Brooks Coatney brings strong coaching ethic to The Goddard School in Fayetteville

A drawing of The Goddard School in Fayetteville, Northwest Arkansas

The brand new Goddard School is opening this fall, so we wanted to do a more in-depth interview with the director, Brooks Coatney. Brooks was a high school teacher and coach before making the switch to on-site director at this new school, which is one of among nearly 500 Goddard School locations across the country.

The school is at 3916 N. Bellafond Blvd. off Joyce Street in Fayetteville, and is for infants through pre-k right now. Brooks said they’ll likely add a kindergarten after the first year of operation.

Brooks said he wanted to open a Goddard School in this area because he saw a need for this type of quality childcare in Northwest Arkansas.

We wanted to dive a little deeper into the on-site director’s family life so you could get to know the Coatneys a little better.

The Goddard School in Fayetteville ArkansasCLICK HERE to read a story we previously wrote about The Goddard School’s reputation, teacher requirements, student-to-teacher ratios and the “extras” that make the school unique.

Full Disclosure: The Goddard School is a sponsor here at nwaMotherlode because they want to share their message with local moms who are looking for a great childcare option this fall. {And Shannon knows Brooks because he taught her daughter at Fayetteville High School last year!}

Here’s a Q&A with Brooks Coatney, the Goddard School’s owner and on-site director:

Q: How did you and your wife meet?

Amie and I met between our 2nd and 3rd year of college. She was attending Harding University and I was attending Arkansas State University. We met through friends and have been together ever since.

Q: What did your wife say when you told her about your idea to open The Goddard School in NWA?

Amie has always been very supportive of anything that I have done. She has been a football coach’s wife and that involves moving and taking jobs on short notice. I think both of us realized that there was a need for more childcare options in Northwest Arkansas.

When we first moved to Fayetteville, we found some great places for childcare but everything was full. The growth has indicated a need for more quality childcare facilities.

The Goddard School of Fayetteville in Northwest Arkansas, playground
Goddard School playground in progress

Q: We understand you’re in the process of adopting your fourth child from Ethiopia. Tell us how that’s going:

I have to give all the credit for this process to my wife Amie. She has spent countless hours handling the paperwork and phone calls.

Adoption is a long, hard process. We have prayed as a family to allow us to adopt and we feel that we were being called to adopt and change a life. We don’t really have a timeline because it is kind of up to the government in Ethiopia to see our case and grant us a court date.

I would say that it could be up to a year or more before we have our little girl home. We are certainly looking forward to that day.

Q: What does your family like to do in NWA?

We are a sports family so we like going to our kids games and watching various sporting events like Fayetteville High School sports, Razorback, and we go to the Naturals games a few times each season.

Our kids like to be outside so we try to go to places like Mt. Kessler when the weather is nice.

Q: You said you’ll be very hands-on at the school. Is your office there?

The Goddard School requires the owner be on site and I think that’s a great thing. I have an office right up front when you come into our building. I believe that it will be a comfort to our parents knowing that myself and our directors will be present daily leading our school.

I’m looking forward to helping our teachers be the best that they can be as well as seeing the children grow in our program.

Q: We know it’s hard to leave coaching and teaching, but tell us why you’re so excited about the next chapter at Goddard:

I have great respect for the profession of coaching. I’ll miss my coaching friends that I have grown so close to over the years.

I have been very fortunate to coach alongside some of the best in the business and be around some great young men. I am approaching Goddard just like I would any challenge. I think that there is no substitute for hard work. I am devoted to the families that entrust their children to us.

I will work as hard as I can to help our preschool be the best that it can be for our families and our children.

Q: Do you have any upcoming meetups for parents to learn more about Goddard?

Soon we will be having an event for our enrolled families to meet teachers and pick up their registration packets. That event will be in the next few weeks. Right now we’re enrolling and still spreading the word about The Goddard School.