Aug 5, 2017

Mr. James Carter

by Mrs. Beckstead

This is Mr. James Carter’s second year teaching high school students at American Heritage Academy. He teaches precalculus, calculus, chemistry, and physics. James is originally from the San Francisco bay area in California and attended the University of California, Davis where he received his B.S. in Natural Science with a minor in Oceanography.


Every year American Heritage  Academy scholars take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS: Iowa Test of Basic Skills). This test has been the preferred choice of educators since 1935. Each year scholars are measured against the nation’s students to ensure that instruction at American Heritage Academy exceeds the highest standards of education in the United States. We are proud of the accomplishments by our students and faculty; once again Continue Reading

Oct 1, 2014

The Foundation of Faith in Education

by Mrs. Beckstead

At American Heritage Academy, we believe education is not just intellectual. Our mission is to educate your child’s heart, mind, and spirit.

We have all heard the proverb, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The heart is most commonly associated with feelings. However in this adage, the association of the heart is one’s thinking.

In truth, as a man thinketh in his heart signifies how he will behave in the very depths of his soul.

Faith, Patriotism, and Leadership, are the three fundamental values taught at American Heritage Academy. They help to strengthen, edify and support each other. This balanced approach to education allows the scholar to learn from the heart as well as the mind, leading to a greater spiritual understanding of the material being studied.

Our mission statement declares:  American Heritage Academy exists for the purpose of providing a principle-based education that develops the mind and heart. Scholars will increase in faith, develop a love, understanding and appreciation for America and its Founding Fathers, make education a life-long pursuit and develop Christian character for a life of service and leadership.

In order to further understand the true definition of education, Continue Reading

He was uncommonly tall. His exterior suggested to every beholder the idea of strength, united with manly gracefulness. His form was noble and his port majestic. No man could approach him but with respect. His frame was robust, his constitution vigorous, and he was capable of enduring great fatigue. His passions were naturally strong; with them was his first contest and over them his first victory. Before he undertook to command others, he had thoroughly learned to command himself. The powers of his own mind were more solid than brilliant. Judgment was his forte. Truth and utility were his objects; he steadily pursued and generally attained them.

As a military man, he possessed personal courage and a firmness which neither danger or difficulties could shake. His genius supplied every resource. He knew how to conquer by delay and his prudent firmness proved the salvation of his country.

His integrity was incorruptible. His principles were free from the Continue Reading

The Unique Philosophy of American Heritage Teaching:

At American Heritage Academy, we instill in our staff that “education comes from within.” True education is a scholar’s internal discovery and as such, their own doing. Meaningful learning cannot be achieved by the use of external forces or third party persuasion. Rather, it is an internal awakening that quenches a scholar’s hunger for knowledge.  This principle element of teaching is misplaced by many in the field of education today. Continual busy work and unlimited worksheets used in repetitive learning cannot achieve the same results as personal drive. While it is possible to teach to a test, “learning for life” comes only to those who choose the personal responsibility to be teachable. This personal empowerment to learn, along with Continue Reading

If our Founding Fathers were with us today,  I believe they would tell us three things:

  1. To have Faith in God
  2. Preserve and protect our God-given freedoms
  3. Understand the principles of our Constitution

But above all else, our Founders would want to give us hope that our nation will endure; and to remember, God provided miracles at critical times in their history and there are miracles yet to come.

Our debt today is to pay back to our Founders the price they paid with their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.  We repay this debt by preserving the Constitution for our posterity. We must maintain their same character of integrity, courage, and faith.

The simple faith that wrought miracles. Live by the principles you know to be true, make the Continue Reading

“Conscience is the Most Sacred of All Property.”   James Madison

Conscience is the internal or self knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong, or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns us.

Many great men and women of the past were just typical persons using their God given gifts in service to others.  Their conscience prompted them to put what they learned to action.  They were not the most beautiful, brightest, or wealthiest.  They did not aspire to prominence or fame.  In fact, they were quite the opposite.  They were humble and did the tasks not for a reward or to glorify themselves but to further God’s work and glorify Him. They were teachers, surveyors and scholars. Up until they started and completed their mission, they were just doing seemingly ordinary tasks. In thus doing, God was providentially preparing them for His purpose.  I am sure at times they were faced with despair, hardship, and failure but that did not stop them from going forward.  There is purpose in every challenge we have to overcome, and it is important to never give up.  When we think that what we are doing is of little significance or worth, we must remember this quote, “the Lord’s best work is always done in the smallest compass, not in the largest or most famous.” God’s greatest of work is usually accomplished by a small group or individual, in an obscure location known but by a few.

