A Dream Becomes A Reality
Creative Learning Academy was founded in 1972 as the Montessori Learning Center at Temple Beth El, in downtown Pensacola. According to our founder, Mary Lee Porter-Hanson, the vision began as a “dream of a school where children are free to learn and happy to learn by discovery … wherein through their senses they choose that which helps to joyfully construct themselves through purposeful activity and with mastery of each new skill their self-confidence increases, and their love of learning grows.”
After a few years, the school began introducing additional new grade levels. With the expansion beyond the early learning years and a more traditional curriculum in lower school, the school was renamed Creative Learning Center in 1975. The dream continued to evolve and through their vision, according to the director, the school remained uniquely able to, “motivate students to seek knowledge, and then provide the tools to pull them along at the rate best suited to their individual capacities. True learning takes place because children are able to internalize what they learn”.
By 1978, the school had again outgrown its facility downtown and moved to the current campus on Hyde Park Road, in East Pensacola Heights. The school continued to add grades each year and by 1982, CLC graduated its first eighth-grade class. Accreditation was granted to CLC by the Florida Council for Independent Schools and the Florida Kindergarten Council in 1983. In 2003, Creative Learning Center became the Creative Learning Academy of Pensacola.
Graduates of CLA have done especially well in the International Baccalaureate program and Advanced Placement classes in the high school of their choice. CLA graduates often return to visit our school community and credit their academic preparedness on the strong foundation and zest for learning established here at Creative.
We are proud of our long and distinguished role as an academically challenging program that has contributed to the success of our community. We look forward to sharing that legacy with you and invite you to be a part of our future!