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Franklin Academy is a full service educational institution that provides educational support to its students.

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New Private School coming to Monticello

NOVEMBER 17, 2015

Franklin Academy Inc., a Tallahassee-based private school with a nearly 20-year history, is opening a satellite school in Monticello, possibly as soon as Dec. 15. The Dec. 15 opening day, at least, is the goal of Margaret Franklin, founder and executive director of the academy. Franklin has purchased the building at 425 South Jefferson, next door to the Badcock Store, and is readying it for the opening. She said the Monticello satellite is the academy’s only one at present. Prompting the decision to open a school here, Franklin said, was the desire to eliminate the 26-mile trips for the eight local students enrolled in the school. She said the school will offer K-12 education, as well as adult classes. “We will be looking for teachers in Jefferson County,” Franklin said. “We will be using people who know the area and the students.” She described Franklin Academy as an alternative school for students who are having difficulty learning particular subjects or who aren’t doing well in general in the traditional school setting. A product herself of public education and a believer in the public school system, Franklin said her school wasn’t out to compete with, or replace, public education, but rather to supplement it. “We like to be a helpmate to the public schools,” she said. Her school in fact encouraged students to return to the public school system after eighth grade once they had mastered the basic skills, she said. The students whom her school retained beyond eighth grade were mostly special cases, she said. “We offer classes through 12th grade for the selected few who can’t otherwise make it in the regular system,” Franklin said. She said her school abided by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) standards and followed the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) school curriculum, which is described as an individualized and Bible-based program contained in a series of workbooks called PACEs (Packets of Accelerated Christian Education). The PACEs are produced and distributed by a Tennessee-based educational products company with Christian underpinnings. The basic subjects covered by the PACEs are English, math, science, social studies, bible, literature, creative writing, spelling and grammar. “We’re a Bible-based program but we’re not Christian based,” Franklin said. “We use Christian booklets but we’re not any one denomination.” Students who are unable to understand the basics of a subject aren’t capable of grasping the higher, more nuanced complexities of a subject, Franklin said. In the traditional school setting, she said, these students who can’t keep up eventually fail. Not so in her school, which allows such students to progress at their own speed, she said. What’s more, her school gives students one-on-one assistance and mentoring when necessary, she said. “We have both extremes,” Franklin said, “the extra slow and the extra bright kids.” The way the process worked, she said, is that new students are given a placement test to assess their ability and determine at what levels they will begin in any one subject. Franklin related that the academy started in the garage of her home when she decided to home school her young son after he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and told he wouldn’t graduate from ninth grade. Franklin said she kept her son at home through the eighth grade and then sent him to Leon High, where he excelled and went on to college. Today, her son was a pharmacist, she said. She said that she formally opened the academy in 1997 with five boys, and today it numbers 88 students, with the facility now housed in the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church on Tuskegee Street. “It’s become a ministry,” Franklin said. She said once the Monticello school was operational, it would accept up to 50 students maximum. The school, she said, did not receive public funding, as it was a private school. “All our funding comes from private donors,” Franklin said, adding that 99 percent of the funding came from the McKay and Florida Tax Credit (FTC) scholarships. Yet, the FDOE describes the McKay Scholarship Program as a state-funded program that affords parents of students with disabilities the choice of sending their children to a participating private school, another public school in their home district, or a public school in a neighboring district, provided that space is available. State-funded is the operative word. Likewise for the FTE Scholarship Program, created by the Florida Legislature in 2001 to provide state tax credits to entities that contribute to nonprofit scholarship funding organizations, which in turn award scholarships to eligible children of low-income families.








News Release


Father and Son March Together at Their 2013 High School Graduation Ceremony.

Franklin Academy Inc. sends off 24 High School Graduates to College Next Fall.


TALLAHASSEE (June. 09, 2013) — Franklin Academy executive director Margaret Lawson Dobbins Franklin  proudly conferred high school diplomas upon 24 graduates from her pace program May 31, 2013.