Report ranks Clark County among last in high school graduation rates

By Dave Berns (contact)

A detailed analysis in a story in Education Week, raises further questions about the accuracy of previously reported high school graduation rates for the Clark County and Washoe County school districts, which are responsible for educating 85 percent of the state’s public school students.

The Education Week numbers produced with theEditorial Projects in Education Research Center show that Nevada’s high school graduation rate was 44.3 percent for the academic year ending in 2008. That placed it 50th in the country, just behind of the District of Columbia, which recorded a 43 percent graduation rate.

New Jersey led the nation with an 86.9 percent graduation rate, followed by Vermont at 82.7 percent and Wisconsin with a rate of 81.3. The national average was 71.7 percent.

The Clark County School District lists its 2008 high school graduation rate at 65 percent, according to data found on its website. The Washoe County School District places its 2008 high school graduation rate at 56 percent, according to a report on its website.

The Education Week article notes that the 71.7 percent national average in 2008 was the highest figure since the mid-1980s and followed two consecutive years of decline and stagnation, and it offered a troublesome note for Nevadans.

“The 44-percentage-point chasm separating the highest- and lowest-performing states remains alarming,” the story says. “The national leaders — New Jersey, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin — each graduate more than 80 percent of their high school students. At the other extreme of the rankings, fewer than six in 10 students finish high school in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and South Carolina. Overall, graduation rates in about half the states fall within 5 points of the national average of 72 percent.”

Long-stated doubts about the accuracy of the Clark County figures have been a point of public frustration for the district’s new superintendent, Dwight Jones, who assumed the job in November and is in the process of adopting a revised methodology that would have placed the school district’s previously reported June 2009 high school graduation rate at 51 percent rather than the previously reported 68 percent.

Jones has publicly expressed his frustrations with the reported numbers, saying that district officials must be open and transparent about the numbers before taxpayers, business and political leaders will support the district’s needs.

Clark County public school administrators have previously discounted from the graduation figures tens of thousands of students who disappeared from the region’s high schools between the 9th and 12th grades. Top officials routinely argued that an unknown, untraceable number of students were lost to transient families that moved in and out of the region and argued that the district had no way of determining what percentage of those students dropped out of school rather than transferring to schools elsewhere in the country.

The new graduation rate is designed to account for the number of students who start the 9th grade with the Clark County School District and finish within four years with a high school diploma rather than a less stringent certificate of attendance. The formula is intended to accurately account for students who transfer in and out of the school system during that period. The Education Week analysis employs a similar formula.

Pedro Martinez, the Clark County School District’s newly hired deputy superintendent of instruction, says just 10 of every 100 students who start the 9th grade within the school district will receive a college bachelor’s degree. That is about half of the national average, and the Southern Nevada figure is lower for ethnic minority students.

Jun 7, 2011

Does Your Child have a Hero?

by Mrs. Beckstead

John Adams said, “our government is designed for a moral and virtuous people.”

A people possessing the virtues of: courage, temperance, wisdom, and justice. Paramount – charity, faith and sacrifice. So how can we do this? – How do we teach our scholars virtue? I believe that it can be learned through emulation – making the best characteristics of a noble and great person our own.

And this is done through the study of history and biographies. We learn about the noble and great and it forever plants in our hearts and minds:

  1. Standards of resolution
  2. Allegiance to principle, country and friend
  3. A strengthening of conscience and a resistance to the fierce blandishments of will.

The scholar emulates these great people and in so doing learns to do her best – by and for those who have depended on her and that she may have done that best, and often, when she did not want to, when she was exhausted or when in doubt of the wisdom of the duty prescribed to her, or when a hundred other obligations competed for her attention.

She understands, before those she studied were great, they were studded by failure, by error, by self-doubt and that in acknowledging these to be true and by mastering their consequences, learning from them and moving on, that they earned their reputation, the fame of succeeding generations, that was their noblest reward.

They were not the best and the brightest. They were the wisest and bravest.

So I would ask – is there a person in history that you love, whose life somehow speaks directly to your own consciousness, whose life, with its sorrows and exaltations, somehow means something to the way you live your own? A life you can somehow realize?

Find people who inspire you! Study their lives and you will find and live up to greatness.

Jun 7, 2011

Upper Grammar Etiquette Dinner

by Mrs. Beckstead

Our upper grammar scholars at American Heritage Academy know the importance of manners. Scholars are taught the etiquette necessary at a formal celebration, an important business dinner and on the dance floor. They learn basic dance skills, how to dress in formal attire, and which fork to use in a formal place setting. The night of the Etiquette Dinner is magical as it all comes together and our scholars demonstrate proper dinner conversation while eating their five course meal before they dance the night away.

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