Nancy Wallace, a former public educator from New Brunswick is the Founder and Director of Bedford Academy. This fall marks Wallace’s 30th year as a private educator in our community. Bedford Academy grew from a preschool that Nancy opened in her home to enable her to be an at-home mom for her 7 year old daughter, Megan. A second centre was opened two years later to provide families the same program with a full day option. This year marks Megan’s fourteenth year working alongside her mother, teaching for ten years and now in administration after earning a Masters of Education Degree in Administration and Leadership.
Bedford Academy grew to become Bedford’s first private school as a direct result from parents seeking a private Primary Program for their children. The initial goal of the program was to provide young students with a solid educational base during their first year of school. The parental demand for the Primary Program was so significant that a second Primary class was created at another location in Bedford. Parents continued to express a desire for Nancy to offer more grades, which ignited her entrepreneurial spirit to embark on the initiative of building her own school. The construction of the new building began at 5 Brookshire Court in the summer of 1999 and the school opened in September, offering Grades Primary to Six. Today, Vice Principal Anthony Grant oversees the elementary grades.
With the additional construction of the new classes in South Wing and Academy Hall, as well as our gymnasium in the fall of 2005, Bedford Academy entered another new and exciting phase offering Junior High with Jeff Sangster named Junior Head. At the center of this expansion was the implementation of the Academy Edge Program which provided each junior high student with a Dell laptop. The Academy building and grounds were transformed into a wireless learning environment. This initiative drew tremendous interest from parents who were seeking an educational experience for their child that featured use of the most current educational technology on the market.
Bedford Academy creates a learning atmosphere in which students are kind to each other, respectful and celebrated. Our safe and happy small school community caps each class at twenty and provides an enhanced curriculum offering one class per grade, with French instruction beginning in Junior Primary. In Grade Three students change classrooms and are taught by specialists in all subjects. This specialist focus is important in achieving strong results in Math, Science and English. Bedford Academy students receive this instruction from teachers who have specific knowledge and expertise in these important areas and as a result our students have received many accolades in Math, Science, Athletics and the Performing Arts. Our students represented Team Nova Scotia at the National Science Fair over the past five years and medaled each year. Last year a Grade Eight student received Gold; our second student to receive a gold medal at Nationals. Our Grade Nine students have medaled each year as well in Mathematics, scoring in the top 25 th percentile in the University of Waterloo Pascal Math Contest. This exam is written by 50,000.00 Grade Nine students internationally.
The Arts and Sport component of our curriculum is equally strong, staffed with two full time music teachers. Professional musician, Kevin Macdonald inspires our young musicians in early elementary and our fantastic band program begins in Grade Five under the direction of famed Mellotone member, Jody Lyne. Our school bands achieved Gold Medals at the Kiwanis Music Festival. Jacob Sampson, lead actor from Shakespeare by the Sea, teaches drama weekly to all students. Our Shakespeare Festival begins in Grade Three, with each class, Grades Three to Nine performing a different play. Our resident artist, Margarita Fainshtein instructs our students using a variety of mediums the students proudly showcase each year at our Art Gala. All Canadian basketball player, graduate of St. FX, Jonathan Bell has developed our incredible physical education and sports programs, leading our Bedford Academy Broncos to win provincial championships. The formation of Bedford Academy’s Intramural House Program provides tremendous school spirit as students are eager and proud to represent their house, Lanark, Fife, Argyle or Moray. Each year the houses compete for the coveted Wallace Cup presented at the Annual Awards Ceremony.
Bedford Academy fosters students who care about others and is a proud supporter of several charities. Bedford Academy has been the recipient of the IWK Hospital Big Fish Award for the past four years raising the most funds of all schools in Atlantic Canada.