It occurred to me this week that it has been a few months since I wrote a blog post for my APDS 2020-2023 Strategic Growth Plan series
. Given we are reflecting on Augusta Prep’s proud past this week, I wanted to take this opportunity to restart my series on Augusta Prep’s bright future.
On September 1, we started celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Augusta Prep’s first classes by gathering students dressed in blue and gold for this APDS picture, singing “Happy Birthday,” and enjoying some cake. Classes actually began on September 5, 1961, on the third floor of The Hill Baptist Church, with 38 students in grades seven through nine. The 100 parents who provided the initial financial backing understood the need for an independent day school with a college preparatory academic curriculum, and they founded Augusta Preparatory School (APS) the year prior with that mission in mind. A grade was added each year until the first class of seniors graduated in 1965. In 1972, Augusta Country Day School (ACDS) was founded to address the need for an independent, non-sectarian elementary school with high academic standards. In 1973, the school leased land on Augusta Preparatory School's new campus on Flowing Wells Road. The two schools existed side-by-side for almost two decades before merging during the 1988-1989 school year, the first year of existence for Augusta Preparatory Day School (APDS).
As we announced last February via our 60th Anniversary website
, we planned a number of fun events to mark this milestone with alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of Augusta Prep this homecoming week. Given the continued increases in new cases and hospitalizations in the Augusta area over the last five weeks, we made some adjustments in the interest of keeping everyone safe - to include cancelling this weekend’s party which would have brought together alumni and friends of the school from all over the country.
Forgive me for “recycling” this (next) paragraph from our message about the changes to our celebration plans, but it seemed appropriate for this blog post…
Reflecting on our school’s beginnings, I am reminded that the year 1961 brought many challenges for Americans. The Berlin Wall was built that year, and American-based Cuban exiles failed in an attempt to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The threat of nuclear war with the Soviets overshadowed everyday life. In 2021, the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic still overshadows our lives. At this moment, I am pondering these historic bookends of sixty years of academic excellence. Part of the Augusta Prep philosophy statement reads, above all, we seek to be a school that instills a genuine love of learning and teaches students “how to think, not what to think.” We will strive to live up to this philosophy for another sixty years and educate the next generation of leaders who will help this great nation weather new and unforeseen challenges.
It is my honor to lead this institution into its immediate future. Look for me to restart my series with Strategic Vision #3 next month. Thank you for your continued support of this great school.