Boarding school is very different than day school. Living together round the clock with your teachers, coaches, dorm parents, and friends makes for a very enriching, life-changing experience that, we feel, better prepares your for college and beyond. At the heart of what makes campus life so enriching are the friendships and the tight-knit learning communities formed while living on campus amongst the students, and between them and their teachers, coaches, and dorm parents. All our adult faculty and staff, whether they teach, work in our Wellness Center, or coach the rodeo team, are constantly looking out for the best interests of these students so that they feel well-cared for and fully supported while they are away from home.
One of the biggest differences between Wasatch Academy and other boarding schools is that we have full-time dorm parents and assistant dorm parents for our dorms. In the United States, 96% of boarding schools hire triple-threat faculty who teach, coach, and live in the dorms with students as their dorm parents. We see this as a quick recipe for faculty to get burned out, and for students to not get the personal attention that they really need. Also, we believe that there are areas in which excellent teachers in an academic setting aren’t necessarily the right person to guide students through certain personal issues or struggles.
Wasatch Academy makes it a point to hire people for our dorm parent positions from a pool of individuals who have studied counseling or techniques in psychology. But mostly we hire people who will give each student in their dorm the individual attention and care that will be the next best thing to their parents. This affords students the feeling of family and a home away from home, and it also makes sure that they are being closely cared for by individuals with a strong professional understanding of adolescent psychological and social development and wellbeing. The personal development, safety, and care of your child are the dorm parents’ sole goals. Here are some key benefits that our Wasatch dorm parents provide students:
One component of our residential life culture is that dorm parents lead students in a weekly dorm curriculum focused on character development. We focus on teaching responsibility, accountability, safety, empowerment, diversity, community, and respect. All curriculum lessons are linked to at least one value. In addition, we teach formalized lessons, but also teach informally all day long. Conflict resolution is a big area for dorm parents to teach, opportunities come up when students are sharing common spaces. This is also a major skill needed for life.
Wasatch Academy’s rural Utah location makes it one of the safest places in the United States for your child to get an exceptional education, grow into themselves, and find tight-knit community. If you have questions about dorm life for your child, feel free to check out our dorm descriptions below, or you can contact our admissions office to learn more.
The Alice Dorm has been inhabited by Wasatch girls for many years, and is currently home of 38 Sophomore and Junior ladies. The dorm has been redone in recent years and each spacious room has two girls, and there are large bathrooms on each floor. There is a lounge complete with a TV, couches, exercise equipment, and a pool table. Down the hall from the lounge is a kitchen where girls can make cookies or a late night snack.
Ms. Edid Tores is the popular dorm parent at Alice and she nurtures her girls through sound advice, example and genuine care.
Edid Tores (Dorm Parent)
Juliet Tuineau (Relief Dorm Parent)
Built and named after Wasatch Academy’s 100th anniversary, this very spacious dorm currently houses 50 Junior boys. Featuring two large lounges and a large kitchen, this masculinely decorated dorm is two levels, with dorm rooms on one level and common spaces on the main level. Students typically gather around the beautiful fireplace as deer gaze outside the row of windows in the lounge. Mr. McQuivey is a very experienced Dorm Parent and shows great care for the students in his dorm.
Jeff McQuivey (Dorm Parent)
Born and raised in Payson Utah, I graduated from Payson high school. I went to Barber school and owned a barbershop for 12 years. I am a certified Police Officer and have been since 1995. Having worked in Sage dorm for 7 years, I found a love for teaching adolescents. I left WA to be a school resource officer for the public school and a DARE officer, but missed the work I was able to accomplish here, so came back to WA to work currently the Centennial Houseparent. I have 3 daughters, all of whom attended WA. I enjoy camping, fishing, and spending time with family. I am currently pursuing a degree in Forensic Psychology.
Trey Gundry (Assistant Dorm Parent)
Built in 1916, this beautiful and recently renovated dorm comfortably houses 24 Freshman boys. The warm and welcoming energy is felt instantly, as one walks through the front door. There are dorm rooms on each of the two levels, and a cozy lounge with couches, T.V., and large table for studying, on the first level. The kitchen and laundry room combination are found just off the lounge. Frequently seen are students utilizing the basketball court just outside the front door, and sitting under the large shaded trees out front.
