ABOUT CEDAR CREST ACADEMY
Challenging the Mind, Nurturing the Heart
The Cedar Crest Academy Story
Geeta Vyas and Gail Domingos met while working for a large corporate early child program during the early 2000s. Together, we talked about the programs that currently existed and felt there was a gap within the industry that needed to be filled. During the height of the dot-com bust, we took a gamble that parents would see the benefits of our innovative program; one that meshes the concept of whole child and a play-based philosophy while at the same time providing an environment that gives children an opportunity to be academically challenged.
On January 7, 2003 we opened our doors to one student, one additional staff and absolutely no marketing plan on how we would grow our program. For our first open house, we had the food, the fire truck, the balloons but not a single child showed up. Why would they? We never advertised the open house. We were teachers and we knew how to teach and educate, business and marketing was all together foreign.
Back then we were the teachers, the cooks, the janitors, and the administrators. Gail would teach math while Geeta cooked the lunch, then Geeta would teach language arts while Gail did the dishes. It was tag team teaching and it was fast paced, but the children were thriving and so everything seemed like it was coming together. We always kept the expectations high – for the children, for our staff, for our families and for ourselves, and every time we felt it was too much, everyone rose to the occasion and made us feel that much closer as a school community.
From the very beginning, we were very fortunate to enroll some wonderful children who loved and thrived in our program which, in turn, contributed to their parents’ love, belief, and commitment in Cedar Crest. Parents kept referring other families to our program and we continued to grow our enrollment by 1-2 children each week.
These parents were also the types of parents who were very involved in their children’s school. Some of the events planned by these parents from these first years are still a tradition we continue today – our annual keepsake yearbook, the Parent Association, community outings, Parent Workday, Teacher Appreciation Week, and others.
These events were laid in the ground by our founding families. And many of the events taking place across all four campuses today also had their founding during Cedar Crest’s first year – Thanksgiving Potluck, Trick or Treating, Winter and Spring Performances, Spring Art Show, Easter Egg Hunt, Mother’s Day Spa, Father’s Day BBQ. It also holds true today as it was back then, word of mouth referrals continue to account for over 90% of our enrollment.
Our second campus happened by chance. During one of the open houses, while there was a line out the door to tour the school, one of our volunteer dads, who happens to be a commercial real estate agent, told us we should open a second campus. To which we replied, “find us a building” and the rest is history. He found us a second, a third, and our fourth and final campus. And so we grew in 15 years from one student to over 550 students; from one staff to over 85 full-time staff; from a program serving only preprimary children to one that now encompasses an elementary program. Our roles have evolved from teacher to director to founding director to founder. But our commitment to education has remained unchanged. We still remain fully committed to providing the best program for our children and instilling a love for learning that will last them a lifetime.
Cedar Crest Academy offers an academically enriching program for children age thirty months through fifth grade. Our unique program prepares children to excel academically by providing an environment where learning is tangible, engaging and exciting. Our staff is comprised of nurturing, experienced teachers who are trained in individualizing the curriculum to provide the best possible learning outcomes for our students. Because we know learning does not end when the school doors close, our teachers strive to build strong relationships with parents in order to form a seamless transition from the home to the classroom. We are committed to creating a stimulating, safe, and creative environment to ensure the children in our program develop to their fullest potential.
Uniquely, we have curated a culture where highly capable children can access accelerated academics coexisting with a personal, rich social and emotional program, small class sizes and lots of fun! We believe that learning is a lifelong process and our responsibility to the young learner is to provide the proper foundation from which she or he can grow and build – cognitively, physically, socially, emotionally, and creatively. Our goal is to ensure that each child is well prepared to excel in the next phase of learning.
Cedar Crest Academy is actively pursuing accreditation with the Northwest Association of Independent Schools. (NWAIS)
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