A private school in Upper Arlington that was founded by entrepreneurs more than 35 years ago is returning to its roots with new classes aimed at -- as its revamped website proclaims -- helping shape those who will shape the world.
In November, The Wellington School, 3650 Reed Road, unveiled a new logo and redesigned its website to freshen its look and enable it to work better with mobile devices. School officials said the changes also were made in order to promote the school's diversity and its tuition assistance and affordability programs.
At the same time, new academic programs are being rolled out that seek to develop entrepreneurs.
"That entrepreneurial spirit really has been the bedrock of the school since the beginning," Wellington marketing and communication director Danielle Turkovich said. "I would say we have a renewed focus on who we've always been."
She noted that one example unfolded earlier this school year when Wellington senior Harrison Morosky parlayed his enthusiasm for drones into a roof-inspection business, in part by using lessons from a data-analytics course he took at the school to develop an algorithm to determine which houses in the Columbus area might be due for roof repairs.
One of the new courses now offered at Wellington's Upper School -- the high school level -- is an applied entrepreneurship course designed to take an in-depth look at the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, marketing, accounting, organizational behavior, information systems and operations.
Turkovich said the new class emphasizes the role these functions have within a business. Students also work in teams on different consulting projects with Columbus startups that present their most pressing business problem to students. After conducting research and devising plans, students will present their solutions directly to business' chief executive officers.
"We were able to leverage the authentic relationships we have throughout the Wellington community," Turkovich said. "It's basically making those connections and bringing them to life.
The curriculum in Wellington's Lower School has been integrated to teach students how to not only design products that people need but to upgrade those that already exist.
Turkovich said students use problem-solving exercises to achieve their goals. Through their classroom work, they learn about interviewing others in order to consider consumer needs and learn to work on projects in teams.
At the Middle School, for instance, students can take a class to learn how to build drones from scratch.
"They're not just building drones and flying them around," Turkovich said. "They're learning (computer) code."
Also new to the Middle School this year is a global problem-solving program offered through the fifth grade's Explorers of the World class. Each student selects a topic of interest that serves as a hub with ties to math, science, language, arts and social studies, Turkovich said. They also look at the United Nations' "17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development" and during the second half of this school year, each student will research and investigate one of those goals with an eye toward developing solutions.
Wellington Associate Head of School Dr. Jeff Terwin said the Columbus area increasingly is being seen by business and technology leaders as a hub for entrepreneurs so school officials decided they needed to better align their vision with the region. That work, he said, also will better prepare students to enter the global marketplace once they graduate from high school and college.
"Wellington's core mission has always been about creating an environment where students feel empowered to influence and disrupt the world around them," Terwin said. "As our city evolves as a startup hub, we're focusing on building an entrepreneurial mindset among our students.
"We're homing in on creative problem-solving and aligning our curriculum with the future of Columbus."
Currently, Wellington's 659 students live in Upper Arlington, Clintonville, Dublin, Hilliard, Worthington, Grandview, Gahanna, Bexley, New Albany and Westerville.