What would you say to a family considering a Ware Academy education?
“I would say this: If I was a billionaire, having money appear as soon as I took a breath, I would help give it to families who are considering the cost and effects of a Private education. I would stress to them, how completely essential it is to give your young children an amazing and influential education. The mind at that age is so very malleable, it is so easily encouraged, and challenged; however, the scary, alternative side, is that it is also very easily corrupted with school systems, wherein teachers only care about tenure, or other children are more focused on doing the least amount of work for the same grade as the one who did the most amount, and arts are being increasingly cut from budgetary guidelines. The decline of education in this country, even to university level, is increasingly concerning. Where days-off of school cause more excitement than a lab day in Science class and less reading requirements receive “thank-you’s” from the students, instead of: “why not more?” I would stress to this family, that the seemingly large dollar price upfront, does not tell the full story of what your young child will obtain with it. I think it is hard for a school to show just how much they do for their children and how much they truly affect and influence their students. I suppose that is the reason why I am getting the chance to speak my mind, on a more personal level, as to how very thankful I am, and how very thankful my parents are, that I was able to be placed in the hands of Ware Academy, where my education, growth, and potential soared and was in fact, encouraged to do so.” – Kedron Walsh
“Don’t think twice. Not only did I make friendships that will last a lifetime, I was surrounded by a faculty of role models. I was challenged to not simply meet my goals, but to go above and beyond. So many doors were opened for me with the one decision to transfer to Ware and I will forever be grateful.” – Libbie Randolph
“Ware Academy will provide your child with all the skills they need to go into high school with confidence in who they are as a student and a member of the community. I formed some of the most important relationships in my life while at Ware Academy, and learned important lessons that have led me to where I am today.” – Elizabeth Henderson
“Get involved! It may take more time out of an already busy schedule, but by participating in the extracurricular activities (basketball, soccer, lacrosse, etc.) will be some of the best times of your child’s life. It will create memories that will last a lifetime, and if they have your support, and you support them by supporting the school and the programs, it will mean even more. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. It will have a lasting impact, I personally guarantee it.” – Matt Clark
“Ware is a great place to send your kids and I have shared countless memories with my friends, teachers, and family. I am so fortunate that I got the chance to go to school at Ware Academy because I have made lifelong friends that I will never forget.” – Marshall Barrack
What was your favorite thing about Ware Academy?
“It is hard to pinpoint simply just one favorite thing that I experienced during my precious, influential times at Ware Academy. The reason that I say this is because I can confidently say, at this day and time, I would not be where I am or who I am without Ware Academy. The growth that I experienced during my years at this special institution ranged from many trials, tribulations, realizations, and understandings, that of which, I did not appreciate at the time. In such a small, community setting, you are not able to fall behind, you are not able to neglect your responsibilities, and you are most certainly not able to ignore your utmost potential and abilities. The reason for this is simple: you have faculty, teachers, and coaches who will stand next to you, behind you, and in front of you, to be a guiding force in your youthful development. When I say development, I don’t nearly mean just as a scholar, but rather, a steward of the environment, an involved citizen in society, a respectful peer and leader, a driving force in whatever makes you passionate, and a force to be reckoned with on any playing surface. Not to write an entire paper, but Ware Academy, to me, in its entirety, was just what I needed to be the headstrong, driven, capable, and respectful young woman that I am today. My very core values were instilled and encouraged through Ware Academy, at such a very young age, but as I have grown, experienced, and become more aware of this world around us, I am even more grateful every single day that passes, for the foundation that I received in that small, little hometown/country school in Gloucester, Va. I now truly believe in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” – Kedron Walsh
“Definitely the sense of community. I woke up excited to go to school every day because I got to hang out with my best friends. I was also encouraged to push myself to learn by faculty members who were there every step of the way. They believe in who you can become as a person and a student, and help you believe it too. Some people say that middle school is the worst time of their childhood, well mine was the best.” – Libbie Randolph
“Ware Academy was where I met some of the most influential people in my life. From the dedicated teachers to the lifelong friends that I made in my 11 years at the school, Ware Academy has touched my life in countless ways. The bonds that I formed there are some of the most important relationships in my life to this day, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people that came into my life during my time at Ware Academy.” – Elizabeth Henderson
“My favorite thing about Ware was the class size and how the teachers knew each of my classmates and myself individually. It was more like a family than a class.”
“The daily atmosphere; coming to class and having a positive, fun filled learning environment where the students could learn, interact and not feel pressured to ‘fit in’. Each student gets to be themselves at Ware.” – Matt Clark
“My favorite thing about Ware was the family aspect of the school. Yes, we were a school but everyone was so close to each other that it felt as if we were brothers and sisters.” – Marshall Barrack
How did Ware Academy prepare you high school and beyond?
