This year Waring celebrated 40 years on the Beverly campus. To commemorate this milestone that allowed the school to grow and become the institution that it is today, we held a “symposium” of the big thinkers in our community.
We welcomed back original faculty members Peter Smick, Ken and Francie Borden; our founders Philip and Josée Waring and some of the first parents and students. They sat around discussion circles with current community members to discuss Waring – what are our ideals? Do we succeed in creating the community we say we strive for? How to you take a tiny family school on Mount Pleasant Street in Rockport and turn it into a thriving 150 student institution on Standley Street in Beverly?
We used the words of Philip Waring from the 1985 brochure to start the conversation.
“The principal goal of our academic program is not the mastery of the content or subject matter of the liberal arts. The acquisition of knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient condition of life here at this school. The particular genres and periods studied are, for example, less important than the intellectual skills that one acquires through their study. In this sense subject matter is a means to an end, the end being the intellectual skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, calculating, problem solving, observing, estimating, and measuring.
But even the mastery of these skills is not the real end of a liberal education. We have seen students acquire knowledge of math and language, learn skills associated with these subjects, but still remain uneducated. Education, liberal education, should be measured ultimately in terms of less tangible goals: one’s ability to discuss books and events, the depth of one’s vision into a given problem, one’s active involvement in artistic activities, and finally, the growth of one’s understanding of ideas and values.”
Our invited panel members were asked to write a notecard based on the quote. You can read their thoughts HERE.
The Waring School offers a highly demanding college-preparatory education, for grades 6-12, which stresses liberal arts in the setting of a supportive school community. The Waring atmosphere is one in which both teachers and students want to learn and believe that school is not an end in itself but is the beginning of a lifelong learning process.