The boarding school environment offers a unique setting that combines academic, social, and personal growth opportunities. By providing an immersive, supportive, and disciplined environment, boarding schools foster a better learning experience, equipping students with the skills, knowledge, and attributes necessary for future success.
North Cedar Academy (NCA) is one of the prominent international boarding high schools located in Northern Wisconsin, USA. Its 96-acre campus sprawls along the banks of the historic Flambeau River in one of the most rural and picturesque regions of the American Midwest. Among its many attributes and advantages, NCA embraces a strong belief in protecting the natural environment and sees this as an essential component of its approach to supporting students’ well-roundedness and development.
Boasting four distinct and beautiful seasons, the small town of Ladysmith (population of 3,100) provides an idyllic backdrop for students’ academic, social, and emotional flourishing. Understanding the tremendous power of natural serenity, NCA faculty and staff are committed to protecting the environment, ensuring clean air and clean water while restricting noise and other types of pollution. It believes strongly that a clean and peaceful immediate environment provides an optimal setting for deep and rich learning opportunities and the development of the whole child.
Safe and Secure Setting for Academic Growth
NCA is consistently designated one of the top boarding schools in the American Midwest. Such honors are a credit to its veteran teaching faculty, low student/teacher ratio, and commitment to distraction-free learning. NCA also understand the socio-emotional advantages of providing students with a safe and secure setting for their academic and social growth and is proud to be among the most secure boarding schools in one of the safest regions in the USA.
NCA’s academic offerings are second to none. It believes that academic and social well-roundedness is the best-laid foundation, and thus, it offers a classical American curriculum, including core coursework in all typical academic disciplines, college prep and advanced placement tracks, and a wide range of electives. It enriches student learning by offering many student-centered curricular and co-curricular opportunities geared to embrace nature and engage students in a variety of year-round outdoor activities.
Prior to joining NCA as Headmaster and Executive Director, Dr Michael Lovorn served as a university advisor and administrator. Since his arrival at NCA, he has called upon this experience to help inform NCA’s advising processes, which has given students a leg up in the effective and efficient completion of their college applications. This has proven particularly useful for students who participate in NCA’s prestigious and distinctive dual enrollment pathway program, which enables qualifying students to earn an associate degree concurrently with their high school coursework and guarantees admission to the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Celebrating the Accomplishment
NCA proudly hosts a variety of noted academic programs. Its students are particularly skilled in math, science, art, music, and creative writing, among other disciplines, and they are regularly recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments across and beyond the school community.
NCA conspicuously displays students’ awards and shares vignettes detailing their successes via on-campus and online platforms. It hosts musical performances for the community each quarter, and art students participate in a yearly display at the Ladysmith Art Gallery. High-achieving students are awarded Dean’s Honor Roll certificates each semester.
Recent NCA Student Achievements include a grand prize winner of the Wisconsin Foxconn Technology Group’s Smart Cities; several top-ten placements (including a first-place individual award) in the Central Wisconsin Math League Competition; a second-place award in the Northwest Wisconsin Rube Goldberg Engineering Competition; a third-place team award in the MinneMUDAC Science Challenge; and several perfect scores on recent SAT math sections.
NCA students regularly receive local recognition for their participation in events hosted by the Flambeau Area Art Alliance and Ladysmith Writer’s Exchange, and they completed over 1000 hours of community service in the last two years alone.
NCA alums have also accomplished many amazing things! Recent graduates have gone on to undergraduate success at the University of Wisconsin, Occidental College, Augustana University, and Gonzaga University; and have been accepted to graduate programs at Harvard, Duke, the University of Sydney and other world-class universities.
NCA alums continue to define a new generation of applied mathematicians, lab technicians, software and mechanical engineers, entrepreneurs, business administrators, economists and accountants and are working at prestigious companies, including Microsoft and IBM.
NCA enables and encourages all students to explore their curiosities and develop their passion for areas of interest by joining any of its regularly offered extracurricular sessions and clubs. Its current offerings invite students to learn or practice chess, baking, yoga, karate, movie critique, book discussion, e-sports, outdoor games, basketball, cross-country running, fitness, bread making, board games, bowling, event planning, theater, kayaking, pop band, and painting. NCA also invites students to help form new clubs or lead activities of interest to them.
Enhancing Social and Emotional Well-Being
NCA schedules many special presentations, workshops, and modules intended for student enrichment. Topics include a wide range of academic and career advancement opportunities, including teen leadership and college application and admission; healthy lifestyle sessions, including social media awareness, drug and alcohol prevention, and driver safety; and hobby development, including syrup making, animal habitat advocacy, environmental protection, gardening, art, and dance.
NCA also hosts weekend activities and trips for the purpose of enhancing students’ academic, social, and emotional well-being and exposing them to new experiences. Each semester, students are invited to concerts, theatre performances, museums, festivals, and other cultural events. It also engages them in fun activities, including paintball, amusement parks, downhill skiing, hiking, camping, shopping trips, spa days, fishing, and karaoke nights.
NCA’s intimate size enables its staff to focus on each student’s unique needs. Led by its veteran Dean of Students, the faculty and staff are well-trained to engage students in conversation to build trust, establish strong rapport, create meaningful relationships, and support an inclusive community.
NCA also hosts a speaker series that centers on student mental health and provides students with many opportunities to give back to their region through community service. As needed, the Resident Life Director and school nurse also work together with teachers, staff, and parents to create specialized plans to support student’s academic or social/emotional well-being. If it is determined that a student would benefit from off-campus help, the school nurse arranges for a doctor’s visit.
NCA realizes that good education never stands still. Thus, it is always moving forward with innovative programming and student services. Most recently, it launched an innovative and popular esports program and a community service-oriented Adopt-a-Highway club. It is also working to grow its maker’s space and provide even more diverse university partnerships and internship opportunities.
An Ideal Boarding School
There are many options for boarding schools across the United States, and families face the challenge of finding the right one for their child(ren). It’s true that most stellar boarding school experiences are about finding the right fit. North Cedar Academy prioritizes natural serenity, a peaceful and clean environment, and ample one-to-one attention from its staff to advance students’ academic, social, and emotional development.
NCA advises families looking to narrow their boarding school search to visit school websites and reach out directly to teachers and administrators. They should pay attention to the ones that answer the phone on the first or second ring or respond to emails within 24 hours. They should also look for those that respond with a personal email, referring to the child by name and referencing their specific interests. These schools are likely the ones that have the child’s best interest at heart. North Cedar Academy prides itself on its attention to detail and each student’s interests and well-being.