This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (August 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
81 Providence Street
|Type||Independent, day and boarding|
(Achieve the Honorable)
|Head of School||Ronald Cino|
|Enrollment||491 upper school|
154 middle school
|Average class size||14|
|Student to teacher ratio||8:1|
|Campus||Urban, 71 acres (290,000 m2)|
|Athletics||24 Interscholastic sports|
54 Interscholastic teams
Worcester Academy is a private school in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is one of the country's oldest day-boarding schools. A coeducational preparatory school, it belongs to the National Association of Independent Schools. Situated on 73 acres (30 hectares), the academy is divided into a middle school, serving approximately 150 students in grades six to eight, and an upper school, serving approximately 500 students in grades nine to twelve, including some postgraduates. Approximately one-third of students in the upper school participate in the school's five- and seven-day boarding programs. Currently, there are approximately 80 international students enrolled from 28 different nations. The academy is mildly selective, accepting approximately 65% of all applicants.
The Academy's motto is the Greek phrase "? ," which translates to "Achieve the Honorable."
Founded in 1834 as the Worcester County Manual Labor High School, the name was changed to Worcester Academy in 1847. The school moved to its current location on Worcester's Union Hill in 1869. The academy moved into a building that had previously served as a Civil War hospital: "The Dale General Hospital". It was later renamed Davis Hall, in honor of longtime board president, Isaac Davis. Worcester Academy was all-male from its founding until 1856, and again from 1890 to 1974. It has been coeducational ever since.
As of 2018, 451 out of 600, or 68% of the school's students were white, 66 (11%) were Asian, 32 (5%) were Black, and 15 (2.5%) were Hispanic or Latino. The corresponding numbers for the community were 56% white, 8% Asian, 12% black and 21% Hispanic or Latino.
Worcester Academy's campus is currently spread over four main parcels: the main campus, which contains approximately 12 acres (49,000 m2); Francis A. Gaskill Field, a 15-acre (61,000 m2) parcel two blocks south of the main campus; the South Campus, a 15-acre parcel one block south which includes Morse Field; and the New Balance Fields, approximately four miles away on Stafford Street, comprising 28 acres (110,000 m2). In 2004, Worcester Academy relocated its alumni offices to a renovated Victorian home one block north of the main campus, at 51 Providence Street. It is now called Alumni House.
The main campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places with six buildings listed as contributing properties: 81 Providence Street, Kingsley Laboratories, Walker Hall, Adams Hall, the Megaron, and Dexter Hall. 81 Providence Street is the home of the Head of School and is named "Abercrombie House" in honor of Daniel Webster Abercrombie, principal from 1882 to 1918. In 2001, the back end of the historic campus was developed with the addition of Rader Hall, named for long-time faculty members Harold G. "Dutch" and Dorothy Rader. Rader Hall houses the school's library and is used for middle school classes and activities. In the past fifteen years restoration work on the historic campus buildings has been completed including in 2008 with the complete renovation of the Kingsley Laboratories, Walker Hall in 2013-14, and Daniels Gymnasium in 2013.
The South Campus currently features the Morse Field, named for former Head of School Dexter P. Morse and his wife, Barbara. This campus, located between the main campus and Gaskill Field, is a focus of the school expansion plans. The first parcel of a former hospital campus was acquired in 2007 with the completion of the purchase and sale agreement on a 6 acres (24,000 m2) parcel. In January 2010, the Academy purchased an additional 4 acres (16,000 m2) of the former hospital. A lighted, artificial turf field was opened in the fall of 2011. A walking path along its perimeter connects to the entrance via a pathway. The field serves as both a practice facility and playing field for multiple sports. The acquisition of the remaining 5 acres of the hospital campus was completed in the summer of 2015. A visual and performing arts center located on the South Campus opened there in the fall of 2015. The performance center is located in the former hospital power plant and has seating capacity of 120 and lobby area for a comparable number of guests. Walkways connect the South Campus to both the main campus and Gaskill Field.
