Upper Update

Updated: Feb. 15, 2019

Principal Matters

On February 20, the Upper School will hold the annual National Honor Society convocation.  At this event, new members will be inducted and many impressive accomplishments will be celebrated.  According to the NHS charter, NHS serves to recognize those students who have “demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.”

The notion of “excellence” holds a special place in the pantheon of virtues here at Woodward Academy.  As we hear recited often, the motto of Woodward is “excellence, character, and opportunity.”  Excellence is at the core of our collective value system and it is the standard which we uphold for our students.

But, as I am fond of reminding students, excellence is a journey and not a destination.  In the words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  All too often we think of excellence as a box to be checked, an award to be won, or a trophy to be gained.  In success as well as in failure, what’s most important is what we do next.  If a student earns induction to the National Honor Society, but then promptly ceases applying himself in the classroom, what really has been gained?  Or, perhaps more appropriate for our current seniors, if a student gains admission to the college of her choice but fails to resist the strong force that is “senioritis,” can she really claim academic excellence?

So what advice can we offer to our students as they travel this road to excellence?  First, we really do need to take time to celebrate the victories and accomplishments along the way.  As parents, we should never forget the power and influence that we have over our children when we acknowledge and affirm them by simply taking the time to say, “I’m so proud of you.”  Second, setting long term and “big picture” goals can help fight the urge to have let downs after the victories.  Instead of the goal being to get inducted into NHS or to get admitted to a certain college, perhaps the greater focus should be on the long-term goal of becoming an excellent writer or having a fulfilling career in science.  Such long-term goals make it really hard to simply “check the box” and have those post-success let-downs.  Finally, share stories of your personal journey on the road to excellence.  What a powerful thing it would be for your child to see that even at your current age and stage, you are still striving for excellence in the same way that they are.  

In all that we do, we as a faculty believe that we work best when we partner with you as parents.  Let us know if we can help guide conversations with your student as they navigate the road to excellence. 

Dr. Jonathan Merrill
Upper School Principal 

Tropical Ecology Field Study

The deadline to sign up for the Costa Rica Summer course (Tropical Ecology Field Study) is March 1. This course is taught on location in Costa Rica between June 21 and July 1, 2019. If you have any questions, contact Elaine Carroll at elaine.carroll@woodward.edu.  

Counselor Corner

The Upper School counselors periodically get information that would be helpful to parents as they parent their teens. Here is an article on helping teenagers with their fluctuating emotions. Happy Reading!


From the Dean's Desk

Attention Upper School Students and Parents:  This is a reminder to be respectful to our neighbors in and around campus. As you are driving around Woodward, please obey ALL stop signs and speed limits. Also, parking on local streets is highly discouraged.  College Park police will issue traffic citations to those parked illegally on city streets.  Use your designated parking lot and report any issues to the Dean of Students Office or Campus Safety!

Tickets to the Big Chill for Woodward Parents

A limited number of tickets are now available for Woodward parents to attend the annual Big Chill event on Friday, February 22, at 8 p.m. at SunTrust Park!

Join the Woodward Alumni Association for an evening of food, fun, cocktails, and a chance to bid in our silent auction--all in support of need-based financial aid.

Purchase tickets or an event sponsorship today by visiting woodward.edu/bigchill.

Important Information for Seniors and Senior Parents

Please see important information about Graduation weekend including the Senior Banquet, Baccalaureate and Graduation morning.  Also see important dates and events that may apply to seniors including AP testing and graduation practices.

Taggart's Drivers Ed Class

Information about Taggart's Drivers Ed classes during the school year here.

Senior Spring Break

To clarify, there is no Woodward Academy Senior Spring Break trip. We are aware of a trip being advertised as the “Woodward Senior Spring Break trip.” However, that trip is not sponsored by, or endorsed by, Woodward Academy. We advise parents to investigate carefully before allowing your senior to participate. 

Check Out the Parent Community Website!

Have you had a chance to connect with other Upper School parents? While we had a fantastic first semester, the school year is half over and there are still many exciting upcoming activities that will offer you a chance to meet other parents, connect with faculty and support our students. Whether you’re looking to volunteer or wondering when the next Parent Community event is, you can now find it all on the Parent Community website. Please be sure to check it regularly for upcoming opportunities to contribute or volunteer. You also can follow us on Facebook @WAParentCommunity. 

Infinity Mirrors Photos Request

Did you take pictures visiting the Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the High Museum? Please forward shots of your children at the exhibit to wastpress@woodward.edu for use in the 2019 Phoenix yearbook.

Chaplain's Corner

Greetings Woodward Academy Community,

January was a fantastic month filled with joy and preparation as Upper School student religious leaders planned events for another great year filled with holiday celebrations, interfaith immersion trips, prayer services, and religious panels. 2019 is off to a wonderful start in Woodward religious life!

Throughout the month of February, students in our community will observe the following:

  • February 5 (Buddhism) - The Lunar New Year is the first day after the new (dark) moon. It is a religious and cultural festival celebrated by Chinese, Vietnamese, and Koreans of Buddhist and other backgrounds as New Year’s Day for the year 4717 in the Lunar calendar.
  • February 10 (Hinduism) - Vasant Panchami, a North Indian celebration, is associated with Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, and with Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth. It marks the arrival of Spring and start of preparation for Holika and Holi.
  • February 15 (Buddhism) - Nehan-e (Nirvana Day) is an annual Buddhist festival that remembers the passing of the Buddha at age 80 and his achievement of enlightenment.

Please feel free to visit our Interfaith Initiatives page to see the times of all interfaith prayer opportunities or to share a prayer request.


Chaplain K
Rev. Katie O. Kilpatrick, Academy Chaplain
404-391-7589, chaplain@woodward.edu

Upper School Only Late Start Days

Please note the following as it relates to Late Start days in the Upper School:

1.) Late Start days provide our faculty and staff with an opportunity to collaborate in an effort to further support our student body. As such, faculty members are typically unavailable during this time.

2.) Students arriving to school before 9:45 a.m. on Late Start days may stay in the Student Lounge or the library only.

3.) Parents, please discuss with your student(s) the protocol for Late Start days. We encourage students to remain on campus once they arrive and are present and accounted for at all times.

From the Learning Support Center  

Parents, please find helpful information at your student's class page on PowerSchool.Learning. Particularly, this year there is a new page on each class's page, the LEARNING SUPPORT page (bottom of the selection list on the left of the front page). Parents and students can find helpful information about adult tutors, ACT accommodation tests (Classes of 2019 and 2020 only), and student tutors (PeerKonnect–link soon to be activated, Classes of 2021 and 2022 for tutoring; Classes of 2019 and 2020 to volunteer and be vetted as tutors). If you have further questions, please contact Kemberly Edwards (kemberly.edwards@woodward.edu).

Upper School Daily Class Schedule

The Upper School daily class schedules may be found here.

Upper School Day Planner

The Upper School student day planner is available in the Campus Store. You also may access an online version of the student day planner here.

Text Notifications - Update Your Info

In order to receive text messages from Woodward Academy, including student transport notifications and weather-related alerts, please make sure your cell phone number is up-to-date by visiting the Parent Portal and clicking on "Update My Contact Information."

Security Reminder

Parents, please sign in at your child's school each time you visit and clearly display your visitor badge while you are on campus. Thank you.

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