If you're reading this letter, chances are you are a prospective parent wondering if Solebury School might be a good fit for your son or daughter. In 2008, when I was a candidate for the position of Head of Solebury, I was doing the same thing you're doing: gathering information and wondering about fit. When I visited the school for the first time in January 2008, I discovered a school so extraordinary that I left that first visit knowing that if they wanted me, I wanted them. Nestled on a rolling 90 acre campus in the Pennsylvania countryside, I found 220 students and their faculty pursuing learning as an exciting, shared endeavor between teachers and students. I soon discovered this unique approach to education was not happenstance but rather the cornerstone to Solebury's educational philosophy dating back to the vision of the four founders in 1925. In that first visit I learned that this carefully crafted student-teacher relationship undergirded virtually all that I saw and experienced as I came to know Solebury. I found a casual, friendly atmosphere permeating the Solebury community, a school where teachers and students greet each other by their first names, a school dedicated to removing the barriers between students and teachers and replacing formality with a sense of 'we're in this together and learning can be fun and exciting.'
That was two years ago and those initial, positive impressions of Solebury School, have only deepened. Over these two years I've come to fully appreciate how carefully Solebury has aligned the essential ingredients around the delivery of education to our students and the creation of the optimal atmosphere for this learning. Solebury is crafted to be intentionally small. Our size fosters quality communication among our students, teachers and parents, and enables our teachers to really get to know their students as individuals. At Solebury the individual is prized. Solebury students do not fit a mold, but in their dress, their avocations and their passions, they are encouraged to express themselves and to strive for their personal excellence, intellectually, artistically, and athletically. The result is a magical learning environment characterized by a wonderful tension between creativity and diversity balanced against an ethos of cooperative learning between students and teachers.
There is a great deal more that enhances and enriches the learning experience of the Solebury community. The physical setting of the campus is an ideal place to spark the imagination and stoke the creativity of all who stride the pathways among the trees or along Primrose Creek, or pause to appreciate the view as the evening fog gathers in the low areas in the fall. This beautiful campus is home to old buildings that date from the mid-18th century, daily reminders of early American history, and new buildings - the Abbe Science Center, Walter Lamb Hall, and the recently-dedicated John D. Brown Athletic Center and Track and Field - state-of-the-art facilities that complement our teachers in offering students an exceptional educational experience. The School's Facilities Master Plan is currently being updated, with projects on the near horizon, to include a new student-faculty cafe, a new facility for music instruction, continued renovations to the Performing Arts Center, a new Student Center and a new girl's dormitory.
The heart of a Solebury School education is not, however, our buildings or campus; it is the relationship between our faculty and students and the bond they establish as they engage learning, and it's hard to capture that in a letter or on a website. So, I would encourage you to do what I did a couple of years ago - come visit us and learn about Solebury School first hand. Visit our campus, talk with our students, meet our admission staff. Discover what learning shoud be like everywhere. Discover the unique excellence that is Solebury School.
Head of School