Popular psychologist Leman set to open charter school
Kevin Leman is best known as a successful author, psychologist and expert on relationships and families.
But the longtime Tucson resident is now diving headfirst into the education world, opening a charter school in Marana that he hopes will “make a dent in American education.”
The Leman Academy of Excellence will serve grades K-6 in its first year, adding seventh and eighth grades some time in the not too distant future, with possible plans to eventually open a high school.
Ultimately, Leman would like to see the Marana school become the model for a chain of schools across the country, saying there is a need in all communities for great schools.
Asked if he is qualified to open a school at a time when the focus on college and career readiness is at its peak, Leman responded, “I’m not qualified to do much” in a self-deprecating way.
He then explained that the philosophies he often talks about — respect, accountability, high expectations and fun — apply to running a successful school. When you couple those practices with a strong curriculum and highly effective teachers, Leman is hoping students will be better for it.
The standing-room-only crowds at recent information sessions about the school, which will open in August, indicates hundreds of parents are not bothered by his lack of education-related credentials.
Add to that the 500-plus students already enrolled in a school that can serve only 600 and it seems that families are buying what Leman is selling — a classical education most often offered in private schools.