After spending 20 years in the public school system as a speech language pathologist, Valarie Burner branched out this academic year and opened her own school, Inspire Learning Center in Pilot Mountain.
The facility is a Christian-based school that goes from kindergarten through second grade.
“I felt led to open this little school,” Burner said.
The school has an enrollment of six students and four teachers, who all work together in teaching the curriculum.
The school teaches a Christian based curriculum called A Beka, which is published through Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida.
“We have a good time and learn a lot,” Burner said. “We have more freedom to do little things than public schools do.”
Burner explained that the mission of the school is to take all of its students through the fifth grade and then allow them to filter into other schools in the area for middle school.
As for current enrollment numbers, Burner said that 17 students is the absolute maximum that the facility could serve at one time.
“We want to expand enrollment a little,” Burner said.
Burner explained that due to the school’s close proximity to Main Street, the teachers try to incorporate field trips into the curriculum such as trips to Soppers Restaurant in order to learn manners. Another benefit of the school’s location, according to Burner, is that it’s within walking distance to a playground.
As for meal options, all of the students pack both their lunches and snacks.
“We have great family and community support,” Burner said. “We’re thankful for our community.”
The school is preparing for its Christmas program.