Smarties, we bring you an in-depth interview with our friends at Hickory Grove Christian School for our 2013-14 Open House Season blog series.
Hickory Grove Christian School
6050 Hickory Grove Road
Charlotte, NC 28215
Hickory Grove Christian is a private college-preparatory school located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 1995 by the leadership of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, the school was started as a K-2 school, and each year added a grade until 2004, when it graduated its first class of seniors. In the past two decades, the school has expanded from less than 200 students to over 1,200 in four divisions, including an Early Education Center and an Elementary, Middle, and High School.
Mission, Vision, and Purpose
The school’s mission, vision, and purpose addresses three questions: the What, Where, and Why. First, what do we do? As a school, the mission is “to equip students to serve God in the 21st century by providing an excellent academic program founded upon a biblical worldview.” Next, where are we headed? The vision is “to become the leading college-preparatory school in the region equipping Christian leaders to make a profound difference in the world for the glory of God.” And finally, why do we do what we do? As a ministry of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, the school exists “to know Christ and to make Him known.”
Hickory Grove is a distinctly Christian school. Teachers teach and integrate a biblical worldview into every subject from elementary to high school. There are dedicated Bible classes and teachers in grades 8-12. Moreover, there are monthly chapels where the school will assemble to worship and praise God together and learn from a number of different dynamic speakers. Finally, students will participate in a number of different community service and mission trip opportunities, both locally and internationally.
Each year, nearly 100 percent of the school’s graduates pursue their education beyond the secondary level. In previous years, approximately 85-90 percent of graduates attended a 4-year college or university and 10-15 percent of graduates attended a 2-year institution. The school offers honors classes in math starting in 4th grade. The school also offers honors tracks for multiple subjects in middle and high school. Finally, the High School offers a large number and variety of Advanced Placement (AP) classes.
The school’s Athletic department offers over 10 sports and 30 teams at the Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Levels. More than 65 percent of students in grades 6-12 participate in School-sponsored athletics. In 2012, the school announced former NFL player and executive Ed Reynolds as the new athletic director. Also in 2012, the school announced Grady Little, former LA Dodgers and Boston Red Sox manager, as the new director of baseball operations and head varsity coach. The school also has dominant teams in women’s sports, including varsity softball with Coach Roger Woodell leading the Lady Lions to five NCISAA state championships.
Hickory Grove’s fine arts program includes offerings in visual arts, photography, dance, drama, choir, band, and a variety of instrumental ensembles. Most performing arts activities start in elementary school. Drama productions start in middle school. The school’s high school choir has performed at the Charlotte Knight’s stadium, Turner field in Atlanta, the Biltmore House in Asheville, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Former graduates have been awarded all-state awards for their musical talents and have attended prestigious music schools such as Wheaton Conservatory in Illinois.
The Early Education Center has 26 full- and part-time teachers. The TK-12 school has 94 faculty and staff members, 79 of which are full- and part-time teachers. The average faculty member has 18 years of classroom experience, with more than 20 percent having attained advanced degrees. The school staff also includes a full-time athletic director, admissions director, finance director, guidance counselor, and school nurse.
Recently, the school has increased its focus on language arts by adding Mandarin and Latin to the elementary school curriculum. Hickory Grove has students from multiple countries with the new addition of an international program. Finally, the school is currently exploring expanding its online class offerings in an effort to continue to attract students from around the region and the world.
Hickory Grove is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International.
For More Information
You are invited to learn more about this extraordinary community at one of our open houses. In addition, you can visit our website or call for an individual tour of the school.