Welcome to Yankton Arthur Academy!
Serving as the Yankton Arthur Academy principal for the past ten years is as great an honor as it is a responsibility. I believe that the foundation of our future is to continue to provide our students with academic experiences that are rigorous and relevant and that build positive relationships with people and society. Although the past ten years have been an overwhelming success by any measure, there is still much great work to be accomplished.
I was lucky that my parents (founders Charles and Sharon Arthur) decided to create a school that was completely in line with my vision of education. I suppose that it would be, having spent much of my childhood in schools and classrooms where expert teachers (mom and dad) were finding success where others could not. When they asked for my help 15 years ago, I jumped at the chance and have not looked back.
Their years of teaching in public schools taught them the value of schools being publicly funded but also a frustration of not being able to follow a methodology they knew, through experience, worked best with children. When the opportunity to open a charter school was made available to them, they took it, brought all that they had learned and here we are today.
The foundation of what was to become the Arthur Academy Charter Schools and Yankton Arthur Academy is the type of teaching called Direct Instruction. We've used this model for teaching the fundamentals of math, reading, language and spelling since our first day of class. This model, and its programs, are the most thoroughly documented educational reform model in elementary and middle school grades. It emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons, designed around small learning increments and prescribed teaching tasks. Learning is arranged very incrementally so that students find learning easy but challenging and, therefore, can be successful in mastering everything that is taught as they progress through the programs. The strategies of teaching DI carry over to teach all topics and programs in an effective and positive manner. It is the foundation of our school and the reason for our success.
Charter schools have their own set of challenges and we would not have been able to rise above and beyond expectations had it not been for our community of parents. They have been so supportive and I am amazed by how much is accomplished throughout each and every year. Our community’s generous donation of time and care to our school, allows us to provide a well-rounded program for our students and enrich the learning process. The events; carnivals, programs, field trips, Outdoor School (and so much more), will forever hold a place in my heart and memory. I want to thank our community for all the constant support and for being a motivating force in our community.
I look forward to another ten years - to another generation that starts in kindergarten and grows with us through their young academic lives. To be able to teach these amazing children, to see them grow, to succeed, to learn and to give them the opportunity to be their best selves, is a gift I will never take for granted. Thank you to the community of Yankton for allowing me to carry on both my parents’ and my vision of academic excellence in such a positive, successful and nurturing environment.