It was a day of great rejoicing, relief, and total euphoria for father and son graduates Demonte Thomas age 18 and Mario Thomas Sr., age 40, as they celebrated this critical rite of passage with fellow spring 2013 classmates.  Franklin Academy also congratulates James Davis, age 47 from Midway Florida for his success in having the patience to complete his High School Diploma. Alumna Alicia Ramirez age 43 who graduated December 2012 from Franklin Academy, and is currently in Tallahassee Community College, says “It’s never too late to go back to school. It feels great to accomplish a positive goal.” Alex Koonce and Caviea Rattliff both Franklin Academy Alumni graduated from Tallahassee Community College! Alex Koonce is currently attending Florida A & M University as a Math Major! Shayla Koonce age 18 is the mother of 2 young children, and one of our proud spring 2013 graduates. She has triumphed great odds!


Franklin Academy’s spring commencement saw a tremendous response to their well-attended event, drawing to their Orange Avenue campus a packed crowd of proud parents, family members, community elders, and supporters, with a healthy dash of local elected officials featured on the program as well. Distinguished guests in attendance included City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, Former State Senator Alfred Lawson Jr. Dr. Gallop P. Franklin, II the academy’s first student, former Chandler Gilbert Community College’s President Arnette Scott Ward who serenaded the graduates, and our award winning volunteers, FAMU’s Dr. Bill and Mrs. Pat Tucker. Always willing to lend a helping hand, Honorable Maggie Lewis Butler of Leon County School Board assisted greatly with the flow of the night’s program! Congratulations to Sandra Lawson who is Franklin Academy’s Educator of the Year for 2013! She is currently a 2nd grade teacher at Havana Elementary, getting ready to enjoy retirement!  We thank Dr. Bill and Mrs. Pat Tucker for their volunteer services throughout the years along with Mrs. Elzena Osborne for her patience and wisdom.  Last but not least Mr. Marvin Johnson of Cubic Inc. is the man behind the scenes that is always willing to help Franklin Academy! Graduation highlights are available at


Students facing often daunting challenges in their journeys through academia and the school of life are welcome with open arms to Franklin Academy. A self-paced program is utilized to allow every student the opportunity to thrive with their unique learning needs in mind. Enrollment information is available at

Franklin Academy is a private school receiving students of grades K-12. The school provides free tuition, offering McKay scholarships, Step Up For Students Scholarships and a diversity of opportunities including public speaking, and piano instruction. The campus is located at 615 Tuskegee Street, which is home to the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. Keynote speaker, Rev. Stanley Walker, we thank you and Tabernacle Baptist for welcoming the academy to your church residence! Stanley Walker Jr., Director of Helping Hands Community we thank-you for your sponsorship!


Franklin Academy offers year round enrollment, currently serving many students in the Leon/Gadsden area. Valedictorian Kaitlyn Wingate came to Franklin Academy to take advance certificate & honors courses. She became a peer teacher and a great role model for her peers! Yashicka D’Angelo of Walker Ford Community Center and Yolando Westberry of Jake Gaither Community Center were awarded for their good work with kids in the Southside community. We want to congratulate Nia Martin and Marcus Nelson our most improved students! We also thank Jordan Proctor, stage name Askia Jordan for reciting a wonderful original poem.  Tabernacle Women’s Ministry, and Mr. & Mrs. Whittico must be recognized for their giving spirit and commitment to Franklin Academy students!  Zoe Allen Bennett and Alisha Bennett from Bennett Resource gave tireless hours and resources to Franklin Academy. Betty Gardner is noted as being a woman behind the scene always willing to give from the heart!  We want to congratulate all of Franklin Academy’s spring 2013 graduates and wish them continued success!  We thank all staff; friends and supporters that helped this year become a success! YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT HEIGHTS YOU CAN SOAR UNTIL YOU SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLY IN THE ELIZABETH LAWSON DOBBINS COURSE! Please call Ms. Margaret Franklin at (850) 322-2860 for school information or email your inquiries to