York Academy Regional Charter School on Tuesday announced that it will expand to a K-12 school and hire its first CEO in the process.

The York City school, which currently serves grades K-5, has planned on the expansion since its inception in 2010, said Bill Dannehl, who chairs the board of trustees' finance committee.

York Academy, which is chartered by the York City, York Suburban and Central school districts, began as a K-1 school and has added one grade each year, he said.

The school will continue that pattern and usher in its middle and high school programs until it reaches full K-12 capacity in the next seven years, Dannehl said.

Global education: Since the school adds a grade each year, there's no need for its students to have to go to another institution, he said.

The current school facility can accommodate grades K-8 — up through ninth grade if stretched — so there's some time before a high school building needs to be operational, Dannehl said.

York Academy recently achieved authorization as an International Baccalaureate World School — the only school in York County to do so, he said.

"So we're exactly on plan for timing," Dannehl said.

The program focuses on fostering global citizenship and building "children and graduates that are engaged in the community — not just the academic side of school life," he said.

CEO search: Through leasing its building, York Academy has been able to maintain fiscal responsibility and is not planning any capital campaigns to finance the expansion, Dannehl said.

However, it is seeking a CEO to shepherd it through several initiatives and leadership actions, he said.

As a public charter school between three districts, York Academy has a "unique footprint" and needs a leader who shares its vision, he said.

The school aims to hire the new CEO by the start of next school year.

Creating new middle and high school programs will also bring "significant opportunities for educators," as the school will hire additional teachers, Dannehl said.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at

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