Yesterday The Grove School of Cary was featured in The Cary News. Read the full article.
The Grove School, a new preschool located in Plano, Texas, and Cary, North Carolina, has officially opened its doors to offer children in these communities exceptional educational opportunities. By incorporating education about organic foods and social responsibility with early reading and writing skills, The Grove School integrates its unique healthy mind, healthy body and healthy planet philosophy into every aspect of its preschool activities and learning environment.
The Grove School prepares children ages 2 to 5 for both today and the future, providing an extensive curriculum that offers them a head start on understanding our quickly evolving world. In fact, after extensive research, a group of professionals with more than 35 years of expertise in early childhood education discovered that many parents nationwide were seeking a preschool that includes both traditional early learning curriculum and instruction in social purpose and a healthy lifestyle to deliver a high-quality and well-rounded education. The Grove School goes beyond serving organic food and using sustainable products to fully implement its overarching philosophy in every element, from curriculum and materials to types of activities and models for the way the children interact with one another, parents and their community.
The Heads of The Grove School, Dr. Scott Andersen and Wendy DeSpain, bring years of educational experience to the schools and are set to lead these inaugural locations with their teams of talented and motivated teachers. As its leaders, they embrace the school’s mission and play an active role in the parents’ and children’s experience, employee growth and school development. The Heads of School are also very involved in the day-to-day supervision of the school staff, providing constant and consistent guidance that maps to the school’s unique principles.
“The Grove School openings offer an exciting start in education, focused on our healthy mind, body, and planet philosophy, to children 2 to 5 years old, said Ty Durekas, president, The Grove School. “Our Heads of Schools, along with their teaching staff, are prepared and motivated to offer children a sustainable learning environment with research-based curriculum focusing on nutrition and a sense of community, as well as the structure and concepts presented in traditional elementary schools.”
“We are excited to provide a dynamic, educational and innovative environment for children at The Grove School,” said Dr. Scott Andersen, Cary’s Head of School, The Grove School. “We look forward to the benefits each child will receive from the excellent academic preparation we can offer them.”
“Being involved in the development of The Grove School has been an enlightening experience, and I am excited to introduce children to this unique and well-rounded curriculum and learning environment,” said Wendy DeSpain, Plano’s Head of School, The Grove School. “One of our greatest goals is to prepare children for K-12 education, and with this combination of traditional curriculum and social purpose and healthy lifestyle education, we know our students will be ready to continue learning and becoming productive members of their communities.”
The Grove School has announced the Head of School at each of our locations. Dr. Scott Andersen and Wendy DeSpain will be joining the Cary and Plano schools, respectively, bringing with them extensive experience in education and passion for the school’s healthy mind, healthy body, healthy planet philosophy and dedication to educational excellence.
After an in-depth interview process, The Grove School identified two credentialed individuals to lead its inaugural locations. In the Head of School role, Dr. Andersen and DeSpain will support The Grove School and the guiding principles behind its philosophy. The leadership position requires both visionary and managerial abilities, as its leaders embrace the school’s mission and play an active role in the parent and children’s experience, employee growth and school development. The Head of School will also be very involved in the day-to-day supervision of the school staff, providing constant and consistent guidance mapping to the school’s unique principles and goals.
Dr. Andersen’s qualifications include Ed.D., Ed.S. and M.S. degrees in literary science and educational technology, and a B.S. in computer science. He also taught Spanish, English, math and technology in public schools, was an adjunct professor of digital-video editing, and served as a principal and superintendent of several schools. With seven children of his own, Dr. Andersen is a natural educator and leader both at work and in his personal life. In addition to this extensive education experience, Dr. Andersen has also worked as a software developer and is an award-winning photojournalist.
After receiving her M.S. in elementary education, specializing in special education, her B.S. in interdisciplinary studies, focusing on reading in the teaching field and Principal’s Certificate, DeSpain has worked in various roles, from teacher to principal, within Plano’s school district. With 14 years in the field, DeSpain was most recently the No Child Left Behind coordinator in the Plano Independent School District in its Department of Assessment & Accountability. She was also a third grade teacher, as well as a science and math teacher to elementary students, involved with Plano Principal’s Association for several years as a Board member and President and assisted in curriculum development in Plano Independent School District. In addition to working with hundreds of children throughout Texas, DeSpain has three children of her own and 25 nieces and nephews.
“Both Scott and Wendy have varied, valuable and extensive experience in education,” said Ty Durekas, president, The Grove School. “We are confident as Head of School in the Cary and Plano locations, they will help us achieve our goals of offering parents and children a sustainable learning environment with research-based curriculum focusing on nutrition and a sense of community, as well as the structure and concepts presented in traditional elementary schools. We are excited to have these extremely credentialed leaders help bring The Grove School’s healthy mind, body and planet philosophy to the Plano and Cary communities.”
