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Growasis: The Hunch

What if schools could impact communities?

The intention of this project is multifaceted:

1) address Nature Deficit Disorder by giving students a natural environment to work and learn in.

2) Address food deserts in school communities with an aquaponic/hydroponic farm that provides nutritious food options for students.

3) Offer experiential learning opportunties for students through the aquaponic/hydroponic farm.

4) Create additional revenue sources for schools by acting as a food source for local resturants and renting out the greenhouse for events (yoga in the park.)

5) Provide mindfulness and exercise opportunities for students through nature and yoga in the greenhouse.

6) Build entreprenurial and STEM skills for students.

The Design

The largest portion of Growasis is an indoor grass field surrounded by plants, shrubs, trees, and seating options where classes can be held to give students a natural environment free from flourecent lights where students can learn and study in. Before and after school, and on weekends, this portion of Growasis can be rented out as a "yoga in the park" yoga studio and as an event center for community and private events. Similar to a civic park space, the Growasis field can be used year round for exercise, movie events, music, and other community gathering opportunities.

Growasis will also feature an aquaponic/hydroponic farm where students can learn experientially about food production while providing healthy, organic produce for the community.

Growasis will be a living laboratory.

Current Assets

  • Learning from alumni teachers (Nancy Babbitt and Debra Weissman) at Anastasis Academy who have taken a permaculture design course and actively continue learning in our current living laboratories.

  • Our current learning garden, raised beds, and giving garden.

  • Mr. Kellerman's team at Designs by Sundown who have designed 3D renderings and plans for our space, and have sourced/priced out Growaisis.


Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Funding

    • Grants/campaigns

      • Video production

      • Management

  • Yoga studio partnership

  • Building manager

  • Building space/land (Colorado)

  • Director of research

  • Evangelist

  • Garden center

  • Documenturer

Anastasis Academy

#Learningisbigger #standagain

Anastasis Academy

Anastasis Academy: The Hunch

What if learning was about the student?

What if learning as a human endeavor is too big and beautiful to fit into the tiny, meaningless data battles we insist on in education?


What if it really is about the individual, the student-with a name?

What does a school centered around students look like?

The Design

Anastasis Academy is a new model of education. A living laboratory of my dreams for education (you can learn more about our design and how I started the school on my blog). Each design decision that we make is with our core value, the student-with-a-name, in mind.

  • Inquiry-based learning

  • No one-size-fits-all boxed-curriculum.

  • Learner profiles with unique learning trajectories for each student.

  • Weekly field trips (learning is bigger than the four walls of our school).

  • A large focus on community service (our students are contributing citizens now, not some day in the future).

  • Community and culture built and fostered daily.

  • Students who leave: confident in who they are, who know what to do when they don't know, who know how to self-advocate.

Current Assets

  • A thriving k-8 school and community of learners (check us out at

  • A team of incredible, dedicated teachers.

  • A field trip/service learning coordinator.

  • An arts coordinator.

  • A thriving garden.

  • Strong community connections.

  • Unsurpassed learning opportunities.

  • An edVenture partnership with Simply Venture.

  • A strong, connected parent body.

  • A Capstone Year for students who want to continue their education.


Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Funding (there can never be too much!)

  • A building of our see the vision fully realized, we would like our own home! We have grand plans for utilizing space as a third teachers.

  • Land to build the building on (obviously).

  • Additional community organizations to partner with us.

  • Someone who would like to partner with us to expand the Anastasis Academy model into high school years (in process as of 1.2.2022!)
  • Universities that would like to partner with us for a vision of life-learning.

The Learning Genome Project


Learning Genome

The Learning Genome Project: The Hunch

What if we could map the DNA of learning?

