$8 Million campaign will fund purchase, renovations of permanent location for Miriam Academy
St. Louis, Mo. – On Wednesday, July 1, Miriam launched the public phase of its Building on Success campaign, an $8 million effort that will fund the purchase and renovations of a permanent location for Miriam Academy. The only high school of its kind in the St. Louis area, the school educates unique learners who often have not been able to reach their full potential in traditional educational settings.
Founded just four years ago with 12 ninth-graders in a church basement, Miriam Academy has already grown to 63 students in grades 9-12. The school has outgrown its incubator space at Parkway United Church of Christ, and students and staff are looking forward to moving into their new school building, located at 1138 N. Warson Road in Olivette, the former home of H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy. The 8-acre site includes a 58,324 square foot school building with large classrooms, a full-sized gymnasium, administrative offices and vast outdoor spaces. The new location is being re-designed specifically for the educational and programmatic needs of our students and will incorporate a teaching kitchen, multi-media studio, art studio and Zen Zone, and is expected to play an influential role in enrolling students and sustaining the mission of the Academy.
The Academy opened in fall 2016, in response to demand from Miriam School and Learning Center parents and endorsement of community social service professionals. Miriam Academy’s curriculum is based on a personalized learning approach, designed by an experienced team of educators, that builds on students’ strengths, interests and enthusiasm. Tailored programs such as in-class experiences and internships expand students’ skills and perspectives – and build college and career readiness. Project-based learning strategies, an emphasis on social and emotional development and self-advocacy skills, as well as speech and language support, are incorporated into the curriculum to meet students’ needs as they earn their high school diplomas.
“Miriam Academy provides a vital service for the unique learners in our community. Our individualized curriculum, integrated therapies and counseling, and career readiness services set our students up for success not only in high school, but throughout their lives,” said Andy Thorp, Miriam’s executive director.
“Thanks to a number of generous supporters who believe in the necessity of a school like Miriam Academy for the St. Louis area, we are pleased to announce that over $5 million has been committed during the quiet phase of the campaign. We are so very grateful to our donors and our campaign leadership for their investment in this important project.”
The effort is being led by Laurie Ritter Caro and Amye Wool Carrigan, who are serving as campaign co-chairs, with honorary co-chairs Jerry and Peggy Ritter and David and Thelma Steward. Other lead donors
include Michael and Noémi Neidorff, Centene Charitable Foundation, Amye and Dan Carrigan, and the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.
Mr. and Mrs. Ritter say this of the reasons behind their support: “The Ritter family has a vested interest in Miriam. Three of our grandchildren attended Miriam School, and when it came time for two of them to attend high school, there was not a Miriam Academy. Our family had to look for alternatives outside of St. Louis, which was difficult for the children and our entire family. We’re pleased that this is no longer the case. With the launch of Miriam Academy in 2016, families in the St. Louis region now have an alternative for their unique learners!”
Mr. and Mrs. Steward say, “Miriam’s students offer a diverse perspective and life experience that is critical for fostering innovation. We are blessed and honored to serve as Honorary Co-Chairs, alongside Peggy and Jerry Ritter, on Miriam’s Building on Success campaign, in support of Miriam’s vital mission to provide quality education for kids with all learning abilities.”
Tomorrow’s virtual event to launch the campaign resembles a news program – “Miriam’s Good News: The Announcement Edition” – hosted by a Miriam Academy student. Attendees will hear from students, Thorp, campaign leadership and our founding head of school, Dr. Sue Jackson. Please click here to register for the event. All registrants will receive an email tomorrow at 9 a.m. with a link to view the program.
Miriam Academy’s new home will be ready for the 2020-21 school year. While improvements to the campus will be ongoing, Miriam Academy plans to move into the building over the summer and open its doors to students in August 2020.
For inquiries about Miriam Academy or our other two programs, Miriam School and Miriam Learning Center, please call 314-968-3893 or visit us online at www.miriamstl.org.