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The day we have been waiting for

Opening DayThe Shelby Star
Jessica Pickens

Students entered Pinnacle Classical Academy on a red carpet Monday.

It was the first-ever day of classes for Cleveland County’s first charter school.

“This is the day we have been waiting for, and everything has finally fallen into place,” said Pinnacle headmaster Danielle Robertson.

Charter schools are public schools that do not charge students for tuition.

“Our mission is to give a premiere college preparatory education,” Robertson said. “We have more flexibility with how we teach.”

Pinnacle uses STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning principles in its curriculum, along with classical and character education.

Classical education is a form of teaching built on repetition, memorization and eventually analyzing information, Robertson said. Character education is a way of using positive discipline rather than having lots of rules and yelling, she said.

“Each week there will be classroom meetings to resolve problems, such as misbehaving in line,” she said. “There will be roleplaying on how students should follow the rules and help tie in the positive.”

Pinnacle is a state-funded school, with additional funding coming from a loan the charter's board is working to secure to help build a new school building off Joe’s Lake Road, Robertson said.

The current school building on South Post Road was renovated from the old Hallelujah Acres facility.

“The school is currently kindergarten through sixth grade,” Robertson said. “But each year we will add on a new grade.”

The current school building was also a school in the past, and renovations included taking down a few walls and converting offices back into classrooms, Robertson said.

“We’ve waited so long to see if we would get the charter and the students,” Robertson said. “Now, it’s finally here.”

'The day we have been waiting for' was originally published in The Shelby Star on Monday, August 26, 2013 at 18:17 PM. Reach reporter Jessica Pickens at 704-669-3332 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow on Twitter at @StarJPickens. Photo credit: Brittany Randolph