History of The Masterworks Academy



The Masterworks Academy was founded in 1990 with one student and one teacher.  During the early years several other homeschooling students and parents joined the various Masterworks Academy clubs and events.  The Masterworks Literary Society, The Masterworks Science Club and The Masterworks Music Appreciation Club created many teachable moments and lasting memories as young enthusiastic learners participated in a wide variety of activities and assignments.  I was that first student and my mom was my teacher.  

Nineteen years later, during an informational interview / exploratory conversation between me and a few homeschooling moms in the Sacramento area, The Masterworks Academy was set in motion once again.   I was in the second year of my doctoral program at the University of California Davis, and wanted to pursue educational outreach to younger students, especially those who were homeschooled.  The moms were very excited to have this opportunity for their children and specifically asked me to begin a science club.  In that first year of the club, with the aid of one very devoted mom, Evelyn Thomasson, and other parent volunteers, The Masterworks Academy (TMA) was able to cover multiple science topics during our monthly meeting such as Entomology, Chemistry and Genetics just to name a few.  

That first autumn, I asked Rachel Chamousis if she would be interested in helping with the science club.  Rachel has always loved science demonstrations, and this was the perfect opportunity to share her chemistry knowledge with others through fun, hands-on activities. Being homeschooled herself, she knew how beneficial interaction with scientific professionals would be for these students.  Rachel has proven to be a valuable asset to TMA through her excellent administration skills and creativity.  I also asked my long time friend, Brittany Nelms to help out as well.  Through Brittany's expertise in Entomology and her husband Wes' love for children, education and hands-on activities, the kids had the best bug experience of their lives culminating in a home-made mosquito piñata as an end of club surprise.  By the end of the first year, attendance had doubled and communication had become challenging.  So, with the tireless effort and talent of my mother, a website with online registration capabilities was created and The Masterworks Academy was once again in full operation.  

In our second year, additional volunteers joined our group including Michelle Faust (who is now the TMA Treasurer), Faye Claire, Dr. Ross Anderson, Stuart Loucks, and many more science-excited parents.  By the end of our second year, attendance was at 70+ students, teachers, and volunteers, and we had an interactive website with 50+ subscribers.  

What began as an open invitation to help homeschool families supplement their childrens' science education turned into a large scale operation of K-12 students from all kinds of educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.  My desire for the club was to provide the best quality science experience that we could provide with the time and resources given, and my future goal for the club is to expand its reach to as many students as possible as the opportunities and resources became available.  

At the end of our second year, the club had the incredible opportunity to expand even further.  Chester Gorski, a board member of Victory Christian School (VCS) in Carmichael, approached me after the February 2012 meeting with the proposal of partnering with VCS. We gratefully took the offer and now meet monthly in the VCS gymnasium.  Because of our partnership with VCS, we have expanded our outreach and our attendance is now 80+ students per meeting including homeschool, private school and public school students, grades K-12.  

We gratefully acknowledge all the additional parents and volunteers who have helped since our partnership with VCS, especially Scott Novak and Liz Curry.  

In autumn of 2012, The Masterworks Academy won the ACS coaches award which included a monetary purse which is being used for supplies, honorariums for guest speakers and scholarships for students who show particular interest and initiative in the sciences.  So far, we have succeeded in our goal to be a free service to our community and we have to gratefully thank the ACS for enabling us to continue to meet that goal.  

The Masterworks Academy plans to continue to exist as an educational organization devoted to helping students and parents.  The Science Club and VCS partnership is only the beginning. The future vision of TMA is to offer educational assistance not only in the sciences but also in the humanities and social sciences.  If you are interested in partnering with TMA or starting a club under the TMA banner, please feel free to contact me at
admin@masterworksacademy.net.  I look forward to hearing from you.