Not a lot of mothers think about running a business while managing their families. Being a mother is a hard enough full-time job without having to run a business as well. But that didn’t stop mompreneur Lisa Collum from starting a business about something she’s passionate about.
Lisa has always wanted to be a teacher. As a child, she would hold make-believe classes with her stuffed animals in her room every Saturday morning. After graduating from college, her dream finally came true, and she secured her first job as a fourth-grade writing teacher. Her dream job happened to be at one of the lowest-performing Title I schools in Palm Beach County.
Though she was ecstatic about the opportunity, she realized there was a key component that was missing. There was no specific writing curriculum available for her to use with her students. Instead, she would frequently search online for resources and visit the local teacher store. But it all ended with the same result: nothing.
Despite this obstacle, she knew she had to do something for her students so that they would be able to pass the state writing test. Lisa began creating her own lessons and ways of teaching writing. After years in the classroom, she then shared her ways of teaching writing with other teachers and schools as a writing coach and specialist. In 2011, she composed a small one-inch binder of 25 lessons. Lisa had to juggle between virtual teaching during the day and putting together her binders at night. It was, however, fortunate for Lisa that she had her husband and kids to help and support her throughout her journey. They would hole punch and compile the papers and carry boxes of binders to UPS for shipping. Lisa’s venture became a shared one with her family.
This continued on for about a year until a superintendent in another county found out about the program. The superintendent bought the curriculum for the entire district, and Lisa went over there and trained over 300 teachers. This is how Top Score Writing began, and now the curriculum is being used in thousands of schools in five different states.
Top Score Writing provides specific curriculums for teachers to use in the classroom. It has been called a secret weapon because it quickly and easily raises test scores on the ELA and across the board. It makes teaching writing easier, student learning faster, and is proven to achieve a 70% increase in writing test scores on average. It now includes full teacher curriculums for second to twelfth grade as well as student workbooks. They also provide digital curriculums, scoring, and training.
Aside from Top Score Writing, Lisa also manages a small private school with ten to fifteen students. Coastal Middle and High School provides an alternate way of learning that can benefit all the students. She purchased the school in 2015 and opened its doors in 2016. She doesn’t run the school as a means for income but solely as a resource to help kids.
Lisa wants to help as many educators as she possibly can, and her goal now is to take the Top Score Writing program nationwide. And even while juggling a business and managing a household with four kids, she has no doubts about her ability to make this happen. She’s proof that moms can do it all.
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