My name is Janet Wherry. Wherry Academy is the school I founded in 1983. I did so because I had word as a public school teacher for twelve years and had learned from the inside how ineffective the government schools can be at solving educational problems. As we teachers used to say, "Nothing is ever solved. The problems just get recycled." A student would be transferred to another class or another school, but nothing would change. After participating in several academic committees and school renewal plans and seeing the administration strike down all our efforts, I was determined to find a better way.
Our two sons had gone through public school and I wanted our daughter to attend private school. After trying out two other private schools, I was disillusioned there, too. One was too religiously fundamental. I believe in and support a family's decision about religion. But every day when I went to pick up our daughter, she was watching most of the other students being punished. As a mother, I knew this could not be a healthy environment for my daughter or the other students. The second private school we tried was excellent with students with learning disabilities, but our daughter had none and she needed just so much Slingerland language method. Home schooling was not an option for me, as there wouldn't have been enough people around us. My daughter and I started Wherry Academy in 1983 "together". She went all the way through Wherry Academy, graduating in 1992. After that, she graduated from a large public university in New York, with high honors. Parents always wonder if a student can transition from a small private school into a larger public one. I know that, with a solid foundation in all the subjects from a small private school, it is much easier to survive in a large institution.
The State of California did not hesitate to grant me permission to own and operate a school for grades kindergarten through high school graduation. That is because I am very qualified. I was always a good student and excelled in every subject. I had an excellent public school experience, graduating in June of 1960. I jokingly tell people I received the last good public school education. Chemistry was my major as an undergraduate. My master of science is in environmental management. I have minors in both mathematics and english. I earned my California Life Teaching credential from the University of San Francisco. I am well qualified to run a school.
Believing at first that Wherry Academy would be for the educationally elite, I proceeded to provide a college preparatory program. However, over the years I have learned that students who have been identified as having learning disabilities do well in my school. That is because of the small class size and special attention. Also, students who have encountered roadblocks in their education have turned to me for help. I have straightened out transcripts that have encountered a myriad of problems. For example, students have transferred into Wherry Academy for the twelfth year after public school has said they are missing one class and can't possibly make it up and won't be able to graduate. Students transfer into Wherry Academy for many reasons -- to avoid being bullied, to get more help in math, to learn to read, to better prepare for entrance into college, to find a caring school that feels a little bit like home.
thank you for your interest,
Mrs. Janet Wherry, M. Sc., Principal