Piedmont Academy began with a group of parents hoping to create a school they could trust. The school was constructed modestly in 1970, with 133 students enrolled in the first year. Over 40 years later, Piedmont has become a reputable nonprofit, accredited, college preparatory institution located in Monticello.
The school, now celebrating its 41st year, is attended by 314 students that come from eight surrounding counties, including Rockdale, Putnam, Butts and Henry counties. In the past 10 years, 28 percent of Piedmont’s students have been residents of Newton County.
Teaching students from pre-school through twelfth grade, Piedmont offers 41 professional faculty and staff members — one-third of whom hold one or more advanced degrees. One of the school’s advantages is its small student-to-teacher ratio, currently at 12:1.
"Tradition is very important at our school and we enjoy many of those traditions dating back to the 1970s like ‘mock homecoming,’ elementary dances, and our lunchroom ladies preparing true ‘home-cooked’ meals," said Judy Nelson, director of admissions and public relations.
Piedmont rests on 25 acres and boasts eight buildings that include six classroom buildings, an outside classroom, media center, a full-sized gymnasium including a band/music room, stage and weight room. The school also has a separate play area for elementary students. Recently, country music star Trisha Yearwood provided the funds for a children’s playground.
The school features an impressive athletics complex with a football stadium and a baseball field; Piedmont offers 10 athletic programs such as football, baseball, wrestling, softball, tennis and cheerleading.
Students who have attended Piedmont Academy have won an assortment of awards, like the Presidential Scholars awards, state and literary awards, MathCounts regional championships, University of Georgia Certificate of Merit and many others. They have moved on to attend and graduate colleges like Florida State and Emory University.
"Once students start school at Piedmont, they become immediately comfortable with their peers, teachers and staff members of the school," said Nelson. "The atmosphere has been described as ‘warm and fuzzy’ by visitors. The school’s faculty, staff and administration have a sincere interest in each student. They know their names, their parents and who their friends are at the time. When various situations arise, we are small enough to get down to the bottom of the matter in a timely manner. We love it when our graduates come by to visit and tell us they are performing well in their college classes and they are making good grades and enjoying college life."
One of the unique qualities of Piedmont is the alumni continue to stay involved with the school long after graduating. Many of them return to enroll their children.
"Oftentimes when students graduate, attend college, establish their careers and begin having a family, they tend to look at life in a new perspective," Nelson said. "Sometimes our alumni will complete and send in an application for their newborn to make sure they will be contacted for their child to start school. From an admissions’ standpoint, that is a very rewarding feeling. Speaking as an alumni of Piedmont Academy, I may run across a member of my graduating class and it is just like I saw them last week. Basically, our students have a connection with their peers and families."
Piedmont Academy’s media center will be hosting a book fair and their varsity football homecoming game on Sep. 17. The school’s grandparents’ club will be hosting their annual bazaar Oct. 29 - 30.