The Westminster Schools
|The Westminster Schools|
Seal of The Westminster Schools
|1424 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30327
|Motto||"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke 2:52)|
|Established||1951; traces origins to 1878|
|Dean||Tony Souza, Tiffany Boozer|
|Chaplain||Rev. David Charney|
|• Grade 1||c70|
|• Grade 2||c75|
|• Grade 3||c80|
|• Grade 4||c85|
|• Grade 5||c90|
|• Grade 6||c170|
|• Grade 7||c185|
|• Grade 8||c190|
|• Grade 9||c200|
|• Grade 10||c200|
|• Grade 11||c200|
|• Grade 12||c200|
|Hours in school day||6 hrs. 30 min.|
|Campus size||180 acres (0.73 km2), suburban|
|School colour(s)||Forest green and white|
|Song||"Westminster, Love We Thee"|
|Rival||The Lovett School|
|Accreditation||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Average SAT scores||1920-2210 (2014)|
|Average ACT scores||28-33 (2014)|
|Newspaper||The Westminster Bi-Line|
|Grades||Pre-first through 12|
|Website||The Westminster Schools|
The Westminster Schools is a private school (Pre-first–12) in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, founded in 1951 and tracing its origins to 1878. In 2008, the school had the largest endowment of any non-boarding school in the United States.
Westminster originated in 1951 as a reorganization of Atlanta's North Avenue Presbyterian School (NAPS), a girls' school and an affiliate of the North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Dr. William L. Pressly of Chattanooga, Tennessee's McCallie School served as Westminster's first president. The school moved to its current campus in 1953 as the result of a land grant by trustee Fritz Orr.
Also in 1953, Washington Seminary, another private school for girls, founded by two of George Washington's great-nieces in 1878, merged with Westminster. The resulting school was co-educational until the sixth grade, with separate schools for boys and girls continuing through the twelfth grade, a practice that continued until 1986 and provided the basis of Westminster's plural name.
In the mid-1950s, Westminster became a test site for a new advanced studies program that would later become the College Board's Advanced Placement program. In 1962, the administration building, later named Pressly Hall, was constructed, bringing the number of permanent buildings on campus to four. Three years later, in 1965, Westminster became one of the first southern private schools to integrate, four years after Atlanta Public Schools integrated by federal order in 1961. Four African American students graduated in 1972. Until 1978, the school also operated as a boarding school.
In 2006 the school ran a campaign attempting to raise $100 million to further increase its endowment size. The campaign was at the time the third-largest ever for an independent school in the United States.
There have been five presidents at The Westminster Schools.
- Dr. William L. Pressly, first president and founder, 1951-1973
- Dr. Emerson Johnson III, 1973-1976
- Dr. Donn Gaebelein, 1976-1991
- Dr. William Clarkson IV, 1991-2014
- Keith Evans, 2014-present
Westminster is situated on a wooded campus of 180 acres (0.73 km2) in the Buckhead community of Atlanta. A new campus road, completed in June 2004, rerouted traffic away from central campus. In addition to a new junior high facility, completed in August 2005, Westminster has six main high school academic buildings – Campbell Hall (1952), Askew Hall (1951), and Robinson Hall (1992), Broyles Hall (1987), and Pressly Hall (1962). Pressly Hall houses administrative offices, the Malone Dining Hall, and McCain Chapel. Turner Gymnasium underwent major construction and expansion completed in 2000. Broyles Arts Center houses the orchestra, band, theater, and art programs, and also the Campus Center, an area for students to hang out during free time that includes a concession stand. The recently renovated Scott Hall (2013), once nearly obsolete after the construction of the Junior High School building, now houses the campus bookstore and technology department. Love Hall (1995) serves as the elementary school. Tull Hall, which was once the dorm rooms for boarding students, is now leased by the Georgia Academy of Music, and also serves as a day care for the faculty's children.
The campus hosted the Atlanta Marathon from 1964 until 1980. During the 1996 Olympics the Torch was run through campus, and floor used for the basketball games then is now in Love Hall's gymnasium.
As a college preparatory school, one of Westminster's primary goals for its students is that they are prepared for and able to receive a post-secondary education. The Westminster Schools has the 5th highest success rate (of students and graduates) and second hardest learning program of any non-boarding school in the southern states.
In 2014, the school graduated 33 National Merit Finalists and 8 National Achievement Finalists, with over 45% of the class earning National Merit recognition. The Class of 2014 graduated 199 students. The universities with the largest matriculation from the class of 2014 were the University of Georgia (30), Georgia Institute of Technology (12), Emory University (12), Harvard University (8), the University of Virginia (7), Wake Forest University (6), University of Mississippi (5), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (4), Washington University in St. Louis (4), Howard University (4), Princeton University (4), and the Vanderbilt University (4), among others. Notably, nine more Class of 2014 graduates matriculated to Ivy League schools other than those previously mentioned. The 2014 matriculations are similar to those of other recent graduating classes. For the Class of 2014, Westminster set a Georgia record by having eight students accepted into Harvard University through its restricted early action program. Westminster has had seven graduates complete the Rhodes Scholarship.
