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Linda Shaffer Welcomes
New CEDU Owners

by Linda Shaffer, M.A.
Educational Consultant
Sandpoint, ID

Former staff member at CEDU's Rocky Mountain Academy

August 11, 2005

GO former CEDU GO!

Today's Sandpoint Daily Bee headline and article indicates that the now empty buildings that have housed CEDU education in northern Idaho "will have a new owner and a revived future in the therapeutic schools industry." Numerous groups have bid, and it is looking like this Friday will officially offer some final answers as to the new owner, and an idea about when the schools will reopen. All I can say for this industry, families, and staff members at the former CEDU schools is "Yipee!" I never could imagine that the schools and their awesome, inspirational properties would be closed forever. I, personally, am eager to know more about the new plan and to meet those who will be overseeing it. I'm waiting for the barricade at the entrance to be taken down so I can drive back onto that property, and do my share of handholding and supporting as those dorms and "the house" reopen. Northern Idaho has been looking forward to an aliveness and bustle again in Paradise Valley created by teenagers, parents, and an eager staff more than ready to get back to the business of being in the lives of bright, confused, witty,loving, trying to figure it all out struggling teens.

As an educational consultant these past almost 14 years, I know our role is to assist families with assessment and the best recommendations we can make for their child and family. With this in mind, I am hopeful the educational consultant community will once again take an in depth interest in a school setting for struggling teens in northern Idaho that has been in the forefront of emotional growth education for so many years. When I wrote an earlier piece for Woodbury Reports as the schools closed, "CEDU Education --"Here Forever" -- I received many responses from staff, former staff, and former students as well who had stumbled upon the article. One of the most recent former students commenting to me regarding the schools asked me if I wanted to hear his 5 minute views about the schools or the story after story of a very caring group of people and challenging experiences that changed his life so incredibly.

Every family, be it our personal family, work family, or school family faces trials and victories in a lifetime. In my practice, I work with families and schools all across the country. I am eager to be able to get to know the new plan in northern Idaho, and when appropriate, include these schools in my recommendations for consideration to the families who have hired me.

There is a connection with nature for any schools or programs in northern Idaho, and a history of many successes in this region. I wish the new owners and returning and new staff all the very best. This industry is in need of such places of beauty, safety, care, inspiration, challenges, growth..... and joy and laughter again.

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