In 1987, Challenger Middle School started as a junior high with a double-session schedule of 840 seventh graders sharing the site of Wangenheim Junior High School. We moved to temporary bungalows located next to our current site later that same year. Our permanent buildings opened in 1990 with eighth graders joining us in 1991. We became a middle school with 6th, 7th and 8th graders in 1996.
Our school is named in honor of the space shuttle Challenger and her courageous crew. On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated during lift-off, ending the lives of all seven crewmembers including the first "Teacher in Space", Christa McAuliffe.
The name “Challenger” captures the energy and the inspiration associated with commitment to success. It dares one to go beyond one’s limits, to have high expectations, to touch the future. The crew’s love for their country, commitment to excellence and appreciation of education were elements that led to their success. The memory of that crew will serve as a role model for our multi-ethnic student population.