Gloria A. Wardell-Hampton
Gloria A. Wardell-Hampton founded the Joshua Marie Cameron Academy in 1993. It began as a two-room school serving ten "at risk" youth who required a small protective educational setting. Mrs. Wardell-Hampton began her tenure in special education as a tutor at the Jamestown Learning Center when she relocated to San Francisco in 1987. She wanted to utilize her 20 years of teaching experience, but was unsure if she wanted to return to the classroom full time. After several months at Jamestown, Mrs. Wardell-Hampton began teaching classes and soon had a class of her own. It was then that she knew she had entered the second phase of her teaching career. She entered San Francisco State University to obtain her Special Education teaching credential.
In 1989, after the Loma Prieta earthquake, Mrs. Wardell-Hampton moved her class to the basement of her home due to damage at the Jamestown site. After several weeks, a new space was found and Mrs. Wardell-Hampton moved her class to the Bayview-Hunter's Point District of San Francisco. Mrs. Wardell-Hampton was now running the second Jamestown site, and serving more youth from the Bayview-Hunter's Point community. In the summer of 1993, Mrs. Wardell-Hampton was afforded the opportunity to purchase the Bayview site of the Jamestown Learning Center and was given two weeks to put everything in order. She knew that she could not turn down this opportunity, but what would she rename the school? After the weekend to think about it, the name was decided. It would be called Joshua Marie Cameron Academy after her three grandchildren, Joshua, Shanna Marie, and Cameron Wardell. (Joshua Marie Cameron Academy is also known as JMC Academy or JMac.)
As the student population began to grow, Mrs. Wardell-Hampton saw the need for additional space in order to accommodate the students that were being referred to her school. In the spring of 1998 a second site (the Plaza Campus) was opened in the Bayview-Hunter's Point community and now the JMC Academy had the ability to reach out to more youth. The Plaza Campus now serves all students in grades 9 through 12.
JMC Academy, Mrs. Wardell-Hampton and her staff, are dedicated to serving students with special needs by treating them as individuals who matter. Many of the youth that walk through the doors feel they have nothing to contribute to society. Often the people in their lives had not been able to encourage them to feel otherwise. This often changes for them as soon as they walk through the school's doors as they develop a sense of importance and foresee their ability to be productive, contributing members of the community.
Today the JMC Academy has grown from 2-rooms to a multi-purpose academy, with the ability to accommodate 40 students and a staff of 20. Mrs. Wardell-Hampton continues to dedicate her life to special needs students, and in the process, has touched many lives.
Mrs. Wardell-Hampton, a Mathematics Major, also attended Grambling State University, Southern University at Baton Rouge, University of Missouri at Kansas City, Rockhill College at Kansas City, and San Francisco State University. She has also been recognized globally as well as locally for her commitment to excellence in the field of education and public/community service. She has also received numerous awards for her outstanding achievement and dedication.
San Francisco Business Woman of the Year
San Francisco Giants Baseball Club - "A Giant in the Community"
Dominoe's Pizza - "We Deliver" Excellence in Achievement Award Recipient
Delta Sigma Theta - "Image Awards" Recipient "Business Woman of the Year"