Summit School

Summit School

Summit School is an independent, co-educational day school for pre-kindergarten through ninth grade, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. Summit is nationally recognized for the quality of its academic programs, its attention to individualized education, and the strength of its extra-curricular activities. The school's stated mission is to "provide a challenging curriculum within a caring environment to help students develop their full potential." The school has a staff of 125 and an enrollment of 606.


Summit was founded in 1933 by Miss Louise Futrell. Miss Futrell (born 1893) had previous experience as both a teacher and administrator. A group of Winston-Salem parents, concerned about funding cuts to the public schools during the Great Depression, invited Miss Futrell to found a school. Mrs. Wingate Johnson donated the use of a vacant home at 405 Summit Street and on 26 September 1933, eighteen students and three teachers began the first day of school. Summit grew rapidly, spreading into nearby buildings during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The school was incorporated in 1938. In 1939, the school merged with Miss Lillian Dalton's Twin City Primary School a few doors away. In 1944, Mrs. Charles Babcock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Reynolds, offered the school a convert|4.5|acre|m2|sing=on plot of land on her Reynolda estate near Reynolda Village. In 1945, construction began on a new building, its design inspired by an exhibit mounted by The Museum of Modern Art and showing the potential of modern architecture in a school setting. The new campus opened in 1946.

In 1957, Douglas R. Lewis became headmaster of Summit, a capacity in which he served for thirty-three years. Mr. Lewis oversaw the expansion of the school including the 1962 construction of a junior high building and gymnasium, the 1977 construction of a science building and another gymnasium, the 1984 construction of a teaching/learning center, and the 1986 construction of a middle school building. By 1987, the school had three sections at every level from junior kindergarten through ninth grade.

Dr. Sandra Adams became head of school in 1990. She retired in 2008 following the celebrations of the school's 75th anniversary. During her tenure the school constructed a 3-story state-of-the art library. The school is currently adding a new sports facility and an Arts and Technology Building. Dr. Michael Ebeling has taken over as head for the 2008-2009 school year.

Physical plant

Summit is situated on a 28 acre campus within walking distance of Reynolda Village and Wake Forest University. The campus comprises ten instructional buildings and two residences. In addition to 53 classrooms, the school has a 300-seat arena-style theatre, three dining rooms, three sports fields, a pottery studio, a photography studio, a screening room, and specialized rooms for art, music, computers, robotics, and other activities.

Every classroom has high speed internet access and there are 420 computers available for student use.


In addition to a rigorous academic program at every level, Summit provides numerous enrichment opportunities for its students. Summit is known for its innovative approach to experiential education. Long-standing traditions such as Pioneer Day, Native American Day, and an annual Medieval Feast are just a few of the ways in which the school uses a multi-intelligence approach to learning. The school offers a varied program of extra-curricular activities, including sports, drama, art, music, robotics, computer animation, and pottery. The school offers after-school and morning care as well as an extensive summer program of academic, athletic, and extra-curricular camps.

Distinguished alumni

*Jennifer Ehle, BAFTA and Tony Award-winning actress
*Stephen L. Neal, United States Congressman
*Lyons Gray, CFO of the United States Environmental Protection Agency
*Kate Miller, producer of the Academy Award-winning film "The Two Soldiers"
*R. Philip Hanes, CEO of Hanes Corporation, philanthropist, author
*Lisa Valk, first woman publisher of "Time" magazine
*Barbara Babcock Milhouse, founder of Reynolda House Museum of American Art


* "Summit School Archives; Onward and Upward: A History of Summit School", by Charlie Lovett.

External links

* [ Summit School official website]

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