Principal David Switzer is a misogynist. He thinks that he can bully and intimidate parents like he does with the students at AK. If you question his school policies, i.e. no outside food and allowing AK staff to search your child's lunch for fast food content, he becomes belligerent and unhinged. Clearly, he has some psychological issues or perhaps years of steroid use is taking effect. Now, I understand why most of the students at AK dislike him and why there is such a high turnover of teachers at AK--- some only lasting for one semester.
Principal Switzer runs this large high school phenomenally! He is very transparent about what goes on and extremely accessible to parents and students. He hosts morning and evening parent meetings with him so that they fit in with most people's schedules. He is on top of any problem and works quickly towards a resolution.
Our twins transitioned easily to high school and enjoy this school and what it offers.
Kudos to Principal Switzer!
Both of my children graduated from AK ...although it has been a few years now, I just had to add my comments - especially after reading some of the negative reviews! My kids were in athletics and art - there are many opportunities to get involved. My son was not the "academic type" - with few AP courses, but when he went to college I remember him telling me how grateful he was to AK teachers, who "pushed" him....he realized how well prepared he was compared to other students from around the state! And he has successfully completed his Degree! My daughter, who had a lot of AP credits, hit the ground running and she will graduate from UNCW soon - she was just awarded an internship in NYC and I'm sure faced a lot of competition from highly acclaimed schools like NYU. My point is that AK provided my children with the foundation for success on the next step of their journey ....this is what I want in a high school! It's a challenging time for all students, socially and academically, but the staff and curriculum at AK helped my children compete at a high level and I am grateful that they received such a top notch education at Ardrey Kell HS!
I came to this school because I had heard that it is a wonderful place to teach. What I have found is that it IS a wonderful place to teach IF you do exactly as the administration says and do not deviate from what the believe is 'effectiveness'. Mr. Switzer is a nice enough fellow, but there are those of us at the school that think the press clippings and accolades have gone to his head. He says he believes in his staff, but seems not to respect us enough as educators to give us a sense of autonomy in our classrooms. I don't feel trusted to deliver results. Instead, I am made to feel like I am not intelligent or experienced enough, to trust what works in my classroom. Doing things the 'AK WAY' here seems to mean doing things EXACTLY the way they want you to do them. On the plus side, this school has done a fantastic job with involving the community. You won't find many schools that have the wonderful relationship between the community and the administrators. This can be a GREAT SCHOOL, but the administration must start to trust and respect us as educators, even if it doesn't square with their views on what makes for effective instruction.
Audrey Kell is fine if your child is a high achiever or an athlete. If a student is average or below, its a constant struggle where no one cares or helps. The EC coordinator should have retired a long time ago, she is no advocate for the children. AK is more interested in their image than with the students. There were many bullying issues that were never addressed although they profess to be diligent. Much of the student body is pretentious and self centered. Thank goodness we left and found a smaller, loving HS environment.
We moved from NY to Charlotte last year and my daughter completed 10th grade @ Ardrey Kell. We are very impressed with this school. The academics are rigorous but my daughter was able to maintain excellent grades while working part time and staying active in athletics. I concur with other reviews that the principal, Mr. Switzer, is amazing and I hope he stays @ Ardrey Kell until my other children graduate. You won't find a better High school in the CMS system. PS....I do see why people call it a jail though. It could use some paint/landscaping/architectural enhancements??
I can't say enough good things about AKHS. We love, love, love this school. Mr. Switzer, the principal, is amazing. This school has something for everyone: academics, athletes, artists, musicians, etc. Your child will be so glad to be at this school! Even the kids here have a ton of school spirit. It's unlike anything I've ever seen!
To some, this school appears to be great. It'd diverse and the teachers are young and great. However, the way this school is run makes the learning environment impossible to learn in. The administrators seem to care more about girls' yoga pants and butts than academics and student satisfaction. The drug and cheating problems at this school are unbelievable and the rules are ridiculous. If you care at all about your child's education, don't send them hear! This was my first year at AK and after my experience it is also my last. The learning environment and the ridiculous rules may work for some people whom I have met, but for most students I have talked to, this school is exactly what it looks like...a prison.
Ardey Kell is a great high school, filled with lots of diversity. Since day one, the staff and faculty has been very welcoming and inclusive. My children have received an excellent education, as well as being involved in a great athletic community.