Todd Parkinson (Dorm Parent)
The oldest residence hall, built in 1913. Sophomore and Junior guys fill the 48 beds available among the 4 floors. Finks is an energetic dorm. The atmosphere of community is strong. The lounge and kitchen combination creates a “homey” feeling as students often enjoy food together at the kitchen table. There is a beautiful, covered, and very large porch welcoming those who enter the dorm, which is a great spot for BBQ’s, study groups, or just relaxing.
Tony Giannotti (Dorm Parent)
Lincoln Hall Dormitory is a three story home originally built in 1892. It houses up to 14 boarding school girls (7th-10th grades). There are 9 dorm rooms with 2 big bathrooms, a 2nd floor common lounge and a large lounge on the first floor with a large television. There is a nice size kitchen with a table and chairs, stove, microwave, fridge/freezer, 2 washers and 2 dryers for the students use. Girls love living in Lincoln Hall Dormitory because it is cozy fostering strong bonds and long lasting friendships.
Clara Clarke (Dorm Parent)
Abbi Kennedy (Relief Dorm Parent)
Abbi Kennedy moved to this beautiful valley when she was eleven years old, and she has been taking advantage of it ever since. Abbi is an enthusiast; she has a passion for just about everything: her friendships, her family, her mountainous surroundings, and her job.
For Abbi, Wasatch Academy is more than just a job. She has been here since 1998, and has raised her family on this campus. She has worked in the transportation dept, and as a much-needed dorm-relief mother. Some students call her ‘Mom’ and others just talk to her as if she were their mother. She invites comfort with an authentic kindness, and for that, the students flock to her for respite. They respect and adore her. Although we don’t know from where her energy wells, there is a seemingly endless reservoir, and we all benefit from it.
Abbi earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education at Utah State. Along with keeping busy with Wasatch Academy endeavors, she stays plenty active with three kids:Emma (Freshman), Ethan (6th grade), and Audree (3rd grade). She also hikes, runs, practices yoga, and helps her friends with anything they need.
This boy’s dormitory was built in 1923, and has housed boys since. As our traditional senior boy’s dorm, this 3 story building is home away from home for 56 students. All dorm rooms are newly renovated with spacious layouts. The dorm lounge is a popular hang out for meaningful conversations, study groups, and relaxing.
Ray Tuineau (Dorm Parent)
I was born and raised in SLC. I am Tongan, and the first generation in my family to attend college. I graduated from Granger High School, and found a love for education. As I further my education with a degree in Education, I would like to one day become a classroom teacher. My wife Juliet and I have 3 little boys, 3, 2, and 9 weeks. I love sports, especially rugby, and football. Spending time with family, friends, and camping are my hobbies. I am also an eagle scout.
Ryan White (Assistant Dorm Parent)
I was born and raised in Spring City, Utah. I was raised on a farm and also had a successful lawn mowing business. Graduated from North Sanpete High School. Lived in Argentina for 2 years where I became fluent in Spanish, upon returning from Argentina studied at Snow College and graduated with an Associates Degree in Spanish. Furthered my education at Brigham Young University – Hawaii and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Communications. I enjoy anything outdoors (hiking, hunting, camping, backpacking, etc.)
The Zoe Dormitory is home to 38 Senior girls and is the newest dorm on campus, dedicated in fall of 2012. This state of the art living space boasts a spacious lounge area replete with a fireplace, flat screen T.V. many couches a study area, and a lovely kitchen. The downstairs offers another lounge area with TV and couches as well as laundry room and storage. Girls in this dorm enjoy a ‘pod’ layout where clusters of rooms are grouped together with their own bathroom and study area.
Charlotte Stewart (Dorm Parent)
One of the most important ways Wasatch Academy develops relationships with parents is through the advisory program. The advisor acts as the primary link between the school and the family. As the advisor meets with each advisee twice a week in Homeroom, the advisor is responsible for helping their advisees navigate the Wasatch Academy learning community. The advisor addresses the academic, social, and emotional needs of their advisees during Homeroom meetings.
The support of each student’s parent is crucial to understanding the needs of the student in accomplishing their goals at Wasatch Academy and preparing them for success in college and in life. When we work together, we allow our students to realize their potential in and out of the classroom. Parents can expect initial communication from their child’s advisor once a week for the first month after the school year commences. Monthly communication on their child’s progress is provided throughout the remainder of the school year. Given the full schedules of our faculty, the preferred way to communicate with advisors is via e-mail.