Mehaffey discusses state of LaGrange Academy and future

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, February 6, 2024

By Alex Amos

On Thursday night, head of LaGrange Academy, John Mehaffey, addressed the students, alumni and staff about the overall current state of the school, an update on construction, and parent and guardian concerns.

Before the meeting, LaGrange Academy sent a survey out to parents and guardians, asking what improvements could be made to the school. On the night of the meeting, Mehaffey addressed several questions and concerns that were raised throughout the survey ranging from student-teacher ratios to test scores.

“One of the things I would like to work on through my administration to help grow LaGrange Academy is our parental partnerships and being able to address concerns,” Mehaffey said.

One of the main concerns raised by parents who participated in the survey included the school’s need for an onsite counselor.

“Counseling is an area of concern, but as we look at the finances in a school our size, it’s not abnormal to not have a dedicated counselor,” Mehaffey said. “It’s something that we are working on and something we need in 2024. Again, if an issue arises, we’re able to call local professionals and have them help students and inform them.”

Mehaffey went on to discuss the new academic building being built on campus. Ground was broken on the construction in late November. According to Mehaffey, the building should be fully completed by late 2024. However, the date will vary depending on the weather along with other conditions throughout construction.

“The anticipated completion is in late 2024,” Mehaffey said. “If the weather was like today, it might be on Aug. 1, and if the weather is anything like last week, it might be Dec. 31. Again, it’s still up in the air, but it will be completed.”

Mehaffey also addressed the school’s security, which was another concern voiced in the survey. In the address, Mehaffey noted that several gated entrances are going to be installed on the campus along with several other security measures.

“One of the things mentioned in the survey was the security of our campus given the proximity to the environment and proximity to a hospital,” Mehaffey said. “… We’ll have badges to allow access throughout campus, and we will enhance security. With that, we are asking parents who walk around, walk in the gym, and walk in the commons, very politely just to come to the office and check in to do all the things that we need to do.”

Many parents positively responded to the updates, with one parent, Munira Fidahussein, expressing her excitement for the future.

“We already feel pretty safe, but we are close to a hospital down the road and a railway track, so I think the new security is just going to improve everything,” Fidahussein said. “I am really positive and optimistic about the future of the academy. We’ve got some really big and exciting changes.”