Founders Tricia Hasbrook and Thea Schreiber met in 2003 at an Autism Conference hosted in Portland, Oregon. At this chance meeting, they realized they both lived in the same town (Tualatin, Oregon) and used the same team of therapists for their young sons, both affected by Autism.
Over the next four years, their two families invested heavily–time and money–in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, occupational therapy, speech language therapy, and other supplemental “things”, including hyperbaric oxygen, hippotherapy, and specialized diets--to name a few.
When their sons turned seven, Tricia and Thea were left with two very different little boys. Zach, Thea’s son, was well on his way to losing his diagnosis. But AJ, Tricia’s son, was still challenged by his severe motor dyspraxia and verbal apraxia of speech.
On their journey together, many times, they dreamed about a “magical school” to help Portland-area children affected by Autism. And, both women were repeatedly asked why they didn’t send Zach or AJ to this kind of magical educational place, instead of the current model of hiring various private therapists to provide in-home services. The answer was always the same: There simply was no public or private school in the Portland area that addressed the academic, therapeutic, and medical needs of children with ASD.
In May of 2008, Tricia called Thea and basically told her that IT WAS TIME. There was simply nowhere for AJ to go to school, and he had reached an age where he wanted to interact and engage with other children and experience group learning. At this time, Zach had lost his earlier diagnosis of Autism and is now an amazing teenager, who is independent and indistinguishable from his peer group.
After many, many months of planning, carefully hiring, and paperwork, in September 2009, Victory Academy was born, with Tricia serving as Director and Thea as Director of Operations. At that time, Victory opened with eight students. In September 2010, Victory opened at the Wilsonville site with thirteen students and a wait pool of interested families. In September 2011, Victory started the school year with 21 students, divided by skill levels in three different classrooms. In September 2012, Victory welcomed 29 students, placed in four classrooms. In September 2013, Victory opened its fifth classroom and increased the school's population to 38 students, growing to six classrooms and 43 students (FULL CAPACITY) in 2014.
In October 2013, Victory Academy purchased four acres of property to build Oregon's first-ever K-12, accredited school for children affected by Autism.
In September 2015, Victory Academy opened at its new site and intends to grow to an overall student body of 80 students by fall 2017. These students will be housed in four divisions of the school: Victory Prep, Elementary, Middle, and High School. As always, Victory's program will offer an integration of academics and therapies, with collaborative decisions made by staff, parents, and students.