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A Note About Our Name

The namesake of the school, Will Carleton, was from the Hillsdale area and became Michigan’s Poet Laureate.  In the late nineteenth century he toured the countryside giving dramatic readings and speeches to vast audiences.  The school’s mission is to provide the type of education that leads students to the love of learning that filled the heart of Mr. Carleton.

In Jerome Fallon’s monograph, “Will Carleton, Michigan’s Poet of the People,” we learn that the theme of Carleton’s poetry was simple: “the homely virtues of honesty, thrift and integrity, and the importance of family and home.”  When Will Carleton was a boy, his childhood friends – his lifelong friends – were his “fiercest competitors” – not on the sports field, but in the intellectual pursuit.  It says Carleton needed “the stimulation a strong, dynamic and intellectually demanding teacher could give.”  In late life, Will Carleton recalled that

“Several small towns … wanted and would pay for something … which professed to be
intellectual; and so I ‘did’ all the neighboring hamlets that I could induce to hear me.”

It is our hope that Will Carleton Academy will appeal to parents who want something that “professes to be intellectual” for their children.  We intend to do our best to instill in these children the homely virtues.  We hope to provide teachers who are strong, dynamic and intellectually demanding.  We hope to provide a playing field where children compete and are proud of academic honors, as well as good behavior and good sportsmanship.

A link to Will Carleton’s poem Over The Hill To The Poor House.