Minority enrollment stands at approximately 30%, and financial aid is awarded to 15.6% of the student body.
Current school traditions include a student-enforced honor code that forbids lying, cheating, and stealing. In the high school and middle school, the Honor Council oversees honor violation cases, while the Discipline Council oversees cases involving disciplinary actions not in violation of the honor code.
Annual events include WestFest, Christian Emphasis Week, Homecoming, Senior Mudslide, and Salute to the Arts. Former events include Fieldigras, which was discontinued circa 2000, Westafest, which was discontinued in 1994, and Big Day Off, which was discontinued in 2010.
Westminster maintains a rivalry with the neighboring Lovett School, as well as other area private schools including Woodward Academy, Marist School, Wesleyan School, Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, Pace Academy and Blessed Trinity.
Westminster fields 81 athletic teams, including baseball, basketball (boys' and girls'), cheerleading (fall and winter), crew, cross country (boys' and girls'), football, golf (boys' and girls'), gymnastics, lacrosse (boys' and girls'), soccer (boys' and girls'), softball, swimming and diving (boys' and girls'), tennis (boys' and girls'), track and field (boys' and girls'), volleyball, squash, and wrestling.
For the 2012-2013 school year, Westminster was named the nation's best overall sports program for its eleven state championships and four second-place finishes.
These teams have won 261 state championships since 1951, including seven in the 2015-16 school year. Westminster has received the Georgia Athletic Directors' Association Directors Cup in its respective classification in 14 of the 15 years it has been awarded, 2000–2008 and 2010-2015, and the GADA Boys and Girls Cup for best all-around boys' and girls' athletic programs in its respective classification for five years, 2002–2006. The varsity boys' tennis team won the Georgia State High School AAA State Championship in ten seasons in a row, 1999–2009. The boys' team has yielded many Division 1 NCAA scholarship tennis players over the years, and it has won several regional tournaments as well. Head Coach Wade Boggs has been at the helm of the program for 34 years. The men's and women's swimming & diving teams have won 34 State Championships under coach Pete Higgins, whose accolades through 51 years of coaching include membership in the Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame, recognition of January 5, 1990 as Pete Higgins Day by the City of Atlanta, among others. Westminster fields the sole varsity squash team south of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia featuring full interscholastic competition; the team placed 16th in the 2004 U.S. National High School Team Championships, held at Yale University, and the Squash Cats also won the title in 2012 and 2016. The team is coached by Tom Rumpler, a former hardball tour player and current U.S. No.2 in the 55s-age division. In 2014, Westminster moved up a class from AA to AAA. In 2015, Westminster's football team won the AAA state championship for the first time in 37 years against rivals Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in overtime, with a final score of 38-31. In 2016, Westminster's baseball team won the AAA state championship for the first time in 41 years, also against Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, sweeping the championship series in a pair of one-run victories.
Westminster places a great deal of focus on extracurricular clubs and activities, with students and faculty devoting time before, during, and after school to these activities. Among the academic extracurricular pursuits are an academic quiz team, debate team, math team, and math honors society.
Only one year of an art is required, but many extracurricular opportunities in that field are available to students, including a vocal ensemble and men's and women's a cappella, as well as a symphonic band, chorus, orchestra, and theater program.
Student publications include The Lynx, the annual yearbook, The Westminster Bi-Line, a monthly newspaper publication, Crossroads, a literary magazine in languages other than English, Embryo, an arts, music, and literature magazine, and Evolutions, a poetry and creative writing periodical.
Service has received increased focus at Westminster in recent years, centered around a Community Service Club, and 56% of high school students participated in non-required service projects in 2008-2009. Notable service clubs include the Community Service Program and the Environmental Campus Organization, an environmental conservation club focused on educating and affecting environmental change. In addition, the East African Children's Education Fund, which has raised more than $250,000, the largest of any student run charitable organization in the United States, was founded by a Westminster student and Westminster students remain active in its operation.
Political and social advocacy groups have become more active in the previous two election cycles, and include Young Democrats and Young Republicans associations and a Human Rights Club.
