A bit of history…
Atlas Immersion Academy was founded by Dory Hobbs in late 2010, after searching for a French immersion early childhood program for her son and not finding a suitable option. Dory’s love of the French language and culture begin as a child growing up in Portland, where she was lucky enough to receive before-school lessons in French starting in middle school. From there, she continued French study at Beaverton HS and then lived abroad in France for her junior year of high school, as an AFS (American Field Service) student. During college, which she began at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and finished at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Dory switched her major enough times that she ended up with quite a varied transcript, which would ultimately help her when it came time to open Atlas! Dory completed her B.A. in French Language, Literature & Culture in 2004, and went on to complete her M.A. in French Language, Literature & Culture as well as a Graduate Women’s Studies Certificate (4.0 GPA), in 2006.
Dory’s experience in education had been primarily with older children and adults up until 2010, as a college instructor of French at Portland Community College and Colorado State University, as well as an English teaching assistant in a high school in Southern France. Over the course of 2010, Dory pursued certification in early childhood education and, through an evaluation of coursework at the college and graduate level, was able to obtain a Step 10 in Oregon’s professional registry. She was deemed eligible by the State of Oregon to open her own child care center, and wasted no time laying the ground work for what would become “Atlas”, a full French language immersion child care center across from Gabriel Park in Southwest Portland. Doors opened where Atlas Gabriel Park is currently located in June 2011, after a three-month “bandaid” in-home child care solution because of construction delays at the Center. Dory, always optimistic, had promised childcare to 11 kids and their families beginning in March, but the Center open was delayed!
Atlas is, to this day, run by Dory & Jarod Hobbs, who both own and founded the school in late 2010. Together, and with a terrific community of early childhood educators, they have grown the small start-up school to include both a medium-sized Certified Childcare Center (Gabriel Park) two Certified Family child care homes (Hawthorne Les Petits (2015) & Les Grands (2017), and a medium-sized Certified Childcare Center in West Linn, Oregon (Fall 2017). Dory and Jarod count their blessings daily for the team of roughly 50 employees that it takes to run Atlas smoothly, and the 250+ children and families who call Atlas a home-away-from-home!
In addition to their work at Atlas, Dory and Jarod founded the board of directors for Portland’s first and only French immersion public school, Le Monde French Immersion Public Charter School (Portland Public Schools). They continue to serve on the board of that public school.
Outside of work, Dory and Jarod love spending time with their four children: Ronan, August, Remington & Gwendolyn. They speak French in the home and enjoy travel and learning about other cultures!