Stacey Pierce, CEO and Center Director, on How Pierce Institute Began
Not new to Fort Worth, Stacey is proud to return as a business owner to serve the area where she grew up in the 1980s and where her family of origin still lives. Stacey's academic and professional career has spanned three decades and two industries, though most of her work has been in education. Of course, that's not the way it started out: a graduate of UNT, Stacey studied Radio/TV/Film and worked for twelve years in the television industry as a Writer/Producer of national award-winning live programming, mainly consisting of professional education content after several years of news and promotions at a top-ranked ABC affiliate.
When the business television company for which she worked saw troubled times, Stacey continued her momentum with educational pursuits and got certified as a teacher. Seven years of serving in a richly diverse high school as a teacher of students requiring special services left her enamored with international education. She then pursued certification in ESL and taught on the campus of University of Texas at Dallas before making the huge leap to teach abroad in Beijing, China for a year. Upon her return to DFW, she worked with several elite private schools to augment their classroom ESL instruction and also tutor students individually. This valuable experience led to a position on the campus of Texas Wesleyan University in their Intensive English program. Immigration changes in 2017 took a toll on the program, and Stacey began working for C2 Education Southlake, an esteemed test prep franchise serving some of that area's most ambitious students. It is at this organization where Stacey collaborated for four years with Ivy League graduates and long-time tutoring industry professionals to deeply dig into today's realities of college admissions, standardized testing, and (eventually) COVID learning loss. Some of those professionals serve on our Advisory Board, offering continued connection to what top schools currently value and seek.
After four years of heavy submersion in standardized tests (such as SAT/ACT, ISEE, and CogAT) while working with AP/IB and many other levels of students, Stacey envisioned a more far-reaching center and opened the first Pierce Institute along with her husband, an experienced engineer and programmer.
We offer more than other centers that aren't looking beyond SAT scores -- we want to give additional skills that set up a student for success during and after college. Our course offerings for computer programming and STEM support represent a portion of our efforts to think bigger than just SAT (though we will be among the first to offer new prep materials for the 2024 SAT digital and adaptive format change).
Also, Stacey noticed most centers aren't evaluating a student's learning style upon intake. Is your student a visual learner? An auditory learner? A kinesthetic learner? Not all students are designed to just "sit and get." Stacey only hires instructors who pay attention to individual learning styles and adjust instruction accordingly.
Today, in addition to her six teaching certifications (spanning early childhood through adult students), Stacey is certified as a College Admissions Counselor through NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors). However, her strongest qualification might be her position as a mother of four children, three of whom are successful adults (the fourth being still in high school but performing strongly). We therefore understand education from every angle. Please continue reading to learn more about the leadership at Pierce Institute.