In 2002, gas was $1.61/gallon and Kmart Corporation was the largest retailer in the nation. The second Harry Potter movie was out (Chamber of Secrets), along with My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Chicago. The Queen Mum passed away, and the Washington D.C. area was living in fear of a sniper who killed 10 people and injured 3. The Winter Olympics were in Salt Lake City, UT. The Department of Homeland Security was created. Oasis, Avril Lavigne and Coldplay were on the radio, and Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol contest.
And Joe and Kyle were bored.
The two teachers were sitting around in Joe’s basement, shoes off, playing Woody Woodpecker: Escape from Buzz Buzzard Park on PlayStation 2 and discussing their continuing education hours (a spicy conversation, to be sure). Both guys had taken courses to maintain their licenses as middle school social studies teachers, and although they had learned a bit, they were really very uninspired by their experiences. They craved engaging and relevant material that would help them be better educators, and they just weren’t finding it. “We could do this better,” they thought.
And they did. They operated out of Joe’s basement after spending the day teaching energetic 7th graders. The guys launched their first two On-Site courses, partnering with the University of St. Thomas, in the summer of 2002: “Expanding the Classroom Walls,” and “Songs, Skits and Stick People,” (note the return of the stick people on our website!) along with 7 text-based distance learning courses. Joe’s kitchen table, living room and garage were lost among flyers, envelopes, mail bags etc. At one point they may have even temporarily lost Joe’s wife and kid.
When they leased their first office space, as our office manager Karin mentioned in her blog post, it was on the site of a land fill. It had a room where Kyle and Forest the office dog lived while he was working on renovating his condo. Although it was small, this is where the guys started to really expand and stretch their legs. Their course offerings expanded from 7 to 12, and more folks joined their quest…
…and here we are now, celebrating 60+ distance learning courses, 29 online courses and On-Sites in three major cities . The Edge has been built on a passion for creating engaging and relevant courses that help you be the best teacher you can be. We know that you love your work, and we want to support your commitment to excellence. Thanks for being around for the ride – we hope you’ll stick around and see what the next 10 years has in store!