In 2010, I had a hunch that technology could enable us to map learning so that teachers and students wouldn't be bound to a one-size-fits-all boxed curriculum. One day, as I was listening to Pandora, I had a true 'geek out' moment. Technology had reached a tipping point where it could predict something that feels as personal as a song, and get it right! I wondered if the same was possible with learning. I learned that Pandora is called the Music Genome Project. Based on the Human Genome Project, Pandora maps the attributes of music and runs those attributes through an algorithm that can accurately predict what other music we might enjoy. Why couldn't we do that with learning? Learning has attributes! The Learning Genome Project was born.


You can't personalize the learning experience without first knowing the learner. The student-with-a-name. The Learning Genome Project begins with the individual by building a Learner Profile. It takes into account learning preferences, multiple intelligence strengths, brain dominance, interests, passions, social/emotional maturation, school environment and a host of other factors that make up an individual. 


To fully realize personalized learning, it is essential that each student have a learning plan, a map that has been created specifically for them. Learning goals are selected with the student and are easily accessed by teachers, parents and students. 


At the core of the Learning Genome is a platform that aggregates resources. Using a series of algorithms, these resources are matched to the students they best serve. Combined with an inquiry-based learning map, the core of the Learning Genome creates those serendipitious moments of finding exactly the right learning tools and resources at just the right time to meet the needs of the learner.


The Learning Genome Project is a living curriculum. It is a dynamic learning environment that provides the conditions for rich learning.

The Design

Current Assets

Before the Learning Genome Project could be fully realized, we needed a new model. One that honored humanity and recognized the student as an individual.

In 2011, Anastasis Academy was born. The mission: to apprentice children in the art of learning through inquiry, creativity, critical thinking, discernment, and wisdom. Anastasis strives to provide an educational model that honors and supports children as the unique and creative individuals that they are.


The Anastasis Model Features:


Empowerment: Every learner is unique, capable, curious, and in constant process of piecing together how the world works. Anastasis begins with the individual. Students are empowered to understand who they are and how their unique genius will impact a world that desperately needs their contribution. To find their identity.


A community of learners: Out of individual empowerment and understanding "who we are," comes an understanding and appreciation of others. Students feel confident in their own identity and can celebrate and appreciate others. They are able to take risks and be vulnerable in their learning. A community of learners is built out of this place. Students recognize that chance favors the connected mind. Students see the power collective intelligence plays in learning and innovation.


Inquiry driven learning: Rather than siloing subjects, Anastasis uses a completely customized, integrative "living curriculum" that allows room for meaningful connections across learning, takes advantage of exploration, discovery, and active learning. Simply stated, it is learning that is curiosity driven.


Experiential learning: Learning is designed to be immersive: authentic, realistic and connected for each child. In addition to rich inquiry units, students begin to understand that learning happens everywhere and that they can learn from anyone. Fieldtrips, guest speakers, and multi-age learning experiences permeate the inquiry driven learning.


Intentional service: Anastasis recognizes students as contributing members now, not just some day in the future. Through intentional service, students discover how they can impact a larger community. These experiences make them more compassionate, understanding, generous and ultimately improve communities and the world.


Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Funding (there can never be too much!)

  • Coding/programming Ninja

  • User Interface Ninja

  • Business developer

  • Marketing Ninja

  • Creative Director

  • Schools who are ready to partner

The Anastasis Model


Anastasis Model

The Anastasis Model: The Hunch

What if ALL students had the opportunity to learn the way Anastasis students do?

What would happen if Anastasis Academy wasn't a unicorn?

How might the world be different if every child received an education that honored who they are as an individual?

What if instead of purchasing boxed curricula, school districts purchased a model that empowers teachers and students?

The Design

Anastasis Academy is a new model of education. I lead hundreds of educators through Anastasis every year. They want a glimpse inside the magic, they want to spread the good! Beyond a school in Colorado, we want to be a movement of good in the world by extending our reach with:

  • Inquiry-based learning

  • No one-size-fits-all boxed-curriculum.

  • Learner profiles with unique learning trajectories for each student.

  • Weekly field trips (learning is bigger than the four walls of our school).

