News & Media
Dear Westminster Parents,
It is a great privilege to welcome all of you back to this special place in a couple of weeks when we will begin the 44th year of Westminster Schools of Augusta. I want to offer a warm welcome to almost 600 students and families, both new and returning. My hope is that this community of teachers, coaches and families is a place where each child is known, each child is challenged and each child’s potential is realized.
As the summer has progressed, so has the Realize 2020 strategic plan, with the commitment to teach and learn through technology, as well as the ongoing construction of Knox Hall. Faculty received new laptop computers in the spring and have been training on them to apply technology and teach 21st-century skills to our students. In addition, Knox Hall will allow for enhanced experiences for both the Middle and Upper School students and is slated for completion in early 2017.
I look forward with great anticipation to seeing students soon and walking with them through this year as the purposes of God are revealed in each of them. With great honor and renewed commitment, I am privileged to help lead and serve Westminster as we provide an excellent college preparatory education taught from a biblical worldview. In this year of transition and change, please share how I can serve your family well.
Interim Head of School
This year, the 2016-17 Summer Mailing was converted to an email newsletter,
connecting parents with the below information.
For more information about the beginning of the 2016-17 school year,
view the online resources below:
- 2016-17 Key Event Dates
- On-Campus Dining Information – Lunch Service begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10
- Online Calendar – includes all the dates and times for student orientations, early-release days and other important schedule details. (For details on how to merge our school calendar with your personal calendar, see our Sync Instructions.)
- Parent Portal – if you do not yet have a password, one will be emailed to you shortly
- Information for New Parents
- Who’s New for the 2016-17 School Year
- Many forms you will need for the school year can be found on our Forms & Lists page
- Parent organizations
Dates of Note
There will be some new faces on campus this fall. Read more about our new faculty and staff below.
Patrick Campbell – Upper School History
Mr. Campbell has built a successful 13-year career in education with a commitment to excellence by inspiring students to learn and by building bridges between parents and students. He joins us from Heritage Academy in Augusta, where he has served as the dean of academic affairs as well as the Middle School history and Bible teacher for the past three years. He also serves as the youth pastor at Vineyard Church of Augusta. Mr. Campbell graduated from Bethune-Cookman University with a bachelor’s in history, from Columbia International University with a master’s in biblical exposition and from Concordia University with a Masters of Education in leadership.
Evan English (’97) – Middle School Bible
We love welcoming back former Wildcat students onto our faculty! Mr. English joins us from Clover, South Carolina, where he has served as the senior pastor of Clover A.R.P. Church for the past nine years. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in risk management from the University of Georgia and a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. With extensive experience as a youth pastor and speaking at numerous youth conferences and mission trips around the region, he is well equipped to pass along his biblical knowledge to our Middle Schoolers.
Jennifer Finch (’92) – Middle School Geography and Academic Coach
Westminster is excited to welcome back alumna and former Middle School teacher Mrs. Finch as she strives to encourage and motivate students in their academic and personal growth as well as form positive relationships with fellow teachers and parents. She is a graduate of Augusta University with a Bachelor of Arts in middle grades education. Most recently, she has served as a volunteer teacher at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
Elizabeth Hahn – Middle School English
Coming to Westminster from Evans High School, Ms. Hahn is a highly motivated, enthusiastic educator with a strong commitment to literacy and the learning experience of every student. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English/literature from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, as well as her Master of Arts in teaching and education specialist concentrations from Augusta University.
Tanya Marshall – Second Grade
With over seven years of experience working with students and parents, Ms. Marshall will be an excellent addition to our Lower School faculty. She comes to us from Heritage Academy, where she was the lead second-grade teacher for two years in addition to a fourth-grade and Middle School language arts and social studies teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Wofford College and a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Columbia International University.
Sean McLarnon – Upper School Biology
Those familiar with the Wildcat varsity boys soccer and Arsenal coaching staffs may recognize Mr. McLarnon when they return to campus this fall. He’ll be joining our Upper School science department as our new biology teacher. Mr. McLarnon holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology from Augusta University and has served as a researcher for the university’s biology and anthropology departments for several years.
