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Peak Named a Model School for the Second Consecutive Year

Peak Charter Academy (PCA), is being honored for its relentless focus on student outcomes in an unprecedented year. The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) named PCA a 2021 Model School.​

Peak’s ability to recognize growth opportunities, collectively establish a vision, and systematically work together to take action led to the prestigious designation, which was awarded to only 16 schools nationwide. PCA’s academic successes are rooted in its commitment to engaging all scholars through a unique blend of differentiated, tiered, and workshop-based instructional practices.

“Being recognized as one of 16 Model Schools in the nation is a tremendous honor and is a testament to the hard work, commitment, and dedication of our scholars and educators at Peak Charter Academy,” said Steve Pond, principal at PCA. “Our commitment to differentiated and tiered instruction, along with our use of ICLE's Rigor, Relevance, and Engagement frameworks to plan and facilitate learning experiences remains strong. We strive to achieve success and growth each year at PCA!”

Selected annually based on a number of criteria, Model Schools have substantive evidence of growth year over year; a strong culture that focuses on student needs; and dedication to continuous improvement no matter the circumstances.

“Model Schools are courageously leading the charge in every conversation they have that accounts first and foremost for the wellness of the learner,” says Weston Kieschnick, ICLE Associate Partner. “Each of the 2021 Model Schools has thrived in the most challenging of times through their strength of conviction for rigor, relevance, and relationships.”

This designation follows shortly after Peak also was named the Best Public School, and Principal Pond was named the Best Elementary Principal, for the third year in a row in Cary Magazine’s annual Maggy Awards. Peak was also named the region’s Most Loved Charter School for the past three years by Hulafrog.​

“I am so proud of how hard every teacher is willingly working and how positive they’ve remained through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pond. “PCA staff has a commitment to serving kids and families. Everyone is here lifting each other up and isn’t afraid to jump in and lend a hand.”

PCA staff is committed for a multitude of reasons, one of them being Pond’s leadership style. He is not a believer in a vertical organizational structure. “It’s a team atmosphere,” said Connie Eastmann, lower elementary dean at PCA. “We’re all on the same playing field. We collaborate and respect each other’s thoughts and opinions. It feels like home and while everyone has roles and who they report to, it always felt comfortable.”

Kacey Gorman, upper elementary dean and parent of a PCA student, feels comforted knowing their scholars are receiving a quality education even during the challenging times presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Based on data and standards and seeing what students are assigned, they’re still learning and growing,” she said, “It’s fun to share about Peak and how strong the commitment of our staff is.”

Since its founding in 2017, Peak has built a strong foundation of academic success. Year-after-after the school exceeds growth expectations and delivers high academic performance.

“Unlike any other year, we are beyond proud to be honoring the 2021 Model Schools for digging deeper than ever to remain energized and focused on the needs of students,” says Kieschnick. “The leaders and teachers at these schools truly represent courage in action."