Beehive Schools -
Where We Came From & Why We Are Here
Craig and Mary Kessler, the Co-Founders and owners of Beehive LDS Schooling, LLC., come by their educational
vocation quite naturally. Both were raised in homes which emphasized getting a GOOD, and sound education. Craig's mother
was a theater coach, a grandfather a math and science teacher, a grandmother a high school social science teacher, and a
principal. Mary's mother was a children's librarian, and a grandmother was a one-room school teacher. Of Craig's and
Mary's generation, 11 of 23 are teachers. Craig began as an Industrial Arts teacher, then worked with educable
mentally-retarded, and finally as a science-German-history and government teacher at Beehive. Mary began as a home
schooling Mom in 1982 and advanced to teaching English, math, music, and religion at Beehive. The tradition continues
as their daughters have taught preschool, seminary, and secondary social science, and a granddaughter teaches math at BYU.
The Kesslers' inspiration to start Beehive was one of their sons, who one day, after trying the public system, told them:
"If I am going to get a good education, it is going to have to be at home." Thinking that there were others in the same
situation as their son, the Kesslers founded Sunrise High Academy in 1997, which evolved into Beehive Academy for K through 6th
and Beehive Preparatory for 7th through 12th. Their goal was to provide a more uplifting environment and better
academics than available elsewhere.
Beehive Schools began with just ONE student, the Kesslers' son, in the office of their mail order home school supply,
Sunrise Education Station. That first year, the school extended its offerings to include middle school and
gradually grew to include eleven students. Eventually, it occupied an 1800 square foot facility with multiple classrooms and
added an elementary. At its height, the school included several classrooms, a computer area, library area, kitchen,
theater-performance area and an office. It boasted forty students and eleven faculty members, - eight of whom were
part-time. The school offered the basics, plus religion and seminary courses, computers, choir, band, orchestra, theater,
art, French, German, Spanish, sewing, gardening, P.E., and study skills; assemblies, service projects, work projects
(fundraising opportunities), socials, parties and dances; a monthly newsletter, "THE BuZZ", an annual literary and arts
magazine, "The Honeypot", and a yearbook, "The Hive". In the early 2000's, the name was changed to Beehive Academy and
Preparatory School, to better reflect its purpose, and it began to be promoted as an LDS-based private school. It continued
on until 2009 when the Great Recession hit, and the Builder-Real Estate Agent- Mortgage Broker parents could no longer
afford the private school tuition. Craig, "Mr. K" as his students affectionately called him, retired from the school to
persue other endeavors. Mary, "Mrs. K.", kept going with the few remaining students, until graduating the last student in
May, 2011. Since then, it has been a dream to someday resurrect the school, either in brick and mortar fashion or as an
online school over the internet, or both. The online school is now a reality.
Over the years, Mrs. K. became the Curriculum Director for the school. In the spring of 2009, she decided that she
wanted to test the curriculum. The results were phenomenal: the elementary class scored an average of the 98th
percentile in reading, and the 92nd percentile in math. "If the curriculum is that good," she thought, "We've got
to get it out there." So began the quest to put the Beehive Curriculum on line.
The vision has always been a curricula and school based on the words of modern prophets, modern educational research,
and traditional wisdom, gleaning the best "Out of the Best Books", and learning not only by study, but also by faith. The
goal has always been to help develop Zion-worthy individuals, stalwart in their faith, grounded in the practical, and
educated in a manner that expands and refines the intellect. As expressed by President David O. McKay, Prophet and
reknowned LDS educator:
"True education awakens a desire to conserve health by keeping the body clean and undefiled.
True education trains in self-denial and self-mastery. True education regulates the temper,
subdues passion, and makes obedience to social laws and moral order a guiding principle of life.
It develops reason and inculcates faith in the living God as the eternal, loving Father of all."
Beehive exists to help parents provide their students with a rigorous, raising-the-bar, LDS-based education that builds
character and testimonoy. In the Fall of 2017, Mrs. K added an Early Childhood Education division, based on modern educational
research. Beehive now covers from before birth through beginning higher education. The school has taken the form of this
site: www.beehiveschools.com, which currently offers parents and students the Beehive Curriculum for Ages 0-18, the online
Beehive Academy for students 3-11, and the online Beehive Preparatory for students 12-18.
Mr. & Mrs. K. reside in St. George, Utah, and very much enjoy each other's companionship and that of their family. They
busy themselves with part-time employment, church service, gardening, and running Beehive Academy & Preparatory School.