Dr. Erika Lee and Dr. Mark Patron have two children at Colorado Academy—Andrew is in Second Grade, and Isabel is in Pre-Kindergarten. We talked with Drs. Lee and Patron about why they chose Colorado Academy, and why they decided to start both their children as early as possible—in Pre-Kindergarten.
Mark: Both sets of our parents were first-generation immigrants to the United States. They worked hard to build themselves up from very little and to provide good lives and opportunities for their children. For our parents, education was of the utmost importance. As such, education also became a priority for us with our own children. When we started looking for a school for Andrew, we wanted him to have the best educational opportunities.
Erika: Even before Pre-K, we had our radar turned on, looking for programs. We had a narrow list of schools, but we felt our children would get the best educational foundation in a private school. We looked at what programs were available, and CA was at the top of our list.
I think having a social and academic foundation at an early age is important, and we liked that CA starts in Pre-Kindergarten and goes all the way to high school. At CA, education builds on itself, year after year, and the transitions to Middle and Upper School go smoothly.
Mark: We also valued the sense of continuity and community at CA. Going through the application process and learning about the school helped to solidify our decision to enroll Andrew at CA. We heard much about the CA community during our school evaluation process, but until you really become part of CA, it’s difficult to truly understand the significant role that community plays at the school. At CA, children are surrounded by peers from families with similar values—families in which aspects such as education, character, creativity, social responsibility, and giving back to the community are important.
Erika: When we took the campus tour, we were blown away by the resources that CA has—the enrichment programs, the arts, the non-academic experiences that students could have, so they could dip their toes into different experiences. In addition, Head of School Dr. Mike Davis talks a lot about resilience, and that impressed me. We want our children to be challenged academically, but we also want them to be at a school with high expectations for their personal growth.
Mark: CA has high academic standards, but equally important, students are expected to be good citizens. As he enters Second Grade, Andrew is already in his fourth year at CA. He adjusted quickly to CA, and he loves his school! He speaks highly of all his teachers, and he has a solid network of friends and peers. He genuinely enjoys being a student at CA, and he’s proud of his school.
Erika: I really like the mentorship programs that CA has in place, starting in Lower School and going through Upper School with Senior-Kindergarten Buddies. As physicians, it reminded us of how we went through training, with higher-ups mentoring us.
Mark: The Senior-Kindergarten Buddy program is a wonderful tradition. Andrew will always remember his Senior Buddies—especially since one of them was Dr. Davis’s son, George. When he becomes a Senior himself, he will mentor his own Kindergarten Buddy with the same enthusiasm as George and Kole did. These types of traditions make CA such a special place.
Erika: I believe all of these experiences, starting in Pre-Kindergarten, set our children up for success in the future.
Mark: It all goes back to our parents and their emphasis on the importance of education. It’s an investment in our children’s future.
Erika: Once you have that education, it cannot be taken away.