BRADENTON -- The new school’s name is fitting.
Longtime educator Jennifer Radebach, chief executive officer of New Path Academy, is striving for a new path in education in Manatee County. She plans for the prekindergarten-12th grade school to specialize in individualized programs.
“My goal is to cater to each child in a small-school setting,” she said.
Radebach says she wants to nurture all students’ learning styles
“I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback based on my name recognition,” she said. “I want to reach as many students in Manatee County that can benefit from all we offer.”
She founded the Radebach School, a private elementary school that she sold in 2008. She is an active member of many community boards of directors, including United Way of Manatee County and the Children’s Services Advisory Board.
New Path takes up the building where The Prep Learning Academy was once housed at 7700 Cortez Road. But Radebach is quick to stress that New Path is “a completely separate entity” from the previous school and its troublesome past.
Her first order of business was to talk with a small group of staffers who worked under the supervision of Hendrik Lamprecht, private school owner of The Prep Learning Academy, formerly Bradenton Preparatory Academy.
“She made sure we had a comfortable level about what we’re doing so that we integrate seamlessly,” science and math teacher Drex Houston said.
So far, Radebach has eight staffers, and the group has been preparing for the new school year. An open house was held Wednesday, and another is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Before being called The Prep Learning Academy, Bradenton Prep faced financial problems, including owing more than $1 million in federal payroll taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
A lender won a $3.68 million foreclosure judgment and repossessed the school’s former campus on 40th Avenue West.
“There were concerns associated with former owners,” school administrator Renee Cottrell said. “We knew we could start fresh. I worked with Jennifer for seven years. She’s known in the field of education. I respect her knowledge.”
The Prep Learning Academy will operate as an online school. Lamprecht will be a member on the board of directors of New Path, Radebach said.