Lawton Academy of Arts & Sciences was established to meet the needs of gifted and talented students in the greater Lawton area. Kay Johnson, founder, was in the first gifted and talented program in St. Louis, Missouri, during the Sputnik era; she worked with the Oklahoma Legislature to pass the Gifted and Talented Law for Oklahoma; she served as president of the Oklahoma Association for Gifted and Talented; and she was selected to represent Oklahoma on a cadre of leaders from eleven states in a consortium for arts for the gifted and talented. Because of her experience with gifted and talented education, people asked her to establish a school that would better serve such students as an alternative to the standard once-per-week pullout program for the gifted and talented students so widely practiced by schools.
Lawton Academy began with only nine students, grades K-2, in a rented space in what was then the Center of Good Health in August of 1999. With such a mixed group of very bright children, Mrs. Johnson put all her training to work to establish a full-time gifted and talented program which aimed to provide acceleration of subject matter, enrichment and training in fine arts, and a college preparatory curriculum.
Three years later Lawton Academy purchased a five-acre tract that now is home to three buildings and a multipurpose pavilion. The school has expanded to Junior Kindergarten through 12th grades, and it has seen six graduating classes receive diplomas and very impressive scholarships across the nation.
In the years to come, Lawton Academy would like to build a secondary building that will also have a school-wide cafeteria and fine arts center.