Queen’s Grant: past, present, future

Dr. Mike Smith spoke to the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce about Queen’s Grant High School. Photo by Amanda Waters.

Queen’s Grant High School principal, Dr. Mike Smith, presented a talk to the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce last Thursday entitled “Queen’s Grant High School: Our legacy, past, present, and future.”  Queen’s Grant is a local public charter school founded in 2006.  Its doors opened to students in the fall of 2007, and it moved from the Garr Christian Academy to its current location on Idlewild Road in 2009.

Smith clarified that a charter school is a school of choice, and it does not raise taxes.  Charter schools exist on the same money allocated to other public schools, and Queen’s Grant does not receive money for buildings.

Before coming to Mint Hill, Smith was the founding principal of the Greensboro Academy.  Mayor Ted Biggers and a group of about 25 parents visited Greensboro to learn more about building a school for Mint Hill.  What resulted was a partnership with National Heritage Academies and the founding of Queen’s Grant Community School, offering kindergarten through eighth grade.  The success of that institution inspired the establishment of Queen’s Grant High School.  Smith joined the staff as principal last fall.

Presently, Queen’s Grant proudly offers 10 advanced placement courses.  It is a no-nonsense campus that holds students accountable.

“If you can remember what school was like in the late ‘50s, early ‘60s, that’s what ours is like.  We don’t tolerate anything,” said Smith.  “Expectations are extremely high.”

In the next few years, Smith wants to see 18 AP courses offered.  He wants an enrollment of 750 students and another campus.

“Sports are not our focus,” he said, but he does want sports to be available to students.  Volunteers are assisting with athletic fields.  The school is adding soccer, baseball, and lacrosse.

As Queen’s Grant looks to the future, it will continue to hold students accountable and prepare them for college.

“We will not lower the bar. You have to rise to our expectations,” said Smith.

A large majority of last year’s graduating class of 88 students said they intended to further their academic careers – 95 percent.  As a whole, the class had been accepted to over 50 colleges, including William and Mary, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, the Citadel, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Baylor.

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Class of 2012 – High school seniors in Mint Hill

High school seniors in Mint Hill are finishing their last week of school and preparing for graduation.  In the coming week Queen’s Grant, Rocky River, and Independence High Schools will turn their tassels and celebrate their accomplishments.
Queen’s Grant High School has a graduating class of 88 students, and 95 percent of them plan to further their academic careers.  As a whole, the students have applied to over 90 colleges, and have been accepted to over 50, including Notre Dame, William and Mary, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, Cornell, Columbia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Baylor.  Three percent of the seniors intend to enlist in the military in the next year. Continue reading

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Big week for Queens Grant Ball teams

The Queens Grant middle school girls’ softball team won their conference tournament last week, and the high school boys’ baseball team won second.  The teams are in the Piedmont Charter Athletic Conference.  Both teams played Lincoln Charter in their championship games at the Mint Hill Athletic Association fields.
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The middle school team was 12-0 in the regular season and ranked number one in the conference going into the tournament that took place last Tuesday.  They beat Sugar Creek 15-0 before moving to the final game against Lincoln Charter.  That game was a blowout, too, with the final score 9-0.  Lincoln Charter won the title for the last three years.
The team was comprised of five sixth graders, four seventh graders, and three eighth graders. Continue reading

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