TSA is a family and the Longacres are a TSA family.

I first came to TSA as a student teacher in college. I was fortunate to learn the craft and the culture from that first generation of legendary TSA people. They took me under their wing and taught me the importance of balancing academic rigor, creativity, and––most importantly––compassion for the students. It was a family.

Over the years, that extended family embraced my biological family. My son’s baby shower was in the Flying Pig Cafe. We have cradled and shushed our babies through countless performances. Our little boys toddled around the school hallways and the summer cookouts with coworkers. They scribbled on the whiteboards of classrooms around the building. They bobbed their heads to steel drums and laughed at awkward Improv Night sketches. They knew the cool wonder of the Valentine in the spring. They saw up front the value of creativity and community working hand in hand. They never knew a world where pigs couldn’t fly.

This last year, we became TSA parents, and our perspective deepened. We got to experience first-hand the difference this school makes in the lives of students. We watched teachers take extra time to help our son with math problems and with social skills, to help him improve his artistic talents and cultivate his own interests. They literally helped him find his voice. They embraced him just like that first generation of TSA people embraced me.

We were surprised, and not surprised. We knew the difference this place can make. Now, we get to experience that difference for ourselves. Our younger son is already looking forward to when he can come to school at the place he has always known as a place of wonder, a place of comfort, a place of family.