“Ware Academy uses an inclusive, relevant, involved, and purposeful approach to learning. Coming from my secondary school, Christchurch School, I have become well versed in curriculums such as these. In teacher reviews and commentaries, I always make a point to honestly say, that if the work we were doing was just “busy work” or work the teacher gave to use because he or she didn’t care about its connection to anything, then I wouldn’t care either. Why would I? Why would any young person take that kind of approach and be able to run with it? Its claustrophobic and too pre molded for ALL children to be able to fit in perfectly, and thus excel. I absolutely loved getting to go out on field trips, go to the water and take samples of its current quality, or get to go see musicals or plays, and even get to do things such as dance class and chorus. How very important it is to encourage outlets for children to expand their knowledge even further. The material, techniques, guidelines, and habits that I picked up from every aspect of Ware Academy’s curriculum, helped make my transition to Christchurch School a breeze. Writing a 12-page research paper? Got it! (Thank you to Mrs. Croxton!) Do an analysis of collected data in a 6-page science lab report? Easy. Stand up and make this announcement at Assembly? Been there done that. Everything that was introduced to me, seemed completely attainable; though, some of my classmates shared other sentiments. It was not only the quality of knowledge that I attained, but also, my work ethic. There was never any room for procrastination or any attitude of “I can’t do ____.” There was never any choice but to excel and to do my best at all times. Ware Academy instilled in me, this desire and passion, almost an enlightenment in a sense, that perhaps learning is good for you, and being smart is cool, and that there is always more to know and experience. I have taken that kind of mentality and purpose with me throughout my life, to this very day.” – Kedron Walsh
“I transferred into Ware for academic challenge, and while I definitely found that, I found so much more. The academic challenge encouraged such growth that I began to take pride in my work. I went into high school motivated by challenges whether they were in academics, sports, or other activities, and loving the feeling of succeeding. I was also encouraged to strive to be a leader in everything that I did. I was able to become a leader in the class, on the field, and in the community, and that lead to continued success in high school, college, and now into the “real world.” – Libbie Randolph
“A specific example would be Mrs. Croxtons’ English class. If there was anything that came close to preparing you for the demands of high school, and life in general, it was her class. Demanding, rewarding, no nonsense, and comical all in one class. Not many people could disagree, Mrs. Croxton knew how to prepare us, and I feel she did that job well.” – Matt Clark
“After Ware Academy, I attended boarding school in Alexandria, Va. Because of my time at Ware, I was prepared not only for the rigorous academic life of boarding school, but also for the challenging social aspects of leaving home and the friends I had made at Ware. At Ware I learned all of the subject material that I needed to be competitive in my high school class, but also practical skills such as time management, communication skills, and organization. Ware Academy places a lot of responsibility on the students to ensure that they are completing assignments, working hard, and staying on top of extracurricular activities. The responsibility that I learned at Ware helped me become a mature high school student.” – Elizabeth Henderson
“The challenging academic courses offered at Ware effectively prepared me to be successful in high school. The teachers were very knowledgeable about their field of study and always wanted the best for me and my future.” – Marshall Barrack
Who was your favorite teacher?
“Once again, I would have to say that no one teacher shaped me the most, or influenced me the best, or was my biggest role model at Ware. Each and every teacher that I had throughout my time at Ware Academy, gave a piece of themselves to me, that I will always remember, uphold, and respect. From Mrs. Ferraro in Pre-K 3, to Mrs. Traband in Kindergarten, to Mrs. Conneley, Mrs. Watkins, Mrs. Payne, Mrs. and Mr. Gardner, Mrs. Dunston, Mrs. Carmine, Mrs. Croxton, and absolutely Mrs. Foxworthy, what a special woman that I know my class, so dearly misses. These truly genuine, unique, and brilliant individuals, pushed me harder, (than I wanted to at times), and gave me such a solid foundation for a college-preparatory school, that I then was able to confidently tackle with an even more expanded upon, drive and tenacity. I cannot stress enough, how important it was for me, and I think for other young people as well, to be able to attend a smaller school, where the teachers and faculty are able to establish relationships and therefore, truly care for your success at the time, as well as into your future. It takes a hands-on, relevant, and purposeful learning experience, to help shape young people into the great, open-minded thinkers that our society so desperately needs among the future generations! Every time I drive past Ware Academy, a piece of smiles, because my time there with such amazing teachers, helped me get to where I am today.” – Kedron Walsh
“Wow, this list could go on for a while. Two in particular I would like to thank:
Coach Morgan. I can’t express how grateful I am to the lessons I learned as his player and student. Coach Morgan’s patience, determination, and belief in every single one of his students always astounded me. I am so thankful that our time at Ware overlapped.
