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Growing up my best friend Jon and I were neighbors and for many years we went to separate schools.

Separately, in my final years of college (including a year in Asia) and in my work, I began to fully appreciate the value of teamwork, leadership and mutual respect above the purely academic individual rote memorization that I was so well rewarded for growing up.

As my oldest daughter approached school age I looked back recalling how many projects Jon and I enjoyed and successfully accomplished together (elaborate forts, gigantic snow men, earning money) despite our significantly different academic levels. I wanted to provide an education for my kids that emphasized this collaboration without promoting the illusion that great test taking leads to career success. While there are many benefits and other factors, it was my experience with Jon and my struggles in the real world that solidified that an Open Program would afford my children an even better future.