Athens Review, Athens, Texas

July 24, 2013

It’s a permanent home for ACPA

Private school establishes roots on property near Loop 7 and U.S. Highway 175

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — After five years, the Athens Christian Preparatory Academy (ACPA) has found a permanent home. ACPA purchased 48.86 acres with a 4 to 5-acre lake on the property near Loop 7 on U.S. Highway 175.

After traveling between churches for the past five years, the newly-acquired property will be renovated to provide the students and teachers a permanent location to house their  private school.

ACPA is an independent 501c3 private non-denominational Christian education high school. The school is fully-accredited for grades 7th through 12th. 

“We prepare students for college and life expectations,” said Headmistress Theresa DeMay.  “Our students are prepared for life after graduating  from ACPA.”

DeMay has big plans for the future of the academy. Included in those plans are to utilize much of the 48 acres by building a gymnasium, horse arena with corrals, soccer field,  walking trails with outdoor classrooms, a fine arts building, a chapel in the woods, a fountain coming up out of the lake on the property, science building, male and female dorms, gardens and greenhouses and an outdoor stage.

DeMay hopes to eventually provide boarding at the private school.  She admits her vision will take time and money.

The school has completed phase one of the nine planned phases.  Ready to start school on Aug. 26, the school has renovated what was a house on the property into the Administration Building. Eight portable buildings have already been moved on to the property to be used for classrooms.  Plans to convert what was once a horse stable to a chapel has already begun.

DeMay says the school is very lucky the students and parents have showed up each day to help with the moving and setup of the school.

“Our parents and kids are great. If we need something, they are always there to help,” said DeMay.

DeMay said the school has created a unique model of education and may mimic the way a university or college functions. Students become accustomed to college-like schedules by the time they graduate.

DeMay believes families should have the option of choosing a private school in Athens, and not have to drive an hour away to have their children in a private learning environment.

DeMay said there are a number of reasons to choose private schooling such as ACPA and what it has to offer.  Some of those reasons are smaller, more focused environment, Christian worldview, small teacher-to-child radio, social change and specialized academic options. 

The school has developed a work-study program that allows students to work off' part of their tuition, making it affordable for parents.

The school, a non-profit organization, operates off fundraisers, donations and grants. DeMay said there is always a concern about raising enough money to complete the vision for the campus.

A funding campaign is underway to raise the necessary funds to build the first signature buildings overlooking the lake. DeMay said anyone wanting a closer look at the project may be interested in becoming a sponsor or pledging a donation.  They can contact Headmistress Theresa DeMay at tdemay@athensprep.org or 903-386-0400.