Hope Academy of Stephens County is now open for enrollment

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 7:08 PM CDT
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STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla. (KSWO) - Ray of Hope Church in Duncan has opened a Pre-K through 12th grade program called Hope Academy, giving Stephens County students another option for their education. Hope Academy is a non-denominational Christian-based school and enrollment is now open.

Krista Whitlock, Principal and Director of Hope Academy, was a public-school teacher for 26 years. She said she’s had the vision of Hope Academy for a while and felt now was the time to make it happen. Whitlock said with today’s culture pulling people left or right, she wants to help kids make mature decisions and become leaders.

“You know if anything for Hope Academy, is that when our students leave each day, and they go out into the community I want people to look at them and say wow what’s different about them. You know in the world that we live in, you know, they’re conducting themselves in positive ways and displaying leadership. And, that’s what I want for Hope Academy of Stephens County,” Whitlock said.

Hope Academy is a private school, and the students are required to wear uniforms. They start their day with chapel, which includes music and devotional time. Students will also have an activity called Project Studies, where students will get hands-on experience in occupations.

While Whitlock knows there is a teacher shortage in schools across the state, Hope Academy is not having that issue. They haven’t had to recruit teachers, because the ladies who work for the Academy genuinely want to be there.

“They are giving up the pay and teacher retirement benefits, and you know other things that go along with that. I’ve had people ask me, why would they do that, look what they’re giving up. And you know what, all of these ladies’, hands down, said we are not giving up anything. It’s what we’re getting in return what’s going to fulfill us,” Whitlock said.

While Whitlock enjoyed her time as a public-school teacher, she is happy that her vision is now a reality.

“I completely feel like I am a new person, I can’t believe you know, how I felt like, you know sometimes you feel stagnant. And now, at 52 years old, I’m like I have arrived at where I am supposed to be,” Whitlock said.

Hope Academy is not yet accredited, but Whitlock said they are actively working on it.

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