• "I think the difference between me and some people is that I'm content to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things in order to make change. But if each one would light a candle we'd have a tremendous light"

    --Sr. Thea Bowman of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration


  • Thea Bowman Leadership Academy (TBLA) is a tuition-free public school located in Gary, Indiana. Our academies focus on providing an outstanding educational experience for grades K-12 on one beautiful campus. Thea Bowman was established by the Drexel Foundation for Educational Excellence in 2003, K-6. In 2004, 7th grade was added. Each year the next grade level was added until we reached the 12th grade. In 2007, the junior/ high school campus was built. In 2020, we integrated the elementary campus into the junior/ high school campus and converted to a K-12 model.

    Thea Bowman prides itself on engaging scholars in rigorous & robust curricula and instruction, affording students a college prep curriculum, a high-quality STEM program and a plethora of dual credit course offerings.

Our Middle/High School

  • Our Middle and High School's ultimate vision is that our scholars master key academic skills, and demonstrate strong character, as exhibited by: honesty, service to others, a superior work ethic, and a strong vision for and belief in their futures. 

    We Offer:

    • Brother Mentor Teacher Mock Trial & Mentoring Program
    • High-Quality Athletic Program including Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Track & Field, Baseball
    • New and Improved Music, Performing & Visual Arts, and Dance Program
    • 14 Recipients of the newly-created “City of Gary” Scholarships – Partnership between City of Gary and Majestic Star Casinos
    • Home of a Lilly Endowment Scholarship Recipient

    Contact us at  219.944.3100


    Thea Bowman Leadership Academy Scholars working on desktop computers in class.

Belief Statements...

  • Students working on a class assignment

    All students are educable and can succeed.

    Education of all children takes place in many places and through the efforts of many individuals.  Parents are the first teachers and classroom teachers play a most significant role. Education takes place, however, in other places and through a variety of delivery systems. Communities and organizations play roles as educators.  The media, for good and ill, educate; computer technology and the Internet educate as well.  Museums, zoo, libraries are also educators of the young.

    There is no one best way to educate all children.  Children have different learning styles and capacities and different ways of learning.

    Children need schools that provide the necessary ingredients of love, respect, attention, discipline, encouragement, honesty, and good adult examples and role models.

    The overall purposes of education are to provide young people with the foundation to be educated and cultured adults who can enjoy a full life, participate successfully in an economy of opportunity, and be knowledgeable, active participants in a free, democratic society.

    All students have the potential for "leadership" in some area of their lives and that potential can be systematically taught and developed.

    We believe that innovation simply for the sake of change or to be "different" is not only unnecessary but unsound.  Innovation that enhances the achievement of basic educational goals is appropriate. Often doing what is of perhaps old and proven success is more effective.

    The study and implementation of proven "best practices" research is essential to the forward movement and success of any school.


Visit Us at our Middle/High School