Religious and cultural groups on campus showcase the diverse heritage of the student body. A student-run Christian Life Committee oversees that aspect of student life, including many Bible studies and a branch of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Other groups of this type include Tikkun Olam, a Jewish fellowship club for junior high students; Nosh, an all-encompassing religious discussion group; and Far Out Far East, a cultural club that explores Eastern cultures and traditions. In the middle school, the Chapel Council, led by Rev. Tina McCormick, organizes chapel services once a month, along with a few service projects.
Freshman go through a two-week Discovery program, and seniors can be members of Peer Leadership, a guidance and counseling program for freshmen.
Other clubs include a culinary society, a record-breaking club, and the student-run WCAT Internet television broadcast.
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The Policy Debate team has won 16 state championships as well as many large national tournaments, including the national Tournament of Champions in 2015 (Saul Forman and Naaman Gupta), 2011(Daniel Taylor and Ellis Allen), 2010 (Daniel Taylor and Ellis Allen), 2009 (Anshu Sathian and Rajesh Jegadeesh), and 2005 (Anusha Deshpande and Stephen Weil). The 2008-2009 team was ranked first in the country and won multiple national tournaments, including the Greenhill round robin, St. Mark's, the Glenbrooks, Ohio Valley, the Barkley Forum for High Schools, and the University of Georgia's tournaments. The team finished first place (both individually and as a team) at the Glenbrooks Tournament, the largest national debate invitational of the fall semester (2005). The team also won the Greenhill tournament, the Greenhill round robin, and the New Trier tournament in 2006. The team also won the National Debate Coaches' Association Championships in 2014 (Colin Basco and Naman Gupta) and 2007 (Stephen Weil and Sanjena Anshu Sathian), and came in finals in the 2007 Tournament of Champions, also receiving top speaker (Stephen Weil). In addition, the Westminster debate team has both won and been in finals of the Novice and Junior Varsity National Championships, held at Woodward Academy annually in 2005, 2007, 2011, and 2012. The team has produced more national championships in the last decade than any other school in the country and has received the Baker Cup, the award for the top ranked team in the country three times, in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
The robotics team at The Westminster Schools began in 2008 and is identified as FRC Team 2415, the Wiredcats. The Westminster School's FIRST robotics team now has over 25 awards and recognitions to its name:
|Galileo Division Winner||FIRST Championship (Houston)||2017|
|Regional Engineering Inspiration Award||PCH District State Championship||2017|
|Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson and Johnson||PCH District-Columbus Event||2017|
|District Event Winner||PCH District-Dalton Event||2017|
|District Engineering Inspiration Award||PCH District-Dalton Event||2017|
|Tesla Division Semifinalists||FIRST International Championships||2016|
|Creativity Award||PCH District State Championship||2016|
|District Championship Finalist||PCH District State Championship||2016|
|Gracious Professionalism Award||PCH District-Kennesaw Event||2016|
|Team Spirit Award||PCH District-Columbus Event||2016|
|District Event Finalists||PCH District-Columbus Event||2016|
|Tesla Division Finalists||FIRST International Championships||2015|
|Judge's Award||Alamo Regional||2015|
|Regional Winners||Alamo Regional||2015|
|FIRST Deans List Finalists Award - Emily Chu||Peachtree Regional||2014|
|Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award||Peachtree Regional||2014|
|Engineering Inspiration Award||Dallas Regional||2014|
|Regional Finalist||Washington DC Regional||2013|
|Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award||Washington DC Regional||2013|
|Archimedes Division Qualifying First Seed||FIRST International Championship||2013|
|Archimedes Division Finalists (Alliance Captain)||FIRST International Championship||2013|
|Archimedes Division Semifinalists||FIRST International Championship||2012|
|Engineering Inspiration Award||Lone Star Regional||2012|
|Regional Champions||Peachtree Regional||2012|
|Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award||Peachtree Regional||2012|
|Power Up Award||Peachtree Regional||2012|
|FIRST Deans List Finalists Award - Blake Hauser||Peachtree Regional||2012|
|Newton Division Quarterfinalists||FIRST International Championship||2011|
|Regional Champions||North Carolina Regional||2011|
|Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award||North Carolina Regional||2011|
|Regional Champions||Peachtree Regional||2011|
|Engineering Inspiration Award||Peachtree Regional||2011|
|Safety Outreach Award||Peachtree Regional||2011|
|FIRST Deans List Finalists Award - Rick Shanor||Peachtree Regional||2011|
|Judge's Award||Alamo Regional||2011|
|Chairman's Award||Peachtree Regional||2010|
|Regional Champions||Peachtree Regional||2009|
|Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award||Peachtree Regional||2009|
|Regional Champions||Palmetto Regional||2009|
|Safety Outreach Award||Palmetto Regional||2009|
|Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award||Palmetto Regional||2009|
