• Athlos Roll Call_fall 2016

Staff Recognition

Isbell Receives Presidential Award

Isbell Receives Presidential Award

Giselle Isbell, Director of Prepared Mind at Athlos Academies, was honored at the nation’s capital in September for her selection as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Read more...

New School Leaders

Meet our New School Leaders

Meet our New School Leaders

This fall, Athlos Academies opened two fully-implementing schools — Athlos Academy of St. Cloud and Athlos Academy of Utah. We are excited to announce the hiring of our two new school leaders, Kathy Mortensen, Ed. D and Esther Thompson. Read more...

Distinguished Educators

Distinguished Athlos Educators 2016

Athlos Educators Exemplify Excellence

In June, three Athlos educators were chosen for the Athlos Distinguished Educator Award. Each was chosen based on their excellence in exemplifying one of the Athlos Pillars of Performance: Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character. Read more...

Message from our President

David Jeppson, President, Athlos

Hello everyone, and welcome to our first Athlos Academies quarterly newsletter. As we move forward and continue to grow, we’re excited to introduce this quarterly newsletter to share our successes, feats, goals, and accomplishments, both at our headquarters and in our schools.

This past quarter we’ve seen significant successes — none of which could have been possible without exhibiting optimism, initiative, and grit. We successfully opened not one, but two, fully-implementing schools. These are our newest fully-implementing schools, and in the short time they have been serving children, we’ve heard from our students, their families, and staff about the sense of community the schools have created. As we move forward, we’re eager to grow this school culture.

In addition to our fully-implementing schools, we’ve helped our partner schools on six new locations and our staff has spent numerous hours in our existing partner schools offering professional development and support. In fact, over this last quarter, our academic team has spent approximately 250 hours leading on-site professional development and training, and approximately 50 hours offering virtual professional development and training.

Moving into next quarter, we will break ground on the site of our newest fully-implementing school in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, as well as work with our current partners to expand their networks.

Our school growth team is juggling multiple charter applications, looking to expand the reach of our network and offer the Athlos edge to more students throughout the country. We’re excited to move into this next quarter, and can’t wait to share our newsletter with you all.


David Jeppson

David Jeppson signature

President, Athlos Academies

Events and Celebrations

Athlos Academy of St. Cloud Celebrates Grand Opening

Athlos Academy of St. Cloud celebrated their grand opening and ribbon cutting event on Wednesday, August 10.

The evening event drew a large crowd of more than 700 attendees, including future students and their families, teachers and staff, community members, and local dignitaries.

School tours, events for the children, and meet and greets took place prior to the formal program.

The program included remarks from Athlos Academy of St. Cloud board chair, Dan McKeon, and Athlos Academies President, David Jeppson; a student reading from incoming Athlos fifth grade student, Jack Fitch; and a keynote speech from Congressman Tom Emmer, U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 6th District.

“I see the need in St. Cloud for a program like the one this school will offer – one that will take eager and creative children and, through a program that balances mind, body, and character, cultivate leadership, compassion, and the ability to navigate the complexities of our changing world,” said McKeon. “We all understand that a strong academic program needs to be the centerpiece of a public school, but we also understand the way attention to only reading and math can lead to a childhood bankrupt of joy and curiosity and discovery and personal development.”

Following the program, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place on the turf. Athlos students were able to participate in the ceremony, while McKeon made the ceremonial ribbon cut. The evening concluded with self-guided tours and meet and greet opportunities.

Athlos Academies Offers Professional Development to School Staff

Student Recognition

Athlos track students

Athlos Students Recognized for Excellence in Academics, Athletics, Performance Character

Noah Barnard and Giovanna Pena aren’t your average students. Both in their third year at Athlos Leadership Academy in Brownsville, TX, Noah and Giovanna have stood out due to their excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and leadership. Not only have Noah and Giovanna’s successes been noticed by their teachers and coaches, but their peers also recognize their strong leadership skills, and look to the two as role models in the classroom and beyond. Read more...
character day

Students Celebrate National Character Day

Athlos students at Athlos Leadership Academy in Brownsville, TX demonstrated what Performance Character means to them during multiple celebrations and activities on National Character Day, Sept. 23, 2016. The school’s elementary and sixth grade students celebrated by creating their very own "character jigsaw puzzles.” Each classroom was divided into groups, and each group personalized their puzzle using the Performance Character traits as the main piece. Read more...

Athlos School Nutrition Program Implemented in St. Cloud and Herriman

At Athlos, we embrace the fact that a substantial school nutrition program provides more than just food at lunch.  Like all parts of the school day, school lunch is an educational opportunity; the opportunity to learn about foods, as well as socially from one another.

Over the course of the past several months, our school nutrition specialist, Ian Woods, has implemented school nutrition programs in two of our new schools.

“The process was quite thorough,” Woods said. “Athlos first made the decision that we wanted and needed nutrition programs at our schools.  My beginning steps were contacting the state offices of education expressing interest in participating in the USDA’s National School Lunch Program.”

From that point, there was a tremendous amount of operational planning, hiring, equipment and food procurement, and menu planning. Now our Athlos students in St. Cloud, MN and Herriman, UT are experiencing the benefits of these programs.

“Healthy eating not only boosts concentration, allowing students to remain focused on their studies, but well-nourished bodies will have the energy to perform in all of the physical activities we do here at Athlos,” Woods said.

Choose a healthy lunchThe biggest hurdle to implementation was the unknown participation and buy-in from both students and parents. We had no idea how many of our students were going to be eating school breakfast or lunch, or how many would be bringing food from home.“Student and parent buy-in continues to be one of the greatest challenges among school nutrition programs,” Woods said. “One can often hear statements like ‘school meals cannot possibly compare with those made at home,’ but this is just not the case anymore.”

Participation in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program requires us to keep our total calories, saturated-fat, and sodium within a very narrow range based on grade-level. On top of that, we offer fruit and vegetable choices that may not be available in a lot of households every day.

“Healthy eating habits that begin during childhood and adolescence translate to lifelong healthy eating habits,” Woods said. “Specifically, participation in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program has been associated with at least a 25 percent decrease in adolescent obesity.”

We’re excited to see greater participation in our school nutrition programs, and to provide our students with the numerous benefits of healthy living.

“If we are able to establish healthy eating habits and nutritious food choices when the kids are young, there is a far greater chance that their food preferences will travel with them throughout their long lives,” Woods said.

What They Say

Athlos isn’t just about academics. It teaches us how to become a unique individual and how to become a critical thinker. Athlos’ goal is to teach us to be a good leader and a great citizen.

- Hannah Garcia, Athlos 6th grade student (Brownsville)

We love Athlos!! Thank you to the wonderful staff for making this first week of school easier on myself and my kids! Back to school is never easy and comes with a lot of transition and adjustment, so the weeks and days leading up to back to school this year were filled with worry and anticipation, but Athlos has made this process so easy on our family, which is huge since this is a brand new school and thus a new process for everyone involved!

- Sharlie Bodell, Athlos parent (Herriman)

My kids have loved school and have looked forward to going every day. That is huge for us! Thank you Athlos team for making this year start off with such great success.

- Kristi DuVall Gregory, Athlos parent (Herriman)

The communication level for all three of my children with each of their teachers is great! I really love to hear how my kids are doing, good or bad. It gives us the opportunity to discuss at home and reinforce positivity.

- Amy Domico, Athlos parent (St. Cloud)

School Partnerships


Seven partnerships in the DFW area






Two partnerships in San Antonio


Two partnerships in the Houston area


Brooklyn Park




St. Cloud


Jefferson Parish


Students being served

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