Award Year: 2021

Challenger School - Berryessa

711 East Gish Road
San Jose, CA, 95112-2710

(408) 998-2860

Ms. Jessica Gomar, Principal at time of Nomination

Challenger School District

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We prepare children to become self-reliant, productive individuals who think with clarity, precision, and independence; and embrace challenge; and find joy and self-worth through achievement.

Student Demographics
  • White: 2%
  • Hispanic: 1%
  • Asian: 96%
  • Two or more races: 1%
Inspiring Children to Achieve Since 1963

Inspiring Children to Achieve Since 1963

While teaching in a public school, Challenger School founder Barbara Baker became alarmed that her first-grade students had received limited academics in kindergarten and preschool, wasting the best years for establishing a foundation for learning. In 1963, Barbara started her own preschool where she could teach phonics to children. In Barbara's first class, there were six students. Two years later, the tiny preschool had grown to 100 preschoolers with 100 students waiting for admission. Today, Challenger's proven curriculum and teaching methods help 10,000 preschool through eighth-grade students annually gain the skills needed to excel.

Challenger's curriculum focuses on subjects that form a foundation for all future education: reading, composition, math, history, and logic. A study of science, speech, literature, geography, music, art, computers, and physical education round out a solid learning experience.

Challenger teaches students early on that they are responsible for their own learning and successes. Challenger's emphasis on independent reasoning skills-so rarely practiced in today's world-results in students' extraordinary academic performance. Challenger students achieve scores on average well above the 90th percentile on the Iowa Assessments.

Challenger's methods and philosophy help students learn to recognize and value the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

Challenger students regularly speak and perform before their peers and teachers from preschool on. Challenger graduates often point to these experiences as the basis for success in college and the workplace.