Much has happened since the launch of our 2020 Strategic Plan. The world has been shaken by multiple crises. In addition, many independent schools are in upheaval. But Blue Ridge School has remained Baron Strong. We have turned crises into opportunities and challenges into strengths. Now, expanding on that foundation, Blue Ridge School is moving forward to lead new generations of boys from a position of power and permanence.
In October 2020, the Blue Ridge School Board approved a bold plan for 2025. It includes strengthening bonds within our community, a broader embrace of diversity, fortifying our remarkable faculty, a dedication to curricular innovation, and the responsible stewardship of our many assets—all to guarantee countless generations a school, a home, and a foundational experience that is expressly built for boys.
Our mission here is singular and special. We want to ensure that our unique approach to learning, our indelible relationships, and our extraordinary legacy endure to benefit your sons and their sons and theirs. We ask that you join us in that mission and embrace your role as Barons for Life.
Fuel the relationships that make us unique and strong.
The Blue Ridge School experience is lifelong. The bonds boys develop here with faculty, staff and their fellow Barons follow them through college, their careers, and their family lives. So, to continue to grow those relationships and strengthen those bonds, we pay special attention to uncovering the resilience, integrity, and fearlessness that make each boy the right fit to be a Baron. Our curriculum may be rigorous, our character education may be challenging, and our brotherhood may require taking chances on others, but the Blue Ridge School experience is a lifetime membership that pays off in powerful connections, self-directed thinking, and values that are driven by empathy, open-mindedness, and a lifelong connection to the continual pursuit of optimal potential. Boys come here to prepare for college. They leave prepared for life.
You see a lot of successful entrepreneurs among the Blue Ridge community. There is something about the subtle confidence they instill in you which stays with you well after graduation. You are confident to go out on your own and take risks.Brooks Minford ’09
Strengthen our welcoming and inclusive culture.
Blue Ridge School values the relationships we foster between boys, our faculty, and our staff. And a commitment to DEIJ—diversity, equity, inclusion and justice—is essential to healthy relationships on campus. Blue Ridge School has a long history of diversity and inclusion, welcoming boys from over a dozen countries each year. But we define diversity and inclusion more broadly than that. It’s about religion, ethnicity, learning, and social differences, too. Beyond the person-to-person inclusion, it’s also about making sure our systems are fair and that everyone feels at home and included. We want Blue Ridge boys to develop into men who are global citizens, culturally articulate, and are prepared to work, live and thrive in a world that is increasingly more diverse and integrated.
BRS prepared me for life. Having teammates and classmates from Korea, China, France—all over the world—helped me learn different perspectives and different thought processes. After a while, they are no longer classmates. They are brothers.Tony Lewis ’06
Recruit and retain a remarkable faculty.
Young men are relational learners, profoundly shaped by the adults and relationships in their lives. This fact takes on heightened importance in a boarding environment like ours. As a result, our faculty is asked to perform in extraordinary ways, acting as mentors and confidants for the boys and making themselves available after hours. We believe we have a stellar faculty and, in order to ensure future excellence, we must focus on their work/life balance, professional development, compensation packages, diversity and inclusion, and work environment to make Blue Ridge School a place where our faculty and staff can thrive professionally and personally. These and other investments not only enrich the lives of our boys, but they also establish Blue Ridge School as a top-choice for the most promising and talented teachers.
As an educator, I know students rise to the level of expectation. Blue Ridge School had high expectations for me. I rose from an average student to exceptional during my time there. And it was less about the classes I took and more about living up to the faith everyone had in me.Chazz Woodson ’01
Focus on continuous curricular innovation.
Blue Ridge School applies the business concept of kaizen—continuous improvement—to our curriculum. We will continue to develop a fully immersive program that brings out the very best in each boy. We will build on our strengths so Blue Ridge School remains a national leader in the development of young men. And our focus will remain on the whole boy, emphasizing academic rigor alongside character development. At the same time, we will move toward a Mastery Model of curricular innovation and performance measurement that covers a more broad-based view of a boy’s achievement—character, confidence, critical thinking, social skills, time management and growth. This approach will ensure the continual improvement of our curriculum to meet the emerging needs of colleges, businesses, individuals and society.
Before Blue Ridge, I had no balance. It was either social life or academics and I was always choosing. But at Blue Ridge School, I learned to balance academics, athletics, leadership, and social life. Your day is so structured that you learn what balance truly is and that you can do it all in its proper time.Ali Tejani ’21
Preserve, steward and improve the School’s assets.
The two primary assets Blue Ridge School has are our campus and our endowment. We seek to improve the St. George campus, making it more beautiful and sustainable than ever, while focusing new facility investments on areas that will create the greatest impact. We are blessed by being financially sound thanks to responsible stewardship of our financial resources. Historically, the school has relied on tuition as the primary source of revenue — an approach that is increasingly risky given rising costs and market fluctuations. Looking to the future, Blue Ridge School must move aggressively towards financial self-sufficiency by diversifying our revenue sources, controlling costs, and developing a robust culture of philanthropy among those who value what we do.
Blue Ridge has the right plan, the right curriculum, the right teachers, and the right staff. That has endured, which is a good thing because a lot of boys need a school like Blue Ridge. I’m thankful that it is still available to them.Julian Van Winkle III ’69