Campaign for Cary Academy

September 10, 2020

From Blueprints to Brick and Mortar

Last year marked a monumental milestone for Cary Academy, as numerous, long-planned campus improvements came to fruition. Made possible, in part, by generous private support of our first-ever capital fundraising effort—the Campaign for Cary Academy—each renovation, addition, and upgrade reflects our strategic plan and vision for student-centered,
future-oriented learning.


As CA works towards creating more personalized and flexible learning environments, it seemed obvious to prioritize a library renovation in the Master Facilities Plan. Construction began in summer 2019, and the community celebrated its completion last winter at the PTAA’s Taste and Toast in January.

The approach to the library renovation reflects a reconceptualization of the library itself. In addition to being a quiet spot to conduct research or study, the library is now also an inspiring hub for collaboration and community-building with functionally-diverse spaces that meet a variety of student needs and personal learning styles.

Want to work together in a group? Pull together the plush seats under the rotunda and collaborate with your peers. Need some peace and solitude to study? Choose from the solo seating options in the new designated quiet area on the second floor. Ready to put design-thinking to work and take a team project to the next level? Head for one of the glass-enclosed conference rooms that now line the second floor and tap into built-in screens for easy sharing or whiteboards for brainstorming.

That flexible, forward-thinking vision is one that parents Greg and Dana Hinn could get behind. Greg fondly recalls his own quality time spent studying in Philips Hall at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon learning their family could contribute to providing a similarly valuable community space for CA students, Greg and Dana jumped at the chance.

“While touring Cary Academy last fall, we learned of the planned library renovations, including the study rooms that allow small group collaboration.

We decided to donate to the Campaign for Cary Academy to assist the school in offering a quiet, beautiful study environment to students. Between 2016 and 2025, we will have seen three children graduate from Cary Academy. We consider our contribution as a legacy in their honor to benefit all CA students.”\


Arguably, one of the most exciting features of the newly-renovated library is CA’s new café and store. In addition to offering a community-building hang-out spot, the cafe and store will serve as a learning lab for entrepreneurial students.

Rather than studying marketing and branding, human resources, and supply- chain economics in an isolated classroom, our students will have opportunities to gain expertise by participating in real- world business decisions in the café or bringing their products to market in the store (under the supervision of a manager and teacher, of course).

A bonus of the renovation? You no longer have to traverse campus to pick up the latest CA swag. The Charger store is located within the café, giving visitors— whether parents, alumni, or community members—a chance to sip, shop, and purchase CA branded t-shirts, mugs, and, eventually, student-developed products.


Featuring state-of-the-art laboratories, an enormous maker space, greenhouse, versatile working spaces, and classrooms, the construction of the 24,000 square foot Center for Math and Science (CMS) might be the most transformational infrastructure project undertaken during the Campaign for Cary Academy.

Michael and Melissa Colantuoni are two of the many parents who recognized how the CMS would enhance the hands-on scientific inquiries and mathematical modeling that prepare our students for college and careers.

“We love that CA is still new, its history still being written by the students, faculty, and parents,” notes Michael. “Giving to CA’s first capital campaign was an impactful way to directly support and provide unique learning opportunities, not only for our children, but for their classmates, and for graduating classes for years to come.”

Joe and Sevanne Epperson were also moved to make a difference in the CA community. Inspired by maker spaces they saw during college visits, the Eppersons were intrigued by the potential of establishing a similarly-outfitted space at CA—one centered around interdisciplinary discovery and innovation. Working with Director of Technology and Innovation Karen McKenzie, and Upper School Design and Programming Teacher Betsy McDonald, they developed a plan to equip the 2,400 square foot maker space with the equipment, tools, and supplies needed to conduct research, design machines, and even create art.

“We were excited for the opportunity to contribute to the maker space and to help fund the incorporation of advanced technology into the hands-on learning environment,” offer the Eppersons. “Students from across CA—from the arts to robotics— now have a resource similar to what they would find at the university level.”

Last year, these state-of-art 3D fabrication tools—including 3D printers for high-quality, high-fidelity, rapid prototyping, and an abrasive waterjet and laser cutter for precision cutting and engraving—were put to good use. CA’s robotics team has flourished, designing, and building (and sometimes tearing apart and rebuilding) robots that have performed well in competitions across the region. CA even hosted our first FIRST Tech Challenge Tournament last winter—sure signs of more expansion to come.

