About Us

Hello,

I’m Susan Kruger, founder of RelevantEducation.org.  I am a former struggling student and am now an educator, parent, and entrepreneur/employer.  My challenges as a student led to me into the field of education.

But, my story does notbegin with me.  It begins with my father.

My dad is brilliant!  He’s a mechanical genius, an incessant reader, an award-winning speaker, and a gifted conversationalist who has actually had educated conversations with rocket scientists!  But, his life-long struggles through school still dominate his self-perception.  As he once told me, “I don’t think I’m gifted at anything.”

Just like my dad, I struggled through school.  I thought I was “stupid” and that the whole world was smarter than me. I am very lucky, though.  During my first semester of college, my life changed dramatically when I learned how to learn.  I went from struggling in K-12 to soaring through college with straight-As!

One cold, snowy day –a few weeks after completing my first successful semester in college– I was suddenly overcome with a deep sense of anger.  “Why didn’t anyone teach me how to learn before!?” I wondered in overwhelming despair!  The strategies were so simple, I could have easily used them as early as 4thor 5th grade; they could have saved me years of frustrations and hours of tears!  The feeling of resentment ran deep.

Fortunately, I came to my senses pretty quick, recognizing there was no use dwelling on the past.  Instead, I resolved to change the story for future students.

Since that time, I have dedicated my life to understanding the art and science of learning.That was over 20 years ago.  Today, I am the founder of www.StudySkills.com and author of the world’s best-selling study skills curriculum.  I have taught thousands of students –students who struggled and students who were already earning straight-As– how to earn top grades in less time and with less stress.

But, just a few years ago, when my son was six years old and facing significant challenges in school, the problem went beyond the scope of “study skills.”  He was a victim of The System.  A system that commoditizes students into predefined molds. When my son didn’t fit, I lost him.  Well, physically, he was still around.  But he was emotionally vacant.

He would often collapse in tears crying, “I feel like someone has stolen my soul!”These were profound words from a six year-old!  Yet, that totally matched our observations. It was horrifying to see our previously vibrant, warm, and loving child disappear right before our eyes. Fortunately, over time, we were able to intervene, get support, and move him to a better environment.  Three years later, he’s a happy, thriving, and vibrant fourth-grader.

But as I have sharedthe details of his story and our efforts to get help, people came out of the woodwork to share their own stories of despair.  Interestingly, the stories came from “struggling students”and from “good students,”as well as their families.

I was surprised to discover a very universal feeling that traditional schooling does, in fact, “steal our souls.”

But, in all of my years of working with students and studying the art and science of learning, I have found that the solution is actually quite simple.  It lies in one word…relevance.

When education is relevant to the brain biology of the learner, it is effective and empowering.

When education is relevant to the learners’ life experiences, it is motivating and inspiring.

When education is relevantto the real-world needs of the learner, it is valuable and valued.

When education is relevant to the natural talents, interests, and aptitudes of the learner, it is innovative and magical!

When education is relevant, everyone benefits: students, educators, parents, and employers!

The future of our children and our children’s children depends on our ability to humanize The System, to create a space where unique interests and abilities are harmoniously blended with real-world skills.

RelevantEducation.org was created as the central source for exploring ideas, concepts, and solutions that respect the relevance of individuals and the real-world.  See more about our vision, here.  I hope you find the information, insights, and resources on this site helpful.  Please share the site with your friends!
Sincerely,

OFFICIAL BIO – Susan Kruger, M.Ed., Founder & Director of RelevantEducation.org

Susan is a certified learning specialist and former struggling student. She was shocked when she simplified a few study skills in college–and graduated with a 3.9 GPA! Since that time, she’s taught thousands of students how to achieve the same sense of accomplishment and confidence with study skills. Susan is the author of the international best-selling study skills book, SOAR® Study Skills, founder of www.StudySkills.com, Education Expert for ADDitude Magazine, Premier Instructor for The Learning Annex, and developer of the break-through model, The Brain Circuit™.  In 2014, she was named the 1st place winner of the Oakland County Executives “Elite 40 Under 40” competition. Microsoft Partners in Learning University has called her a “Global Expert in Education Innovation.”  Her curriculum materials are used by over 2000 schools nation-wide and are in 14 countries worldwide.  She’s married to a fellow educator and mom to two dynamic children with ADHD and dyslexia.

OFFICIAL BIO – Brian Woodcock, M.Ed. Co-Founder & Director of RelevantEducation.org
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Brian’s wide background of professional experience makes him uniquely qualified to bridge the gaps between education and the workplace. He is a nationally board-certified teacher, but became an educator after several years in the corporate world.  With over ten years’ experience teaching vocational education, he’s now on his third career as an entrepreneur and is Director of the Relevant Education Internship program for SOAR® Learning, Inc, where he manages and provides on-the-job training in soft skills and marketing skills to college interns.  Brian remains very active with the high school where he taught as the moderator of their DECA chapter.  DECA is an international student association that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in business; Brian has guided nearly 100 students to international-level competition. Many of his DECA graduates stay connected with Brian and his family, often visiting when they encounter challenges in college, need coaching for job interviews/applications, or other situations related to the transitions from school to real life.  His family lovingly refer to those post-graduate visits as “Kitchen Counter University.”

  • When education is relevant to the brain biology of the learner, it is effective and empowering.

     

    When education is relevant to the learners’ life experiences, it is motivating and inspiring.

     

    When education is relevant to the real-world needs of the learner, it is valuable and valued.

     

    When education is relevant to the natural talents, interests, and aptitudes of the learner, it is innovative and magical!

     

    When education is relevant, everyone benefits: students, educators, parents, and employers!

     

    The future of our children and our children’s children depends on our ability to humanize The System, to create a space where unique interests and abilities are harmoniously blended with real-world skills. Relevant Education.org was created as the central source for exploring ideas, concepts, and solutions that respect the relevance of individuals and the real-world.  To learn more about us, click here.