George Walton Academy celebrates 100 years
For more than 40 years, George Walton Academy has proven to be one of the leading providers in private school education. Along with winning multiple awards, many of its students have graduated to attend prestigious universities across the country.
In 1969, a group of 12 parents pushed for a private school in Walton County. With an estimated list of 80 confirmed students, they were approved to build the academy. The school opened that September with 132 students enrolled in classes from first through ninth grade.
The school spent the next few years adding more grade levels and extracurricular sports, like football, basketball, baseball, track and golf. In 1973, the school proudly saw its first graduating class.
The school just celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010; they held events commemorating their longevity and success as one of the leading private schools in the country. With a current enrollment of 950 students, GWA expects to maintain and improve the standards the have set for the new year.
Since its inception, the academy created an environment parents would grow to be proud of. Though fundraisers and donations, the school has added several facilities, including the 2009 construction of an athletic complex. Their future plans include building a middle school facility and possibly a performing arts auditorium.
Although the academy was founded on Judeo-Christian values, the school’s primary emphasis was in college preparatory achievement. As a result of the school’s graduation requirements, 100 percent of its graduating students have been accepted into college across the country.
“Our counseling office meets with students and their parents, starting in Middle School,” said Director of Marketing Dessa Morris. “We keep the students on track for their college plans.”
The parents’ pride in the school would spread to their children, as many students attending the school are second-generation; some alumni, like Director of Development Jeanie Beach, whose parents were founders of the school, was also in the first kindergarten class the academy offered.
“Our population is getting more diverse,” said Beach. “And many other families return to enroll their children... I think it says a lot about the strength (of the school).”
The academy will play host to open houses at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and at 10 a.m. on Feb. 8.