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George Walton Academy: A Leader in Local Education

By Allison Wilson

Where a child goes to school is one of the most influential aspects of their young life. Parents know this, of course, and often nervously weigh the options of public school versus private school versus home school, wondering which is right for their child.

Private school, for instance, offers students smaller class sizes and, typically, a more values-based learning environment than other options, says Dessa Morris, Marketing Director of George Walton Academy (GWA) in Monroe. GWA is one of Metro Atlanta's leading private schools, whose mission is to provide an academically challenging learning environment- grounded in Judeo-Christian values- for children in grades K4-12.

"The heart and soul of George Walton Academy is our dedication to administering a program that equips each student with the tools to succeed," Morris says. "We are constantly evaluating our curriculum and technology to meet the rapidly changing education environment. Whether a student is contemplating furthering their education close to home or aspires to the Ivy League, we have a dedicated team to help our students achieve their goals and dreams."

GWA seems to be succeeding in this mission, as 100 percent of its graduates are accepted to college (98 percent attend four-year universities). Even more impressive, the 68 members of GWA's class of 2015 received nearly $3 million in scholarship offers. This might have something to do with the fact that GWA's students consistently rank several hundred points higher on the SAT than st other schools in the area. All GWA upperclassmen take either the SAT or the ACT as part of GWA's graduation requirements, and the average SAT score for the past five years was a 1760.

As Admissions Director Cari Bailey notes, GWA's rigorous college-preparatory curriculum allows students to challenge themselves academically while learning in a safe, family-oriented atmosphere.

"We constantly pursue our quest for academic excellence at George Walton, striving to meet the challenges of the days ahead while learning from the experiences of our past," says GWA Headmaster William Nicholson.

In addition to academics, GWA seeks to build the "total student" by offering many opportunities for involvement. A wide variety of athletic and extracurricular activities allows each student to discover their interests and talents and develop them to a higher level. Students are eligible to compete on school teams beginning in middle school and continuing through high school. GWA teams consistently compete for regional and state titles, and their success fuels a strong sense of team pride and camaraderie. The school also boasts a nationally ranked marching band as well as internationally acclaimed yearbook and choral programs.

"One of the many things that makes George Walton so special is the culture and community that you find here," says Caroline Hester, parent of a GWA student. "If you want your child to belong and have a place where they are valued, George Walton is the place for you."

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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