Our Story

Nearly two decades of proven results
In 1994, Academies of Math and Science (AMS) Co-Founder, Tatyana Chayka, emigrated with her family from Uzbekistan during the dissolution of the USSR. Fueled by a mother's determination, Mrs. Chayka embarked on a quest for an education that met her son's needs. Not able to find schools that were right for her son, in 2000 she decided to venture forth and with partner Sergey Shayevich, founded the Academy of Math and Science.

Her vision was to create a school which offered a superior education in mathematics and science while still incorporating foreign language, music, and art. Mrs. Chayka intended to build a program that she wished her son could have had, one where he could take guitar lessons, perform science experiments, and receive professional art instruction without his parents having to pay for each of these activities. The initial year was tough. With only 30 students during the first year, it was unclear whether or not the school would make it to year two.
During this time of struggle, Cathy Lund with the Walton Family Foundation paid a visit to the school and saw what Mrs. Chayka had seen – a vision of a successful school model. Through perseverance, hard work, planning, and a generous contribution from the Walton Family Foundation, Tatyana Chayka’s vision was realized – the school finished a tremendous first year and produced excellent results for the new students.
AMS Prince
AMS growth chart
Mrs. Chayka and the AMS team, fortunately, did not stop with one school in Tucson. Since 2000, the success of AMS’s flagship school led to recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School and the 2016 Arizona Charter School of the Year and to network expansion in both Tucson and Phoenix.  For the 2023-2024 school year, AMS will serve over 8500 students across 9 campuses.  A key difference between AMS and other networks is AMS’s mission of only opening schools in underserved neighborhoods, the ones most in need of high-quality educational programs.
A central guiding question has continuously propelled AMS to move forward and keep growing: “If not us, then who will do this work?” AMS plans to continue to grow as long as there are communities in need of high-quality educational programs. AMS’s growth and continued success is possible because of a team effort from families, AMS staff, and many others outside the immediate AMS team including organizations such as A for Arizona, Arizona Charter Schools Association, New Schools for Phoenix, the Walton Family Foundation, Charter School Growth Fund (and its consultants and partners who have helped the network formulate its growth plan), the program offices behind the federal and state Charter School Program grants, the many dedicated Governing Board members, and dozens of individual AMS supporters and partners.

In 2022, AMS Impact group had a change in leadership, as Erik Greenberg transitioned into the role of CEO. Mr. Greenberg is dedicated to providing students with the best education in the best environment. Mrs. Chayka and her Co-founder, Mr. Shayevich continue to serve as part of our AMS Board of Trustees. 
Our success is, and will always be, a team effort.