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The Leona Group: Organizational history

The Leona Group (TLG) was formed in 1996 in Michigan by Dr. William Coats, a nationally-recognized leader in education reform. Foundational to The Leona Group is the philosophy that every child can and will learn, regardless of ethnicity, economic or educational disadvantage. These founding beliefs drive TLG’s commitment to excellence in elementary, middle and high school classrooms across the country.


César Chávez Academy was the first charter to partner with TLG and initially served grades K-5; it has since grown to serve more than 2,000 students in grades preK-12 on five Detroit campuses. César Chávez Academy is the top-performing non-examination public high school in Detroit. 


With its proven track record in Michigan, TLG sought to make a difference in Arizona, a state that demonstrated a tremendous need for a new kind of public school. TLG opened five charter high schools in the metro-Phoenix area in 1997, and formed its Arizona division and officially opened it's Phoenix corporate headquarters in 2000.

The following year, TLG broadened its reach to serve students in Ohio beginning with Eagle Academy in Toledo. In 2002, three additional schools in Toledo were opened, along with TLG’s first Indiana charter school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

The Leona Group is acutely aware of the fiscal and academic challenges that families, communities and educational institutions face today. As a national organization employing more than 2,200 team members and serving more than 60 schools in four states (Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio), TLG has made significant and positive strides toward improving the nation’s educational landscape, especially in high-need urban areas.



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