What’s New at CCA? Teachers, Students, Classes & More
The region’s premier hybrid school expands its teaching staff and student body while growing academic programs and technology for the 2015-16 school year.
22-October-2015 — North Fort Myers, Fla. — New faces have popped up all over the campus of Classical Christian Academy this fall. The private Christian school in North Fort Myers has welcomed 25 new students and five new teachers for the 2015-16 school year, along with adding new courses and technology.
“We continue to grow, and our students have grown more enthusiastic about our school,” said Mrs.Christi Cecil, Assistant Principal of Upper School.
CCA’s student population continues to increase each year, with total enrollment now at 111 in the full-time Hybrid program for grades K-12. The school also has seen growth in its Connections program for homeschooling families. In total, 94 families from throughout Lee and surrounding counties are part of the “CCA Family.”
For the first time, two Upper School classes and one Lower School class (grades 4, 7 and 8) are full. CCA purposefully keeps class sizes small, with Upper School classes capped at 16 and Lower School at 12.
With so many new students, CCA has hired several new staff members, including five teachers. CCA administrators look for character and qualification when selecting classroom instructors.
“A CCA teacher has to be a Christian, for one thing, and have a good biblical background,” said Mrs. Joan Campbell, assistant principal for Lower School. “They have to be personable, and be knowledgeable about their subject area.”
The new Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Cara Lombardo, has a background in early education, but this is her first year teaching at CCA. Her children have attended CCA for the past three years. Mrs. Lombardo says she believes CCA offers a better pace of life for her family and has a different, but effective, education system. She likes that there is more parent involvement here than other schools.
Some of the CCA team (left to right): Mrs. Lombardo, Mrs. Dillehay, Mrs. Moldovan, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Briggs and Mr. Rowe.
New fourth grade teacher Mrs. Rebecca Moldovan is a first-year teacher with a degree in education. She previously was a stay-at-home mom, and her oldest is now in Mrs. Lombardo’s kindergarten class. Mrs. Moldovan says the students in her class are fun and creative.
“The kids are my favorite part, definitely,” she said. “They are so funny, and they make going to school exiting.”
Upper School has three new teachers this school year. Mrs. Shawna Christenson teaches high school English classes. She previously taught for seven years at another Christian school and five years in the charter school system. CCA’s hybrid model — with students learning at school three days a week and from home two days each week — is different than her previous education experiences. She said parents are more “hands-on” at CCA, and students think for themselves. Mrs. Christenson was surprised by the maturity of the students’ knowledge and attributed this to the classical model of education used at CCA.
Another new CCA teacher, Mrs. Esther Repke, teaches sixth grade logic and beginning Latin. She came to CCA from the overseas mission field. Mrs. Repke was looking for a Christian school for her son and said she believes this school has a family-friendly environment. She is pleased with her classes and the students’ attitudes toward learning.
“The students are all very energetic, they have a great sense of humor, they are smart, and they are very kind,” Mrs. Repke said.
Mrs. Alison Cotarelo is another former missionary, having served with her family for several years in Senegal, Africa, where she taught missionary children. She now teaches high school science at CCA, using the Apologia curriculum.
Mrs. Cotarelo, in the pink scarf, joins some of her students for hot chocolate on a recent Winter Spirit Day.
Mrs. Cotarelo and her husband, Andy, wanted to be involved in their children’s education, which is one of the reasons she values the hybrid program at CCA. She said God told her coming to CCA was the right thing to do, and she is enjoying the family-oriented environment.
Along with new teachers, there also are some curriculum changes at CCA this year. Mrs. Christenson will be teaching one of the new courses, high school rhetoric, next semester. Another change to CCA’s Upper School curriculum is the extension of eighth grade Logic from one semester to a full year, Mrs. Cecil noted. Also, this year CCA is offering both New Testament and Old Testament Survey classes during the elective hour.
Adding to the upgrades at CCA is some new technology. Thanks to the generosity of a donor, Lower School classrooms now have access to iPads for learning.
“We have a new email system,we have Office 365 so we can all collaborate, we are using two classrooms downstairs now, and there is also a new desk in the office,” added Mrs. Campbell.
With new technology, added course offerings and some super additions to the CCA teaching staff, the 2015-16 school year is off to a great start. The region’s premier hybrid Christian school has continued to grow in size and scope since its founding in 2004.
*This article was written by the CCA Journalism Class.
About Classical Christian Academy:
Classical Christian Academy is the premier hybrid school in Southwest Florida. CCA offers families an academically rigorous and Christ-centered K-12 education option that blends the best aspects of private and home schooling. Classical Christian Academy is a registered 501c(3) organization. For more information, visit www.discovercca.org and like CCA on www.facebook.com/DiscoverCCA.