Naomi Valentine

Academy Parent

"You have great relationships that you can build here and I really enjoy that L.J. has made lots of friends."

Before choosing the Academy for her son L.J., Naomi Valentine was carefully considering all of her options. Like all parents, she knew she wanted him to attend a school close by that felt safe and comfortable as well as was strong academically and would challenge him.

“My first choice was the Academy because I work very close and I like the chapel aspect to it that I grew up with when I went to Harding University,” Valentine said. “It was our first choice, but we weren’t sure if we were going to get in because it was late.”

Though Valentine holds a high opinion of other local schools’ academics, she was looking for a Christian environment for L.J. where he could attend chapel and grow in his academics and character.

“Looking at the Christian aspect of it and how they incorporate being a servant to everybody, what they instill in them in the classroom, and the guidance they provide — that was big for me — security and a Christian environment,” Valentine said. “It’s important to have that at home, but it’s also important to have that at school.”

Before coming to the Academy, Valentine wanted to weigh all the options available, and she encourages other parents to do the same.

“Choosing any school is going to be a tough decision for parents because you’re sending your little one to a place with other people where there are going to be personality differences,” Valentine said. “So pray about it, talk to parents, do your research and then just be a parent. They’re going to come home and they’re going to have a bad day sometimes, but try to get all sides to the story. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Academy or at a public school, you need to weigh all options and consider everything, so pray about it, do your research and just go for it.”

Valentine is grateful for the friendships L.J. has made through the Academy as well as the relationships she and her husband have made with other parents and families.

“The parents who I’ve met here are really open. They’re caring, and they’re nurturing. If my husband or I are not at an event, other parents will text us pictures and say, ‘Hey, this is what happened today — sorry that you missed it, but I wanted this to be a memory,’” Valentine said. “You have great relationships that you can build here and I really enjoy that L.J. has made lots of friends. It’s been wonderful. The fellowship has been so good.”