A Note from Our Co-Founder

A Note From Co-Founder: Teri Harrison

Menlo Park Academy was founded on the core belief that gifted children need an educational environment designed to meet their needs. In the summer of 2008, I attended a meeting of a charter school board who voted to close a school. My daughter had attended the school for two years and was happy and thriving. My son was signed up to start kindergarten that fall and couldn’t wait to join his sister. I left that meeting feeling shocked, yet determined to find a solution that would work for my children.

I called the parents together to let them know what happened and to discuss options. The outpouring of talented and dedicated individuals who jumped in to join these efforts was nothing short of amazing. We quickly got to work and spent countless hours that summer planning and advocating for our children. What takes most people 18-24 months to accomplish, we achieved in just three, and opened our doors to 38 students on September 23, 2008.

Since that time, Menlo has evolved to become a home to hundreds of gifted children every day. That growth called us to plan a new campus, which opened in September of 2017. Menlo isn’t just a school. For most of our students it is the only place where they are surrounded by like-minded peers and can be themselves. What most children may find once each year in a summer camp for gifted children, our students live every day. They will be challenged in ways they haven’t felt very often. They won’t be the best at every activity or the top scorer on every test, but they will be someone’s best friend. The social and emotional benefits of this experience is life-changing and forms the basis of our entire program. This intangible feeling of having something in common with each other is what connects our students in an indescribable way. It is an invisible string that is woven through each student who joins our community and binds them to us and each other forever.

While both of my children are now Menlo graduates, I remain committed to delivering on our original vision. Being a founder of this school has been a labor of love for many years, and remains a passion that brings me joy each time I have the opportunity to see the smiling faces of all the wonderful children who currently call Menlo home. While you take the time to learn more about our community, I hope you feel our passion, dedication and love.

Teri Harrison 


Co-Founder
Menlo Park Academy

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