"I think the concept of PSCS is pretty simple: Supportive Environment + Interesting People = Healthy Students."
—Andy Smallman, PSCS co-founder
In 1994, Andy Smallman and Melinda Shaw, with the help of an incredibly dedicated and trusting group of parents and students, founded PSCS on the premise that provided a loving and nurturing school environment and no mandatory academic classes or standardized tests, young people will learn everything they need to lead happy, productive lives.
Andy provided the initial vision and impetus for the school, making kindness a consistent part of the school environment and offering dozens of kindness-related activities over the years. He introduced the concept of "appreciations" at PSCS in the 1990's, something that has been a focused part of the school day ever since.
Melinda was responsible for designing the administrative structure and the initial presentation of the school to the community. She insisted that every penny be tracked and the school look good to outsiders, things that gave the school legitimacy in its early years.
Andy retired from PSCS in 2018 after 24 years as the school's Director. He now provides consultation services to young adults in the their late teens and early twenties, helping them develop the self-awareness tools needed to gain clarity on their goals and mastery over their lives. Melinda retired from PSCS in 2017 after 23 years as the school's Administrative Director to explore her curiosity and creativity.
Andy and Melinda, who have been married since 1990, live in northeast Seattle with their dog, Bentsen. They have two adult daughters, also in Seattle, both of whom are PSCS alumnae. Ella '15, graduated from the Oregon Culinary Institute in 2017 and now works for local bakery, Lady Yum. Chloe '10, graduated from Quest University in 2015, got her Master's in Child Psychology from Seattle University, and is currently the school counselor at St. John School in Greenwood.