We did not set out to start a school. After working in school and entrepreneurial settings in Detroit, Jack and Caroline Hummel had a growing conviction: People need the Gospel, and people need education (not to imply that those are on the same footing). Lansing already has solid churches, but we realized that Lansing-area parents were dissatisfied with their schooling options. We thought it would encourage parents to learn about classical education, which might inspire them to open a classical school in Lansing.
In April, we hosted an introductory event about classical education to an audience of 30. That spring, we took groups to observe Oakdale Academy, Trinitas Classical School, and Hillsdale Academy. In August, we formed a founding board and wrote our mission statement. In September, our board visited Mars Hill Academy.
In December, we hosted our inaugural Pie & Paideia ("pie-day-uh") event where we presented our mission and vision to a group of 60. We ended the year with no money, no building, and only 1 committed family, but with hopes of opening a full-time classical Christian school in 2019 or 2020.
We hosted another Pie & Paideia event, became a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable purpose organization, and researched our heads off. By the end of 2018, we still had no money and no building, we had grown to only 4 committed families, and we still told people we were "trying" to start a school.
We raised $125,000 in only 6 months and grew to 17 families and 32 students. Over 11 months we evaluated 171 buildings (visiting 23) before finally finding the welcoming community and ideal building at Lansing Chinese Christian Church.
We hosted our first annual Academy Dinner to benefit the tuition assistance fund.
We became an Association of Classical Christian Schools member school.
We partnered with The Rafiki Foundation to pilot their K-12 Rafiki Bible Study in our theology classes.
We raised $170,000 to open for another year with 38 students. We currently have 39 students in Grades K-7.