“We were very excited to be able to share in the celebration with our community and our families,” said Keystone Principal Jorvonna Drain. “It was great to be with our staff, students, and NHA executives on a special day. It was nice to celebrate a huge accomplishment of being in this community for 20 years.”
The celebration kicked off with a performance from the school band and was followed by comments from Drain. Featured speakers included Board President Vesta Losen and NHA Founder J.C. Huizenga. Losen, who has been involved with the school since its beginning in 2003, spoke about the origins of Keystone Academy. Huizenga thanked Losen, Drain, and all the students at Keystone.
Drain honored four people who had been with Keystone since the beginning two decades ago: Losen, Middle School Dean Robyn Mallari, Kindergarten Teacher Amanda Layton, and Achievement/Behavior Specialist Jennifer Horner. Each recipient was gifted a bouquet of flowers in a custom engraved vase.
To wrap up the day, Drain and her deans filled a time capsule with various items. A metal tube, which now is buried on school grounds, was filled with a recent newspaper article about Keystone Academy, letters from two eighth-grade students, a map of the school’s property, an information sheet about the school, the student dress code, and a letter from Principal Drain.
As for the next 20 years, Keystone wants to achieve more and go higher. The school’s aim for greatness is exemplified by the 2023 NHA Founder’s Award it received and recognition as a 2023 Michigan Reward School. It’s no wonder Keystone has outperformed the local district for 15 years.
“This will be a memory I will never forget,” Drain said. “Our students, our staff, our community, everyone came together to celebrate Keystone. Any time we all come together, it feels like family.”
Congratulations on 20 years, Keystone!
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About Keystone Academy
Keystone Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Belleville, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes over 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.