Wesleyan School

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Wesleyan School
Wesleyan Crest.png
Address
5405 Spalding Dr.
Peachtree Corners, Georgia
United States
Coordinates 33°58′15″N 84°12′59″W / 33.970766°N 84.216515°W / 33.970766; -84.216515Coordinates: 33°58′15″N 84°12′59″W / 33.970766°N 84.216515°W / 33.970766; -84.216515
Information
School type Independent
Religious affiliation(s) Christian, non-denominational
Established 1963
Head of school Chris Cleveland
Faculty 206
Grades K–12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 1,148
Average class size 9:1 – lower school, 9:1 – middle school, 7:1 – high school
Campus size 83 acres (340,000 m2)
Campus type Jeffersonian
Color(s)          Hunter green and antique gold
Athletics conference A-Private
Mascot wolf
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Southern Association of Independent Schools
Average SAT scores 1835
Average ACT scores 28
Newspaper The Green and Gold [1]
Yearbook Wolftracks
Endowment $17 million
Tuition $16,455, kindergarten (2016–2017 school year)
$18,840, grades prefirst–4
$20,785, grades 5–6
$22,425, grades 7–12
Alumni 1,659 (through 2016)
Website

Wesleyan School is an independent K-12 school located 20 miles north of Atlanta in the suburb of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, United States.[2] It was founded in 1963 and has existed on its current grounds since 1996. The school includes grades K-12 with a total student body of 1148 for the 2016–2017 school year. The high school is composed of 502 students, is a member of the Georgia High School Association, and competes in the A-Private classification in Region 5.[3] The school is named after John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and all faculty are professed Christians from varying denominations. Students also come from a variety of faith backgrounds.

Mission[edit]

"Wesleyan's mission is to be a Christian school of academic excellence by providing each student a diverse college preparatory education guided by Christian principles and beliefs; by challenging and nurturing the mind, body, and spirit; and by developing responsible stewardship in our changing world."[4]

History[edit]

Wesleyan School campus

Wesleyan School was established in 1963 as an integral part of Sandy Springs United Methodist Church. Originally known as Wesleyan Day School, the school began as a preschool dedicated to providing a nurturing, educational experience guided by Christian principles. For the next 24 years, the school was housed at the church and led by various pastors and lay directors as its curriculum expanded to include elementary school.

By the early 1970s, under the leadership of Shirley Gantt, the school emerged as an elementary school of excellence, grounded in Christian principles and offering a low student-teacher ratio and a strong academic program. During her tenure, Wesleyan Day School added its middle school in 1987.

In 1988, Barbara Adler, a former Wesleyan parent, teacher and assistant head, became Head of School. Her vision was the catalyst for Wesleyan to become an independent, Christian, college preparatory school, offering curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade. Under her leadership, and with the support of the Board of Trustees, the church agreed to add a high school curriculum. In 1994, Wesleyan offered its first 9th grade class.

With the addition of a high school, it was apparent that the school needed a new campus to continue its desired expansion. In the fall of 1994, a new corporation, Wesleyan School, Inc., was formed, and in the spring of 1995, a divestiture agreement from Sandy Springs United Methodist Church was finalized. After an extensive search for property by the new board, coupled with a generous land equity donation by Dan Cowart, a 53-acre (210,000 m2) site in Peachtree Corners was put under contract in the fall of 1995.

That fall, the board was faced with the challenge of naming a replacement for the retiring Adler. In the winter of 1996, after a deliberate and time-consuming search, the board hired Zach Young, a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard University and the former Vice President and Assistant Headmaster at The Westminster Schools. Under its new name and leadership, Wesleyan opened the 1996–97 school year with 556 students on its new campus. That year, the facilities consisted of 15 modular units, a soccer field, and the school's first permanent structure – Marchman Gymnasium.

In August 1997, Wesleyan added the high school building, Cleghorn Hall, which was named after long-time Atlanta educator, Wesleyan principal, and community leader, Gwen Michael Cleghorn. Under her leadership as a consultant and later as the first principal of the middle school and high school on the new campus, Wesleyan secured accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Another milestone of the 1997–1998 school year was the graduation of Wesleyan’s first senior class of 17 students.

