About Us

Our Philosophy

 

 

At Alcott Learning, we offer online courses and coaching that empower parents to bring the very best education into their homes. We minimize overwhelm and confusion through our simple “Transformational Education Roadmap” which is based on the work of Oliver DeMille. DeMille brilliantly brings together the best educational principles revealed by theorists including Maslow, Piaget, Vygotsky, Bloom, Montessori, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, E.D. Hirsch; approaches such as classical education and self-directed learning; data from top education sources; and as embodied by the lives of heroes such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Founders, Martin Luther King Jr., and others. DeMille’s work aligns these principles with the correct windows of human development. In 20+ years in professional education, we have found no educational tool more powerful. At Alcott, we have taken his work and turned it into a simple and natural “Transformational Education Roadmap” for parents and educators.

 

Our Name

 

 

Our company name is inspired by trips taken to Concord, Massachusetts and visits to the Alcott family home and Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott was raised. In such a beautiful and historical setting, the Alcott parents worked to give their children the very best educational experiences possible through family values, great ideas, real-life experiences, and a love of learning. We can see in the lives of their children, particularly Louisa May Alcott and her distinguished writing, the fruits of transformational education. 

These principles can be found in the homes of many beloved and inspiring families like the Martin Luther King Jr. family, the Jane Austen family, and many other families. No family is perfect, and fame is certainly not the measure of success, but we wanted to honor a family culture of growth, leadership, service, and love in our name. For us, Alcott represents any family that takes education into their own hands and creates a liberated and beautiful path of education for their children to thrive.
 

Our Founders

 

Liz Kirk, Founder & CEO of Alcott

When I was a junior in public high school my teacher read that Jane Austen was educated in the classics by her father, an intelligent and loving man. I left my daydreams for the moment and had an epiphany that would stay with me through life. I raised my hand and sincerely asked, ‘if Jane Austen was educated in the way you described, and accomplished what she did in her life, why aren’t we doing education the same way?’ My teacher didn’t enjoy that question, so we moved on, but this experience sparked one of the core questions of my life.
Since then I've spent countless hours studying the principles of true education and creating my own journey based on these principles. This included mentors, creative projects, the greatest books, field experiences and endless robust conversations.  I’ve in turn mentored hundreds of students in the same principles and watched as they forged meaningful personal lives of service and leadership. 
My career is centered on helping others experience transformational education. However, my experience in the field of education has revealed that many institutions lack engagement in true education principles and practices. I was a part of that 50% of new teachers who quit their first year. There was little professional development to help me get through the obstacles of a first year and no direction when it came to implementing the school's methodology, burdensome state standards and testing requirements. I knew within the first week of my first teaching job that I would not be back! Luckily, I was fortunate to eventually find a fabulous school where I could really contribute. I’ve started my own company to pay that forward. 
I was the Executive Director of a leadership-focused high school and middle school. In this position I oversaw all programs that served over 1,200 students. I co-founded the successful middle school program, including co-writing the curriculum. Our staff grew to include world travelers, professionals, college professors, MBAs and PhDs. Though most schools lose over 50% of their new faculty, my hiring teams retained 95% of new hires over a 5 year period. We attribute that success to an innovative and supportive culture built on excellent professional development opportunities
It is one of the deepest and greatest human needs to really learn. Our society has all but forgotten to cultivate and nurture this need. I know there are many other teachers and administrators out there that feel the same way I do. I want to support them. We teach and create opportunities for transformational learning.

 

Syd Maucotel, Co-Founder & COO of Alcott

I grew up attending public co-ops, charter schools, and private institutions. My family and I sought education programs tailored to my needs. This individualized path gave me opportunities within the traditional and alternative paths of education. I've always been passionate about learning, loved school, and wanted to be a part of the education industry in my career. 
My first year teaching public school I longed for mentorship that was not available to me. I spent countless hours attempting to create meaningful lesson plans and classroom projects (through trial and error!) leaving me completely burned out.  Exhausted and disheartened, I closed the door of my classroom on the last day of school convinced I would never be back and feeling like a failure. 
Fortunately, I found an institution and mentor that took me under their wing and gave me the resources to experience transformational learning and, in turn, helped me bring that into my classroom. Understanding the role of a mentor, as one who's walked the road and desires to share that experience with invested learners, changed my own education and that of my students.
I spent over 6 years teaching secondary Language Arts courses such as Humanities, Leadership, Writing, and Literature. I created a successful 6-8th grade Writing program and co-developed Language Arts curriculum for 9-12th grade as the Department Director of the Writing and Language Arts department and Academic Director of an online school. This position allowed me to manage, train, and collaborate with a large team of teachers and teaching-aids. It also highlighted my innate strengths: management & operations.  
I believe stories shape reality. The narratives we craft for our lives determine our destiny. I find my call in helping others find their powerful, effective narrative by unpacking and rearranging the plot structure. I stabilize systems, minimize risk, defend standards, create precedents, and protect the status quo. I experience flow gathering information specifically and comprehensively to precisely develop complex strategies. The process of learning and evolving is just as important as the knowledge gained!