LOGAN — Heritage Prep will celebrate its first graduating class of two high school seniors Friday.
Heritage Prep was established in 2017 by Jamie Dempsey Butcher, who serves as the school’s headmaster.
“Heritage Prep was an idea I had and I felt led by the Lord to open its doors,” Butcher said. “I wanted to create the school that I wanted for my children, but I didn’t want to limit it to my own kids — I wanted it for all Logan County kids.”
Heritage Prep is an affiliate school of Liberty University and is categorized as an “academically progressive” school, and expectations for students are very high. Students at Heritage Prep must qualify to participate in the high school program.
Ashley Williamson is the valedictorian for Heritage Prep’s inaugural Class of 2021. While at Heritage, Williamson has earned 24 college credits and has maintained a 3.89 college GPA. She plans to attend Marshall University in the fall to pursue her undergraduate degree in social work and later attend West Virginia University to obtain certification to become a registered play therapist.
“I love Heritage because it is so different,” Williamson said. “I feel so connected to the staff and my teachers, and they really push me to be my best.”
Graduating alongside Williamson is salutatorian Kylie Anderson, who has also maintained a 3.89 college GPA and earned 24 college credit hours. Most of Anderson’s credit hours have been in the concentration of art, and she is currently working on her art portfolio.
“I could not have gotten these specialized art courses that I received at Prep anywhere else,” Anderson said.
Anderson, who is pursuing a fine arts degree in animation, has already made a name for herself as a local artist, as she painted the portrait of William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield inside the Broken Axle restaurant at Appalachian Outpost.
“We are very proud of the work she has been able to do in the classroom and in our community,” Butcher said. “She exemplifies what a student can do at Heritage. We push a student in the core courses of study, of course, but we also want to help you find your passion and push you in those areas as well. For Kylie, her passion is art.
“We are very proud of these young ladies, and what they are accomplishing — just as we are proud of all of our high school students,” Butcher said. “We are so pleased that the Lord allows us to play a part in their lives, and we will cherish these moments forever.”