Seeing a basic need for his city's youth to have better academic options, Chris Brewster refocused his career in education. He left an administrative position at an established suburban school to found his own charter school, Santa Fe South, in a struggling urban area. The school he founded in 2001 taught a meager 125 students. Since then, Brewster has developed and expanded this one school into an entire school district, currently educating 900 6th to 12th-grade students. The Santa Fe South (SFS) Schools of Oklahoma City, OK, and Santa Fe South High School, where Brewster is currently principal, are a symbol of how hard work and determination can impact a community for years to come.
Teachers at SFS High School are counselors as well as instructors. Every student is assigned a staff member who will monitor their progress. Brewster also instituted a peer-mentoring program between upper and lower classmen to forge strong bonds between students. When the SFS Charter Board gave Brewster the opportunity to redistribute students with severe behavioral problems to other schools, Brewster insisted that they stay at SFS. He personally counsels students against drug use, domestic violence and gangs. He has even personally confronted drug dealers that loomed near his campus.
Over the past seven years, annual test scores at SFS High School have consistently increased and graduation rates have dramatically improved in 2008 and 2009. The University of Oklahoma selected the SFS Schools from ten applicants to open the first University-sponsored elementary school. With this addition, Santa Fe South Inc. will become the largest charter school organization in the state.
Click here to read the article in The Wall Street Journal about Sante Fe South Schools.
1992 Oklahoma Baptist University, B.A.