This holiday season, 100% of unrestricted annual fund donations up to $50,000 will be matched. As a result, MSA is in a position to have a historic Giving Tuesday and final quarter of fundraising.
The first semester of the 2018-19 academic year has been one of the most successful in the school’s 141-year history, and this has helped inspire a new level of generosity and support from alumni, families, board of trustees, and MSA’s faculty and staff.
Take a minute to read through some of the highlights below from the start of the year before making your 2018 donation.
Record New Student Enrollment
Director of Admissions Sam Hale and Assistant Director of Admissions Dee Gregory led the school’s most successful year of enrollment. The Admissions Office fielded a substantial increase in inquiries and applications from prospective students in 2018. “MSA’s mission and vision for educating the mind, hands, and hearts of students has struck a chord with families locally and globally. Additionally, MSA students and alumni are producing remarkable outcomes here on the Hill and in the world after graduating . In lots of ways, MSA is the talk of the town lately, and this has helped drive qualified candidates to the admissions office,” remarked Mr. Hale. MSA opened classes with 73 new students, a record number for the school.
New Programs Return MSA to its Roots
In the fall of 2018, MSA began the renovation of the original Thomas Edison hydroelectric power house into a hydroponics classroom. This ambitious project is the next step in getting back to MSA’s rich agricultural roots. The new program was kick-started by an anonymous $125,000 donation in addition to a $25,000 donation from MSA’s food service provider, SAGE Dining Service. Equipment and operational support is being generously provided by Schuyler Greens Company. The hydroponics classroom is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019. Additionally, MSA’s Land Management course continues to grow and provide new opportunities for students to utilize the 1,600-acre campus as an outdoor classroom.
Mavericks fly to new heights on 2018 AP Exams. This year, Miller School of Albemarle students posted impressive results across the board. Over 134 exams were taken in May, and students scored well above the national average. The average MSA AP score has gone up nearly a full point since 2016, and the number of perfect scores doubled in 2018.
"This past spring’s performance on AP Exams is a compliment to our teachers' diligence, but even more it is the result of the discipline and talent of the students who prepared for and performed on the various exams," commented Dave Riddick, AP US History.
MSA Athletics: Producing Champions
On the heels of the 2017-18 athletic seasons, which included five State Championship titles, four VIC/BRC Championships, and seven Coach of the Year recognitions, MSA started the 2018-19 season right where it left off. The girls volleyball team had its most successful record in school history, the boys soccer team continued to improve, the MSA endurance team won multiple National Championship titles over the summer, and the mountain bike team won the Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League championship.
Faculty Excellence: Professional Development Prioritized
Head of School, Mike Drude, encourages teachers and staff to advance their knowledge through increased professional development. The result has been that MSA educators have participated in a greater number of professional development courses and seminars in 2018, and the school has increased its professional development funds to facilitate even more in 2019. Additionally, over the past few years teachers have utilized professional development funds to earn advanced degrees. Mr. Fickley completed his Master’s Degree in history, and Dr. Hugh Meagher completed his Ph.D in Education. Mr. Riddick led the College Board this summer as a lead grader for AP US History exams. Dana Ainsworth studied English Romantic poetry in Oxford, England. Other teachers and coaches traveled to Colorado, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and Florida to enhance their knowledge in their area of expertise. The results of this can be seen daily in classrooms, athletic fields, and the student-life department.
Head of School Visits China & Vietnam
This October, Head of School, Michael Drude, and Admissions Director, Sam Hale, travelled to China and Vietnam to meet MSA alumni, parents, and families. In addition to spending time with MSA families in China and Vietnam, the trip served as an opportunity to introduce MSA to prospective students. The trip began in Beijing, China and concluded in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.