Asheville School

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Asheville School
360 Asheville School Road


United States
Coordinates35°33′43″N 82°37′21″W / 35.56194°N 82.62250°W / 35.56194; -82.62250Coordinates: 35°33′43″N 82°37′21″W / 35.56194°N 82.62250°W / 35.56194; -82.62250
Asheville School
LocationRoughly bounded by Patton Ave., Norfolk Southern rail line, Interstate 40, Sand Hill Rd., and Malvern Hills subdivision, Asheville, North Carolina
ArchitectBeadle, Chauncey, et al
Architectural styleTudor Revival
NRHP reference No.96000614[1]
Added to NRHPJune 3, 1996
TypePrivate, Boarding
Established1900 (121 years ago) (1900)
CEEB code340120
Head of schoolAnthony H. Sgro
Enrollment295 (2019[2])
Average class size14 students
Student to teacher ratio5:1
Campus size300 acres (120 ha)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Blue and white

Asheville School is a private, coeducational, University-preparatory boarding school in Asheville, North Carolina founded in 1900. The campus sits on 300 acres (120 ha) amid the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and currently enrolls 295 students in grades nine through twelve. The campus was named by Architectural Digest magazine in 2018 as the most beautiful private school campus in North Carolina.[3] The school was ranked the seventh best boarding school in the U.S. by independent education organization[4]


Asheville School was founded in 1900 by Charles Andrews Mitchell and Newton Mitchell Anderson. Previously, the pair founded the University School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1890. Fifty-three male boarding students from grades 5 through 12 called "forms" were enrolled that first year.


Asheville School's academic course of study stresses a traditional core curriculum of the humanities, sciences, mathematics, foreign language and the arts. Classes are small.

Asheville School has a 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 demands that seniors produce two papers on a topic of their choosing and complete an oral defense for 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.


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, technology/robotics, life fitness, equestrian, mountaineering, or an interscholastic sport.


Asheville School has a well-established mountaineering program that 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. Early (mid'60s)leaders of the outdoors program were mountaineering leaders, Pop Hollandsworth and Vince Lee.


Asheville School offers a variety of musical groups, including chorus, chamber choir, handbell ensemble, instrumental ensemble, and a cappella group. Students may also pursue musical endeavors on their own by taking music lessons. 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 twenty-six states and thirteen 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, sweater, or dress pants with a blazer.

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 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). At Asheville School, the rivalry game is preceded by a week of festivities that culminates in a pep rally the evening before the Blues take the field. The Asheville School-Christ School rivalry represents North Carolina's longest-running high school athletic rivalry.[5]

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 dessert is also featured on Vineyard Vines ties, bags, and belts.

Each September, the entire student body heads to Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, North Carolina for a day of recreation. 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.

Towards the end of the school year, seniors will go on a senior retreat at the Black Mountain College. During the retreat, seniors will vote and decide who they want to speak at graduation.

For graduation, it is tradition that the girls wear white.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of Asheville School include:[6]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Private School Universe Survey". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  3. ^ Nast, Condé. "The Most Beautiful Private High School in Every State in America". Architectural Digest.
  4. ^ Writers, Staff (7 May 2015). "The 50 Best Boarding Schools in the U.S."
  5. ^ "Asheville School - Asheville School News".
  6. ^ "Notable Alumni - Asheville School".