A MESSAGE FROM CHRIS SCHUCK, HEAD OF SCHOOL
Greetings, and welcome to Northwest Academy.
We hope to see you on campus soon, as there’s no place quite like this place.
Until then, please feel free to wander this website in your quest to understand the draw of Northwest Academy.
We are a school that derives our uniqueness—and our greatness—from providing students a rich trove of experiences curated along an experiential arc that sparks and nourishes self-guided exploration, continual improvement, creative thought and action, and deepening connections with peers, mentors and the surrounding world—all in an atmosphere that is safe, welcoming, joyful, diverse, and gracious.
In particular, Northwest Academy students grow through:
- Experiences with finding and developing their intellectual and artistic voices. At NWA, there is a special role played by the arts (theater, dance, vocal and instrumental music, film, photography, design, painting, and drawing): the arts are not merely a scattering of offerings in a vast program, they are essential to the fabric of all courses in all disciplines. They do not sit merely at the fringes of the curriculum; the arts are at the heart of the pedagogy. Thus, creative problem-solving, design principles, open dialogue, cultural richness and individual expression are in evidence everywhere.
- Experiences with the cosmopolitan, urban cultural hub of Portland. The City of Portland is not merely home to this school; the city is a member of the faculty. Taking full advantage of our location, we draw heavily upon our relationship with such city institutions as: Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Symphony, Northwest Film Center, Portland State University and the Confucius Institute, Oregon Jewish Museum, Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Chinatown Museum, the Farmers’ Market, City Hall, the Multnomah County Library, and more. When our students walk from class to class, they walk the downtown streets, and as they develop a feeling of having mastered the city, they concurrently develop a feeling of having mastered an aspect of themselves. They are ready to engage the big, wide world.
- Experience seeking their own path and telling their own story. I am sometimes asked to describe “the typical Northwest Academy student.” The easy answer is to smile and say that is impossible: our graduates will not look alike, dress alike, talk alike, think alike, hope alike, or dream alike. Not like each other…and maybe not like anyone else. It is not our goal to make them the same; it is our goal to establish the framework and context for their self-guided journey along the path to their highest and best selves. From the admissions process on through to the college application process, our goal is to lead students in confidently exploring the fit—to examine their ambitions, abilities, and interests to determine the best route to success.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue this conversation with you.
All the best,
Head of School