Goodbye and Thank You

March 1, 2020

Dear Friends and Patrons of the Virginia Science Technology Engineering and Applied Mathematics (STEAM) Academy,

It is time to say farewell. After 

  • providing five years of highly successful Summer STEAM programming 
  • inspiring and exposing more than 550 Virginia middle school students to STEAM content, applied learning and leadership development 
  • earning consistently high ratings from students, parents, instructors and staff, as well as a Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition Programs that Work award
  • partnering with 19 science, engineering, cyber risk management, education, business, health system, and arts entities along with a host of collaborative friends 
  • delivering pilot professional development, American Mathematics Competition, and online offerings, and 
  • matching and exceeding every generous public sector grant with equally generous cash and in-kind donations from our private sector friends

we are officially suspending active operations for the Virginia STEAM Academy 501c3 charitable organization. Thank you for partnering with us on this important journey. Your contributions of time, talent and treasure made an enormous impact on Virginia’s youth and the education landscape. We will always be grateful for the opportunity to dream and deliver with you a vision for Virginia STEAM teaching and learning. 

Since Virginia STEAM Academy’s founding in 2010 by Caroline Martin and Judy Stewart, many local school divisions have developed their own specialized high school STEM programs. Our Governor’s schools continue to serve students with ability and interest across the commonwealth. The growth in STEM and STEM plus humanities offerings is encouraging. 

Nevertheless, the need for a single site, residential high school that serves Virginia’s high-ability-high-potential young STEAM scholars remains. Why? Because zip code still matters. Where a student resides — not student talent — still determines access. A partial solution is the establishment of a publicly accessible, statewide academy that offers the highest quality education to a fair demographic and geographic distribution of the commonwealth’s high school students.

While we did not cross the finish line, we believe we helped advance the conversation for Virginia STEAM teaching and learning. Thank you for investing in the next generation of Virginia’s STEAM leaders. It matters. 

Yours in joyful learning, 

Virginia STEAM Academy Board of Directors

Jack Ezzell, Board Chair 
Grace Chung Becker, Vice Chair 
E. Dana Dickens, III, Treasurer
Jim Cheng
Louise Epstein 
Troy Siemers 
Gilbert T. Bland 
Judy K. Stewart