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About
Our Philosophy

Visioning Athenian's Future



"It is not enough to be concerned with the scholarly excellence of our students alone. The values and purposes with which their well-trained minds will be committed are of equal importance."

Athenian's Founder, Dyke Brown (1970)


In the fall of 2019, Athenian embarked on its next five year strategic vision. Despite a global pandemic, we stayed the course, illuminating the enduring nature of our strengths. We are grateful to our board of trustees, and the many stakeholders who participated in our countless feedback sessions. We were heartened by the commonalities we found -- a testament to our shared community values and an unwavering commitment to our mission. 

After months of synthesizing feedback, a clear strategic vision was approved by the board of trustees in May of 2021. We are eager to begin operationalizing this bold vision, one that will require community-wide participation and a growth mindset. Now in its sixth decade, Athenian is more ready than ever to be The Athenian School first envisioned by Dyke Brown. In fact, it is through embracing our continued growth that we will remain boldly Athenian, a school that stands on a strong foundation of academic and scholarly excellence to prepare students for lives of purpose and meaningful contributions. Our new strategic vision, Boldly Athenian, builds on the strengths of an Athenian education, honors our founding mission and commitment to being an anti-racist institution, and calls clear focus on two areas for reflection and growth: Curriculum and Culture.


Branches of Our Vision



Our priorities will not be fully realized in a year or two, and maybe not even five. We are, however, committed to moving boldly toward our vision for the school, one that fulfills our promise to each generation through a curriculum that is dynamic, experiential and relevant, and a culture that supports a deep sense of belonging and shared commitment to our founding pillars and diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (DEIS).


List of 1 items.

  • Priority 1 (Read more)

    What we teach -- knowledge and skills -- is the focus of our curriculum initiative. We will embark on a curriculum review and update that will look both internally and externally at what our students need most to prepare them for their futures, one characterized by a rapidly changing, diverse, and global society.

    Specifically we will:

    Upholding our commitment to experiential learning, undertake a comprehensive curricular review and update that will take into account...
    • integration of our founding pillars: internationalism, democracy, environment, adventure, leadership, and service.
    • diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice as an educational priority.
    • relevance in light of the skills and knowledge our graduates need to thrive in college, in their chosen profession, and beyond.
    • wellness as an educational imperative. 
    • coordination across departments and divisions, including a scaffolded 6-12 progression of skills and content.

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  • Priority 2 (Read more)

    Our culture initiative will focus on aligning our school culture around our shared values, commitment to DEIS, and educational and operational excellence. To best support students, the Athenian adult and student culture must engender a learning environment where everyone feels they belong, can express their beliefs, be challenged, innovate together, and demonstrate compassion and care.

    Specifically we will:

    Review and update our systems and policies to ensure they...
    • clearly articulate Athenian’s core values and norms as defined by the mission and pillars, and in service to the culture we want.
    • promote cultural competency and actively address institutional racism and all forms of bias and discrimination. 
    • help attract and retain the most talented and diverse faculty, staff, and student body.
    • support lean, environmentally sustainable and efficient operations. 
    • promote the health and well-being of our community.


About the Strategic Planning Process

One of the roles of Athenian's Board of Trustees is to ensure the school remains firmly grounded in its mission while boldly innovating to prepare students for the rigor and expectations of a rapidly changing world. To that end, every five years the school embarks on a strategic planning journey, a comprehensive, community-wide process that sets the school's course for years to come. Through a collaborative effort, the process was stewarded by a committee representing a cross-section of the Athenian community and led by a trustee. The culmination of their efforts --designed to align, focus, and inspire-- is shown above.