Welcome to Berwick Academy. Now in my sixth year as Head of School on this Hilltop, I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be a member of this community. Separate from the inspiring academic rigor, the nurturing support, the college preparation and placement, and the opportunities for creative expression and athletic competition - this is an authentic place. Whether you are an academic, an artist, an athlete, or a combination of all three, you will be able to be yourself here. Our families come from an incredible range of economic backgrounds and life experiences, and our teachers are passionate - not only about their subject area but about working with kids. As my two oldest daughters begin tp explore our dynamic Lower School, my wife Amy and I are continually reminded of how lucky they are to make their own contributions to this magical place. By seeing ourselves as a resource not only for our own families but for the Seacoast region as a whole, Berwick Academy is thrilled to show you what is so special about a day school experience that educates students from three states ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to Post Graduate. All of these students and families have a home here.
I would encourage all of you visiting our website to peruse our mission and core values
. We have spent considerable time as a community reflecting upon our identity and direction, and I can assure you that these documents speak to the power and purpose of our community. During my first year at Berwick, I met with each employee to gain understanding about what drew them to this Hilltop. Each conversation eventually circled back to the notion of community
- the fact that our bond as "one school with three divisions" makes coming to work or coming to school something that is meaningful. As time has passed, my appreciation of this element as well my sense of awe for the professionals here has grown considerably. While our facilities are exceptional, it is the relationships between our students and adults that make the Berwick experience a worthy investment and a timeless asset to our graduates.
As the Head of this School, I am proud of the sense of energy and change that is underway at this dynamic place. During the past year, the Board of Trustees asked me to craft a vision statement for our school (link), and we collectively landed on the notion of National Excellence and Seacoast Values as a helpful way for people to understand how we see ourselves while offering a sense of our aspirations. We believe this community stands for excellence on a national level, and that we offer one of the finest educations available, supported by world-class faculty and administrators. However, we know there are other schools that might make a similar claim. We seek national recognition for doing what we do best rather than through imitation of other fine schools. Our connection to the Seacoast region infuses the Berwick experience with a sense of balance, authenticity, perspective, and humility that makes us truly unique. As a day school for three states, we know that families move to this region looking for a quality of life for their family that is second to none. Berwick benefits from these family values and supports our students in the embodiment of these ideals.
As the oldest school in Maine, we have had a number of resilient phases of adaptation and change throughout our history
. This belief in flexibility and adaptation has left us poised to become a leader in the conversation about 21st century skills for our students. Programs like the Berwick Innovation Center, iPad pilot, a dual platform one to one laptop program in grades 7-12, and a pervasive commitment to "performance and exhibition" throughout our programs offer our students what they need to be successful in a new economy characterized by rapid change. As the institution's leader, I believe strongly that institutions don't remain stagnant - they either get better or get worse. We continue to know and reflect upon the many areas in which we need to improve, and we take feedback from our parents seriously. If you are seeking a community that stands for excellence while being willing to examine itself and grow, then I would encourage you to come visit Berwick Academy.
This website is wonderful tool for prospective families, current families, student, and alumni - please have fun creating your own path through its pages, videos, and stories. We hope the sense of transparency and playfulness embedded in our virtual campus offers a useful window into actual life on the Hilltop. Thanks for visiting.
Gregory J. Schneider
Head of School
Follow me on Twitter @BAHeadofSchool