President’s Post – October 2019

President's Posts > President’s Post – October 2019


I have been fortunate to be part of several unique communities during my 24 years of leading Christian schools. Each school had its own culture and distinct characteristics that set it apart from the others. Whether it was the home-spun feel of a Hill Country school, the laid-back Low Country seaside school, or the large suburban school, every school had an unmistakable personality. The cultures of each were, obviously, a reflection of the individuals that it attracted. It is no different at Heritage Prep.

There are several adjectives that come to mind when I think about Heritage: intentional, thoughtful, joyful, disciplined, and traditional are a few that easily surface. However, there is one adjective that this community has demonstrated over and over again since its inception, and it is a defining characteristic: generous. Whether it is with your resources or your time or both, I am constantly surprised and humbled by the generous support of this community.

That generosity was on full display Saturday evening at our 16th annual Fall Auction. In so many schools, fundraisers masquerade as community events. At Heritage, it is the opposite: our community events masquerade as fundraisers! From the nonstop conversation to the hearty laughter, the Fall Auction is a time for our community to come together to support the purpose and mission of Heritage Prep, and to demonstrate its generosity.

I am excited to announce that we set a new auction record this year, raising well over last year’s high of $150,000! We will have final numbers sometime next week. A special thank you goes to our auction co-chairs, Ashley Abernathy and Tinsley Hickson, as well as our faithful staff leader, Sue Hampel. They, along with a host of volunteers, created an evening to remember.

Thank you to all of you who purchased tickets, a “Gotta Have It,” silent auction items or live auction items, and to those who gave so generously of your time to help make this evening a success. It is exciting to be part of a community that consistently goes beyond what is necessary or expected. Your generosity helps Heritage fulfill its mission to prepare students to think with excellence, believe with confidence, and live with character. On behalf of the entire Heritage community, THANK YOU!


Admissions season is here!
To ensure our admissions process attracts, engages and identifies like-minded families who share our fundamental values and will become positive additions to our community, we want to take advantage of our greatest resource: our community. Please consider helping us continue to build this community by completing our New Parent Referral here. We would appreciate your continued prayers for God to lead the right families to Heritage Prep.

For your future sibling Highlanders, applications are now available online. This early timeline will accommodate you by helping avoid the busy enrollment months of January-March. The Waiver Code for the application fee is: ‘Sibling’. Please reach out to Ellie Pitt for any questions or help going through this process.


Upper School Update
Mrs. Hames and I took our Class 6 and 7 students to the Chick-fil-A Hatch Innovation Center last month. The Hatch was a perfect setting for imagining what the upper school can be with our first two graduating classes. We shared the vision for the upper school and the Portrait of a Graduate with students. They were then divided into teams and had an opportunity to speak into components of the upper school, including uniforms, our school mascot, discipline and the facility. The students were excited and engaged throughout the discussions. They walked away with a far greater understanding of the upper school, and we had a chance to hear what they love about Heritage, the questions and concerns they have about the upper school, and the things that are most important to them about the design of the upper school experience. It was a fantastic step towards the realization of our upper school in August 2021!

Continuing work on the upper school programming is occurring through two primary agencies: a faculty committee and a parent committee. Each of these committees will be working to bring additional focus and detail to the unique upper school program for Heritage Prep. We look forward to giving an update on our work at the State of the School meeting on Monday, February 10, 2020.


Building Update
We received approval of our Special Use Permit (SUP) Application from the City of Atlanta’s Zoning Review Board! Only two steps remain in the process as we go before the City Council’s Zoning Committee this evening, October 30, which should pave the way for final approval from the Atlanta City Council on November 4, 2019. God has been so gracious to us throughout this process. I have received questions from a number of you regarding the need for a SUP and our lease from Morningside Baptist Church (MBC). I have addressed some of those frequently asked questions below.

These are exciting days for Heritage! We have many critical decisions ahead as we expand our educational offerings to upper school and work towards building additional classroom space. We ask that you continue to pray for wisdom, discernment and clarity, and that God would provide clear guidance and direction as we move forward.


Matthew H. Skinner