Lift for Life Academy | St. Louis Public Radio

Lift for Life Academy

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Three charter schools are enrolling students this summer before opening their doors for the first time in August.

Two schools will be run by longtime charter operators in St. Louis, while a third is being opened by young Teach For America alumni.

Students walk down a hallway of Lift for Life Academy, which includes an old bank vault door Life Academy. The charter school opened in the former Manufacturer's Bank and Trust Company building in Kosciusko in 2000.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Elizabeth Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school closed in 2013, some of the alumnae and former staff wanted to keep the educational tradition alive with a charter school.

But that building wasn't available and no matter how hard they looked they just couldn't find the right space, said Jane Keuss, who wanted to co-found the planned Tessera Hall Academy.

Lift for Life Academy's Brooke Johnson reacts after scoring a point in a high school girls' volleyball game Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. It was Lift for Life's first home sporting event in its 18-year history.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

After nearly two decades of practices in borrowed space and games far away, Lift for Life Academy held its first home sporting event Wednesday.

“This is a huge deal for us. We’ve been waiting — gosh, since we opened we’ve wanted a gym,” said the high school girls’ volleyball coach Tommy Devitt.

Marshall Cohen, right, with a recent graduate
Provided by Mr. Cohen

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - For Marshall Cohen, the word dumbbell has two distinct meanings.

The exercise equipment played a big part in the success of Lift for Life gym, the weight-lifting mecca for inner-city kids that Cohen started 25 years ago to help provide hope for lives that often had little but despair. The gym spawned a charter school, Lift for Life Academy, one of the first in St. Louis.

This artcile first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 7, 2013 - For Marshall Cohen, the word dumbbell has two distinct meanings.

The exercise equipment played a big part in the success of Lift for Life gym, the weight-lifting mecca for inner-city kids that Cohen started 25 years ago to help provide hope for lives that often had little but despair. The gym spawned a charter school, Lift for Life Academy, one of the first in St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 9, 2012 - You wouldn’t expect a guy whose nickname as a kid was “D-minus boy” to end up as head of a school.

So, what is Marshall Cohen doing as executive director of the Lift for Life Academy, one of the first charter schools in St. Louis, which is about to hold its first high school commencement?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 10, 2011 - So you're fed up with hearing about how kids in St. Louis have no quality public schools to attend and you have a great idea for a charter school that will blow the rest of them away.

How do you get started?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 21, 2011 - A car accident in 1989 left John Mann, then 23 years old, in a coma for a week. After he recovered enough to go home, doctors were still predicting that his severe brain injury would require him to work in a "sheltered workshop." Instead, he went on to earn an MBA, hold executive positions, start a business, revitalize a community center that provides a safe haven for thousands of St. Louis children and lead the effort to open the city's first charter high school.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Following weeks of English and math drills, tens of thousands of public school students are sweating through another season of Missouri Assessment Program testing. The scores are supposed to help the public figure out, among other things, whether charter schools are as good an investment as traditional public schools.