The Bradford Family
We moved to Nashville in 2012. When our oldest daughter, Lily Grace, was in fourth grade, we wanted to start looking at private schools for middle school and high school. As we talked to our friend, who's now head of admissions at McCallie School, they said the school they were watching in Nashville was FRA, and told us we should look into it. We toured, met with Prentice and Ryan, and we knew, based on the people leading the school, that this was the place for us.
From the beginning, one of the things we loved about FRA was the education—the development of the whole child and not just one singular strong suit of theirs. Obviously all four of our children are different, but the mission of the school is to bring out the best in the kids in all areas, not just one. FRA takes it upon themselves to develop their students’ people skills, discussion skills, and critical thinking. Across the board—whether in academics, sports, arts, or service—there is distinctive development going on at a high level.
We love that FRA encourages kids to take responsibility for themselves. Whether it’s academically, socially, athletically, or artistically, there's a big push to foster independence. It's a special environment for us, as parents, to feel welcome and know our children are being welcomed with open arms too. Having three kids at FRA, and in three different grades, we've made friends across a wide group of people. The other parents around us are thoughtful, encouraging, and supportive of each of our kids.
In the mornings, our kids are the ones pushing us to get out the door sooner, and that's always a good feeling. The kids want to get to school, and they want to stay late. We’re at FRA because we want our kids to obtain a world-class education. In the six years we’ve been here, we’ve seen the school continue to invest and rethink the curriculum. They’re always raising the bar.
Even though FRA is growing, it’s still small enough to immediately see the impact of every dollar. They're working hard to improve the learning experience for our students in real time. It's important to us to give back to FRA because it costs money to run a world-class school, and you have to have funds to constantly be innovating, whether that be a robotics lab, a weight room, or a special curriculum.
The intangible piece of it, to us, is the importance of showing our support by giving back, whether financially, through time, or through talent. When we care about an organization, we pour ourselves into it, and that's what makes it a special place.
- Will, Sara Elizabeth, Lily Grace ’23, Liam ’25, Annabelle ’27, and Burke