Verde Valley School - Review #12

Read more details about Verde Valley School on their 2021-22 profile page.
Verde Valley School

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School: 1977-1980
Sports and Activities: I participated in many extra curricular activities; sports (soccer, trampoline, horse back riding, hiking, back packing, track), theatre and dance (Waiting for Godot, a play all in Spanish, a modern dance production), Photography (we had our own lab), lapidary, engine mechanics to name a few. On weekends I loved exploring the mountains around the school and hiking to the river to swim or enjoy the outdoors.
College Enrolled:University of the Pacific
Home Town, State: Keego Harbor, MI

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Verde Valley specializes in intercultural and international studies. A key aspect of the program are annual field trips to learn first hand about cultures other than one'sown or to study the natural environment. The field trips may be to mexico, to work with indian schools or a multitude of other options. Being able to follow your interests allow you to foster knowledge and skills in virtually any area that interests one. The students run much of the school as a student community. Weekly maintenance crews, landscaping, kitchen work, class room cleaning, admin assistance, all teach responsibility, team work and ownership.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The school saved me from the mediocrity of public education. It allowed me to explore my interests and be creative in ways I never could have in any other environment. If you wanted to explore some endeavor chances are you could find support for your dreams and pursue it. The school made the rest of my life possible and gave my a permanent place to call home and a network of friends for life.It gave me a love of languages and cultures that has served me throughout my international peripatetic career.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Don't worry. You'll love it. Don't do anything stupid that will get you kicked out because you'll regret it the rest of your life.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Everything. The physical environment, the people, the culture, the focus.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Enjoy. Climb all the mountains and swim in the creek.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The best part of academics at VVS was the small class size. Everyone participated. It wasn't possible to be ignored or to not be part of the class. The teachers were always there and available. The classes often interacted, one with the other and the classes in sociology, and anthropology were intriguing. The emphasis on gaining proficiency in a foreign language has served me throughout my life.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The emphasis was on enjoying sports. Soccer was the main event but basketball, horseback riding, trampoline, hiking, track and climbing were all available and actively participated in.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The school's theatre is beautiful. The students produced many events ranging from plays, dance, music and presentations by invited speakers on many subjects. I enjoyed and still vividly recall many of the films we saw in the weekly evening art cinema showings. The various films of Igmar Bergman and Satyajit Ray still reverberate in my mind.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The student government was great. We had weekly student body meetings run by the students to discuss issues. We ran the meetings according to Roberts Rules of Order. The meetings were substantive and real. Volunteer opportunities off campus existed mostly during project period or field trips and ranged from working in Indian schools to homeless shelters or migrant field laborers assistance.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorms were relaxed with private or shared rooms. Each dorm has a faculty house attached to the dorm for supervision. The dorms were located in different parts of the campus with the seniors having their own dorms and the underclass students there own. The rooms were of adequate size and comfortable. I never had any complaints except that you could hear your neighbors bit too well at times.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
We had one common dinning hall for all students. The students took turns working as table waiters, dish washers, and kitchen assistants; usually two weeks per semester. The food was good and in adequate supply. Breakfast was buffet and lunch and dinner informal sitdown. The view of cathedral mountain from the dinning hall was awesome.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The surrounding area has changed a lot since I was there. It is much more developed. But Sedona is still beautiful. The surrounding mountains and environment is the most beautiful in the world. Weekly trips into town were available for whatever needs one might have but I preferred to explore the mountains and photograph the hills to trips into town.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The best description of the social life is that it is like having 120 brothers and sisters. You will make friends you will have for life. It is a community of friends.

Daily Schedule:

7:00 AMBreakfast opens
7:45 AMBreakfast ends
8:00 AMclass starts
12:00 PMLunch
1:00 PMClasses resume
3:15 PMclasses end.
3:30 PMSports or work projects
5:45 PMDinner
7:15 PMStudy hours
10:00 AMIn dorms
8:00 AMbreakfast
9:00 AMClimb a mountain, run to the creek, work in the photo lab
12:00 PMLunch
1:00 PMwork on lapidary or silver project. read, study
5:15 PMDinner
7:00 PMoptional evening program
Read more details about Verde Valley School on their 2021-22 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Verde Valley School Alumni #1
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars   8/14/2018
    Chapman University
    Verde Valley School is a very unique day and boarding school in Sedona, AZ. Throughout my four years, 2 of being a day student and 2 of boarding, I fell in love with VVS and. . .
  • Verde Valley School Alumni #2
    Class of 2007
    5 Stars   10/30/2007
    Northern Arizona University
    I loved going to this school. You really feel connected with the teachers since the class size is around 10-13. The faculty also ends up being your coaches and even your dorm parents. While I. . .
  • Verde Valley School Alumni #3
    Class of 2005
    5 Stars   10/30/2007
    Stanford University
    This school is quite possibly located in one of the most scenic places in the country, and the outdoor activities available to the students of VVS make it an incredible place. . .
  • Show more reviews (9 reviews)
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