New residents Atlanta GA Moving to Atlanta GA Relocating to Atlanta GA New Resident Guide Georgia Atlanta Magazine Living in Atlanta
Dec./Jan. 2007

Whitefield Academy
In A "Small Pond," Students Thrive
by Austin L. Ray

The benefits of being a big fish in a small pond are most apparent for students, particularly in their formative younger years. Located in the Smyrna/Vinings area of Atlanta, Whitefield Academy offers these small pond benefits but pairs them with large-school advantages. After just 10 years, the school enrolls 652 students in Kindergarten through 12th grade on its 74-acre campus. Compared to other college-prep schools in Atlanta, the school is relatively small—a factor which works to its advantage. At a smaller school, students receive the individual attention they deserve.

“The last two Christian schools where I served were much larger than Whitefield,” says Headmaster Tim Hillen. “What I wanted to do in my lifetime was go to a smaller school with great growth potential, which Whitefield certainly is.” Hillen knows that Whitefield’s size is one of the most positive and appealing aspects of the school. The individual attention each student receives leads to much higher standards, academic or otherwise.

“If our kids want to go to an Ivy League college, this school has prepared them for that,” Hillen says. “It’s a high-achieving school.” All Whitefield graduates matriculate to college, and 90 percent of the students receive an acceptance at their first choice college or university—a testament to its rigorous academic standards. The school offers AP courses in 11 subject areas, and the school partners with Leadership Development Company to aid the 11th and 12th grade students in life and career planning.

Whitefield Academy is known for more than just its academic rigor, however. The Whitefield experience is focused on training, encouraging and equipping its students for their lives as Christian leaders. “The Christian emphasis is certainly a defining aspect,” notes Hillen. The school accepts applicants from all Christian denominations, and the students in both the upper and middle schools are asked to contribute a certain number of community service hours each year. Every month, students from the upper school spend a Saturday assisting a local ministry, such as Project Open Hand or Hands on Atlanta, and Whitefield takes several of its students to Ecuador each summer on a mission trip.

A focus on the arts is a strong component of the school’s curriculum as well. In addition to visual arts, theater and chorale, 25 percent of the middle and upper school students participate in one of the instrumental groups, including marching band, concert band, a jazz band and orchestra. Outside of school, students benefit from a variety of clubs and organizations, and with 16 varsity sports teams and 15 middle school sports teams, the school’s athletic program is thriving.

“We have an outstanding sports program for a small school,” Hillen enthuses. “The thing that is noteworthy about the fact that we’ve won the state title in basketball is that our upper school population is only 235. We have a broad program with our other sports, but basketball is the most successful. That all began a few years ago when former NBA player Mark Price came on as the first coach.”

All things considered, Whitefield has made a name for itself in its first 10 years. With a constantly growing populace and an optimistic outlook, the academy is continuing  to attract attention. “I think a lot of people come here because it’s a small, warm, loving school,” Hillen says. “Personally, I think the future is bright.”

The Specifics

Grades: PK4-12

Affiliation: Christian

Total Teachers: 70

Annual Tuition Range: $7,495-$15,115

Open House: Jan. 20

Location: Smyrna/Vinings

One Whitefield Drive
Mableton, GA 30126

Newcomer Magazine - 200 Market Place, Ste. 230 - Roswell, GA 30075 - Phone: (770) 992-0273 - Fax: (770) 649-7463