In 1997, a group of middle school and high school educators began meeting on a regular basis to develop what they would envision as the “ ideal learning situation for middle school girls.” They worked on this project because they each believed that the middle school years are an absolutely crucial time in a young girl’s life. These years are a time when a girl either maintains and develops her self-identity or begins to lose it. These educators didn’t casually accept this premise. They had seen studies, read books and had classroom experience that validated what they believed. At the time, there was no school for girls anywhere in Western North Carolina. As the father of two young girls, Howard Hanger (a former United Methodist Minister) decided to create such a school. The school would be non-sectarian, strongly academic, grounded in classics, highly experiential and active in community service. The school would have an underlying purpose to “open the world to middle school girls so that they might discover their gifts and find their place in the world.”
That is what Hanger Hall School is all about. Hanger Hall opened its doors in the fall of 1999. It began with one sixth grade class, with plans to add a class each year for the next two years. According to studies done by the American Association of University Women, the student/teacher ratio is top of the list of what enables students to learn. Further studies have shown smaller classes help students feel more connected to each other and faculty members, fostering fewer cliques and feeling of isolation. With an average class size of 12, Hanger Hall nurtures both the mind and the spirit.
Hanger Hall Pledge
As a Hanger hall girl, I will be kind, honest and respectful to myself and all others. If someone is hurting, I will comfort her. If someone is lonely, I will be with her. If someone is glad, I will be glad with her. This is my pledge as a Hanger Hall girl.