Thanks to the generous support of family members, foundations, and friends, Wesleyan added Hoover Student Activities Center in August of 1998 school year, and its enrollment increased to more than 860 students. Other additions to the campus that year included Henderson Stadium and Robinson Field, which hosted the school's inaugural varsity football season. Modular units for a high school and middle school cafeteria were added, along with units for the music department. In the spring of 1999, the Curley Tennis Courts were dedicated, and a baseball field was added.

Wesleyan School's "Raise the Goal Campaign" raised $45 million. The money from this campaign has been a milestone in the further development of the campus over recent years. In the fall of 2000, the school purchased 12 acres (49,000 m2) of adjacent land. This new property adjoins the campus along Peachtree Parkway and is used for physical education, soccer, football, cross country, and lacrosse. 163 much-needed parking spaces for visitors and students were also added to the campus.

Construction of Wesley Hall, the largest facility on campus, was completed in the fall of 2001. It houses the middle school as well as several high school classrooms. The building also contains a 465-seat theater, a dining hall for middle and high school students, a library for middle and high schools, a prayer chapel, science and computer labs, and office space. Directly in front of Wesley Hall is the Barbara F. Adler Plaza, a beautifully landscaped mall.

The lower school building, Warren Hall, was completed during the summer of 2002. The 73,000-square-foot (6,800 m2) building includes its own library, gymnasium, and a combination dining hall/auditorium. Specialty space includes classrooms for math, reading, religion, and French. A kitchen/laboratory space also acts as a math and science learning center. Warren Hall has its own covered carpool drop-off area and one large playground. During its 40th anniversary year, Wesleyan celebrated the completion of its most recent building, Davidson Natatorium. This building houses a twenty-five yard, ten-lane, competition high school pool; seating for 240; locker rooms; and concession areas.

Wesleyan completed the "Raise the Goal Campaign" that raised over $45 million in December 2003.

The final building campaign, and the first major endowment campaign, known as "Complete the Campus," includes a much-needed fine arts center; a new performance gymnasium, to be called the Don and Ida Yancey Gymnasium; and a new administration building. The new administration building, Gillfillian Hall, is attached to Marchman Gymnasium. Also included is a goal of $10.4 million for endowment, the largest portion of which is designated for financial aid. The goal of this campaign is $42 million.

Wesleyan School christened Gillfillan Hall administrative offices and announced the completion of the current Spalding Drive campus master plan at a ceremony on September 24, 2007. Gillfillan is adjacent to Marchman Gymnasium (the first permanent structure on campus) and houses the offices of the Headmaster, Development, Business and Admissions in its 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2).

The conclusion of campus construction is a significant achievement for the Peachtree Corners school, which moved from Sandy Springs in the fall of 1996, beginning the school year with fifteen modular units and one permanent structure – Marchman Gym. With the completion of Gillfillan, the Wesleyan campus now has 429,694 square feet (39,919.9 m2) of permanent space under roof.

Academics[edit]

Wesleyan is a nurturing school for children from kindergarten until 12th grade. Class sizes are small, allowing for ideal learning. In the lower school, class sizes average 18, with two teachers in most classrooms. In the middle school and high school, class sizes average less than 15. The school features laptop integration, with each student from grades 5–12 receiving a personal computer, following a one-to-one plan. In the middle school, the students are divided by gender in math and English classes to accommodate for learning differences between boys and girls. 63% of teachers have advanced degrees.

At the high school level, Wesleyan boasts an extensive offering of AP classes, and in 2011 nearly 91% of students passed their AP exams. The school offers AP classes in US History, European History, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, French Language, Spanish Language, English Literature, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Computer Science, Statistics, Studio Art, Government and Politics, Capstone, and Music Theory. About 34% of the class of 2012 received recognition from the College Board as AP Scholars, compared with 19% nationwide. In the past several years, many students have received recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Committee as National Merit Finalists, Semifinalists, and Commended Scholars, including three members of the class of 2012.

Every student is college bound, with virtually all students attending four year schools. A few of the most popular college choices for the class of 2012 were The University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Samford University, and Vanderbilt University. 70% of students from the class of 2011 matriculated at colleges and universities ranked in the top 100 schools, according to US News & World Report, which was similar to past years. The 25th percentile SAT score for the class of 2012 was 1680, while the 75th percentile score was 2000. The school did particularly strongly as a whole on the SAT-Math, where 25% of students scored above 690. The median ACT range was 24–30.

