Summer is over and the 2016-2017 school year launches with more than just a new Executive Director, Mr. Tom Keever. Academics, always front and center, is already surpassing last year’s efforts thanks to the dynamic duo of Mr. Brad White, secondary dean of education, and Mrs. Linda Edgerton, dean for kindergarten through 5th grade.

Both administrators made a noteworthy impact prior to beginning this school year. Over the summer, Mrs. Edgerton orchestrated a highly successful Kindergarten Camp and Math Camp by coordinating teams of LLCA teachers and selected volunteers, such as Doctor “K.” The LLCA Kindergarten Camp drew 24 new school children, far surpassing the expected number of eight. The Math Camp brought in 56 students who participated in a variety of hands-on learning activities that left them better prepared for the upcoming school year.

“We expected about 20 students for Math Camp, and we were absolutely thrilled that instead 56 children in our area demonstrated their passion for learning,” said Mrs. Edgerton. “We have heard extremely positive feedback from the parents about the quality of the curriculum and how well this team organized both camps.”5_White

Similar successes were achieved with the “Meet The Teachers” events on August 15th and 16th. Mr. White and the entire LLCA Team were engaged in these open houses and were instrumental in making them tremendous positive events.  Students and parents had an opportunity to put a name to a teacher’s and dean’s face, see the classrooms and pick up schedules. The school was full of excitement and positive interactions that set the groundwork for the entire school year.

5_EdgertonIn addition, the “dynamic duo” of Mrs. Edgerton and Mr. White has implemented a number of positive changes, including deepening the math curriculum, redesigning the schedule, developing a number of core subject labs (math, writing, science, and social studies), coordinating common assessments, and providing opportunities for students to learn at the pace that best suits them.

Mr. White, born and raised in Rutherford County, is a proud 2010 graduate of Appalachian State University. Initially, he was hired by LLCA in 2010 to teach Physical Education, and because of his ability to coach children, quickly became the popular LLCA Athletic Director. In 2012 Mr. White was promoted to Dean of Students for grades K-12th – until February 2016 when he left LLCA for a position at another school. Mr. Keever persuaded Mr. White to return to LLCA effective August 1, and he is delighted to be part of this new, highly energetic LLCA Leadership Team.

“I am very excited to be back and feel blessed to once again be a part of this great school,” said Mr. White. “My roots were and will always be at LLCA. I believe this will be a great school year, and I look forward to what the future has in store for LLCA.”

Linda Edgerton is a veteran educator with over 40 years’ experience in elementary education. A Rutherford County native, Ms. Edgerton graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and from Western Carolina University with a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and an Education Specialist degree in Administration/Supervision.  She participated in the Principal Executive Program in Chapel Hill, NC and served as a governor appointed member of the North Carolina Textbook Commission for 12 years.  Ms. Edgerton retired from Rutherford County Schools after 13 years as a Kindergarten teacher, 3 years as an assistant principal, and 24 years the principal of Rutherfordton Elementary.  She lives on her family farm and enjoys spending time with her family.  “I am so excited about the upcoming year at Lake Lure Classical Academy.  I’m looking forward to working with the teachers, parents, administrators, and board members to provide our students with the best educational opportunities.”

In addition to the dynamic duo leadership team, several curriculum teachers have joined the LLCA faculty to enhance student learning.

5_GabinThe lead for an invigorated High School Math Department is Mr. Ben Gabin who is teaching math I,II,III and pre-calculus.

Gabin graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude), and from University of North Carolina, Asheville Campus with a Master of Arts – where he focused on mathematics and national level teacher certifications. During the past six years, Gabin held a variety of teaching, tutoring and coaching experiences in Math, MATH SAT preparations, ACT Test preparation, and ran a very successful Clinical Practice Mathematics program that utilized student data and grew scores on the exponential unit by 141%. Gabin’s focus this school year is on “exploring excellence through the Integrated Math curriculum.” According to Gabin, he and the math students “will be using the Common Core Standards and supplementing them with critical thinking activities and 21st century skills.”

Shadow Quesinberry has joined LLCA to teach 6th, 7th and 8th grade math. 5_Quesinberry

She is new to the Raptor family, but couldn’t be “more excited about becoming a part of it.” Quesinberry was raised on a farm in Stokes County, N.C. and now calls Asheville home. She entered the UNCA education program in 2012 and has since gained experience through teaching, tutoring, and working with individuals on the Autism spectrum. Quesinberry loves both math and literature, and hopes to foster a love of learning in her students.

LLCA – Beyond the Classroom

The benefits of having Lake Lure Classical Academy in such a beautiful, natural place extends far beyond the scenic views surrounding the campus. LLCA is also exposing students to nature through partnerships with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and Muddy Sneakers programs designed to teach science and biology in the natural environment.

By participating in major community partnerships and efforts – such as conservancy, Lake Lure Arts & Crafts Festivals, the Lake Lure Olympiad, the Dirty Dancing Festival, and adult learning, the LLCA faculty and leaders are demonstrating that we all are part of a larger community that reaches beyond academics – while bringing practical lessons learned from these events back into the classroom.

Finally, for all of our readers, the school invites you to participate in the LLCA Raptor Partners Program. The school is actively seeking talent and volunteers to round out the richness of the academic programs and the extracurricular activities so that “Raptors Soar.”

“We are very committed to involving the community in a variety of our academic and club programs,” said Executive Director Tom Keever. “We are fortunate to have Mrs. Margo Jones leading our Raptor Partner Program.” For more information on the LLCA Raptor Partners Program or to sign up, contact Mrs. Jones at 828-447-1854, or the Lake Lure Classical Academy at  828-625-9292.