Why VVS?


Why VVS? Our community, guiding principles, awe-inspiring location and commitment to being the change we wish to see in the world are just a few answers to this big question. What does this look like?

Our community strives to understand different points of view, celebrates differences, and learns to challenge our own belief systems. We take service to others seriously, ensuring our involvement in the local community, state, and world is intentional and meaningful. 

In an ever-divisive world, the VVS community gathers from all over the world to prove that there is a better way. We learn together, we debate, we grow, and we change for the better. It was the vision of our founders in 1948, and continues to be a cornerstone of who we are today. 

Lauren Kelley, Director of Experiential Learning, English Teacher

My children benefit daily from living in a universe in which tolerance, kindness, hard work and principled living are simply a way of life. They have come to believe that the world is a place in which faces of all colors greet them with helpful gentleness.

Redefining Success

We believe, teach, and lead by example that success isn’t measured by a number or a grade, but in how we use our own individual gifts to make the world a better place. This may mean studying medicine at a top college or dedicating a gap year to international service; It may be an artist developing their craft, or a student aspiring to attend law school to fight for those without a voice. 

Katharina Geppert, Class of 2015

Education at VVS is different because so much of it happen outside of the classroom. Teachers really try to come up with projects that go beyond lectures and not only engage us with the other members of our class, but make everything a little bit more fun.

Purpose & Play

At VVS, we understand that education must have purpose and be challenging. Our teachers and students collaborate, engage, and create a learning experience that goes beyond the classroom. All learners have a voice and are supported to reach their personal potential.

We also play, explore, surround ourselves in nature and learn that a balanced life equals a healthy, happy life. 


Meg Haesloop, Director of Academics

Standing at the starting line of the Cross Country Championships on Halloween and seeing the Rock Climbing Group in costumes and rainbow wigs cheering from the climbing wall, faculty children holding “Go VVS” signs, and the VVS Mountain bikers and Equestrians, on horseback ready to follow the runners down the dirt road while the VVS Rock Band warms up by playing a Pixies song on the quad. That’s my community.

The Exception

Why VVS? Because we are the exception. The exception to the traditional model of education. The exception to high-pressured, high-stakes academic stress. The exception to a world of distraction and the barrage of technology. The exception to the norm, where being the same is celebrated. Why VVS? Because within this community you become the exception.

Leigh Carter, Anthropology Teacher, Native American Program Coordinator

This year on our field trip to Hopi land, students got to stay in a beautiful, hand-built rock home with a view of corn fields. Students were blown away when the host told them, ‘Actually, the room you’ll be sleeping in was built by your teacher and some other VVS students last year.

Discover for Yourself

We encourage you to see for yourself how a small community is making a big difference.

Schedule a visit today to discover "Why VVS?”.

Brita Ahlers, Class of 2015

At my previous high school, there was no outlet for expression, for passion. There was no individuality. That was the main cause for my unhappiness there. When I came to VVS, I was almost surprised to see so many happy people with different talents, different interests, coming from different backgrounds, with different world-views. No advertising can quite relay the VVS experience. One of the most valuable sources of knowledge here at VVS is the amazing people that you are constantly surrounded by, both teachers and students alike.
Verde Valley School is an International Baccalaureate boarding and day high school for students in grades 9-12.