Per the original vision, the maker space also supports multi-disciplinary and cross- departmental projects. This year, it served as a backdrop for set design for theater arts, a collaborative data visualization project that bridged visual arts with statistics and calculus, and even the creation of CA-branded keychains for the Admissions department.


The Campaign for Cary Academy touched nearly all areas of campus, not just our dedicated learning spaces. Thanks to the financial contributions of Ralph and Gizelda Willard, we now have a top-notch strength and conditioning center where students, employees, and alumni alike can pursue their personal wellness goals.

“We were watching a baseball game with Dr. Ehrhardt after a tour of campus, which included the weight room. He mentioned that more than 85% of our students are involved in interscholastic sports,” says Ralph.

“With a campus as innovative and thoughtful as ours, we couldn’t believe that our students’ only outlet for fitness and wellness was in a crowded, windowless room with antiquated equipment. We saw a need for all students to have ready access to quality training and fitness instruction in a modern, spacious environment. We knew this was an area we would be excited to support.”

Today, visitors will enjoy a vastly different experience than that witnessed by the Willards on their first tour. Capitalizing on the unused real estate of an adjacent office and storage closet, the expanded strength and conditioning center offers users ample space for coordinated, sport-specific workouts. An astroturf floor and new state-of-the-art equipment provide everyone the tools needed to achieve their whole-body wellness goals. And a separate glass-enclosed sports medicine room allows for treatment and rehabilitation of injuries in appropriate privacy.


Our track underwent a significant upgrade over the summer of 2019. CA is now home to one of the best tracks on the East Coast, featuring an Olympics-quality MONDO surface.

“The older I get, the more I appreciate how my time at Cary Academy positively impacted my life,” explains Bryan Fisher ’03, who made a significant contribution to the project. “And my experiences with Coach Hall and fellow teammates and running cross country and track were probably the most impactful. For that reason, I was excited to be able to support the construction of the new track.”

Offering a uniform dynamic response to runners, the technologically-advanced MONDO surface is designed to help athletes go faster and farther without as much wear and tear on their bodies.

Made of all-season performance material, it also means that environmental and climate factors—like the rainy spring season—will no longer impede our athletes’ ability to practice and compete.


CA is fortunate to be supported by a generous community. Together, they helped to bring our Master Facilities Plan to life, moving it from blueprint to drywall, brick, and mortar. And while infrastructure projects may not always seem as enticing as other programmatic impact opportunities, they are crucial. They allow our programs to flourish and our students to reach their fullest potential.

When we are able to safely welcome everyone back to campus, we invite all our community members to stop by to enjoy all that your support has made possible. Visit the Charger store and pick up gifts for family—or yourself. Try the special Port City Java roast blended exclusively for CA. Or get a tour of the CMS building and maker space. We look forward to showing you around.


When construction for Cary Academy broke ground in 1996, the entire campus was built and opened within a whirlwind 18 months. With classrooms designed around personal desktop computers and labs featuring state-of-the-art equipment typically reserved for collegiate spaces, it reflected innovations that were, at that time, ground-breaking; it was a school like no other.

Impressive as it was, the all-at-once construction revealed a challenge. As our campus buildings and equipment aged on the same timetable, needed improvements emerged simultaneously—from routine maintenance needs like new roofing, carpet, and furniture to more substantial technological and infrastructure upgrades required to keep us on the cutting- edge of innovation.

Thus, almost twenty years after our campus opened, as the 2015 strategic plan began to take shape, so too did CA’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The Campaign for Cary Academy was born, comprised of two related fundraising efforts. The first, a capital campaign, sought to raise a lofty $10,000,000 to support mission-driven capital improvements. The second, an annual giving effort, aimed to increase CA Fund giving to $2,000,000 over five years.

Over the past five years, parents, grandparents, alumni, employees, board members, and members of our extended Cary Academy community have stepped forward. Thanks to this effort, we officially crossed the Campaign finish line this spring, not merely meeting our fundraising goals, but far exceeding them in a truly inspiring display of generosity.

In total, the Campaign secured an astonishing $13,205,692— reflecting more than 10,000 individual gifts, 45 of those representing commitments above $25,000—for capital improvements, including new and renovated campus buildings, as well as upgraded educational and technological equipment, and an expanded financial aid program. CA Fund giving yielded $2,598,661 in flexible dollars that have enabled us to remain responsive to our community’s needs.

