Story by Chelsea Martin
The most admirable aspect of human beings on this
planet is the fact that each and every one of us is
unique, from our DNA all the way down to our
simple quirks and thoughts.
Some notable experts believe that children are guided
from an early age to explore the sky’s limits with a free
and open mind in order to discover their gifts, talents and
core beliefs. Thus, there exists an unspoken duty for the
parents, teachers and peers of these children to guide and
mentor properly in order to create a roadmap leading to
success in life and independence to thrive in society.
Each child is different, and there is not a single group
of students that can all learn at the same pace, on the same
While it’s a model for child development, some confess
it’s simply impossible.
Although standard schooling may allow certain
students to thrive, there are those who seek
a different teaching style to fit their needs
as closely as possible.
Enter Brightmont Academy, a private
institution aimed toward facilitating the
specific needs of such students by offering
specialized, one-on-one instruction. It’s an
educational bright spot and has been for
nearly 14 years.
Brightmont Academy has grown
rapidly, currently operating three locations
in Arizona: on west Chandler Boulevard in
Chandler, in Scottsdale and in Deer Valley.
South Tempe resident and Brightmont
Academy’s Outreach Coordinator Sonia
Gonzalez is a firm advocate in embracing
the children who wish to pursue a closely
guided education. Her focus involves
making sure it successfully happens,
especially with a diverse group of students,
each with his or her own complete set of
ambitions and a destination to reach.
The process for developing each
student’s personalized instructional
program involves a thorough review of
items, such as the child’s records, schedule,
previous instructional style and other
relevant aspects. The institution utilizes
a digital curriculum in order to provide
a competent teaching approach for each
“It’s wonderful to have a digital
curriculum in this new modern age,”
Gonzalez said. “We are able to really fill
in the missing information and help the
students learn quickly. Each student must
score an 80 percent or above in order to
move on, and the kids tend to move pretty
Although some parents may feel uneasy
toward this teaching style, Brightmont
is ready and willing to open its doors to
educate anyone who is interested and
willing to fully understand the approach.
“The concept is very different for Arizona,”
Gonzalez said. “Parents don’t really think
of it as truly a one-on-one style, and they
don’t believe the kids will get as much
education in four hours as compared to a
seven-hour public-school day. But when
they actually come in, visit the campus
and tour one of the instructional rooms,
they begin to understand, and the idea has
rapidly caught on.”
The instructional challenge is
personalized for each child to focus
deliberately on the areas that are missing in
order to confidently strengthen that specific
The possibilities for these children to
grow are infinite, says Gonzalez.
“The program is great because it suits
all grade and all ability levels,” Gonzalez
said. “We spend the appropriate amount
of time working on every single student’s
The students at Brightmont Academy
learn to work independently, yet remain
within close proximity to the instructor.
Most students are in class for four hours
a day, attending for however many days
their instructional program and schedule
The eclectic group of students ranges
from those with schedules that are
divided between a local public school and
Brightmont; those in need of additional
tutoring in specific subjects; and the fulltime
one-on-one specialized students.
Some junior high and high school
students allocate two hours of their day
to English and math, the other two hours
studying and practicing with three other
students in an independent study lab.
Four students are allowed in the lab with
one instructor to practice and engage in a
deeper level of understanding.
There is no bullying and nothing to
be nervous about in the environment the
students are engrossed in, coupled with
the students’ ability to create and sustain
healthy life-long friendships, Gonzalez says.
There are plenty of students of various
learning abilities, and Brightmont was
formulated on the notion that every child
should be given the chance to develop the
utmost confidence in their education and
While many public schools in the
area are long established and admired for
the continuous hard work and positive
feedback from countless students’ success
all over the country, Brightmont exists to
offer a modern alternative for the student
who doesn’t seem to flourish under the
program that public schools provide.
“The students don’t recognize when
they are actually learning and the
instructors are able to help them conquer
that challenge,” Gonzalez said. “I was a
principal for 13 years before this job, and
this is the first time I’ve ever seen one
organization really address personalized