We are creating MOTIVATED children that will be well equipped to succeed in academics, athletics and life, as well as to create the life they want!
The components of the C.O.R.E. method of developing intrinsic motivation are Confidence, Ownership, Relevance and Engagement. These four key elements are the foundation of all activities within the Academy curriculum, through the medium of martial arts, nature education, community service and creative expression. Students at the Academy will engage in continual individual and group verbal and written reflection as a key part of the development process.
We are two educators and coaches who are passionate about what we do. It didn't take us long to recognize we shared a vision...and we are working to make it a reality! This summer, we are presenting our ideas at the Sport and Society Conference in England. We are hopeful that we can get the C.O.R.E. Academy up and running soon so that we can also make an impact locally.
I've been in Recreation, Coaching, and Wellness for over 15 years. In this time I've been lucky enough to be able to impact many individuals of all ages. From YMCA summer camp coordinator, to U.S. Fish and Wildlife writer, to trainer of professional, and youth athletes and martial arts gym owner, I have developed a keen sense of what it takes for clients to become successful in life. My front line experience is augmented by my Master's degree study and advanced fitness certifications as well as experience as a proud father of two, Mackenzie 9 years and Kealan 4 years old. (Be advised that Mackenzie is fast and if you see a blur on the course, it's probably her passing you.)
I'm from Locust Grove, Georgia. I've spent the most developmental part of my childhood running around the woods on my family's estate, sloshing through the creeks, hunting, camping, and learning about myself. My extended family is one that has always taught me to be self reliant and to be a problem solver with ingenuity and creativity. I learned growing up how tools worked, how cars worked, how to survive in the outdoors, how to stand up for my self, and how to communicate confidently and effectively. These were lessons that I was blessed to be taught and lessons I'd like to share with others. The situations of all kids are not created equally and therefore for some, there are gaps in their perceived ability that create challenges for them in life. C.O.R.E. Academy is designed to address the motivation or lack of motivation in individuals in middle and high school, as science tells us that intrinsic motivation is the key to success. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to use the very grounds that my great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles farmed and lived on for so long, as a tool to educate others that may not have the opportunities that I had. I’m excited that these grounds will not be left fallow but fertile in providing experiences that will positively affect the growth of young people in the academy. My back burner dream came to realization after meeting my partner Annie whom you will meet below. After we launched our leg of research, our goals effortlessly aligned and through personal chemistry and hard work, the destiny of the C.O.R.E. Academy was born. Our framework has been successful independently in each of the disciplines of martial arts, creative expression, community service, and outdoor education, but now will be a comprehensive program that includes them all in one program!
I am in my twelfth year of teaching and coaching children with learning differences and disabilities and I can’t imagine spending my days doing anything else. I am a firm believer that everyone should be spending their days doing something they love. One of my favorite parts of teaching is helping kids realize this for themselves. Many of my students and athletes lack confidence and motivation because school hasn’t always been easy. Without this confidence and motivation, it is hard for kids to take the risks and do the exploration necessary to discover their passions and the things they love. This is why I feel my primary job as a teacher and coach is to help build my students’ self-confidence in genuine, meaningful ways.
I am also an artist and an athlete. Self-expression and creativity have always been huge parts of who I am and how I live my life. Because of this, I have always incorporated creativity into my work with kids and believe it is crucial to helping kids learn. I just recently completed my master’s thesis project, which was focused on the idea that creativity and self-expression are essential to learning. This is especially true today considering we live in a constantly changing world that requires people to think, problem solve and communicate in creative, flexible ways. Sadly, this reality is partnered with the fact that many of our schools don’t recognize the importance of giving students opportunities to creatively express themselves. As a life-long athlete and now a coach, I have always recognized the important connection between mind and body. This powerful connection has also led me to constantly seek out ways to incorporate movement into my classroom teaching.
This idea of spending life doing what makes you happy is one of the big ideas that brought Dymond and I together. Both of our lives have been shaped by this perspective and we have both found great happiness in helping others. Through our independent research and experiences, as well as our countless conversations and shared experiences, we recognized that our gifts make a powerful combination. The C.O.R.E. Academy incorporates both of our passions, as well as the vision we share.