|Rookie All-Star Award||Peachtree Regional||2008|
|Highest Rookie Seed Award||Peachtree Regional||2008|
|Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award||Peachtree Regional||2008|
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- Margaret Mitchell (Washington Seminary, 1918), author, Gone with the Wind
- Dorothy Kirby (Washington Seminary, 1938), sportscaster and golf champion
- Jeff Galloway (1963), Olympic 10k runner 1972
- Taylor Branch (1964), historian and author
- James H. Shepherd, Jr. (1969), chairman of the board, Shepherd Center, the United States' largest catastrophic care hospital
- Daniel R. White (1971), author
- Clark Howard (1973), consumer advocate and nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- Helen Ballard (1973), founder and chief executive officer of Ballard Designs; independent director of Oxford Industries
- Michael McChesney (1974), founder and chairman, Security First Network Bank
- Lisa Borders (1975), president of the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association), Atlanta City Council; serves as a trustee of the school
- Jennifer Chandler (1977), Olympic gold in 3 meter springboard diving, 1976
- Carter Roberts (1978), CEO, World Wildlife Fund
- Hannah Storm (1979), co-host of The Early Show and anchor for ESPN's SportsCenter
- Stan Whitmire (1980), GMA Dove Award-winning pianist and recording artist
- Phillip Alvelda (1982), co-founder, chairman, and CEO, MobiTV
- Shuler Hensley (1985), Broadway actor
- Laurie Dhue (1986), former anchor (2000–2008), Fox News Channel
- Elizabeth Branch (1986), nominee for the U.S Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
- Lauren Myracle (1987), author
- Rand Knight (1990), 2008 United States Senate candidate in Georgia
- Rob Kutner (1990), writer, The Daily Show
- Brian Baumgartner (1991), actor, The Office
- Ed Helms (1992), former correspondent, The Daily Show; actor, The Office, The Hangover
- Rob Lathan (1994), actor, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Human Giant
- Brooke Baldwin (1997), news anchor, CNN
- Sedrick Hodge (1997), former NFL linebacker
- Jennifer Stumm (1997), concert violist
- Morgan Jahnig (1998), stand-up bassist, Old Crow Medicine Show
- Kaki King (1998), musician
- Ansley Cargill (2000), professional tennis player, WTA Tour
- Julian Dorio (2000), musician, "The Whigs"
- Sada Jacobson (2000), 2008 Summer Olympics silver medalist and 2004 Summer Olympics bronze medalist, sabre
- Noah Britton (2001), of Asperger's Are Us
- Parker Gispert (2001), musician, The Whigs
- Charles Judson Wallace (2001), professional basketball player
- Hamilton Jordan, Jr. (2002), musician
- Emily Jacobson (2004), 2004 Olympic fencer
- Gordon Beckham (2005), professional baseball player and 2009 winner of The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award
- Hampton Fluker (2009), actor, Shades of Blue
- Harrison Butker (2013), football kicker, 233rd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers
- Erica-Marie Sanchez (2014), actor, The Inspectors
- Will Benson (2016), baseball player drafted 14th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft
- Cynthia Potter, Olympic bronze in 3 meter springboard diving, 1976
- Mike Swider, current football coach at Wheaton College
- The film The Blind Side was filmed on the school's campus in June 2009, with students, parents, teachers and coaches acting as extras.
- The school offers around 25 Advanced Placement courses each year, with a 90+% pass rate.
- "Class of 2014 : College Profile" (PDF). Westminster.net. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
- "The Westminster Schools - GA ~Tuition and Financial Aid". Westminster.net. 2015-01-30. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
- Fabrikant, Geraldine (January 26, 2008). ""At Elite Prep Schools, College-Size Endowments."". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
-  Archived March 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "History". The Westminster Schools. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- "Teaching For Tomorrow Assures Excellence for Today." Adams, Abby. The Westminster Bi-Line, December 8, 2006. pg. 3.
-  Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- "High School Sports News Articles - MaxPreps - Westminster wins 12-13 MaxPreps Cup". MaxPreps. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
-  Archived November 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Westminster debaters score third straight title". Ajc.com. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- "Team Achievements - Team 2415". Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- "2008-2009 Alumni Donor Proof" (PDF). The Westminster Schools. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
- "Margaret Mitchell (American novelist)". Retrieved 2009-09-06.
- 1918 Facts and Fancies Yearbook
- 1964 Lynx Yearbook
- 1973 Lynx Yearbook
- "Helen Ballard Weeks: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- 1975 Lynx Yearbook
- Land, Greg. "Take a Look at the 11th Circuit's New Nominee". Daily Report. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- 1991 Lynx Yearbook
- 1992 Lynx Yearbook
- Hartstein, Larry (July 2, 2009). "Sandra Bullock movie takes over Atlanta private school". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2015-11-05.