Pathway Story - Founder of Pathway School
As told by our founder, Susie Wenger
One morning in 1993 a motion picture vision rolled through my brain of a school fitted precisely to the needs of intelligent students who need a different way to learn. I saw happy children, engrossed in an amazing variety of hands-on learning experiences, students who would ordinarily dislike school because of failures caused by impossible learning challenges. My vision was filled with a creative and innovative learning environment. Pathway School is gradually becoming the realization of this God-given dream.
My passion stems from my experience with Tanya, my bright, severely dyslexic daughter. Tanya began her education in a small, Christian school, repeated kindergarten, and spent two years in the public school’s RSP program, never progressing in her academic skills. I sought training to teach Tanya in a way she could learn, and home schooled her, for the following two years. She returned to a Christian school in junior high, subsequently entering the local, public high school, where she graduated a semester early. Despite her achievement, Tanya never experienced the joy of learning, within a school setting, until she entered college. School always meant stress and pending disaster instead of discovery and challenge.
During the summer of 2002, Pathway opened a three-week long pilot program, incorporating the elements of nurture and academic instruction that we believe are crucial to a flourishing education. Anxiety-free exploration of academic skills matching each student’s instructional level; small group instructional sessions; interaction with literature; music and creative exploration of art; and affirmation of each student’s value and power through Christ characterized each day. At the program’s end, parents commented that we provided their child their first successful school experience and the only time they could remember their child wanting to go to school.
Since Pathway School opened its doors to full-time students in September of 2003, it has been meeting the unique needs of intelligent children who learn differently and who fail to achieve their academic potential in traditional classroom settings. Pathway was designed to create an environment where learning-challenged students experience joy and success in learning. Through the use of specific multisensory teaching techniques and scriptural encouragement, the Pathway staff introduce students to new levels of academic accomplishment and the hope of a bright future.
It has been my great honor to serve each student and family who has passed through Pathway School, and we look forward to generations of service to those who need what Pathway offers.
For the children’s sake,