The Linsly School began its 206th academic year with a new school theme, as well as record-high enrollment, welcoming 468 students from 24 foreign countries and nine U.S. states. The Linsly School’s enrollment has steadily grown since 2014 when the school year began with 418 students from seven states and eight foreign countries.
“Linsly has been experiencing positive enrollment, which is evident by waitlists in several grades,” Headmaster Justin Zimmerman said. Zimmerman credits his staff of administrators, teachers, coaches and advisors. “Our students and families are having a great experience and are telling their friends.
“Linsly’s admissions team has worked extremely hard to attract a diverse student body from the Ohio Valley, Washington (Pennsylvania), Pittsburgh, Morgantown and all around the world,” he said.
“While Linsly will remain small by design, global diversity is important, and diversification will continue to be a priority. When Linsly enrolls students from different cultures, backgrounds and regions of the world, it adds value to the educational experience and for our entire community. To ensure our students are successful in our world today, they need a global perspective and an understanding of different cultural backgrounds.”
As for future growth, Zimmerman said Linsly’s enrollment will not continue to rise much beyond today’s enrollment.
The Linsly School has a strong tradition of loyalty among faculty and staff, which allows Linsly to keep student-to-teacher ratios low, resulting in small class sizes and allowing teachers time to form long-lasting connections with their students.
Among those veteran faculty members, three are beginning their 40th year of service this year: Bill Brubaker (social studies), Dan Buchwach (fine arts) and Frank Wilson (fine arts). Additionally, Ray Smith (mathematics) is beginning his 39th year, and Dave Plumby (dean of students) is beginning his 38th. The average teaching tenure among the current staff is 17 years.
This year the school has brought in a group of new teachers to join the faculty, including experienced teachers with doctorate degrees, master’s degrees, collegiate, secondary- and middle-level experience. Additionally, the school has partnered with Achieve Behavioral Health to provide enhanced psycho-educational counseling and wellness education.
New and returning teachers have worked all summer to prepare for the year ahead. Every teacher completed some form of formal professional learning this past spring or summer. “The energy and excitement are palpable, and everyone is eager to start the year,” said Zimmerman.
Each year Linsly chooses a new school theme, and this year the theme to set the tone for the academic year is: “Don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits.” This will be an ongoing reminder for community members as they try new things, learn new skills and make decisions on a daily basis.
Upon returning to campus this year, students and faculty will notice that a long list of campus projects was completed this summer. Linsly completely updated and renovated its music classroom, locker rooms and public restrooms in the Stifel pool area. In addition, improvements were made to the Cafetorium, the Stifel Field House and Kuchinkia Hall. Finally, the school is actively working on finalizing plans to begin construction on a new dormitory in the spring. Once completed, the new dormitory will replace Weiss Hall.
“We are always striving to improve and continue to refine our student programs,” said Zimmerman. “This year, we will be undergoing extensive review and self-study as we analyze our program offerings, strategic plan and long-term master plan. I am confident that Linsly’s future remains very bright.”