“We are truly humbled and deeply moved by the success of the Campaign for Cary Academy. Our community’s dedication, commitment, and generosity have helped to secure the future of our campus and community, ensuring that our physical environment continues to reflect and support our mission,” reflects Director of Development Ali Page. “From all of us at Cary Academy, we extend our deepest heartfelt thanks. We look forward to seeing the fruits of your generosity reflected in the exciting discoveries, innovations, and personal, relevant learning experiences that our students and faculty will enjoy in the years to come thanks to your contributions.”

Written by Mandy Dailey, Director of Communications

Community Conversations

Green iniatives on campus

CA Curious

Beyond the Walls

Spring art performances schedule

CA Curious

From hallways to homes: Re-imagining community-building at CA

May 7, 2020

Spring in your Cary Academy Development office is typically the best time of year. From Funfest to the Cary Academy 5K, from our first alumni reunion weekend to Give to Gallop to the Scholars’ Golf Classic, the many opportunities for us to connect with all of you left us reeling with excitement. 

And, just like that: no events, gatherings, or fundraising initiatives. Quickly, our team had to re-imagine how to best maintain and foster those vital connections with our community far away from our beloved campus. 

Development, by definition, is the facilitation of relationships to secure the future of an institution. Over the last 23 years, that facilitation and community-building has taken place in hallways (especially near our infamous chocolate jar), the Dining Hall, Berger Hall, the track, the Center for Math and Science, and numerous other places across our campus and in the community. Today, it takes place in our living rooms, sometimes in pajamas, and perhaps with a child (or cat) curled up in our laps. But wherever or however it takes place, our school has not wavered in our commitment to remain connected with families like yours who trust us to prepare your child for a future of limitless potential.   

And that is what our team has focused on these last few weeks. The emails, phone calls, Zoom invites – they are our way of letting you know that even if you can’t gather in our hallway right now or exchange pleasantries in the carpool line, we are still here. And we want to hear from you.  

Our community has come so far since March, and we continue to move forward together. That doesn’t mean this is easy, though.  

As a Charger, we know that working in silos isn’t normal. For our students and alumni, “normal” looks like interactive learning experiences that transfer classroom knowledge into a nearby nature park, city planning office, or art museum. For our parents and grandparents, “normal” is the opportunity to visit campus for open dialogue, hot coffee, and Chef Sam’s pastries. For our faculty and staff, “normal” is stopping by offices to say “hello” or collective problem-solving.  

Knowing none of this is “normal,” the Development team, alongside incredible partners, has been able to foster opportunities for connection, camaraderie, and community despite our current constraints. We hope these opportunities provide relief, laugher, warmth, and partnership. We know they provide those to us. 

  • Instead of seeing you in our hallways in the afternoons, maybe you’ve been able to drop in for a Wednesday Zoom lunch.  
  • Rather than catch up about T2 break stories out on the baseball field, we caught up on the phone or over an email.  
  • Teacher Appreciation Week celebrations shifted from on-campus to mailboxes, as most employees had tears in our eyes when we read the thank-you cards written from the PTAA (another good reason not to wear make-up).  
  • Saving our cheers for 2021’s Give to Gallop, we chose instead to rally together on #GivingTuesdayNow as a community and secure the funding to ensure CA can meet the needs of our students and teachers in the weeks and months to come.  
  • There aren’t MS dance chaperoning duties this year, but we still had to have the big talk about the 7th to 8th grade transition.   
  • Senior week festivities came in the form of surprise morning signs coupled with CA swag as well as “Zooming” in CA alumni to chat about the transition to college and how to be prepared.  
  • High-fives were reserved for close family at this year’s virtual Cary Academy 5K. But we could still capture our moments of glory, one Instagram or Facebook photo at a time.  

Whatever the specific distance guidelines, we will use the tools necessary to maintain the close connections of our Charger family, past and present. You are what matters. Right now, it may be harder for us to show that on a daily basis, but please know that you remain our priority.  

And remember, this will end. We will, once again, be able to partake in the events, celebrations, and a “normal” routine that brings us joy and closer together. And when that happens, our team will be there waiting, ready to greet you.  

Written by Ali Page and Katie Todd, Director of Development and CA Fund Director

CA Curious

Lightbulb moments

Alumni Spotlight

Role of a lifetime

Magazine of CA

Charging ahead.

