An institution is only as good as its people and its plan for the future. Athens Academy is fortunate to have very good people engaged and involved with our school. Over 300 individuals participated in the strategic planning process, including students, teachers, alumni, trustees, staff, grandparents, parents of alumni, and friends. Special thanks to them for their time and dedication to this process.

Please take a moment to look over the overview (below) and the complete, unabridged version of the plan. We may not accomplish all 49 of these items, but we do anticipate accomplishing as many of them as possible. To achieve this plan, we will need your engagement. Athens Academy is a family, and your emotional, financial, personal, and physical support are critical to our continued success as a community. Thank you again for all you do for our mighty Spartans and Athens Academy.

Strategic Plan Overview

List of 7 items.

  • Academics

    What We Teach: We will focus on developing skills that enable our students at all levels to think critically, communicate incisively, develop creative ideas and solutions, collaborate effectively, and demonstrate empathy toward others.

    How We Teach: To support the development of the skills listed above, Athens Academy will continue to explore, incorporate, and refine new approaches to teaching and learning, including project-based assignments, technology integration, hands-on activities, experiential learning, service learning, and maker spaces. The Learning Resource Program will continue to serve as a vital resource for teachers and students as we seek to support all types of learners.
  • Arts - Athletics - Service & Leadership

    Visual and Performing Arts: Evaluate fine arts course offerings to maximize participation. Continue to develop the band and choral music programs across all divisions, including programming for after-school, on-campus music lessons.
    Increase institutional presence in the fine arts community by developing partnerships with local, regional, national, and global organizations.

    Athletics: Evaluate needs and trends within each program and strive to provide exceptional facilities, equipment, and coaching at all levels. Enhance the training program for all coaches. Continue to support student-athletes and their development by sharing the school’s athletic philosophy with parents.

    Service and Leadership: Expand service and leadership opportunities in all divisions, including a leadership course in the Upper School. Increase communication and team-building activities throughout the curriculum.
    Continue to coordinate with organizations throughout the community to advance Athens Academy’s ongoing leadership initiatives.
  • Student Well-Being

    Athens Academy seeks to develop the whole student. Throughout the next five years, Athens Academy will pursue this vision by focusing on the following plans:
    • Develop an emotional intelligence program across school divisions to foster the development of the traits and skills outlined in Athens Academy’s Profile of the Graduate.
    • Develop and implement a digital citizenship and safety program for students and parents.
    • Enhance parent education programs at all grade levels with topics relevant to raising children in a rapidly changing world. 
    • Connect Upper School students with local professionals through internship and/or mentor relationships as they consider majors and career paths. 
    • Communicate with the school community about providing a safe and healthy environment where students can make sound decisions regarding their well-being, with particular emphasis on alcohol and drug education.
    • Enhance each student’s college admissions preparation by communicating with families before Upper School, providing test preparation, and sharing current college trends.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of the dress code and standardized dress in all divisions.
  • Faculty Development & Well Being

    Athens Academy’s faculty and staff are among its most precious resources.
    Therefore, it is important to retain, attract, develop, and support the faculty
    and staff. Throughout the next five years, the school will pursue this vision by
    focusing on the following plans:
    • Continue to promote excellence among faculty by providing opportunities for feedback, evaluation, mentoring, and professional growth.
    • Continue to increase funding and relevant partnerships for Athens Academy’s professional development program.
    • Analyze the school’s calendar and schedule to maximize opportunities for teaching and learning.
    • Review faculty compensation, benefits, and workload to remain competitive.
    • Enhance efforts to promote wellness among the faculty and staff.
    • Explore the feasibility of a fellowship program to develop aspiring independent school teachers, mentors, and coaches.
  • Facilities

    Athens Academy’s 152-acre campus and 22 buildings are essential components of school life and learning. Throughout the next five years, the school will pursue this vision by focusing on the following plans:

    Compliance & Safety
    • Renovate pedestrian walkways, review existing roadways and access, and create a campus-wide signage plan to help visitors navigate the campus.
    • Complete the campus storm water management plan, including improvements to the cross country greenway and erosion control measures along waterways.

    Preservation & Renovation
    • Improve the technology infrastructure.
    • Enhance food service with respect to healthier, fresher food options and address the capacity limit of the Tillman Center during lunch service.
    • Renovate the Middle School locker rooms and basketball goal systems in the Sinkwich Spartan Center and Middle School gymnasium.
    • Complete renovations to the Schacht building, Erwin Hall, and the Lower School plaza landscape.

