To all our Honored Members, Students, Teachers, Mentors, and Staff,
Thank you all for your continued support over the years that has helped us to reach our 13th Anniversary on September 4th, 2013. It has been a long strange path that has taken Witch School from a small site with two classes, to the powerful international platform it is today. We still have a long way to go, and without commitment to a lifetime of education, we have only just begun. We are grateful to everyone who believed in us from the beginning and throughout the last 13 years, and are happy you are here to celebrate with us.
When we first began, Lisa Tuit, Don Lewis, and I started Witch School in a small kitchen on a fairly primitive computer with a phone modem, and we offered just two classes. It was a summer of work, and when we opened that first day, we had two thousand members move from The Daily Spell email list to our new website. Since that day, we have grown continuously, providing an online education to anyone, anytime, anywhere. At first this vision of an education online was ridiculed and joked about, but today we have shown how powerful a medium it can be. Now, with over 150 classes and new ones being added all the time, our members can continue to learn every day.
Our Mentors have made a huge difference, providing over two million volunteer hours over the last 13 years, to help students with their studies. The tools we have developed have allowed not just mentors to teach, but to inspire hundreds of new covens, circles and temples to form across the world. We have seen published authors, we have seen activists emerge, and most importantly, new leaders who have supported local, regional, national and international organizations. This is a powerful legacy that we can continue build on.
Today, we have over 150 classes, over 2000 videos through our Magic TV channel, over 1300 episodes of radio through Pagans Tonight Radio, 4200 Blogs, and over 30,000 photographs. There are so many features that Witch School offers, that a manual has been created to navigate our various websites as we continue to grow. Witch School reaches over 240,000 members in 207 countries, and yet, through mentors and other tools, it serves each individual as needed.
In January 2013, I stepped down as CEO, and Michael Ferrell stepped into the position after seven years as chief programmer. Along with Lindsay Irvin as new director, they are leading the effort for an education system that will relevant and vibrant for years to come. I will remain involved as Chairman, to ensure our promise of a lifetime education, and to assure all members that another 13 years will be possible. Soon Michael will be sharing more on the site, including the new first degree video series by Rev. Don Lewis. The future is going to be terrific. We hope that you will share that with us.
I would be terribly remiss if I did not mention the financial support we received to allow us to build the site. Supporting members, which are only a fraction of our overall members, have made it possible to provide a public education to thousands of students, as well as investment in their own education. With these rare and giving individuals we have been able to meet the demands of a growing internet and a growing community. We make a difference, and we are grateful to everyone who has helped us make that difference. If you would become a supporting member, here is a link: http://www.classes.witchschool.com/payment.asp
In closing, I want to say we have just begun, and I feel that 13 years represents a maturity which allows us to understand, and to provide services and support to a broader Pagan community, to each individual as well as globally. We are uniquely qualified, and with your continued interest and support, we can continue making a difference. Thank you very much.