After 50 years, The Wood Acres School in east Cobb is alive with learning. On Sunday, Sept. 15, the private, independent school will celebrate its anniversary with the community on campus from 2 to 4 p.m.
“It was 1969. Neil Armstrong had just walked on the moon. Woodstock was cranking up to change the face of popular music. Sesame Street was premiering on the fledgling channel PBS. And Wood Acres began. Only, our beginning was much more humble and a whole lot less national, but none more important to east Cobb,” said Head of School Judy T. Thigpen.
The school opened as Wood Acres Country Day School by Kay and Dave Clark. It was originally located on a wooded piece of property where Target sits today at the corner of Johnson Ferry and Upper Roswell Roads.
“(The Clarks) saw a need for early school education, not just mother’s morning out, but actual early school learning that was a bit more formal, yet still full of fun. At the time, it was very cutting edge for anybody to have early learning in that form,” Thigpen said.
The school relocated on nine acres at its current location further down Johnson Ferry Road, allowing for expansion. It draws on average 300 students from a dozen zip codes and offers programs in Early School (2 to 4 years old), Grammar School (kindergarten through 5th grade) and Upper School (6th through 8th grade).
The school’s logo, the Ginkgo Tree, symbolizes longevity and endurance. “(The Gingko) is a one of a kind tree. It’s a unique tree that has stood the test of time. There are legends from the Far East all the way through China and Japan and to the United States about the Ginkgo. It’s an amazing tree that is exquisite,” Thigpen said.
The Wood Acres School values each child as special. “Just like the Gingko, we try to make our learning, our curriculum, our approach unique but traditional, classic yet modern, focused on the success of our students and we have done that beautifully,” Thigpen said.
Wood Acres teaches traditional subjects like penmanship and cursive writing while also having a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) program with a nationally-recognized experimental science program and International Spanish Academy.
“At our core, the vision is to create an informed citizenry to perpetuate democracy. That sounds very lofty. Thomas Jefferson is the one who penned that statement, and it means a lot to us because we really want our students to become citizens of Georgia and of the the United States in a beautiful way and supportive of what we do and critical friends of growth and improvement. We want them to become global citizens as well,” Thigpen said.
The school has over 100 graduates with many now educating their children at Wood Acres. “We have always stood the course and believed that our children could be successful by giving them a strong foundation with really high expectations,” said School Principal Laurie Mazor.
“We are not just a school,” Thigpen added. “We are an academic home. Our families are huge part of that. We become part and parcel to that family and they part and parcel to ours.”
The Wood Acres School is located at 1772 Johnson Ferry Rd., Marietta, 30062. For more information, visit woodacresschool.org or call 770-971-1880.