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Academy grows to third site
Carrington Academy 7 es
Courtney Justice plays in the Water Park at Carrington Academy Tuesday afternoon as part of a summer program. - photo by Emily Saunders

For more information on the Carrington Academy, call (770) 888-8011 or go online at

When it came time to choose a day care for her older son, Andrew, Lynn Sharp did some shopping.

Four years later, she’s making the same choice — Carrington Academy — with her 3-month-old son, Connor.

“The teacher who was with Andrew when he was a baby is the same teacher that will be with Connor when he starts,” Sharp said. “It’s a really good place for the kids to be.”

Andrew Sharp is learning Spanish, is active in sports and on the high end of the learning scale, his mother said.

That educational aspect is also key for the Davis family, who are about to open their third Carrington Academy in south Forsyth after purchasing the former Legacy Academy.

“We decided to open up a private preschool program that would offer parents basically all of my high expectations that I have for my child to learn,” said Melissa Davis, co-owner.

“With my education background, I tried to make it an educational learning center for the students, and try to instill a love for learning in them, because I know how important it is.”

The academies are owned and operated by brothers Chris and Brent Davis and their wives, Valorie and Melissa.

The facilities are the largest non-franchised, family-owned and operated, private preschool program in the county.

A former elementary school teacher, Melissa Davis said each of the owners brings something to the table.

She handles the curriculum development and her husband Brent, an opera singer, plans all the creative arts programs, often bringing in guests from local theaters.

Valorie Davis is in charge of event planning, including tricycle parades, a Mother’s Day Muffins with Mom event and an upcoming Father’s Day Donuts with Dads event.

Her husband, Chris, is in charge of the business end, including working on the new location off McFarland Parkway.

“We follow a very specific academic curriculum,” Chris Davis said. “All of our head teachers are degreed and we’re in the process of accreditation.

“We offer flexible days, flexible times and we offer flexible programs ... for parents that are working families.”

With about 220 children ready to start in August, the newest location is a happy medium between the Midway site, which has about 180 children, and the Windermere facility, with about 250.

“We’re not just an owner,” Chris Davis said. “We also have our children in the program and we feel like that caters to the community more.
Being involved as a family, you’re much more careful to make sure the details are being implemented.”

The academy offers daily programming for children as young as six weeks old through the kindergarten level.

Each academy is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and offers a variety of options for parents, including full-day or partial-day plans.

After-school programming is also available for school-age children and includes pick up from Forsyth County public schools within a certain distance.

But services extend beyond the school year.

“We’re open year round,” said Chris Davis, noting summer camps are under way.

The camps offer educational field trips, athletic activities and many creative arts.

Andrew Sharp spends anywhere from eight to 11 hours at Carrington Academy.

“He’s got a lot of little friends and he gets a lot of play dates,” Lynn Sharp said. “And he loves going.”