Macomb Academy started out several decades ago as a dream for a group of parents and educators who saw a need for employment training and daily living skills for young adults who had completed high school but who were not yet ready for college, the workforce or independent living.
Founded by Dr. John Beleutz, Mr. Richard Mette and the late Mr. William Brody, the dream became a reality when, following much research and planning, the first class of 13 students met in September, 1989. Students of the one-room school met at Macomb Community College as part of Mt. Clemens Community Schools' Adult Education Program.
The early years were challenging in regard to transportation, curriculum, program design and budget. Students, job coaches and teachers initially used taxis to get to and from community-based instruction sites and a limited number of employment training sites. A local church that served as a training site for custodial duties agreed to allow Macomb Academy to use their kitchen for cooking class.
Over time, increased curiosity developed as more students and parents heard about Macomb Academy as an option for students after high school. Although student enrollment was increasing, adult education funds were dwindling. The concept of a charter school opened the way for Macomb Academy to remain part of the public school system and to stabilize the funding source. In 1995, Central Michigan University authorized and chartered Macomb Academy, the first charter school in Macomb County.
Macomb Academy's current location in Clinton Township provides students access to a public transportation route and an expanded curriculum both in the classroom and in the community. Now serving approximately 200 students from four counties (Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne), Macomb Academy proudly offers over 30 community-based student intern sites and over 25 daily living-focused classes. These are opportunities only dreamed of so long ago by that group of parents and educators, including Macomb Academy founders Dr. Beleutz and Mr. Mette, both of whom continue to serve as emeritus members of the Board of Directors.