WMAES Through the Years
September 1994—Classes begin at WMAES, school located at corner of Lake Michigan Drive and 8th Avenue.
October 31, 1994 – WMAES student Zach Leipham featured on the cover of TIME Magazine and school featured in story “New Hope for Public Schools.”
October 1994 – Funding held up as Michigan Charter School Act is challenged in state courts. WMAES holds multiple fundraisers, including garage sales, to keep kids in classes.
March 30, 1995 – Amendment to charter school law allows funding to be reinstated.
September 1995 – Academy moves to Stadium Arena. Classrooms had to be moved out of the way to make room for the circus and other shows.
Spring 1996 – Academy breaks ground for new facility at the corner of Wilson and Leonard, just north of Standale, moves in the fall. The property features 62 acres of orchards, ponds, forests, and wetlands.
Summer 1999 – Academy overcomes challenge to its charter renewal. WMAES selects Choice Schools Associates as its Education Service Provider, replacing previous management company.
June 2001 – Academy once again featured in TIME Magazine story on education.
Spring 2003 –After several years of positive financial growth, Academy breaks ground on new secondary building.
May 2004 – Jeremie Yoder, WMAES’ first senior, graduates. The story makes local, state and national news.
November 2006 – WMAES named “Michigan Charter School of the Year” by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.
August 2007 – Implementation of Science Pathways for high school students to help students focus on a course of study that will lead to their success in high school, college, and beyond.
June 2008 – Academy receives the state’s only 2008 $10,000 “Love Your Veggies” nutrition grant from the makers of Hidden Valley Salad Dressings.
Summer 2009 – $7,000 grant from the MSU Extension Office for Healthy Kids and Community for the creation of a youth farm team and to help students take organic-grown vegetables to local Farmer’s Markets
September 2009 – Academy continues its strong growth with enrollment breaking the 500-student mark—the highest since the school discontinued transportation in 2001.
October 2009 – Academy Board begins the second phase of the Strategic Planning
Over the years, WMAES has received local, state, and national recognition and awards for environmental programs. In addition to the large grants from Hidden Valley Salad Dressings (2008) and the MSU Extension Office (2009), we have been awarded:
2003 – a donation of more than 200 pairs of boots from Columbia
2004 - $500 from Home Depot for our organic school garden
2005 - a $500 mini grant from DTE for a Solar Powered Chicken
The school has also come in 4th place each year in the GR City Plastic Bag Recycling Program. The recycled benches in the garden are prizes received from this program.