Our Directors

Jessica Slayback

Founding Director

We are at a crossroads in education today – and here is where I get excited: we have the power to reinvent what educating our children can look like.

I have a deep-seated belief that has only been strengthened by my nine years teaching in public, charter and private schools from Harlem to Santa Monica. I have run a theater and brought theater programs to many inner city schools throughout Chicago. I have traveled with Newark High School students to New Zealand in order to broaden their perspective about the world in which they live. I have seen sparks of greatness and moments of brilliance when children are honored for who they are and are presented with opportunities in which to shine.

I believe that as a country, by continuing to depend on a ‘one size fits all’ style of education we are neglecting to discover and develop the true talents and strengths of the majority of our students. We currently work so hard on producing students that are adequate at everything and spectacular at nothing. We teach to improve weakness rather than focusing on natural strengths. At The Realm, students will not only gain enrichment but they will be part of a movement towards strengthening and reinventing education today. This is my vision, my dream and my mission!

Victoria Forsman

Founding Director

I am a person who has a vision for greatness in all things. I trust that change and creative freedom can guide us towards new levels of accomplishment. After 13 years teaching in alternative education, I have recognized trends, disparities, successes, and the promise of education. As I have traveled, I have seen schools who produce successful lifelong learners, and schools that struggle to reach and inspire students during their connected experience. I have watched and experienced the roller coaster of trends impacting schools in Los Angeles, realizing the uphill battle many schools face. I have joined fellow professional in the classroom hearing their commitment, passions, and frustrations about the school system and its bureaucracy.

I discovered what works the best is a diverse, rich, individualized, supportive learning experience. Learning can be meaningful, accessible, relevant, and memorable. It can also be a skill that can continue to diversify individuals in their journeys in life. I have observed how when individuals diversify their experiences and dabble in every area simultaneously and with support,: academics, leadership, arts, outdoors, structure, creative freedom, participation, observation, research, organization, problem-solving, processing emotions, and taking risks, it paves the way for pretty extraordinary people. Unfortunately, too few of these opportunities exist in a supported setting.

My personal mission is to inspire lifelong learners. This is why our enrichment center will be open to all ages. Our strongest desire is to stir up people’s curiosity, interests, and life-experiences. We would like to create interesting, memorable opportunities for those daring souls who dare to venture into “The Realm!” I would like to embrace people as individuals. I would like to support schools and classrooms in offering richness within curriculums as they hustle to meet the demands of testing, standards, and assessment. I would like to assist schools in providing aid and programs that can be developed and implemented swiftly and outside the chain of hoops, budget limitations, and resources. I hope to aid the LA parent in improving their children’s experience and support them while trying to navigating their child’s school and individualized success. I realize how challenging it is on the working LA parent to provide a child with daily academic support and guidance. And Lastly, I would like to hold a space where the talented individuals speckled all over LA can come and share and teach their talents to others.

I commit to this project because not only does it make greatness possible for others, it meets my needs for challenge, creativity, learning, contribution, and connection. I love working towards things that matter. I love to experiment with ideas and programs that encourage a love of life and learning. I have faith in the ideas planted in my mind. I am committed to assisting and creating programs that stir up, excite, and pave the way for people to discover their talents.

I am here to serve, to learn, and to create something new!