The Dream

The Dream of a New School

Holding Hands

My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Elrick, gave our class an assignment to write an essay about what we would do if we were President of the United States. The answer was simple; I would put root beer in every water fountain. I crafted the perfect response and proudly presented it to my father for review. After praising me for a creative idea that would certainly benefit root beer lovers nationwide, my father said, “But what are you going to do to make the world a better place?” That question continues to serve as the measuring stick in my mind for every major decision.

I am passionate about my desire to have a positive impact in the world. I aspire to use my experience and knowledge to affect change in the lives of others, even if it is on a small scale. Those statements may come across as lofty or idealistic, but I have seen that they are possible. I watched my father start a homeless shelter in the basement of our church. One of the men who stayed in the shelter is now an art professor at a community college. While that man clearly has tremendous strengths and deserves respect for changing the course of his life, I am inspired by my father’s contribution. In my own experience, I have found the greatest joy when I have been able to help a child learn…and then want to learn more. However, after several years as an elementary teacher in various public schools, I began looking for a way to have a greater impact within the community.

Thus, I decided to start a new school in Savannah. After working with lawyers, accountants, and other experts, Savannah Honor Academy is now an official school that opened its doors in the fall of 2014. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming part of this project, please contact us at #773-573-7328 or


Marla Cocalis, MSW, MS.Ed.

Executive Director