheer

Chris was born into a Christian family and lived in Switzerland until he was 17. After immigrating to Canada in 1992 he attended high school to learn English and then went on to the University of Waterloo for Math, Physics and Computer Science. His plan was to become a high school math teacher but God interrupted his studies after two years to move to Saskatoon, SK to attend Bible College. After graduating in 1999 he started working for Correctional Service Canada as a computer programmer and database systems analyst. Chris met Melanie in 2003 and got married only 9 months later. A few years after they got married they moved to NB. In 2007 their first child Nathaniel was born. Their second son Ben’s heartbeat stopped after 20 weeks of pregnancy in 2009. Their daughter Eliana was born in 2012. Their last child, Johana (which they affectionately call their bonus baby) was born in 2014 . Both Chris and Melanie grew up attending public school but were always intrigued by the home schooling world/concept. After Nathaniel was born, Melanie spent time looking into different educational options and after thorough discussions with Chris they felt that home education was the right choice for their family. After attending their first HENB Conference in 2010, they left with a solid conviction that home education would be the only option for their family. Although Melanie does the majority of the work when it comes to the actual teaching, Chris is 100% supportive and very actively connected and involved with their children’s education.

President: Rod (Dawn) Cumberland

Rod served as the HENB President from 2015 to 2020 and was elected again as president in 2022. Rod
spent the lion’s share of his career (22 years) as a provincial wildlife biologist at NBDNR, taught at the
Forestry College for 7 years and ended his time in government working as a researcher at the NB
Legislature before he retired from government. Currently, he runs a small business “East Coast
Lumberjack” and crafts axe handles he sells world-wide and works as a log buyer for ThorHammer
Veneer plant in Napadogan. Dawn served as President of the Greater Fredericton Home Educators until 2016 and has home educated all four of their children. They readily encourage members that homeschooling your kids is well worth the time and effort, and are thankful for how God has blessed their efforts: Ben graduated from MCFT with honors and is employed with NBDNR; Nathan graduated top of his class from Engineering at NBCC and now works for Arrow Construction in Fredericton. Emily is employed in Residential Support with New Life Options in Fredericton. Katy graduated from Cumberland homeschool in 2020 and is now employed on one of the largest beef farms in the Maritimes just outside of Woodstock, NB. The Cumberland’s scaled back their small hobby farm and now enjoy
spending time with their new grandsons, as well as camping, playing music and competing and training others at Lumberjack Sports.

Vice President: Tom (Jessica) Byers

Tom met Jessica through the 4-H program and they were married a year later in 1994. They now have 11 children, with 9 sons and 2 daughters. Tom became a Christian in 1999, the same spring that his wife rededicated her life to Christ. That summer they were both baptized. Their faith grew as they served in volunteer work through the Alpha program, Scouts, 4-H, Camp Tulakadik and their local church but their greatest strengthening came though submission to the Lord as they went through the loss of their 3rd son during late pregnancy the year after accepting the Lord. After moving to the Sussex area in 2001, they looked into home schooling three different times over the years. In January 2020, the Lord called them to make the life change and they started home schooling 7 of their children. Tom graduated from NSAC with a BSc. majoring in animal science. He now works with the NB Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries as the Provincial Non-Ruminant Livestock Specialist. Jessica graduated high school with honors and gave up a scholarship offer to pursue her dream of being a Wife, Mother and Homemaker.

Secretary: Jillian (Jason) Ramsay

Jillian Ramsay is going into her 12th year of homeschooling with her husband, Jason, and their 3 children (Leah, David and Matthew). She has served on Fundy Home Educators’ (FHE) Executive in Saint John since the beginning. Prior to this, Jillian worked a government job with a Master’s degree in Criminal Behaviour Psychology, counselling and assessing offenders.  Over the years, God has changed her from a high-achieving, self-deceived perfectionist to someone who seeks to relinquish control to Christ, embrace the gift of flexibility and acknowledge the immeasurable need for His grace each day. She also understands the importance of community and gives thanks regularly for the wonderful friends, moms and homeschool teachers around her.

Stephanie (Dan) O’Connor

Dan and Stephanie O’Connor were born and raised in New Brunswick and live outside of Moncton with their 3 kids.  Stephanie has been homeschooling since the fall of 2018 after removing the children from public school for various reasons.  It was the right choice for their family and they haven’t looked back.  While Dan works as an electronics technologist, she has been able to stay home with them from birth.  Starting the year before they married, they volunteered with the youth group at their church for 5 years, until their twins were born. There, Stephanie also served with nursery, as a Sunday School teacher and they both spent some time as CE (Christian Education) board members. Stephanie was also on the board of a Christian Camp for a few years. They recently began attending Emmanuel Baptist Church in Moncton and have not settled into any roles yet. Stephanie is a  current leader of MCHE, the Christian support group in Moncton, and also helped out with leadership for MHE (Moncton Home Educators) for a time.  They are looking forward to serving the homeschooling community in New Brunswick.