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Lyceum Preparatory Academy Provides Some Classic Opportunities

February 19, 2009
By CASEY HICKS Staff Writer

WHEELING - With mandatory classes like Latin, violin, fencing and rowing, Lyceum Preparatory Academy is unlike any other all girls school in the Upper Ohio Valley.

That's the idea.

The Lyceum, housed at the ornate Scottish Rite Cathedral in East Wheeling, opened its doors last September to girls entering sixth to eighth grade. For the community, the school has filled the gap left when Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy closed last May.

Article Photos

Pictured are Lyceum
Academy students, from left, Lexi Baranik, Emily
Salvatori, Hannah Butts, Shyann Smith, Skylar Carrington, Mary Coleman,
Morgan Harris and Annemarie Krall.

Photo by Casey Hicks

"We are fortunate to have such a great opportunity for our daughters to receive such a well-rounded education in an environment free of normal peer pressures common among children in this age group," said Jeannette Wakim, whose daughter attended Mount de Chantal. Wakim helped prepare the Scottish Rite building for classes.

The curriculum at the Lyceum incorporates classic subjects while preparing students for the challenges of the future. Classes in languages, history, English, art, music, mathematics and sciences are complemented by fencing and rowing to promote academic education, physical fitness and character development.

Small class sizes work well for students and the school itself. The girls are able to get to know all of their classmates, and instructors are able to take field trips to supplement what is learned in the classroom.

While studying the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird," Maryann Galbreath's seventh-grade literature class was able to observe a court trial in Fairmont, W.Va. Later this month, Latin students will travel to Washington, D.C., to study the National Gallery of Art's Pompeii exhibit.

"The school chose to offer Latin not only for the cultural and scientific edge it gives students, but also for the very significant increase in verbal SAT scores," said Latin instructor Judith Jones-Hayes. Students will be taking the National Latin Exam next month.

The girls are also doing well in violin, even as beginners. They have attended the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and had the opportunity to perform for Maestro Andre Raphel Smith.

"It's a really well-rounded education, and I think the parents have been excited about it," acting Administrator Judy Harris said.

Interest in the Lyceum Academy has expanded beyond students' families. With demand from across the Upper Ohio Valley, the Lyceum will introduce fifth grade courses in the fall. Call 304-232-8088 for more information about the Lyceum and open houses, or arrange a tour of the school.

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