Before Sandy Horvath retired from his career as a sales manager, he spent his spare time chronicling the lives of his loved ones and documenting his own travels throughout the world. Over time, his love for his craft blossomed into a thirst to become an admired photographer, so Sandy started submitting his action-packed sports photos to newspapers and magazines. With the publication of his work came professional status and a desire to share his knowledge with others. His first opportunity arose in 2009 when the Si View Metropolitan Park District asked him to teach a class. Soon after, the Issaquah Parks District clamored for Sandy's expertise; he now has over 1600 Club SnapShot students and more joining every day.
Today, Sandy teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to transform snapshots into high-quality pictures with lenses, settings, and exposures during his basic, advanced, and creative classes. He loves helping novice shutterbugs abandon automatic settings—the training wheels of photography—and create memorable images with nothing but manual settings and high-tech freeze rays. Sandy also transforms his own work into high-dynamic-range photo art and gallery-wrapped canvases. Students may do the same to decorate their homes, give as gifts, or hang inside windows to hide nature's flaws.
Among the Old Mill Adventure Park’s 315 verdant acres sliced through by miles of gravel and tarmac roads, DirtFish Rally School’s seasoned instructors impart their driving savvy upon pupils of all experience levels via dirt-lined rally courses of varying lengths. A pre-instructional driver's meeting in a classroom inside the 10,000-square-foot main building enables vehicular gurus to expound upon essential driving skills such as weight transfer, skid control, and how to stop Keanu Reeves from trying to stop the speeding car. Immune to inclement weather, DirtFish staff foils nature’s attempts at forcing drivers to stay indoors with all-season lessons that wend along demanding routes in rain, sleet, and snow. DirtFish’s meticulously maintained fleet of all-wheel-drive Subaru rally cars effortlessly hurtle along the high-speed slalom course and slide across the Skid Pad thanks to competition-ready features including Tein suspension, rally tires, and OMP safety equipment. Upon the course’s completion, DirtFish staffers welcome guests back into the main building where men’s and women’s showers and locker rooms facilitate spruce-up sessions and a museum peppers brains with information nuggets pertaining to the art of rally.
At Flat Iron Grill, executive chef Jeff Olsen puts an international twist on traditional steak-house staples made with locally sourced organic ingredients. Small doses of chorizo, chimichurri, or chili-spiked truffle sauce lend distinctive Latin and South American flavors to the menu’s grilled steaks, black cod, and clam pappardelle. To accompany the rustically roasted entrees, the bartenders pour tipples from their selection of more than 180 whiskeys, which include rich bourbons, smoky scotches, and locally distilled creations.
Echoing the menu’s rustic elegance, the Western-themed dining room surrounds guests in warm-colored walls and metal work from Gagnon Welding. A spotlighted longhorn skull hangs on a terra-cotta red wall alongside local artists' black-and-white photographs of Washington landscapes. Patrons can also dine on an outdoor patio shaded by light-tan umbrellas and clouds lassoed into place by helpful cowboys.
Since 1995, Best in Class Education Center's instructors have aided students of all ages—from pre-K tots to high school seniors—in their academic journeys. They calibrate small-group and private math and English lessons that push each student at an individualized pace, helping struggling students catch up to speed or edifying advanced pupils seeking more of a challenge. The tutors give homework assignments for the kids to work on throughout the week, as well as administer weekly tests to assess their progress.
In addition to boosting success in current classes, the staff helps older students ready themselves for post-secondary schooling with SAT prep classes and college admission workshops, which help applicants decide on the right place, craft an impressive personal statement, and shimmy into their dream school's mascot costume before campus visits.
In the late 1970s, career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's particular set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises nationwide.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality, encouraging pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
In the years that it took him to achieve the national master title, Elliott Neff learned that chess is more than just a game. He found that math competency, critical thinking, spatial reasoning, and other essential skills are honed as one plays. So, when he sits down to give one of his students a lesson, he thinks of it not as a diversion but, as his company's motto puts it, as "teaching life skills through chess." To help him expand the reach of his philosophy, Elliott has assembled a team of more than 35 local and national chess champions. During group classes and private lessons, these coaches motivate students to exercise their mental agility while learning the correct way to outsmart kings.