About Us


Thank you for visiting Athens Academy’s site!  This is a good first step toward learning what Athens Academy is all about. We usually encourage people to visit us on Spartan Lane to really get a feel for our school community. However, in the middle of a global pandemic, starting with our website is the safest way to learn more about us.  We have been in session since August 2020.  Most of our students from Preschool through our seniors are learning on campus, with only a handful of our students join us remotely by the end of the 2020-21 school year.  
In some ways, Athens Academy is a throwback to the past, as we believe in family values and treating each of our students with dignity and respect—yet at the same time, we strive to stay ahead of the curve with robust math and science programs and a wide variety of hands-on learning opportunities for all ages.  
Athens Academy is a wonderful community of teachers, students, parents, mentors, alumni, coaches, and friends all dedicated to educating young people.  We are guided by our mission, "Athens Academy seeks excellence with honor in the educational and personal experience of each student." These fifteen words make it clear where we focus our energy. Our primary objective is to engage our students in meaningful work so that they are better prepared for college and life.  Our graduates often come back and validate this claim.  They are successful thanks to their excellent teachers and strong foundation from their time with us.  
A few of the great things from the 2020-2021 academic year:
  • The Class of 2021 sent 83 students off to 40 different colleges and universities across 20 different states, including Columbia, UPenn, Notre Dame, UVA, UNC Chapel Hill, NYU, and many more.
  • Recognition by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Niche.com as one of the Top 10 High Schools in Georgia--and the #1 school outside metro Atlanta.
  • Recognition by the College Board as a 2020 winner of the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, recognizing the outstanding work we are doing to engage more female students in computer science.
  • Construction completed on the Drew Swan Middle School Building for Grades 7 and 8, which has allowed us to add another building to the Upper School beginning in 2021-22. We also completed the new Farmer Field House, which is now home to seven sports teams and provides a quality space for athletic training and much more.
  • Another positive year for our sports teams, with ten graduates going on to compete in collegiate athletics at schools like Notre Dame, the University of Georgia, Sewanee, and William and Mary.

To really get a feel for our people and programs, I encourage you to come visit us when it is safe to do so! We are scheduling individual tours with Geoffrey Walton and Mary Catherine Jernigan in the Admission Office, so families may learn more about our people and programs.  We ask that all guests to campus wear face coverings and follow health guidelines as recommended by healthcare professionals.     
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our division directors are happy to answer grade-specific concerns, and you can contact me directly as well at any time.  I hope to see you soon.  Thank you again for taking the time to learn a little bit more about Athens Academy.
Go Spartans!
John Thorsen
Head of School
To realize this mission, Athens Academy is guided by the following operating principles:

List of 3 items.

  • The School and Academic Programs

    Athens Academy:
    • Nurtures creativity, critical thinking, and curiosity to prepare students for college and life-long learning.
    • Recognizes individual differences in learning styles and academic needs within the stated purpose of the school.
    • Is sensitive to the students’ emotional and physical wellness in and out of the classroom.
  • The School and the Individual

    Athens Academy:
    • Is guided by the Judeo-Christian ethic and fosters respect for the heritage and beliefs of others.
    • Believes that personal integrity is essential to any achievement.
    • Expects students to assume increasing responsibility for their own educational development.
    • Encourages individuals to recognize the effects of choices and their consequences in the larger community.
    • Expects individuals to respect the dignity, property, and person of others.
  • The School and the Community

    Athens Academy:
    • Uses the founding principles of the United States of America to prepare students to become responsible citizens in our democratic society and to become responsible global citizens.
    • Engages with the community by sharing school resources and facilities and by participating in community, cultural, and service opportunities.
Athens Academy seeks excellence with honor in the educational and personal experience of each student. 

Excellence with Honor

An independent school for grades K3-12