(Story by Jeff Ledington)
Central Christian Academy gets its name for its central location to Knox, Whitley, and Laurel counties. Founded with the idea of offering Christian education “that feels like a normal school,” the school is non-denominational and not affiliated with any church or organization.
Former Knox Central High School teacher Travis Mills serves as Principal and President of the Board. He is a lifelong resident of Barbourville and has over eight years of experience as a teacher and holds a principalship degree. He says the idea came from a “kitchen table discussion” with his wife Brittany, also a teacher, on the future of their children and the uncertain times of today.
Mills hopes to open the school this Fall, although the coronavirus pandemic has caused some issues. Still, he says the school does have a plan in case they are unable to open their physical building. The first year the school is open will feature grades pre-kindergarten though sixth grade and expanding to include seventh and eighth grades the following year. Year three would see the inclusion of grades nine through twelve.
Mills also has 15 years of experience in ministry and says he and his wife really wanted their kids to have a Christian education while having access to extracurricular activities. The school will have teams in basketball, robotics, and academics among others. Mills also envisions having different grade levels in separate classes, something similar schools don’t always offer.
The school is located in what was the Gray Baptist Church Family Life Center, a former school itself. Other churches and businesses have agreed to sponsor tuition for students. “We want to make this a community thing,” said Mills.
“We don’t apologize for that,” said Mills on the school’s Christian education focus. “The difference is we can open up a bible and do a devotional when a student is, say, struggling with anxiety,” he added on the difference between traditional and Christian education. Classes will have a biblical influence unlike public schools. “What they’re going to get in a science and social studies text is going to be a lot more conservative,” he continued.
Mills envisions 80-100 students attending the school, with around 40 enrolled as of Monday before the school’s first open house. The school’s office is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and registration forms are available. You can also call 606-404-6511 for more information.