“Joining The Grove School team has been a wonderful and enlightening experience,” said Dr. Scott Andersen, Cary’s Head of School, The Grove School. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with such passionate and smart people. The enthusiasm among this group is contagious.”
“I have been immersed in education in Texas for the past 14 years and am thrilled to be a part of this innovative new preschool,” said Wendy DeSpain, Plano’s Head of School, The Grove School. “The combination of traditional curriculum with topics on social responsibility is an ideal learning environment for today’s children and will produce students well prepared for K-12 schooling. It is something for which I have great passion and can confidently support and advocate.”
PORTLAND, Ore. — October 28, 2009 — Imagine a preschool where learning about organic foods and solar energy is considered as valuable as early reading and writing skills. Where locally sourced organic produce and dairy products are served in a welcoming learning environment filled with natural light, sustainable products and filtered air and water.
The Grove School™, a new preschool opening in the Plano, Texas, and Cary, N.C., in January 2010, offers curriculum, nutrition and a sense of community that reflect the guiding principles behind its healthy mind, body and planet philosophy.
After extensive research, a group of professionals with more than 35 years of expertise in early childhood education discovered that many parents nationwide were seeking a new kind of preschool experience. They were searching for a preschool that incorporates traditional curriculum as well as a social purpose and healthy lifestyle education into daily activities, offering a high-quality and well-rounded education.
The Grove School will immerse children age 2 to 5 in extraordinary educational opportunities for a lifetime of learning and connection with their community, while also preparing them for the traditional structure and concepts presented in elementary schools, including arts, math and science. This unique curriculum offers children a head start on understanding today’s evolving world.
The schools will open with teams of experienced and passionate teachers with degrees and credentials in early childhood education or environmental education, to engage students in a research-based curriculum that will help them meet key development milestones. The Grove School children will be encouraged to learn through play and become aware of the components of a healthy lifestyle and environment.
As numerous studies have shown, an inviting and stimulating environment is the atmosphere children learn best in. The Grove School children will spend their days in a bright, clean building filled with sustainable products and organic food. The unique curriculum will offer a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, from gardening to practicing yoga, that model healthy behavior, grow strong bodies and teach children how to make a positive, lasting impact on the environment.
Building lasting relationships with parents and their children is also a core commitment for The Grove School team. The teachers will be in constant contact with parents through frequent in-person meetings and online through email, The Grove School Web site and Twitter account. Parents will be encouraged to share their experiences and knowledge on the school’s interactive Web site. The schools will offer a new place for parents to join together with other like-minded families in their area – becoming an updated version of a community center.
The Grove School Point of View
The Grove School sense of purpose is as healthy for the mind and body as it is for the planet. The school approaches education comprehensively, encompassing the following facets:
• Educational Excellence: The Grove School has developed a research-based curriculum that helps children meet key development milestones in preparation for elementary school. Through this curriculum, a strong emphasis is placed on both traditional academic subjects and hands-on thematic explorations that encourage a healthy mind, body and planet.
• Sense of Purpose: Organic foods, gardening and sustainable products are part of The Grove School learning environment. Children learn why these things are good for their minds, bodies and planet through daily activities and lesson plans. Natural light brightens the classrooms to improve concentration while conserving energy. Sustainable building and playground materials are safe for children and reduce environmental impact.
• Community: The Grove School brings together a community of people committed to making a difference. Everyone is encouraged to dig in, share knowledge and build lasting relationships.
Quotes from The Grove School Executives
“We are very excited to see our vision for a holistic preschool education come to life,” said Ty Durekas, president, The Grove School. “We know that experienced teachers, a sustainable learning environment and research-based curriculum are most important to parents when they choose a preschool, and we are pleased to offer The Grove School as an ideal solution for parents and children in the Plano, Texas, and Cary, N.C. areas.”
“The Grove School is bringing a new kind of knowledge to children. It is important that today’s children grow into adults who understand what it means to take care of themselves as well as their community and environment today and tomorrow,” said Megan Riede, director of program development. “Through experiencing this unique curriculum, it will become second nature for these children to think about their impact on the Earth and living a healthy lifestyle.”
About The Grove School
The Grove School™, opening January 2010, immerses children age 2 to 5 years old in extraordinary educational opportunities that nourish a lifelong healthy mind and body while connecting them more fully with the world around them. With a research-based curriculum and socially conscious learning environment and activities, The Grove School offers a fresh approach to preschool education. The school is currently located in Plano, Texas, and Cary, N.C., with plans to expand to additional communities in 2010.
The Grove School is now accepting applications for admissions. Learn more and ask questions at www.groveschool.com.