  • A large focus on community service (our students are contributing citizens now, not some day in the future).

  • Community and culture built and fostered daily.

  • Students who leave: confident in who they are, who know what to do when they don't know, who know how to self-advocate.

Current Assets

  • A thriving k-8 school and community of learners (check us out at

  • A team of incredible, dedicated staff.

  • An education conference (5Sigma).

  • Technology component to make it possible (The Learning Genome Project)

  • Assessment methodology (UpGrade)

  • Learner Profile

  • A book sharing the inquiry and design thinking process behind the Anastasis model.

  • A sustainable model based on per-pupil expenditure in the public school system.

Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Funding (there can never be too much!)

  • Development coordinator

  • Creative Director

  • Man power!

  • Marketing Ninja

  • Partner districts and schools.

UpdatED Design


UpdatED Design

UpdatED Design: The Hunch

What if we could reduce waste in the community and provide students with supplies to prototype their idease?

The Design

How can a store's donation transform learning?

updatED design is about unleashing creativity and innovation in learners. It is about bringing design inspiration into classrooms.
Donating is simple and has an immediate impact.  Window and point of sale displays, posters, etc. can get a new life as classroom design and in school prototype labs.  Best of all, the donation keeps these materials out of landfills. updatED design is part of the Anastasis Foundation for Innovative Learning, a 501(c)(3) non-profit making each donation tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Current Assets

  • Donating stores in the South Denver/metro area.

  • A protoype lab for students to create in.

  • A rocking pickup truck to collect donations.

  • A 501c3 status that makes each donation to UpdatED design tax deductible.

Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Additional store partnerships.

  • International partnerships to expand the UpdatED Design model so that more schools can benefit.

  • Volunteers to evangelize/spread the word to stores, visual managers, and organizations.

  • Volunteers to pick up supplies.

  • Volunteer to organize prototype lab, sort supplies.

  • This hunch began when I was strolling through the mall, admiring the incredible window display that Anthropologie had. And I wondered aloud, "what do they do with all of that awesome when the season changes and a new window display follows?"

  • As it turns out, they toss most of it...or pay to have it recycled.

  • What if WE recycled for them by repurposing the materials for students to use in our prototype lab?

  • UpdatED Design was born!




Upgrade: The Hunch

What if Assessment revealed the Learning Journey?

What if assessment wasn't about the grade, but about engaging a learning journey?

When Anastasis Academy started, we recognized early on that we would need a different way to assess. The current systems felt clunky, inauthentic, and didn't really help us move learning forward. It was time to rethink the purpose of assessment.

The Design

When we created a new grading system, we asked a lot of questions:

  • What do we hope that students leaving our school have?

  • What skills does the world need our graduates to have? 

  • How can we use assessment to unleash potential and allow kids to recognize their ability to grow in learning?

  • How can we encourage kids to be more fearless in their learning?

  • How can assessment help reveal the learning journey?

  • What if transcripts were living and grew with a student?

  • How can assessment be unique to the individual?

The result is a new method of assessment. A report card that looks very little like a report card. An assessment system with an upgrade.

Current Assets

  • A new assessment system (currently built and accessed in Numbers).

  • A 'report card' that helps view the learning journey (see above)

  • An awesome team of educators that continually puts energy into tweaking the assessment process so that it is authentic and tells the learning journey story correctly.

Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Funding (there can never be too much!)

  • Programmer/app developer (help us grow up)

  • User Interface design

  • Creative Director

  • Funding (did I already say that?)

  • Other schools that would like to look at assessment differently.

  • Marketing Ninja

  • The Anastasis Model Franchise ready to roll.

5Sigma Conference



5Sigma Education Conference: The Hunch

What if we could spread good ideas in education faster?

5Sigma Education Conference began as a way to make Anastasis Academy a living laboratory for educators. A space to be inspired by the very people who have inspired us, to learn together, to iterate, and launch new ideas in classrooms all over the world.

