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Founded by a Dad, with Families in Mind

After the birth of his son, J.C. Huizenga began to think about education from a parent's perspective. He believed every child should have the opportunity to receive a great education and schools should be held accountable to produce results. This led Mr. Huizenga to open his first National Heritage Academies school in 1995 – Excel Charter Academy – and his belief continues to drive our mission forward today.

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Our Schools

National Heritage Academies (NHA) is a charter school management company that operates 100+ schools across nine states serving more than 60,000 students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
PrepNet Virtual Academy provides an online school experience for students in grades K-12 who reside in the state of Michigan. To find out more, visit

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What NHA Parents Are Saying

"Wonderful atmosphere, great staff, and students! My son has attended Detroit Enterprise Academy since kindergarten. He's now in 6th grade! Great academic programming! If I had to rate this school, it would be 5 stars!"

- Latesha A., NHA Parent

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Meet Our Leadership

The strength of any organization is its people. And at National Heritage Academies, we have the very best. They're passionate about education and investing in your child.
Jason  Pater

Jason Pater

Chief Executive Officer

Nick Sheltrown, PhD

Nick Sheltrown, PhD

President and Chief Learning Officer

Tari Reinink

Tari Reinink

Chief Marketing Officer

Thea Reigler

Thea Reigler

Chief People Officer

Eric Spangler

Eric Spangler

Chief Technology Officer

Bob Owen

Bob Owen

Chief Financial Officer

Advanced learning at the ready, when your child is more than ready.

We’re proud to introduce Excel-erate, our new advanced learning program. For the student ready to accelerate beyond grade level, Excel-erate provides the resources and instruction they need.

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Charter Schools

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools independent from the local district public schools. Like district public schools, charter schools are required to adhere to all federal, state, and local education, health, and safety rules and regulations. If you’re seeking the quality of a private school education without the cost, you’re in the right place.

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Our Governing Principles

National Heritage Academies was founded on a set of principles – core values that reflect the personal and educational standards we hold ourselves to every day.

Take ownership for the success of our students

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Do the right thing always


Behave with care

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Make our schools the best choice for parents and students


Act with discipline to sustain our academic success and financial viability