to the corporate world and have never had
regrets about that.”
He co-founded Haiti Partners to support
six “partner schools” in the country and
later, with Merline and their Haitian and
American co-workers in agreement, decided
to establish a school that would demonstrate
the importance of collaboration and
joyful learning rather than the Haitian tradition
of authoritarian management. They
collaborated with village residents when
they planned the school, holding monthly
meetings in the Catholic church, the largest
building in the village.
The Children’s Academy and Learning
Center opened as a preschool in 2012. This
year it is offering eight grades from age 3
through 5th grade, with a total of 230 students
receiving a “joyful, student-centered
education” that includes character development.
This year, Engle said, a total of 1,274
children are getting a quality education
in the Children’s Academy and partner
schools. Plans call for adding a grade every
year for the next 10 years, reaching an eventual
enrollment of 900 and providing online
university education within 10 years.
“This is a vision held by the community,
the teachers and the leadership team, in
addition to Merline and me,” Engle says.
“Everyone’s commitment to the vision is >>
HAITI PARTNERS PHOTOS
Teacher Francess Antoine shares a smile with one of the youngest children at the school.
Students dressed in colorful uniforms happily line up to pose for a picture with Merline and John Engle, co-founders of their school in Haiti.