St. John’s Northwestern Will Develop Leaders within a Coeducational Model

Oct 7, 2017

St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (SJNMA) in Delafield, Wisconsin, will welcome young women in grades seven through 12 into its full academic and summer program offerings beginning in summer 2018. The Academy will remain a fully articulated military academy, which has been its historic core for the past 134 years.

The SJNMA Board of Trustees spent the past two years extensively reviewing and evaluating the concept of enrolling female students. In July 2017 during a two-day Strategic Planning Workshop, board members came to the decision to integrate women into the Corps of Cadets after carefully reviewing input from a survey that was conducted in spring 2017. As they reflected on changes in society and culture as well as the significant role women have in business, education, military, and other leadership roles, they determined that enrolling girls was a necessary evolution of the school’s mission.

First and foremost, St. John’s Northwestern develops leaders through all its program offerings. The Academy has long been a leader in the education of young men, and looks forward to continuing its leadership as educators within a coeducational model. The Academy’s admission standards and requirements will remain the same as admissions staff seek only the most qualified students of good character and serious purpose, ready to develop an understanding of duty, honor, commitment, loyalty, ethics, and individual and team responsibility. Female students will be separately housed in a supervised setting on campus.

Change is nothing new to SJNMA. When the Academy was founded in 1884 by Rev. Sidney T. Smythe, an Episcopal priest, it began as a day school for boys and girls. Girls were last accepted to the Academy in 1888. As Rev. Smythe realized then and as we are experiencing today, sometimes the Academy needs to make significant changes to its strategic plan to ensure the future for generations.

In addition to this significant change, the Academy will be implementing a new corporate structure called St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies. Under this will be St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, a coeducational military school, and two inaugural academies in the planning stages, English as a Second Language Academy and St. John’s Northwestern Summer Leadership Academy. Adding these two separately managed new academies to its offerings will enable the Academy to evolve, remain relevant and maintain its success over a long period of time while fully embracing and retaining its military academy roots.

The first new offering, English as a Second Language (ESL) Academy, is slated to open in fall 2018 and will provide world class instruction in the English language to the already diverse international population on campus. This program will serve current cadets and it will be open to students from a civilian population housed on campus, wearing a specific uniform and adhering to a specific set of rules and discipline, but not participating in the Corps.

The second new offering reorganizes and elevates the Academy’s currently successful summer programs into the St. John’s Northwestern Summer Leadership Academy beginning in summer 2019. This summer academy will serve boys and girls in grades one through 12 by offering a wide variety of carefully prepared and managed programs during the summer months, and includes the Academy’s academic Summer OPS and summer adventure camp programs.

The SJNMA Strategic Plan articulates the above changes, as well as other important changes, in an integrated and comprehensive fashion that addresses our facilities and staffing needs along with our goals to efficiently increase overall enrollment, and to provide for the long-term financial sustainability and security of the Academies. We look forward to the future with great excitement and high expectations for the successful execution of this strategic plan.

St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy is a college preparatory and leadership development boarding and day school for cadets in grades seven through 12. Founded in 1884, St. John’s Northwestern provides a distinctive educational experience for its cadets that focuses on academic success, athletics, leadership development and values.