About Charles Wright Academy
Steve Munn ’81 knows a thing or two about adventure.
Having worked for companies such as Reebok, Pepsi, and Vans prior to becoming president of JanSport in 2007, he gravitates toward brands that promote active and adventurous lifestyles. “At the core of people that work for brands like Vans and JanSport is a passion for the products we make and what those products enable,” he says. “Of course, we still have to run a business and deal with the challenges that go with that—it’s just a lot more fun when it involves action and adventure.”
If one could take snapshots of a day in the life of seniors in late May every year, the photos would capture them not lingering on the senior stage in the Upper School commons, sequestered in the library cramming for that last final, or even tossing a Frisbee on the lawn but instead in boardrooms, dental clinics, restaurant kitchens, research labs, operating rooms, and other real-world classrooms throughout and beyond the Puget Sound region.
Charles Wright athletes displayed true Tarrier grit throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, with winter and spring competitors rounding out yet another fantastic string of sporting seasons. And when taking into consideration our athletic program’s B-sized status while playing in an A-sized classification, our athletes’ accomplishments are even more remarkable.
Wedding photography might not be considered fine art by many, but R.J. Kern ’96 is turning that notion on its head. Since graduating from college in 2000, R.J. has won numerous awards and accolades for his wedding photos while crisscrossing the country to capture the special moments from a couple's most cherished day. While the journey to this point in his career hasn't been straightforward, it's been rooted in the foundation of discovery and creativity that was laid at Charles Wright Academy.
Charles Wright Academy has been life-changing for many Tarriers, but perhaps even more so than for the Class of 1964. Our first graduates were a group of young men bound together by their shared experiences at a fledgling yet growing school and by the times they lived through—nuclear deterrence, the Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the music of the ’60s.
There are some moments in world history that are so large in magnitude they forever alter our perception of language. “D-Day” is a standard military term used to describe the day an operation is set to begin, but for most Americans that term now almost exclusively refers to that day of days 70 years ago this summer—June 6, 1944—when more than 150,000 members of the Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, marking the beginning of the end of World War II. But with the Greatest Generation dwindling in number every year, we have fewer and fewer opportunities to learn first-hand from the men and women who were there about what their sacrifices truly mean.
The gentlemen of the Class of 1964 certainly marked a major milestone as Charles Wright’s first graduating class. But the Class of 1971 also holds a special place in the annals of school history: It was the first graduating class of Tarriers that included female students.
Many traditions have been established in the 57 years since Charles Wright Academy first opened its doors in 1957: Tussock Moth Day, the Headmaster’s Picnic, C’DAT, and Founders’ Day are only a few. Perhaps the most intrinsic tradition of all, though, is the thread of family that is woven into the fabric of the school as second—and, in one case, third—generations of Tarriers become students and alumni.