What makes The Center School unique?

The Center School is a four year middle school serving grades 5-8, and is built upon the philosophy that how a child learns is as important as what a child learns.

The adolescent years are tricky. Children shift from concrete thinking to abstract thinking. Peer approval and acceptance become increasingly important. To stay engaged and interested in learning, children should feel actively involved in their education. And they should feel like valued and supported members of a community. The Center School students feel both.

This is their school. Because it is small and because children attend classes in same-age and inter-age groups, The Center School students get to know one another quickly. They are given the freedom to socialize between classes. And with theater arts incorporated into the school’s curriculum, each child performs onstage, where they gain confidence speaking and expressing themselves before an audience.

The academics are challenging. Students read good literature, write extensively, and explore intricate subject matters. And because more is expected of students throughout the middle school years, each child has an advisor—a trusted teacher—who helps guide them through the school year.

How does this blend of progressive and traditional teaching fare? The Center School students thrive and achieve. They consistently score well on standardized tests—and they graduate to some of the most prestigious and highly-regarded high schools in the city.

Students leave The Center School well-prepared learners, but they also leave knowing the importance of a strong and welcoming community.

Director: Elaine J. Schwartz


  • Suzanne Bellavance
  • Annette Berkery
  • Amanda Chambers
  • Tekle Eckrich
  • Gabe Finklestein
  • Lia FriedmanDenise Hand
  • Tim Holst
  • Chad Marshal
  • Deborah Marx
  • Deborah Marx
  • Larry Nathanson
  • Mary O’Brian
  • Aris Puente
  • Emily Reiver
  • Bronwyn Ryan
  • Carolyn Tacey
  • Damon Thomas
  • Daniel Verdejo
  • Mike Veve
  • Jake Walkup
  • Rhonda Wilkins
  • Ayla Wing

Other Staff

Parent Coordinator: Annette Berkery

Secretary: Christina Lopez

Guidance Counselor: Kara Hade

Social Worker: Mary O’Brian

Speech: Tova Kaufman

Community Associate: Myka Knight

School Aide: Kenny Garcia

Urban Fellow: Russ McCook

Computer Technician: Aris Puente


The Center School is proud to have an active and hard-working PTA to support the school.

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