March 2015

STARS of the Week – Tammy and Philip

Tammy takes her work seriously! She is our "mail girl" and wants to make sure she gets that done first thing every morning. Tammy uses her clerical skills to help with bulk mailings and any other office duties that may come up. Everyone knows taco salad is her favorite lunch (with a Pepsi!), she loves horseback riding and bowling on Fridays. congrats to you, Tammy!

Philip is the definition of a "southern gentleman"! His manners are impeccable and he is always kind and respectful to his co-workers. In the work areas, he is the "encourager" and is willing to do whatever is asked of him. He likes to listen to country music, eat at O'Charley's and say the prayer before lunch. Way to go, Philip!

Executive Director Sees Possibilities, Not Disabilities BrightStone’s Brenda Hauk Honored as Hometown Hero

After years of teaching special education and serving as a JOBS coordinator, which involved a “school to work” transition classroom for young adults with special needs, Brenda Hauk felt led to open a Christian-based job training center for adults who live with developmental disabilities. She visited several facilities, established relationships with mentors, and in 1999, BrightStone opened with 4 students, a volunteer staff of two, and donated space in a local church. Today, over 15 years later, BrightStone currently serves 35 adults, maintains a waiting list and has attracted families from a 5-county area. BrightStone now has a 9,000+ square foot building that houses three enterprise-focused job training centers, a learning lab, offers enrichment and therapeutic programs such as music and physical wellness, produces high quality in-demand products that are sold, employs a caring and loving staff, and owns two buses with handicap accessibility that provide morning and afternoon transportation for students and shuttles them to community events and programs.  In honor of Hauk’s commitment to those with developmental disabilities and because March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Brenda Hauk is being honored as a Darrell Waltrip Automotive Hometown Hero.

“We hear talk frequently about someone having their calling or a mission, and living their life for a special cause”, said Kevin Gabhart, BrightStone Board Member.  “As I witness the effort, passion and diligence of the work Brenda Hauk does for BrightStone and the community there, I am reminded of John 15:13 and Jesus’ words ‘no one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.’  Those that know her and witness her efforts can attest to the level of love she has for these friends.  She gives her all and asks nothing in return.”  As a part of her award a $500 donation to BrightStone will be made by the Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group. “Brenda Hauk is a leader with great vision that is driven by real passion that lives within her to create a full and honorable life for special needs adults in this region”, said BrightStone board member Bob Speck.  “In the years I have known her I have not once observed her waiver from or compromise that vision.  How blest we are to know her and to have opportunity ourselves to grow from her Godly influence.” Hauk’s next goal?  To provide the much needed critical residential component that these families so desperately need. A community campus is envisioned that would include job training centers, therapeutic services, greater opportunities for recreation and socialization, and more. The campus would allow this community of adults to live, work, play and worship in an environment conducive to their needs with a sense of supervised independence and self-esteem, within a wholesome living environment. “I am honored to accept this Hometown Hero Award on behalf of all the heroes I get to be with everyday… that is, the adults at BrightStone who brighten our world as they bring so much love, light, and pure joy into our world!  They give their all to everything they do, and I am blessed to be a part of BrightStone and giving them the opportunity to become their highest potential as productive and independent citizens”, said Hauk.  “I am honored to be a recipient of this award and to be part of a community who recognizes the value of each individual without regard to varying abilities.  It is then that we can work together to help those who cannot help themselves, and in so helping, we become enlightened to the joy of life ourselves and become closer to who we were created to be.  A "hero" is defined as a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for brave deeds and noble qualities.  I can think of no greater hero that the adult learners at BrightStone.  Thank you for valuing their lives through this award.”    

Part Time Teacher Assistant and Substitute Needed

We are looking for an organized and energetic individual to work as an assistant in our classrooms and on field trips in the community. Experience with individuals with special needs is preferred but not required. This position is Part Time working Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m..  Additional hours are available as a substitute for vacations, illnesses etc.. This position is paid hourly with no benefits at a rate of $10.00 -$12.00 depending on your experience. BrightStone operates year round and is open 8:30 - 3:30 M-F. Please review this website for additional information about BrightStone. Work availability: Tues and Wednesday 7:45 - 3:45 Other duties: Ability to Substitute as needed, able to lift 50 lbs and assist our adults with personal needs and hygiene. Job Type: Part-time Contact Information and Procedure:  Please email qualifications and contact information to if interested. No phone calls please.

STARS of the Week – Allen and Kelly Marie

Allen just celebrated his birthday last week and turned the big 50! His friends all agree that he is a sweet and friendly guy. His favorite work area is the paint room, he enjoys puzzles on the computer in the learning lab and baked potato bar is his favorite lunch. Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Allen!! Anyone who has known Kelly very long knows how much she loves earrrings! Kelly has been around BrightStone for quite awhile, she was actually one of our first students. She enjoys visiting with her friends and always wants to know what they have been up to. She loves walking outside when the weather is nice, bowling on Fridays and taco salad is her favorite BrightStone lunch. Way to go, Kelly Marie!


March 9, 2015 – In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The proclamation calls for people to provide understanding, encouragement and opportunities to help persons with developmental disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives. At last night’s County Commissioners meeting a proclamation was signed and honored that March will officially be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and urged all citizens to “celebrate abilities.”  The proclamation encourages the public’s awareness through people’s active participation in community activities and the openness to learn and acknowledge each individual’s contribution. The proclamation commended BrightStone and Waves, Inc., both nonprofits located in Williamson County whose mission is to assist the lives of people with developmental disabilities.  Brenda Hauk, Executive Director of BrightStone, Kate Snow, adult student at BrightStone, and Shannon Nehus, Executive Director of Waves, Inc. were present to receive the proclamation, and both stated the importance of every person to have purpose in their daily lives. Approximately 110, 000 people in Tennessee have a developmental disability, and over 7,000 are on the waiting list for government funded services.  BrightStone provides a comprehensive work, social support, and future residential community for adults with special needs, expanding their potential and helping them develop mentally, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.  
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