KINSTON CHARTER ACADEMY (KCA) was founded in 2004 under the leadership of the late Johnnie Forrest Lyles. Mr. Lyles had a vision to create a public charter school that offers school choice to parents seeking better opportunities for their children in the City of Kinston, Lenoir County, and surrounding communities. Mr. Lyles' efforts resulted in a Grade K-8 school that achieved national recognition as the 2007 National Charter School of the Year by the Washington D.C. based National Center for Educational Reform. The school, each year, has continued to achieve "Expected Growth" under the North Carolina ABC's Accountability Program. In 2011, a KCA student represented the school in the internationally recognized 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee. KCA students participate in the National Junior Beta Club, the school features student Honor Societies, Band, Martial Arts, and Student Government Association. The school's academic focus is reading, math, science, language arts, and the development of reasoning and problem solving skills. The goal is to superbly prepare students for high school and college.