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Schools Give Politicians a Look at Charter School Experience

With election day nearing, National Heritage Academies scholars and staff recently have hosted local politicians at their schools. Here is a look at a few of the visits.

Grand River Prep Welcomes State Representative

Clockwise from left is State Rep. Steve Johnson, Board President Andy DeVries, Grand River Prep Principal Mike Irwin, Grand River Prep junior Gabriella Edwards, and senior Abigail Rivera-Sosa.

State Rep. Steve Johnson visited Grand River Preparatory High School on Monday, Oct. 24 to talk to students about their academic and athletic activities and find out more about their charter school experience.

Two Grand River Prep students, along with Board Co-President Andy DeVries, helped welcome Johnson and shared their school experience. Abigail Rivera-Sosa, a senior, attended a public school for a couple years and Vista Charter Academy before coming to Grand River Prep and plays basketball and soccer, while Gabriella Edwards previously attended Excel Charter Academy.

“Both have spent significant time this year volunteering to make the school better in different ways,” Principal Mike Irwin said. “This presented a good opportunity for them to represent the school in a different way.”

While touring the school, Johnson, who was first elected in 2016 and represents Dorr, Leighton, Wayland and Gaines Townships as well as the cities of Kentwood and Wayland, heard from the students about the smaller, attentive feel those at Grand River Prep strive for.

“It was a good opportunity for our students to get in front of somebody that is obviously important, and they represented themselves well,” Irwin said.

Mayor Visits Students at Landmark Academy at Reunion

Landmark Academy at Reunion welcomed Commerce City Mayor Benjamin Huseman for a special visit last month. Mayor Huseman spoke with students and posed for pictures with scholars who had earned the Respect Award. Respect was the Moral Focus Virtue for the month of October. Huseman serves on the Commerce City Council and is also a member of the council overseeing tax usage for the 27J school district which includes Landmark Academy.
North Carolina House Majority Whip Visits Gate City Charter Academy

Gate City Charter Academy had the privilege to host Jon Hardister, a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Rep. Hardister met with Principal Natasha Robertson and was given a student-led tour of the school. He posted about his experience on his Twitter page.
“As always, I enjoyed my visit to Gate City Charter,” Hardister said. “The students did a fantastic job with the tour.”
Hardister has been a strong supporter of public education and has voted to increase education funding each year since being elected in 2013.
About Landmark Academy at Reunion 
Landmark Academy at Reunion is a tuition-free, public charter school in Commerce City, Colorado, serving students in kindergarten 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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