How Academies are Giving Lexington Freshmen More Positive Transitions to High School

The thrill of the first day of school can be both exciting—and terrifying—no matter where a student is in their journey. From navigating new buildings to facing brand new teachers, courses and responsibilities—every new academic beginning presents its own unique challenges and triumphs.

Perhaps the most notable shift in expectations, surroundings and curriculum occurs during a student’s transition from middle school to high school. In addition to social and logistical adjustments, freshmen are faced with increasing workloads, new goals and obligations, which can be very intimidating to even the most prepared adolescent.

Freshman Academy at Bryan Station High School


And with research showing that ninth grade is one of the most important academic years in students’ lives, it’s critical that educators, families and community leaders stand together to provide our freshmen with the educational experiences they deserve. That is why promoting a positive, exciting transition from middle school to high school is one of the cornerstones of the Academies of Lexington.

Freshmen at Tates Creek, Bryan Station and Frederick Douglass high schools are the first generation of Lexington ninth graders who will benefit from an Academy-style education. Experiencing high school from a new perspective, Freshman Academy students thrive in small learning communities with a dedicated principal, counselor and core group of teachers and peers.

How Freshman Academies offer more positive transitions to high school

  • Ninth graders develop leadership skills, identify and nurture their strengths, and discover new interests by engaging in team-based activities.
  • Hands-on projects and workshops help freshmen learn essential skills for today and the future.
  • Small teams of students and teachers offer more personalized learning experiences.
  • Students are encouraged to explore future career possibilities at interactive events and expos like Mission Exploration, taking place on Nov. 15.
  • Field trips to college campuses provide students with a firsthand look at higher education early on.

From start-to-finish, Freshman Academy students are able to explore the possibilities of the world around us and discover their own individual pathways to success. Below is a snapshot of what a year at Freshman Academy looks like at an Academies of Lexington high school.

Freshman Academy at-a-glance

All Year

All freshmen complete the Freshman Seminar course. Along with career exploration and development, this year-long course teaches essential success skills including:

  • How to take initiative and responsibility
  • Effective teamwork and communication
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving

Fall Semester

Held in the beginning of the first semester, the Commitment to Graduation ceremony is a time when students make a pledge to themselves, their classmates, and their families, that they will work hard to complete high school in four years. Later in the fall, the Academies of Lexington career expo, Mission Exploration, allows students to meet local business professionals, experience hands-on demonstrations, and learn more about future career options.

To learn more about the Freshman Academy at Tates Creek, Bryan Station or Frederick Douglass high schools, visit, or feel free to reach out to the Freshman Academy team at each school.


Freshman Academy contacts

Academies of Tates Creek High School
Meredith Bordas, Freshman Academy Principal
Megan Majors, Freshman Academy Counselor

Academies of Bryan Station High School
Meocha Williams, Freshman Academy Principal
Fred Snodgrass, Freshman Academy Principal
Dana Lawrence, Freshman Academy Counselor
Yvette Thompson, Freshman Academy Counselor

Academies of Frederick Douglass High School
Josh Williams, Freshman Academy Principal
Susan McVey, Freshman Academy Counselor