Margaret Williamson — Founder
Dr. Kayleen Marble – Head of School
Kristina Norris – Student Success Coordinator
Mr. Furlonge – Teacher
Mr. Clark – Teacher
Mrs. Gordon – Teacher
Margaret T. Williamson, In Loving Memory, 6/8/1952 – 8/12/2018
Margaret was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the youngest of three adopted children. Their family ran the funeral/furniture business in SW Minnesota. She attended SW University for 2 years, and her last two years of undergraduate college were spent at Mankato University where she completed her education degree in special education. Her lifetime dream has always been to open her own school. Margaret spent her first 2 years of teaching in Council Bluffs, Iowa, teaching special education. The school was featured on 60 Minutes, as it was the first open school in the US.
Margaret arrived in Arizona in 1976 and signed a contract in Mesa the following year. She taught Learning Disabled/Emotionally Handicapped until 1993. She spent two years at Kino Jr. High, then a year at EVIT, and finished out the time at Dobson High School. She married Gary Williamson in 1987 and has lived in their home in Chandler since then. They both try to stay active in their families in Arizona, Minnesota, Texas and California.
Margaret returned to graduate school in 1991 and graduated from the University of Phoenix with a M.A. in Education specializing in Administration and Supervision. In 1993 opened her own school, Academy with Community Partners, which was a private school for one year, and then was approved as a charter school in 1995. She continues to maintain her certification with the state of Arizona in the area of special education and her superintendent certification. She was recruited to the Reno area to open the first charter school in Nevada in 1998. The great staff at the Academy allowed her to be a part of the charter movement across the country.
This is the 22nd year as a charter high school and in 2000 purchased over 4 acres of land and have built two buildings on the site. It is because of the great students, staff and the community members that this school exists in Mesa. Margaret loved her kids, her family and most of all her dogs. She will be dearly missed and forever loved. Rest in peace my love, Gary.
Fill out the form to receive more information about our school.