Three Schools. Three Unique Experiences. All on one Campus.
Sherman Thomas Charter School
Sherman Thomas STEM Academy
Sherman Thomas Charter High School
9th - 12th Grade
Welcome to Sherman Thomas Charter Schools! In 2000, an administrator from Madera Unified School District (MUSD), concerned by the over crowding in their public schools, asked me to look into the charter school movement as an opportunity to start something new within our facility grounds. I asked “What are charter schools?” and he said “I don’t know, find out.”
So, after two years of attending workshops, conferences and charter development groups, I discovered the exciting educational opportunities of creating a charter, non profit corporation, working with MUSD and Madera County Office of Education (MCOE) in developing Sherman Thomas Charter Schools.
MUSD granted our first charter in 2002 for Sherman Thomas Charter School, servicing Kindergarten through 8th grades, and the dream of creating an innovative educational program was birthed. The curriculum selected was based on Ed Hirsch’s “Core Knowledge”, in which many elementary books were written with titles like “What Every First Grader Should Know”. Each grade level progressively increased with the knowledge of what an American school child should learn about their country, with the educational skills needed to develop productive citizens of the 21st Century, while always ever learning. We were proudly named a Distinguished California School in 2012.
In 2009, Tera Napier and I founded the Sherman Thomas Charter High School (STCHS), which combines the idea of site-based schooling, with part of their education being independent study. This would give a student and parents a choice in high school education based upon the student's and family’s needs. A caveat we felt necessary was that high school students needed more projects of giving back to their community. A requirement to graduate from STCHS was implemented, called “service learning”, whereby students selected their own project to provide a “gift” of their passion or mission back to their community. The high school has been highly regarded and accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) with University approved A-G courses and NCAA approved for the athletes.
In 2016, the eighth grade teacher, Jamie Brock, came to me with a dream of hers. She wanted to open a junior high school geared for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). I suggested that it should be a new “real” middle school of 6th, 7th and 8th grades to more correctly group students who are socially and educationally developing together. This school has become a reality, being chartered by MUSD in 2016 and classes began in August 2017.
Throughout these past 18 years, we have had the opportunity to educate some of the most amazing young men and women of Madera. Many are now in a wide variety of vocations, ranging from teaching to the military and are productive young leaders in Madera and our country. My joy has always been in seeing our students return back to our campuses to share their experiences as they have matured. The fact that some of our former students are now parents of their own children, whom have chosen to send their children through our educational programs, stands as a testimonial of the success of Sherman Thomas Charter Schools.
Looking forward to what the future holds!
Roger Leach, Founder and Executive Director
Tera Napier is the Principal at Sherman Thomas Charter School in Madera, California. During her 13 years guiding the K-8 program she has seen STCS ride a continuous wave of academic improvement to become the highest-performing school in the city of Madera, as well as a 2014 California Distinguished School. Her efforts have also created the foundation for two additional schools – Sherman Thomas Charter High School and the Sherman Thomas STEM Academy. Her success and expertise have distinguished her as one of the leading school choice advocates and school leaders in the Central Valley.
Jamie Brock is the principal of Sherman Thomas STEM Academy, a 6th- 8th grade middle school with a STEM focus and college and career emphasis. After completing her B.A. at Fresno Pacific, she earned her multiple subject and single subject mathematics teaching credentials as well as her administrative credential. She worked at STCS for 10 years (as the 8th grade teacher and vice principal) and STCHS for 3 years (as the math teacher and vice principal). Jamie is excited to be bringing this new school choice to her hometown.
Jessica Montemayor is the principal at Sherman Thomas Charter High school. Jessica has been teaching for the past 15 years. She started her education as a 5th grade teacher, worked with new teachers through coaching, and was a Guidance and Instructional Specialist at Sherman Thomas Charter School. Jessica has been at STCHS since its beginning in 2009. She started as the English teacher, supervising teacher, and now, your principal.
Here are some other resources for information:
LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan)
The LCAP is a three-year plan that describes the goals, actions, services, and expenditures to support positive student outcomes that address state and local priorities. The LCAP provides an opportunity for local educational agencies (LEAs) to share their stories of how, what, and why programs and services are selected to meet their local needs.