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Morgan Academy to open high school on Shepherd campus

By Staff | Aug 17, 2018

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Growing with the needs of the community is something Morgan Academy is making a priority for the academy’s upcoming school year, beginning on Sept. 4.

The academy, which has previously taught kindergarten to eighth grade in a one-room-schoolhouse concept, will be opening its school to high school students this year, according to Morgan Academy Founder and Director Bernardine Somers.

“The Morgan Academy community has been asking me for the past decade if I would ever start a high school. It seems like the community wants a private high school in Jefferson County. This past year, I received so many emails from outside the school community and so many inquiries within the school community, to see if we would start a high school — it seemed like a good time to start,” Somers said, mentioning only freshmen and sophomores will be accepted this year.

“Opening our first year, we’ll have learning curves, and need to learn what works and what doesn’t work. When you’re talking about a junior or senior going to college or vocational school, we feel we would be more equipped to help prepare them for the future after our first year,” Somers said.

According to Somers, the academy first started looking for a space in the community to hold the high school in March. Morgan Academy Operations Manager Lori Robertson found the perfect spot — in Shepherd University’s Butcher Center. Leasing discussions between Morgan Academy and Shepherd University began in May, and are now finalized.

Although high school students will still spend time learning about nature, agriculture and practical life skills at the Morgan Academy property, Somers said students will also enjoy more than one benefit of their academic classes being located on Shepherd’s campus. Students will have the freedom to regularly use Shepherd amenities, including the Scarborough Library and Wellness Center, and juniors and seniors will be able to take dual enrollment classes at Shepherd.

According to Somers, Morgan Academy may consider constructing a high school building on its property in the future, but for now, Somers is excited to see how the relationship between the academy and university will benefit students’ educational opportunities.

“Shepherd University has been really fantastic to work with, and we’re very excited about starting our high school this fall,” Somers said, mentioning the high school is still accepting applications, and will accept 15 students this school year.

Four core teachers — one of whom was a previous Morgan Academy student — will teach the students throughout the year, with the assistance of enrichment teachers.

For more information, visit learnatmorgan.com/.