Couple donates $1.3 million to The Crossnore School

Article Published: Jul. 16 | Modified: Jul. 16
Couple donates $1.3 million to The Crossnore School

A $1.3 million gift from Leonard and Marjorie Williams will expand the Crossnore Academy, a K-12 charter school located on the campus of The Crossnore School. In honor of the donors, the academy will be renamed Williams Academy.

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The Crossnore School recently announced that it received a gift of $1.3 million, the largest gift in its 100-year history.

The gift, from Leonard and Marjorie Williams, will expand the K-12 charter school located on the campus of The Crossnore School.

To honor the gift, Cyndi Austin, principal of Crossnore Academy, announced that the academy’s board of directors voted to change the name to The Marjorie Williams Academy.

Brett A. Loftis, CEO, said the expansion will allow the academy to increase enrollment by 50 percent.
“I, and everyone at the Crossnore School, are deeply grateful for the Williamses’ unwavering support of our mission to provide a world class education for our students,” he said.

Williams Academy serves more than 100 children in Avery County each year. The mission of the academy is to offer a stable, emotionally supportive, educational environment for children, with a goal of empowering each child to achieve his or her academic and social potential.

Williams Academy focuses on using curriculum programs and educational approaches to close the achievement gap of at-risks students.

The Williamses’ gift is part of a capital campaign to raise $6.3 million for capital expansion that includes The Young Children’s Village.

“The traditional foster care system is so broken, only one third of foster kids graduate from high school and less than 3 percent graduate from college,” Loftis said. “The Crossnore School is leading the movement to provide an alternative to the traditional foster care system. On our campus, we have created a unique model for care comprised of holistic health care and spiritual development, comprehensive life enrichment skills, coordinated case advocacy and management, research-based therapeutic services, a world class education and, at its cores, a safe loving home.”

For more information on enrolling a student, contact Cyndi Austin, principal, at (828) 733-5241 or (

For more information on The Crossnore School, contact Kelli Wilson at (828) 733-4305 or (

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