In the summer of 2014, Worcester Academy completed the restoration/renovation of the historic Walker Hall including improvements to the connection to the adjacent building called the Megaron. The project included: installation of handicap access ramp on the campus entrance; replacement of windows, installation of an elevator servicing both Walker Hall and the Megaron; installation of bathrooms on all floors for both students and faculty; and HVAC installation. The majority of the work was completed over the summers of 2013 and 2014. There was a net gain of six classrooms for the history and world languages departments located respectively on the second and third floors. Admissions, College Counseling, and the Head of School suite remain on the first floor while the Business Office was moved to the upper basement level. In addition, the Arts Department has classrooms in the lower levels of Walker and Megaron. In addition, the exterior of the Daniels Gymnasium was restored in the summer of 2013.
As of fall of 2017, Worcester Academy is a primary tenant at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center, a double rink located at the corner of Harding and Winter streets in Worcester's Canal District. This facility is at the foot of Union Hill and a half a mile from the campus entrance on Providence Street. Both the Boys and Girls teams have their own locker rooms and the teams will have prime skating time for games and practice. The facility has two restaurants, a fitness center, a physical therapist, and a skate shop.
|Location||Worcester Academy Campus, Worcester, Massachusetts|
|Area||4.9 acres (20,000 m2)|
|Architect||Fuller & Delano|
|Architectural style||Queen Anne, Romanesque, Gothic Revival|
|NRHP reference No.||80000478|
|Added to NRHP||March 5, 1980|
The most notable building on the campus is the Lewis J. Warner '28 Memorial Theater. Built in 1932, it was a gift from Warner Brothers Studio President Harry Warner, who donated the building to honor the memory of his only son. Lewis died within three years of graduating from the academy. Worcester Academy's middle school student assemblies are held in the 350-seat Hervey S. Ross Auditorium in Warner Theater.
Over the 187-year history of the school, fine arts has grown from an extra-curricular student activity to being integrated into the curriculum. Beginning in the 1890s, glee clubs and orchestras, organized by students, performed at term dinners and in the following decade, faculty advisers oversaw these groups. In 1901, the first play was performed by students under the direction of a faculty adviser. These groups evolved into clubs, known as Etta Kappa Alpha (theater) and the Offbeats (singing) which were important contributors to extracurricular life at Worcester Academy. In the early 1980s, courses in performing and visual art were offered. By the end of the decade a Visual and Performing Arts Department was formed. Soon thereafter, theater was offered as a course and this curriculum has expanded greatly since then.
Upper school studio art course offerings include ceramics, jewelry design, fibers craft, and architecture. In addition to drawing and painting courses, digital art is an offering. Web design and animation are also part of the art curriculum.
The Middle School visual arts program includes introductory courses in music and theater. A highlight of the program is the Arts Café, which studies the art, and cuisine, of a global culture each year.
Worcester Academy has been offering an extensive curriculum in theater arts since 1988. Teachers emphasize ensemble and artistic excellence. The curricular and co-curricular programs provide both serious training for those who might want to major in theater arts in college as well as opportunities for students who may be studying theater arts for the first time and wish to explore their interests.
Theater arts courses are taught by four degreed professionals in theater arts. Three theater faculty have advanced degrees in theater. One was awarded the Olmsted Prize, a national award for teaching excellence.
Students perform in two distinct theaters:
Students perform in three fully mounted Upper School productions and a fully mounted Middle School production. One of these productions is an annual musical. Middle School students present class projects to enthusiastic friends and family.
Theater students attend professional productions at some of the great regional theaters in Boston, Cambridge, Providence, and Hartford.
Each summer, Moonstruck Theater Company, founded by Worcester Academy Alumna Caroline Fonseca '05, presents a fully mounted production in the Andes Pit Theater. Many company members are graduates of the Academy's theater program, and many WA theater students gain valuable practical experience as Moonstruck Theater interns.
Music 6 and 7 offer general music classes. Music 8 is an ensemble class for instrumentalists and singers.
Bells, Band and Chorus: All middle school students are encouraged to take part in one of these groups meeting once a week. This program includes Beginning and Advanced Band, Chorus, and Select Chorus.
A middle school play is offered every fall. A middle school musical is offered every winter.
Worcester Academy is a member of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). Worcester Academy plays most of the larger New England prep schools, and rivalries date back much more than a century. In certain sports, NEPSAC classifies the competition for post-season play and Worcester Academy competes with teams in Class A and Class B.