Giving Tuesday at Cary Academy

Latest News

Responding to Crisis Through Giving on May 5

April 29, 2020

Generosity is trending. 

Since the beginning of this global pandemic, we have heard countless stories of heroism and kindness. The frontline workers in healthcare, retail, and manufacturing who remained on the job, putting themselves in isolation to protect their loved ones. Restaurants and nonprofits partnering to ensure school-aged children and their families continue to receive daily meals. Neighbors using NextDoor and other platforms to coordinate deliveries of groceries, prescriptions, and necessities for fellow neighbors who are considered high-risk for contracting coronavirus.  

Time and energy are two incredible resources that have powered many of these efforts forward. Yet, without financial backing, the organizations that so many of our community members are relying on right now will not be able to meet the ever-increasing demand. 

Giving Tuesday Now - Cary Academy

In honor of our students and in gratitude for our faculty and staff

Giving Tuesday Now - Cary Academy

GivingTuesday organizers recognized this gap and issued a challenge to the entire world: let us embark on another day of global giving. #GivingTuesdayNow is set for Tuesday, May 5. Like GivingTuesday, the intent is to “spark an increase in grassroots generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.” 

As Dr. Mike Ehrhardt and CA Board President Manju Kankare shared in respective emails, Cary Academy is choosing to participate in #GivingTuesdayNow. Educating the next generation of leaders must go on. While the learning environment looks different these days, our school is committed to providing the rigorous, personalized education that we are known for nationally.

This, in large part, is thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff. Our employees pivoted quickly to re-imagine plans, projects, and programs. And, they did so amid adjustments in their own personal lives. Some are parents to young children whose daycares and schools closed; some care for elderly parents and other loved ones. Not only are many instructing students at CA, but they are also offering educational support to their own children or grandchildren, often in subjects that are not their area of expertise. Some live alone and are navigating the emotional weight of isolation. 

But the resilience we are seeing at Cary Academy extends to our students and their families as well. Disappointment. Loss. Longing. Many of the third trimester traditional and celebratory events are canceled or postponed. This is not only difficult for our students to process but also their parents who anticipate these emotional milestones for years. Instead of wallowing in despair, students have led efforts to infuse our community with spirit, creativity, and fun. From Spirit Week contests to Earth Day activities to tomorrow’s virtual variety show and Saturday’s 5k, CA students offer us a loving reminder of the importance of maintaining connection to each other and the school’s mission. 

On #GivingTuesdayNow, consider making a donation to the CA Fund in honor of our students; in gratitude for faculty and staff; and in reconnection to members of your CA community from years gone by. The flexibility of the unrestricted annual fund is how we have been able to meet specific needs thus far. Your support on #GivingTuesdayNow will ensure that we will continue to fulfill this commitment and remain a responsive, nimble partner for all constituencies. 

Together, we can heal. Together, we can help. Together, we can support our Cary Academy home. 

Make an impact

Make Your Gift


Written by Katie Todd, CA Fund Director

CA Curious

Centering Student Wellness

CA Curious

I’ve Been to the Mountains, ISEEN It All


Chargers Wrap Spring Season

Student writing letters photo

CA Curious

On GivingTuesday, help make generosity go viral

November 26, 2019

Holidays in the United States center around the values of giving and gratitude. But, these values can often be eclipsed by the lure of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, shifting our focus from the needs of our community to our own personal wants.

Fortunately, seven years ago a group of do-gooders in New York set out on a mission to elevate philanthropy once again. #GivingTuesday is “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.”

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, Cary Academy is calling on our community to help make generosity go viral across our campus. We are partnering with the Diaper Bank of North Carolina, a nonprofit committed to ensuring every family in North Carolina has access to basic necessities to support their dignity, health, and quality of life.

This is not the first time we’ve worked with this vital agency – during Hurricane Florence relief efforts in 2018, many CA families contributed diapers, adult incontinence items, baby wipes, and more to reduce the burden on families whose lives had been upended by the natural disaster. In fact, both Middle and Upper School students have dedicated their time to supporting the Diaper Bank’s efforts, from sorting at the warehouse to spreading awareness about the nonprofit’s mission and vision.