Amy Shillingsburg – Middle School Math
Ms. Shillingsburg has a wide range of skills and experience and is excited to be sharing those talents, especially in math, with our Middle School students. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and has lived all over the world, including Maryland, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Candy White – Middle School Band
Ms. White is excited to bring her 28 years of band experience to Westminster this year. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Kennesaw State University, as well as a master’s degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music. A winner of many accolades over the years, Ms. White was recently awarded Teacher of the Year at Evans Middle School.
Courtney Wilckens – Third Grade
Ms. Wilckens joins the Westminster Lower School from Cedar Ridge Elementary School in Grovetown. She is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education. She spent several years teaching in the Atlanta area before moving to CSRA.
Lisa Wilson – Middle School Chorus
Ms. Wilson is no stranger to Westminster or to our choral program, having served as a substitute teacher in the department for the past several years. Her extensive experience as a choral teacher and director of music at numerous churches will certainly be beneficial to our Middle School students. She attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education and studied conducting and music education at the graduate level.
We would like to welcome your child and your family to our school community. We know that you have many questions, and we hope this page will serve as a resource to help address your concerns. In addition to our back-to-school page and the information below, make sure to also check your email for last-minute changes and reminders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the school’s different offices located*?
The administrative offices are located on the ground floor of Pamplin Hall. Use the double doors located on the far right side of Pamplin Hall to visit the business, marketing, development and human resources departments.
The Lower School office is best reached by first stopping by our reception area, up the main stairs of Pamplin Hall. Faculty/staff included in this area are the Lower School principal, the director of admissions, the admissions coordinator, the Lower School administrative assistant, the After School Care (ASC) coordinator and the Lower School receptionist.
The Middle School office is located in Building 100. Faculty/staff located in this building are the interim head of school, the executive assistant to the head of school, the interim Middle School principal and the Middle School administrative assistant.
The Upper School office is located in Building 500. Faculty/staff located in this building include the Upper School principal and the assistant to the Upper School principal, the academic dean, the registrar, the director of college counseling, the international student program coordinator and the Upper School assistant principal.
*Note that if you are wanting to visit a student or volunteer on campus, you need to see the corresponding division’s front desk personnel to check in and receive a visitor’s credential.
How can I…
- pay for tuition and fees? Pay by check, eCheck, credit or debit card through Smart Tuition account (login information will come to you via email). Email our business office with questions.
- sign up for and pay for the lunch program? Click here for the Lunch Program page.
- access important forms and lists? Visit our Forms and Lists webpage to view important information for parents and students.
- view the lunch menus? Click here to view the Flik online lunch menu.
- access the online parent portal? Use the login information you receive via email to access class lists, policies, student grades and other important information on the parent portal.
- contact the faculty and staff? Our employees have their contact information listed on our Faculty/Staff Directory.
Who is Willie Wildcat?
You will see Willie Wildcat at various school events, and he is the face of our Facebook page. He is the official athletic mascot of the school. You and your child(ren) can meet him at the Wildcat Connection event on Aug. 19.
What is the Wildcat Scratch?
Each week, we compile the most current news, upcoming events, student bravos and other important information in the Wildcat Scratch email newsletter. Your primary school contact email is used to subscribe you automatically, so look for it Friday mornings during the academic year.
Westminster Parents’ Association (WPA)
Teru Kassner – President
This volunteer organization is made up of all Westminster parents working to promote and improve the school by volunteering time and talents to support our teachers and families. Specifically, the WPA strives to provide opportunities for community fellowship, the building of school spirit, parent education and the integration of new families into the fabric of our school. We welcome and encourage your involvement. More information on how to volunteer can be found here.
Our first community event is the Wildcat Connection on Friday, Aug. 19. The WPA encourages you to come celebrate the start of another school year with the Chick-fil-A cows, Westminster cheerleaders and Willie Wildcat! To make a reservation for a Chick-fil-A dinner, return the order form and payment to the school by Tuesday, Aug. 16 (download the form here).
Athletics Booster Club
Todd Fuller – President
The Booster Club functions to glorify Christ by promoting and supporting Westminster’s athletic programs, whose mission is to impact student athletes for God’s kingdom and to impact our community for God’s kingdom through our student athletes; facilitate communications; foster school spirit among the entire Westminster community; and provide financial support for athletic programs. Visit our Athletics web pages for information about Westminster athletics and Booster Club memberships and the Athletics blog for the latest news.
