What would it take for a student to say, with conviction, "I am the leader of my life"?
That is the basic question that guides our academic community. In order for students to realize their potential, they must become truly independent—as thinkers, as agents for positive change in our society, and in the daily words and deeds that will determine the courses of their lives.
Rigor, therefore, is only part of the story. Yes, our students will work hard, and they will become sophisticated readers of complex texts, methodical scientists and historians, and mathematicians who construct proofs both elegant and airtight. They will prove their mettle on internal and external assessments, and they will graduate from college. But more importantly, we want our students to embrace the habits of an educated mind: to think, speak, and write clearly and reasonably; to be genuinely curious, compassionate, and reflective; to respect diversity, to cultivate substantive friendships, and to evolve into active and thoughtful citizens.
This can happen only if students come to love knowledge for its own sake and to treat each assignment as if it came not from the teacher but from themselves. As educators, we do our utmost to instill in our students a passion for learning, and we do whatever it takes to make sure that our students excel academically and are supported as the unique individuals they are. We also work hard to build our students’ resilience in the face of adversity, their deep understanding of the most conceptual levels of their studies, and the self-discipline necessary to work independently on ambitious projects. In this way, every academic subject at HVA offers both rigorous training in a particular area of knowledge and a master class in leadership.