Soar Academy was established in 2011 by the founder, Kenisha Skaggs. Her goal in creating the school was to offer curriculums that focused on each student’s individual learning styles and to provide a non-traditional school design that would fully engage students. The Academy offers many measurement tools which assist in diagnosing learning disabilities and to developing customized learning plans for each student. The Academy is provisionally accredited by the Georgia Accreditation Commission and all of the teachers hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Over the past 11 years, the Academy has helped over 500 students in the CSRA and are proud of the fact that they have changed the trajectory of many students struggling with learning disabilities.
Program measurement tools: monthly assessments, parent training, and end-of-course testing.
Accreditation: Provisionally accredited by the Georgia Accreditation Commission
Grants: VELA Grant – SOAR Academy was awarded the VELA Grant, which is awarded to schools that provide non-traditional learning environments.
“If our students cannot read, they cannot think for themselves. Therefore, they will always be dependent upon others to create their success.”
Kenisha Skaggs, Founder
Director, Lead Teacher, 6th-12th Grades
Bachelors Degree in Education, TAPP Certified
Kenisha Skaggs is a native to the Augusta area. She is the Director and Founder of SOAR Academy. She holds a BA degree from Augusta University and is also certified in the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GA TAPP) program.
Lucas Skaggs is a proud Army Veteran and native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He works alongside his wife Kenisha to run Soar Academy and directs the non-profit, Soar Academy Augusta Inc., which focuses on funding programs to reach more students in the area.
Lead Teacher, K - 3rd Grades
Bachelors Degree in Education
Tiffany Scott is from Kingston, Jamaica. She taught elementary education for 15 years in Jamaica. She is the lead teacher for K-3rd grade at Soar Academy. She brings a strong multi-sensory element into her classroom that includes dance and music.
Ruth Hanneman is from Brazil. Her background is actually in nursing, however, after homeschooling her 6 children, she found she is passionate about education. She brings this passion to all the SOAR students by assisting teachers where needed.
Academic Success Coach, Various Students
Preston Major is a local native of Grovetown, Georgia. He is a student at East Georgia State College and is pursuing an associate’s degree in communications. He embodies our goal to assist children not just academically, but also mentally. He works with various children to facilitate emotional support.
Melinda “Mindy” Gales
Art Teacher Bachelor's Degree in Art Education & Master’s Degree in Art History
Mindy Gales is from Richmond, Virginia. She studied Art Education at Radford University in Radford, Virginia and Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia where her concentrations were Pre-Columbian Art and American Architecture. Mindy spent 17 years in the Museum field as a Registrar and Collections Manager. She left her museum career to homeschool her son, who now attends SOAR. Mindy is inspired by watching students lead their own creative journey, and by the pride and joy they discover along the way.
Mary Katherine Gorlich is from Oklahoma. She is an Army veteran and has worked with schools for the past 6 years. She has children that currently attend SOAR and is excited about the opportunity to be more involved. She brings her background as a school secretary to the SOAR community and so much more.
Student Led Teaching
Let the students teach! On Mondays and Fridays, we allow students to demonstrate mastery of their new skills by allowing them to teach other students. This is great way to engage students and develop lasting connections to the material.
Manager Marketing/Community Relations
Madeline is from Panama City, Panama, and brings a creative and multicultural perspective with over 15 years of management experience. She firmly believes in Soar’s mission, having seen first-hand the success her son has attained as a student here. Madeline is especially excited to work with all of the Spanish-speaking families at Soar Academy.
Lead Teacher Grades 9 - 12
Eric has been working in education for close to 30 years, with experience in Special Education, Middle School Science, and homeschooling. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Omaha, with a degree in psychology, and teacher certification from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Eric brings patience and a wide variety of skills to Soar Academy.
Originally from New York City, “Ms. C” has been teaching in the public school system for five years. She is thrilled to be a part of Soar and to experience the wonderful impact it has on the children and how it helps them to thrive and be successful.
Parent Teacher Organization
Mental Health Support
Small World Enrichment
SOAR has partnered with Small World Enrichment to offer mental health support options. If needed, Students can receive 1:1 therapy sessions each week or attend small group therapy sessions covering topics like peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, public speaking, and more. This program has allowed our students to SOAR above barriers that affect their education outside of learning challenges. Check out their information in Psychology Today.
An income-based Georgia-funded tax credit scholarship that pays up to 50% of tuition.
A privately-funded scholarship offered by the SOAR Non-Profit, SOAR Academy Augusta, Inc. This scholarship is awarded based on a financial aid application and a needs basis.
If your child is struggling in their current school and you think you can’t afford to put them into a good private school, let us help! We offer state-authorized scholarships to help pay for tuition, books and fees at eligible private schools.
We accept the Folds of Honor scholarship at our school. This scholarship is awarded to children of disabled veterans.
SOAR Named Yass STOP Award Finalist
Why “STOP” for Education?
Rewarding sustainable, transformational, outstanding and permissionless education.
What makes the Yass Prize different is that we don’t recognize schools and traditional learning institutions. We recognize education in a variety of incarnations. The theme of this year’s winners will be proving that learning is and does happen outside of the 19th century classroom and no one institution can provide everything a child needs. As a result of these novel and innovative approaches to learning there is no one metric or measurement that you can use to compare their success.
Outstanding education providers demonstrate their success first and foremost through the demand of the user, i.e. the students or families, the day to day outcomes shown through retention, test scores, activities and awards and the ultimate measure of success which is whether students are persistent, move on to the next grade or school and enter productive careers or higher education pathways. Each of our winners this year is demonstrating those successes not only with their programs but with their target audience; namely students who have been failed by the traditional system, and have special needs, motivations, interests and circumstances. That’s what makes the Yass Prize so different, so unique and so impactful.
Organizations like these, with a boost, can become fully Sustainable and Transformational. They are already Outstanding and Permissionless.
Events SOAR has sponsored in the community.
SOAR believes in giving back to the community by sponsoring events that can inspire and educate the public. Below are past events SOAR has sponsored:
- Augusta Symphony Gala in January of 2023
- The YPA Gala for Child Enrichment Inc in November 2022
- Imagination Station Children’s Museum in January 2023