Message from our President

Hello everyone!

I am Dr. Andrea Thomas-Reynolds, the president of education services at Athlos Academies. I’m excited to be working at this organization and to share with you our accomplishments and goals for the future.

We’ve had a busy year. A governing board we’re partnering with in Reno, Nevada received approval to open a charter school, and we have been busy launching our newest school in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, which will open in August. As we’ve been hiring the administrative team and anticipating the completion of the school building, Athlos is excited to serve the students, their families, and the local Jefferson Parish community.

Alongside the opening of a new school this summer, we are looking forward to working with our operational schools on building academic excellence at our annual summer institute, a week-long conference for Athlos educators held in Boise, Idaho. We are also excited to begin offering our Analytics tool and Healthy Body and Performance Character curriculums as stand-alone services to schools to supplement their existing academic curriculums.

While working with the Athlos team, I’ve been impressed with the offerings this organization has developed, and I’m anxious to grow and expand those services to reach a greater number of schools and students.


Andrea Thomas-Reynolds, Ed.D.
President of Education Services

Performance Character
in Action

Athlos Academy of St. Cloud Hosts Family Paint Night

Athlos teacher demonstrates painting technique

This past winter, students and their families at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud were able to participate in Paint Night, a fun family-oriented evening to bring out the creativity in everyone.

“We worked together to paint a winter scene on a canvas,” said Ms. Fisher, the art teacher at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud. “I was able to break down the image so everyone, no matter the talent, was able to leave with a successful painting.”

At Athlos, we encourage teachers to incorporate Performance Character traits like creativity into their teaching. Ms. Fisher does it naturally. “It was wonderful to see families work together and collaborate in a fun environment,” she said. “I hope we can host more family paint nights in the future.”

Prepared Mind
in Action

Athlos Utah Students Participate in Clark Planetarium School Visit

Clark Planetarium

In March, Athlos Academy of Utah students were visited by the Clark Planetarium, a local space and science planetarium located in Salt Lake City. Students had the opportunity to attend an assembly where they learned about seasons, stars, electricity, and air pressure through various engaging activities. The visit left students and school staff with a feeling of awe and excitement for days following.

Athlos encourages schools to broaden the minds of their students by providing them experiences that inspire them to develop curiosity and ask questions. By exposing students to the vast world of space and science, Athlos plays a part in planting the seeds that could lead students to become future scientists and researchers.


June 19–22, 2018

Taking place in Boise, Idaho, Athlos Summer Institute is an immersion into the Athlos model designed for Athlos teachers, leaders, and partners. Participants will gain powerful insights connected to the implementation of the innovative Athlos approach. In addition to networking with experts in the field, participants will benefit from strategies to support and impact quality teaching and governing. All participants will walk away with new professional learning and tools to build stronger, more dynamic school communities.

“My two favorite activities were growth mindset and huddles. I can use both of these to enhance learning and create a culture of excellence.”

–Jessica Shelton, Athlos Academy of Utah

Athlos Summer Institute is a free event. Register today so you don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Athlos Educator Awards

Athlos Academy of Utah Teacher Receives Teacher of the Year Award

In April, Lynette Gittins, a second-grade teacher at Athlos Academy of Herriman, Utah, was honored as a teacher of the year by the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. She was one of only 20 teachers in the area who received the award.

“It has been wonderful being able to work with you,” wrote Bobbie Evans, an instructional coach at the school. “The humility, grit, and courage that you have shown in the past two years have not only shaped you into an exceptional teacher but have helped your students show growth as well. Congrats on your award. You definitely deserve it.”

Gittins earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University – Idaho.


It’s been an exciting time for many of our Athlos schools, whose students and staff are being recognized for showing Performance Character in a variety of ways. Here’s a look at some of the significant recognitions and awards from Athlos partner schools in Brooklyn Park, MN; Herriman, UT; and St. Cloud, MN.

Athlos Academy of St.Cloud Student Named Feeling Good MN Health Hero

To celebrate the importance of healthy lifestyles, Feeling Good MN recognizes people, businesses and communities in Central Minnesota that are setting a healthy example. Athlos student, Ethan Chaudry, was nominated as the December 2017–January 2018 Health Hero. View Ethan’s video interview.

blue ribbon readers choice awards sun media

Brooklyn Park Awarded 2018 Readers’ Choice Award for Best Public School

Our partner school, Athlos Leadership Academy in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota was recently awarded the 2018 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Public School by residents in Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Mounds View, and Columbia Heights. They were also identified by the Minnesota Department of Education as a high-quality charter school (HQCS)!

