OUR TRIBE

Meet The Team Behind Challenge Island

Stella J. Bush

Owner of Challenge Island North Tampa

Stella was born and raised in South Korea. She experienced a brutal competitive school environment and a very structured social environment. After college, she worked for a tutoring company and taught 3rd through 10th grade math.

She was enjoying teaching and interacting with children but pushing them to get a better grade, teaching children exam tricks, and telling them to memorize formulas was not the best part of the job.

Stella believes children need to learn in fun and interactive ways for them to learn more, rather than being pushed.

When Stella found Challenge Island, she knew this program could be both fun and educational. Children can learn but they can also be fully engaged in the learning process.

Sharon Duke Estroff M.A.T.

Founder & CEO

Sharon is founder and creator of the Challenge Island™ program, She is an award-winning elementary school teacher with two decades of experience in Atlanta public and private schools. She started Challenge Island in her second grade classroom and began running it as an enrichment business using the current model in 2003. It has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

Sharon is a nationally recognized parenting and education expert and a freelance writer for numerous national publications including Scholastic Parent and Child, Parents, Woman’s Day and Good Housekeeping magazines. She is the author of the popular parenting book, Can I Have a Cell Phone for Hanukkah? (Random House) and co-author of the upcoming Challenge Island book series that turns the Challenge Island curriculum into an exciting and educational story. She is sought-after speaker who has presented to scores of communities nationwide about the trials and tribulations of raising kids in the digital age.
Sharon received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Emory University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude.

She continues to run her local Challenge Island business in Atlanta, Georgia where she lives with her husband and four children.


Leslie Thibodaux

Chief of Operational Support

Leslie received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education 1st-8th grade and her Master of Education, Reading Specialist, and Academically Gifted Certification from Nicholls State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is a veteran educator with 20 years of teaching experience, 17 of which she taught mathematics to academically gifted children.

Leslie incorporates strong analytical problem-solving skills, her love for mathematics, and organizational skills into operating her own successful Challenge Island franchise in Louisiana, where she serves as co-owner. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and three children.

Meet Our Corporate Tribe