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Mission, Philosophy, History

Mission Statement

Arendell Parrott Academy upholds a tradition of fostering each student's intellectual, creative, social, physical, and moral development in a positive and challenging educational community.


Honor. Initiative. Truth. Our motto guides our mission and we strive to inspire those values in our students. We encourage students to become confident, independent learners while fostering critical and reflective thinking skills. We focus on helping students fulfill their unique potentials and achieve at the highest levels in academics, arts, and athletics. Character development is very important to us; we partner with parents through our school-wide emphasis on good citizenship and community service. We believe that parental participation in a child’s education is vital to the success of the school’s mission. The Academy makes every attempt to inform parents of its purposes and goals and expects their strong support in pursuit of these aims.

Sixty Years of Success

The sixty years of educational success that is the history of Arendell Parrott Academy was born when the vision of one man coalesced with the energy and generosity of many Kinston citizens. Marion A. Parrott, who had been a paratrooper and a P.O.W. during World War II, returned to his native Kinston and in the late 1940s began envisioning a quality private school in his hometown and the impact it could have in eastern North Carolina. Even though Marion Parrott was juggling a successful career as an attorney, representing Lenoir County as a state representative, and nurturing a growing family, he still dreamed of a private school focused on education. In the mid 1950's, he began sharing his dream with friends and colleagues. When the original concept of a private boys’ boarding school seemed prohibitively expensive, a second plan for a non-sectarian, non-profit day school developed.

The death of Mr. and Mrs. Parrott’s son, Arendell Parrott, in 1961 gave their dream new purpose as they sought to establish a school which would honor his memory by offering high quality education in an atmosphere that nurtured each individual student. In September 1964, the Parrotts joined with 33 other founding members from the Kinston community to form a private, non-stock corporation named The Arendell Parrott Academy. Its original president was Mr. Marion A. Parrott, with directors Lillian W. Parrott, W. Jack Rider, Robert S. Langley, and J.C. Rasberry. Classes began in 1965 in temporary sites, including the Parrotts' home.

In over the last half-century, we have grown to a 650+ student body that includes students in grades TK through 12. Our campus now encompasses 80 acres. We are unique in that we draw students from 10 counties, a region 7,000 square miles in size. We remain steadfast in our purpose of providing the best possible instruction and learning environment for our students. Our students receive acceptances from colleges and universities across the country and around the world.