Walking the hallways of Whitfield as class is in session is an amazing experience. The walk provides an opportunity to see faculty passionate about working with students, students engaged in the academic process and staff working to support the community as it continues to evolve. The walk also provides an opportunity to feel, and while walking the hallways I feel the warmth of the community; I feel the culture.
Whitfield’s culture isn’t re-created annually when the academic year begins, but remains constant as the seasons change and years go by. Whitfield’s culture grew out of the small academic setting, the way we educate our students and the relationships that exist in our building.
Small class size coupled with an engaging and passionate faculty allow for an academic experience that supports differentiation and appropriate academic challenge. Small classes provide flexibility for faculty to support each student’s academic growth, but also create opportunities for students to collaborate and problem solve in small groups.
The small school size allows us to be nimble. Every voice in this community has opportunities to speak and to be heard; the faculty and administration listen and can be responsive in real-time to the needs of our community. Hearing one another allows for deeper connection and genuine relationships buoyed by empathy.
Whitfield’s small setting also allows for students to be known—really known— in our community. Positive, enriching relationships between students and adults in the Whitfield community is a hallmark of the academic experience at Whitfield. At Whitfield every student seems to have organically found, “Their Person”. “Their Person,” is an adult in the community that the student seeks out for guidance, reassurance, and inspiration. “Their Person” supports them as they develop as a scholar and as a confident, productive and caring citizen of the world. Students have opportunities to forge many formal student-teacher relationships, but in this small school, students have a unique opportunity to forge relationships that go beyond grade level and can center on academic and/or personal interests, which provides greater opportunity for depth in those relationships. At Whitfield, all adults—teachers, advisors, play directors, coaches, tutors, administrators, support staff—answer to the call of, “mentor.”
After working in several academic institutions, it is a gift to have the opportunity support the continuation and enhancement of Whitfield culture while working to provide a nurturing, challenging, and safe environment.
Middle School Director