Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.– host Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by new all-star panelist and Thales Academy of Franklin Principal Rachael Bradley.
Leahy: We are joined now by our newest all-star panelist. Our good friend and the principal of the Thales Academy school opening in Franklin in July. Rachael Bradley welcome.
Bradley: Good morning how are you?
Leahy: I’m great. And you have been now a resident of the state of Tennessee for one week. You were previously a Tar Heel because you worked as the principal of the Thales Academy school in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. You moved here and you are starting to settle in. How is that going?
Bradley: It’s going very well. We’ve had a lot of time to get things done. (Chuckles)
Leahy: (Laughs) Your house is set up now? You told me your new neighbors in Tennessee are real friendly. Socially distant, but friendly.
Bradley: A lot of waves from the street and sidewalk. Offers of help. Messages of being welcomed. Its the friendliest I think I’ve ever been on.
Leahy: That’s very good news. Of course, talk about your dedication to your mission. We’ve been working on this and you’ve been working on this for well over a year. And the announcement was made that Thales Academy is opening up the first school in Tennessee in Franklin at the former Gate Community Church.
It’s right off Carothers Parkway there where you just purchased the building. We’ve had a couple of parent meetings. And just as we were about to come in for another one, the coronavirus pandemic set in. But bravely and with a lot of courage, your entire family packed up and moved on the first of April from North Carolina to Franklin, Tennessee. What was that experience like Rachael?
Bradley: Well, it was exciting. I really couldn’t be more excited about what we’re doing here and what we’re bringing to the town of Franklin and the greater Nashville area with Thales Academy. And what our school can offer families. We were determined. I was certainly determined. I want this school to be a success. I want other children to reap the benefits that my own son who’s going to be in third grade as a student of Thales Academy.
Leahy: I am actually as enthusiastic as you are about this because I found Thales Academy because I was looking for a school that was effectively teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic and all the classics of American civics. And there you are and have been such a success in North Carolina since 2007.
We are just delighted you are coming here to Franklin. Now tell us, you made some news that we reported last week about pricing and a wonderful economic value being offered to parents who are thinking of enrolling in July. The school year starts in July. Tell us a little bit about the tuition changes that have been made.
Bradley: Sure. It’s important to start off reiterating our mission which is to provide an excellent high-quality education at an affordable cost to families. Our founder Mr. Luddy feels very strongly about that. Given the current circumstances here in our country and the many challenges, families are facing. A lot of families are dealing with job loss, sickness, and a myriad of other challenges with this COVID-19 crisis. As a response to that, we’ve lowered our already low tuition of $6,000.00 to $5,300.00.
Leahy: Wow! That’s a pretty good deal.
Bradley: And that’s for a full year of tuition. Its a phenomenal deal! And families can also take advantage of a full pay discount if they choose to pay in July which brings the tuition down to $5,000.00.
Leahy: So it can be $5,000.00 if they pay the whole thing?
Bradley: That’s right.
Leahy: If you want to learn about this go to Thalesacademy.org. Let’s talk about that name. T-H-A-L-E-S Academy.org. Or ThalesAcademy.org/Franklin. Thales was the first kind of Greek scientist around 600 B.C. He turned everything from mythology to science. That’s why the academy is called Thales Academy.
Bradley: Yes. That’s exactly right.
Leahy: We are going to talk a little bit about how people can learn about Thales Academy. There had been a plan. (Chuckles) Which has kind of taken a curve. The plan had been to have a series of parental meetings. We had a couple of them in February and March. Good attendance.
But that’s sort of been placed on hold for a while. When this thing breaks and we think right now it might be mid-May or early May here in Tennessee. What sort of things are going to happen so parents can learn more about Thales Academy-Franklin?
Bradley: Currently I recorded a full information session as I would have presented in person. And that is available to view on our Thales Academy/Franklin Facebook page. I really want to encourage families to visit the Thales Academy/Frankling Facebook page and you can view an entire information session.
That’s me live in a small studio space in our corporate office. And I really wanted to get that out there so we don’t lose ground by sharing information about Thales Academy for families in this area. So that would be your first place to start.
Leahy: I’m doing it right now Principal Rachael Bradley. Go into Facebook and in the search put Thales Academy Franklin and boom! Thales Academy Franklin shows up at 3835 Carothers Parkway and there you are with your video.
Bradley: That’s right. In addition to the video, I’m regularly putting out short pieces about various aspects of our school. So that’s a great choice for a wealth of information while you are at home with your children contemplating the next step for them and their education.
In addition, once we can resume person to person contact, we will immediately put some dates on the calendar for some more in-person sessions. It’s always nice to meet people face to face that have the opportunity to ask questions. Everything that specifically pertains to your child’s needs I would love to be able to answer those questions.
Leahy: And all that will happen in accordance with the governors and public health officials instructions. This is just me, my guess is that this may happen late May or early June. Also my guess is parents are now saying, “What are we going to do? How are we going to educate our kids during this?” This is a big question, isn’t it?
Bradley: That’s a huge question. The challenges that we are all facing with the impact on household income. It’s a really scary time. The one thing you don’t want to sacrifice is your child’s education. So we are offering a really amazing alternative here so that doesn’t have to be something that falls by the wayside that you were forced to sacrifice.
Leahy: I went to both of those meetings that we held in February and in March. And I thought that the parents asked some terrific questions and they were able to get their answers. You’ve already assembled a terrific team right? You already have your teachers?
Bradley: We have. I’ve already hired all of our grade level teachers. We’ll open our doors as a K-3 campus and add a grade level each year and have hired all four homeroom teachers as well as art, PE, music, and technology. So we are ready to roll in July.
Leahy: And that facility at the former Gate Community Church on 3835 Carothers Parkway in Franklin I’ve been there several times and it’s a very very nice facility.
Listen to the third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Thales Academy” by Thales Academy.