The formation of the Worcester Academy Athletic Association in 1885 was the official beginning of interscholastic sport at the Academy and like many Eastern boarding schools, Worcester Academy helped pioneer the growth of athletic competition in the United States. This tradition in sports has motivated many graduates to continue their involvement by playing sports at the college or professional level, or through coaching, officiating, management, medicine, apparel, reporting, charitable giving, and the arts.
The nickname of the school teams is the Hilltoppers due to the school's location at the top of Worcester's Union Hill. The mascot is a ram named Oskee, named after the school fight song. Approximately 60% of the students participate in an interscholastic sport on one of the 54 athletic teams. There are twenty-four different sports offered including in the fall: football, soccer, cross country, field hockey; in the winter: basketball, wrestling, alpine skiing, volleyball, hockey, swimming; and in the spring: track and field, baseball, lacrosse, crew, golf, softball, and tennis.
In November, 2013, the Boys Varsity Soccer Team appeared in the final game of the NEPSAC Class A soccer tournament for the second time in the 105-year history of the soccer program at Worcester Academy. In the past decade, the Worcester Academy Varsity Boys Soccer team has appeared regularly in the NEPSAC tournament and championship. According to TopDrawerSoccer.com, the Worcester Academy Varsity Boys Soccer team has also regularly been ranked in the top five Prep boys soccer teams in the nation.
In 2011, the Girls Varsity Soccer Team won NEPSAC Class A tournament in the first year that the team had moved up to the division. ESPN named the team the best private school girls soccer team in the U.S. In previous years, the girls team won the NEPSAC Class B crown two times and appeared in the finals.
In 2017, the varsity baseball team won the Central Division NEPSAC crown by winning the Blackburn Tournament at Murray Stadium in Providence, Rhode Island. It was the first championship for the team since 2015 and the first under Head Coach Jim McNamara '07. In 2012, 2013, and 2016 the team had reached the final game of the Blackburn tournament.
In 2016, the Boys Varsity Soccer team were the Class A WNEPSSA champions.
In 2017, the Girls Varsity Ice Hockey team won the New England Girls Prep Division 2 championship.
In 2018, the Boys Varsity Ice Hockey team were the 2017-2018 Holt Conference Champions.
In 2018, the Girls Varsity Basketball team were the NEPSAC Class AA champions.
In 2019, the Boys Varsity Soccer team were the NEPSAC Class A Champions.
Worcester Academy has a long history of coaches who have had gone on to become great coaches at all levels of sports: Some of them are: Frank Cavanaugh, Mike Sherman, Ken O'Keefe, Dave Gavitt, William F. Donovan, Al Hall, and Bill Livesey. In addition, Gordon Lockbaum was a wrestling coach at Worcester Academy. Donald Rowe played and coached at WA, winning 9 New England Prep School Championships as a coach.
Student organizations or clubs date back to the very beginning of Worcester Academy in 1834, when the Legomathenian Society was formed. Initially, the Legomathenian Society was a literary society which published articles written by students. The Legomathenian Society is now the debate club at Worcester Academy. There are 55 organizations and just a few of them are: Model UN, Habitat for Humanity, Math Team, and Newman Society.
In January 2010, the Worcester Academy team won the Brain Bee competition for the state of Massachusetts and Raji Pyda '12, won the overall competition. She represented the state in the national Brain Bee, which was held in Baltimore, Maryland in April 2010.
In May 2010, Worcester Academy's Walk and Rock for The Jimmy Fund raised $21,862 for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer research and support at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Walk and Rock was founded in 2005 by two juniors, Jeffrey Rothschild '07 and Elizabeth Tripp '07, with the support of their faculty adviser, Dr. Francine Smith. The event--a walkathon and music festival--raised $221,862 over a five-year period. This total includes an anonymous $100,000 donation from a Jimmy Fund supporter and parent of Worcester Academy alumni. In its first years, the event headlined the bands State Radio and ZOX. Other notable leaders of the event include Aaron Faucher '08, Stonleigh Caswell '09, and Jake Arthur '10. Although the Jimmy Fund Club still remains, the last Walk and Rock ended in 2010 due to the amount of time and effort it took to plan and organize.
