Instructional Support Services Grows up

When I started this company in 1982, it was primarily in the service of twelve teaching interns with whom I was working at the time. I needed a book, so I wrote it, typing it out on an old IBM with hand-drawn illustrations and page numbers typed on little stickers that were pasted in the upper corners of the original pages that the copy place turned into a coil-bound book.

That was all the technology I had available to me, and frankly, for my initial purposes, all I needed. Needing a company name, I settled on Instructional Support Services, as for years, nearly all of my work was with (or through) schools and educational organizations. 

Over the years, our market has grown to include other educators, counselors and therapists, parents, and, well, pretty much everybody! As the market grew, so changed the technology, communication, and distribution aspects required. Hence, a few subsidiary businesses have emerged to handle growing needs in these areas. These include:

Father Sky Media

Spectrum Podcasts… and more! This part of Instructional Support Services brings you the audio and video content you can find on this site and elsewhere, including iTunes and video showcases like YouTube and Vimeo, for example. It was launched in July 2011 with the development of the Spectrum Podcast project. A series of brief video presentations on various topics similar to those found on this site, are currently in the early stages of development. 

Father Sky Publishing

A new imprint for the original reason for this business. I wrote The Beginning Teacher’s Resource Handbook to support the new teachers with whom I was working at the university. I had just started Instructional Support Services, so I.S.S. Publications seemed like a logical—if not especially creative—choice for an imprint.

I continued to publish books under this name, despite the growing awareness that for most people I.S.S. either stood for in-school suspension (not a positive association for my content) or had something to do with the space station.

As opportunities arose to create to new materials, develop new versions of old resources (including eBook formats), or rework some previously unpublished materials—I needed a new name. I have started phasing out the old imprint and releasing material under this one instead.

Father Sky Graphics

In-house Print, Photography, and Digital Development. For much of my professional career, I have been responsible for doing much of the design and layout for everything from handouts and advertisements to books we published under I.S.S. Publications—the original publishing division of the company.

As technology continues to evolve, I’m finding it necessary—both for the quality of the projects and for my sanity—to hire people with skills beyond my own. Nonetheless, over the years, a lot of the work involved in my websites and various print projects has, for lack of affordable or reliable help, ended up in my lap. 

Although I am increasingly farming out the labor and talent involved in new projects—especially website development and eBook production—Father Sky Graphics is responsible for much of the photography, graphics, and design work in many of the products and resources we develop. 

Father Sky Marketing

We’re not doing much advertising or promotion these days, but I continue to seek new outlets to get products and services out to the world. This would be the part of the business that once was responsible for developing print flyers and handling the large mailings that went out to educational facilities once or twice a year. More recently, Father Sky Marketing deals with the newsletter and social media marketing, and also refers to the name of our seller account on Amazon. 

Father Sky Studios

My background includes a strong emphasis in art and creative expression. Originally classically trained in drawing and painting, these days, I work primarily in fiber and beads, as well as glass, paper, and clay from time to time.

Setting up a separate space as a studio has been a dream since I was a child. One of the main selling points of this house was a large space I could use to represent an entirely different creative outlet in my life. I have always loved “making stuff,” and find that I need to attend to a hunger for these activities to maintain any semblance of balance and sanity in my life.

Father Sky Studios was the first use of the new Brand. On occasion, I sell items I have created, which I do through this part of the company. More recently, as I scale down the stuff I’ve collected over the years, Father Sky Studios has become the outlet from which I have sold (or donated) extra yarn and roving, as well as tools and resources for crafts I’m no longer doing. 

Why “Father Sky”?

It’s where we are! When we moved our home and office to its current address in 1995, it happened to be on Father Sky Court in a neighborhood called Kachina Hills. Although I have not been able to confirm the existence of an actual Father Sky Kachina in Hopi (or other) mythology, we thought the name was beautiful, evocative, and inspiring. 

 

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