Hope Firsel, Robyn Miller Brecker, Pat Harkins
Co-founders of The School Guides: Hope Firsel, Robyn Miller Brecker, Pat Harkins


As our world advances, so does our understanding of how children learn best. Classrooms, teaching styles and curriculums must constantly be updated and revolutionized to prepare our children for their future. In fact, likely over 60% of today’s elementary students will have a job that doesn’t even exist yet according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

As our schools evolve, so must our parenting. We created The School Guides™ so that you can be connected with your child by staying informed as to what they are doing at school.

The curriculum has drastically changed since the time most of us were in school. The more parents we talked to…the more we heard that there is an overwhelming need for quick guides and resources to help them understand their elementary school child’s educational experience. Not only to help them with their schoolwork, but also to be fully engaged in their life. School is their second home. It is where they develop their foundation to learn and grow.

As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.” So here we are. We are here to hold your hand, teach you and give you the tools so you can focus on your child with love and confidence.


PAT HARKINS has over 30 years of teaching elementary students. She has a Masters in Education from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to her over three decades as a primary elementary teacher, she is also a trained reading specialist and a former National Board Certified Teacher.

Pat says some of her greatest learnings have come from exceptional mentors, and from those that she has mentored. Pat finds everyone has something to teach, and something to learn.

She has been a guest speaker at several University classes on the topic of Education and has spoken to local PTA’s about elementary school curriculum.

Additionally Pat has created teacher materials that correlate with the Common Core. Teachers from around the nation use and praise them.

However, Pat’s role as a mother has always been her most loved role. Pat says some of her greatest learnings have come from her exceptional mentor relationship, both in the classroom and in her personal life.


ROBYN MILLER BRECKER has always made it her mission to help people live their best lives. Over the past 20 years between her time at Nickelodeon, Harpo, Inc. (The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah.com), and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Robyn’s worked with the world’s leading experts in health, parenting, spirituality, finance, relationships, beauty, fashion, and home décor. She’s had the privilege of creating life-changing programs that have impacted many lives — and she’s even won an Emmy along the way. The moment Robyn became a mother, she knew all of these experiences and relationships had prepared her to help others navigate through parenthood.

When Robyn’s daughter entered elementary school, she recognized a need for a translator to interpret all of the new educational standards mandated for our children. And so, The School Guides™ was born. Robyn’s hope is not only to make school simpler for parents and their children, but to also build connection and positive experiences for families.