Welcome to Charles Wright Academy!

Welcome to the Charles Wright community. We are thrilled that you will join us to continue your educational journey. The heart of the Charles Wright experience is the meaningful relationships between students and teachers within a community guided by perseverance, respect, integrity, compassion, and excellence. The world is our classroom as we inquire, explore, and develop of joyful sense of adventure along the way.

View the 2022-2023 CWA major dates here.

Please reach out to us with any questions by emailing admissions@charleswright.org or calling (253) 620-8373.

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Did you know?

CWA wasn’t founded by ‘Charles Wright?’

Charles Wright was founded in 1957. Charles Barstow Wright played an important role in Tacoma’s early history, but never actually lived here. In 1870, the Pennsylvania businessman helped select Tacoma as the Pacific terminus for the transcontinental railroad. Charles Wright Academy was named in his honor, but we never had any direct connection to Charles Barstow Wright or his family. Charles Wright Academy was actually founded by Sam and Nathalie Brown who dreamed of founding a school where their own children and others for generations to come would receive the finest academic, moral, physical, and spiritual education. They tirelessly pursued their goal with vision and energy until their dream materialized into one of the finest private schools in the country.

What is a Tarrier?

The Tarrier arose in the 1962-63 school year when CWA felt the need for a mascot. There was a debate between the Hodag — a legendary creature from the Pacific Northwest forest invented to frighten young loggers — and the Tarrier, a name given to the Irish workers building the railroads across America in the 19th century. The Tarrier emerged victorious in a vote of the student body.

What is a Martlet?

The martlet is frequently used throughout the CWA community, from the visual arts students’ Martlet Press to the festivities for major school milestones, to TIES (the school’s magazine). The martlet is a stylized bird without feet so that it cannot land; it symbolizes the constant journey for knowledge and one’s lifelong quest for learning and adventure. It is a traditional symbol in English heraldry and was common in family crests, including that of Charles Wright Academy cofounder Sam Brown. When he and his wife, Nathalie, founded the school in 1957, he gave permission for the school to take inspiration from his mother’s family’s heraldic design to design a seal for the school.