Heirway Christian Academy marks two decades
By Chuck Palmer
Saving Private Ryan was tops at the box office, edging out Armageddon. Celine Dion, Cher, and Aerosmith topped the charts. Furbies were the hottest toy on the market. The average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.06. It was 1998 and Heirway Christian Academy opened its doors for the first time.
Originally founded as a church and academy, Heirway Christian Academy became an independent school in 2008. The school offers classes for students from the pre-k level through the 12th grade. While much has changed in the last two decades, Heirway has adhered to a steadfast philosophy: “Our parents understand the importance of their influence coupled with the partnership of others to lead their children in education, wisdom, and integrity,” said Head of Schools, Timothy J. Thomas. Mr. Thomas started at Heirway as a 4th grade teacher when it opened, later became a principal, and is now the Head of School. “Once you attend Heirway or become a staff member, you are our family for life,” remarked Thomas, who is clearly proud of the staff and students.
Though small, with approximately 170 students, Heirway offers students a diverse multi-denominational experience and curriculum. In addition to the academics required of a GAC accredited school, the Academy competes in a wide variety of sports including basketball, baseball, cheerleading, golf, and volleyball. Emory, Johns Hopkins, Georgia Tech, and Brigham Young are just a few of the dozens universities that Heirway graduates have attended.
Twenty school years later another WWII movie, Dunkirk, is drawing audiences as it battles a movie called The Emoji Movie for box office dominance. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is still singing, but is trying a few country songs. Some things about Heirway Christian Academy are changing too. As they look to the next twenty years, there are plans to expand into a nearby property to add more facilities for the high school and plans to increase enrollment while keeping student to teacher ratios at optimal levels for learning. One thing they don’t plan to change, according to Mr. Thomas, is their continued commitment to prioritizing “education, wisdom, and integrity” in students’ daily lives.