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"At the Founders Classical Academy of Leander inaugural graduation ceremony, the 11 graduating seniors not only got to hear remarks from America’s favorite game show host, they also learned that the school won a $25,000 award for its exceptional classroom teaching."


“Founders Classical Academy is working hard to provide the students of Leander with a quality education,” Phil Kilgore, Director of the Barney Charter School Initiative at Hillsdale College, said in a prepared statement. “This award recognizes the diligence and drive of the teachers and administrators who have made the school a success.


"A local academy got a unique commencement address Saturday afternoon from a popular game show host. 'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak delivered the commencement speech at the Founders Classical Academy of Leander’s inaugural graduation Saturday morning in Leander."


“My goal is to empower students to read on their own and help them realize they can ask the important questions. By the end of the year, they can write well because they know how to have a dialogue, a thesis and antithesis. They aren’t daunted by reading difficult books,” said Mr. Peterson.


"At the end of every semester students and faculty from Founders Classical Academy of Leander gather for two days to compete in and cheer on their classmates in the Archer Games. Created in May of 2015 as a culminating part of the school’s house system, the games are now an anticipated part of the school year.


“Each house has a head girl and boy as well as a house mentor and other supporting teachers, this allows for a lot of accountability because someone is always looking out for the students. Our older students mentor our younger students and our students get to know their teachers outside of class,” said Ms. O’Brien.


Mr. and Mrs. Cid have five children, and when Founder’s Classical Academy, a public charter school, opened this past August, they were excited to have a free option for their three eldest kids to receive a quality education. “The teachers and the curriculum make the difference,” Mrs. Cid explains. “All of my kids have grown a lot and been challenged, and if we had to pay I wouldn’t be able to send them there.” Their fourth son is on the kindergarten waitlist, along with more than 700 applicants for roughly 50 spots


The school, which teaches kindergarten through 11th, balances physical activity with a rigorous curriculum. Kindergarten through second grade has three recess breaks each day, about 15 minutes each. There is also a 30 minute physical education class daily. Headmaster Kathleen O’Toole said the key to success is more than just classroom time.


I had the opportunity to visit Founders Classical Academy. Dr. Kathleen O’Toole, headmaster of the charter school, kindly gave me a tour of several classrooms. The education there is a classical education and includes Latin. The curriculum is more demanding than in other schools, but Founders Classical believes in its children and considers challenges tend to motivate them. The first thing that struck me was the organization of the tables: all facing the teacher, theater-style, something I had last seen in France. The students, from kindergarten to grade 10, were barely distracted by us entering the room: they were focused on their teachers; they enjoyed the class and the lesson.

[Founders Classical Academy] is open to all students and, “anyone can be successful at this school,” said [Headmaster Kathleen] O’Toole. The education is more rigorous or demanding than traditional public education, but this focus on “developing the right habits…can benefit any child.”

“But there are great charter schools that are thriving right now and which prove that a public education can be great and that parents are quite capable of reviving an important civic institution: the public school,” Moore said. “Frankly, this is an opportunity for public-spirited people who want to follow in the moral, political, and educational tradition of the Founding Fathers to prove themselves.”