Susie and Steve Mathews

In many ways, one lives through their children’s and grandchildren’s successes and failures, the ups and downs of life, and their growth and development. Occasionally, there are true game changers. For our family, Franklin Road Academy has been that jewel. It has given our grandchildren a place to find themselves, to discover hard truths, to be sparked and nurtured, to grow, to serve, and to create new vistas. And, it has shown us community at its best. FRA was not on our radar screen, when our children were young. But, God intervenes in timely and interesting ways.

We encountered FRA at a time when the school was reawakening, reinventing itself and our grandchildren needed the right environment. And, for our grandchildren, it was ever so right! It is hard to put into words what it means as a grandparent to see their grandson meet a pottery teacher junior year, who gives him the inspiration he needs to evolve, grow, gain confidence, and shine. Or, to see your granddaughter change her attitude about
the school completely, now “her” school, and proudly call it “FRAmily.”

We made a leadership gift to FRA’s capital campaign and we choose to support the annual fund each year as well. Why? Because we see a school on a dramatic upward trajectory and ready to change the pecking order of schools in Nashville. It is happening! Take note. It’s an exciting era at FRA led by Sean Casey and a remarkable group of educators. It is the heritage and the culture; it is the inclusive Christian community and spiritual esprit; it is the grounded, loving teachers, who are mentors and feel the calling. It is the service and excellence standard that permeate every classroom and campus activity. Look no further than the “Heart to Heart” program: what a truly special dimension on FRA’s campus. So few independent schools are willing to offer programs for children with Down syndrome. FRA has shown that Heart to Heart teaches as much to our broad student body as it does to the program participants themselves. How all-embracing is that!

For us, gifting to FRA has brought tremendous pride and pleasure. FRA today is a magical place. On campus, one feels the electricity, the shared journey, the “uncompromising moral compass” that binds the community. And, graduates! They know! We want to see the school continue to flourish in the decades ahead, and we intend to support the forward vision at every opportunity, within
our means. When a school really impacts your family, what better way to show gratitude than to give back to that school. May we all work to ensure that FRA’s unique offering continues to soar. Thank you. - The Mathews Family