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At Oak Hill Academy our campus is our classroom.  Beyond academic achievement, honing the basic principles of self-care and good decision making is among the most valuable behavioral gains for students at small boarding schools.  While these traits aren’t visible on a transcript (though some would hold them to be as important), failure to acquire them can lead to long-term trouble for young adults.

One of the most pervasive and newsworthy temptations facing teens these days involves a new type of “smoking” called vaping, which requires use of an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) filled with flavored liquid that, when electrically charged, releases vapors that are inhaled by the user.  Recently, e-cigarettes became more popular among teens than regular cigarettes, and vaping has become a national talking point among those who work with youth.

Oak Hill Academy has always been proactive in caring for our students.  Under the leadership of Academy Nurse Betsy Anderson, we recently offered a series of educational sessions designed to supplement our efforts to eradicate vaping on our campus.  In crafting a wholesale strategy which includes medical intervention, support groups that meet regularly for students who desire to quit, punitive measures, and now an educational component, we believe we are providing sound, comprehensive services to our students.   In fact, Oak Hill Academy was recently recognized by colleagues at other boarding schools as being a state-wide leader in this national effort to address what has become an important issue affecting the lives of young people.

Our boarding school campus is indeed Oak Hill Academy’s 24/7 classroom, where we walk with our students through their fledgling efforts to learn how to care for themselves in body, mind, and spirit.  When mistakes occur, and they do for all of us, our job as educators is to lend a helping hand and shine the light on the correct path.  Our vaping education and intervention program is helping us do just that.

Todd Giszack
Principal
Oak Hill Academy