Mike Ehrhardt on WRAL


ICYMI: What might social distancing look like in the fall

April 29, 2020

What might social distancing look like next fall? While we don’t yet have all the answers, CA’s leadership has launched a series of task forces to grapple with the many complex dimensions of opening a new school year amidst a global pandemic.

Tonight, Head of School Mike Ehrhardt sat down for a virtual interview with WRAL’s Amanda Lamb to discuss the complex challenges and decisions ahead—from possible health screenings to mask usage to social distancing considerations to dining hall preparations and everything in between.

“When you start to get into it, you realize how much a school has to examine in order to feel like we can open things [back] up and be safe and comfortable for students,” Ehrhardt told Lamb.

Watch the entire interview, here:

Written by Dan Smith, Digital Content Producer and Social Media Manager

Upper School

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CA Curious

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CA Curious

Mission Critical

Library from quad

CA Curious

The power of community giving

September 20, 2018

How does a $5 senior donation build a new chemistry lab? What does STEM have to do with my passion for the arts? Why is an updated fitness center considered innovative?

These are all questions floating around the school lately. As we embark on our fourth year of the five-year Campaign for Cary Academy, our community is asking all the right questions.

How do we help? Where do we fit? What are we doing?

To answer these questions, one needs to look no further than our vision statement:

Cary Academy will create learning opportunities that are flexible, personalized, and relevant. We will cultivate self-directed and bold life-long learners who make meaningful contributions to the world.

As we enter the final phases of the Campaign for Cary Academy, now more than ever, our vision defines our fundraising priorities and next steps.

The new building is important not only as a top-notch facility for math and sciences, but because it has created flexible learning spaces that are available to all students for group study, individual study, and interdisciplinary learning. Moreover, its completion represents the first domino, triggering a chain reaction of classroom transitions that will unlock significant opportunities to enhance and reconfigure other spaces to emphasize the value of the arts and humanities.

A renovated athletic fitness center offers opportunities, not only for physical fitness, but a chance to emphasize and highlight the importance of day-to-day healthy living in ways that are relevant to students’ lives.

Endowed support for faculty and students allows us to recruit and retain top-notch faculty with the required creativity and expertise to create personalized life-changing educational opportunities for well-deserving students. And to provide those faculty with transformational professional development opportunities that keep our programs on the leading edge of innovation and continually improve how we support our students.

Many members of our community have already stepped up to join us in fulfilling our fundraising goals. To date, we have secured $9.5M towards our $12M goal – and we still have two years left and numerous families considering their commitments. The generosity and thoughtfulness shown by our friends and supporters is humbling. All of us look forward to crossing this finish line together in 2020.

And to circle back – how does a $5 senior gift donation help to get us to our goals? Because it takes a community. Because a single student, reflecting on their experience and deciding to put $5 towards the CA Fund instead of Starbucks latte, sets a tone, an expectation, a signal for others. It contributes to a community ethos of giving. And that’s powerful.

At the heart of philanthropic giving is an understanding that it is not about the money, per se, but a commitment to a mission and to what giving can do. How it reflects a shared commitment to an idea. To a community. And to a shared vision of the future.

As a community, if we believe in that shared future, and we express that belief by giving what we can, we can make that vision a reality. Together, we can carry Cary Academy forward as the leader in discovery, innovation, collaboration, and excellence that we all know it to be.



Written by Ali Page, Director of Development

Faculty Reflections

Founding vision

Unlock the Future: Cary Academy Giving Day

CA Curious

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CA Curious

Introducing #CACurious

August 23, 2017

It all started with a question.

Cary Academy, I mean.

What if?

What if a school could combine an interdisciplinary, liberal-arts curriculum with technology-rich, innovative approach to teaching and learning?

Over the last 20 years, we’ve gotten an answer to that original question, and we’ve found incredible power in embedding that optimistic curiosity in everything we’ve done since our founding.

Today we are proud of the curiosity that drives our faculty to design evolving paths of inquiry to engage and enlighten our students, and in turn of the curiosity those students bring to their intellectual pursuits.

This is what it means to be a learning community. Everybody learning. Together.

Of course, there is danger here. As a community of learners, we are bound to make mistakes. When taking risks, there will be failure. What keeps us going is the goodwill that comes from a community aligned by mission and a deep respect for open communication.

Toward that end, I am proud to announce a new initiative this year. We are calling it #CACurious. This is intended to be a weekly blog, written by members of the CA community, that examines the processes behind the work we do together. Rather than be a finished essay or a promotional story, we want to give you a sense of what goes on behind the scenes at CA.

We expect that some of these will impart good-to-know information. Others might leave you with more questions than answers. That is OK. We embrace questions.

We will highlight a new blog entry each week at the top of our CA Weekly e-newsletter, and I hope you’ll take time to click through on some that interest you.

Communications Updates
While I have your attention, let me also share a few other changes coming in the ways we communicate with friends and family this year.


  • Last year’s launch of the CA Weekly was well received, and we want families to use this as the go-to place for regular information about happenings at the school. This comes out every Thursday at 4:30PM. Our PTAA grade level reps will continue to share monthly email messages with information specific to grade level activities.


  • We will continue to post updates about our students and alumni on the “news feed” of our website. This is a place we share pats-on-the-back for individual or group excellence. Of course, the calendar section on the website has all you need to know about events and activities.

Social Media

  • We update our school Facebook page regularly with images and takes on events and activities around the campus. Thanks to the work of the PTAA, we also have very active grade-level groups. Our athletic department and alumni office also have active presences on Facebook. The school’s Twitter and Instagram accounts also highlight school activities. You can find links to these accounts on the front of the CA website.

Print publications

  • This summer we updated the school’s “viewbook” that is given to prospective families in the admissions cycle. One page of that new publication is illustrated at the top of this post.
  • This year, we will be combining the school’s two print publications, Access and Discoveries, into one publication. This will be printed three times a year and feature stories of campus life and from our alumni.

There is a lot to share, and we hope you find some meaningful ways to engage across all these platforms.

Written by Mike Ehrhardt, Head of School

Magazine of CA

Independent Thinkers

Alumni News

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Middle School

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