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Many Thanks For A Great 2013!

Many Thanks For A Great 2013!


As 2013 comes to close, I feel it is important to thank those who have made it a year to remember.

  •  I hear often that it is the people that make Grand River Academy.  So, my first heartfelt thank you goes to the faculty and staff.  It is the caring and dedicated teachers that devote their passions inside, and outside, of the classroom to help each of their students find success.  It is the compassionate and considerate staff that become our boys’ “family” away from home.  I feel a strong sense of authenticity from the faculty and staff that make their work meaningful.  It is this authenticity that fosters trust. I could go on and on about our team- they are the magic that makes Grand River Academy.


  • The Grand River Academy Board of Trustees perpetuate the mission of the school and the time they each devote to the school is greatly appreciated.  I thank Dr. John DeCato 80’ for his tenure as Chairman of the Board.  Dr. DeCato’s leadership made my transition to Grand River Academy seamless.  I thank Mr. Steve Schoneman P07’ and current Chairman of the Board for his steadfast belief in the mission and his vision for the future.


  • Our parents for entrusting Grand River Academy to help their son activate his potential.


  • Dr. Sue Rivera P13’, Mrs. Patty Cooper P13’ and Mrs. Elisa Race P13’ for their leadership of the GRA Parents Association and their help in transitioning to brand new leadership for the 2012-2013 school year.  Sue, Patty and Elisa’s efforts led to the first annual senior awards night and banquet - a new tradition for recognizing the graduating class, honoring their achievements and celebrating their families that made GRA possible.


  • The Class of 2013 was my first graduating class, as well as great leaders and role models for the underclassmen.  This class continued the 100% college acceptance record and will have a special place in my heart.


  • The GRA Students are the school.  They are the character, the life and the energy.  It is great seeing the transformations of each and every young man.  Sometimes these transformations are small; most of the time, they are large.  Every one of our students leaves Grand River Academy transformed: Academically, Socially and Emotionally.


  • The supportive network of dedicated alumni helps drive the mission and preserve the history of years’ past.  I thank all those who attended Grand River Academy for just one year and those who graduated from GRA.  Specifically, I would like to thank alumni association president Mr. Toby Schultz ‘85 and his dedication to the academy.  I would also like to thank Mr. Jim Stafford ’79 for devoting his time to helping our outreach efforts. 


  • Our network of educational consultants are very important in helping families across America find the solution.  The solution is Grand River Academy.  Educational consultants know GRA and our proven program for success.  Their trust in our proven program is cherished and greatly appreciated. 


  • Grand River Academy is a significant member of the Austinburg community and I thank Austinburg, the Town Trustees, our neighbors, and our community friends throughout Ashtabula County for welcoming us into your businesses and events.  Our boys enjoy decorating Christmas tree at Shannon’s Mini Mart for the needy, putting a smiles on the faces at the Austinburg Rehabilitation Center, playing hosts to community groups, serving meals at the Austinburg First United Church of Christ, and teaching local elementary students how to speak Chinese. 


The prospect of 2014 is filled with excitement and optimism.  I will expand on what to expect in 2014 in a future post.  Stay tuned and thank you to everyone that has made, and makes, Grand River Academy a place where boys find success and activate their potential.

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