Small Boarding School Creates Connectedness


As a small boarding school, Oak Hill Academy has the rare opportunity to foster face-to-face, personal relationships among students, families, and our faculty and staff. Shared goals, shared experiences, and a 24/7 shared environment allow for interaction that grows these connections organically.

We all want to feel that we are needed, valued, and have a place.  At Oak Hill Academy, our desire is to help our students find meaningful and productive ways to connect with each other and adults, in the context of a supportive community.





When I feel connected to my colleagues, when I feel that I have a community of friends and families who support me, when I feel connected to my work, that I am valued and needed, affirmed in my talents and abilities – this is when I am able to thrive. 

The same is true for our students.  Our goal is to pull out those talents, and find ways to connect our students to our community in authentic, meaningful ways.  Athletics, leadership, astronomy, debate, broadcasting, tutoring, theater, horsemanship, community service, choir, peer mentoring, chess, cheer – students who are connected in productive ways to the Oak Hill community are students who are thriving. 

Oak Hill Academy provides the environment:  pockets of appropriate cell phone and internet access, required participation in an activity or club, structured quiet time and daily routines, high expectations to meet our values and standards.  We work to provide the support and encouragement:  full time residential life staff, small class sizes, advisory activities, academic support.  We nudge our students to connect to each other and to the community, and we show that they are valued and have a place.

When faced with a challenge, like leaving home to attend boarding school, students might think it’s easier for them to keep their heads down, to push through and “endure” the days.  Our hope–our goal–is to help our students turn this mindset upside down, and embrace the opportunities at Oak Hill to grow and to connect with something bigger than themselves.

Aaron Butt
Director of Student Affairs
Oak Hill Academy

Reclaimed OHA chair offered as raffle prize

This year’s juniors, under the direction of their advisor, Mr. Brian Bunn, have hand-restored this chair, once used in the OHA dormitories. It now is offered as the prize in a raffle fundraiser. Proceeds will be added to those of the Spring Parents’ Days Silent Auction for student activities.

Tickets will be available at the basketball games on campus this Saturday, November 9th, starting at 5:30. The winning ticket will be drawn at halftime of the Gold Team game that starts at 7. You must be present to win.

Thank You & Good Luck!

From the Principal: Oak Hill Academy’s 24/7 Classroom includes Vaping Education

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
Oak Hill Academy

Contact Information

Oak Hill Academy
2635 Oak Hill Rd.
Mouth of Wilson, Virginia 24363

Phone Number  276-579-2619

Administrative Office Fax Number  276-579-4722

Academic Office Fax Number  276-579-2618

Mr. Todd Giszack

Director of Student Affairs
Mr. Aaron Butt

Dean of Girls
Mrs. Shaquera Clawson

Dean of Boys
Mr. Gary Crede

Director of Financial Affairs
Mrs. Rhonda Bowen

Student Expense Accounts
Mrs. Paula Phelps

Student Tuition Accounts
Mrs. Laura Phipps

Transportation Coordinator
Mrs. Regina Cooper

Director of Counseling
Mrs. Joy Groves, MA, LPC, NCC

Academy Nurse
Ms. Betsy Anderson
Mrs. Anita Perkins

For additional contact info., visit the Faculty & Staff Directory.