As the 2021-2022 academic year draws to a close, Reason & Republic is thrilled to highlight the great achievements made by the students and faculty at Belton Preparatory Academy, Summit Classical School, and The South Carolina Preparatory Academy. Our first focus is on Kinsley Jenkins, a fifth grader at Belton Prep. Kinsley received a perfect score on the South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Assessments (SC READY) English Language Arts (ELA) test and is the Belton Preparatory Academy Student of the Year. She is a dedicated student, a budding philanthropist, and all-around amazing young woman whose accomplishments we are proud to share.

The Jenkins family joined the Belton Prep community three years ago, when Kinsley was starting third grade and her younger sister, Kallie, was starting Kindergarten. Parents Jeff and Lesha felt it was a good time for the girls to transition to a new school together and were very pleased when their visit to Belton confirmed their belief that it would be a positive fit for their family. “We felt very comfortable after meeting with Mrs. McCullough, the principal,” said Lesha, “We appreciated the size of the classes and the fact that the kids would receive the time and attention they need.” As an added benefit, Lesha discovered that her favorite childhood teacher, Mrs. Barret, had returned from retirement to teach at Belton Prep. “It just touched my heart to know she came back to work at Belton,” said Lesha.

From the small class sizes to the individual time and focus invested in the students to the amazing community, there is a lot to love about Belton Preparatory Academy. For the Jenkins family, the biggest benefit has been the culture. “You know they care about your kids,” explained Lesha. “The kids get out of our car in the morning and they get a hug, and when they get back in the car at the end of the day, they are sent home with a ‘have a great night and see you in the morning.’ They love the kids, the kids are happy, and it is like a little family.”

For Kinsley, an aspiring engineer or pharmacist, Belton Preparatory Academy has been a fantastic fit. “I like how it challenges me more than I was challenged at my old school,” she explained. “I really like the teachers, and appreciate how involved Mrs. McCullough, is in everything we do.” Kinsley is very enthusiastic about academics and appreciates the time and effort the Belton Prep teachers put in to designing interesting projects for their students.  When asked what she would do if she could be Belton’s principal for a day, Kinsley replied, “I would go into the classes to see how the teachers are doing and just get involved with them. My fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Schuler, was very creative, out-of-the-box, always made learning fun, and I’d love to see how she is doing this year.”

Kinsley’s favorite subject is math, but her perfect score on the SC READY English Language Arts test highlights her overall academic strength and focus. The news about her perfect score came as a complete surprise on the day the Charter Institute at Erskine visited Belton Prep to present the school with the Diamond School of Excellence Award. A single trophy remained on the table after all of the expected awards were handed out, and the announcement was made that somebody received a perfect score on the SC READY ELA section. “When they said Kinsley Jenkins, I was so shocked I didn’t know if I should go up!” Kinsley explained. “All of my friends kept telling me to go up, so I did!” Lesha added, “We enjoyed it being a surprise and appreciated that it was presented on a very exciting day for Belton.”

Outside of school, Kinsley is an avid reader who gets “interested in a lot of books” and an active soccer player who loves getting out on the field for games. Inspired by her mom’s work with cancer patients, Kinsley and her friend Adyson started a crafting business selling handmade rubber band bracelets, beaded butterflies, keychains, and potholders and are giving all the money they make to the Cancer Association of Anderson (CAA). The girls have donated almost $700.00 to CAA, and are excited to continue raising funds to support this important organization.

Rounding out an already exciting school year is the recent news that Kinsley has been selected as the Belton Preparatory Academy Student of the Year. The Student of the Year award is based on grades and behavior, with every Kindergarten – 5th Grade teacher casting a vote for the student they feel best represents Belton Prep. When asked about the best part of being Student of the Year, Kinsley replied that “getting recognized for my efforts with my grades and how I keep trying is the best part.” Kinsley’s advice to younger students who wish to follow the great example she has set? “You have to keep trying and don’t give up when things seem hard or difficult. You just need to keep working the best you can. As my mom says, “You do your best because your best is all that you can do.’” This is excellent advice for all of us, and we look forward to hearing more about Kinsley’s accomplishments in the future.

Reason & Republic is dedicated to developing high quality charter schools that provide an excellent education to underserved populations across the southeast. We currently manage Belton Preparatory Academy, Summit Classical School, and the South Carolina Preparatory Academy. Our award-winning charter schools are content rich classical academies that provide students the tools needed to learn how to think critically and purposefully. Learn more at https://reasonandrepublic.com.