Margaret Williamson — Founder
Teofila Makiling-Angst — Director/Counselor
Betty Ramos — Office Manager
Margaret T. Williamson, In Loving Memory, 6/8/1952 – 8/12/2018
Margaret was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the youngest of three adopted children. Their family ran the funeral/furniture business in SW Minnesota. She attended SW University for 2 years, and her last two years of undergraduate college were spent at Mankato University where she completed her education degree in special education. Her lifetime dream has always been to open her own school. Margaret spent her first 2 years of teaching in Council Bluffs, Iowa, teaching special education. The school was featured on 60 Minutes, as it was the first open school in the US.
Margaret arrived in Arizona in 1976 and signed a contract in Mesa the following year. She taught Learning Disabled/Emotionally Handicapped until 1993. She spent two years at Kino Jr. High, then a year at EVIT, and finished out the time at Dobson High School. She married Gary Williamson in 1987 and has lived in their home in Chandler since then. They both try to stay active in their families in Arizona, Minnesota, Texas and California.
Margaret returned to graduate school in 1991 and graduated from the University of Phoenix with a M.A. in Education specializing in Administration and Supervision. In 1993 opened her own school, Academy with Community Partners, which was a private school for one year, and then was approved as a charter school in 1995. She continues to maintain her certification with the state of Arizona in the area of special education and her superintendent certification. She was recruited to the Reno area to open the first charter school in Nevada in 1998. The great staff at the Academy allowed her to be a part of the charter movement across the country.
This is the 22nd year as a charter high school and in 2000 purchased over 4 acres of land and have built two buildings on the site. It is because of the great students, staff and the community members that this school exists in Mesa. Margaret loved her kids, her family and most of all her dogs. She will be dearly missed and forever loved. Rest in peace my love, Gary.
Mrs. Angst began her journey with the school in August 1996. She served as a Principal/Counselor from 1998 to the present. Currently she is the Director/Counselor. Her vision for the Academy is to provide and create a nurturing safe environment and enhance student learning. Through a collaborative team effort (staff, students, & parents) and the Academy’s At Hope Philosophy; no child will be left behind in achieving their high school diploma. Throughout her life journey, she has seen the many facets of students’ successes and knowing that the school is making a difference in their lives. The students’ successes are the school’s success. Everyone can succeed if given the opportunity to learn and excel in their endeavors.
In 2007, she graduated with her second Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. Her first Master’s Degree is in Guidance and Counseling from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. She is certified in Guidance and Counseling in the state of Arizona. Mrs. Angst’s previous experience/employment includes: Sales Director, Barbizon School of Modeling, Phoenix, Arizona; Dean of Student Services, Parks Junior College, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Assistant Coordinator-Vocational Education Studies, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois. Her lifetime goal is to travel to Greece, Alaska, and the Caribbean with her 6 grandchildren.
Bethania (Betty) Ramos was born in East Los Angeles, California and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1997 with her family to start a new life. She attended Alhambra High School, graduating in 2007. Right after high school she began working at a charter high school located in Phoenix as the Administrative Assistant. She was referred to ACP high school and began working in the front office as Office Manager. Her goal in life is to go back to school and begin her career. She enjoys shopping, listening to music, watching movies, and last, but not least, she loves working at ACP!
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