The idea for Bright Avenues came from the experience of a parent as she watched her own child struggle to survive in the public school setting, despite her best efforts and the limited resources of the school system. The diminishing of arts education, high student to teacher ratios, increasingly negative social environment, and inability of the traditional system to accommodate the needs of both a gifted and neurologically challenged student, made thriving impossible. Fueled by the fact that the available educational options were inadequate for her child, she took on the monumental task of finding creative educational solutions, and along the way found that many other parents (and educators) similarly struggled to find the right fit for their kids, let alone a system where they could discover and meet their potential. Eventually, she realized with a little more effort (okay… a LOT more effort), she could create a learning environment which would benefit many children. Bright Avenues was born out of the frustration and hope of one, forged from the vision and selflessness of a few, and is now ready to offer a truly innovative option in education, driven by the dreams and determination of many.
Through her educational career, Wendy was drawn to extensive study of world literature, and the art of dance, while simultaneously completing her pre-med courses, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology, and a minor music degree in classical voice. After college, she took what became an extended break before medical school, to gain experience working in the pediatric medical field and use the income to pay down her debt and fund her passion for ballroom dance.
Wendy’s work experience includes inpatient and outpatient medical positions, social services management, private teaching and tutoring, and public school assistant teaching and office manager positions. Her volunteer experience spans 25 years with such organizations as the Stanley Stamm Children’s Hospital Summer Camp, Special Olympics, the Elks, Lions, and Kiwanis organizations, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, Alpha Xi Delta, Boy Scouts of America, and local organizations.
After having an amazing child born with both incredible abilities and a neurological impairment, Wendy revamped her career goals to provide the best care for their son, and subsequent two daughters. During the last year of founding the school, Wendy and her husband were happily surprised to add another son to their brood. Bright Avenues is her 5th “baby”.
The Founder’s Circle is a group of dedicated and generous individuals who have contributed in large ways to the founding of the school. Enough gratitude can hardly be expressed to several of them for the parts they played along the founding path. Each came along and contributed just what was needed at the time to propel the work forward. It is our desire to honor their gifts of time, effort, and monetary means which kept us going in our infancy.
Stacy was Wendy’s right hand during 2 founding years. She, her husband, and her extended family contributed more than any other supporters during those years. Without her incredible support, Bright Avenues would not have gotten off the ground! Stacy and her husband have two boys. Their older son is on the autism spectrum, and both boys have sensory integration challenges. Stacy has both homeschooled their boys and been a volunteer in her boys’ classes in the public school system. Finding an education where her boys can celebrate their greatness and enjoy learning is critical to her. She has been involved in several networking and support groups including Sensory Planet, The Arc of Snohomish County, Mothers Network, and the Snohomish County Homeschool Group. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and hiking. Her greatest joy is being a parent to her two boys.
Although she desires no accolades for her extremely large monetary contribution (which funded all operations and facility needs during the last 22 months of founding prior to opening!) we want to recognize our Angel Donor. She is a former public school teacher who was beloved by students and phenomenal at her job, who went on to get a PhD in psychology and become an educational consultant to help students who needed advocacy. Her monetary contributions to the founding of Bright Avenues are only surpassed by her incredible moral and technical support as we navigated starting a school from scratch.
Mark and his wife have 4 active and bright little boys and was intrigued by Wendy’s vision for an innovative school option. Mark helped with the business side of starting up by volunteering his expertise as an MBA to help with our business plan, bylaws, and other such things which were completely outside the realm of comfort for the rest of us!