Welcome from the Headmaster
William E. Hovenden, Ph.D.
Sumner Academy is a success because there is a unique frame of mind that dominates our day-to-day activities. It is our positive atmosphere that sets the stage for positive learning to occur at all levels. Our unique learning environment can be traced back to the first year of the school's operation. The teachers were clear in their commitment to foster a love of learning. They established openness in communicating with students. The students and teachers found answers together.
Today students continue to see their teachers as allies helping them learn, rather than authority figures holding all the answers. Our teachers put the best interest of the students above all else. This trait is another characteristic that is passed on from one generation of teachers to the next. Over the years, I have had wonderful discussions, even debates over the merits of different approaches.
For students, this mindset starts with finding satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in taking their own work seriously. Students pass on to new students the attitude that we play hard, but we work hard as well. Satisfaction comes from doing our best. Sumner Academy is not a school where high achieving students are chided by others. Instead, students are acknowledged for their accomplishments by their peers. Our students accept individual differences. They are not afraid to express their own opinions and they listen as others express theirs.
Another wonderful feature passed on from one group of students to another is their appreciation of students in other grades. Our older students take a protective attitude in dealing with younger children and the younger children look up to the older students as big brothers and sisters.
Put all these factors together: a pervasive love of learning, a deep commitment to do what is in the best interest of the students, a willingness to always do your best and an acceptance of others and their opinions, and you have the components of the Sumner Academy mindset, an environment that sets us apart from other schools.