Telling the Flint Hill Story

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Dear Flint Hill School Family,

First and foremost, I would like to thank each and every one of you who took part in our “Open Forums” with Ingrid Healy last week. Nearly 100 parents took advantage of this opportunity.  Please know that your input, ideas and thoughts were deeply appreciated as we prepare for our Strategic Planning process. To hear from you as we focus on our strengths and on what will make us a stronger and better school was valuable and very helpful.

We also need your help in a very significant way as we move into the school year. This is the start of the admission season, when we begin to look forward to building the student body for next year. While the 2014-2015 school year is racing ahead and it is early in the year, the work to prepare for the 2015-2016 school year demands a great deal of deliberate and careful attention. While we have a wonderful admission team in place, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are all members of the admission team. We need your active support and help on a variety of fronts. As you interact with people who have school-aged children, please encourage them to get to know us better. Invite them to one of our Open Houses, a private tour or to simply join us by attending an upcoming event to see us in action. In fact, you can start by asking people to join us this weekend during Homecoming. It will be fun for all ages and provides an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful fall tradition. Your support in our efforts to share our school during this season will make a huge difference.

Leading the way here are the school are:

  •      Lisa Knight – Director of Admission and Financial Aid
  •      Dawn Hopke – Associate Director of Admission and Admission Officer, Middle School
  •      Meghan Dhar – Admission Officer, Lower School
  •      McClain Bell – Admission Officer, Upper School
  •      Cathy French – Upper School Campus Receptionist and Admission Assistant
  •      Stephanie Flores – Admission Data Manager
  •      Helen Zetz – Lower and Middle School Campus Receptionist and Admission Assistant

 

All of them are focused on making certain that our interactions with prospective families are as warm, open and caring as possible. Everyone who inquires about our school will be met with that same positive Husky hospitality that has been the hallmark of our admission program for years. We talk about what distinguishes us from other schools, and relationships are one of our major differentiators. That sense of relationship-building begins the minute anyone knocks on our door and starts to inquire about our program.

To that end, we will be using some wonderful new materials. A new viewbook describing our offerings for each division will be released any day now, and you will be notified once it becomes available online. The booklet you received recently on relationships, balance and innovation focuses on our great program. At the same time, we can never lose sight of the fact that our very best marketing tool will always come down to word of mouth. It is parents speaking to other parents. It is people sharing the vision of our school, our children’s accomplishments, and the experience from which they all benefit, both individually and as a group. There is a great sense of momentum that we all feel at this wonderful school that is real and tangible. But too often we are told we are one of Northern Virginia’s “best kept secrets.” It is a nice compliment, but we don’t want to be a “secret” any longer. There are lots of key facts that you can certainly share with other families. Below is just a small sampling of accomplishments that are worthy of sharing with prospective families. Our ongoing success with technology speaks for itself, especially with last year’s recognition as an “Apple Distinguished School.” And while that innovative and very progressive approach as an aid to learning is exciting, our students and teachers have accomplished so much on so many levels.

Academics

  • Our students are having tremendous success in the Advanced Placement Program – over 100 AP Honor students…7 National Scholars!!
  • We average four to five students accepted every year into the Governor’s Schools of Virginia, double the average among our peers.
  • The literary magazine continues to be ranked among the very top publications in the nation. Our student newspaper and yearbook have also received national recognition.
  • Our robotics teams have consistently won major awards statewide and national recognition.
  • Our average of acceptance into Ivy League colleges and universities; last year was double the national average.
  • We have so much interest in Latin that we created a Classics Department.
  • The growth and development of our Innovation Department.
  • Our college admission process continues to soar with one of the highest rates of acceptance per school at the University of Virginia, The College of William & Mary, James Madison University, Virginia Tech and George Mason University. In fact, seven students were accepted early decision last year to William & Mary.

 

Arts

  • The Major Minors, our a cappella singing group, has continually been named one of the best high school a cappella groups in the country. They take a “national tour” each year, and just returned from performing at universities in Virginia and Maryland.
  • Major art schools and institutes return each year to view students’ portfolios right here on our campus, rather than requiring our students to send their portfolios to the universities. Acceptances and scholarships are often offered on the spot. Our students have been selected for juried exhibitions hosted at professional galleries.
  • We have had musical groups performing at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In the spring, our music ensembles will visit Nashville to participate in a national competition. Their local accomplishments in honor choirs, regional orchestra and much more are equally impressive each year.

 

Athletics

  • Our athletic teams are highly competitive at the regional, state and national level; last year we won five conference championships. Already this year, two teams have won conference championships – our undefeated golf team for the fourth consecutive year, and our girls’ volleyball team for the sixth out of the last seven years.
  • In football last year, Coach Tom Verbanic was made coach of the National USA Team and led that team, in Dallas Stadium no less, against Team Canada. Team USA won 48 to 0. This year, Rocky McIntosh, a former Washington Redskins player, has joined the powerful coaching staff and is working with our students.
  • Every year, approximately 15 to 20 of our students will go on to play at the collegiate level. We have graduates who have ultimately played in the NBA, NFL and the MLS. Last year, the Washington Nationals drafted a senior who chose to attend the University of Virginia instead.

 

At the foundation of all that we do are our Honor Code and the Husky Promise. Our sense of citizenship. Our value for diversity and humanity. Our sense of character.

Suffice it to say here, there is a great deal going on at Flint Hill. I spoke recently in one of my weekly newsletters about the Day of Play. I always admire our students’ sense of poise and manners. That sense of confidence, competence and social maturity is one reason why our students stand out. Many times, I have prospective families and prospective teachers all comment on the different feel they sense here at Flint Hill. I would like to think of that as a reflection of our Driving Spirit — our passion for learning together, our sense of teamwork and the fact that we take being Huskies very seriously.

Here is a link to all of the admission events that are currently on the schedule. Other events may be added as the year goes on, but this is a great place to start. Sometimes people don’t get a sense of our culture until they are on campus and immersed in it. Once they do, they may feel Flint Hill is just the fit they have been looking for!  As one parent commented, “This is the way education should be!!”

Your help and your support will make a world of difference.

Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas

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