Athletics[edit]

Wesleyan competes in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) and fields teams at the varsity level in the following sports: baseball, boys basketball, girls basketball, boys cross country, girls cross country, fastpitch softball, football, boys golf, girls golf, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys swimming, girls swimming, boys tennis, girls tennis, boys track, girls track, volleyball and wrestling.

Wesleyan has won seven Georgia Athletic Directors Association Director's Cups, six in Class A (2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017) and in Class AA in 2008. The Director's Cup is awarded by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association at the end of each school year to one school from each of Georgia's seven classifications that has excelled and shown superior athletic performance for that school year. Points are awarded for performance in state athletic competitions. Wesleyan's female athletes have won 12 Girls' Director's Cups while the male athletes have won four Boys' Director's Cups.

Wesleyan has won a total of 52 state championships in 16 different sports. It won the first team state championship in school history in girls' tennis in 2001. Wesleyan has since developed one of the top athletic programs in the state of Georgia.

The girls' basketball program, under the leadership of Jan Azar, the only coach the program has ever known, holds the record for most girls' basketball state championships in state history. Wesleyan has won state championships in 12 of the 20 years of its existence, winning titles in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The 2013 title was the program's sixth straight, which tied the state record held by Hart County High School, which won six straight from 1989 to 1994. Azar was inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Wesleyan's volleyball team, under Coach Ted Russell, won state championships in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2013.

The boys' cross-country team, under the leadership of Brian Kennerly (1998–2009) and Chad McDaniel (2010–present), won state championships in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2014. The girls' cross-country team, under the leadership of Libby Houk (1999–2001), Dan Byrne (2002–2008) and Chad McDaniel (2011–present), won state championships in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2012 and 2013.

The wrestling team won a team State Dual Championship in 2007.

The boys' basketball team won its first state championship in 2008, and won again in 2010.

The baseball team won three state championships, in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2015.

Franklin Pridgen led Wesleyan to a football state championship in 2008.

The boys' swim and dive team won its first state championship in 2011, and won again in 2012.

The boys' track & field team and the boys' soccer team won the school's first titles (AA) in those sports in the same week in 2016.[5] The girls' soccer team won Coach Lacy Gilbert her first title as well as the school's, in 2017.

In 2008, Sports Illustrated named Wesleyan the top school in athletics in Georgia,[6] and sixteenth in the nation.[7]

State championships[edit]

Baseball – (4) 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015
Boys Basketball – (2) 2008, 2010
Boys Cross Country – (9) 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014
Boys Tennis – (1) 2011
Boys Track - (1) 2016
Boys Soccer - (1) 2016
Boys Swimming – (2) 2011, 2012
Football – (1) 2008
Girls Basketball – (12) 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017
Girls Cross Country – (5) 2001, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013
Girls Golf – (2) 2009, 2017
Girls Soccer - (1) 2017
Girls Tennis – (3) 2001, 2015, 2016
Girls Track – (1) 2009
Volleyball – (6) 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013
Wrestling – (1) 2007

State runner-up[edit]

Baseball – (2) 2006, 2016
Boys Cross Country – (5) 2000, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2013
Boys Soccer – (2) 2010, 2015
Boys Swimming – (1) 2010
Boys Tennis – (3) 2008, 2010, 2013
Fastpitch Softball – (3) 2011, 2012, 2016
Girls Basketball – (4) 2001, 2007, 2014, 2016
Girls Cross Country – (7) 2000, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016
Girls Golf – (5) 2004, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016
Girls Tennis – (5) 2002, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2017
Girls Track – (5) 2008, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017
Wrestling – (3) 2008, 2009, 2017

Georgia Athletic Directors Association Director's Cup[edit]

Overall GADA Director's Cups Won (7) - Class A (2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017), Class AA (2008)
Girls' Athletics GADA Director's Cups Won (12) - Class A (2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017), Class AA (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2015, 2016)
Boys' Athletics GADA Director's Cups Won (4) - Class A (2009, 2011, 2012), Class AA (2008)

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]