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What is Ascend Leadership Academy?


Managing Director, Justin Smith

Families of Lee County and surrounding areas,​

Welcome to Ascend Leadership Academy!  ALA's Board of Directors is excited to provide a tuition-free school of choice for the families of the Lee County, Harnett County and the surrounding area.  The Board of Directors relishes in the opportunity to enhance the educational landscape of the community.  

ALA is a school where we create student "problem solvers" who use their unique talents and abilities to have a positive impact on their local community.  At ALA, all students are leaders and we believe it is our job to nurture their talents and give them opportunities to lead.  Our students are true stakeholders in the learning community and we expect them to be active participants in the learning process.  

As always if you have any questions or concerns you can always contact me at  



Justin T. Smith, NBCT, M.A.
​Managing Director

Our Mission

The mission of Ascend Leadership Academy is to develop successful student leaders by growing their self-efficacy, intellectual understanding, and social competence.  ALA will accomplish this by applying innovative teaching methods, incorporating student cultural realities and cultivating student ownership in the learning community.

Our Philosophy

At ALA we seek to grow our students self-efficacy through the infusion of proven leadership principles into all aspects of the learning environment.  We will expand our students intellectual understanding through the execution of project based learning techniques and a digital media curriculum focused on real-world applications. ALA will advance student social competence by empowering students to use their own unique experiences and realities as effective resources in their own learning.

What we Believe

  • We believe that ALL students have unique talents and abilities that allow them to be significant contributors to our society.

  • We believe that by meeting each student on his or her own cultural and emotional turf we can improve student engagement and foster student ownership in the learning environment.”

  • We believe that there is greatness in every student and staff member and it is our responsibility to provide opportunities for using and nurturing those talents.”​​

ALA is... 

  • ALA is a transformative Project-Based Leadership school.

  • ALA is a tuition-free public charter school located in Lee County.

  • ALA will service students in grades 6-10 during the 2020-21 school year.

  • ALA provides a rigorous academic program that will prepare students for college and life in the 21st century.

  • ALA’s mission is to develop successful student leaders by growing their self-efficacy, intellectual understanding, and social competence.​