It is no secret that here at Oak Hill Academy, we are incredibly proud of our talented and highly qualified faculty members. With advanced degrees in their fields of study and an enthusiastic commitment to education, our faculty take center stage when it comes to building a supportive classroom community for our students.
And when we asked our teachers what sets an Oak Hill classroom apart, there was resounding agreement: community.
English and Music teacher Nick Lauterbach explained that calling the same campus home helps form a tight-knit connection between faculty and students.
“The thing that I love most about teaching here at Oak Hill is the fact that this place is a community. Almost all the staff live here on campus. This place is our home, and we love welcoming the students here every semester and just sharing our lives with them. We spend a lot of time here in the classroom with them,” Mr. Lauterbach said.
Director of Counseling Joy Groves shared that this focus on connection and community is intentional, and is built into the Oak Hill ethos.
“[Our school] is small by design. That’s who we always want to be and focus very much on relationships. I would say that every faculty and resident life staff member who is here, that’s the primary reason that brings them to Oak Hill Academy, is their desire to meet students and connect with students and help support students in their growth,” Mrs. Groves said.
Learning Specialist Martha Dacons echoed this sentiment, explaining that “the Oak Hill community gives me the opportunity to know my students better and better every day. Not only do I get the chance to have them in the classroom, but I get the chance to meet them after after school, at after school activities. I get the opportunity to eat with them. I get the opportunity to work with them in the dorm.”
And students truly benefit from this supportive faculty environment, as teachers are given the chance to nurture individual talents and interests.
“This really helps me to know the student wholly and fully and know what makes them click and tick and know what they like and they don’t like,” Mrs. Dacons said.
While our boarding school community is tucked into the small town of Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, it is also built around the diverse experiences of students far and wide.
College Advisor Chris Hill explained,”If you’re a student from North Carolina, you’re going to meet kids from China, Russia, the European Union, South America. And it’s just a great microcosm of the globe.”
This diversity sets Oak Hill apart from many public schools, and it “really helps our students prepare for college as they go on to college campuses that often host a diverse group of students and populations,” Mr. Hill said.
No matter where our students join us from, our faculty members prioritize getting to know each and every one of them. With this faculty guidance, our students learn habits of success, such as self-advocacy, time management, and critical thinking, that prepare them for life beyond high school.
As Mrs. Groves explained, “We focus on growth and support growth. You will hear us say a lot to students [that] we’re not as concerned about the mistakes you make as we are about the way you respond to that and how you grow from that. So we look at every situation as a path to growth for students, and we really try to encourage them to think in that way.”