Waterford exposed me to so many diverse fields, with expert-level instruction. I could paint, throw clay on the potter's wheel, examine cultures in a petri dish, study violin concertos, recite Shakespeare onstage for my peers. The quality of instruction was on a collegiate level, and my peers were first-class and inspired me to work hard and perform well academically. Truly, it was an exceptional education.
I want to share my view of the Waterford School as both an alumnus and a parent. I attended Waterford from 3rd grade through 12th grade. The experience changed my life. I was struggling immensely in massive classes at my local public school. When I graduate from Waterford I went to college on scholarship, and I received a master of science degree and PhD from the top programs in my field. I honestly believe I would not be where I am had it not been for Waterford. The small classes, the liberal arts curriculum, the creativity that is encouraged, the committed faculty, and perhaps most important, the drive and work ethic I gained there have made me successful. I believe in it so much that we moved my family near the school so my children can easily participate in all it has to offer. It is already making a huge difference for my son, and I look forward to what it can do for my other son when he starts school. Even though it is a sacrifice financially for us, it is worth every penny. Nothing is better to invest in than our children, and this is the most secure investment in them I know.
My parents were always believers in the power of education to change a person's life. I remember when I asked them about it, wondering if they'd feel like they wasted their time and treasure if I became a truck driver. They responded they'd be thrilled, because they would have given me all the tools I needed to make that decision for myself. And I'd be the best-educated truck driver I could be.
With that in mind, in 1992, my parents enrolled me, as a 7th grader, in The Waterford School. I attended until graduation in 1997 and it was, truly, a transformative experience. I was always a good student, but, at Waterford, I learned how to be an independent student. I learned more than the right answer, but ways to find it by myself. I became more confident, both academically and socially. The faculty truly understood me and knew how to push me in all the right ways. Because of my experiences with small classes, and relationships with teachers, I learned both content and life skills I treasure to this day.
The Waterford School is a beautiful, rigorous place that wants every student to succeed. Just as important, however, the faculty and administration knows what success means for every student, and that those meanings are never the same. Its liberal arts foundation pushes students to develop their whole intellect--physical, mental, and social. It builds the foundation for deep, meaningful success in all walks of life. As I look at my fellow classmates, they have become doctors, lawyers, teachers, professors, stay-at-home parents, and everything in between. Waterford gave them the skills needed to pursue those careers, and the ability to know themselves well enough to know these professions were their callings. I cannot think of a truer measure of a school's purpose.
Choosing to send our child to Waterford (next year we'll have two there) has been the best decision we've ever made. After attending a public school kindergarten last year, we knew we needed to pave a different academic path for our children. We didn't hear anything about school last year. Nothing bad, but nothing good, and each time I'd volunteer in his classroom, it was complete chaos. I wasn't excited to send him to school. After a little research we were unsure we'd ever find anything that was a good fit for my son, who is quite structured and likes everything to be in order, and my daughter who is creative and crazy and flies by the seat of her pants. haha! I was afraid to look at Waterford because it is quite a drive for us to get there, and I knew if I loved it I'd be spending a lot of time in the car, but we were curious and went looking. The minute we walked in, we were captivated by the quiet hum of children learning and engaging in hands on activities and the beautiful creative art that covered the walls. It seemed too good to be true. We went ahead and enrolled our son in first grade and boy! we couldn't be happier. The school that seemed too good to be true really is that good. Now, about 3 months into the year, he talks about school all the time! He's constantly teaching me new things and he's excited about learning! He has a small class, half the size of his class in public school last year. He's a happier all around kid and we are so thrilled! Waterford has really changed our lives. I find peace each day knowing my son is spending his days in the best possible place he could be in. My biggest concern was the distance we'd have to travel each day to school, but there are multiple busses that travel to and from surrounding areas to help out with the commute. We feel so lucky to be there and hope to continue on all the way through 12th grade.
After moving from the East Coast to Utah eight years ago, we were looking at private schools and received the recommendation of Waterford from a colleague whose sons had attended from Preschool through Upper School graduation. When the time came for our daughter to start school, we enrolled her in Waterford’s preschool class, and could not have made a better decision for our family. That daughter is now enjoying first grade, our younger daughter is currently in PreK-4, and we look forward to our son starting preschool in a year. In making our decision, we visited other schools in the area, and talked with families of children at those schools and also those at Waterford. It was important for us to find a school that offered a diverse group of students and families, with a challenging academic environment, that also cared for each student and fostered individual growth. Waterford has surpassed our expectations in every way. The students are remarkable, and are consistently raising the bar for one another. The qualifications and experiences the teachers bring to the classroom are outstanding. The administration sets an enthusiastic tone for the school and demonstrates genuine care for each student and family. Finally, the campus – reminiscent of the New England campuses we enjoyed – provides a beautiful and safe environment for our children to learn. There is certainly more than one path to a great education, but for our family Waterford has absolutely been the right choice, and we feel so fortunate to be a part of its community.
As we began the search for an alternative to our public school, we were blown away by the curriculum, test scores, and accomplishments of the Waterford School and their students. What “sealed the deal” was our first visit to campus. The students were happy, engaged, and enjoying the learning process. Eleven years later, with both our children in high school, we can say with conviction that enrolling them in Waterford is the best thing we have ever provided for them. Each new year our children have seized the opportunities and challenges presented to them by the amazing Waterford faculty. As our oldest has started the college selection process, we are confident, and more importantly he is confident, that he is fully prepared for college. We are so thankful for all that Waterford has provided for our family.