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Our Philosophy

Merit Academy is founded on the principles of civic responsibility, intellectual growth, and desire for good. There is exceptional focus on science, math, history, literature, the arts, and our glorious Rocky Mountain environment. Merit Academy is patriotic, with sound focus on the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

The liberal arts and sciences are core to our curricula.  In these intensive and challenging studies, students take apart, examine, and explore various concepts and how they came about. This is one of the cornerstones that prepares them to be thoughtful, virtuous, and responsible citizens in a free society. They will understand what it means to live out the lessons learned, to create mindful and fruitful habits that also tie to our core virtues.

In short, this is a classical education for modern times.


Students prepared for success in a free society, promoting civic responsibility and contributing their talents in a flourishing republic by pursuing beauty, truth, and good. 


Merit Academy will cultivate the minds and nurture the hearts of K-12 youth in the Ute Pass/Woodland Park region with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue, employing honored foundations of classical education and Core Knowledge®.

Our Virtues

Moral character is the cornerstone of our educational model. In order to properly reason and make the best decision, one must be able to discern what is good, beautiful, and true. Virtue requires a trained mind and a benevolent heart, uniting our ability to reason with our passions.


Merit Academy focuses on five core virtues: valor, goodness, perseverance, responsibility, and friendship.



 Valor is courage, strength, and bravery. It is the ability to stand for oneself and choose what is right and good, even when a different decision may lead to an easier path. 



Goodness is kindness, beauty, and generosity. It is an exercise of compassion and integrity, even when unobserved. It is an excellence of quality, not only of character but of expression, works, and decisions.



Perseverance encompasses grit, determination, and tenacity. It emboldens students to continue when it may be easier to quit or give in to unproductive habit.



Responsibility is a core tenet in a character of excellence. It guides people to take ownership of action and learning, to do what is difficult but right, even if the task is not theirs to complete. Responsibility links to deadlines, assignments, study, and civic mindedness. It prepares students for a world where self-discipline, accountability, and quality of work are not only expected, but required.



Friendship is the active cultivation of meaningful, trusting, and joyful relationships. It is beyond being friendly. Friends support one another to engage in what is good and right. A friendship encourages people to hope the best for each other, to promote spirits, and to foster happy hearts. Nourishing friendships empower human beings to thrive, even during challenging or discouraging times.

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Our Mascot

The bear, one of our respected local animals, symbolizes many things in myth and folklore. Most commonly, the bear symbolizes qualities that Merit Academy also values: wisdom, courage, strength, and resourcefulness.

Our Motto

Hodie Determinat Cras, Today Determines Tomorrow. This will be discussed on many levels throughout the academy. Today's effort determines tomorrow's results, as applied to learning, decisions, choices, actions, athletics, practice, etc. It also connects to the importance history plays in the events of today and tomorrow. 

Our Colors:

Red, white, and blue. These colors represent several distinctives of our culture.

Red represents valor, white represents goodness, and blue represents perseverance.

Merit Academy is a shining example of valor, goodness, and perseverance.

Their commitment to the whole child is unmatched. Merit fills the gap and meets the demand of parents who are disillusioned by technology-based learning platforms and had given up on the direction of modern school.


My spouse and myself would like not only like to compliment Merit Academy, but also the teachers, administrators, board members, parents, and supporters that rallied together to make this
dream a reality for our children and their futures.


We would like to convey our heartfelt appreciation to all involved for their priceless efforts, understanding, support, guidance and contribution towards our son’s education. Mrs. Hendrickson is a living example that one need not enroll in the traditional schools to receive the best in education.
~ Dan and Heather Scholz

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