Wasatch Academy - Review #3

Wasatch Academy
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania
Home Town, State (Country) Las Vegas, NV
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School Tennis, fencing, debate (competed at World Championships), directed and organized seven states as the only high school-aged director for Students for a Free Tibet, served as president/ vice-president of a nationally recognized National Honor Society chapter, sung opera, participated in the student council, served as a dormitory prefect, president of food committee, vice-president of Amnesty International, founder of annual service project, President/ Founder of WA SFT chapter, Student Ambassador, tour guide, mentoring, choir, etc

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
While at Wasatch Academy I debated within a circuit of international independent schools; accordingly, I gained knowledge of a number of other private (boarding) secondary institutions. In the following answers, I draw upon several resources, including the perceptions of non-Wasatch students who visited campus. Though Wasatch is a college prep institution, the Academy isn’t characterized by the preppy atmosphere that plagues other boarding schools. The campus atmosphere is relaxed, cordial, and majestic. In my experience, I found Wasatch to be the ideal environment for growth in all its forms (academic, ecclesiastic, social, etc). Perhaps one of the most notable differences Wasatch maintains when compared to other intuitions is its location. Past windy mountain roads, broken-down barns, and blond prairie fields, W.A. is located on the exact geographical center of Utah. Wasatch’s location has inherently affected the institution and students alike, ultimately imbuing the community with a distinguishing spirit. All boarding schools claim to provide an intimate academic experience; some schools have stronger claims than others. However, no school rivals Wasatch in this field. W.A. is focused on the individual. In fact, the faculty is actually taught to identify the learning strengths and weaknesses of each student and to adjust their teaching methods accordingly. All students are matched with a faculty advisor(s), and advisor groups. Additionally, each student stands out in some way…this is truly the place where everyone (quite literally) knows your name. This place puts emphasis on building a strong community and it shows. In short, Wasatch Academy is extremely different than other boarding schools. Wasatch is so much; I cannot adequately do justice to the Academy within the constraints of this questionnaire. I recommend researching and/or experiencing it for yourself. WA is definitely an unparalleled institution.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I was inundated by opportunities found nowhere else. What did this culminate to, you ask? The attainment of my dreams…
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Absolutely nothing.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I felt as if there were no limitations. Why? For reasons that are too great in number to enumerate in this form. However, I can say that the Academy fully accommodated all of my (reasonable) requests. The Academy taught me that there are no fully impregnable obstacles; hence, the concept of limitation was abrogated from my mind. Of course, I received much help from the faculty, administration and dorm staff during my tenure as a student—the aforementioned lesson, otherwise, would had gone unrealized. More explicitly put, the Wasatch experience is tailored to each individual.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Fulfill your most farfetched ambitions, for they may be fulfilled at Wasatch. And… Investigate every whim.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are, of course, certain core requirements that each student must fulfill; however, outside of these minimal requirements, the academic schedule is surprisingly flexible and eclectic. The faculty frequently teaches courses based on student interest (e.g. Life Skills, AP Statistics, Japanese, Current Events, etc). I personally worked with the Dean of Academics and my instructors to develop syllabi for my independent courses, including, but not limited to, Calculus BC (and beyond), French, AP macroeconomics and AP microeconomics. The support I received from the administration and faculty to pursue knowledge and scholarly research was my favorite aspect of Wasatch Academy academics.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Most athletic departments are awesome—often amongst the best in the state. The size of the student body, at times, limits the size of athletic teams (for, during any given season, there are a number of sports offered). In fact, Wasatch Academy offers the more sports than any school in its division. A student is welcome to play any sport he/she wishes. The sign-up policy allowed me to participate in a number of sports that I, otherwise, wouldn’t had the opportunity to play. For winter sports enthusiasts, it may be noteworthy to mention that the Academy’s athletic program has a competitive snowboarding team that regularly sends several team members to the national championship. And, as we all know, Utah is home to the world’s best snow and slopes!

