On August 23, 2016, Huron Academy held an official ribbon cutting ceremony for their new upper elementary – middle school campus on Utica Road in Clinton Township, MI. The new campus will house grades 3 through 7, with PreK-2 remaining at the existing site on Metropolitan Parkway in Sterling Heights. Seventeen years ago Huron entered the scene opening just the third public school academy in Macomb County. In our first year 113 students filled Kindergarten – 3rd grade classes in 10 classrooms located in St. John’s Church on Metropolitan Parkway. As we built the original campus over a three-year period, the service criteria began to shape; full day Kindergarten, character education, small class sizes, free day care, a dress code and Latin instruction were among the factors that set Huron apart.
Today we have nearly 580 students on our campuses, and the number of public school academies in Macomb County has grown to 15. As the movement across the state grows, the competition that we face includes our district school counterparts and other charter schools. While families inquired for years about middle school and preschool services we were always limited by space at our original campus and had to suggest alternatives outside of Huron. With so many other school choices available in the county, we needed to address this concern. The challenge was brought to the school board nearly five years ago and the journey to where we stand today began in earnest. Now that the dream of an expanded location with more grades and amenities has become a reality, Huron embarks on a new chapter of service to our community.
Our service criteria has grown over time, but small class size, dress code, and character education continue to be a mainstay of what families can expect from Huron Academy. We look to the development of unique experiences for preschool and middle school to further our student focus as we move to the future. Though we were unable to add a GSRP section of pre-school due to a freeze in new start-ups this school year, we have begun our movement into this area with a tuition-based program. We have established strong curriculum protocols and are seeing early satisfaction from our stakeholders. We were intentional about the construction and layout of our middle school wing at the new campus so that we could incorporate strategies like team teaching, block scheduling, expanded enhancement offerings, and before and after school programs that would appeal to middle school families. The new building and renovation of our existing campus have given us the infrastructure we need for many years to come.
With that being said, the nicest building in the world will not insure the educational and developmental results we ultimately seek – only a devoted and passionate staff can make that happen. At Huron we are blessed with long serving staff members that see our expansion as just another opportunity to continue the caring and compassionate service that they have delivered to our students for the past 17 years. In particular, our middle school students will practice the continued relational experiences with their teachers that served them so well as elementary students. Consistent with our mission and vision over the years we focus on teacher–student relationships. When asked what makes Huron different we say, “We are different because WE CARE”.
Learn more about how Huron’s academic programs help create an environment of success for each child at huronacademy.org.
Written by: Mark Talbot, Principal at Huron Academy