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By: Jason Feingold – www.homeinhenderson.com

Henderson Collegiate Director Eric Sanchez, fourth-grade teacher and Dean of Instruction Carice Sanchez, Chair of the Henderson Collegiate Board of Directors Nancy Jo Smith, and assorted dignitaries were gathered yesterday morning near the site of the Vance Manor House to break ground for the recently-chartered Henderson Collegiate Academy.

The school’s charter was approved by the state earlier this year. It’s mandate is to help those students who are at-risk to not attend post-secondary studies to achieve college admission.

The school will begin operation in August with a fourth grade class. Fourth grade is the second year in which North Carolina students participate in the End-of-Grade testing program.

Beginning the ceremony, Smith characterized the event as “but a pit-stop on the road to the finish line”. The finish line, according to Smith, has diplomas and college acceptance letters.

Smith thanked supporters, the school’s board of directors, media partners, and those giving monetary donations.

Co-founder, Dean of Instruction, and fourth grade reading teacher Carice Sanchez gave a description of what the layout of the school will be like and remarked that there would be 100 students during the first year. She said there would be “teachers passionately teaching”, with an emphasis on content, character skills, and sportsmanship.

She said that in 2019, the year the fourth grade class should graduate from high school, students would announce the college of their choice.

Director Eric Sanchez called the school “a long time in the making”. He said that there is a group of kids and families that believe in the school.

Sanchez said that the inaugural class will be called “the Pride of 2019″.

By either grade, he said that students will have completed 1,500 hours of extra schooling. They will take two high school classes during middle school, and by high school they will have completed 4,100 extra hours of education.

“2019 will be the group that helped build the school,” Sanchez said. “Being smart is a choice and it is based solely on effort.”

Board members and school staff then grabbed shovels and ceremoniously moved dirt.

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