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During National School Choice Week, we asked families to share why they chose Pine Lake Preparatory as their school community rather than private or the traditional public school to which they are zoned. We are grateful to each for sharing their "Why PLP." 

The Stuckey Family

When our oldest was entering kindergarten, we applied to Pine Lake for the small class sizes, focus on STEM, the academic and athletic reputation, and high parent involvement. We searched for a school where we could become part of a community and a place where our children would have a variety of ways to nurture their interests as they grow. When we won a spot in the general kindergarten lottery in 2022, we could not be more ecstatic. Our son Brycen, now in 1st grade, has thrived at Pine Lake. He has teachers and staff members who welcome him every day by name, classroom instruction that is fun yet challenging, Spanish classes that excite him, an after school program that he never wants to leave early from, enrichment programs that enables exploration of new interests such as karate or playing instruments, but most importantly he has a welcoming and inclusive environment that he enjoys going to every day.

As parents, we are impressed at the kindness we have seen by the Middle and Upper students, the constant communication and responsiveness from both teachers and administration, the openness to new ideas to continue to improve Pine Lake. But mostly, we are so grateful that we can call ourselves a Pine Lake family and excited for our daughter to start kindergarten next school year. It brings us peace and joy knowing that our children will be able to remain at the same campus for their entire K-12 experience while building deep friendships.

The Winchester Family

We have applied to PLP since 2018 when our oldest child became school age. We sought after PLP because of its sterling reputation for high academic achievement, low teacher turnover, variety of opportunities in athletics, arts, science, smaller school feel and amazing, inclusive community.  

This year we were fortunate to join the PLP family when our son, Oliver, got a spot in the lottery for first grade. He was placed in a classroom with a teacher that is experienced, kind and fun. Thanks to his teacher’s instruction and awareness of how he learns, he has grown so much in his reading and math skills. The STEM experiences and daily Spanish instruction have been new, amazing additions to his education this year too. He has made friends quickly and loves going to school. 

What we have been most grateful for at  PLP is the special attention Oliver has received from his teachers, the staff and administration through the year. They have  watched over him to make sure he is adjusting academically and socially. As a result, he is thriving. We look forward to Oliver’s younger brother joining him next year for Kindergarten!


The Korrapati Family

Our family has been at Pine Lake Prep for three years now and we have a current 9th grader and 7th grader.  We chose Pine Lake Prep over other public and charter schools because we felt that Pine Lake brings together the best of both worlds.  Pine Lake has the resources of a large school including state of the art athletic facilities, fine arts programs, STEM programs but also brings a sense of community by maintaining small class sizes and allowing students to develop life long friendships.  We are lucky to have some of the best teachers, staff, administration supporting each student with their individual needs. We moved to Pine Lake from a gifted charter school and immediately felt assured that our children would be challenged through a rigorous curriculum.  They transitioned well into the school and are now thriving socially and academically. It has been a fantastic choice for our family and we are truly thankful for the support and guidance of teachers and administration.

photo of the Emperador family

My family chose Pine Lake Prep almost 8 years ago because we desired a smaller, close-knit community for our children and we loved the idea of having them all on one campus together. We have 2 children currently enrolled at Pine Lake in 7th and 10th grades and 2 alumni who graduated in 2019 and 2023. We have experienced grades 1 through 12 at Pine Lake. It has far exceeded all of our expectations and was the absolute best decision we could have made for our children. The educational advantage has been massive for them with rigorous classes, dedicated and engaging teachers, and high academic standards. While the STEM facility, fine arts offerings, athletic fields, Spanish Immersion program, and consistently high state ratings are a big part of what drew us to the school, it’s the teachers, counselors, support staff, and administration that really make the school so special. Being in a smaller school community means my children see each other throughout the day, their friends and teachers also know their siblings, and we, as parents, are encouraged to have an active partnership in their education. Pine Lake has created an intentionally inclusive atmosphere where my children are a part of a community, not just a student number in a seat. Being a Pine Lake Prep family feels like we won the actual lottery- that’s how life-changing the school has been for us.

photo of The Sepulveda Family

When our family moved to North Carolina six years ago, there were so many schools to choose from. We started at the public school, but found the large class sizes challenging for our boys. I started working at a local private school during the pandemic and they both spent a year there, but the private school was too small, with few extra-curricular offerings. Finally, when I was offered a job to teach Spanish at Pine Lake, we jumped at the chance. The school is large enough to provide amazing opportunities like the Spork Robotics Club and the aquaponics club (and the Spanish programs are pretty great!), but small enough that Matias and Diego have close relationships with their teachers and a true sense of community at Pine Lake. We are so happy to be a part of Pine Lake Prep and the charter school community.

photo of the Sieni family

"Pine Lake Prep: A Transformative Educational Community"

When our family moved to North Carolina, securing the best possible education for our children was paramount. While our eldest thrived academically in a local public school, we felt a void in community engagement and teacher collaboration. Enter Pine Lake Prep – a standout among charter schools. Though our son had another charter school option, our daughter Isabel's lottery win for Kindergarten and Spanish immersion drew us to Pine Lake Prep.

Stepping into Pine Lake Prep instantly felt like entering a close-knit community, reminiscent of our prior private school experience in Richmond, VA. This warmth and collaborative spirit were crucial for our eldest, Alex, who smoothly transitioned during middle school, finding new friends through project-based activities. Today, he flourishes as a freshman at UNC Chapel Hill. Meanwhile, Isabel excels in 8th grade, and Finn thrives in the 4th-grade Spanish immersion program.

What distinguishes Pine Lake Prep? First, the unwavering dedication of teachers creates a collaborative environment beyond conventional norms. The school's commitment to diverse extracurricular activities ensures a well-rounded education. Leveled learning tailors education to individual performance and interests, with a curriculum balancing humanities, arts, and STEM subjects. Volunteer opportunities integrate kids into local communities, complemented by an outstanding orchestra program.

The Charles Family

"We were fortunate to get accepted into PLP when our daughter was in kindergarten at public school. Our family chose Pine Lake Preparatory because of the smaller learning environment, the ability to excel through 12th grade and the family culture we felt during our orientation. We were impressed by the caliber of teachers, administration and the strong focus on academically preparing students for college.

We now have a 7th grader and 4th grader at PLP and it brings us joy to see them flourishing in this environment. We love that the school not only stresses the importance of academics, but also the importance of community and personal responsibility."

The Eide Family

We were attracted to PLP and the charter school system due to the smaller student population and strong academic record.   We wanted an environment that our kids could thrive in and would be challenged to reach their full potential. PLP’s established track record of excellence was something that had attracted us to apply year after year.  We were so happy when two of our three kids “won the lottery” for 6th & 9th grade, followed by our third child the following year. We have loved the culture and community that PLP offers which provides our 3 very different kids the resources, structure, and support that they need in their own unique ways.  From athletics to academics to culture and community PLP has met all expectations and we are proud to be part of the Pride.