The need for these supplies is still as urgent today. In particular, the Diaper Bank of NC requests disposable diapers in sizes 4 and 5; adult incontinence items; feminine hygiene products (tampons, sanitary napkins); and baby wipes. Good news: even if your package of diapers/products is open, the Diaper Bank of NC can still accept and distribute the items! 

Why is Cary Academy choosing to spotlight another nonprofit organization on GivingTuesday rather than ask for gifts to support financial aid, enhanced learning experiences, and other mission-aligned activities? 

Because that’s why GivingTuesday is all about. This is an opportunity for students, families, employees, and supporters to engage in community-centric philanthropy. This is a time where we can put into action the lessons of our Center for Community Engagement: how can we take actions of all sizes to build more equitable, resilient communities? It starts by taking care of people in the ways most needed. So, we’re seeking to be responsive to the Diaper Bank of NC and asking you to be a part of this one-day blitz of giving. 

How can you participate? On Tuesday, December 3, bring your donations to campus between 7:00am – 5:00pm. Drop-off bins will be available outside the Middle School, Upper School, and Administration Building. You can bring items to the Development wing at any point. 

Items Needed: 

  • Disposable diapers (sizes 4 and 5 in greatest need) 
  • Adult incontinence items 
  • Feminine hygiene supplies (tampons, sanitary napkins) 
  • Baby wipes 

Here’s the bonus: Members of the Cary Academy community have each committed to donating $1 to the CA Fund for each Diaper Bank donation made in recognition of philanthropy! Not only will our GivingTuesday efforts extend to families across the great state of North Carolina, but your support will also generate resources that are invested in our service learning and work experience programs, which will keep our students engaged in relevant, urgent issues. 

The founders of #GivingTuesday believed that the social sector had the capacity to show more innovative leadership, creativity, and collaboration.” Cary Academy is a prime example of what can happen when these three intangibles come together for the greater good. This December 3, let’s recommit to these values in the spirit of creating change for the greater good. 


Written by Katie Todd, CA Fund Director

Magazine of CA

Window to the World

CA Curious

A fond ‘farewell’ from the Middle School

Magazine of CA

Equity Matters

Strength and fitness room

CA Curious

Building a stronger community, on and off the field

September 5, 2019

Often, community building requires community buildings.

For the Athletics department, the fall tailgate—the unofficial athletics kickoff for the 2019-20 school year—is fast approaching (and, unlike last year, should hopefully be free of hurricanes *knock wood*). In addition to celebrating our athletes, next Friday’s tailgate marks our first chance to show off some dramatic and exciting changes to our athletics’ facilities and program.

You might ask: how does improving our athletics facilities strengthen our community?

As we’ve said before, despite its status as an academic powerhouse, CA’s student body is full of athletes, with 81% of eligible students playing at least one sport. So, it only makes sense that—much like completing the CMS and redesigning the library—improvements to our athletics facilities will have a similarly significant impact on our students, fans, and families.

For years, the weight room in the Fitness Center gym has been cramped, dark, and generally uninviting. Aside from use by teams, it has served the community through the hard work and personal dedication of Information Services Consultant Eric Moore and Landscape Technician Roy Peterson, who devoted their time to guiding workouts for students, staff, and faculty alike.

To better serve the community, we’ve rethought the design and function of the weight room to reflect a larger goal of whole-body wellness with a philosophical focus on functional training, in addition to traditional weight-based strength training. Over the summer, the rechristened strength and conditioning room was significantly expanded, nearly doubling in size. Larger windows will allow more light and make the room’s atmosphere more welcoming, while non-porous MONDO flooring will make high-impact workouts safer.

Have you ever avoided the gym, intimidated by the prospect of working out next to an intense ‘gym junkie?’ We want the new strength and conditioning room to make everyone feel welcome, regardless of their strength and athletic prowess. The addition of functional training, which uses body mechanics and functional movements tuned to the individual, is a more accessible approach to fitness and one that we hope can benefit the health of the entire community.

Ensuring that everyone can benefit from the new space and workout safely, the expanded room will house the offices of Head Athletic Trainer Rob Assadurian, Assistant Athletic Trainer Eldridge Baltazar, who is now a full-time member of the CA staff, and our first full-time Strength and Conditioning Coach, Richard Huxford.

