Upper School

Developing young men who possess honor and integrity.

This is the time when boys really come into their own. Academics are rigorous and passions are explored and solidified during these years. However, we care most about developing young men who possess honor and integrity.

List of 3 items.

  • Academic Excellence

    The Upper School offers a variety of academic paths allowing boys to pursue their interests while being challenged to think critically. Our liberal arts education prepares boys for college and for life.
  • An Emphasis on Leadership

    There is a strong focus on leadership in the Upper School. Ninth Graders focus on developing an individual understanding of themselves, their ability to lead and to build class unity. By the time the boys are Seniors, the focus has shifted to developing student leadership within the school community and taking those leadership skills into the broader community when they graduate.
  • Exploring Interests

    Upper School boys choose elective classes based on where their interests lie and have more coed classes with girls from St. Catherine's. Outside the classroom, students can join peers in athletic teams, arts groups or special interest clubs.

    After-school activities include 14 interscholastic sports teams and 25 student clubs, including a chess club, Habitat for Humanity, robotics, an investments and sports discussion club. If a student doesn't find the club he wants, he can start his own!

    We also have a robust theatre program, community service opportunities, regional science competitions, school and regional poetry competitions and more. Boys can work on the school literary magazine, Hieroglyphic, or the print and online newspaper, The Pine Needle.

List of 6 items.

  • Our Honor System

    Each student lives within St. Christopher's Honor System and understands that honesty and integrity are part of their education and the foundation they are building. Being responsible to themselves and their peers influences young men now and into the future.

    The School promotes honor and integrity as a way of life rather than a set of rules, and each student in the Upper School annually commits publicly to uphold the Honor System and to refuse to tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing. Students sign the Honor Pledge when completing assessments and assignments stating, “On my honor as a gentleman, I have neither given nor received any help on this paper, nor am I aware of any breach of the Honor Code.”
  • A Supportive Community

    Each Upper School boy is part of a faculty-led cross-age advisory group that meets weekly. The advisor stays with each boy throughout his four years of Upper School, working closely with him and his parents over the course of his journey. Advisory groups become families within the school, supporting each other by celebrating successes and working through challenges. Each advisory group is part of a House System designed to promote community, brotherhood, school-spirit and belonging. 
  • Well-Being

    During their four years of Upper School, our students grow from boys to young men. Just as we monitor and support boys’ academic growth, we care deeply about their well-being. Through Chapel programs, advisory and House meetings and Upper School Health classes, we engage our boys in opportunities to consider what it means to live a healthy and balanced life and educate them on the myriad of supports available to them. All Seniors have at least one meeting with our Upper School Counselor prior to graduation. 
  • Spiritual Life

    St. Christopher's embraces the Episcopal School tradition that sees each person as a child of God, values inclusion and spiritual growth, and seeks to educate students for lives of meaning and service. 

    The Upper School comes together for chapel three times a week, in addition to gathering for several other services throughout the year to celebrate religious and national holidays. These chapel gatherings are a time not only for prayer, singing, and worship, but also to be spiritually fed by messages from The Rev. John Ohmer, the Upper School Chaplain, as well as from guest speakers from within and outside the St. Christopher’s community. 
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  • Academic Support

    The Upper School Academic Support Department is dedicated to encouraging self-advocacy and personal responsibility, teaching students how to learn and retain information, helping them hone time-management and organizational skills and assisting them in gaining the confidence to seek assistance independently.

    Academic Support teachers communicate regularly with the Upper School Dean of Students, classroom teachers, faculty advisors and parents, and serve as members of the Upper School Guidance Committee. Academic Support provides services to students both individually and in collaborative groups, and is open to all students as needed.
  • Our Sister School

    While St. Christopher’s firmly believes in the process of teaching boys in the best way they learn, we understand that coming together for certain academic classes, programs and projects makes for well-rounded students. In the Upper School, students begin the coordinate academic experience by taking classes on both campuses.

    By Senior year, nearly every class is coed, underscoring the importance of working with St. Catherine’s students as intellectual peers. It's as if they are already in a college setting, managing their schedules and navigating classes on both campuses. Students also enjoy coed experiences in the performing arts, co-curricular clubs, community service activities and travel opportunities.

Highlights of Upper School

List of 2 items.

  • Leadership & Bonding

    Opportunities for leadership and bonding, include:
    • Middle School Mentors: Upper School boys have one-on-one mentor relationships with Middle School boys, meeting once a week for breakfast.
    • Senior Kindergarten Buddies: Seniors and Kindergartners pair up at special events throughout the year, bringing our oldest and youngest Saints together for a friendship that won't be forgotten.
    • Peer Advisors: Seniors work with Freshmen to ease the transition to Upper School.
  • X-Term

    X-Term is a year-long experiential learning opportunity for Upper School students held in conjunction with St. Catherine's School. During X-Term, students pursue and develop passions they can explore by stepping out beyond the conventions of school. Students will be immersed in intellectual, athletic or artistic pursuits, community service, travel and more. X-Term furthers the mission of fostering critical skills needed to succeed in life, including empathy, problem-solving, collaboration, creativity and global engagement.

List of 2 items.

  • Joint Theater Program

    Ampersand, our joint theater program with St. Catherine's launches three productions a year, and offers countless ways for students to get involved. An advanced curriculum in theater and technical theater provides instruction ranging from acting to set design and construction. Students can work on a technical crew, explore stage managing, tackle light or sound design, or even direct.
  • Carols at Christmas

    A series of music concerts and special services, including Lessons and Carols at Christmas.

Upper School Library

Memorial Library is an academic hub for Upper School students. With seating for group study and collaboration and a dedicated quiet area with individual study carrels, students are encouraged to visit the library between classes and during free periods throughout the day.

Students have access to a diverse collection of fiction and non-fiction books, graphic novels, ebooks, audiobooks, periodicals and databases. In collaboration with teachers, the librarians support student learning goals through class visits, curated research guides, book lists and one-on-one research meetings. Students graduate with a strong foundation in information literacy and the ethical use and creation of information, as well as a deeper understanding of the world around them, preparing them for college and beyond.

Upper School Hours

7:50-8 a.m.: Morning Check-In
8 a.m.: School Starts
3:30 p.m.: Academic Day Ends
3:45-5:30 p.m.: After School Activity for all US Students All Year

Safety & Security

The safety of St. Christopher's students, faculty and visitors is paramount. Trained security staff are present to ensure campus safety during school hours and during other school activities. Our security team leverages their strong relationships with law enforcement agencies throughout the city and state, as well as with other area peer schools, to ensure that we are always up-to-date on best practices in school safety.

Meet the Team

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of John Westermann

    Jake Westermann 

    Head of Upper School
    (804) 282-3185 x4439
  • Photo of Kimberly Hudson

    Kim Hudson 

    Director of the Center for the Study of Boys and Associate Head of the Upper School, Chair of Distinguished Teaching and Collaborative Research
    (804) 282-3185 x4346
  • Photo of Beth Wood

    Beth Wood 

    Upper School Administrative Assistant
    (804) 282-3185 x4343
  • Photo of Karen Wray

    Karen Wray 

    Upper School Dean of Faculty and Teacher of French and Religion, Dr. Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne Memorial Chair
    (804) 282-3185 x4633
  • Photo of Chad Chafee

    Chad Chafee 

    Upper School Dean of Students, Teacher of History, and Coach
    (804) 282-3185 x4427