Wesleyan School

5405 Spadling Drive
Norcross, GA 30092

Wesleyan's mission is to be a Christian school of academic excellence by providing each student a diverse college preparatory education guided by Christian principles and beliefs; by challenging and nurturing the mind, body, and spirit; and by developing responsible stewardship in our changing world.

Wesleyan School was established in 1963 as an integral part of Sandy Springs United Methodist Church. Originally known as Wesleyan Day School, the school began as a preschool dedicated to providing a nurturing, educational experience guided by Christian principles. For the next 24 years, the school was housed at the church and led by various pastors and lay directors as its curriculum expanded to include elementary school.

By the early 1970’s under the leadership of Shirley Gantt, the school emerged as an elementary school of excellence, grounded in Christian principles and offering a low student-teacher ratio and a strong academic program. During her tenure, Wesleyan Day School added its middle school in 1987.

In 1988, Barbara Adler, a former Wesleyan parent, teacher and assistant head, became Head of School. Her vision was the catalyst for Wesleyan to become an independent, Christian, college preparatory school, offering curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade. Under her leadership, and with the support of the Board of Trustees, the church agreed to add a high school curriculum. In 1994, Wesleyan offered its first 9th grade class.

With the addition of a high school, it was apparent that the school needed a new campus to continue its desired expansion. In the fall of 1994, a new corporation, Wesleyan School, Inc., was formed, and in the spring of 1995, a divestiture agreement from Sandy Springs United Methodist Church was finalized. After an extensive search for property by the new Board, coupled with a generous land equity donation by Dan Cowart, a 53-acre site in Peachtree Corners was put under contract in the fall of 1995.

That same fall, the Board was faced with the challenge of naming a replacement for the retiring Ms. Adler. In the winter of 1996, after a deliberate and time-consuming search, the Board hired Zach Young, a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard University and the former Vice President and Assistant Headmaster at The Westminster Schools. Under the new name and leadership, Wesleyan opened the 1996-97 school year with 556 students on its new campus. That year, the facilities consisted of 15 modular units, a soccer field and the school’s first permanent structure - Marchman Gymnasium.

In August 1997, Wesleyan added the high school building, Cleghorn Hall, which was named after long-time Atlanta educator, Wesleyan principal and community leader, Gwen Michael Cleghorn. Under her leadership as a consultant and later as the first principal of the middle school and high school on the new campus, Wesleyan secured accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Another milestone of the 1997-1998 school year was the graduation of Wesleyan’s first senior class of 17 students.

Thanks to the grace of God and the generous support of family members, foundations and friends, Wesleyan added Hoover Student Activities Center in August of the 1998-1999 school year, and its enrollment increased to more than 860 students. Other additions to the campus that year included Henderson Stadium and Robinson Field, which hosted the school’s inaugural varsity football season. Modular units for a high school and middle school cafeteria were added along with units for the music department. In the spring of 1999, the Curley Tennis Courts were dedicated and a baseball field was added.

Wesleyan School has just completed the “Raise the Goal Campaign,” which raised $45 million. The money from this campaign has been a milestone in the further development of our campus over the last four years. In the fall of 2000, the school purchased twelve acres of adjacent land. This new property adjoins the campus along Peachtree Parkway and is used for physical education, soccer, football, cross country and lacrosse. In addition, 163 much-needed parking spaces for visitors and students were added to the campus.

Construction of Wesley Hall, the largest facility on campus, was completed in the fall of 2001. It houses the middle school as well as several high school classrooms. The building also contains a 465-seat theater, a dining hall for middle and high school students, a library for both middle and high schools, a prayer chapel, science and computer labs and office space. Directly in front of Wesley Hall is the Barbara F. Adler Plaza, a beautifully landscaped mall.

The lower school building, Warren Hall, was completed during the summer of 2002. The 73,000 square-foot building includes its own library, gymnasium and a combination dining hall/auditorium. Specialty space includes classrooms for math, reading, Bible and French. In addition, a kitchen/laboratory space also acts as a math and science learning center. Warren Hall has its own covered carpool drop-off area and one large playground.

In 2003, Davidson Natatorium was completed. This beautiful 10-lane, state of the art indoor pool services our middle and high school swim teams and lower and middle school physical education classes. Over 25% of our high school students participate on the swim team.

Our new campaign is entitled “Complete the Campus.” This final campaign includes a much-needed fine arts center, performance gymnasium, and administration building. The fine arts center will house art, chorale, band, and middle school drama. A new performance gymnasium will replace Marchman Gymnasium. Marchman has served the school well for eight years, but its 600-seat capacity for basketball has been stretched to the limit. In addition, with the growth of the student body, we are in desperate need of additional locker and training rooms. Finally, it is time to move the administration out of the portable modulars. After eight years, they are showing much wear and tear, and the cost of upkeep is not justified by their original cost. We will renovate Marchman Gymnasium into Marchman Hall and add a second story of offices within those former tall walls of the gym. The cost of these buildings and renovations is $26 million. The total campaign of $39 million also includes Annual Fund and Endowment.

During the last five years, we have had parent participation in our campaigns of over 90%, and for the last three years the parent participation has been over 93%.

During the 2004 - 2005 school year, Wesleyan will have an approximate total enrollment of 1065. Our Class of 2004 graduated one hundred five students, bringing our alumni population to 440.
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