Friends of Fine Arts (FOFA)
Paul Owen – Director of Drama
FOFA promotes and supports fine arts programs at Westminster to impact our students and community for God’s kingdom through fine arts. More information about 2016-17 fine arts events and programs can be found on the fine arts calendar and on the fine arts blog.
Our community is a large part of who we are at Westminster. You can catch a glimpse of our community by visiting campus, perusing this website, connecting to our social media outlets, talking with our people or viewing the event photos at our photographer’s website.
Connect with us on the web!
Get the inside scoop on the Westminster experience by reading and subscribing to our blogs.
Brian Case, Interim Head of School
Dear Westminster Families,
The board of trustees’ executive committee met regularly over the summer to discuss and interview a replacement for former Headmaster Steve O’Neil. With the school year so close at hand, a thorough national search for a permanent headmaster was not possible. The board also needed to take some time to prayerfully consider what Westminster needs from its permanent headmaster for the next five to 10 years. That also takes time and effort. Therefore, an interim replacement seemed to be the most reasonable choice.
After studying and interviewing candidates, the executive committee determined that Middle School Principal Brian Case was the best choice for the interim headmaster position. As most of you know, Brian has done a superb job in his division and is well respected by students, parents and faculty. Brian has agreed to take on this role and is excited about his new responsibility. During this interim period, Brian will be the point person for the current leadership team. Chief Financial Officer Jane Brown will be a direct report to the board via the finance committee. Tracy Lutz will act as interim Middle School principal.
Although we are in the midst of change, we have exciting things ahead of us and much to celebrate. Knox Hall should be completed this coming school year. We are also working on our goal to raise contributions in order to receive an unprecedented $1 million grant, and although we have new principals in the Middle and Upper School, we have great confidence in their experience and leadership. The board is already rolling up our sleeves to come alongside the faculty and administration as we begin the 2016-17 school year at Westminster.
As scripture promises, there is no reason to worry or to be anxious! Let us all rest in the certainty that the Lord has a plan for Westminster. In the meantime, please join me in prayer for Westminster as we thank the Lord for his continued faithfulness and provision as He leads us into the next school year.
Chair, Board of Trustees
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Visit laymancollegeconsulting.com/test-prep to register and pay for the courses. Remember, the 20-percent private tutoring discount deadline is Aug. 8.
The divisional school supply lists 2016-17 academic year are now available.
Dear Westminster Community,
Eight years ago, my family and I arrived in Augusta and immersed ourselves in Westminster, a school we have grown to love and cherish. Although I had planned to serve as headmaster during the 2016‐2017 year, Denae and I believe God is calling us to a new assignment. Of course we have a mixture of emotions ranging from great excitement to the sadness that accompanies saying goodbye to so many friends.
Some of you know that Denae and I spent the early years of our marriage, careers and raising a family in Colorado, and we have always dreamed of returning one day. Christian schools and opportunities to lead them are few in Colorado. In March, a position opened, and I have accepted an offer to become their next head of school. Working closely with Westminster’s board of trustees and leadership team, I plan to transition from my current role and will soon begin handing over responsibilities to an interim headmaster who will be appointed by the board of trustees as soon as possible.
Change and transition are never easy for those leaving and those staying, but I’m convinced that Westminster is well positioned to seamlessly navigate this change. With our SAIS-SACS re-accreditation complete, REALIZE 2020 strategic plan in place, Knox Hall opening in early 2017, and fundraising for the project on target and nearing the finish line, Westminster will not miss a beat as it continues its upward trajectory toward a very exciting future.
The Westminster community together has accomplished so much during these last eight years. God has blessed us with a talented board, leadership team, faculty, and staff. And of course without parents, grandparents, students, alumni, friends, and our sponsoring church First Presbyterian, none of this would have been possible.
I’m thankful to so many people! By God’s grace we not only weathered the Great Recession but we thrived despite it. We are financially stronger than even pre-recession levels. During this time, enrollment grew almost 20% and has exceeded 600 students for the last four years. Because of the Westminster community’s generosity, we are months from opening the first major building project since 2000 when Pamplin Hall opened. As well, the four-acre Wheeler Field and the refurbishment of the Middle/Upper School gym were welcome campus enhancements.
