This fall, Deer Valley Unified School District welcomes The Traditional Academy at Bellair with Principal Vivian Hunt at its helm. Currently the principal of Arrowhead Elementary, Hunt is thrilled to be heading up what she is calling her “dream school.” Hunt has 41 years in education (which she says she has loved every minute of), including teaching for 27 years before moving into the administration side 15 years ago. She is currently in her eighth year as principal of Arrowhead Elementary and is looking forward to a new year and a new school with The Traditional Academy at Bellair. Her philosophy behind education is that every student deserves to thrive – regardless of the “type of school.” She encourages parents not to ask which types of school (public, private, charter, etc.) they should send their child to, but rather which type of school can serve their student’s individual needs in the best possible way.
When it comes to The Traditional Academy at Bellair, Hunt calls the school “an environment that allows students to focus at a rate that aligns with their ability.” An accelerated traditional school that offers education a grade level above in reading, writing and math, Hunt admits that the school’s back to basics philosophy is centered around hard work and high standards. “We believe in the fundamental academic values that are designed around an environment where kids can focus as well as core values of patriotism, citizenship, leadership, and responsibility.”

As for that last part, Hunt notes that, as an open enrollment school, the kids that are there want to be there, and as such, they will have the accountability to rise to the school’s standards and expectations… as will the parents.

“A certain level of parent participation will be required, and we also require commitment from the staff that goes beyond the school day,” says Hunt adding, “We are all working to make this the greatest school ever. Everyone who will be here will be here by choice and that is very exciting.”

Hunt’s goal in opening this “dream school” is that students will feel free to be themselves in a safe and nurturing environment. She hopes to offer the best of what public and charter schools can provide. Services will include gifted, developmental preschool, free kindergarten, before and after school programming, staffing for special education and technology, including an 86-inch interactive screen that serves as a huge iPad.

The current Bellair Elementary School, located at 4701 W. Grovers Avenue, is being repurposed and receiving modernization to become The Traditional Academy this fall. Hunt says it will receive fresh paint, new carpeting and cabinets in the classrooms and the front of the building will be redone with pillars, so it looks like a traditional school when it’s ready to welcome students in the fall.