Mission & History
Soundview’s purpose is to provide a college-preparatory education in a supportive and non-competitive environment that requires rigorous application to academics, instills respect for ethical values, and fosters self-confidence by helping each student feel recognized and valued.
The Story of Soundview
Soundview Preparatory School opened its doors in March 1989 at St. John’s Church in Pleasantville. A group of seventeen families seeking an alternative approach to education for their children had asked W. Glyn Hearn to help them in starting a new school and then to serve as Headmaster. Once classrooms and an initial faculty of five full-time teachers were in place, Soundview Prep, a college preparatory school for grades 7 - 12, was born. It would be a school that believed in the worth of each student, where in turn students would be held to a high standard in both academic pursuits and personal conduct, a school founded on the philosophy that students thrive in small classes in an environment where competition is minimized. From the first, it was clear that Soundview was a place where students could develop their potential in a supportive atmosphere based on mutual trust. In June 1989, Soundview was proud to graduate its first senior class of six students.
During the summer of 1989, Soundview moved into the education wing of the Union Church of Pocantico Hills, New York, which would be its home for nine years. The setting in those days was rural, as Soundview was surrounded by meadows and woods. As time passed, word spread about the unique educational experience that Soundview offered, and the School grew. By the spring of 1998, Soundview had outgrown its quarters in Pocantico Hills, and moved north to a substantially larger location in Mt. Kisco. With more space at its disposal, Soundview acceded to parent demand and added a sixth grade. Together with friends of the School, parents donated a fully-equipped science laboratory, art room, library and technology center. The School’s proximity to the former Northern Westchester Center for the Arts also offered opportunities for enhancement of its art-related programs. Eventually, Soundview came to occupy three floors with seventeen classrooms.
On June 30, 2007, Soundview Prep realized a dream, taking an historic step into the future with the purchase of its first permanent home, a beautiful, rustic 13.8-acre property just blocks from the center of Yorktown Heights, NY. In January 2008, the entire school packed up and moved to its new home. The new campus includes:
- An historic, 3-story main house, housing classrooms, administrative offices and meeting rooms
- A recently renovated large barn, converted for use as the Arts-Sciences building with a science lab and art studios. The ground floor is used for a dining and meeting space.
- A separate house for the middle school
- A music conservatory with a ceramics studio on the lower floor
- A large pond, stream, fields and woods, where the Outdoors Club has cleared trails, removed brush and enhanced the landscape
- Additional outbuildings, suitable for future renovation
Soundview established a few traditions early on. The school year always opens with a family picnic. The Talent Show dates from the school’s first year, and soon became an important part of the Soundview experience. Texas Day, celebrating the Headmaster’s state of origin, was another early and light-hearted event for students, families, faculty and staff.
The students’ interests determined many of the extra-curricular activities that have been a part of life at Soundview. Many of the clubs, in fact, have been started and run entirely by students. A Yearbook was published starting with the very first class of 1989, and was followed early on by a basketball team, called the Bulldogs for the school mascot. In 2002, a soccer team was formed and in 2006 the Ultimate frisbee team was formed. The Foreign Language Club, too, is of long standing, and has sponsored trips to Italy, Greece, China, Russia, Argentina and this year, to Austria. Over the years, budding writers have put together the Literary Magazine, students in the Outdoors Club have planted spring bulbs and trees, members of the Politics Club have hotly debated issues, the Ski Club has hit the local slopes … the list goes on.
As Soundview Prep continues to grow, it has kept its commitment to teaching small classes, investing intensely in each individual student, offering a rigorous curriculum in a welcoming atmosphere and promoting a feeling of community where every student feels valued. As we look toward the future from our bucolic site in Yorktown Heights, we see a school which remains firm in the core values that have imbued it from its beginnings in 1989.
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