Mission & Philosophy
Shortly after the founding of Trinity Valley School, our founder, Stephen Seleny, and several important friends of the school drafted the following philosophy statement, and eventually the mission statement, which has stood the test of time and serves the school today.
Trinity Valley School has four main objectives for its students:
Fine scholarship with its fulfillment at college; the development of wide constructive interests; intelligent citizenship; and spiritual and moral development which promotes lasting values.
Toward the attainment of the first of our main objectives, the school maintains high academic standards. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for any college or university that fits the ability of the individual.
College entrance, however, is not its sole objective. Trinity Valley School encourages intellectual curiosity because the school believes that the recognition of quality is more important than the accumulation of facts. The school seeks to develop mastery of ideas as well as of skills, respect for intelligence as well as for cleverness, and a capacity for understanding as well as for learning. In the belief that a breadth of general interests and abilities is vital for leaders of the future, the school encourages every extracurricular activity for which there is a demand.
Because Trinity Valley School recognizes that intelligent and purposeful discipline is a prerequisite not only of a sound academic atmosphere but also a necessary part of the training for responsible citizenship, the school tries to have as few discipline rules as possible. Administrators rely on the good judgment of the students and give them responsibility as judges and as members of a student government. The individual rights of a student are respected and protected while, at the same time, he learns that he must be responsible for his own actions.
Finally, Trinity Valley School believes that neither fine scholarship nor wide interests nor intelligent citizenship will bear good fruit unless they are sustained by a belief in spiritual and moral values.
Although the school is non-denominational, through personal example, and the study of philosophy, it aims to foster respect for and belief in the moral and ethical laws on which our society was built. Students must realize that the ultimate goal of mental discipline cannot be accomplished without self-discipline. Therefore, the school employs an honor code which serves to act as a reminder to the students of this philosophy.
Trinity Valley School is not affiliated with any religious denomination. Nevertheless, we who are responsible for its direction believe in God. Thus, we conduct our teaching on the premise that man is not merely an ephemeral animal with a transitory existence. We believe that man's purpose on earth involves his coming to terms not only with his physical and social environment and his own body, but more importantly, with his eternal soul. We are of the opinion that if the sort of all-encompassing humanism currently in vogue, with its emphasis on hedonistic, self-centered thinking, is accepted as a substitute for religion, it must inevitably lead to an intellectual and spiritual dead end.
Therefore, we encourage students' participation in any established form of religion that they and their parents may choose, whether Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim, and we seek to create respect for all of them. Furthermore, we believe it is the responsibility of a school like ours to instill awareness of the moral and ethical obligations inherent in knowledge. In this specific sense, we consider education to be a religious occupation, with consciousness of a set of values that animates every field of knowledge, whether it be the humanities, mathematics, the physical sciences, or the social sciences. Such an occupation as ours carries with it the duty to define and teach these values.
Obviously, we live in a pluralistic society, but cultural pluralism cannot be allowed to become an excuse for moral indifference or confused thinking, and any school devoted to quality education which shirks its responsibility in this ethical realm is, in our opinion, committing a grave error. Students who go out into the world with superior preparation stand a better chance than most of becoming the leaders of tomorrow, and it is thus crucial that they not use their minds and abilities amorally. For, as it has been said, goodness without knowledge is weak, but knowledge without goodness is dangerous.
It follows, therefore, that the rules of conduct laid down by the school are neither mere laws of convenience nor merely rules. They reflect an ethical concept that is integral to the school's philosophy.