Mrs. Croxton. It’s true, when I was assigned to read Animal Farm for summer reading before 7th grade, I thought that English class was going to be the bane of my existence. I was right, but boy am I thankful for it. I can’t thank Mrs. Croxton enough for helping me transform not only my writing ability, but also my academic work ethic. It was at Ware that I began to take actual pride in my work, and I have her to thank for that.” – Libbie Randolph
“Ed Gardner, without a doubt. Mr. G had a teaching style that was hard to match. Some of the best classes I had were with Mr. G.” – Matt Clark
“It is difficult for me to say that I had one favorite teacher. All of the relationships that I formed with my teachers while at Ware Academy were special to me in different ways. Some of the teachers that I remember fondly include the Gardiners’, Coach Morgan, and of course Mr. Thomas.” – Elizabeth Henderson
“Coach Morgan was my favorite teacher and coach at Ware Academy. Coach Morgan played a very important role in my middle school career. He was more to me than just a teacher and a coach, he was like my father. He helped me so much along the way and he taught me many things that I am grateful for. He taught me how to dribble a basketball, kick a soccer ball, throw a lacrosse ball, and he helped me become the man I am today.” – Marshall Barrack
Relate a funny story about your time here.
“I’m not sure if this would count as a “funny” story per say, but certainly a message or teamwork and comradery. Being a student that was not as athletic as others, I found it hard to compete against them in sports. I was always a bit slower running the mile. No matter what the situation was, they never let me fall behind, and never let me quit. They would push me to do the best I could do. At first I was timid, and felt inferior compared to my more athletic classmates. However, they never gave up on me. Through their encouragement and determination, I decided to lace up and join the lacrosse team during my 8th grade year. Although I was still not the fastest, or most coordinated, this experience left a lasting impression. It gave me a sense of accomplishment that I am not sure I would have found anywhere else. This feeling is still with me today, and has given me the drive to complete and graduate the Fire Academy. This is a career field I am very passionate about, and I most sincerely attribute my determination and refusal to give up back to my education and overall experience at Ware Academy.” – Matt Clark
“I remember, (and will always remember), for the rest of my life, one afternoon at basketball practice with Coach Morgan. To me, this day was like any other ordinary day, filled with the normal schedule of school, study hall, and practice. On that day, I was going through the motions, was zoning in and out, and was simply non-chalant about everything I was doing. The thing is though, at any other school, or any other practice, this kind of behavior would have been acceptable, or just ignored perhaps. But not at Ware Academy, and certainly not, with Coach Morgan. It did not take BUT 15 minutes for Coach Morgan to pick up on my change of pace, mood, and behavior…not 15 minutes! We had not even finished warming up yet! I distinctly remember doing a drill called the three-man weave. In this drill, it is necessary for the three people involved, to create levels on the playing field/surface, as to spread out and create movement that then aids in transition. After my group had gone through, about medium speed, (my speed about 5 notches below normal), I thought we were done and we simply waited to go again, at the back of the line. Little did I know though, that I was about to be so yelled out so loudly, that the gym’s walls, in fact shook. Coach Morgan stopped the entire practice, to scream at the top of his lungs about my lack of speed, desire to be there, and purpose on the court and in life at that time. I wish I could recall to you the exact dialogue, but I know that it made such an indelible impression on me, that after that day ended, my entire mantra and identity changed. And what a wake-up call it was, to say in the least. Not only did I come back stronger and with more intensity and tenacity, (likely due to the fire that had been lit on my behind), but I also had a completely new mindset and outlook on the playing fields and in life. From that day forward, going through the motions was no longer an option, going half speed in anything in life was no longer considered, and not pushing myself harder and harder each day, was to be considered a waste of time and effort. I will never forget that practice and I will be thankful for that absolutely terrifying, in-your-boots-shaking, speech from Coach Morgan because he shaped me into being the most driven, lively, and purposeful young woman, athlete, and leader that I am today, and that I will most certainly, always be.” – Kedron Walsh
“During our 8th grade class trip, the guys thought it would be funny to prank the girls by tricking us into thinking that one of them got seriously injured and needed to be rushed to the airport. All of the chaperones got into it — Mr. G, Coach Morgan, and Mrs. Dunston were all running around looking panicked and serious, talking on the phone as if they were relaying directions to an ambulance. They wouldn’t let any of the girls go over to the motel the boys were staying in, and needless to say, we were freaked out. I think it was when the tears started to fall that the boys finally came running out of the trees expecting to be greeted with laughs. What they got was a mix of anger and relief fueled by pure fear. At first they were taken aback, but as we all stood there glaring at each other, it hit us that we were, in fact, extremely lucky to be members of this group that cared so deeply about each other. After many round of hugs and accusations, we ended the evening by sitting around the campfire as one group, all just a little more thankful for those sitting on either side.” – Libbie Randolph
“There are too many stories to count from my time at Ware Academy and my friends and I talk about them often. I think some of the funniest and most bizarre memories that I have from Ware came from my class’ eighth grade trip when we really bonded with each other and our faculty chaperones. I remember specifically sitting around the campfire at night and telling jokes and stories.” – Elizabeth Henderson
“I have shared a myriad of amazing memories with my friends and teachers. I loved the school spirit shown at every pep rally and field day. Every event I was a part of was very enjoyable and humorous. It was great seeing the whole school competing in a fun atmosphere to win the spirit stick.” – Marshall Barrack