By Tamas Mondovics

By spreading its wings to meet the special needs of its students throughout the Tampa Bay region, Pepin Academies, a public charter school, is poised to open an additional campus this fall ready for the 2013-2014 school year.

Along with its Hillsborough Ave. location, the new Riverview campus, located at 10522 Lake St. Charles Blvd. is now accepting applications for both campuses.

According to Pepin Academies’ spokesperson, Lauren Egan, within the walls of the 14 classrooms of the pre-existing building, the new Riverview campus will be serving ESE students, grades three through seven, which means the addition of approximately 135 students with special needs.

“Our Riverview campus is not a new construction, but families can expect the same services as the existing Hillsborough Ave. campus offers,” Egan said. “It will be a therapeutic learning environment, providing the full services.”

With the help of the Pepin Family, Pepin Academies opened in 1999 with 17 high school students as a tuition-free  501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charter school offering quality education to children and young adults with learning disabilities such as ADHD, autism and Asperger’s syndrome, a variety of sensory deficiencies, and to help students grow in confidence and success.

Today, with its expansion to include three additional institutions: Pepin Elementary School, Pepin Middle School and Pepin Transitional School of Excellence, the school now serves more than 520 students K-22 years.

According to Crisha Scolaro, founder and community liaison for The Pepin Academies, the mission of the school is to create a high intensity, low threat therapeutic learning community that celebrates the gifts of every student.

As its vision, the school is geared to prepare students to meet the academic, social and emotional challenges encountered in everyday life while providing them with the necessary skills to successfully transition to the next grade level and to eventually pursue post-secondary options and transition to a rewarding career.

Pepin is hosting its annual Fundraiser Gala on May 16, TPepin’s Hospitality Center located at 4121 North 50th St., in Tampa, with guest speaker Lou Holtz.

Families interested in applying for the upcoming school year may call the main campus at 3916 E. Hillsborough Ave. at 236-1755 or visit


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