Mount Airy families, wanting a superior quality education for area children, founded Millennium Charter Academy in the year 2000. They earnestly desired that the school serve this region as an academic institution focusing on robust academics and moral character development. The founders, furthermore, specifically addressed critical thinking skills, attention to individual students, community involvement, and the development of student leadership.

In October 1998, Ken and Diana Gwyn, Ken Peavy, David Hiatt, Carol Surratt, and Sandra Moore met to discuss the possibility of beginning a charter school. After numerous meetings and mounds of paper work generated by the process of chartering a school in North Carolina, in January of the following year, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) granted a five-year charter to Millennium Educational Foundation, Incorporated. In 2003, the State Board of Education approved MCA’s request to extend that charter to the year 2015.

The newly formed foundation quickly established committees and recruited additional citizens to help launch the school. Before there was land on which to build a school or even a facility in which to operate, these pioneers recruited students, a director (principal), and some of the best teachers in the area. They also mounted a low-key capital campaign, which garnered $5,000. In late spring Millennium Educational Foundation secured about twenyt-two acres of land, and within ninety days a 21,000 square foot, cost efficient, state-of-the-art building was erected.

Architectural rendering of the completed expansion project, showing the middle school wing, fine arts center, and lower elementary wing. The gymnasium and upper elementary wing are behind.

Architectural rendering of the completed expansion project, showing the middle school wing, fine arts center, and lower elementary wing. The gymnasium and upper elementary wing are behind.

In the meantime, Millennium Charter Academy opened its doors for kindergarten through fourth grades in space rented from the Mount Airy City Schools. Most of the parents associated with the school at that time helped clean the space and set up classrooms. As soon as J.S. Clark Construction Company completed the new building in September, those same families moved the school during a single weekend. Anticipating the growth that would come, within the year the Board of Directors successfully petitioned DPI for grades six, seven, eight, and a total of 360 students.


To meet the needs of an increasing student enrollment and students growing in age, the school built a gymnasium, The Lion Arena, in 2002. Then, in 2006, to meet the demands of the community, MCA added the Upper Elementary wing for grades 4 and 5, and the Middle School for grade 6-8. At this point, our facility totaled 63,206 square feet. Once again, due to the demands of the community, MCA sought approval from the State of North Carolina to expand to high school grades. That approval was gained in January 2013, and the MCA Upper School expansion project began. In the fall of 2014, MCA opened Phase I of the project, with a beautiful new building for high school and our first ninth grade class.


To further our expansion through twelfth grade, the High School Development Committee is actively working on Phase II of the expansion. To accommodate grades 11 and 12, a new addition is planned, targeted for completion by the fall of 2017. The new expansion includes significant additional classroom space and a gymnasium, and will almost double the floor space of the existing facility. It will allow MCA to accommodate our student classroom needs of four sections per grade level for each grade K-12. At this point the school will be able to enroll roughly 1100 students in grades K-12.