Asheville School

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Asheville School
Asheville, NC, USA
Type Private, Boarding
Religious affiliation(s) non-denominational Christian
Established 1900
Head of school Archibald R. Montgomery IV
Average class size 12 students
Student to teacher ratio 7:1
Campus Suburban, 300 acres
Color(s) Blue and White
Athletics 15 sports

Asheville School is a private, coeducational, college-preparatory boarding school in Asheville, North Carolina. Founded in 1900, the Asheville School campus sits on 300 acres (1.2 km2) in the Blue Ridge Mountains and currently enrolls 275 students in grades nine through twelve.


Asheville School was founded in 1900 by Charles Andrews Mitchell and Newton Mitchell Anderson. Previously, the pair founded the University School in Cleveland, OH in 1890. The founding of these two schools was a daring experiment in preparatory education, as it challenged the time-honored system of British classical education. Anderson understood Asheville School as a place where boys could prepare for college or for the business world, where the body, through organized athletics, would be trained as well as the brain, and where boys could learn constructive work with their hands as well as their heads.[citation needed]

Fifty-three boarding students from grades 5-12—called "forms"—were enrolled that first year.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Asheville School has carefully maintained the integrity of its original Tudor-style buildings while also incorporating newer structures into the campus master plan. The school was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.


Asheville School's academic course of study is rigorous and stresses a traditional core curriculum of the humanities, sciences, mathematics, foreign language and the arts. Through the study of these subjects, students learn the fundamentals of good writing, critical thinking and clear communication. Classes are small, with an average size of 12 students, and the student to teacher ratio is 7:1.[citation needed]

Asheville School has a unique[citation needed] Humanities program that integrates the study of literature, history, religion, art, music, architecture, film and dance into a series of four year-long courses: Ancient Studies, World Studies, European Studies and American Studies. English and history teachers may team-teach these courses, sometimes with the assistance of the school’s music teacher and other guest lecturers. The academic program is writing intensive, culminating in a final research project known as the Senior Demonstration. The "demo," as it is colloquially known, demands that seniors produce two lengthy papers on a topic of their choosing and complete an oral defense lasting twenty minutes.

Honor and School Life[edit]

Students at Asheville School are expected to live by high ethical standards and to uphold an honor code. The Asheville School Honor Code stipulates that no student will lie, cheat or steal, and that he or she will report any student who does. When submitting any independent work, students "pledge" that they have adhered to the honor code. Six students are chosen by their peers to serve on the Honor Council, a body composed of these students as well as a handful of faculty members that hears all violations of the Code. The Honor Council is largely didactic rather than disciplinary, and is complemented by a Conduct Council that hears cases involving infractions of school rules not pertaining to honor.

Afternoon Activities and Athletics[edit]

Asheville School's football team, the Blues, in 1919.

All students must participate in an "afternoon activity" after the academic day ends. Students participate in one activity during each of three seasons, and all third and fourth formers are required to participate in one team sport during the course of the year. Each student can participate in art, drama, music, life fitness, equestrian, mountaineering, or an interscholastic sport (which are listed below).


Situated among the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Asheville School has emphasized an appreciation of the great outdoors since its founding. The school's location offers great natural beauty and an abundance of recreational opportunities. Asheville School has a well established mountaineering program that provides the staff, training and equipment to give students the opportunity to participate in backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, snow skiing, caving and mountain biking. Many students take mountaineering as an afternoon activity for daily on-campus instruction and practice. On-campus facilities include a high-ropes course, an Alpine Tower, a bouldering wall, a swimming pool (for kayak instruction) and 200 acres (0.81 km2) of forested land with miles of trails for biking and exploring. Off-campus trips are frequently offered to places such as Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah National Forest, the Tuckaseegee and French Broad rivers, and the Tsali Recreational area. All new students go on at least one overnight camping trip during their first year at Asheville School that introduces students to the school's mountaineering program and to the beautiful region.

The Arts[edit]

Asheville School offers students the opportunity to participate in a variety of musical groups, including the school chorus, chamber choir, instrumental ensemble, and a cappella group. Students may also pursue musical endeavors on their own by taking afternoon music lessons.

The drama department produces two to three shows a year. In winter, the production is either a musical or a work by Shakespeare.

