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Mission and Philosophy

Curious by nature and nurtured by challenge, Wakefield students inspire us to pursue excellence in character and intellect as we prepare tomorrow's leaders. In turn, we give them the guidance and encouragement they need to uncover their passions and reach their highest potential.

Two elementary school boys on playground at private school in Fauquier County, VA

Our Mission

Wakefield School is an independent, college-preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through grade 12 engaging in a rigorous and inspiring liberal arts curriculum. Our ambitious vision for every student is to foster capable, ethical, articulate citizens who seek the challenge, make a difference, and live extraordinary lives, each in his or her own way.

There is a culture here that can be palpably felt as you walk the hill and the hallways. When a family chooses Wakefield School, they choose to be a part of something larger than themselves. They choose to actively engage in the pursuit and application of knowledge, character, the courtesies, and service to others. 

Ashley Harper, Head of School

Our Philosophy

We believe that a liberal arts education trains the intellect while fostering self-discipline, independence, creativity, and curiosity. We encourage students at every level to think about and with the knowledge they are working to master. We aim to cultivate strong and ethical character through guidance in and out of the classroom, delivered by skilled educators committed to training the spirit as well as the mind. This concept is embodied in the School's motto, Virtus et Sapientia, or "Virtue and Wisdom."


Diversity Statement

Wakefield School prohibits discrimination and harassment against any member of the School community on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, sex, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

How do Wakefield's mission and Philosophy guide and inspire the work of its faculty?

"Ultimately, we all want to live authentic lives. We all want to be seen and heard. We want our true selves to be recognized. Wakefield School allows me to be myself, and, consequently, allows me to be the best teacher I can be.
"A teacher’s job is to nudge students in a certain direction. Sometimes we nudge them back on the road, and other times we nudge them off the beaten path. Ultimately, they choose their destination and they do all of the walking."
Matthew Zontine
English Department Chair
Wakefield faculty member and parent
since 2000

how do wakefield families see the school's essential qualities?

"Wakefield is a school that has tried and true traditions, but also a willingness to adapt and make changes for the betterment of our students. We have a faculty that deeply cares for our students, wanting them to achieve not only academic excellence, but also emotional development. There’s an invigorating pulse of students, faculty, and staff that makes me believe anything is possible!"
Langdon Johnston
Wakefield staff member and
Lower School parent since 2018