LLCA welcomes new coordinator
With the recent addition of its high school, Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) has a few new faces this year. One of those is Cynthia Gadol, the new Core Knowledge coordinator and TeamCFA fellow who joined the staff in August, and will be assisting with the school’s Core Knowledge curriculum.
According to Gadol, TeamCFA is a network of charter schools. Schools in the network gain access to startup funding, grants, training, services and the Core Knowledge curriculum. At the conclusion of her fellowship with TeamCFA, Gadol will be able to step into a leadership position in any of the network’s schools.
“I want to help the school (LLCA) develop and produce a high school that can have students that are competitive applicants to any college they want to attend,” Gadol said.
This year LLCA added a 10th grade class and a new building with four additional classrooms and office space to house the high school students. There are currently 71 students enrolled in 9th and 10th grades. Gadol, who began her work as a TeamCFA fellow two years ago, will be helping with those grades.
“I’ll be helping with the high school development. Last year Jessica Boland (director of the school) started working with some local community colleges to do some dual enrollment programs. We’re going to continue working on that and they will be ready by fall of next year,” Gadol said. “My background is with the classical curriculum so I’m going to be working with the geometry teacher to really focus on logic in that class because that’s part of the curriculum. I’m going to be mentoring him.”
Gadol’s background in classical education began at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA) where she taught for 12 years. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia where she majored in statistics. During her time at TJCA she taught AP statistics, logic, geometry, algebra 1, algebra 2, rhetoric and art. After that she joined the TeamCFA Fellowship Program.
“I actually had not really thought about doing that. I was very happy teaching but TeamCFA people appraoched me and Mr. Maimone (headmaster of TJCA) approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing this new program and I said yes,” Gadol said.
Gadol said she was attracted to the charter schools because of their curriculum and mission.
“I’m a firm believer in Core Knowledge. It’s a spiraling sequential curriculum based on the idea that knowledge builds on knowledge. The more you know the more you can learn,” Gadol said. “Core Knowledge focuses on giving the kids what they need to be able to read between the lines and have reading comprehension. The more you comprehend what you read, the more easily you can learn.”
Gadol says that LLCA is working to become an official Core Knowledge school and to eventually establish 11th and 12th grades.
“I love it here. Everybody here has been so friendly,” Gadol said. “It’s a small school with a family-like atmosphere so I felt welcomed and it feels good.”
This is Gadol’s final year as a TeamCFA fellow. She’s not sure what her next step will be after she completes the program.