AVON PARK — There were no caps or gowns, but members of the inaugural class of Cornerstone Christian Academy received their promotions in ceremonies this past Saturday night.
It was in March of last year that officials of the Avon Park Lakes Baptist Church announced that they would be opening Cornerstone Academy as Highlands County’s newest private school.
Cornerstone Headmaster Jenny Cornell told the assembled audience of parents and well-wishers that because of the school’s small initial enrollment, teachers have been able to give the students a higher degree of individual attention.
Cornell, a longtime elementary educator and former Avon Park Middle School assistant principal, was appointed to the head post even before the school was a reality.
The school houses students from kindergarten through fifth grade. The curriculum includes standard courses in reading, writing mathematics, science, social studies and physical education.
In addition, the students take periodic field trips for educational opportunities such as their tour of the Archbold Biological Station. They also have worked on several missionary projects.
“The Lord gave us a vision for this two years ago,” said Avon Park Lakes Baptist Church Pastor George Hall, pointing to what he called “the three-legged stool” philosophy of students, teachers and parents.
The school sits on the grounds of the church on North Highlands Boulevard north of Avon Park.
Hall said he looked to double the attendance for next year’s second round of classes.
“We already have more applications for next year than we had students this year,” he said.