Why the Strong family chose a private school

When ninth grader Ryan Strong began the process of choosing a high school, he considered all his options. He shadowed at Littleton High School, Arapahoe High School, and Cherry Creek High School, where he would have been a second-generation student—his mother graduated from CCHS. Ultimately, it took just one day shadowing at Colorado Academy for Ryan to make a decision.

“When he came to CA, he said, ‘This is the right fit,’” Ryan’s mother Emily says. “He just knew immediately that he felt at home.”

Ryan’s parents, Emily and Patrick, could not have been more pleased with his choice, because they, too, immediately felt at home at CA. “What CA values so mirrors what we value,” Emily says. “We believe in having a lifelong love of learning, being a person of integrity, becoming a global citizen, and improving the community and the world.”

The parents’ perspective

Ryan’s parents are particularly happy that at CA, he will be able to pursue academics, athletics, and the arts in equal measure. “I didn’t want Ryan to have to specialize in certain interests early in his high school career because you have to be at a certain level of excellence to even participate,” Emily says. “At CA, you have the opportunity to try things you wouldn’t even know you are interested in.”

The Strongs were also delighted with the “amazing opportunities” that CA provides in many fields of learning. Ryan is interested in pursuing Engineering. “We walked into the Innovation Lab in the Upper School, and students were making things based on their own designs,” Emily says. “It blew us away to see that!”

Emily Strong also likes CA because she thinks that the school “keeps college in perspective.”

“Choosing a college should not be ‘You have to go to this college, or you will not succeed!’ she says. “It should be about finding who you are and how you best fit into the world.”

The Strongs also think that teachers at CA will get to know their son and serve as his mentors. They like the school’s emphasis on educating “balanced human beings who are willing to try things that are new.” And they praise the school’s culture of inclusivity. “CA is focused on embracing all kinds of learning experiences and all kinds of families,” Emily says. “I loved that.”