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NOCA officially opens, with emphasis on “classical”

TOLEDO, Sept. 20, 2019: Northwest Ohio Classical Academy (NOCA) held its official ribbon cutting on Saturday, September 14th at the Academy’s facility on Glendale Avenue.   Friends, donors, faulty, staff and students gathered to celebrated NOCA’s opening—a five-year effort to bring to Toledo and surrounding area high-quality, tuition-free, classical education.

Professor Lee J. Strang, President of the Board of Trustees, noted that through the Board’s efforts, “NOCA has raised over $250,000 from corporations, foundations and friends.  The response from the community has been broad, deep, and gratifying with over 80 separate donations, an unprecedented accomplishment in the Toledo charter school movement.”   

As NOCA moved from a vision to reality, it hired a mission-oriented and experienced principal in Phillip Schwenk.  Mr. Schwenk remarked that “while opening a new school is always challenging, I feel fortunate that I have the support of a dedicated faculty and staff, with many decades of cumulative experience.”  He noted that “some teachers who joined NOCA are returning to education. 

“All faculty and staff believe in the vision of a content-rich, rigorous curriculum where the mission is to both educate children as well as to rear children to become virtuous citizens and thoughtful leaders.  It’s that dual mission which attracted the faculty, staff, and over 200 students for NOCA’s first year.”

In his opening remarks, Professor Strang noted that help came from many supporters who made gifts-in-kind including Mr. & Mrs. Cleves Delp who purchased the facility and rent about 32,000 square feet to the Academy. 

In addition, Mr. & Mrs. Delp have invested generously in repairing and upgrading the HVAC system and parking lot without charge to the Academy.  “Without Mr. & Mrs. Delp’s extraordinarily generous support, NOCA would still be a dream” remarked Professor Strang.  As the Academy came closer to opening day parents, faculty, students, Board members, and friends helped clean, paint, pull weeds, and landscape.  “The transformation was remarkable” noted one parent.   Other non-monetary donations came in the form of furniture, books, and supplies, while others are providing professional services at little or no charge.

NOCA is affiliated with Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI). This is the first BCSI-affiliated-school in Ohio. With the start of the new academic year, BCSI is partnering with 23 classical charter schools in eleven states.  Last academic year there were over 11,000 students enrolled in BCSI-affiliated schools and many thousands more on waiting lists. 

The Academy opened in August, initially with grades K – 8.  NOCA will add a grade each year until it is a K – 12 school.

See https://www.hillsdale.edu/educational-outreach/barney-charterschool-initiative/ for additional information on BCSI.  



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Revised: 09/24/19 12:52:12 -0700.




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