This conference also helps us to expand the model by acting as a  fundraiser.

The Design

5Sigma is about sharing, collaborating, and equipping teachers with the tools to launch this new learning in the classroom.

The conference begins on a Friday with a Keynote speaker and a tour of Anastasis led by the students of Anastasis. Participants get a first hand view of our innovative learning model.

Friday afternoon and Saturday, participants engage in sessions and conversations that lead to actionable plans that can be brought back to the classroom. Saturday includes lunch with our very favorite food truck, ElToro the Tot. Over amazing burgers and tots, we continue conversations and make new friends. Saturday ends with a closing Keynote.

Sunday is reserved for adult learning excursions. These help us consider learning outside of our classroom and provide a unique twist on what we typically consider professional development. Past excursions have included GrowHaus where we toured an aquaponic/hydroponic farm, and a Brew Tour of Denver.

Current Assets

  • A school model worth sharing with others.

  • Incredible people to collaborate with.

  • An event coordinator.

  • A food truck partner.

  • An organizer (that would be me!)

  • A team of educators and students ready to share.

Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Funding (there can never be too much!)

  • Presenters (see website for opportunities)

  • Keynote speakers

  • Sponsors

  • Evangelists (we love help spreading the word)

  • Volunteers to run the conference

  • Videographer to record sessions and keynotes

  • Denver/metro partners for happy hour meetups, hotel options, transportation, and learning excursion locations!

Container Classrooms


Container Classroom

Container Classrooms: The Hunch

What if we could make learning more equitable through the use of mobile classrooms?

I've long been amazed by shipping containers that have been repurposed as houses, coffee shops, and mobile architecture.

These structures can be relatively inexpensive architecture solutions. What if they were designed to remain mobile, as fully outfitted learning spaces? What if rather than every school attempting to raise funds for fully outfitted Maker Spaces/Prototype labs, specialized science labs, specialized art studios, dark rooms, etc., we could give schools the ability to include these spaces on-demand?

What if by making specialized classrooms mobile, access to specialized equipment could be more equitable for ALL students?

The Design

A fleet of containers, fully outfitted with specialized resources and tools and a "container expert" to help teachers and students properly use equipment on each container.

Containers could be reserved and delivered on-demand to enhance learning during a learning block. When the block is over, other students get access to the same incredible resources to learn with.

Current Assets

  • A great idea!

  • A school model that would allow schools to utilize mobile learning spaces.

  • Students ready for access to rich resources!

Current Collaboration opportunities

  • Funding (there can never be too much!)

  • Architect

  • Shipping container source

  • Transportation/trucking company (perhaps PODs?)

  • A home for containers to live when they aren't in use.

  • A project manager.

  • Educators of all disciplines that can help dream up the perfect learning space.

Dream Funding


Dream Funding

Dream Funding: The Hunch

What if schools helped fund the dreams of alumni?

At Anastasis Academy, we have the priviledge of apprenticing truly incredible students. We know that they are going to dream big, and start the next generation of innovation.

What if schools could help fund those dreams? What if schools had an endowment fund dedicated to investing in it's alumni? We already know the human-capital potential because we helped shape it! What if we could offer students loan opportunities, and community connections that fast-paced their ideas, dreams, and businesses?

The Design

Every day we are equipping students with the necessary skills to dream big.

We want to stay connected to our alumni and encourage life long dreaming. By offering alumi opportunities to fund their dreams through the school they attended, we demonstrate belief in their education, belief in their dreams, and offer them the opportunity to invest in the school that invested in them. Rather than lining the pockets of bankers, they'll be repaying the school that cultivated their learning.

Current Assets

  • A great idea!

  • A school model that cultivates learning beyond the classroom.

  • Alumni who are world-changers

Current Collaboration opportunities

  • An endowment fund (i.e. money!)

  • A lending specialist

  • Someone familiar with all of the nitty gritty behind the scene policy/procedures to make this work!

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