Welcome from the Head of School…

Over a quarter of a century ago, my parents, Sally Campbell Woodhall and Jonathan A. Woodhall, a group of dedicated educators, along with friends of our family, shared a dream to create a different kind of school for young men. Where other schools had said “no,” The Woodhall School said “yes.” A generation of boys has become gentlemen of Woodhall, and the School continues to provide opportunities for success for bright young men, who for a variety of reasons, have yet to realize their full potential.

At Woodhall, teachers and students dispense with labels, believing that ninety-nine percent of learning happens outside the classroom. We offer an individualized approach that addresses the needs of the whole student: a boy’s intellectual, physical, moral, and spiritual growth. In a manner of speaking, then, when a boy comes to Woodhall, he is not just a brain but also a heart. The School’s motto, Soli Ipse Adesse, translates to “Be present to [the student] himself alone.” At Woodhall, we are present to the whole student. We meet the boy where he is rather than demand an expectation of where he should be.

Woodhall is a unique and intimate traditional boarding school that, like its students, defies categorization. Teachers and students work towards developing greater self-reflection, self-expression, and accountability for everyone in the community. Often I am asked what we expect of a graduate of The Woodhall School. We expect him to be a gentleman, in the fullest sense of the word, and to demonstrate the coping skills to face challenges in college and beyond. What a student learns in history or algebra class is important, but what is a young man learning so that, as he matures, he can act with integrity, compassion, and respect as a spouse, a friend, a citizen, or a father?

As a boy growing up on campus as the School itself grew, I wandered the same paths in the campus woods that the students explore today. I share in their fear and frustrations – when, as Robert Frost wrote, “I’m weary of considerations, And life is too much like a pathless wood,” – as well as I share in their courage and awakenings. Structure, consistency, and fairness guide the gentlemen of Woodhall through their individual journey towards a greater sense of self and others.

Whether you are a prospective student and family, an alumnus, or a fellow educator, I look forward to welcoming you to our school community.

— Matthew Campbell Woodhall, Head of School