Our daughter graduated summa cum laude from NYU with a double major in Studio Art and Art History. She is now working for Calvin Klein. She is contemplating getting a law degree and pursuing a career repatriating art objects. She still keeps in touch with several of her Oxbow classmates and they have regular reunions in Manhattan.

I would say that Oxbow was the best semester that any of my four children spent in their cumulative 16 years of high school. Our daughter was the right kid, and for the right kid you do a wonderful job. You changed her life. Thank you.

John Powley
Parent

When our daughter checks in, she is full of enthusiasm, stories, and debriefs that are a delight to hear. She is taking real risks as an artist, experimenting with techniques and mediums outside her natural talents and comfort zone. She is stepping up to a great deal more in her academic studies, discovering she is capable of learning more and contributing meaningfully in the small group, discussion-based classes at Oxbow. She recently told me she has never enjoyed learning more in her entire life - and this was in reference to reading and research related to an upcoming project. She is learning how to claim her own "voice" among her peers and she genuinely respects her teachers and the lessons they are bringing to her. Her environmental and corporate ethics studies have ignited a passion to "be the change she wants to see in the world." Most recently she calls with information about Colleges and what kind of experience they might offer her. She seems to understand now more than ever that she gets to design her life from here on out - and that her choices and efforts related to what will come next for her can "extend" the "Oxbow Experience." Rick and I had high expectations and hopes for what our daughter would get from Oxbow - and these have all been exceeded.

Leslie & Rick DePol
Parents

I'm writing to let you know the good news that my son has been accepted at his Number One choice for college, the Tisch Undergraduate Film Program at NYU. As you know, he decided at the end of September to apply only to schools that offered an undergraduate film major, focusing on those with a greater emphasis on filmmaking than on academic film studies. He also sought out colleges with a solid core curriculum in the Humanities rather than more specialized art schools. In the end he applied to ten schools: NYU, USC, UCLA, SF State, U. Texas at Austin, Syracuse, Chapman University, B.U., Ithaca College, and Bard.

In December, after college visits and considerable research, and taking into account his six weeks' experience at the USC School of Cinematic Arts summer school, he decided to go for "Early Decision II" at NYU, as he believes that, all things considered, Tisch offers the ideal program for him: great resources, and emphasis on hands-on filmmaking, and a reputation for valuing high intellectual standards and artistic originality (vs. the more commercial industry-focused program exemplified by USC).

The great news is that he was accepted at Tisch! He's over the moon, and so are his Mom and I.

The creative and intellectual guidance and support you gave to him was clearly formative and catalytic, and he continues to think of you as a great mentor, and someone who made a real difference in his life. He will never forget you, and what you gave him. Thank you.

Our son’s entire experience at Oxbow was transformative, and you and the school made a tremendous difference in his life. It was the turning point in his high school experience, and he returned to Packer Collegiate a stronger student and person as a result. I've said this before -- but his acceptance at NYU is a tangible proof that what he and we have believed since he returned is a fact.

Bill Wadsworth
Parent

We received word yesterday from School of the Art Institute of Chicago that our son was selected for a merit scholarship based on his "personal vision and obvious commitment to his work."

We are particularly indebted to Oxbow for this and I wanted to write to let you know how much his Oxbow experience has meant to him. Oxbow gave our son a voice and a community. Under the nurturing attention of his wonderful teachers he learned that he had the intellectual capability to express himself and that his unique point of view was, in fact, an asset. He found a group of friends who were like him and who continue to be his community. Some of them will be joining him at SAIC this fall and will, as Stephen said at graduation, be the art world's next generation. Our son’s merit scholarship has, of course, significant financial implications for which we are grateful. But more than that, it is recognition of the great work that he did at Oxbow, work that clearly stood out as conceptual, sophisticated and promising. Oxbow gave him the technical foundation he needed to be able to make that work and it supported him in taking risk and following his voice.

As parents, David and I are, of course proud of our son and his accomplishments. Most of all, I want you to know that we are keenly aware of the impact Oxbow has had and will, we hope, continue to have on his life as a student and beyond. We want to thank all of you for your support of our son and are so thankful for the gift that Oxbow has given him.

Alix & David
Parents

Oxbow gave Will a voice and a community. Under the nurturing attention of his wonderful teachers, he learned that he had the intellectual capability to express himself and that his unique point of view was, in fact, an asset.