Athlos Academy of Utah Holds Food Drive for Utah Food Bank

Athlos Academy of Utah recently had an extraordinary turnout for their food drive. As the deadline came and went, donations continued to pour in. The school eventually ended with an estimated 6,644 pounds or 32 barrels worth of food. We are thrilled to highlight the school’s success in collaborating with the local community in collecting what took the Utah Food Bank nearly two hours to load onto their truck.

Share a story

We love to hear your student and school stories. Do you want to share a story from your school? Submit your story ideas to

Healthy Body in Action

This year we’ve held a variety of webinars focused on either Healthy Body or Performance Character related topics.

In February, we more than 90 coaches from our partner network, International Leadership of Texas, learned about the dynamic systems theory and a constraints-led approach as part of the Healthy Body pillar. This included theory, as well as how as how to apply it within the context of the Athlos Athletic curriculum.

In April, International Leadership of Texas coaches joined us once again to review the constraints-led approach, and we answered questions that were submitted prior to the webinar. These questions revolved around how to adapt lessons to larger classes, the lesson planning process, effective transitions, coaching presence, and the new assessment plan that will be launched at Summer Institute this year.

Webinars are available to coaches at our partner schools and last 45 to 60 minutes. These webinars can be viewed on demand by visiting Healthy Body University on Canvas.

Teachers in Action

Isaac Ramos is a fourth-grade teacher at Athlos Academy of Utah in Herriman. Ramos has had a successful first year at Athlos seeing how the model makes a difference in his life and enables him to make a difference in the lives of his students.

“The most unique thing about the Athlos model is the incorporation of a school-wide character-building mindset,” said Ramos. “Our pillars not only make learning possible for our core subjects, but for building our students as people.”

Ramos has made great strides in understanding the pillars and applying Performance Charter traits in his classroom. “Isaac is a brand-new teacher, but you wouldn’t know it,” said Jarom Airhart, assistant director at Athlos Academy of Utah. “He is passionate, he has vision, and he is a rock star fourth-grade teacher. The kids love him, the teachers want to be around him, and the administration feels they found a diamond in the rough!”

We are excited to see teachers such as Ramos in action, because we know that excellent educators are the key to inspiring students and helping them succeed.

Isbell’s Teaching Practices Highlighted in New Book

Giselle Isbell, director of Prepared Mind at Athlos Academies and a recipient of the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, recently had her teaching practices highlighted in the book “The Learning Power Approach” by Guy Claxton.

We’ve highlighted two of our favorite quotes from the book here:

[After a few pages describing one of Giselle’s math lessons]…“This is not just good teaching. It is teaching that is deliberately targeted, in a very sophisticated way, at the development of transferable learning dispositions. It is not just engaging; it is designed to stretch specific learning muscles in exactly the same way that a good sports coach would consciously design a training session to develop particular strengths and skills.” 

“Was Giselle Isbell’s math lesson traditional or progressive? It obviously combined–as 21st century teaching must–elements of both. The development of mathematical knowledge and skill were clearly central, and the success of schools like hers in getting students–many from poor backgrounds–good grades and admissions to prestigious colleges attests to their rigor.”

You can read about Giselle’s teaching practices by ordering the book online at

What they say: Students from Athlos Academy of Utah

We were thrilled to receive mail from students at Athlos Academy of Utah. They wrote notes and included creative drawings. Here are a few things students wrote:

“Dear Athlos Headquarters,

Thank you for hiring the best teacher ever. Also thanks for planning such great events for us. I want you to know that everyone loves this school so much because it has great teachers and it is really fun.”


“Dear Athlos Headquarters,

Thank you for making a fun new school where I found a lot of new friends. And the really good, fun uniforms. All the nice new teachers I have made friends with. And all the fun activities we get to do like art, writing, computer skills, and extras. Thank you so much!”


“Dear Athlos Headquarters,

I love our schedule and having advisory time. I also absolutely love the uniforms. I love how athletic and comfortable they are. I also love that fact that we only have two core classes per day. I like the way things work here especially compared to other schools. I plan on staying here through eighth grade and I am in sixth. I love this school and everything about it. So thank you!”

Abby6th grade student

“Dear Athlos Headquarters,

The schedule is cool. We have time to finish our work before it’s due and the uniforms are just wonderful and comfortable. Athlos is a wonderful place. It has character traits: humility, creativity, curiosity, etc. and extra technology. THANK YOU ATHLOS HEADQUARTERS!!”

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