From Parent to Teacher

Katy Goodell’s life changed after her son’s sports injuries changed his. Read her story, in her own words, of how they found Fusion Academy, and how it put their whole family on a different, more positive life path.

By Katy Goodell

Fusion Academy Dallas

Student Grade Level

Started in 11th grade, now a graduate

Why Fusion

After a sports injury and subsequent surgeries, Katy's son began a downward spiral of anxiety and depression. He needed to make up two years of school, and find a place with his learning differences, including dyslexia, as well as emotionally.

Year of Darkness

He is my second of three children and has a huge place in my heart. His path has been filled with unforeseen bumps and bruises; more than a mom would ever want for a child. He always struggled with learning differences, dyslexia being the most prominent one, and that made school difficult for him. Sports were his “thing” and he was very gifted athletically. Socially, people were drawn to him because of his athletic ability, but academics were always a challenge. He worked hard to keep his head above water in school because the payoff was playing football on Friday nights or baseball on any given day.

At the end of his sophomore year, things took a dramatic turn. He was injured playing football, and those injuries led to two different surgeries. The thing that kept him going was taken away from him, and that began a downward spiral. Anxiety turned into depression which was made worse by medications needed after his surgery. I call it our “year of darkness.” Not only was it a hard time for my son, but it was also a really difficult time for our family.

When we finally came up for air, it was the end of his junior year and it was time to piece together other educational options. At this point, he needed to make up two years of school in one year. I didn’t know what we were going to do.

Finding Fusion

We had moved to Dallas from outside the city, and it wasn’t an option for him to return to his previous school. I then remembered a school I had discovered a couple of years before when I was looking for an arts school for my other son. It wasn’t a good fit for him, but now that we needed something different for my second child, I thought it might be an option. I called Fusion, and after meeting with Jenn, the Head of School, we enrolled him in August 2016.

He had to let go of a lot. He wasn’t able to return to his sports teams or his close friends, and he had to completely reset his way of being in the world. The first months at Fusion were hard. He had to catch up academically and heal from social and emotional pain. This isn’t what he planned, and it wasn’t an easy path, but he worked incredibly hard and was able to graduate on time in May of 2017.

The unconditional care, connection, and mentorship that my son received at Fusion were life-changing. His confidence slowly increased. It was a day-by-day journey at some points, but his mentors helped him to gain that confidence, learn to advocate for himself, and be seen as more than the “athlete.” He gained a perspective on life that he wouldn’t have received in his past school. In his old school, he could have just disappeared in a classroom of 30, but at Fusion he was seen. That was huge. Now, he is attending a community college in Idaho, working on a ranch, and thriving.

Working at Fusion

Fusion will forever have a special place in our heart, and my Fusion journey isn’t over yet. After he graduated, I decided I wanted to go back to teaching after staying home with my three kids. I saw the value of Fusion for my son, and I wanted to be part of it. I currently teach yoga and English at the Fusion Dallas campus. I’m so happy to be, hopefully, helping and contributing back into the greater good.

90 %

of parents say their child feels emotionally safe at Fusion.

96 %

of our parents said that their child has positive relationships with their teachers.

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