By Rikki Mitchell. CREATED Apr 18, 2016 – UPDATED: Apr 19, 2016
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A popular Marana charter school now has plans to expand to Sierra Vista. The tuition-free Leman Academy of Excellence opened this school year and already expects to more than double its enrollment by next year.
The Marana location is also expanding to include preschool and seventh grade for the 2016-2017 school year. They are currently building a $7.1 million expansion that will also eventually hold eighth grade classrooms.
At the same time, the school is renovating a closed charter school in Sierra Vista located at 1000 E. Wilcox Dr. The school will open that second location August 3.
Dr. Kevin Leman founded the Leman Academy of Excellence based on the Classical model of education, meaning students go through a three-part learning process starting in kindergarten.
They also emphasize kindness.
“We try to teach kids that they’re not the centerpiece of the universe, that other people count, other people have feelings,” said Leman. “So we have high expectations for kids, so kids hit the pavement running.”
In the Classical education model, students learn Spanish starting in kindergarten and Latin starting in third grade. He says students have been doing so well they want to keep expanding, first starting in Sierra Vista.
“What we’re really thrilled about is going to a small community like Sierra Vista and be able to provide quality education for the children of Cochise County,” said Leman.
They are currently renovating the closed school, adding security measures and updating other cosmetic parts of the building.
“Our school is unique,” said Leman. “Anybody who comes here will agree this place is unique. I think kids feel like they’re loved and cared for and if you can do that, if you can set that kind of social milieu for kids to learn in, they just eat it up.”
Parents in Cochise County can attend one of several upcoming information nights about the new Leman Academy in Sierra Vista. All the information sessions will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the gym at 1000 E Wilcox Dr.:
- Monday, April 25
- Monday, May 9
- Tuesday, May 17
- Tuesday, May 31
- Monday, June 13
- Monday, June 20