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Wyoming Seminary is a private college preparatory school located in the Wyoming Valley of Northeastern Pennsylvania, in Kingstonmarker and Forty Fortmarker. It is near the Susquehanna River and the city of Wilkes-Barremarker. "Sem," as it is often called locally, is divided into a lower school of pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and an upper school of high schoolers. Both divisions are coeducational. Students in grades nine through postgraduate have the option to board. Slightly less than one half of the student body lives on campus.


Wyoming Seminary was founded by Methodist Church leaders in 1844 at the instigation of George Peck. At the time, it was common practice to call any academy or school a "seminary." While the school remains affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it does not primarily educate students for the ministry or priesthood.

Its first class contained 31 students — 17 boys and 14 girls from Pennsylvania and New York. At the time, Kingston was a rural village, and the school raised livestock, grew its own produce, and built a smoke house with which to preserve meat for the winter.

After the industrial age began, the school grew. In the wake of the region's new mining and manufacturing concerns, a dedicated business school was created and a college preparatory program was established.

In 1892, the Wyoming Seminary football team participated in the world's first nighttime football game, playing against Mansfield Universitymarker (then Mansfield State Normal School). The game ended at halftime due to insufficient lighting, with neither team scoring.

In 1951, Wyoming Seminary merged with the Wilkes-Barre Day School. As a result it became the region's only independent school to offer a complete program ranging from nursery through secondary school. In the late 1990s, Sem's Lower School expanded their program by adding a prekindergarten-3 program and renaming its nursery school grade as prekindergarten-4.

In the 1960s, the business and music schools were dissolved, leaving the college preparatory program as the secondary school's focus.

In 2001, Wyoming Seminary's Men's tennis team won the team state title becoming the first to do so in all of Wyoming Seminary's history. The team was led by Math teacher Chuck Lull (a.k.a O.C Lull).

In the present

80% of Upper School graduates are accepted to colleges in the "competitive" to "most competitive" range. 98% of those who graduate from Sem successfully graduate college. 44% of teachers at the Lower School hold master's degrees compared to 51% at the Upper School. 13 percent of Upper School teachers hold doctorates while two percent of Lower School teachers also hold doctorates. Wyoming Seminary's current president is Dr. Kip P. Nygren, a retired West Pointmarker professor, who was elected in November 2006 and officially assumed his duties on July 1, 2007.

The school's 19th century buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The school's Madrigal Singers, a 28-voice choral group, have gained recognition for their proficiency. The group has toured worldwide — touring Asia in 2006. In summer 2007 the group also toured in Germanymarker through their host, The St. Lioba School in Bad Nauheim Germany.

At the moment the school is undergoing a large renovation, with Swetland, Darte, and Fleck Halls being renovated, as well as a new sports building, tennis courts, and a revived Kirby Library is in motion.

The Wyoming Seminary Wrestling team has also enjoyed much success. Recently, in 2009 they were ranked as high as fifth in the nation of all private high schools. The wrestling team also placed second at the 2009 National Preps Wrestling Tournament, and at the 2009 Beast of the East tournament.

The Arts

Wyoming Seminary offers multiple art courses, music courses, music history, and chorale. Sem has two art studios, a ceramics studio, and a darkroom on campus. Each trimester, the art students put their work up in The Great Hall for display, and photography students have a show in the Buckingham Performing Arts Center. They also allow students to work on arts during the summer at the Performing Arts Institute (PAI). Students interested in music, dance and musical theatre spend the 42-day session on campus, and are exposed to world renowned artists.Orchestra, jazz band, chorale, and smaller ensembles are available for all students to participate in. Sem is the host for the PAI Civic Symphony Orchestra, in which both Sem and other local students perform with local musicians. Pit-orchestra gives students the opportunity to work with local musicians as well.Drama also has many participants; Sem hosts a musical in the fall, a workshop in the winter, and a play in the spring. Auditions are open to all students, and at times faculty as well.

Notable alumni


External links

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