Instructional Support Services Grows up
I started this company in 1982, primarily in the service of twelve teaching interns with whom I was working at the time. Over the years, our market has grown to include other educators, counselors and therapists, parents, and, well, pretty much everybody!
As technology, communication, and distribution have changed, 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to create to new materials, develop new versions of old resources (including eBook formats), or rework some previously unpublished materials—I needed a new name.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 and eDesign. 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’ve published under I.S.S. Publications. This was the original publishing division of the company, which started long before personal computing and desktop publishing made it possible to develop these projects in house.
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 Web sites 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, Father Sky Graphics is responsible for the design work in many of the products and resources we develop.
Father Sky Marketing
New channels for reaching other markets. We’re not doing much advertising or promotion these days, but we have found some new outlets to get products and services out to the world. This would be the part of the business that deals with the newsletter, and which also refers to the name of our seller account on Amazon.
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.
I first used the name Father Sky Studios right after we moved. One of the main selling points was a large space I could use to represent an entirely different creative outlet in my life. My background includes a strong emphasis in art, and these days, I work primarily in fiber and beads, although I also play with glass, paper, and clay here from time to time.
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. I occasionally sell stuff I make, so I set up Father Sky Studios under the “instructional” part of the business, mainly just to keep things simple.
A website I had set up displaying my work mysteriously disappeared years ago. A new one is in the works, and as my life seems to be drifting back in this direction, I look forward to opportunities to sharing these projects and passions.
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