David Becker
Parent

Just wanted to give you an update on our daughter’s college choices. She applied to 6 schools, U of Oregon, Oregon State U., UC Santa Cruz, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, and USC. She was accepted into all of the schools, with the exception on LMU, where she was waitlisted.

We went down to LA this week to look at her top choices, USC and UCLA, as she was accepted into the Art program at both schools.

After going through both USC and UCLA’s program for accepted students she has decided to attend USC- She’s a Trojan! She is enrolled in the 5 year program. After 4 years, she will have a BA in Art, and a minor of her choice (she is thinking Women’s studies, but who knows?). She will then go back for the 5th year and do her student teaching and finish up. She will then have earned her Master’s in Education, as well as her California Teaching Credential. She will end up with a BA in Art, Minor of her choice, Master’s in Education and her California Teaching Credential. She is so happy and her future is looking very bright!

We are thrilled for her and again, 100% believe that it would not have been possible without her attendance at Oxbow. The growth she achieved both artistically, and emotionally has changed her life. We are forever thankful for all of the great work you do at Oxbow.

Kelly Bitzer
Parent

Our daughter's attendance at Oxbow will have positive effects on her life and her choices for many years to come. She gained confidence, true academic interest, increased artistic skill as well as learned how to handle all different types of personalities in her four months at Oxbow. She did not return home a different person but rather a more mature and better version of herself. Any school that causes a teenager to be more who she is rather than who she thinks she should be deserves five stars. My daughter's Oxbow experience has made senior year in high school about so much more than getting into the most prestigious college possible. I only hope college is as great an experience as Oxbow.

Stacey and Robert Trisch
Parents

I wanted to personally thank-you, for the guidance you provided my daughter last year when she attended Oxbow. From my perspective the superior program that Oxbow offers not only expanded her as an individual, but also launched her towards the college career that she will be embarking upon this fall. I am most grateful for the vision and dedication of the Oxbow community and your leadership because it has changed the course of her life in the most profound way. I most heartily believe in what you are doing at Oxbow and you can rely on my continued support in the future.

In particular, I wanted to note the key aspects that made such a difference for my daughter. First, the focus on research and writing which causes the student to think deeply about their work. Her abilities in this area grew significantly while at Oxbow and although writing is not her top talent, she no longer feels that it is an unattainable goal, but more a skill to be refined. Second, is the consistent pursuit of excellence in the student’s work product. Her work output at Oxbow far out shown many of the projects I had seen her complete prior and after in High School. This taught her what she could achieve if she put time and effort along with heart and soul into her work. By setting high standards and requiring the student to reach towards those standards it helped her to take a very mature view of her work and strive for excellence. Third, and last, the exposure to the art community both locally and internationally through education opportunities (College Days) was instrumental in helping her find the right path for college. Our experience in National Portfolio Review days was very disappointing, where College Day at Oxbow was a breath of fresh air and helped guide her decision, as well as introduce her to key Admissions Counselors who spent a fair amount of quality time with her.

As a final result, I am most happy to communicate to you that she received three scholarship offers from Prestigious schools. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Creative and Honors Scholarship over $60,000), San Francisco Art Institute (Trustee’s Scholarship of $48,000), and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Fine Art program ($20,000). She also was accepted into Carnegie Mellon University’s Fine Art program.

I want to that the Oxbow School again for existing and providing such an amazing opportunity for students like Audrey. As I mentioned earlier in this letter, I do not believe our daughter would have been offered so many opportunities if it were not for the academic experience and guidance she received at Oxbow. Congratulations to you for a job well done!

Irene Graff
Parent

Oxbow School transformed our daughter's life. Every other student we met who shared the world changing educational experience with her reported the same. I believe it is the best arts education available to high school students in the world and it is right here in Napa. Our daughter and the other creative and talented students in her class last Spring came out of their semester crazy with passion for the arts and ideas, with expanded world views, and full of power and confidence.

We are so incredibly grateful to Ms. Hatch and the Mondavis who gave the money and had the vision to create this school. Stephen Thomas who has led the school from the beginning, and his devoted cadre of teachers, are inspired educators.

Preston Shackelford
Parent

The most valuable gift she was given was the support and trust to discover herself on her own....As I reflect on Georgia’s amazing transformation, I know that there was great intention and planning that went into her time at Oxbow. I understand the delicate balance between strict control and allowing freedom, especially at this precarious time of life, which you, as faculty and director must walk. ...I want to thank you for holding them all to a higher standard, for believing that they will get there.

Robert Mowry
Parent