Creative Collegiate Academy

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | July 21st, 2020
Creative Collegiate Academy

Creative Collegiate Academy

Malorie Hullett admits to being a military brat. Her family moved from one city to a different state and eventually a completely new country. Along the way, she met a schoolteacher who always made the time to help her and make sure she was always prepared for assignments and tests. Those memories carried Hullett into college and made a difference in the career path she chose.

In some way, she has always been involved in learning, whether she was on the receiving end or giving. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in education at Lane College, she worked in a childcare facility nearby. Since Lane didn’t have a basis for early childhood education, she settled on a general degree in education in hopes of one day owning a childcare facility. Once she finished the program, she felt like elementary teaching may be the way to go instead.

The Memphis, TN native was a schoolteacher for ten years, starting in Mississippi. Her cousin was her literacy coach who set the foundation for her teaching style and how she receives and organizes information to utilize later. “She was very instrumental in molding me to be a better teacher,” Hullett admits. Over the years, Hullett taught children from kindergarten to third grade and was a founding teacher in a charter school when she realized she was ready to make a personal impact by founding her own school.

“After a year of working, I told the principal that I wouldn’t be returning and she completely understood. Everyone was so supportive because I was very upfront with them and told them it was time for me to do something else,” says Hullett.

She started the two day training process with the Department of Human Services alongside her husband and sister, who would be her back-up in the event she needed assistance. The course tackled the rules and regulations of opening an in-home childcare facility, passing inspections, teacher/child ratio and everything it takes to become a successful business.

Hullett and her husband rolled up their sleeves and got to work on transforming their master bedroom into a classroom and the kitchen into a café for little people. Miniature tables and chairs, toys, and learning materials soon filled the first floor, so Hullett and her husband repurposed their second floor as their living quarters, downsizing to a smaller space.

In August 2019, Creative Collegiate Academy opened with eight children and currently has a waiting list of approximately 35. Ironically, they are all four years old or will turn four soon, including Hullett’s son, Eli, who loves being taught by his mother.

Coming from the classroom, the former teacher knows what students need to be successful and ready for kindergarten. Learning through play is essential and she incorporates that into most of the day. She utilizes the Eureka Math program with modifications, as to not overwhelm the students at such a young age. This is the same program that the public school system uses with students entering into PreK and K levels. For literacy learning, the academy incorporates the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum that helps them get ready for reading.

The summer months turn into day camp, complete with themed days, learning while playing, and loads of fun for the children. Hullett prides herself on being a teacher who thinks outside the box. “Being on my own gives me the opportunity to create my own curriculum and still keep it engaging and fun for the kids.

As a business servicing children, the academy was forced to close its doors during the first two months of the Coronavirus pandemic, but the parents stood by patiently waiting on them to reopen. Hullett made sure to keep an open line of communication and was devoted to supporting the families who needed her services the most. She kept the children engaged through Zoom calls and later constructed ‘Creative – Outside The Box’, which is an actual box filled with learning tools the children can do at home. Initially she only received requests from her school parents, but once others noticed them, more orders filled her inbox. Now she’s working on a summer box and will sell and distribute a ‘Back To School’ box in the fall.

The Hullett’s are considering expanding next year but want to be sure not to rush the process. “We’re thinking about increasing to 15 children, by adding an additional class, then possibly purchasing a building after that,” Hullett says.

Serving the needs of our future leaders is priority number one for this educator. She plans to impact the world by dedicating herself to the learning academy. Her strategy includes carefully and thoughtfully making decisions to maximize the growth at a practical pace.

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