Coach Huxford comes to CA after a career playing in the English Football and Scottish Football Leagues and coaching the Carolina Railhawks and North Carolina FC. In addition to his experience as a world-class coach and athlete, he brings expertise in biokinetics. Biokenetics—which uses motion tracking to help athletes study their body mechanics in detail– will allow Coaches Huxford and Moore to improve our teams’ and individual students’ athletic techniques, mobility, and quickness, once the strength and conditioning room opens.

But what of the experience of going to games, how is that improving?

The FC has received a fresh coat of much brighter paint, which has, in my opinion, made a huge difference in making the fan experience much more welcoming. It’s also allowed us to reorganize our championship banners (I have to say it makes me feel proud to see our student-athletes’ accomplishments covering the walls!).

The baseball field is also getting a major upgrade with the construction of a new pressbox and announcer’s booth. In addition to housing conveniently-located bathrooms—which will also make life more comfortable for events and sports on the Middle School field—the new building will provide an enhanced fan experience, turning games into community events thanks to better announcement, entertainment, and technological capabilities.

I know what you’re thinking: I get that CA has a reputation as a ‘technology-driven school,’ but how exactly does improved support for technology at our athletics venues improve our program and help us build a better community?

Thanks to a future installation of a new Hudl Focus smart camera in the FC, we will be able to automatically capture game footage for later analysis by coaches and players. Happily, the equipment also supports livestreaming, which will allow us to pilot and experiment with that technology in the future.

Don’t get me wrong: we still want fans, families, and supporters cheering our Chargers on in person. But, if you can’t make it, this technology has the potential to allow you (or other Charger fans from afar) a virtual seat in the stands. In addition to games, since the FC is also an event hub for our campus community, livestreams could allow members of the wider CA community to view schoolwide experiences, such as Ubuntu, Middle School students vs. faculty games, Wacky Olympics, and more.

But that’s not all.

Launching today, our brand-new CA Athletics site—GoChargers.caryacademy.org—will also provide a better experience for fans, families, and members of the community, conveying important athletics information and broadcasting the hard work and accomplishments of our Charger athletes, coaches, and supporters.

Finally, our longest-term ‘summer’ project is racing towards completion.

Back in May, a few days before commencement, an expert crew began completely rebuilding the track and field running track. We are replacing the 22-year old latex surface with a premium MONDO performance track, the same surface used in many recent Olympic Games.

CA will be the first school in North Carolina, and one of a handful of schools in the South, with a MONDO surface. Once completed in October, Charger athletes will train and compete on a world-class track that is on-par with (and in many cases, better than) the running surfaces they will experience at the collegiate level. It will help them continue to excel, while providing a safer surface for their joints and muscles. The MONDO surface will make our track one of the best in North Carolina, opening the door for our school to host more community events and athletic competitions in the future.

There’s so much to be excited about, as our campus and Charger spirit grows. Next Friday, come out and join us for a slate of home games, to cheer on our school, get to know each other, and take pride in our strides.

Go Chargers!

Written by Kevin Jones, Athletic Director

CA and NC State co-host USAYPT

CA Curious

Spring in North Carolina can be wonderful!


Senior Nights: Girls’ Varsity Track and Field

CMS Cary Academy

CA Curious

C(MS): Building for community

January 3, 2019

Photos in the new CMS lobby courtesy of alum Deming Haines ’17. 

I thought it would be so simple

We’d just continue to call it the C.

This is short for the Center for Math and Science, which is the building formerly known as the SEA, which itself is short for Sports Education Annex.

SEA how simple it is.

Somewhere along the way, though, people started calling the new science portion of the building the CMS. That wouldn’t be so bad, but they are still calling the old part of the building, particularly the gym, the SEA. No, strike that, people are calling it the SEA Gym.

Building names are hard to let go of. Just ask the people of Chicago how they feel about the Willis Tower. Even after Sears lost its naming rights in 2009 and entered bankruptcy this year, that building will always and forever be Sears Tower.

Well, no matter what you want to call it, on January 27, we will have the first public unveiling of the new wing in the Center for Math and Science. The PTAA sponsored Taste and Toast is open to all parents. Get your tickets here.

The new building features eight science labs, an ideation hub, three conference rooms, and an open and flexible makerspace. The new wing features four shared prep areas, with the labs paired on each side for easy access and supervision.

Upper School students began using the updated math classrooms (formerly used by world languages) at the beginning of the school year. Since then, we have also expanded and refreshed the main lobby area. With the new seating and presentation technology, it now has the ability to host a grade-level class meeting or a parent coffee or a guest speaker.

