Brenda Crenshaw, founder of The Crenshaw School, is now embarking on a new journey as owner and founder of Crenshaw Academy.
The Crenshaw School, formerly owned by Crenshaw, has become Pluris Academy, a new and separate entity led by separate owners at a different location.
Crenshaw remains with Crenshaw Academy at the same address at 2342 Hempel Ave. in Gotha.
The school sits on 8 acres of property and houses about 15,000 square feet.
Crenshaw said she continues her philosophy of engendering respectful and collaborative relationships throughout the community, at home and at school.
“They are not here to serve us; I am here to serve our families,” Crenshaw said. “We’ve been told by our parents we are one of the best-kept secrets in Orlando. We want to keep giving that gift to people because it’s our passion. It’s what we love to do.”
FULFILLING A MISSION
Crenshaw Academy is a private college preparatory school welcoming students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The school is near capacity for the year with more than 100 students and 11 teachers.
Crenshaw will continue to run the academy with the help of Principal Tanya Williams, who has been with the school since 2004.
Williams said Crenshaw works the most out of any of the staff and is the main reason she has stayed at the school for so long.
“Definitely the love that I have for her is incredible,” Williams said. “Beyond just following her and her husband, it’s the kids. No matter what grade they are or where they’re from I have the ability to connect with them. It’s my favorite thing.”
Crenshaw said she believes teaching is the mission God gave her.
“It’s just what I do; it’s my makeup,” she said.
Crenshaw developed innovative techniques and an out-of-the-box approach to teaching while working as a private instructor to Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass.
During this time, she also privately tutored students from other private and public schools like Lake Highland Preparatory School and The First Academy.
Through her experience and passion, Crenshaw said she developed her own program.
The program includes aspects such as keeping the class size small for core academics, teaching with learning styles that meet the needs of different students and maintaining a line of open communication with the student’s parents.
When Crenshaw founded her first school, it originally began in two side rooms of a gym. The school later moved into a small church in Orlando.
Within three years, that school had maxed out the building limit of 100 people and moved onto the Windermere Community Church property where the school used portables.
“Over the years, our walls have changed and grown to accommodate our current students but the essence of the school remains the same: we continue to offer students a distinctive learning environment through an established program of educational innovation,” Crenshaw said. “Our graduates are accepted to universities all over the world, including medical schools, and several former students have already received their master’s degrees. Many of our students were able to jump-start their careers in the film and entertainment industry as professionals, as well as become pro athletes due to our designer program.”
In the future, Crenshaw said she hopes to implement more programs to serve a greater variety of learning abilities.