“I wouldn’t say I’m a completely different person, but I’m a better version of myself.” – Bailey, class of 2019
One of the most common questions I’m asked in my role as Director of Admission is, “What type of student is a fit for Oak Hill Academy?” Apart from the idea that we are a school for students seeking and needing growth, there really is no one, succinct answer. Instead, I’ve noticed that there are 4 or 5 big themes that emerge among our successfully enrolled students. To help you understand Oak Hill Academy better, and perhaps to help you determine if we are a promising option for YOUR student, I’d like to use the admission blog for a series of examples of real students who represent these “mission appropriate” general categories. Today we will look at the student who needs an academic reset and new view of themselves.
Let’s start with our school’s mission:
Oak Hill Academy is a coeducational, Baptist affiliated, boarding/day school committed to excellence in education and adolescent development in a non-military setting. The mission of Oak Hill Academy is to offer a safe, secure, nurturing environment for girls and boys needing a change in school, peer, community, or family relationships. Oak Hill provides a structured college-preparatory program to students in grades 8-12. Our curriculum challenges the brightest student and encourages those who are unmotivated, who are underachieving, or who are experiencing difficulties in their school setting.
Our first profile is of the student who is well-intentioned and capable, but has become disengaged in a large school environment. This student may be overwhelmed and has lost motivation, or has developed a negative outlook. This frustration may be leading to conflict or tension at home. It probably has led to an eroding self-image and confidence. If students see attending Oak Hill Academy as an opportunity to redefine themselves, they overwhelmingly have a positive experience. Through the admission process, especially the campus tour, this type of student recognizes how things can be different here. They see Oak Hill Academy enrollment as an opportunity to “reset,” and to develop a new approach to meeting challenges.
Meet current Oak Hill Academy junior, Bailey. She is today’s guest blog contributor.
Oak Hill Academy’s motto is “The Turning Point.” And I can say that, for me personally, it truly has been. There was no specific day, though, when I thought to myself, “I’ve hit this ‘turning point.’” It’s been a continuous process for me.
The thing I struggled with most was the idea of moving away from everything familiar to a place that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere! At the time I couldn’t see how this relocation would benefit me. However, I’ve learned that the transformation happening now might have started out looking like an obstacle, but then became a really good thing. Leaving my friends, family, house, and even my pets, was difficult at first. Not to mention that I was behind in school. When I toured Oak Hill Academy I was pretty overwhelmed, to be honest. It would be such a big change, and I had trouble wrapping my head around how this could be good for me. In the end it has turned out to be the place where I could change for the better–academically, socially, mentally, and emotionally. And I still continue to change.
I would say one of the biggest transformations for me happened in my academics. I went from almost failing grades to making the Honor Roll. The teachers and staff keep you accountable for your work. They help you, and answer any questions you may have. We even have a period of the day set aside when you can go and get help one on one if you need it. I came from a rather big public school, so the small classes have been a huge benefit for me. I always say I was kind of just pushed along, and never had the resources or support I needed. Oak Hill has provided me with that.
Socially I have transformed immensely. I credit my decision to get involved on campus. Joining in is easy to do here since there are a lot of choices and, since we are so small, it is not intimidating to try new things. I’m involved in equestrian activities, leadership group, art, the spring play, and I’m an intern with Mrs. Groves (OHA’s guidance counselor). I also participate in an abundance of clubs and activities that we have on campus. I’ve become more involved in the community. Coming to Oak Hill has made me step outside of my comfort zone–and for the better. I’ve made friends and relationships that challenge me to grow.
The biggest thing I’ve learned about the transformation process is that it’s not always easy. I might not like every minute of it, and I get frustrated, but when I take a step back I realize how much I’ve accomplished so far in my two years here. Even though coming to boarding school wasn’t a simple task, I pushed through my struggles and, with support and a new attitude, I am making my time at Oak Hill worthwhile. Dr. Groves (our Head of School) always says “Grow where you’re planted” and that’s exactly what I doing. I made the best of where I was, and as a result I experienced valuable transformation. I wouldn’t say I’m a completely different person, but I’m a better version of myself.
For a discussion of your student’s needs and the potential for Oak Hill Academy to be a good fit, please contact the Admission Department. Call or complete the inquiry form below to start the conversation.