In the springs of 2010 and 2011, the We the People club won the Massachusetts championship and traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national championship. The Worcester Academy team competed with teams from every state.
In 2011, Worcester Academy's math team won its seventh (and fourth straight)Worcester County Mathematics League championship, its seventh (and sixth straight) state championship, and its fourth New England championship (the third in six years).
On December 6, 2008 Worcester Academy Hosted its first Model United Nations Simulation. The conference was chaired by Andrew Fan '09, and the keynote speaker was congressman Jim McGovern '77. Worcester Academy again sponsored and hosted WAMUN in October 2013. The 2013 Secretary General was Claire Leibmann '14 and the keynote speaker was Tanja Bernstein '90, Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations. More than 60 student delegates attended the conference representing schools that included Worcester Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, the Dana Hall School, Foxboro High School, and the Parker Charter School.
The Bernon Community Service Program is considered an important part of the students' experience. Several of the clubs have a mission of community service such as the Newman Society which provides after school tutoring at the nearby Ascension Church. Another organization, Afternoon Tunes, provides free music lessons each Friday afternoons at the All Saints Church in downtown Worcester. 81-19 Connect is a group of student volunteers at a nearby nursing home. They provide a variety of programs such as painting, drawing, and music. A large picture window oversees the Morse Athletic Field, so game schedules are provided for the entertainment of the residents. Habitat for Humanity has a very active chapter and has built a home within a mile of the campus. Each spring vacation, the students travel to a project.
Besides the clubs, there is a wide variety of activities. Each athletic team does one afternoon of volunteer work within the community. The postgraduates organize a spree day at Union Hill School. The Middle School does community service at the class level. For instance, the sixth grade organizes a can drive at the Friendly House. The eight grade does a book drive, along with various other things.
Notable faculty and alumni of Worcester Academy include:
In certain instances, student-athletes attend Worcester Academy solely for their senior year, or for a single postgraduate year, to increase their exposure to college coaches or to improve their academic standing. Notable student-athletes include:
|1st||Silas Bailey, D.D.||1834-1838|
|2nd||Samuel Stillman Greene, LL.D.||1838-1840|
|3rd||Nelson Wheeler, A.M.||1840-1847|
|4th||Eli Thayer 1840, A.M.||1847-1849|
|5th||Charles C. Burnett, A.M.||1849-1852|
|6th||Eleazer J. Avery, A.M.||1852-1854|
|7th||William S. Greene, A.M.||1854-1858|
|8th||Werden Reynolds, A.M.||1858-1860|
|9th||James R. Stone, D.D.||1860-1862|
|10th||Ambrose P. S. Stuart, A.M.||1862-1864|
|11th||Charles Ayer, A.B.||1865-1866|
|12th||Albert Prescott Marble, PhD||1866-1868|
|13th||William C. Poland, A.B.||1868-1870|
|14th||Willard T. Leonard, M.A.||1870|
|15th||Rev. David Weston, A.B.||1870-1871|
|16th||John D. Smith, A.B.||1872-1875|
|17th||Nathan Leavenworth, A.M.||1875-1882|
|18th||Daniel Abercrombie, Litt.D., LL.D.||1882-1918|
|19th||Samuel Foss Holmes, A.M.||1918-1933|
|20th||Harold H. Wade||1933-1942|
|21st||LeRoy A. Campbell, PhD||1942-1950|
|22nd||Paul K. Phillips, A.B.||1950-1954|
|23rd||William S. Piper, Jr., Ed.D.||1954-1968|
|24th||Harold G. Rader, Ed.D.||1968-1969|
|25th||David R. Jefferson, B.A., B.D.||1969-1970|
|26th||Robert A. LaBranche 1946, M.S.||1970-1974|
|27th||John A. Bloom, M.A.||1974-1985|
|28th||Ben Williams, M.A.||1985-1991|
|29th||John Mackenzie, M.A.||1991-1997|
|30th||Dexter P. Morse, M Ed., C.A.G.S.||1997-2012|
|31st||Ronald M. Cino||2012-present|