Our Mission & Philosophy

Mission Statement

South Hills Academy strives to provide a Christ-centered atmosphere that enables students to become socially engaged, effective communicators, and critical thinkers in a global setting.

Our Vision

We envision a world in which the quality education students receive at South Hills Academy prepares them to be well-rounded citizens with a biblical worldview who will be successful leaders in their respective communities.

About South Hills Academy

For over 60 years, South Hills Academy has maintained a reputation for high academic achievement. Though each of our four schools features its own personality and cognitive-level program, we continue to operate as one cohesive family – showcased throughout the school year by several whole-academy activities that brings together students, family members, and staff from all of our programs. At SHA, students are able to develop from age 2 to college-ready young adults.

Another major aspect of SHA that bonds all four schools together is our overall philosophy. We focus on guiding and supporting students in their academic, social, and character growth. And we do this primarily with our cross-curricular, project-based approach that aims for maximum student (and staff) engagement so that students “learn by doing.” Students who have purpose and the opportunity to actively pursue that purpose thrive in their learning. Please browse our website to see how this approach works in each school.

For over 60 years, South Hills Academy has maintained a reputation for high academic achievement. Though each of our four schools features its own personality and cognitive-level program, we continue to operate as one cohesive family – showcased throughout the school year by several whole-academy activities that brings together students, family members, and staff from all of our programs. At SHA, students are able to develop from age 2 to college-ready young adults.

Please come visit us to experience for yourself the family environment and active learning that make SHA a welcoming, warm, fun, energetic, exciting, and excellent place to be!

A Message from our Head of Schools

I began my tenure as High School Principal in July 2018 and moved on to Head of Schools in 2020. I am committed to creating inclusive residential learning communities of academic distinction while maintaining a rigorous academic program that blends international education with a California-based education.

 

I graduated from the University of Maryland and American College of Education. A firm believer that communication is the key to success, I studied Communication and Educational Leadership and spent the next 20 years of my life living and working in international schools in Japan, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Spain. While in Indonesia, I met my wife Ernita, a fellow teacher and rock climber.

 

I transitioned from classroom teacher to school leader because I enjoys mentoring teachers in addition to guiding students. My career has allowed me to shape many facets of school and education like athletics, residential life, academic programs, and extracurricular programs to focus on the development of the whole child.

 

My primary goal as Head of Schools is to promote a PK-to-Grade-12 concept across SHA to provide our students with a flawless transition from one level to the next. As a school leader, I understand that the heart of any successful school is a strong faculty and staff that can use best practices to cater to the needs of the school’s community. I will continue to uphold our school motto, “Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders.”

Head of Schools, South Hills Academy

Emmanuel Lacoste