PACE — L.E.A.D. Academy announced two major news items for their school recently.

First, the Association of Christian Schools International has recommended the academy for accreditation. Second, the academy made a major fundraising announcement for Phase II of the Joppa Project. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, now a resident of Santa Rosa Beach, has agreed to visit L.E.A.D. Academy on Feb. 8, 2020, to help with the fundraising efforts.

The Joppa Project is a 30-acre piece of land on Joppa Road and the intersection of Chumuckla Highway. It will eventually be the main campus for all L.E.A.D. Academy including all K-12 classrooms, gyms, athletic fields and an agricultural department.

Phase I of the project is under construction. One building is complete and in use by students. The second building has sheet rock going up and the third building's steel frame is in place.

"These buildings are paid for; we're just waiting for them to be built," Melanie Perritt, school administrator said.

Fundraising is going on for Phase II of the construction process, but Huckabee's appearance marks the formal kickoff. Details are subject to change, but so far, the fundraiser will take place at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola. For more information on tickets or details for the Feb. 20 event, call 850-889-7080 or 850-995-1900.

The accreditation process visiting team consists of experts in a variety of fields to provide valuable feedback. Their purpose is to:

validate the school's self-study report
confirm the school is being true to its mission
evaluate the schools level of compliance with quality accreditation standards
assess the schools continuous improvement process
commend the strengths of the school
provide valuable feedback through clear recommendations for improvement
make a recommendation for accreditation to the commission on accreditation

"It's like another set of eyes looking at your curriculum," Perritt said. "You're evaluated by other professionals."