Parent of an 8th grader who came to Vanguard from a large Public School locally.

My 8th-grade son came to Vanguard from a huge public school. He liked school, but he felt a little like a number. We are thrilled that he made the change. At Vanguard, every single teacher really knows my son, both his weaknesses and his strengths. The teachers are invested in him and have his back. My son reads and writes all the time now and he brings up really interesting things at dinner – from immigration problems in Europe to chemical bonds. We also love the family feel of Vanguard; my son’s successes are celebrated and his failures turned into stepping stones for improvement. I can’t think of another school where all of the students know and support each other to the extent that Vanguard’s do.  It is a wonderful thing to see!

Having moved to Waco from Phoenix,

Dennis Havranek and his son, Andy, talk about opportunities as a middle school student at Vanguard. Click here to watch the video.

Comments from the parent of two Vanguard graduates (both male) who have gone on to college as well as one sophomore (female) still enrolled:

Why did you decide to send your children to Vanguard?
My husband and I have very specific educational goals for our children. We were both raised in the public school system and had expected to send our children to public schools. Our oldest child began public school and we were not satisfied with the education he was receiving. We moved him to a private school setting and our other children followed. We considered all secondary schools in Waco and decided that Vanguard’s advanced course schedule was the best match for our educational goals.

Do you believe Vanguard did a good job preparing your children for college?
Vanguard has done an excellent job preparing my two older children for college. My oldest son received a scholarship to college and made the Dean’s list his first year. My second son has matriculated well and his Vanguard education gave him the confidence to search out of state for a college setting that would suit his needs. They have both enjoyed their college experience and their Vanguard education gave them the tools they needed to be successful academically. In addition, they have witnessed peers who did not begin college with the skills necessary to succeed. These peers struggled and often failed in their initial college years. They very much appreciate the education they received at Vanguard and the opportunities it has provided them.

What advice would you give other parents who are thinking about where to send their child for high school?
I suggest that parents consider their ultimate educational goal for their children. I was somewhat hesitant to put my children in such a demanding academic environment, but I was greatly pleased with the way the teachers eased them into the situation. Also, I decided early on that it wasn’t as important that they make all A’s at Vanguard. The important thing was that they were getting the tools and knowledge they needed to move forward through each and every educational level. Vanguard provides a wonderful environment where students are challenged and they receive the support of faculty and peers to achieve academically. As a result, they are disappointed when they don’t do as well as they would like, and they are elated when they succeed beyond their expectations!

Comments from the parent of two boys at Vanguard in the 9th and 10th grades:

Are your children happy at Vanguard?
Our children are very happy. They are challenged by their teachers as the curriculum is a rigorous one. They are always able to get one-on-one attention either before or after school from their teachers. Our boys learn differently and as parents we have made adjustments. And the good news is they are both very good students. At Vanguard it is cool to be SMART!!

Vanguard also has an open campus which gives the students a great deal of independence. The children find out very quickly if they fit into this model or not. With my boys and their classmates, most have.

What advice would you give other parents who are thinking about where to send their child for high school?
I would be totally honest and tell them Vanguard is for students committed to learning and higher education. I would also encourage the parents to take an active role in their child’s education.

Comments from the parent of a Vanguard senior (female) who transferred to Vanguard from a large suburban school district in 8th grade:

Why did you decide to send your child to Vanguard?
Small class size, collegial feel of campus, experience level of faculty, emphasis on academics.

Is your child happy at Vanguard?
Our child has excelled at Vanguard due to the small community atmosphere among faculty, student and parents and the rigorous academic classes. At Vanguard, it is cool to be smart.

What advice would you give other parents who are thinking about where to send their child for high school?
The Vanguard environment provides an independent yet broadly-structured venue that allows a child to develop his/her maximum growth potential, academically and emotionally, without regard to social and teaching norms hindering many of the public schools. The focus of classroom teaching is aimed at the child’s potential, not to a statewide norm. The investment in Vanguard tuition is often substantially repaid by collegiate academic scholarships.

Comments from the parent of a boy who will be a senior at Vanguard:

Is your child happy at Vanguard?
I know he’s happy at Vanguard. He likes the students, staff, teachers and the curriculum. He also enjoys the athletic opportunities like basketball, and golf. I know we could not get him to go anywhere else.

What advice would you give other parents who are thinking about where to send their child for high school?
If your child wants to go to school in an environment where he or she can work independently, and can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the teachers and curriculum of the school, then Vanguard offers the best opportunity in McLennan County.

Comments from the parent of two sons, one who has graduated and gone on to college, and one who will be a senior:

Why did you decide to send your children to Vanguard?
To ensure they were provided with academic challenges and received individualized attention and the opportunity to participate in extra curricular activities which they chose.

Is your/was your child happy at Vanguard?
Both of my kids love/loved Vanguard. My child in college feels that he was very prepared for the requirements of a college level education and transitioned easily. Both my children have excelled in the academic environment at Vanguard and with the opportunity to participate in all of the activities they chose. They have also benefited from the individual attention that is provided by the Vanguard teachers.

What advice would you give other parents who are thinking about where to send their child for high school?
That Vanguard provides a challenging and individualized academic environment to prepare your children for college. They also have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities which may not be available to them in a larger school.

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