The Value of the Upper School

Joshua Moore is a member of the class of 2014. He plans to attend UAB where he will study biomedical engineering. The following excerpt is taken from his open house speech earlier this year.

​One of the greatest strengths of the Upper School is its devoted teachers. Throughout my five years here, the faculty has shown an interest not only in my education, but also my personal well being and the development of my character. The relationship between teachers and students in the Upper School is not only instructor to pupil, but mentor to mentee. In every class teachers are ready to lay aside their lesson plans if they see an opportunity to teach their students a valuable life lesson. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Carrell continually show us how science points us to the Gospel. Bible Classes are centered on answering difficult spiritual questions. In math, we are shown the complexities and brilliance of God. Humanities classes focus on the mighty hand of God at work throughout history. This integration of faith and education is a unique and wonderful facet of the Upper School.

But the vision of these amazing teachers goes far beyond personal relationships with their students. It is evident that the heart of these teachers is to develop a high school that is unified like a family. From house competitions under Mr. Burgess to dissections with Mr. Thompson, the faculty is working to train students to work together, to bond with each other, and to view each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

The senior class is a clear example of the familial relationships within the upper school. I don’t know how many of you know some of my classmates, but the majority of the senior class has gone to Westminster since second grade. Over the ten years we have learned together, we have developed a special bond, an almost familial connection. I view my classmates more as brothers or sisters than simply fellow pupils. Each person brings unique and valuable gifts to the “Senior Family.” At times we are dysfunctional and hardly ever agree unanimously, but we are a family none the less and are all stronger because of each other.

​Lastly, the Upper School provides outstanding educational opportunities. As a senior, college is approaching on the horizon of my life. I look forward to this next step with confidence and feel well prepared for the challenges I know I will face. I have heard repeatedly from alumni how the education they received from Westminster was an excellent foundation which enabled them to succeed in college. It is clear that the teachers have designed their classes to prepare their students not only for college, but also for life. In the Upper School we are taught not only to know, but to understand. We learn not only to memorize facts, but to reason, to think critically, and to apply what we know in practical ways. Through rhetoric, students are trained to clearly and eloquently articulate the opinions they have developed from their understanding. Most importantly we learn to look at life through the lens of Scripture and seek God’s truth, beauty, and goodness. These skills have greatly benefited me, and I know they will prove invaluable later in life.

​Overall, my education from Westminster’s Upper School has been a tremendous blessing from God. I know it has impacted me in ways I have yet to discover, and look forward to seeing how it has prepared me to fulfill the destiny God has for me.

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