While the science portions of the building will be ready in early February, we expect teachers will begin to move into the new space during the T2 break.

This will bring to a conclusion a significant phase of the school’s 2015 master facility plan, developed shortly after the opening of the athletic Field House (which itself marked the completion of the school’s original building plan). The most notable work since the Field House opening has included:

  • Replacing most of the school’s original classroom furniture with lighter, more flexible furnishings.
  • Creating the Middle School Design Lab and repurposing the former Lecture Hall into a flexible, multipurpose Discovery Studio.
  • Developing a prototype open-learning space in the Upper School that includes an open-format college counseling suite, student collaboration lounge, and a suite of classrooms that can be reconfigured into one, two, or three learning spaces.

The master facilities plan was developed in alignment with the school’s current strategic plan and seek to create more flexible spaces and to make learning more open and visible.

With the opening of the new science wing, we have turned our attention on the next phase of planning, which includes:

  • Expansion and upgrade of the current weight room in the Fitness Center;
  • An update to portions of the main Upper School building to add more student study and collaborative spaces, create a suite for our wellness and learning support services, and to make room for our new Center for Community Engagement; and
  • Design changes in the library to create open, quiet conference spaces for individual and small-group student work, to add a cafe as part of our new entrepreneurship efforts, and to better integrate library and technology support functions.

Please join me for the Taste and Toast on January 27th. The PTAA is planning it as a celebration of school athletics and it will be an opportunity to get the first look inside our new building.

C you there.

Written by Mike Ehrhardt, Head of School

CA Curious

Essential Arts

Middle School

CA teams get with the (computer) program

CA Curious

I’ve Been to the Mountains, ISEEN It All

Library from quad


Funding the Gap

October 26, 2017

by Jeanne Howard, CA Fund Co-Chair

What the heck is the Cary Academy Fund anyway?   Maybe you’ve directly asked this question or maybe you’ve wondered but never really asked.  Kevin and I are in our third year as parents at Cary Academy and our second as Co-Chairs of the CA Fund’s annual drive.  Allow us to give everyone a “sneak peak” at the great machine behind our Cary Academy Fund.

PTAA helped support eclipse glasses (top picture), and the CA Fund supports the PTAA. Click for link to video.

First of all, almost every independent school has an annual fund that serves as their primary source of funding outside of tuition.  The annual drive allows the school to cultivate relationships and get to know you better!  An annual fund also allows an institution to keep tuition steady and not overburden families.  They do this by focusing on participation, as opposed to the size of the gift.   It’s important for our community to participate in giving together, but at a level that is appropriate to each family’s situation.

Annual funds were created to fund the “gap” between tuition and the actual cost to educate each student.  Instead of pouring more of your hard-earmed money into tuition, an annual fund gift is also tax deductible.  This year’s “gap” per student is about $4656.  Just imagine… without this fund, tuition would have to be increased close to $5000 per student!  By implementing an annual fund drive, schools are able to cultivate deeper relationships and donors can more evenly bear increasing costs while keeping tuition steady.  It’s a beautiful sequence when it works and the community engages.

And boy have you responded!  The CA Fund has grown over 200% in the last five years, while tuition has seen only minimal increase.  That strength is allowing our Board of Directors to approve big, bold initiatives and accelerate projects such as our new science addition to the SEA coming in the fall of 2018!  How exciting to know that the completion of the building will “unlock” so many other projects for our campus…things like new humanities classrooms, classroom remodels, dining hall renovations, Middle School renovations and so much more.   You see…..ANYTHING is possible with your help!

Relationships can either grow or wither – depending on our actions.    The goal of the good folks in Development is to build and deepen relationships with their clients….the parents of CA.  It’s really no different than a private or public company, CA offers a product and we buy their product.   Along the way, they ask us for feedback in order to continually improve the quality of the “product”.  We seek the best education possible and they strive to exceed our expectations.   In turn, we develop a sense of pride and loyalty for our school and giving back, in some ways, comes natural.

The annual drive of the Cary Academy Fund is our way, each year, of coming together behind the scenes to say, “ Yes!  We will participate!  We believe in the vision!  We want to help!”.  Don’t be left behind this year, pledge early and lets FUND THE GAP together!

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Magazine of CA

The Right Fit

CA Curious

Beyond the numbers


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