The View
November 06, 2003

New Western Howard County School Plants Crop of Education and Values

This fall students, staff and families of Woodmont Academy moved from Baltimore County to their new Cooksville location in western Howard County.

The initial structure with classroom and multipurpose space, a chapel and offices hasn’t even been built yet and is due to open next spring.  For now modular classrooms have been set up to house everyone and everyone’s stuff.  But by all appearances there is nothing temporary about the school.    Bulletin boards are up, desks in rows and most importantly the students and teachers are engaged in learning.

Woodmont now the sixth Catholic school in the county was founded in 1995 with only 46 students and has grown to an enrollment of 343 boys and girls in grades Pre-K through Grade 8.  Woodmont is affiliated with the Legionaries of Christ.

The school acquired 67 acres north of Rt. 144 and just a few miles east of Rt. 97.  The long term plan projects that the campus will be completed by 2013, housing up to 1,250 students. Woodmont officials said they hope to eventually build a high school but would only do so with the permission ofthe archdiocese.

The academic curriculum is rigorous and students must pass an entrance exam before admission.  The  Saxon math program is used and grammar, composition and public speaking are mainstays of the Language Arts program.  

All the academic disciplines are taught in an integrated program and underlying all of them is a devotion to the spiritual formation of each student.  All of the teachers are practicing Catholics.  There is a monthly virtue program, designed by Dean of Students Peggy Haney, where children learn and practice good behavior. The virtue for November is charity.

But character development at Woodmont goes much deeper than a program.  “At Woodmont,” said Diane Green, mother of two girls at the school, “there is a family, loving atmosphere.  The teachers don”t just educate from  a book…they teach everything… how to live.”

The average class size is twenty.  Beginning with grade three boys and girls are separated.  New this year is a five-day Pre-K program for four and five-year olds.  In addition, parents have the option of having their children attend all day Kindergarten.

First year parent Kathleen O’Toole, a mother with one child in pre k and the other kindergarten, said “I fell in  love with the school.  children are taught values.”

The credit goes both ways.  Father Richard Gill, L.C., chairman of Woodmont’s Board of Directors, said the commitment of parents has been one of the key reasons for the success of the school.

Joan Carney was insistent on a Catholic school education for her boys, Patrick a second grader and Tyrus in grade five.  She and her husband selected Woodmont for “its strong academic program and emphasis on Catholic virtues.”

The integration of academics and character formation was evident last Friday at the school wide celebration of All Saints’ Day.  St. Maria Goretti, Patron Saint of youth, told her story to a seventh grade class of girls while down the hall St. Maximilian Kolbe described to the boys in a seventh grade class about life in a concentration camp at Auschwitz.  These weren’t actors portraying the saints.  They were students Cara Curran and Carlos Griffen-Benitez who along with each student in the school came dressed as a saint and gave an oral presentation about the saint’s life.  Outside, there were fun and games, bobbing for halos, crowning an angel, the saint walk.  The event culminated a month long study of saints.

Woodmont Academy will be hosting an Open House November 16 from 1-3p.m.

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2000 Woodmont Drive, Cooksville, MD 21723 • [email protected]
Office: 443-574-8100 • Admissions: 443-574-8100 x104 • Fax: 410-465-9162

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