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The art department is superb. Though the Utah High School Arts Show is dominated by the largest schools in the state (4A and 5A schools), Wasatch Academy is the only school in its size division (1A) that annually sends artwork to the competition. Wasatch is frequently the only school of the 1A, 2A and 3A divisions to be represented in the show. All WA students are encouraged to partake in artistic pursuits. The Literary Magazine has placed first in the nation for the past ten consecutive years—a testament of the caliber of the creative arts program. The music department is small and accommodating. I took individual voice and piano instruction at Wasatch as credited courses, however, I nearly quit violin and French horn (F)—(this is greatly at my own fault, however). Unfortunately, some instrumentalists may have to fervently seek-out access to practice rooms. Though the music department only offers guitar and piano instruction, many of the music instructors are more than willing to help aspiring virtuosos find individual instruction for any instrument. I’ve never been a thespian and, accordingly, I never participated in any drama productions. I know, however, that the drama students qualified for the state competition.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I most liked the freedom and breadth of extracurricular opportunities. Students are welcome to start their own clubs and service groups, etc. The number of extracurricular clubs reflect the size of the school community.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The Academy is committed to continually improving dorm life. Unlike other schools, Wasatch has a full-time residential staff (that is to say your teacher will never be your dorm parent). The dorm parents, by the way, are ALL awesome. Students are permitted to select their roommates; singles are typically reserved for seniors. All dorms are equipped with lounge, kitchen and laundry facilities. The lounges generally have leather furniture, satellite television, DVD and VHS players. Non-dorm residents are welcome in the lounge areas during specified weekend hours. Student prefects help "run the dorm."

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Students and faculty members alike eat in the recently-constructed, capacious and “lodgy” student center/ cafeteria. I’ve eaten at a number of other boarding schools and universities and Wasatch food is definitely, by far, the best. Formal dinners are held once a week (and, yes, you will learn how to wait tables). Advisor groups frequently meet over dinner in the cafeteria—usually once a week.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Mt. Pleasant, Utah is one of the most bucolic places in America. Wasatch takes several off-campus trips every weekend to locations selected by the study body, ameliorating any city-withdrawals a student may have. I most certainly learned much from living in such a rural community. I must concede to the fact that I, regrettably, will never return to such an environment (perhaps I will late in my life).
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked most the lack of “cliquey-ness.” All students find themselves linked by their shared Wasatch identity. At WA, there’s definitely a strong, visible sense of community.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:45 AMBreakfast
8:45 AMAssembly or Chapel
9:15 AMBlock 'A'
10:30 AMBlock 'B'
11:45 AMLunch
1:15 PMBlock 'C'
2:45 PMBlock 'D'
3:15 PMExtracurricular/ Athletic Period
5:00 PMEnd of E.C./ Athletic Period
5:30 PMDinner
7:15 PMCheck-in and Study Hall
9:30 PMConclusion of Study Hall--In-Residence Free Time
11:00 PMLights-Out
Weekend
6:30 AMWake-Up...& listen to the roosters
10:30 AMCommencement of Brunch
1:00 PMConclusion of Brunch
1:00 PMDinner and Movie/ Mall Trip
2:00 PMPerforming Arts Trip
3:00 PMSkate Park Trip
5:00 PMDinner
7:00 PMCheck-In
10:30 PMIn-Dorm
12:00 PMLights-Out

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Wasatch Academy Alumni #1
    Class of 2012
    5 Stars   7/22/2013
    Cornell College
    Rural area, international environment, attentive staff and faculty, student-focus activities-those are what Wasatch is praised for but what really impressed me was a speech given on Founder's Day about our endowment. Mr Loftin (school headmaster). . .
  • Wasatch Academy Alumni #2
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars   8/7/2012
    Brandeis University
    Wasatch Academy's location in central Utah definitely adds a very unique feel to the school Even though Mt. Pleasant is a rural town, the proximity to Provo and SLC allows students to get the best. . .
  • Wasatch Academy Alumni #3
    Class of 2004
    5 Stars   7/11/2004
    The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania
    While at Wasatch Academy I debated within a circuit of international independent schools; accordingly, I gained knowledge of a number of other private (boarding) secondary institutions. In the following answers, I draw upon several. . .
  • Wasatch Academy Alumni #4
    Class of 1991
    5 Stars   5/9/2007
    Westminster College
    During my time at WA, it felt like the entire staff were my mentors, and supporters to do well in school, athletics and life in general. From the teachers, to my Dorm Parent, to. . .
  • Show more reviews (-1 reviews)
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