Pulaski Academy

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Pulaski Academy
Pulaski Academy is located in Arkansas
Pulaski Academy
Pulaski Academy
12701 Hinson Road

Coordinates34°46′18″N 92°24′53″W / 34.77167°N 92.41472°W / 34.77167; -92.41472Coordinates: 34°46′18″N 92°24′53″W / 34.77167°N 92.41472°W / 34.77167; -92.41472
TypePrivate Secondary
Established1971 (1971)
CEEB code041444
NCES School ID00048235[1]
HeadmasterMathew Walsh
Grades2 year old–12 grade
Enrollment1221 [1] (2016–2016)
Campus size32 acres (13 ha)
Color(s)     Navy blue
     Vegas gold
Team namePulaski Academy Bruins

Pulaski Academy (PA) is a private, independent college preparatory preschool, elementary, and junior/senior high school headed by Matthew Walsh in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood of Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. PA was established in 1971 and remains as the only independent, non-sectarian, college preparatory school in Arkansas.[2][third-party source needed]


When busing was introduced in the early 1970s to counteract the effects of racially defined residential patterns, whites built private schools in the suburbs or fled the county altogether. In 1971, insurance and real estate man William F. Rector announced the construction of the private Pulaski Academy in the western suburbs of the city for those, he said, who "don't like busing."[3] Pulaski was the first school established after the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education decision (1971). Rector said, "I even hope we'll be allowed to play Dixie if we want to without having a riot about it."[4]

In 2003, one of 102 graduating seniors was black.[5]

In the 2015-16 school year, 955 of 1,221 students in grades 1-12 were white (78%).[6] In 2016, Little Rock was 48% white.

In 2000, Pulaski Academy purchased the campus of Fellowship Bible Church, on the corner of Hinson and Napa Valley, increasing the campus to 32 acres (13 ha).


PA is accredited by ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States),[2] and ANSAA (Arkansas Non-public School Accrediting Association). PA is a member of the Cum Laude Society, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Arkansas Activities Association (AAA), College Board and NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools).[7]

Pulaski Academy was named 2003 "Best of the Best" Private High School by the readers of an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette contest.

During the 2008–09 academic year, fifteen members of the Class of 2009 were named as National Merit Scholars, three as Commended Scholars and twelve as Finalists. Enrollment for 2009-10 is approximately 1,210 K-12 students, with a student/teacher ratio of 8.9:1.[1]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school's mascot is the Bruin and school colors are Navy blue and Vegas gold. For 2012–14, the Pulaski Academy Bruins play in the 5A Central Conference administered by the Arkansas Activities Association. The school participates in baseball, basketball (boys/girls), cheer, cross country, Pom, football, soccer (boys/girls), softball, swimming and diving (boys/girls), tennis (boys/girls), golf (boys/girls) volleyball(girls), lacrosse (boys), and wrestling.[8]

The school's football team, which has won seven state championships since 2003, is coached by Kevin Kelley, who has gained notoriety for his strategies, which include the total rejection of punting and returning punts, as well as a reliance on the onside kick.[9][10][11]

Athletic state championships[edit]

Pulaski Academy Bruins have won numerous state championships:[12]

  • Girls Tennis (14x): 1980–2013 including 1980, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2013
  • Boys Tennis (11x): 1981–2013 including 1981, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Baseball (5x): 1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2013 5A
  • Girls Soccer (6x): 2003–2012
  • Boys Soccer (3x): 2000, 2001, 2007
  • Football (7x): (2003 3A), (2008 5A), (2011 4A) (2014 5A), (2015 5A), (2016 5A), (2017 5A)
  • Boys Basketball (2x): 2002, 2003
  • All Golf Team (5x) : 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Amy Lee, the lead singer of Evanescence. The song Listen to the Rain, written by her, was sung at her Class of 2000 graduation ceremony.
  • Jonathan Luigs, former all American center and Rimington Trophy winning for the University of Arkansas who played in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Hunter Henry, John Mackey Award Winner, current tight end in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers, former All American tight end for the University of Arkansas football team and former All American football player in 2012-2013 season.


  1. ^ a b c "Search for Private Schools – School Detail for Pulaski Academy". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved Aug 26, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "ISACS School Profile, Pulaski Academy". ISACS. Retrieved Aug 24, 2012.
  3. ^ "Civil Rights Movement (Twentieth Century) - Encyclopedia of Arkansas".
  4. ^ Whayne, Jeannie M. (June 1, 2013). Arkansas: A Narrative History. University of Arkansas Press. p. 427. ISBN 9781557289933.
  5. ^ Guerrero, Perla M. (2017). Nuevo South: Latinas/os, Asians, and the Remaking of Place. University of Texas Press Austin. p. 42. ISBN 9781477314449. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Private School Universe Survey". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Discover PA". Retrieved 17 August 2012. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  8. ^ "School Profile, Pulaski Academy". Arkansas Activities Association. Retrieved Aug 24, 2012.
  9. ^ Wertheim, Jon. Down 29-0 before touching the ball. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  10. ^ "At last, San Diego State may be shirking the punt". Matt Hinton, CBS sports blogger. Retrieved Aug 24, 2012.
  11. ^ "The High School Football Coach Who Never Punts". FiveThirtyEight.
  12. ^ "2012-13 Arkansas State Sports Record Book" (PDF). Arkansas Activities Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-31. Retrieved Aug 24, 2012.

External links[edit]