Sue Lavin Mann
Founder & Director of Development
My kids went through three schools in one year and I finally decided to not put them through any more torture. I leased a space in Corte Madera in a kid friendly building and started The Think Tank International Academy.
Before I made this decision, I researched every school that might be a fit for my kids and found that there was no school in Marin County that had what they needed. My daughter would make up every excuse not to go to school in the mornings. Then I found out from her school friends that she missed out on most of her recesses and was always getting punished in some way or another for not getting her work completed on time in school. I was advised to try out different options with tutoring and extra help at home and that she possibly had ADD.
I knew that once my daughter was engaged in a project or something that was of interest to her, she would not stop until she completed it. This could be anything from studying about Australia to reading about the Gold Rush!
My son is one of those kids who needs to be challenged and was bored in school because he could read, write and do Math in Kindergarten but could not move forward to the next grade because of his birth date. I knew I had to get him to a school where he could be challenged academically.
From that moment on I knew I had to create a school that was different from the rest and that would cater to kids on a more personal level. I wanted my kids to run out the door with excitement to get to school because something interesting and different was going to happen each day.
This is what prompted me to open the Think Tank on February 1st 2017. I found two incredible teachers who have taught my children one on one in separate class rooms and they have excelled. We introduced them to project based learning with an individualized learning plan and lots of interesting movement and activities. We introduced Home economics, swimming, surfing, skateboarding and hikes into their school day. French is the second language. We take field trips to Wild Care in San Rafael which influenced my kids to make stuffed animals and cushions to donate and fundraise for wildlife.
It is every parents dream to see their children’s gifts and passions being honored at school whether they are gifted or academically challenged. My children now run out the door to school and are so happy. Since I now know what that looks like, I am committed to growing The Think Tank to be a school where each child gets an opportunity to do the same with individualized learning plans and fun interesting projects, field trips, movement and each gift or passion is honored so that they can excel!