The Hilt School – High School with Purpose in Asheville

This fall, I am starting The Hilt School, a small private high school for students who are not being served by the other options currently available in the Asheville area. Below, please find a few paragraphs which describe the school, and soon you will all be receiving a link to the website, Facebook page, and a blog I am writing about the school and about secondary education in America today.

For those of you who don’t know, I co-founded The New Classical Academy six years ago, and it is still going strong. The New Classical Academy is a private school in Weaverville which offers classical education in a hands-on environment and serves grades Pre-K through 8th. It was originally part of the plan to include high school, and I am so excited now to be able to fulfill that part of the dream.

I hope you will help me in getting the word out to anyone you may know who could benefit from a truly alternative and unique high school experience. The primary way people hear about schools is word of mouth, so please feel free to share this information with everyone.

It is my hope that The Hilt School will fill a need that has gone unmet in Asheville for a long time, and that together we can continue to improve our town. Please feel free to email or call with any questions you may have, and thank you so much for helping me to get the word out about The Hilt School.

Kelly Homolka
828-242-4822 cell

The Hilt School: High School with Purpose

The Hilt School offers an individualized high school education designed to help students find a path to their future. The Hilt School graduates confident, directed young people who leave high school and enter the world with a purpose. Our students are given the opportunity to systematically explore themselves and their options, as they fulfill all of the necessary requirements for a high school diploma.

The Hilt School believes that all students can succeed, and that there are many paths to success. Whether that path includes university, community college, an internship, job training, travel, volunteering, pursuing a dream, or entering the work force is up to the student to discover. At The Hilt School, each student is given individualized attention in order to discover their own path.

The structure of our school week is unique. Students take paired English and History classes as well as paired Math and Science classes. Each paired class has both instructional time and scheduled study hall time to complete assignments. In addition to the academic courses, students take a course in Self-Discovery and one in Career Exploration. These classes are specifically designed to help students make informed choices about their futures.

The entire day on Friday is devoted to going out into the community to put our Self-Discovery and Career Exploration to the test. We will do everything from outdoor adventures to volunteering at non-profits to mentoring younger students, while using the experiences to further hone our choices for the future.

The small size of the school allows The Hilt School to offer a unique high school experience, which recognizes the necessity for academics and course completion while emphasizing the reality that each person has a unique contribution to make to our society.

4 New Educators @ Asheville Arts Center!

Asheville Arts Center Introduces Four New Drama/ Theatre Educators! 

The Asheville Arts Center (AAC) is excited to announce the hire of four new drama educators! They all come from hefty backgrounds of experience and will be a great asset to the center as the classes develop and grow each year. On the horizon we will be offering adult drama classes as the new teachers settle in. Below is a brief bio of each. For more visit

• Andrew Gall has taught acting, voice, theory and movement at the college and high school levels as well as privately for most of his career. He is also currently the Producing Artistic Director of Burnesville's Parkway Playhouse, the oldest professional theatre in Western North Carolina.  Gall is one of WNC's more prolific directors who has directed a wide variety of range of style of production on a regional level as well as nationally. His most recent work is producing "Esley"  

• Graduating from Greensboro College wit a BA in Theatre and then achieving her MFA from UCONN, Ann Mahoney-Kadar as lot of experience to offer students at the AAC, including elements from her training in the Suzuki Method. She has taught acting, movement, and voice for the University of Connecticut, Delgado Community College, and the Tulane Summer Shakespeare Festival.  Kadar has directed, choreographed, and performed many a lead role regionally at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Greensboro College, Delgado Community College, Southern Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre and also has had leading parts in film and tv.  She is a member of both the Actor's Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.  

• Robyn Parnell recently moved the vibrant artsy town of Asheville from Atlanta, Georgia where she taught Music and Drama for over nine years, as well as being a public school teacher and director of her own Performing Arts Studio in Peachtree City, Georgia. Being the mother of two young children, she has really made a home for her family within the setting of the AAC and Asheville.  
• Under a rare and generous Merit Scholarship, Dominic Aquilino received his Masters of Music and Professional Studies from the Manhattan School of Music. This Baritone actor/ singer is highly regarded as a featured soloist in theatres across the country.  He has performed with the with Dayton Opera Lyric & Opera Cleveland in Ohio; the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, Cantiamo Opera & Dicapo Opera Theatre in New York; Washington DC; Virginia Opera; and the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program. Newly married, Aquilino has settled down the Asheville NC and already this summer performed leading roles at the Parkway Playhouse and the Asheville Lyric Opera. The singing actor is no stranger to Musical Theatre. Some of his favorite roles are El Gallo in The Fantasticks, The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, Javert in Les Miserables, Adam in Seven Brides and Seven Brothers and the Wolf/Cinderella's Prince in Into the Woods. He is often a featured guest on numerous Pops and Musical Theatre Galas across the nation.  

AAC offers performing arts education for children starting at 18th months all the way to 98 years!  The Asheville Arts Center in unique in its curriculum in that, based on student (and also parent) feedback, they adapt and create their programming to fit the community's needs. The AAC has a huge variety of programming in three locations in Asheville and is celebrating five years of success at being a leader in performing arts education this August!   

Along with Kindermusik, theatre classes, private music classes, Rock U (kids rock and roll), the Gallagher School of Irish Dance, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap and plenty of fun summer camps; AAC is also active in the local theater community.  AAC produces a variety of musicals and plays throughout the year, so far some of this year's favorites have been "Into the Woods" and "The Who's Tommy". Stay tuned for more news about upcoming shows throughout the year! 

If you are interested in being updated on a more regular basis please check out the blog  AAC is also on Twitter  and Facebook The Asheville Arts Center – 308 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 253-4000 Office