At The Oaks Academy, “Known and Loved” is not just a slogan. It is the foundational practice lived out every day in our classrooms and hallways.

When CEO Andrew Hart first started at The Oaks more than two decades ago, he asked an experienced school leader to share the most important message parents should receive from their school leaders. The school leader told him, “Your parents need to know one thing. Your parents need to know their children will be known and loved at their school.

Those words resonated deeply with Andrew and he brought the message back to the Oaks staff and faculty.

Nothing is more important to the formation of a child than spending their days with loving adults who know them - who understand their strengths and their struggles - and help them grow and mature.

Under Andrew’s leadership and through our committed faculty and staff, Oaks students experience being known and loved… and their families see the impact every day. Here are a few stories of the specific ways teachers are actively knowing and loving their students.

Meeting the Needs

Mrs. Dierlam stands with Crystal and Corbin Grundy.

Corbin needed somebody who cared enough to see the gaps and close them. That’s who Mrs. Dierlam was for him. At The Oaks, they really, really care about you. They actually want our kids to thrive. I would not trade this school for anything.

– Crystal Grundy, parent

Best Parenting Decision

We were anxious about transferring Jack mid-year but he found true belonging here and his love for learning has skyrocketed. When he finished his first day, it was like his soul exhaled. The environment was drastically different from what we were previously experiencing and now all three kids attend. Choosing The Oaks was the best parenting decision we’ve made.

– Jody Barbour, parent

The Barbour family poses outside The Oaks Academy, Fall Creek

Knowing Children Precisely

Mrs. Klage stands with Robin and Thomas Kim

Mrs. Klage perceived things in my son I couldn’t even articulate as a parent. She knew precisely who he was, which gave us as parents even greater insight. Our teachers are as deeply invested in the kids’ spiritual, social, and emotional development as they are in their academic growth. That’s priceless to us.

– Robin Kim, parent

Knowing the Whole Family

The Oaks is set up for a strong family culture. We really appreciate how the school welcomes everyone’s support systems: parents, grandparents, additional family members, anyone who wants to be involved and connected. Here, we can start the day with our child praising God and praying together. That’s big for us.

– Kevin and Reggen Melson, parents

Kevin, Reggen and Josiah Melson stand together in the Brookside Campus library.

About The Oaks

Restoring the Legacy of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library

In May 2024, The Oaks proudly reopened the historic Paul Laurence Dunbar Library inside our historic Martindale-Brightwood campus. Restored to its original footprint, the library will host the Mari Evans Residency for Artists and Authors of Color, fostering cultural exchange and education for the community.

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Alumni of The Oaks: Rebecca Pinero, Class of ’20

Becca starred as Juliet in Civic Theater’s 2024 production of Romeo and Juliet, a dream role for this thespian still in high school! Discover why Becca credits The Oaks with her love of Shakespeare (and about when she first played the role of Juliet back in fourth grade!).

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