Monday, June 25, 2018

Progress update!

First, I want to give huge THANKS to everyone who has given us words of encouragement and/or helped us with the renovations!

I am working on a lovely blog about our curriculum, but first, a progress update:

In 1 MONTH: May 25th to June 25th - We have worked many long days and nights pushing ourselves and skills to the max! Our hard work is beginning to pay off and we are ecstatic to see our vision coming to fruition!

We have taken our space and transformed it into a calm and relaxing environment for our children to learn and grow! (Pictures soon to come.... I sent a sneak peak to my current students parents today!)

We are building furniture and curriculum materials are arriving! Seriously, they are so enticing, our son is aching to open the boxes and try the learning materials out...

We have built a custom fence and a lovely re-purposed wood gate.

Wes literally moved earth and sand to bring my idea to life! The outdoor classroom needs finishing touches and the installation of our sensory garden! But it is already kid tested and kid approved!

We have joined Tahlequah Business Network and are excited to begin connecting with and supporting other small businesses in the area!

We are advertising our hearts out! Our website is operating smoothly with 1,043 unique visitors, we have 139 Face Book Followers, posted ads in Tahlequah Daily Press, and you can now find us via Google search and maps!

Teacher applications are flooding in and interviews will begin very soon!

Student applications are coming in a little slower, BUT we officially have enough students to open our doors!

SO all in all... We are working diligently and watching our dream come alive everyday!

I will sign off with a quote...

These are times we, as a team, will always cherish and remember!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Launching a marketing campaign for the school that was well prepared and strong is a true challenge.
But one that we are excited and ready for!

Much credit is due to my husband and CIO, Wes Wheeler. He created the logo, built the foundation of the
website, helped with website analytics, printed flyers and provided much insight and help! We worked
diligently together to create a strong motto and mission statement.
We passed out about 100 flyers while we enjoying Red Fern day and launched the website! It brought
in 70 unique visitors and 6 emails by the end of Saturday! And the number and scope of visitors is
continuing to grow.

Currently, we are finalizing many projects!
  • The parent hand book and student application process as well as the teacher application process will available this week. 
  • Our lawyer will have our student/parent contracts and our teacher contracts available very soon.
  • I am working on further publicity and advertising efforts.
  • We are shopping for classroom equipment and curriculum. 

There is much more to do, but we are making progress towards our goal of opening this year!

Location. Location. Location.

I am a quiet and faithful person. I accept all people of all faiths in their life journey. I believe that each individual is called to a purpose in life and my duty is to support and love all of those around me. I bring my faith up, not to discourage or dis-include any individuals from participating in Two Rivers Academy. Two Rivers invites and loves all people from all backgrounds. I bring my faith up because it provides the full picture of my journey in entrepreneurship and the launching of this endeavor.

As a born again Christian, I believe that my life can be summed up in one Bible verse...
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9 KJV
As a truly goal oriented person, this provides me with a guiding light on a daily basis.
That being said, I have been motivated and empowered to make plans for this school and yet leaving
many of the uncertain things to my God and angels to provide.  I’ve always leaned into my all time
favorite verse…
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of the things unseen. Hebrews 11:1 KJV
This has been a huge source of encouragement throughout my life but particularly while spending much
of the last 2 years seeking my Masters in Entrepreneurship, praying, researching and writing about
Two Rivers Academy. Opening a school is bigger than just my hopes and dreams for my child.
It’s even bigger than the families it will serve in Tahlequah. It is bigger than the accumulation of my
life, my skills, my passions and my faith. But it is not bigger than my God.

How do I know this? There have been many instances of this along the way but the most recent
and vivid is absolutely astounding.

While seeking a location for the last month, I had been feeling that Pastor Jay Jones at
Abundant Life Church and a lawyer, Grant Lloyd, we met through our sons TKD class, would by my
keys to a beginning. I began praying avidly for a way to make this school happen for 2018.

However, I hesitated to make contact.
Partially out of fear and partially out of a need for a sense of readiness in my studies.
Then a few weeks ago when I felt bold and ready, I called both.  

Pastor Jay was very interested and excited. He was currently working on plans for an infant care
ministry and a location and would be in touch soon. I also spoke with Pastor Sean Ross at
Tahlequah Bible Church about the idea and he was very encouraging and interested as well.
Additionally, we worked with an amazing realtor, Janice Ratlif, to review our location options in town.
When I spoke with Grant Lloyd about our legal needs, he was ready and able to help AND he recalled
a property that would be great for such a venture.
Within days, we viewed an amazing property that was nearly in our budget. Making a large purchase of a property would essentially eat up most of my start up capital, so my
husband and I prayed and leaned in on it. We decided it could be worth the investment and delay in
opening the school.
On the day we were preparing to file for bank loans, Pastor Jay calls! He had secured a location for his new infant care ministry and invited us to view the property to see
if we would want to use the other portion of the space. As it turns out, it is the exact property we had
viewed and were preparing to apply for a loan for!

Call it coincidence, luck, fate, divine intervention or whatever you prefer… but I’m calling it proof
we are moving in the right direction and that God is in control of this school and my life.

And I expect there will be many more examples to come.

Let the renovations and preparations continue!


My capstone teacher posted this as our final discussion board and it seems the best place to start this
The Question: As a soon-to-be graduate of the OSU Master of Entrepreneurship degree, I'd like for
you to share your backstory. What part of your past influenced you to decide to pursue
What do you hope to gain from starting your own company and what will you be risking (or giving up)
in order to pursue your dream? What does the ultimate success for you look like and how will you
know you've achieved it?
My answer:
He is a bright eyed, curious, intelligent 4 year old who has given me the courage to find my passion and
actualize a dream.
My interest in entrepreneurship began in about 2006, shortly after getting married. I fell in love with
real estate investment and money management. I attended seminars, training and made several attempts
to purchase investment properties. However, most attempts just fell short.
Fast forward, to Ezra. As I returned to work as a mom, I realized that for me to feel comfortable
working instead of being home with my infant, I needed purpose. I needed a cause and a reason to
leave that little baby in someone else care for 40 hours a week. So I took a very small step, and moved
out of my rewarding but not so fulfilling job. I chose to take a position that provided more
opportunities for fulfillment. Academic Advising.

Helping others become successful in their education! That has become my passion.
I chose to begin my Masters in Entrepreneurship at OSU to seek out an opportunity to become a
full-time business owner and/or consultant. However, I did so without any true idea of what that
business could or should be. I explored many options as I worked through the degree.
The biggest influence is watching Ezra get older. I have become more aware of the world I want my
child to live in. I want to make an impact that would positively influence him and our community.
I want him to experience the best this world has to offer. So with the support of my amazing husband,
Wes, and the exposure to Montessori and Reggio education from an amazing friend and mentor,
Dr. Sophia Sweeney, I found a business I could see for the long term that aligned with my heart.
I want the freedom that business ownership could offer and it aligns with my belief that education is
the most important thing I can give. So Two Rivers Academy was born!
We are now making strives to open for the 2018-2019 year! We are securing our location and are
launching our advertising efforts for recruitment of students and teachers at the Red Fern Festival.
The MSE program has given me the knowledge and confidence to figure out my passion and work
towards actualizing a dream.
I look forward to graduating this summer (only managerial accounting left) and launching this new