Grace College is proceeding with the state authorization of its first charter school, the Smith Academy for Excellence, set to open its doors in Fort Wayne in fall 2012.
The Grace College Board of Trustees approved a seven-year charter for the school on March 23, and the school founders formally signed the charter on March 26.
The Smith Academy for Excellence is the brainchild of former Wayne High School Principal Thomas Smith and his two sons, Corey and Cameron. The Smiths approached Grace to authorize the charter due to shared philosophies of education, as well as personal ties to the school – Corey received his B.S. in Elementary Education from Grace in 2004.
The academy, a boys-only preparatory-style school, will initially serve approximately 198 students in grades 6-9, though eventually the Smiths plan for the school to serve grades K-12. The Smiths saw an opportunity to serve Fort Wayne by offering an alternative education option that will focus on preparing students for college, forming students’ character, and emphasizing service learning.
Thomas Smith will serve as the school’s chief administrator, Cameron Smith will serve as the chief operations officer, and Corey Smith will serve as the chief academic officer.
The Smiths plan to make the most of their support from Grace College, eventually placing student teachers in classrooms. Laurie Owen, Dean of the School of Education at Grace, is excited for the opportunity to work with the school on the ground level. “We are so thrilled with the Smiths’ vision for the school, and so grateful that they are allowing Grace to be a part of that. Eventually we’ll get our student teachers in those classrooms for some invaluable learning experiences for both their students and ours,” Owen said.
For further information please contact Dr. Bill Katip at 574-372-5100 ext. 6132.
To view the Smith Academy for Excellence website click here.