Benchmark Preschool and Elementary was founded by three teachers with a dream. Carole Challoner, Bobbie Darroch, and Sue Huff were able to open Benchmark Preschool and Elementary (as a private school) in September of 1998 with 15 kindergarteners and 12 preschoolers. By the end of the first school year enrollment doubled.
After receiving their Charter in the fall of 1999 enrollment grew again. Through word of mouth the student population continued to double each year as they added one grade level at a time. By Dec. 2001 it was time to find another location to expand. The current property on Acoma Drive was purchased to relocate the school.
In the fall of 2002 students, preschool thru fourth grade, enjoyed a new campus that consisted of buildings A and B. The following year Singapore Math Curriculum was introduced to the staff, who embraced it as an integral part of our curriculum. Benchmark School was the first school in the United States to fully implement Singapore Math K - 6.
In 2004, Building C was built to house the 5th and 6th grades as well as Exceptional Student Service (ESS) offices and computer lab (now known as Math/Makerspace). By now the student population in the elementary school was around 400 students and the preschool approximately 80 students.
At the end of the 2005 - 2006 school year Dragonfly Charter School closed its doors and offered the resources of the current Science Lab to Benchmark. It was then that the Science/Art building (Building D) was built to house the animals and resources.
The past 20+ years have brought new opportunities and challenges. The unfailing support of the Benchmark School community, the staff's dedication and love of teaching continue to set the standard for maintaining an excelling school.
Upon retirement, Carole, Bobbie, and Sue passed the torch along to Wendy Brady and Maria Etchebarren. Wendy and Maria both have a long history with Benchmark, not only as educators but also as parents of past and present Benchmark students.
Carole Challoner Barbara Darroch Susan Huff