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Changing Our Name to… The Franklin Academy

Gretchen Bucsko January 29, 2019

We are so excited to announce that we are changing our name to The Franklin Academy beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. The success, growth, and other positive changes at the academy – such as the promotion of the current Assitant Head Mrs. Gretchen Bucsko to be Head of School this summer – made it time to act.

Why are we changing our name?

We want our name to be more closely aligned with who we are now and where we are heading, as we move toward STEM accreditation, we want the name that reflects that direction.

This name change is to honor Benjamin Franklin and his many accomplishments in the fields of education, science, and technology. The change in name was announced at the school’s gala, and the audience heard why Benjamin Franklin was selected to modernize the Academy’s advance into its own Age of Enlightenment. Franklin, a successful journalist, and publisher in Philadelphia, retired early to pursue scientific research and help find new educational and charitable institutions. With a passion for policial liberty, Franklin joined the American rebels against English rule. He was a key leader of the Founding Father’s team, leaving a legacy that continues to inspire. For example, a new school class trip takes 7th grades each year to Philadelphia, the birthplace of American’s federal government and home of the Franklin Institute supporting science education.

St. Paul’s Academy used to be connected to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. We separated from them many years ago. They now have a new school in the church basement, and names are being confused in the community. The most frequent response we get is, “Aren’t you that Catholic school?” While we are not abandoning our chapel program, we also want to let Whatcom County know that we welcome students of all religious backgrounds, as an independent, non-denominational non-profit school.

Although our name is changing, our top academics, core commitments, value system, and sense of community will remain the same. It provides a rigorous education in small classes, with a focus on science along with character development giving its graduates a strong foundation for future educational success. The student-teacher ratio of ten to one and 12% more academic hours per year benefits every student.

The Franklin Academy will remain a private day school, charging tuition; it also receives donations and conducts fund-raising activities. Its annual auction gala, held at the end of January, grossed more than $503,000 – a record total showing the commitment of the more than 250 families and friends in attendance. A large part of the money raised will provide tuition aid to dozens of students in the next year. The Academy does not receive funds from governments or nor is it affiliated with any church.

We look forward to sharing this new chapter in our history with all of you!

Thank You,

Gretchen Bucsko (Incoming Head of The Franklin Academy) and Dusty Gulleson (Board President)

Franklin Academy is proud to hold accreditations from:
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