Millennium Charter Academy (MCA) received Hillsdale College’s Henry Salvatori Prize for Excellence in Teaching Thursday night during its annual curriculum night. According to Director of Charter School Development at Hillsdale Phillip Kilgore, the Michigan college’s recognition provides $25,000 for the school to use to support teaching.
Kilgore said the award was established in 1997 with an endowment from Henry Salvatori to the college. Criteria for selection includes a school promoting “robust instruction in liberal arts and sciences,” teaching which promotes a culture of moral character and instruction which encourages civic virtue. He said the award is part of the college’s outreach efforts to promote quality education in primary grades among charter schools which offer classical education.
MCA Headmaster Kirby McCrary told parents and students present in the gymnasium the framers of the United States Constitution framed a new order which didn’t repudiate their pasts to transcendent truths. He said they were able to see beyond diversity and to the vision of a nation united, one that is not homogeneous but unified with the whole being greater than themselves.
“We are blessed by sound learning made manifest through Western tradition,” said Kilgore. “Study devoted to things not only nourishing the mind but the heart. We also know sound learning is just as important to K-12 education. This is what Henry Salvatori knew.” He told participants about Salvatori, who came from an immigrant family and became a successful businessman and civic leader and felt strongly about supporting schools offering a sound foundation in education so “students learn what mankind is and what living a good life with neighbors is.”
Kilgore said MCA was “a beautiful reflection” of these values and said his visit to the school made their application come to life. Academy Upper School Director Pamela Braley’s told the group the academy’s new high school which is nearing completion is “part of this dream.”
Joanna Refvem was introduced as the school’s first college advisor. She said she hopes to provide the ninth grade class a “beginning awareness” of what the next four years will mean and how to navigate through career and college exploration including scholarship and financial aid opportunities.
Student projects and art work were on display throughout the school as the opening ceremonies gave way to break out sessions for students and parents in both lower and upper school programs to attend classroom presentations.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on Twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.