Strong academic rigor and success outside of the classroom, Crown Leadership Academy is our first Cool School for this school year. We’re in Mount Pleasant for our Cool School of the week.
Crown Leadership Academy is a private independent Christian school. Husband and wife Lathan and Sara Carey opened Crown in 2010 with seven students. Now they have students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Principal Lathan Carey says, “We believe God created people as natural learners, and we want to fan that flame.” Assistant principal Sarah Carey says, “We really felt like we were going to be a school that was going to grow, and now we have two campuses and 173 kids between the two campuses, one here in Mount Pleasant and in North Charleston we just opened a campus there.”
Crown is a Project Based Learning school that focuses on developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Lathan Carey says, “The kids help drive the learning here. It’s what they’re interested in. So a student will come and say what about this, and our teachers are flexible enough to take the student’s interest using the standards, and bringing it together so the students are actually interested in learning. It’s just an amazing thing.”
Students have flexible schedules, with no homework. Sara says, “We don’t want them to go home and be working for hours because after school hours we want them to be involved in a job or community service. If they get all their work finished by Thursday afternoon at two o’clock and it’s done well, they don’t have to come to school on Friday. Friday is a study hall day, an extra day to fit everything in. It gives the students ownership of their work. Lathan says, “They’re excited about it, and they’re so interested in what they’re doing, some of them will sneak their school work home, and parents will catch them doing their homework, which is amazingly awesome.” Tenth-grade student Reese Franyo says, “I’ve never not wanted to come to school. I have a family here. When you enter the real world, it’s not going to give you a test and say this is when you need to have it done. It says this is what we need you to do. You can choose to do it, or not, and choose your success or not, and I think that’s what Crown is all about. The moment I came here, I knew it was right for me, because I could go at my own pace.”
Small class sizes provides individualized learning. Teacher and athletic director Natasha Eickhoff says, “It’s the happiest place on earth for me. It’s like Disney World. It’s what home schooling would look like if we did it on a big scale. Our kids get the benefit of a small class size which means we can teach in ways we normally wouldn’t.”
Crown also offers an arts and foreign language programs as well. Teacher Katie Trull says, “We are Project Based Learning. We get to do fun stuff.” Kindergarten student Olivia Shoemaker says, “It’s the coolest school on the planet.”
If you would like to nominate your school or teacher for our Cool School or Cool School Teacher award, send an email to Octavia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know what makes that person or school cool.