About Our Founder & Our Humble Beginning
Thank you for visiting our website. I’m Dr. Janet (Barbara) Cummings, the Executive Director of St. Nicholas Orthodox Christian Academy, and I would like to introduce you to our school.
We had our humble beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, in a small amount of office space donated to us in the Caughlin Ranch area of Reno. It soon became apparent that we would outgrow that space, so we began a search for a permanent location. In April 2018, we moved to our newly remodeled space on 14 acres just south of Reno. With 14 acres and 6 buildings, we have plenty of room to grow.
However, it is our plan to cap enrollment at 100 students total in our Kindergarten through 12th Grade program. This way, we can continue to educate each student as a unique individual with his/her own set of strengths, weaknesses and learning styles, as we are doing currently.
As a mother, I have had a very difficult time finding schools to educate my children. I have pulled my children out of several Christian schools in two states for various reasons. In one case, my child was being bullied daily, and the administration refused to intervene appropriately. In another, my children were being exposed to such a negative environment that they both started showing signs of depression.
There were times when I resorted to homeschooling, out of sheer desperation. Although homeschooling was an excellent choice academically, it quickly became a lonely existence for my children. I struggled to find opportunities for socialization, but my children were not able to form significant friendships when they only saw other children occasionally in after-school activities or in weekly home-school meetings.
For years, I complained because there were no Orthodox schools in the vicinity or close enough that my children could board without being too far from home. In talking with my parish priest, I realized that I had the ability to start the Orthodox school that I had been wanting. I had started and managed a number of successful for-profit and non-profit businesses, including a fully online university. So, why couldn’t I start an Orthodox school?
I received a blessing from my parish priest and our bishop, recruited very dedicated and talented people to work with me, and about five months later, St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy opened its doors to our first cohort of students.
I have had the pleasure of seeing my children thrive and blossom at the Academy, my younger child as a student and my older child was a classroom aide and music teacher. However, the Academy isn’t just for my children. It’s for all other children who don’t fit well into other school settings, and who want to spend their school days in a loving, nurturing, accepting, bully-free Orthodox Christian environment.
I would love to speak with you, and give you whatever information I can in order to help you decide if St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy is right for your child.
You can reach me via email at Barbara@OrthodoxSchoolReno.com, or on my cell phone (775-848-3677).
Feel free to explore our website and learn more about St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy!