Founder / President
Originally from Washington, D.C. and a daughter of the principal of Capitol Page School, Kathy Nelson’s perspective was seriously influenced by growing up in a rich melting pot of diversity. Her vision for World Academy was informed by her social justice background and the wonderful role models she found all around her in our Nation’s Capitol, every day.
After graduating from the University of Maryland, teaching high school there and relocating to New Hampshire with her husband, Gary, they founded Small World Learning Center in 1980 after assessing the need for a high quality, professional child care and education program for working parents in the Greater Nashua area. While taking graduate courses in Early Childhood Education from Gwen and Henry Morgan, renowned gurus in the field, at Wheelock College in Boston, Kathy started a program for 38 three to five year old children, based on the theories of Erik Erikson, John Dewey and Jean Piaget, focusing on the health, learning styles and stages of development of young children.
From that beginning the school’s pedagogy, vision and location expanded exponentially to the World Academy of today which serves over 500 students, daily, in programs from Infant through Grade 8 in accredited, integrated, widely acclaimed programs, on a world class campus; while espousing the same tenet that was embraced then…in order to truly and authentically educate, nurture and enrich the ‘whole child’, we must include the whole family.
Thoughtfully expanded over the years to address the “whole person”, World Academy is designed to provide authentic, progressive experiences that promote cognitive, social, emotional, physical, creative and cultural development; and higher level thinking. Classes address individual learning styles, multiple intelligences and personalization for our students and are based on the 21st century model concepts embracing problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Striving to support student learning on How and Where to find the information they will need to excel in the jobs of tomorrow and become leaders in their global futures, our students are taught in collaborative groups by inspired teachers in a world class environment that nurtures cohesiveness, empathy, and the pursuit of knowledge. The curriculum is constantly being assessed, expanded and enriched by new educational tenets and neuroscience research to give students “a world of opportunities” and more comprehensive information about their world.
Licensed by the NH Bureau of Child Care Standards and Licensing and accredited by the prestigious New England Association of Schools and Colleges, World Academy is a leader in Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School education with a Summer Camp component and stands alone with such high quality programs, prestigious accreditation and service to such a varied age range in all of New Hampshire.
Today, Kathy and Gary live in Hollis, NH with their golden retrievers, but Kathy spends her days driving quality and the vision of World Academy.