Court Report

A Fond Farewell from Mike Donnelly!

Michael P. Donnelly announced his departure from HSLDA in January at an all-staff meeting. He has served HSLDA, member families, and the global homeschooling community for more than 16 years. In his parting speech, Mike left our team with his appreciation for HSLDA’s leadership and mission. The excerpt below is adapted from his speech.

Mother Teresa, a Macedonia-born Catholic nun who started the Sisters of Mercy, ministered to the poor in Calcutta, India. In 1979, she received the Nobel Peace Prize. After the ceremony, a reporter asked her:

“What can we do to help achieve world peace?”

“Go home and love your family,” Mother Teresa answered.

Isn’t this the essence of homeschooling: parents who “go home” and love their family?

The power of homeschooling is love.

Love is one of those things that the apostle Paul writes about in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13, and the essence of love is what Jesus himself taught and did: laying down one’s life for others. A corollary here, as Jesus also taught us, is taking up our cross and bearing it each day.

Homeschooling parents do this every day. They put themselves aside to invest in their children and build a foundation of love for the next generation.

Love starts at home.

When parents love their children, those children grow up in an environment where they feel affirmed and secure in themselves. And because they know love, they can give love.

That’s why the experience of love in a family is so important for society: people give love to others when they experience it at home.

Love creates strong families. Strong families build peaceful, loving communities. Peaceful, loving communities bring peace to the world.

Which makes HSLDA’s work to help families make homeschooling possible, as well as the work that parents do at home—giving their children the safe, nurturing educational experience that fits them best—so important.

We’re contributing to bringing about world peace. That’s a legacy worth continuing.

It has been an exhilarating blessing and honor to have served the global homeschooling community, and I will always be an HSLDA supporter and champion for homeschooling freedom! May God bless HSLDA!

Mike’s next calling is serving as the vice president of the Yes. Every Kid. Foundation, which is a nonprofit that works to promote a family-centric and kid-focused education culture in America. Thank you for your enthusiastic advocacy, service, and teamwork, Mike! We’ll miss you.

Lanson Ho'opai is a 2016 graduate of Patrick Henry College. He worked at HSLDA as the editor for The Home School Court Report until 2023. He also has a really loud laugh.