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Our School

We are a small, rural, public charter school located in the westernmost county of the state. We are a Community of Learners who operate within an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Agriculture, Math) culture. Our mission is to prepare all of our students to become well rounded, productive, life-long learners in a 21st century global society. 


Our Approach

For many years, we have worked diligently to make our curriculum and campus a true E-STEAM environment. We teach students that the science, math, and technology skills that are essential for becoming 21st Century citizens are deeply integrated within the activities of entrepreneurship and agriculture, as well as language, music, and visual arts.


Our philosophy of education is built upon the idea that young learners need to be exposed to a broad array of rich learning experiences.  As students move into high school and beyond, they will begin to specialize in more specific interests. 


However, it will be the early broad-based education that assures the well-rounded, future-ready leaders and citizens who are the foundation of a healthy, productive, creative and sustainable Community of Learners.


An incredible team of educators brings this approach to our students on a daily basis, providing these young learners with the tools they need to succeed. 


What Makes Us Different

We are proud to offer students a truly out-of-the-box education. Our learning space goes well beyond the walls of the classroom, and we strive to develop a strong sense of curiosity in our students alongside knowing the importance of becoming life-long learners. 


Cultivating an E-STEAM culture is the guiding philosophy for our school, and within that we offer an amazing array of learning opportunities for our students. Curriculum is taught using Project Based Learning activities that take place in a variety of spaces, both indoor and outdoor, on campus and within our community. As students grow into our middle school and high school programs, they are given the opportunity to take a variety of engaging electives in addition to their core subjects.


We want students to graduate from our school knowing they have the broad-based skills to succeed at any project they undertake, in any field they choose to specialize.



Offering well-prepared, healthy food that nourishes the young learner is a cornerstone of our educational environment. Our award-winning Nutrition program is teaching by example, everyday, by serving up homemade meals rich with nutrients, that look, smell, and taste delicious. 


We incorporate ingredients from local farms, when available, and encourage our students to do the same in their households. We often engage students in garden-based learning, using the garden as an outdoor classroom to study both ecosystems and nutrition.

We are pleased to be able to offer students free breakfast and lunches every day!

Thanks to the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, we've joined 18,000 schools across the nation in receiving federal grant money for this program. Good nutrition just keeps growing at The Learning Center.


Healthy Living

The Learning Center is committed to creating and sustaining a healthy school environment that supports student achievement and well-being by encouraging the development of lifelong wellness practices such as healthy eating and physical activity. We believe that a healthy learner is a good learner. We all know the value of a nutrient-rich meal, a little exercise, and a good night's sleep, and we try to instill a deep sense in our students of what it means to have a healthy lifestyle. Healthy living is a core value at TLC and an integral part of our school day.


Every day students are offered a free breakfast, an hour of Physical Education, and a nutritious well-balanced lunch. In the classroom, one might find our teachers implementing healthy living in Science, while studying human anatomy, Math, while crunching the numbers on calories vs. workout time, or Social Studies, while studying the history of regional foodways. Like everything at TLC, healthy living is an integrated part of a curriculum that strives to educate the whole child. 

Stephanie Hopper - Executive Director - The Learning Center Charter School.jpg


The Learning Center Charter School, a Kindergarten through 10th grade free public charter school, has named Stephanie Hopper the new executive director, and Ryan Bender as new director of operations.

A lifelong-learner, Hopper has been in education for over 25 years, teaching varying grade levels from kindergarten to high school. She has been in leadership roles, including curriculum coordinator and has served as Associate Academic Director, for the past three years.


Hopper earned her BA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lee University and Western Governor’s University. Her other interests within the field of education include differentiated instruction, experiential learning, hands-on applications, teacher development, multi-modal instructional practices, professional learning communities, and student voice.


“I’ve had the honor of working at The Learning Center for over 20 years as both a teacher and in leadership roles. I’m thankful and humbled by the board’s decision to allow me the opportunity to serve the faculty and staff, students, and parents in the new position of executive director. I look forward to the continued success and growth of our school as we continue to provide students with a rich E-STEAM education focused on problem based learning,” said Hopper.


The Board of Directors is extremely excited about Hopper’s new position.  The board also decided that as The Learning Center continues to grow the need for one person to be dedicated to school operations was imperative. Seeing this need the board approved Bender as director of operations as part of the change.


“Education has always been a passion of mine and having the opportunity to positively impact students in our county in my new role is a dream come true,” said Bender. “I’m very excited about my new role and am looking forward to the opportunity to ensure our school’s continued success.”


For over 30 years, the Learning Center has offered excellence in education and a one-of-a-kind learning community. The school prides itself on sending graduates into the world who have learned to think for themselves, care about others, and act creatively and responsibly.  

Faculty & Staff

An incredible team of educators brings engaging and meaningful instruction to our students on a daily basis, providing these young learners with the tools they need to succeed. 


While our teachers are bringing educational experiences to our students, our Administration, Office Staff, Technology Team and other amazing behind-the-scenes heroes make it possible for learning to happen at TLC.


We are proud to have a team of faculty and staff that truly care about supporting, nurturing, and motivating students on a daily basis.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the school. Our Board is responsible for all TLC policies and procedures that affect the instructional and operational functions of the school.


Positive and supportive leadership is the cornerstone of our success as a school.  Without the Board of Directors’ support and time volunteering to our school, we would not be able to have the exceptional instructional program that we have today.


All meetings are open to the public both in person or virtually.  Meeting minutes are available below or in hard copy form in the TLC office.  

Board Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month

To contact the Board, please email

Interested in being a member of our Board of Directors, email the Chairman at

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