Reza Khastou, M.Ed.
Roles: Founder, COO, Academic and Career Adviser, and Math Teacher
Reza was born in Asia and grew up in Tehran, Iran. After receiving his degree in Political Science in Iran he moved to the U.S. and received his master’s degree in education from Eastern Washington University. He has been working with high school students as a teacher, advisor, and administrator for almost 30 years, mostly in Seattle and South King County.
Reza personally invested the necessary finances and did the research and planning to create the pilot Bright Future Program in 1998 at John Marshall Alternative High School. By allowing access to advanced workforce education programs at community colleges, the Bright Future Program created a meaningful education for high school students. The academic and career advising and comprehensive case management component of the Bright Future Program helped students and parents navigate the ever-complex high school and college system.
Between 1998 to 2016, over five hundred students from 41 high schools in Seattle and South King County benefited from partnering with the Bright Future Program. Over 40% of the program graduates continued their higher education and those who joined the workforce were signing contracts above living wage salaries, often with a signing bonus and full benefits.
Reza believes that The Polytech is the evolution of the the Bright Future model. The Polytech is a combination of the best of two worlds; Integration of a customized high school education and a community college-based industry certificate program and beyond. Students are dually enrolled at The Polytech, a small learning community, and a Washington State Community College. Graduates earn a high school diploma from The Polytech and earn industry certificate and college credits towards a specific career pathway.