See what parents are saying!


Dear Debbie and All Shady Oak Teachers and Mentors,

A letter does not suffice to say how very much you all are appreciated. During the last 3 years that our girls have attended Shady Oak we have seen them thrive and blossom! The creativity and joy that our girls have for learning has been amazing to watch. Erica was so disappointed the last day of school because she wants year round school! She was so excited about the end of year testing! Not only do you teach them valuable skills and educational material but we see you do it out of love and God has truly gifted you all in a way that they will carry their whole lives.

I also want to share that the love that God has given you to teach has been so influential on the girls. Erica and Sophia both in the last few months have made a personal commitment and prayed that Jesus would enter their hearts! We are speaking with our pastor about when they would like to be baptized. We would love it if any or all of you could attend this very special occasion and we can let you know closer to when that will be.

Tessa's creativity and love for singing and dancing brings us such joy and I know that her joy of learning has been passed down by you all as well. I am amazed each time she comes home and shares her experiences she has had during the school day.

Sophia has gone from very reserved to taking on leadership roles. Again, this I believe is a direct correlation with the teaching styles you provide them with. She is becoming confident and more responsible as well. While she still doesn't like math all that well we are working on that one! She is always reading and writing stories.

Ryan and I are so happy we moved down here and we have gotten to be more involved with the girls. I wish I would have signed up to be a room mom this last year. However the previous year being a room mom was such a fun time for me. Being able to experience and see how much goes into making the school run was pretty awesome. I know that your days don't end at 3:15 and there are countless hours grading and creating lesson plans. My sister is a middle school teacher and she has shared with me the joys and pains that teachers experience. The triumphs and the failures and I want you to know that Ryan and I pray for you all daily. The pains you experience from the long sleepless nights to the paper cuts and having to repeat over and over lesson plans and instructions can get overwhelming at times. But please know that the seeds you are planting in our girls lives are showing fruit and they are growing into such beautiful young ladies and this would not be so without your mentorship, leadership, faithfulness and grace you bestow on them. I love picking them up at school and seeing the projects that all the kids are carrying home. I pray that you all have a restful summer and we hope that the girls get to experience another fantastic year at Shady Oak!

God Bless, Jen and Ryan Brady


"We chose Shady Oak for our two daughters for one very simple fact: the school's philosophy centers around the development of the WHOLE child. Throughout their stay at Shady Oak, my daughters were challenged academically. They were taught the basics, but they were also encouraged to stretch their minds, to ask probing questions, and to make connections between interdisciplinary topics. At the end of their time at Shady Oak, my daughters were more than ready to tackle the academic rigor of other schools. But as a parent what I found even more important were the multitude of other skills that my daughters learned at Shady Oak and continue to use to this day.

The educators at Shady Oak helped my girls learn how to respect others' ideas and beliefs, how to be a good friend, how to compromise, how to lead, how to follow, how to help those that are less fortunate, and how to be a steward for our planet. I think that because my girls were taught all of these things by incredibly compassionate, intelligent, and creative educators at such a young age, these social skills became a part of my girls' characters. For that I am forever grateful we found Shady Oak and made the financial sacrifices to send them to this amazing place that just gets kids need more than addition, subtraction, reading and writing."

- Nicole Peffley


"The environment and overall feel of Shady Oak is so unique.  It is more like being at home than at school.  We liked the idea of small class size and experienced teachers.  The curriculum was flexible to allow for students to explore and learn with their interests and the hands on choices made learning fun.  The schedule was flexible and included outdoor play and exploration.  Our son's two years at Shady Oak gave him a love for learning and helped his confidence and sense of responsibility.  When we left Shady Oak for public school, he had no trouble keeping up and enjoyed pushing himself to do his best.  Things beyond book learning like taking care of our environment, respecting those around you, and making healthy choices where also part of everyday discussions and have become part of his life.  The school supports our values and helped to show him how to make good choices in his life."

- former Shady Oak Mom


"As a teacher, Shady Oak offered me a unique opportunity to teach students the way I know that they learn---through hands on experiences and meaningful connections.  I enjoyed being able to adapt my lessons for each group of students and their interests and skill set.   Often in other schools, you just teach what someone else is telling you needs to be taught in that grade.  At Shady Oak the students set the pace.  With a general theme in mind or a project I would like to try, I could guide the students to question and think and learn all kinds of things not in a textbook.  Small class size allowed for field trips to really make those connections to everyday life.  In the end, all the skills they needed to move on to the next grade were there.  We all had fun and learned new things. Shady Oak is a wonderful environment and I am glad I got to be part of the family."

- LeAnn Bravo, former teacher Shady Oak


"My son started attending Shady Oak Primary school in 4th grade. In the beginning of the school year, he was a shy child with low self-esteem and had difficulty socializing. The classroom was very welcoming at Shady Oaks, and he was able to find good friends. All of the children were very respectful and the environment was nurturing. During 4th grade, my son made progress towards memorizing the multiplication table and other math facts, something he really struggled with. While he struggled with writing and reading, the teachers focussed on what he is good at, and discovered his hidden talent to perform on stage. During 5th grade , Alexander's reading and vocabulary level improved in large part to the extensive Greek Myths and other classical reading assignments. The lessons were somewhat unconventional by allowing creative play to be performed by the children. The emphasis was on the reading and learning versus on testing of new concepts. He was no longer afraid to read more challenging books on his own. He gained a lot of confidence and started to express his opinions and contribute to many conversations and discussions."

- Polina and Peter Conrad



The boys definitely enjoyed the camp, came home each day with such excitement in their eyes. I enjoyed hearing about their lessons and new friends.

My goal for the camp was to help Christian & especially Cameron learn to think for themselves about self control & respect. Each of the pillars taught supported that objective & helped spark some real thought in them.

Christian had a trying & difficult year last Spring which Cam tried to shield him from. The camp covered the core values I'm sincerely hoping will help this school year and on.

Thanks so much, it was a pleasure."

Best Regards, Brent