I think we make a difference together. We are a freer people than if we hadn’t fought this good fight.” ~ Charlton Heston

Dear Charlton Heston Academy Community Members:

Sharing in the successes thus far at Charlton Heston Academy (CHA) has been nothing short of awesome! Each and every day it becomes more and more apparent that CHA has broken the mold of traditional education.

As we move forward together I am constantly reminded of a community that is uncompromising in the pursuit of high-quality education for all students, leading to college and career readiness. This quest began nearly nine years ago with the closure of the St. Helen Elementary School. The journey to reopen a school in the town of St. Helen meant putting aside popular opinion in order to do what is right for kids. The closure of St. Helen Elementary School was initially thought of as a disaster by local residents. However, the closure actually proved to be an opportunity for the community to reunite stronger than ever, educate themselves on everything public education, and open a community school that provides parents with another quality educational option for their children.

Please join me in applauding the following feats of CHA this far:
    • Purchasing and renovating the former St. Helen Elementary School building
    • The completion of the facility expansion
    • Building a team of passionate educators willing to do whatever it takes for students to succeed
    • Expanding grade levels from K-4 to now offering daycare/pre-k through grade 12 and the Early College
    • Increasing enrollment from 140 students in August 2012 to 870 in 2021-2022
    • Reopening a Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) pre-k program with three classrooms
    • Adding Career and Technical Education beginning with Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, and Public Safety/Fire Safety, Welding, Construction Trades, Information Technology/Gaming and more to be added soon!
    • Providing education to students from the St. Helen, Roscommon, Prudenville, Houghton Lake, Merritt, West Branch, Rose City, Alger, Lupton, Gladwin, Luzerne, Crawford County, and beyond
    • Partnering with Lake Superior State University on board governance training, policy development, and experiential opportunities for students
    • Creating a student-focused atmosphere with an 11:1 student to instructional staff ratio, constantly focused on academic achievement and ongoing opportunities for student leadership
    • CHA stakeholders having a direct influence on state and local education policy development
    • Creating partnerships with local and regional organizations, including the Central Michigan District Health Department, Michigan State University Extension Office, Roscommon County Road Commission, Regional Chamber of Commerce and many others
    • The addition of activities and athletics including Football, Bowling, Cheer, Cross Country, Basketball, Wrestling, Track and Field, Volleyball, Robotics, Chess Club, Gaming Club, International Travel, Golf, D&D, and more…  
    • Partnership with LSSU to offer on-site and online college classes to grades 8-12 and Early College
  • Created an extended school day to eliminate knowledge and learning loss
I look forward to sharing details in the near future of the ongoing growth and expansion of CHA. In 2021 we unveil the new Charlton Heston Academy Career and Technical Education Center (CHA CTEC).  This includes a building for LSSU to offer college courses and degree completion, a building for Automotive Technology and Welding, a Construction Trades building, and a building for Cosmetology, as well as Public Safety, and Informational Technology and Gaming.  In addition, CHA has expanded pupil transportation to include 11 buses, with plans to add more buses as needed.  All buses are new models and are equipped with three security cameras for additional safety.  Students continue to enjoy the new playground and outdoor learning opportunities.  

As we continue to excel I ask that we all be reminded we are in this together and we’ll need to be supportive and forgiving to one another from time to time. This can be simply put in the words of CHA co-founder Mr. Richard Wood, “We are all just people being people.”

I am excited for what lies ahead of us. Thank you for your continued commitment to the lives of students.

Patriot Pride,

David Patterson, Superintendent