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First Week of School Reflection by Don Danforth

This week, we launched our twentieth school year. It was exciting to see the optimism and excitement of everyone, especially our students. One parent shared that her daughter bounced out of bed, fully dressed and ready to go, having slept in her school uniform!

For me, first days are a time for reflection. I am reminded of how far we have come since opening the school in 1999 at Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club with only 42 students. As we celebrate twenty years of exceptional education, we are excited to open our doors to a record number of students: 202!

First Day of School 1999

Our growth means that we are able to transform even more lives. From our new Early Childhood Center, to state-of-the-art renovations in our original building’s learning spaces, to the growth of our faculty and staff, we are transforming St. Louis through exceptional education.

Our impact is evident in our alumni. I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with many graduates and am always inspired. Two of our alumni – Marshall Strawbridge ’11 and Olivia Martin ’09 – recently showed their appreciation for City Academy by establishing an alumni giving program. They are encouraging all graduates to give $20 for our twentieth school year. And, of course, they created a hashtag for this initiative: #20for20. How incredible that our alumni want to show their appreciation by giving back to the next generation! City Academy is, and will always be, their school.

We are off to a great start as we enter our new Early Childhood Center, newly renovated classrooms, and our twentieth school year.  I am certain that our current students – the next generation of alumni – will continue to be passionate about education, our community, and leading St. Louis to a bright future.

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