|About Forefront Families|
As a school administrator, Brian has attracted media attention and been recognized internationally by school boards, justice personnel, social welfare agencies and fellow educators for his outstanding leadership, and for the rehabilitative program he developed in both New Zealand and the U.S. for teens suspended or expelled from public schools.
If you were to visit one of Brian’s schools over the last 20 years, you’d see students lined up outside his door to show him their latest “A” or to talk to him about their family struggles. “Brian always has time for the kids and listens to them,” relates Patricia Estes, the school’s resident police officer. “While Brian is firm and consistent in his discipline, he is also generous and caring with the students, and the students love him for it.”
Nine-year-old Ben has no friends. What he does have is a reputation of being a spoiled little brat. His parents, Tom and Angela, just couldn’t figure it out. “We are embarrassed that he’s so demanding and rude,” Tom says. “We didn’t raise him to be like this.”
Truth be told, hundreds of thousands of parents just like Tom and Angela are frustrated and confused about the best way to raise their children. They love their kids and want only the best for them, but they lack one crucial thing: practical know-how.
Aaron is a 13-year old troubled youth known as the class bully because of his large demeanor and brusque personality. He lives with his grandmother (his primary caregiver), his father works all the time, and his mother has been in-and-out of drug rehab and isn’t around. Aaron watched his grandfather commit suicide two years ago.
When Brian started working with Aaron as an 11-year-old, he was uncontrollable—even spending time in juvenile detention. Brian has consistently disciplined Aaron for his poor decisions—including suspension—and Aaron loves Brian. “Brian has taken the time to build a relationship with Aaron, and you’ll see Aaron hanging outside his office, wanting to talk. He really helped Aaron when his Grandfather died,” Patricia Estes recalls. “Brian has this calm manner that diffuses difficult situations. He never yells, never gets ruffled feathers, and the kids know that Mr. Burgess loves them.
“Parents find it very difficult to cope with the pressures of today's society,” Brian says. “Parents are often at a loss because they lack practical know-how when it comes to raising their kids. Their own childhoods may also have been troubled. We want to help families by showing them how to deal with the issues that are becoming commonplace in our homes and provide them with strategies for raising extraordinary kids.”
The Forefront Families philosophy is that a healthy society is built upon healthy families. By helping parents to establish their family values, decide upon appropriate approaches to discipline, and by encouraging parents to be consistent and be positive role models, parents can ensure a loving, happy, chaos-free environment for kids to grow up and begin to fulfill their destinies. “We want parents to be encouraged and to feel confident in raising their children,” Brian says.
Brian’s rich educational background working with troubled kids of all ages easily qualifies him as one of the foremost child behavior experts today. With Sally’s background in health education and her passion for seeing kids reach their true potential, their goal is to empower parents to raise extraordinary kids.