Instructors David Freeman and Jerry Colliver both served in the military; David piloted medical-evacuation helicopters during Vietnam, and Jerry operated nuclear-missile silos during the Cold War. Despite this experience, they prefer not to approach firearm use from a military perspective. Instead, the NRA-certified instructors teach with a relaxed style that's absent of jargon and acronyms. This approach helps students to feel comfortable owning, carrying, and shooting firearms.
During their classes, the duo emphasizes topics such as nonviolent dispute resolution, safe firearm storage, and the fundamentals of handgun shooting, which students further master with practice time on the range. David and Jerry employ similar techniques to teach beginner hunters Texas's hunting regulations.
In 1972, Raymond Dauphinais was an army air traffic controller in Germany who had never given much thought to photography. That all changed when he caught a glimpse of the castle in the small town where he was stationed. Seized with inspiration, he grabbed a camera and spent the day capturing the ancient fort. When he came back home, his newfound passion for photography ignited a four-decade career as a professional photographer. Specializing in head shots, family portraits, and corporate event coverage, Raymond's studio also offers classes that help amateurs improve their skills to enhance family albums and ensure they can capture photographic evidence of neighbors stealing blades of grass.
Although he didn't start playing the piano until age 19, Casey Thomas let his hard work and natural talent carry him to a career as a professional musician. His wife Samantha followed a more traditional path, playing as a child before earning valuable experience as a singer/songwriter and music instructor in cities throughout Texas. Now the leaders of the Creative Soul School of Music, the two bring their own experiences together in support of a shared mission: providing a nurturing environment where young musicians can hone their innate skills and discover their confidence. “We’re trying to get to those kids who are trying to figure out their identity, where they fit in, where they can find a home,” Casey says. To that end, the school tailors private lessons and classes to suit each student’s passion, be it songwriting, orchestral layering, or technical proficiency in headbanging. Year-round, the school dots the local sonic landscape with trimesters of student band classes for children and adults, as well as one-week and shorter summer rock camps that pair up learners of the same age and experience level. Welcoming all proficiencies, instructors tout an ability to nurture struggling learners, who ultimately build the confidence to perform live shows at venues around the region.
Accomplished artists themselves, both Tracy Malmstrom and Gail Carson?"Ms. Tracy and Ms. Gail" to their young students?have taught art in elementary schools. After a deluge of requests for private lessons, Tracy founded ArtCastle in 2006 and Gail signed on in 2011. Together, they nourish the artistic spirits of children 6 and older through drawing, painting, printmaking, and a plethora of other mediums.
As the young artists hone visual skills while silk painting or practicing batik-watercolor techniques, Tracy and Gail also strive to bolster their problem-solving abilities, listening skills, and confidence. In addition to after-school and home-school art sessions, the duo offers Friday kids' night out parties in which kids belt out karaoke, scarf down pizza and desserts, and amaze their parents with a finished work of art at the end of the night. Summer camps and classes keep kids active on break and Saturday workshops teach youngsters of all ages a new artistic skill each month, such as how to construct a new best friend out of papier-m?ch?.
The professional teachers and staff at The Children’s Courtyard nurture minds and nourish spirits in tots ranging from 6 weeks to 13 years old. Armed with training they receive at The Children’s Courtyard’s unique master schools, they lead engaging programs in interactive classrooms, most of which brim with computers equipped with up to 50 learning programs. Class participants play games, sing songs, and interact with friends, which allows them to learn valuable skills in cognition, conflict resolution, and academic performance through activities geared toward their age group. Regular programs inspire little minds in half- and full-day increments, and summer camps take kids on field trips to see new animals at the zoo, sing a song at a recording studio, and muse over the complex metaphors for the role of capitalism in a local fairy-tale play.
When hairstylist Shelton Ogle opened his first salon at 21, he quickly realized the secret to maximizing the number of gorgeous haircuts he could render: a well-trained staff. So two years later, he opened his beauty school, Ogle School of Hair, Skin & Nails. Now in its 40th year, the school leverages its accrued experience and knowledge to teach aesthetic arts ranging from skincare to hair coloring. In the school’s salons, students practice on the public, cutting hair into elegant, customized shapes, texturizing strands with relaxers and perms, and highlighting nails with manicures, rather than with rings with built-in strobe lights. A testament to Shelton’s success in building his vision, he was even able to develop a weekly show for PBS about the beauty industry.