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Keystone Academy Honored as Founder’s Award Winner

National Heritage Academies (NHA) celebrated its schools during the 2023 Leadership Summit with the annual Eagle Awards ceremony, created to recognize outstanding schools for their hard work.

The Founder’s Award, the top honor of the night, was awarded to Keystone Academy. The Founder’s Award is given annually to the school that creates a culture which embodies Moral Focus by embedding each virtue in what they say and do in their interactions with parents, students, and staff.
Keystone’s leadership team on stage at NHA’s Leadership Summit accepting the Founder’s Award.

“When we think about all of the moving parts and pieces that come together to create a teaching and learning environment in which everyone is engaged from teachers to students to parents, this school is truly living our mission to transform lives,” said interim NHA President and CEO Jason Pater.
Keystone, which serves the Belleville, Michigan, community and has outperformed the local district the past 15 years, reported 4,500 fewer absences compared to the previous school year. Each classroom at Keystone has a dedicated space to showcase work from students related to Moral Focus virtues, which are the bedrock of NHA’s curriculum.
Another reason Keystone was selected as this year’s Founder’s Award winner was for its community service efforts. The school raises more than $16,000 annually for local organizations and foundations. Parents also took note of Keystone’s commitment to Moral Focus with one parent noting that their scholar repeats the monthly virtues to them every day.
Keystone Academy Principal Jorvonna Drain said receiving the award was a huge honor for her and her leadership team.
“We’ve worked really hard to make sure Moral Focus is the core of our foundation at our school and to see that being recognized and see that it yields the results of improving our behavior, our attendance, our staff, our parent satisfaction is just a full-circle moment,” Drain said. “My team and I, all of our deans, work so hard to ensure our kids have a good moral foundation, and we’re just extremely proud to receive this recognition. We’re very humbled.”

Leadership Team with Award
Keystone’s leadership team (from left to right): Dean of Lower Elementary Alexandra Roberts, Dean of Upper Elementary Tameka Leonard, Principal Jorvonna Drain, Dean of Special Education Stacey Reed, Dean of Middle School Robyn Mallari.

Other finalists for the Founder’s Award included Great Oaks Academy, Legacy Charter Academy, Oakside Prep Academy, and Pembroke Academy.

For a full list of Eagle Award winners, please click here.

Congratulations to Keystone and thank you to all the schools for celebrating!
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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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