A leader has been chosen for Legion Collegiate Academy, a new dual enrollment charter high school that focuses on athletics and academics and is set to open in August 2019.
TK Kennedy, the school’s new principal, is no stranger to charter schools. Kennedy currently serves as director of operations for York Preparatory Academy, a public K-12 charter school in Rock Hill. Kennedy is York Prep’s former high school principal.
During Kennedy’s time at York Prep, the charter school received a national Blue Ribbon honor.
Kennedy is from Rock Hill and lives in Columbia.
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Kennedy, who has served 27 years in public education as a teacher, a coach and a school administrator, said he is looking forward to opening and leading Legion.
“My goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment with caring and supporting coaches and teachers for all students,” he said. “This model gives leverage to families who want to send their students to higher education situations.”
At Legion, students will have a chance to complete high school and simultaneously take courses for college credit. They will have the chance to earn up to two years’ worth of college credit, plus opportunities for academic and athletic scholarships. Legion can accommodate up to 600 students.
Before joining York Prep, Kennedy held roles in the Rock Hill school district, including as the freshman academy principal at South Pointe High School.
Kennedy holds a bachelor of science degree in communications and a minor in physical education from Western Carolina University, where he participated in track and football.
“I fully understand the demands placed on a student-athlete,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy holds a masters degree in art education from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate degree in education leadership from South Carolina State University. Kennedy and his wife Kimberley have two children, a 23-year-old son and a 20-year-old daughter.
Pinnacle Charter School Management Group, the company that will manage Legion, also manages Oceanside Collegiate Academy in Mount Pleasant and Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia.
There is not yet a designated site for Legion Collegiate Academy.
The school’s committee had petitioned to rezone 49 acres on Mt. Holly Road, between Country Club Estates and Southland Park, but city council on Oct. 22 denied that request.
Jack Frost, planning committee chairman for the school, said Rock Hill city council expressed interest in keeping that site open for economic development.
“I think everybody walked away from that meeting in shock,” Frost said.
Frost said the Legion team will look for a temporary site for the school’s opening. That site will be announced in early 2019.
“We’re not letting that set us back,” Frost said.
The Legion Collegiate Academy enrollment center, 1348 Ebenezer Road, suite 101, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
A parent forum is Dec. 6. For more information, visit LegionCollegiateAcademy.org or call 803-620-6040.