Welcome - From Our Head of School

It is my great honor to serve as Head of The Oakwood School. Oakwood is a non-sectarian, independent, college preparatory school with a vibrant community. The school provides a challenging academic program, rich music and visual arts offerings, competitive athletics, and a great many extracurricular and service learning opportunities. We believe in the inherent worth and potential of every person, and we believe that people are most satisfied when they are doing their part to make the world a better place. Great emphasis is placed in all divisions on developing successful and well-rounded children and on developing their understanding of how they relate to and impact society. Indeed our founding vision as declared in our mission statement makes this abundantly clear: The Oakwood School seeks to instill in its students the strength of character, the creativity, and the wisdom to make a difference in the world.

We want our Oakwood students to use their skills and talents to impact their world, and our teachers are the caretakers of this vision. They nurture individual strengths and interests, they encourage students to look outside themselves and imagine ways they can leave lasting and positive imprints on the world, and they develop social awareness and respect in our students by honoring diversity in culture and ethnicity. It is the faculty’s goal to prepare Oakwood students for successful and meaningful lives after they leave Oakwood. It will be the strength of our graduates’ characters and the depth of their spirits that will ultimately determine how they both meet and measure success.

At Oakwood, we understand that our students live in a complex, diverse, globalized, and multimedia permeated world driven by innovative ideas, knowledge, and technologies. Reading, writing, comprehension of basic mathematical concepts, and mastery of core academic subjects are essential but no longer sufficient in this global age. Digital and media literacy is imperative for success in the 21st century, and Oakwood students are required to use these new technologies in their learning. Teachers also provide learning experiences that require students to think, problem solve, communicate, collaborate, initiate, direct, and innovate. Our students understand that flexibility and adaptability are critical in this 21st century environment, for in the words of writer and author, Alvin Toffler, “the illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

The reasons for the success of the school are the constituents who make up Oakwood and the strong sense of community that they create. Our talented faculty members bring intelligence, wisdom, experience, education, enthusiasm, and high expectations to Oakwood. The twenty-member Board of Trustees gives time, insight, and guidance in safeguarding the mission of the school, assuring its financial health, and setting long-term plans to protect its future. Our parents seek a challenging, enriching, and 21st century educational program and a diverse student body for their children. Finally, our students are curious, inquiring, and diligent in their learning and are eager to reach out to others.

We hope as you look through this website, you will experience the purpose and spirit of our school. We are a community that extends a warm welcome to new families. I invite you to visit our school, so you can see first-hand our beautiful forty-one acre campus and state-of-the-art facilities, catch the spirit that is the essence of this wonderful place, and see how our students learn and live.


R. Peterson.jpeg 

Robert R. Peterson
Head of School

Curricula Vitae for Robert R. Peterson

Board of Trustees

The Oakwood Board of Trustees strives to be a diverse entity comprised of individuals who work at being a team and bring to it a variety of different perspectives, balance of skills, and broad thinking. If you or others are interested in being involved with the Board, please consider serving on a Board committee and otherwise submit names of parents and/or non-parents to any Board member listed below or to the Committee on Trustees. To find out more, visit our document on the Board of Trustees Election Process.

2017-2018 Board of Trustees

Dave Hunt, President

Patricia Rawls, Vice President 

Ira Adler

Jason Barnett

Faye Bordeaux

Chris Dyba

Randy Fry

Laura Davis Hanley

Joy Karriker

Linda Kuhn

David Lamb

Karsin Landis

Ogi Obi

Kim Sayers

Kelli Smith

Jim Whitehurst

Xiaoming Zeng

Rob Peterson, Head of School (ex officio)

Eileen Van Houten, Past President (ex officio)


In 2015 our Board President, Eileen Van Houten was honored with the Seymour Preston Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).  The video below was created for the awards ceremony.