Dance is offered as an activity during the winter and spring seasons. Dancers often design and choreograph their own shows, and typically collaborate with thespians on the winter musical.

Community Life[edit]

The Asheville School student body is made up of approximately 80% boarding students and 20% day students. The school values diversity, and has students from 26 states and 13 countries. Roughly a quarter of the students receive need-based financial aid. The school has about the same number of males and females.

Boarding students live in one of three dormitories: Lawrence Hall, Anderson Hall, and Kehaya House.

Asheville School students are expected to maintain a well-groomed, well-dressed appearance. For boys, classroom dress includes jackets and ties; for girls, a dress skirt, jumper, or dress slacks with a blazer. Some substitutions may be permitted according to the season. Neat casual dress is required at other times.

The school stresses the need for a strong community, and the concept of "seated meals" perfectly exemplifies this belief. Most weekday lunches, as well as dinners on Thursday and either lunches or dinners on Sunday, are "seated:" students sit at a circular table headed by a faculty member, and are served by a student waiter. The composition of these table changes every two weeks so as to allow students to get to know nearly all members of the student body. The school prides itself on the ability of its students to learn the names of all students and faculty members by the end of the year.

The entire school community gathers several times a week for chapel services and convocations. Sixth formers are required to deliver a ten-minute chapel or convocation talk on a topic of their choosing, an event that (along with the Senior Demonstration) represents the capstone of a student's career at Asheville School. Following the talk, the entire student body exchanges handshakes with and congratulates the speaker. Chapel and convocation services may also feature guest speakers ranging from Buddhist monks to notable authors.

Student Leadership[edit]

The headmaster, in consultation with teachers and former student leaders, appoints proctors and prefects to serve as the school's representatives amongst the student body. These fifth formers (proctors) and sixth formers (prefects) represent the most responsible members of their respective classes, and assist faculty members in running the dorms, managing study hall, and enforcing school standards. Prefects are also expected to serve on the Conduct Council (see "Honor and School Life").


The football rival of Asheville School (the Blues) is Christ School (the Greenies). The rivalry reaches fever pitch each year in autumn, when the two teams meet for an annual football game. At Asheville School, the game is preceded by a week of festivities that culminates in a pep rally the evening before the Blues take to the field. The Asheville School-Christ School rivalry represents North Carolina's longest-running high school athletic rivalry.

The Asheville School Fight Song: Where the Pines and Laurel

Where the pines and laurel

Shadow stream and pool

'Mid the Southern mountains

Stands the Asheville School

Here's to good old Asheville,

To her be true;

Our Alma Mater

The White and Blue.

Blue for skies above us,

White for fleecy clouds,

Blue for distant mountains,

White their misty shrouds;

These our chosen colors,

To them we're true;

Friends, bound together

By White and Blue.

The traditional Asheville School dessert is the Asheville School banana: a banana is sliced in half lengthwise, then coated with lemon juice and sugar (the order in which the two are added is a subject of much lunchtime debate). The dessert is also featured on Vineyard Vines ties, bags, and belts, all of which can be found in the school store.

Each September, the entire student body heads to Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC for a day of fun and relaxation. Traditionally, a game of hide-and-seek between the headmaster and the members of the sixth form class takes place. The headmaster attempts to conceal himself somewhere on the grounds of the camp, and the seniors attempt to discover his location so that they may toss him into the camp lake.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of Asheville School include:

Fact and Figures[edit]

[citation needed]


Total number of faculty: 64

Number of teaching faculty: 43

Percentage of teaching faculty with advanced degrees: 72%

Overall student-faculty ratio: 4 to 1

Average class size: 13

Overall faculty residing on campus: 80%

Testing averages

SAT Reading -­ Middle 50 percent range (class of 2013): 590-670

SAT Mathematics – Middle 50 percent range (class of 2013): 630-690

SAT Writing – Middle 50 percent range (class of 2013): 600-690

Number of AP classes (2013-2014): 16

Percentage of AP exams with scores of "3" or better (2013): 72%

Number of students designated as AP Scholars (2013): 66[citation needed]

Percentage of students intending to enroll at 4-year colleges: 100%.


External links[edit]