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Keystone Academy Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The Belleville community and some of National Heritage Academies’ top executives gathered last Friday to celebrate Keystone Academy’s 20th anniversary.
“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.”

Students, staff, and community members gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Keystone Academy’s opening in 2003.

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.

National Heritage Academies founder J.C. Huizenga hugs Keystone Principal Jorvonna Drain.

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.

Keystone Principal Jorvonna Drain presents flowers to (from left to right) Middle School Dean Robyn Mallari, Kindergarten Teacher Amanda Layton, Achievement/Behavior Specialist Jennifer Horner, and School Board President Vesta Losen.
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.

Keystone’s leadership team filled a time capsule to commemorate the school’s 20th anniversary. The time capsule is to be opened in 2043.

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 more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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