HCA begins new year with open house, positive growth
Open house at Haywood Christian Academy (HCA) was held last week, kicking off the school's seventh year. This year’s event was followed by a meal provided for all families.
“We wanted to do something special this time to celebrate our first year as an accredited school," said HCA Development Director Melanie Sandefur. "We also want to emphasize relationships with families by serving them dinner and having time to visit."
HCA has seen growth over the summer — enrollment is up about 10 percent, Sandefur said. As the economy improves, the school continues to strengthen.
HCA Headmaster Blake Stanbery said the school's budget emphasized three elements: staff development, marketing and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses. HCA provided pay increases for its employees and also increased its staff development budget by 13 percent. The school is doubling its inventory of laptops for students and has designated funding specifically for teacher technology training.
In addition, the school has added another Advanced Placement course to the high school program: AP Literature, and the class is full.
“It is exciting to see so many students ready to take on the challenge," said Karen Erickson, the veteran faculty member who is teaching the course.
One of the highlights of the open house and dinner was a dessert contest. The judges were Clyde Police Chief Gerard Ball and two HCA board members, Matthew Haynes and Jeff Shuford. Chief Ball confessed it was a difficult assignment to judge so many desserts but he was up to the challenge.
HCA's seventh year looks to be off to a “sweet” start!