    New Construction
    • Build a Middle School Science and Academic Center to accommodate two grade levels and an additional learning resource area.
    • Construct a multipurpose athletic space and gymnasium to benefit all sports programs on campus.
    • Add restroom and storage facilities at the tennis court complex.
    • Examine the feasibility of installing lighting and bleachers at the track complex.
  • Community Engagement

    Athens Academy is privileged to be a part of the Athens community and will continue to partner with alumni, parents, grandparents, the University System of Georgia, and other entities. Throughout the next five years, the faculty and administration will pursue this vision by focusing on the following plans:

    • Establish an Admission Ambassador program, which would include parents, students, alumni, and friends, to assist in outreach.
    • Develop a marketing and outreach plan to enhance Athens Academy’s brand and value proposition in the surrounding community.
    • Cultivate relationships with organizations in the greater Athens community.
    • Develop a guest speaker series aligned with the school’s mission and strategic goals to share insights, ideas, and experiences with the school and local communities throughout the year.
    • Continue to promote the international studies program and partner with other organizations to provide students and faculty with more global perspectives and experiences.
    • Explore the feasibility of creating an outdoor leadership development course to promote leadership and personal development among Athens Academy students and young people throughout Northeast Georgia.
  • Institutional Progress & Financial Stewardship

    Athens Academy believes it is imperative to remain good stewards of all school resources. Throughout the next five years, the school will pursue this vision by focusing on the following plans:
    • Educate the school community about annual, capital, and planned giving.
    • Increase off-campus visits with alumni, parents of alumni, grandparents, and friends throughout the country to engage them in the life of our school. 
    • Identify sources of auxiliary income aligned with the school’s mission.
    • Continue to engage in a disciplined, thoughtful budgeting process and determine the impact of endowment spending, annual giving, and debt on future operating budgets.
    • Analyze enrollment trends and grade/division groupings to maximize the use of the school’s facilities and resources.
    • Conduct a community impact study to quantify the positive economic, educational, and social effects that Athens Academy has upon the surrounding area.

COMMITTEES

Special thanks to these ad hoc committees whose members helped Athens Academy generate the ideas on which to base the current strategic plan.

List of 8 items.

  • Academics

    Sunil Alexander, Ben Ayers, Colleen Burwell, Nick Chronos, Kelly Grow, Shawn Harding, Chuck Jordan, Martin Kagel, Natalie Luke, Temple McLanahan, Colleen Pruitt, Sara Scribner, Alonzo Sexton, Dwan Simmons, Jeff Stachura
  • Arts

    Mike Callinan, Sally Coenen, Bess Durham, Leigh Ellis, Whitney Goodstone, B. Amrey Harden, Aaron Hequembourg, Barbette Houser, Hart Roberts, Juliet Ruhl, Debbie Schab, Carrie Scruggs, Lawrence Stueck, Nancy Woodruff
  • Athletics

    Kevin Adams, Jack Bauerle, Jeff DeLoach, Ed Ferguson, Gary Hudson, Kate Kelly, Haven Luke, Adam Nelson, Kevin Petroski, Bryan Pulliam, Stephanie Ransom, Harold Reynolds, Jane Thomas
  • Innovation & Emotional Intelligence

    Julie Boyd, Travis Cutler, Allison Coleman, Rachel Dillon, Becky Green, Russ Hovater, Fraser Kent, Liz Prince, Bo Rutledge, Bill Trigleth, Geoffrey Walton
  • People

    Rich Connelly, Dick Ferguson, Donald Hasford, David Ivy, Spence Johnson, Paul Kilgore, Karl Kuhnert, Patrick Murrah, Bob Sears, Marlana Street, Deniz Ward, Melton Weekley
  • Resources

    Robert Baxley, Russell Bennett, Amy Chandler, Greta Covington, Kelley Cuneo, Mark Ficken, George Huban, Catherine May, Lauren Moran, Beth Sanders, Johnny Terrell, Ellen Wiley, Kevin York
  • Service & Leadership

    Kathy Bangle, Alice Ann Bowman, Leslie Dorris, Russell Gabriel, Greg Irvin, Brian Olson, Tina Patel, Anna Scott, Pat Snead, Karishma Sriram, Laura Straehla, Victor Wilson
  • Vision & Governance

    Peter Amann, Brooks Arnold, Don Chuboff, Jody Corry, Houston Gaines, Mariya Peterson, Ned Phares, Wes Rogers, Frank Sinkwich III, Margaret Smith, Joe Tillman, Allyn Timberlake, Corky Warner

Excellence with Honor

An independent school for grades K3-12