The Acceleration Academies staff is structured to provide wrap-around support for our Graduation Candidates, which allows for engaging learning environments and also provides the opportunity for personal growth. Each member has a specific role, but all work toward the goal of seeing our Graduation Candidates succeed.


Executive Directors lead and manage all faculty and staff, keeping them strongly connected to the mission of Acceleration Academies. They create and maintain a positive school culture and lead the instructional vision of the Acceleration Academy program. The Director shall act as the Academy head as well as the liaison between Acceleration Academies, the school district, and the community and its organizations that can best assist in Graduation Candidate success.


Content Coaches are highly qualified state certified teachers in the subject areas of History, Math, Science and English.  Content Coaches are available to our Graduation Candidates in individual or small group settings. They collaborate with other instructional staff to develop interdisciplinary and project based curricula and alternative assessments such as portfolios.

Special Education Coaches work closely with designated Graduation Candidates and their families to monitor their progress and support the learner. Special Education Coaches assist with the development of individualized learning pathways and support plans with fellow staff. 

Career Coaches are certified guidance counselors who help our Graduation Candidates in developing individualized career plans, researching career paths, and finding job openings. Career Coaches identify specific skills required for employment and help Graduation Candidates obtain these skills, as well as assist them in job application and interview preparation processes.


Life Coaches are certified social workers who have a proven track record of working successfully with youth facing challenges both in and outside the classroom.  Life Coaches work with Graduation Candidates to assess their academic and personal needs while working in conjunction with Content and Career Coaches to ensure Graduation Candidates are fully supported.

Graduation Candidate Advocates (GCA) serve as mentors to our Graduation Candidates and are there to support them on their path to earning a diploma. GCA’s offer wrap-around services for encouragement and to promote success and serve as a teaching assistant when needed. 


Think you would be great in one of these roles? Check out our Careers page!

Featured Staff Member:


Gin Hooks, Executive Director, Bethel Acceleration Academy 

My Story:

I loved being a high school librarian.  I got to talk to people every day and support them in their efforts to access information about not only the things they were required to learn but also the things about which they were independently curious.  I know firsthand that sometimes you have to leave the beaten path to find the best route for you. I’m a native of Chicago who started college at Bradley University in Central Illinois and finished at the University of Ghana in West Africa.  I studied Library Information Science in graduate school and later got a second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.  I moved to Washington state in the summer of 2015 and started with Acceleration Academies in the fall.
What I like most about working here:

The culture of the Acceleration Academies is one that honors different learning styles and needs.  It is an environment that offers structure and support to every Graduate Candidate without requiring them suffer “Square peg: Round hole” syndrome.  In our teaching and learning practice there is no beaten path; there are customized routes to success.

Q/A with Gin

Think back to your years as an elementary or high school student - which grade was your favorite/the most significant for you?  Explain why in 5 words or less.

– 2nd Grade – phonics, cursive, oration & waltz

Favorite book?  

– The Search for Significance

Favorite food?

– Summer Fruit

What one thing do you not know how to do that you really think you should have learned by now?

– I should know how to drive a stick shift vehicle. 


Dr. Wise's CORNER


Follow his blog Winning for Kids

Dr. Joseph Wise has a longstanding record of helping school districts, school boards, and school leaders make rapid improvements to support student achievement. He has successfully led major public and private sector organizations throughout North America to set ambitious goals and achieve impressive results. Dr. Wise has successfully bridged academic, business, and governmental interests to build—and sustain—decisive organizational reforms.

His passion for all students, particularly those who are underserved and disadvantaged, drives a sense of urgency about the reforms needed to help America regain its competitive edge through the academic preparation of our nation’s children. His focus on great governance, great leadership, and great student and parent engagement has been the keystone of his accomplishments.

Dr. Wise currently serves as Co-founder Chief Executive of Acceleration Academies, an organization focused on providing teens and young adults who had abandoned education an opportunity to re-engage in academics—and ultimately achieve a diploma from the high school they had abandoned.

Dr. Wise has earned numerous honors, including the 2006 Champion for Children Award conferred by the HOSTS Learning organization. He served on the National Commission on Writing for America’s Families, Schools, and Colleges, was selected as a Broad Fellow by Eli Broad Institute for School Boards (2005), was appointed a Fellow to the Eli Broad Urban Superintendents Academy (2003), and served on the Academy’s adjunct faculty and advisory committee. Dr. Wise also serves on the Board of Directors of Northwest Evaluation Association, a non-profit assessment firm that supports teaching and learning for more than 5 million students in more than 4,000 North American school districts. In addition to his professional achievements, Dr. Wise has been honored for his individual and community service work. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP, holds a lifetime membership with the Florida Association of PTAs, and is a founding member of the District Management Council.

Dr. Wise is the author of three textbooks: Power of Teaching—The Science of the Art (1st Edition, 2002; 2nd Edition, 2007); Power of Coaching—Teachers and Teaching (2009); and The TAO of Interviewing (1st Edition 1994; 4th Edition, 2007). He holds a doctorate from the University of Florida, a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida, and a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.