There are many other blessings for which I am grateful. The fine arts are thriving, and Westminster continues to establish a culture in which the arts and athletics are valued equally. Our athletic programs continue to demonstrate a level of excellence matching the very best independent schools in the GISA. Our student body better reflects the diversity of heaven’s composition, and our international students have helped add to that beautiful mosaic. Our academic programs couldn’t be stronger with 18 Advanced Placement courses and impressive exam results each year. At the same time we’ve grown our capacity to provide academic support to assist all students in reaching their God-given potential and Westminster’s high academic standards. Perhaps most importantly, I’m proud that Westminster has remained true to its historic mission with an unwavering commitment to excellence with every part of a student’s education for God’s glory and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And all of that is being done day in and day out within a community built on loving relationships, most importantly between teachers and their students. With this, the Westminster faculty is absolutely exceptional!
It has been a tremendous privilege to serve Westminster these last eight years and have a role in Westminster’s rich and Kingdom-shaping narrative. There are so many people I’d like to thank, but the most important is my wife, Denae. She has been a terrific partner – mother of our three children (including two Westminster alums), Westminster science teacher and headmaster spouse. I couldn’t have done it without her! As Westminster parents, Denae and I are especially grateful for the extraordinary education our three children have received.
I will continue to work diligently as Westminster’s headmaster and will assist the board of trustees and new leadership to support a smooth transition. As I prepare to pass the headmaster baton, I do so with optimism and confidence that God has new and exciting plans for Westminster’s next chapter.
As our relationships at Westminster and in Augusta run deep, we will miss everyone very much. We hope that many of you will come visit us in Colorado.
Click here to view a follow-up letter from Chairman of the Board John Phelan regarding the search for an interim headmaster.
Below are the documents that parents will need to ensure that students participate in the 2015 summer reading assignments for the 2015-16 academic year. Assignments are available for first- through twelfth-grade students.
Please email the Lower, Middle or Upper School office with questions.
*For 2016 Upper School summer work assignments, click here.
At the annual year-end lunch, faculty and staff who are celebrating special work anniversaries are recognized for their years of service. We thank these hard-working employees for all they do for our school and their dedication to excellence.
This year, we also paid a special tribute to Mrs. Julia Joiner, Mrs. Jeannie English and Mrs. Sandy Ham, who all retired at the end of the school year. Mrs. English celebrated 20 years of faithful service to Westminster, Mrs. Ham celebrated 18 years, and Mrs. Joiner celebrated 23 years at Westminster and 34 total years of teaching.
Retiring: Julia Joiner, Jeannie English and Sandy Ham (not pictured)
30 Years of Service: Janice Esposito
25 Years of Service: Sue Ames, Mark Tebbs and Kennard Major
20 Years of Service: Jeannie English and Julie Wiggins
15 Years of Service: Mike Freace, Peggy Dixon and Margaret Gulledge (not pictured)
10 Years of Service: Regina Franklkin, Debbie Corbin, Jordan Lambert and Vivian Hornsby (not pictured)
5 Years of Service: Katherine Smith, Caroline Whitcomb, Lanier Goodell, Lisa Cook, Debra McLarnon, Micah Waldecker, Amy Elder, Traci Boutwell, Denae O’Neil and Sharon Albea (not pictured)
The Westminster Parents’ Association wants to challenge our parents who have not already made a gift to the Westminster Fund to do so today! As an incentive, they will match each gift up to $5,000 if we have 60-percent parent participation by May 27. Currently, 51-percent of our parents have participated.
Join our other families in supporting the programs and mission of our school. Contributions to the Westminster Fund are immediately invested in the people and programs that make Westminster an extraordinary independent school. A strong level of participation also reflects positively when applying for outside funding from corporations and foundations. Your gift, no matter the amount, makes a difference. Last year, gifts between $1 and $100 dollars totaled over $13,000. Your participation does make a difference.
Click here to see testimonies from our teachers about why they support the Westminster Fund. Join them in making a gift today.
There are several ways to participate:
- Make an online donation.
- Write a check to Westminster noted “Westminster Fund” and return with your child to their division office.
Please email Carrie Brigham or call her at 706-731-5260, ext. 2234 if you have any questions.
and double your dollars!