About Us » Why Southern Wake

Why Southern Wake

Why Southern Wake


Established in 1999, Southern Wake Academy (SWA) is one of the most sought after tuition-free, public charter schools for middle and high school grades in Wake County.  We are proud of our school’s journey that started as an alternative school for “at risk” students inside an industrial business park with 77 students.  From these humble beginnings, we purchased our own facilities, built a state-of-the-art school building, and delivered academic achievement that prepares our young people to do well in life.    

Located in the thriving communities of Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, SWA is this area’s only charter school.  Our school is a magnet for families that share our values of partnering with community organizations, providing a strong academic foundation for our students, and treating our closest constituents with deep respect.  

We are a team of educators and administrators with diverse backgrounds and experiences that continues to build and exam every facet of our growing school.  We are proud to call ourselves Lions and support each other as a united family.  One of our alumni, Ash S., cemented our school’s atmosphere by stating, “It’s nearly impossible to fall through the cracks at Southern Wake Academy.”

Our independent-learning methods, and dedicated teachers and administrators foster a personalized approach where students, who may have struggled in the one-program-fits-all public school system, can now thrive in a learning environment where they receive the academic, cultural, athletic, and social skills needed to succeed.  

Southern Wake Academy utilizes an integrated, community-based curriculum to sustain a challenging and supporting learning environment for students of all abilities, including AG (academically gifted) and EC (exceptional children).  SWA follows the North Carolina Standard Course of Study with the added benefits of smaller student-to-teacher ratios, close-knit advisory program, individual portfolio reviews, community service in a variety of community settings, job shadows, senior internship program, and honors classes.

Southern Wake Academy strives to offer a well-rounded educational experience for every student.  We offer many extra-curricular courses and after-school programs to enrich our student’s growing years. The same family atmosphere present in the academic program extends to the playing field as well, with students, parents, teachers, and administration participating in SWA’s athletics. While some sports require try-outs for participation, we believe in a philosophy of inclusivity and keeping an open door to any interested student.  This same approach extends to the many clubs that are part of the fabric at SWA.  We have a strong history of providing many options to nurture a sense of teamwork and cooperation.  SWA invites and encourages all students to participate in athletic teams, clubs and student government based on their desires and abilities.  No matter what peaks your interest at SWA, the expectations are to have fun, be safe and treat everyone respectfully. 

SWA believes in an honest and transparent partnership with our parents and guardians.  This begins with communicating through our school newsletter and maintaining an open door with our teachers and administrators.  Our family-oriented style is designed to create a friendly environment, and the ability to share our concerns and successes.  Our school is committed to helping all students reach their potential by building on their assets while addressing their individual challenges.

SWA has built a reputation as one of the best charter schools in the state because of its outstanding teaching staff.  Our teachers are the cornerstone of our school as they provide a nurturing and student-centered teaching approach to a diverse student body.  Like our students, they have chosen SWA as their school of choice.  Our teachers are fortunate to have the necessary support from our parents and guardians, as they work together in a positive manner to ensure their children are learning and achieving their true potential.   

Our future goals are to increase the number of educational resources and tools for our students and their teachers.  Additionally, our journey includes the expansion of our existing footprint by building a separate high school campus that includes a new school building, athletic field, and auditorium.  We look forward to implementing our vision and sharing it with our community.